Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “Is It a Bad Time to Announce My Pregnancy?”

From the forums:

My husband and I found out Friday night that I’m pregnant (about three-four weeks along). On Saturday morning, my husband’s grandmother had a stroke and has been in the hospital since. Yesterday we discovered that she is paralyzed from the waist down and cannot speak. It may be temporary, or it may not be — it’s too soon to tell.

My husband wants to tell his family that I’m pregnant. His thought is that it would be good news and we all need good news right now. My thought is that it is too early. Everybody still needs time to process what is going on with Grandma and the focus needs to be on her. Plus, I feel my husband’s mother has enough to deal with right now and shouldn’t have to have another thought in her head other than taking care of her mother.

Thoughts? — Newly Pregnant

Congratulations! And you are absolutely right in your thinking. Your husband may be well-intentioned with wanting to share your good news, but honestly, it comes across as kind of attention-seeking and trying to make a moment be about him when it clearly should be about his grandmother. Furthermore, it’s your body and you get to decide when you’re ready to share news about it. Three to four weeks pregnant is super-duper early; most OBGYNs don’t even want to see you to confirm a pregnancy until you’re around eight weeks along (or roughly six weeks past your missed period). Of course, it’s your choice when you feel comfortable sharing the news, but Thanksgiving is coming up right around what would be towards the end of your first trimester, and that could be a great time to make an announcement to the family, particularly if you have one of those cute sonogram pictures to pass around. If Grandma is still not doing well at Thanksgiving, people will have had time to process that and will welcome some happy news. And if she’s doing better, then your pregnancy will only add to the celebration.

Best wishes for a healthy and comfortable pregnancy!

From the forums:

My husband and I have been together for four and a half years, married for seven months. I have never felt a close relationship with my in-laws but have tried really hard because my husband is very close with his family. They have always made me feel like I am not good enough, and I have never felt like they like me. My mother-in-law always makes me feel inadequate compared to her daughter. My husband’s parents do a lot with their daughter and her family and see them most weekends for lunches and dinners, which my husband and I are not invited to. They see each other most weekends and we maybe see them once every few months when we live roughly the same distance away.

A couple of weeks ago my husband told me that his mum and dad wanted to take us to the theatre for a Christmas treat and we were really happy because it’s unusual that they invite us to do something that doesn’t involve his sister (when they do things together all the time) but tonight his mum revealed that his sister was coming too because she “couldn’t invite us and not her.” This made me really upset because we are always left out of things!!! Not only that but for my husband’s birthday they gave him a mug with photos of my husband and her children but didn’t include me on it. Am I justified in being upset or am I just being dramatic?

Please help. These are just a couple of things that have upset me out of a long list and I feel like I’m going out of my mind. They may seem little things but when all added together they’re not. — Feeling Inadequate

 
I’m not sure I understand what the problem here is. You don’t feel very close with your in-laws, you don’t like the way they make you feel about yourself, and you don’t have to spend much time with them. Wouldn’t it be much more of a problem if you had to spend a lot of time with people who didn’t make you feel good about yourself? You say your husband is close with them, but you don’t mention his feeling hurt or complaining or asking anything more from you. You only talk about YOUR being upset, and not because you wish you were closer to your in-laws but because you feel like they prefer their daughter to you. Um, DUH. She’s their daughter. And it sounds like she has kids, too, right (the ones pictured on the mug given to your husband)? Hmm, do you think maybe spending time with their grandchildren is another reason your husband’s parents put in more time with their daughter?

You’re making this all about you and it isn’t. You’re seriously upset that your in-laws gave him a mug with a picture of him and his nieces/nephews and not a picture of you and him?! And out of your “long list” of things to be upset about, this is the one you wanted to share? And you’re wondering if you’re being dramatic? YES! Yes, you’re being dramatic and childish. If you truly want a closer relationship with your in-laws and you want to do more with them without your SIL present, why don’t YOU invite THEM to do stuff instead of waiting for the invitation from them? Quit complaining about being left out of things, and do the organizing and inviting so you can be in charge of who’s included and who isn’t.

I have been with my boyfriend 12 years, and we have a 6-year-old whom I have raised on my own since, for most of the past five years, my boyfriend has been a meth addict. I stuck around all these years waiting for the day he would become sober. Finally, it became reality — he got clean, he went to rehab, and it’s been almost five months that he has been sober. He has been back from rehab for one month and it’s nothing like what I thought it would be like. He is an ass, still lazy, emotionally unavailable, irresponsible, and now arrogant and cocky, which he never was before. He works out every single day, which is great, but now he is telling me things about my weight and making comments on things I eat. For as long as I have known him he never was concerned with my weight; I have always been chunky but now it seems like he thinks he is too good for me.

I feel so stupid waiting for someone who is worse than when he was an addict. I really thought that he would appreciate me more and things would be better, but now I just can’t stand being around him. Maybe it’s just how recovering addicts act? Or am I overly dramatic? I need an outside opinion. — Waited for Sober

 
Yeah, I don’t think being disappointed that you waited years and years for a meth addict to get sober only to discover he’s arrogant, rude, cocky, lazy, irresponsible, emotionally unavailable, and cruel to you is being overly dramatic. You made a mistake waiting for someone to change. If someone has to change in order for you to be happy with him, he’s not right for you. Don’t waste any more time on this guy. Encourage him to do right by your son and to be a decent dad, but let go of any hope he’s ever going to be a good partner for you. That ship has sailed.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

28 comments… add one
  • avatar

    LisforLeslie October 9, 2018, 9:13 am

    LW#3 -your ass of a bf is replacing one addiction with another – exercise & working out. Normally, I’d be like “That’s great and healthy” but in this case it’s replacing one very selfish habit with another. The only effort he has is to make himself feel good – maybe the endorphin rush when you exercise a lot, whatever. It doesn’t matter. He’s now pushing you to join this addiction -which at least isn’t meth. It sounds like he’s not working, he’s not doing the housework, he’s not doing anything but be critical of you and working out.

    I’d be disappointed as hell if I were in your shoes. He gets sober and all he does give attitude? No. GTFO. Move on because you and your kid deserve a whole lot better than a barely recovering addict with attitude problems.

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    dinoceros October 9, 2018, 9:13 am

    LW1: Your husband’s reasons don’t supersede your normal timeline for telling people. Though I don’t think it would add to anyone’s stress, I think that the current stress could affect their responses, which could make you all feel bad (if they seem uninterested) and them feel guilty. Baby news isn’t going to make anyone less sad right now.

    LW2: Sorry, but after only five months, he could easily not be sober anymore tomorrow. The truth is, he wasn’t worth waiting for, not just because of his addiction but because of who he is. It’s understandable to be upset to realize that you wasted your time, but don’t continue to make the same mistake by continuing to wait. Move on. Better late than never (and better late than later).

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  • avatar

    anonymousse October 9, 2018, 9:23 am

    I think if you did tell the family, your happy news would only be a momentary happy distraction. It won’t change anything about the scary state of grandma, and you’ll most likely get mixed, less enthusiastic reactions than you would if you wait a little while.

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      LisforLeslie October 9, 2018, 9:28 am

      Yeah – the story of announcing the pregnancy would ALWAYS be tied to grandma’s stroke. If your family is like mine, when the kid has a birthday, there will be the annual “retelling of your birth” which sometimes includes “and when I found out that when Person was going to have You.. I was over the moon!” but damn, your inlaws would be like “And then Nannie got very sick and then NP told me you were going to be coming in nine months and it made a very sad time a little cheerier” blargh. Save it to Thanksgiving. Make Thanksgiving that much better.

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  • avatar

    Poppy October 9, 2018, 10:33 am

    LW1 I second Wendys advice. I was facebook friends with a girl who had been married maybe 2 months and announced that they were pregnant. She literally took a pregnancy test-positive, told family, and then told Facebook world. When she went to her first check up to confirm she had, had a miscarriage. She then has to tell her family and the Facebook world of what happened. It went from exciting news to extremely sad within days. Talk about social media awkwardness. It is way too soon. I would wait to announce the pregnancy around 8-12weeks .

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  • avatar

    Mimi October 9, 2018, 11:12 am

    LW #2, I think you’re sitting pretty so why are you stressing about the in-laws and their activities? You and they have never warmed to each other, I think that’s plain, so you aren’t obliged to spend every weekend doing things with them. Instead you have the freedom to enjoy your life without constantly referring to them – what’s bad about that? You can’t know what things are like in other people’s relationships and you seem to be making a lot of assumptions of how great it is over there and how much they are all loving it (I would hate to see my in-laws every weekend, just saying), and entirely imagining what they think of you. It doesn’t sound like they actively dislike you and you are driving yourself mental for no reason. Neutral territory with the parents is an ok place to be! Stop “trying so hard” – it isn’t getting you anywhere except to resentment. Give yourself and them a break and focus your attention on your hobbies, things you and your husband like to do, charity work, etc. and don’t worry so much about what other people do, think and feel.

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    • avatar

      csp October 9, 2018, 11:54 am

      I would also add that I wonder how much the inlaws are inviting versus the SIL is inviting. For example, I invite my MIL and my Mom to things all the time to tag along with the kid stuff. You just tend to do more family friendly stuff when you have a young family. So for example, we are doing pumpkin picking this weekend and I am inviting my inlaws. I didn’t even think of inviting my childless SIL because why would she drive 1.5 hours to get a pumpkin or sit at a soccer game.

      If you want a better relationship with your inlaws, start inviting them to things yourself like a farmers market or other community events. Things will warm up once you both start making an effort.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph October 9, 2018, 11:27 am

    Re LW1: the general advice has always been to not tell until 12 weeks because at that point the risk of miscarriage drastically decreases. However, I think this advice is falling out of favor as people begin to realize that you don’t have to deal with a miscarriage in shame and silence. Some people like for their village to know about the lost pregnancy either because they want the emotional support or because they want to celebrate that life, however short.
    Better advice which I’ve heard passed around is “don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant before 12 weeks that you wouldn’t want to tell you had a miscarriage.” Which means, you probably shouldn’t tell everyone on facebook and your boss, but you can tell friends, relatives, whoever you want. In this case think about what would happen if after you gave them a tiny spark of joy you then had to take it back due to losing the pregnancy.
    Then again, in Orthodox Jewish culture, you don’t tell people until 5 months, when basically everyone has already figured it out because you are showing.

    I think your husband is going through some stuff here and is trying to channel his own grief/fear/concern about his grandmother into this pregnancy. Focus on helping him through that and maybe his need to shout about the pregnancy from the rooftops will fade.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph October 9, 2018, 11:30 am

      I don’t think I was clear… I generally think its ok to tell family early but in this situation its not a good idea. I know when I was pregnant, my husband didn’t seem nearly as aware/concerned about losing the pregnancy as I was. He’s probably not thinking about it in this context, of what losing the baby would mean.

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      • avatar

        Ruby Tuesday October 9, 2018, 11:56 am

        Even with the changes in how we respond to someone’s miscarriage, I think that waiting to tell people until further along in a pregnancy is a good general rule. Approximately 10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, with the majority of pregnancy loss occurring during the first trimester. While no one should feel ashamed for early pregnancy loss, I imagine that a delay in telling family and friends provides time and space for a woman to grieve and manage stress without worrying about other people’s feelings.

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    • avatar

      csp October 9, 2018, 11:44 am

      LW, I do totally agree about the miscarriage thing. Hiding it to make other people less uncomfortable should not be your concern. It is how you feel.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse October 9, 2018, 11:50 am

        For me, it wasn’t the shame of a miscarriage, it’s the emotional energy of having to tell anyone but a handful. It’s a lot of emotional energy to tell a giant pool of people.

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      • avatar

        Ruby Tuesday October 9, 2018, 11:57 am

        @anon said it much better than I ever could.

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        JD October 9, 2018, 1:33 pm

        Was also just exhausting for me. The whole thing was insanely traumatic and resulting not only in the nurse announcing to the whole waiting room that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat (how I was told) but also led to 6 months of me in and out of the hospital. I was so exhausted with dealing with it, the emotions, let alone explaining to everyone why I was in and out of the hospital. I felt no shame I just wanted two minutes to be spend thinking about something else. I am glad not many people knew as it was enough to talk about it with the few people I did every day on top of having my blood drawn daily, surgeries, etc.

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      dinoceros October 9, 2018, 1:17 pm

      My best friend went through a miscarriage, and to her, it wasn’t shameful, but she didn’t like having to talk about it with so many people and deal with their reactions. In her second pregnancy, she waited longer to tell most people so that if she had bad news again, she could deal with it more peacefully and not have to have conversation after conversation about it. Some of the people were like her hairdresser and stuff. People who she would have been plenty happy to not ever talk to about a miscarriage.

      I don’t think people should have to be worried in the sense that they think someone will judge them or that they have to manage other people’s feelings, but most people I’ve talked to just preferred it to be private for their own emotional well-being.

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      • avatar

        csp October 9, 2018, 1:24 pm

        I totally agree. It is completely up to her. I just had my 6th miscarriage. The first happened after we told our parents but we had not told many other people. But once I opened up about it to the wider world, it was such a relief because people stopped saying uncomfortable things to me. It was so freeing not to hide it from people. But that is my experience. I was just saying that she shouldn’t worry about other people but about herself.

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        dinoceros October 9, 2018, 1:30 pm

        Yeah, definitely! I was just responding to the original post about what “general advice” is. Not disagreeing with your particular reply.

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        dinoceros October 9, 2018, 1:33 pm

        I think it also relates to general personality. My friend doesn’t like anybody in her business. She hides from people we went to high school with when she sees them at the grocery store. She didn’t tell her family they were doing IVF at all. She hates any and all attention no matter what it’s for.

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        dinoceros October 9, 2018, 1:34 pm

        Ugh. I keep hitting submitting before I am done. Also, I want to say that I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage. And I’m glad that you’ve found a way to communicate it that helps you.

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie October 9, 2018, 2:05 pm

        @csp – I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriages -that’s really sad. In this case, though, considering that this news is supposed to be the news that takes everyone away from Grandma’s illness, I’d say better to not dangle the good news out there and then snatch it away.

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    Ruby Tuesday October 9, 2018, 11:39 am

    LW # 3: Your boyfriend is still the same person he has always been. He will not change for you. He will not change for his child.

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  • avatar

    csp October 9, 2018, 11:46 am

    LW1 – Here is the one thing I would add. If you think Grandma is going to die and he wants her to know. Let him tell her or at least strongly consider it. When he has a moment to talk to her alone. It might mean a lot to him to know that she knew before she passed. But if you want to wait to tell the whole family, that works as well.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 9, 2018, 11:47 am

    LW1: Grandma’s life is damn near over as we know it —but YEE HAW, we having a baby so who the fuck cares?!
    .
    God, straight people are fucking dumb as fuck.

    LW2: God, straight people are dumb as fuck. (Reprise.)

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie October 9, 2018, 12:07 pm

      Hey! I vaguely resemble that remark.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark October 9, 2018, 1:11 pm

        Just saying —mIf gays ruled the world, Kavanflaw would be fucking dead or homeless at the very least.

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        LisforLeslie October 9, 2018, 2:09 pm

        I think it was The Root that had an article titled “Only White Americans are Divided over Kavanaugh” – in short, if you look at the polls that asked who’s more believable him or her – only the white folks were divided. All other groups were like “He’s a lying liar lying about not lying”.

        And don’t think for a moment there aren’t a few Lincoln Party members on that shitstain’s side. But agreed, it’s not a majority.

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  • avatar

    london October 9, 2018, 12:55 pm

    Letter # 3-yes, leave like Wendy said. There is a lesson here I think for people who are with addicts. It is easy to overlook and dismiss their bad behavior as “the drugs,alcohol etc. talking”. The reality may be that they are just not a good person or a good person/match,for you.
    Them getting sober is not always a magic fix-people that develop addictions in the first place likely have a number of issues that they use the drugs to deal with. When that crutch is gone,the problems remain. Not alway,s but commonly.

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  • meadowphoenix

    meadowphoenix October 10, 2018, 11:55 am

    LW2: I don’t think you’re being dramatic, it’s the torture of a thousand cuts to you. But frankly, if they don’t like you, then they don’t and you need to stop seeking their regard.

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