I am a 30 year old man who has been married for a year and a half. My marriage is the envy of my friends. We married as an inseparable love birds. We were so much in love and our sex life was top notch. Then my wife got pregnant with our first child and everything is going down south. She has changed in two ways. First, unlike most pregnant women I have come across, my wife has become prettier, fairer with her hair growing longer and thicker. Everything about my wife turns me on when I see her. I find her even more sexually attractive than before she got pregnant and everyone around her says she is looking fabulous. Her eye for fashion, makes her choose cool dresses that make her girls tell her they also want to get pregnant. The second change, which is the problem, is that, she doesn't want me to touch her. She doesn't want to do anything intimate with me. Can you believe since she got pregnant about 4 months ago, we have not made love more than three times? I decided to send you a message because we nearly fought last night over it. When she finally allowed me to do it, I felt like I had raped my own wife. This is getting me mad, confused and disappointed in her. What do I do?
A woman's pregnancy is something you and I can never understand in the way that she experiences it, and I will need you to take in a deep breath, gently exhale, and enjoy the ride. It is a complicated period for every woman, and the least her husband can do is to support her go through it. Your wife is perfectly normal and your marriage is fine, except, like a moth becoming a butterfly, it is changing from being a Dyad and a funky ride, to a Triad.
There are a few things I would like to share with you about this situation you find yourself in. No two pregnancies are exactly the same even if it is by the same woman. Like you rightly said, unlike most pregnant women you have encountered, your wife is looking prettier instead of the typical 'Ahem!' You know what I mean. No swollen lips, morning sickness, slo-mo walking; she is actually looking sexy. It might surprise you to know that she may experience the exact opposite of this in her next pregnancy.
The human body is complex and a lot more complicated during certain stages on our growth path, particularly for women. Their bodies have all these hormones that turn and toss all over the place making them react to their environments in unique ways. From her periodic menstrual cycle through pregnancies to menopause, you need to appreciate an existential fact that your wife's interactions with you will follow certain unclear rhythms in ways that are not environmentally influenced, but purely through her biological make-up.
For some women, during pregnancy, their sex drive goes through the roof, while for others, it hits rock bottom. During this same period, for some, their mood swings become a lot more pronounced, or where they did not even have them in a way that was a problem, they may develop it. For some, their senses (especially smell) and tastes buds are altered, making them crave for a particular thing at a rate that may be unusual, or things that on a normal day may be considered weird. Others avoid certain things completely. In some cases, their sleep and eating patterns may be affected. Basically, you may end up living with a totally different woman for the duration of the pregnancy until she safely delivers.
For your wife not wanting to be intimate with you is perfectly normal for a woman who is going through what you can never understand. A lot of support is needed from you during this period. She may not be in the best of moods and may not relate with you in ways that may be considered proper; let's just blame it on the bump and wait for this period to pass. If you get fixated on what she is doing and what she is not doing, especially when you are struggling to understand why she is looking a lot more sexier, but playing had to get, you may end up getting upset (as you are feeling now), take it too personal, and allow things to rapidly get out of hands. Show her a lot more of love, be supportive, be available and present, not just in body, but in mind and in your emotional disposition. Do not use it as a bait to get intimate, because it may not work, and it may leave you discouraged. Do it for love.
You may want to visit her Doctor with her the next time she goes for her antenatal care, and have a discussion with him or her about this issue. I believe, these professionals have also be trained to counsel couples in situations like yours to go through this phase successfully. If you use a public facility, and you fear the volumes means the Doctor may not be that dedicated to you, you may try a good private facility where such attention can be given to you. But I believe any health facility you visit across the country is equipped with qualified personnel to help you.
In all of this, communication is key, remember that. I will be lying to you if I tell you, you can have a sit-down heart to heart chat with her and voila, the doors are opened. You may have to listen to her with your heart and with your eyes. Of course, she can't be in a bad mood 24/7. So while being nice and being the Superman at home, you need to keep your eyes open to the expressions, the good mood moments, the places she love to go, the things she love to do and how those experiences calm and relax her, then see if you can glide on it and end up where you seek to be. If your strategy is to wake her up at 4 am to get a quick one for the day, you may have to change it since that seems not to be working. If you like the 10 pm standard ones to help you sleep, you may want to change it. Start exploring her and her responses so you know which timing works well and under what set of circumstances. From Lighting, colours, perfumes, to meals, keep altering your collective lifestyle at home until it clicks.
The 4th month is the beginning of the second trimester, and the pregnancy is still something you need to keep a close eye on. Do not make her feel worried for her personal safety. Do not let her exert herself. Nearly fighting with her can be as dangerous as actually fighting with her and it may not be good for her and the baby.
As I mentioned earlier, accept that she is a different person for now until she delivers. Have a big heart to contain it all. Be there, be kind and be accommodating. That, my friend, is the bit of the pregnancy you carry. I wish you luck and congratulations!
You have issues you want help in dealing with? Send your nagging questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for PG's attention. Please note that all letters are edited for confidentiality and consistency sake. The essentials are, however, maintained.