I distinctly remember a moment during my first trimester when my husband sat down next to me and started eating chips and salsa — like a jerk. Immediately, I needed to know: is it normal to hate your partner during pregnancy? I can still feel each crunch clawing its way through my ear as if it were yesterday — every bite felt like an assault to my nerve endings. Eventually, I may or may not have told him where to shove the chips, but I can’t seem to fully remember that part. Oops. I’ve had many friends ask me similar questions about being irrationally irritated by their partners during pregnancy, so I feel like I am definitely not alone on this one, right?
"This certainly is normal,” Dr. Judith M. Thorne, Doctor On Demand Psychologist, tells Romper in an email interview. “A woman’s body is drastically changing and her hormones are fluctuating.” Not only that, Thorne says pregnancy symptoms like shortness of breath, back pain, nausea, and hemorrhoids may also cause a woman to be more irritable and impatient. No kidding.
“Is it too harsh to say I pretty much 'hated' my husband during the last part of my pregnancy and right after the birth of our first baby?” Jill Simonian, author of a new book for first-time pregnant moms, The FAB Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby, says to Romper. "Hey, that's how I felt!”
Simonian says it was definitely her self-described “whacked-out hormones” that not only caused her distaste for her husband during pregnancy, but during the fourth trimester. “He was far too comfortable becoming a parent and taking care of a newborn, while I felt completely outside of my body,” she says, adding that feelings like “Why don’t I feel as comfortable as him?” plagued her. “He’d hold our new baby as though he'd done it a thousand times before and our lives weren't changing a bit — it freaked me out to the point that I started getting more and more annoyed every time he picked up our baby girl.”
Simonian says making time for self-care and allowing herself to acknowledge that she had all sorts of conflicting emotions as a first-time new mom allowed her feelings to eventually pass.
But it's not just your symptoms or hormones that can cause you to feel upset with your partner. According to Thorne, women may also experience feelings of frustration or resentment that their partner can eat without experiencing nausea, is not chronically exhausted, and doesn’t have to pee every five minutes.
“[A pregnant woman’s] body is shared with someone and, although a wonderful occurrence, it can be very stressful,” she says, noting that if feelings of resentment are very strong or if you feel chronically angry, then it may be time to have a chat with your health care professional. Taking time for a discussion now might also reduce the risk of similar feelings occurring during the postpartum period, Thorne suggests.
As for the chip-crunching, lip-smacking, and finger-licking that makes you loathe every inch of your SO's face? Well, I might have a solution that involves a few choice words, but that's between you and me.
Dr. Judith M. Thorne, Doctor On Demand Psychologist
Jill Simonian, author of a new book for first-time pregnant moms, The FAB Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby