There you are, finally pregnant, getting the nursery ready and looking forward to your new role as Mom and — bam, your husband cheats on you.
At least that’s what happened to Katie Price, one of the stars of the British daytime TV show Loose Women.
Not only did hubby Kieran Hayler cheat on her, but he cheated on her with her best friend.
man Anthony Weiner was sexting (the first time) while wife Huma Abedin was secretly pregnant, back in 2011. Whether you consider that cheating or not, Abedin finally did — filing for divorce after the third sexting scandal.
They weren’t the first poorly behaved dads-to-be.
The concept of a husband who cheats while his wife is pregnant is “probably more common than people suspect,” says Scott Haltzman, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women.
In fact, a 2012 study indicted that men are at a slightly higher risk of cheating when their wife is pregnant.
It isn’t necessarily about sex. “It can also stem from an emotional need, like a desire to be cared for, to feel important or special,” he says.
Or, as psychologist Robert Rodriguez, author of What’s Your Pregnant Man Thinking?, says, it could be because the husband feels a bit lost — or “usurped by the impending arrival” — and what that may mean for him and his role in the family, which may explain why Rodriguez says about 10 percent of dads-to-be cheat on their partners during pregnancy.
That seems high, but according to Noel Biderman, founder of AshleyMadison.com (remember?), most men start cheating on their wives during pregnancy or right after.
According to Biderman:
sociologists will explain that cohabitation breeds indifference, but the biggest factor ends up being that all of the sudden, especially when a first child or pregnancy is on the scene, your sex life goes from 100 mph to zero. Like, literally, there becomes a period of abstinence. Women feel less attractive so there’s an emotional side to not wanting to be sexually active for some, not all. There’s a healing period of time, and then there’s a demands period of time. Having a newborn is tough. It doesn’t lead to a lot of intimacy. tweet
Men are ‘ill-prepared’
It would be easy to lump their behavior into the “worst-case cheating scenarios,” along with men who cheat on or dump their wife when she’s sick or suffering. Except there’s a difference — pregnancy doesn’t just affect the woman. It changes a man’s identity, it changes his brain, it changes the couple’s dynamics — nothing is the same again. We tend to romanticize motherhood and assume all women want to be mothers — sorry, we don’t. But there aren’t the same expectations of fatherhood for men (although we expect dads to be more than just breadwinners now; we want them to be nurturers, too).
Thus, as Biderman notes, “They’re just ill-prepared for it.”
Let’s face it: having kids, no matter how much we love them, is hard work and research shows that marital satisfaction plummets in the first two years after the birth of a baby.
Do married men know that? Do married women? Better yet, does anyone who’s about to become a parent, married or not, know that?
Surprisingly enough, no — even though there’s a wealth of information out there on how a baby impacts a romantic relationship.
True, most men don’t cheat on their wife when she becomes pregnant. But some do. Nevertheless, the path to fatherhood is complicated for men. Maybe we should start talking about that.