Here's a question for the internet to unpack: A husband who told his pregnant wife to stop rubbing her belly got an education from social media users on Reddit. (Seriously, if he's going to be mad about the attention his wife is giving her bump now he's in for one wild ride once the baby actually arrives and needs 24/7 care.)
Reddit user tungstain recently took to the popular sub-Reddit discussion forum Am I The A**hole to ask fellow social media users if he was out of line for asking his wife to stop rubbing her pregnant belly so much. He explained that it makes him "uncomfortable" even though he's not certain why it "aggravates" him so much, writing.
"I have also thought about it making me uncomfortable because it feels like the pregnancy is dominating our lives in ways I don't think it should," he wrote. "It seems like all she wants to talk about is the baby even though we still exist as individuals and the baby isn't even here."
It's important to point out here that there are scientific reasons why pregnant moms rub their bellies beyond the fact that they are often being kicked and their skin is itchy from stretching. In fact, a 2015 study shared by TIME found that babies in utero responded to their mother's touch during pregnancy.
So belly-rubbing is not just for "attention," like this future dad suspected. He went on to say that he spoke to his wife about abstaining from rubbing her pregnant belly as often in front of him, and it apparently did not go over terribly well.
"I got told I was controlling and unsupportive, but those are pretty outrageous claims considering how much support I have given her. Never once have I complained about anything until now, so what she said was extremely hurtful. She doesn't even see me that much during the week, so I don't understand how I am controlling."
Ultimately he wanted to know if he was in the wrong, and the good people of the internet came through with some responses for him. Whether or not he will consider those responses helpful remains to be seen. One social media user wrote, "I cannot imagine being so dumb as to think that telling your pregnant wife 'it’s kind of annoying to me that you’re acting so pregnant all the time and drawing attention to yourself, why don’t you stop,' was going to go any way besides horribly."
Another user who noted that she is currently pregnant tried to explain why expectant moms rub their bellies. "I think it’s a weird thing to be worried about, honestly. As a pregnant woman I can tell you that rubbing your belly isn’t done for attention grabbing. It’s normally either because baby kicked/rolled over something that hurt, you’re uncomfortable, there’s really no where else to rest your hands or it’s just unreal to feel how much the baby moves around in there."
Unfortunately the original poster appeared to have some "negative feelings" about impending parenthood, as he wrote in the response section. "Before she got pregnant we committed to making sure we still make time for us as a couple and not losing ourselves completely in the pregnancy and the baby, but that didn't last long for her. I get it, but it's disappointing because I feel like she was dishonest and had I known how things would turn out I might have wanted to wait longer."
Finally one Reddit user expressed concern for the expectant parent and suggested therapy, writing, "I think you need to take some time and some therapy to identify what is causing those negative feelings before baby arrives. It is NOT normal for people, especially spouses, to complain about a very pregnant woman rubbing her belly. Honestly, quite the opposite: people are FAR more likely to actually want to touch her belly, too! There’s a little person being made inside there."
The lesson here? Pregnant women get to touch their bellies whenever they want. Even if it makes their partner uncomfortable.