The Two Week Rule And Pregnancy

Reader:  I was hoping you could give me some direction on your 2 week rule.  I really like the rule, in that you can nip things in the bud before they become major issues.  However, I’m unsure as to how to approach asking about it.  (Beta, I know)…

My wife is pregnant, and for the last 13 weeks, she has been systematically taking steps away from me.  First it was in the bedroom, then it was stopping approaching me for kisses, then it was no touching at all, then it was general irritability, to now, the last 2 weeks, she hasn’t said I Love You once.

So, my rational male mind is seeing this as a problem…  To me, these are steps away from the long term goal of a happy healthy marriage.  I am just unsure of how to approach asking her what’s going on…  she is extremely against me at the moment, it seems like, and I’m not quite sure how to start the conversation.

I had thought about after work saying something like: “Babe, I’ve got a question for you about some of the communication difficulties we’ve been having lately, if you’re open to talking about it.”  Then going from there with: “I understand that you’re not comfortable and don’t feel well.  That said, you’ve been taking active steps to avoid me since the beginning…  First it was the sex, and we’ve progressed to where you haven’t told me that you love me in 2 weeks.  What’s going on?”  And then, “From my perspective, our marriage is the most important thing in this house.  We have a baby on the way, and it is going to take both of us working together to provide a solid model for how a husband and wife should interact.  Is what we’re doing now what you want to model for our child?”

What do you think?  Any suggestions?

Athol:  Too much flowery language and verbal submission to her in your statements. Try…

“You’re a bitch when you’re pregnant.”

Then leave the house for a few hours. She’ll probably apologize in short order. She knows she’s being a bitch toward you.

Reader:  Ha…  That does sound a whole lot less Beta, doesn’t it…

Just you saying that makes me realize that not getting affected by her jabs are huge…  You see it on TV… people responding to an angry woman with: “Are you finished?”  That, or your comment you would so much better than trying to convince her to behave differently.

Thanks again, Athol!

Athol:  You’re welcome.

It’s also nice in that it draws attention to the pregnancy for the cause of her behavior. Pregnancy does bring additional stresses to the marriage, but that only explains poor behavior it does not excuse it. It gives her an out to save some face and admit the pregnancy is something adding to her stress.

In general her being pregnant increases her need for Beta support. The further along she is, the more support is needed and you should help her through the pregnancy as best you can. However the standard rules apply, you don’t continue to do nice things for someone treating you badly. That just encourages them.

And circling back to the Two Week Rule, if you start to notice that she’s turning to the dark side, say and do something about it. If you let her get away with stomping all over you for nine months… don’t be surprised if your sweet wife doesn’t return after the pregnancy. Enjoy the Brood-Mother.

Also don’t get sucked in to helping pregnant women repeatedly who aren’t your wife. Obviously deal with any emergency and safety issues like you would anyone else, I’m talking about doing tasks for her convenience. Lifting heavy objects easily is always a Display of High Value, but beyond that, if they don’t have a man of their own that can help them, that’s their problem.


  1. pdwalker says:

    Nip it in the bud before it becomes a long term habit. She will be happier for it long term and so will you.

    Direct, to the point, and then let her think on it while you go and have a beer and relax. Stand your ground or resign yourself to a sexless existence for the rest of your marriage.

    It’s that simple.

    (Athol, you @#%#! Where were you 30 years ago when I *really* need to have someone tell me this stuff?)

  2. Another Worry says:

    If my pregnant wife was acting this way, I would plan on doing a paternity test on that baby in the hospital and be sure to get the results before filling out the birth certificate information. Its sounding a bit like she’s worried the baby isn’t yours and she’s taking that worry out on you.

  3. As a previously pregnant woman, I don’t know if I’d go so far as to use the word “bitch” (I think that would make it worse) but I generally agree with the direct approach. Straight up “I don’t appreciate how I’ve been treated, it’s not acceptable” would get your point across, in an Alpha way, without giving her more of a reason to act cold to you.

  4. Actually I would use the word ‘bitch’. If you are too nice, she wont take it seriously.
    My husband actually said to me ‘I hate it when you’re pregnant’. I don’t suggest you say that because that really hurt. But it made the point loud and clear – I did not even see my own behaviour and how I had changed. I thought I was being normal (though irritated at something at that moment). I still don’t know what I was doing differently, but I just have to take his word for it that I had changed.

  5. I just wanted to add, the moodiness comes from hormones. She can control her behaviour if aware of it and that it’s from the hormones. She may still be irritated but will stop taking it out on you. But it’s really easy to forget it’s from the hormones, and start looking for who is making her irritated – and you are a handy target.

  6. Call her on out. Say exactly what Athol said to say. She needs to know you have standards for her behavior.
    I would only add make sure you don’t say it with any anger or bitterness, it stinks of beta.
    Say it in an aloof, uncaring way. As in you don’t care about her resonce, it’s not an up for debate, it’s not the beginning of an argument. Make your point, then dip.

  7. 1) Do not tolerate that which is intolerable. Your wife’s current behavior is intolerable.
    2) Five minutes of alpha is the cure here not weeks of beta. (Athol: direct hit)
    3) In my own journey, I *would* use bitch, but I would use it carefully. I would also show anger. Anger can be very alpha. Make sure she knows that displeasing the alpha male has consequences. I would say, “You are being SUCH A BITCH!” Then, I would slam the door hard and disappear for a few hours. (That way, it’s not that she IS a bitch, she is BEING a bitch and can stop any time she feels like it.)

    I too wish I had known this years earlier. Remember, this could trash your marriage. She may feel that all reason to be any kind of decent to you is now over. She has what she wants and you are a spent drone. Best to know it now because there was never anything you could do to change that kind of thinking.

  8. Call your wife and b*tch and then wait for her to apologize?

    Not your smartest bit of advice man.

    Of several ways to effectively address the problem this fellow is having this is probably the worst. Good luck reader if you decide to follow this course of action.

  9. Twice formerly pregnant here…okay I was a happy cheerful pregnant lady, albeit with very strange first trimester beer cravings. Not really the time for that! I had to tell myself :-)

    YES!! Use the bitch line. I would even do it with an amused smirk on your face, right before you walk out the door to go have a beer.

    It might seem counter-intuitive, but it actually gives her much more face saving room than “I don’t appreciate how I’ve been treated, it’s not acceptable” . When she’s feeling contrite, she can just snuggle into your arms and both of you can laugh at how she’s been such a bitch. Little bitch here…little bitch there. It’s hard to laugh at a lecture like that above line, and it is only likely to build resentment.

    Here are a couple of variations on “You Bitch”!

    You sidling up very close to her in the kitchen and speaking quietly “I really turned you into a little bitch when I put that sweet baby in your belly”, smirk and a belly caress. OUT the door!

    You having just served her a delicious dinner and going in for a feel on the sofa….( with some angry emphasis, but pleeeeese no bitterness) “Oh it seems there is a troll under the bridge after all…this Billy Goat’s going ” OUT the door!

    You just looking straight at her, anywhere in the house frankly, “Stop being such a bitch!” On your heel, and OUT the door!

    Here’s to a happy rest of pregnancy and babytime.

  10. I imagine now more than ever she needs to know she has a strong man able to lead and protect her and your household, even if she is the threat. Call her on it. Be direct and blunt, not mean. Once you start not standing up for yourself, once you start accepting the unacceptable, once you start trying to “beta” your way to things being okay, she’s started to lose respect for you. It can be the first step to a long road that just gets harder and harder. This is not a negotiation. While you may feel like you need her to agree with you, what you really need is for her to recognize you aren’t going to take her shit. You are not looking to persuade her to your way of thinking. You know what is acceptable and you make it clearly known. Just don’t be mean about it. And being direct is not being mean. “You’re a bitch” can be hurtful, “you’re acting like a bitch” gives her a way out. But only you know which will work best with her.

  11. Not to make excuses for her, but have you taken a good hard look at her to analyze if she might be depressed? A lot of people aren’t aware that depression isn’t always post partum. It happens during the pregnancy to nearly as many women as go through post partum depression, but it usually gets missed because it’s frequently dismissed it as only pregnancy hormones.

    I think the advice you are getting is good, but if it doesn’t work, or if it even makes things worse, consider that this might be more than typical pregnancy bitchiness.

    I went through a bad pregnancy depression with my last baby, which turned into a deep, deep post partum depression after she was born. I was aware enough of my own state of mind to realize that something was really wrong, but I couldn’t get anyone to take me seriously until after she was born, and by then I was in pretty bad shape. IF this is what is going on (and not saying that it is, just suggesting it as a possibility) then she’s not going to be in much shape to take care of herself. If you can take care of her (lots of alpha involved there, btw) by making sure her doctors are aware of what’s happening and making sure she gets to appointments, and so on, you can save your family years of suffering. I can say from personal experience that it doesn’t just go away if everyone ignores it.

  12. Mr_Brown says:

    So… I feel really good about myself now!! Pulled this one out three weeks ago on the preggo wife (yes called her bitchy) and have definitely earned some extra alpha points in the process. The comment stuck with her for three days and in the timeline of those three days I just stuck to my guns. I stated I didn’t like your attitude when you came at me like that and I won’t tolerate it. No talking just that statement twice, put up with the bitterness and did my own thing. She is now doing more things for herself and the house in general and feels good about accomplishing them, and puts out more!!

  13. PastorofMuppets says:

    Calling names then running away hardly strikes me as an ‘alpha’ way of dealing with the situation. It seems just the opposite. It shows the guy has lost control, of the situation and his emotions. It’s petulant. It’s, well, it’s bitch-y. And, maybe most of all, it arguably screams “this man is ill-suited for the challenges of fatherhood.”
    The advice seems to run counter to some of the more standard mantra around here. Aren’t we told it’s the man’s job to initiate? You know, initiate, isolate, escalate? Nd yet here we’ve got a guy complaining that his wife isn’t approaching him enough. So then, shouldn’t we be telling him to double down on initiating rather than laying a guilt trip?
    It’s worth remembering that sex likely isn’t a huge priority for this woman right now. After all, her body is telling her that the biological imperative that so influence a woman’s sexual urges has been, for the time being, satisfied. Now more than ever is the time for him to step up his efforts to initiate and be attractive, not pout, complain and call names because she won’t approach him. That behavior seems anything but attractive and alpha.
    Just my two cents, anyway.

  14. LadyGrace says:

    Thank you, Pastor! You pointed out the same things I noticed in this. If he thinks she is not lavishing enough affection on him now, just wait until the baby is born.

  15. HappyWife40 says:

    @Gwen: I agree with you, depression should definitely be looked into.

    I want to add though, it may be something as simple as her sense of smell. Speaking from my own experience (three pregnancies, each one worse than the previous), my sense of smell went totally wacko. I normally love the way my husband smells, but when I was pregnant, I almost couldn’t stand being in the same room with him. It was awful! This definitely is not an excuse for bad behavior, but maybe she is afraid to tell you something as simple as this, since it could come across as an insult. I had to let my husband know this as gently as I could and I blamed it on the pregnancy, since nothing about him had changed.

    The fact that she is not telling him that she loves him is not good, in my opinion. He needs to call her on her bad behavior.

  16. Agree with PastorofMuppets.

    Also, “You’re a bitch when you’re pregnant” gives a potentially confusing signal where she may feel like she is helpless to do anything. I.e., “Well, if I’m a bitch when I’m pregnant there is nothing I can do about it, because I am pregnant. So, you’ll just have to deal with it”. IMO, it’s better to address the behaviour on its own.

    One more thing, though I hate to say it. A woman would withdraw this way if the baby had a different father. I hate to throw doubts like this into the mix. I really do! It’s probably not the case at all.

  17. PastorofMuppets says:

    As an interesting (but related) side note, recent research in the field of fetal medicine shows that children of mothers who experience higher levels of stress and anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to have mental and behavioral issues as they grow up, and it can lead to problems with the child’s cognitive development.
    Food for thought.

  18. Mr_Brown says:

    All I know is it worked… I don’t want to be stomped on or shit tested into oblivion! Believe me my beta is strong and I’m working on upping my alpha… Due to upping my alpha our relationship has blossomed <beta coming out! And I felt it would be ok to increase my offspring count. There has been plenty of heavy lifting on my part but if I get an attitude that I don't deserve I'm gonna let her know.

  19. This right here:
    “If you let her get away with stomping all over you for nine months… don’t be surprised if your sweet wife doesn’t return after the pregnancy. Enjoy the Brood-Mother.”

    I watch my peers and various acquaintences go down like this all the time. There is some great advice in the above comments too. But the message is nip it in the bud right now. It’s a fine line between being a supportive husband and allowing her to bitch and whine her way into dominance while you accept it as necessity because she is bearing your unborn child. Turning the corner after the baby is born after this (new bad) pattern has started is extremely difficult and rife with “shit tests”. I see it all the time. The Mrs takes over because her (usually) natural skills are emerging and the hubby turns into her assistant…and he stays there. ffwd 1 year and both are still chubby, she’s in charge of everything with no sexual interest in you while you work your ass off to pay for the constant barrage of baby expenses. Then it gets worse.

  20. Dreadpiratkevin says:

    If you allow your wife to use pregnancy as an excuse to withdraw from you, don’t expect it to change after the baby comes. I’m assuming it’s your first, but while pregnancy can be hard, having an new baby is harder still and it doesn’t get a lot easier anytime soon. I’ve been through 6 pregnancies and 5 births with my wife, and if you’re not together in it, it will drive you apart. You’ll be told to ‘give her space’ during pregnancy- very bad idea. You’re needs count too, and confronting her and then leaving will send a very powerful message with it’s implied threat that if she isn’t with you in this, she will be alone in it. Women are taught that it’s all about them when they are pregnant- they get that message from everyone involved: doctors, nurses, midwives every baby book ever written… They all tell her that you are to wait on her hand and foot while she’s pregnant, and she is the center of the world. It could be that she’s just taken it too far and doesn’t realize that your needs are still there, and it’s vitally important to her and the baby that they be met too. I properly handled confrontation can set that right quickly.

  21. I had very rough pregnancies. I was not as kind as I should have been. Dh called me on it by saying, “Don’t talk to me that way. Rephrase your request or I will ignore you until you can be respectful.” While I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I respected him more in the long run, especially more than if he called me a b****. That would have made me lose respect, because he would not be above reproach.

  22. @Orange:

    Just my two cents, but it seems to me that joking may be the wrong approach. It sends the message: “I’m not taking this seriously, so you don’t have to either.”

    Using the word “bitch” may or may not be the best idea– different women have different reactions to different words, and it also depends on exactly how inappropriate her behavior has been and hence how strong a response is called for– but whether the OP decides to use it or not, I’d tend to think that reacting with open anger is probably a bad idea. An emotional response provokes an emotional reaction, and also displays weakness (“You are able to get a reaction out of me that I am unable to control”) instead of strength (“Your behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated”).

    As PastorOfMuppets says, this is a perfect opportunity to display how you plan to deal with discipline issues when the child arrives, which is to say, with strong, calm authority.

  23. Hum. You are a bitch when you are pregnant.

    What the hell?!?

    Yeah, figure out a different alpha way to communicate that the behavior is not acceptable. If I had told my husband: you are a jerk, anytime his behavior was that of a jerk, and he’d called me a bitch anytime I was being bitchy, our standard of communcation would have gone downhill a long time ago.

    This pregnancy withdrawal of sorts does
    need to be addresses head on though, because you are looking at 6weeks postpartum of no action and let me tell you that at least the first 3 months postbirth (for some people longer) does take a tremendous toll onthe intimacy of the marriage. So you guys oughta be enjoying these pregnancy months as much as possible. Some women do feel sick, but as a woman you have to be able to work around it. You need a partner and your child needs a farther, so being a mother starts with being a team player with your partner for the sake of your family unit.

  24. Beta is not the answer.

    Go Alpha, dog!

  25. Fred Lunge says:

    Well if you’re not comfortable with saying “bitch” but still make clear you want her to stop the behavior, you can say it just as strongly and just as Alpha with something forceful like:

    Or if you need to tie it into the being pregnant thing, add this preamble:
    You may be pregnant but DON’T TALK SHIT

  26. Christine J says:

    Wow, call her a bitch? I would have to disagree on this one. I have a 12 week old baby and my husband called me that ONCE during my pregnancy because he thought the way I was acting was out of line. Please make sure YOU are doing your part 100% in supporting her during this period of time and that her actions are not a reaction to your lack of something. My husband got an honest earful about why my behavior was the way it was, due to his neglectfulness of the situation.

  27. How about a simple, “Pregnant or not, I won’t tolerate this,” and out the door.
    Or “I don’t have to put up with this” and out.

    She will wonder if you were talking temporary or permanent when you leave, which isn’t so bad.

    Anyone who has been busy being a bitch will know the word you left out. And an “I statement” is more powerful than a “You statement.”

  28. anonymouse says:

    I’ve been pregnant 9 times, delivered 7. If “bitch” is a normal part of your vocabulary, then yeah, use it. If not, find something suitable to get the same point across, but at the appropriate time.

    There are times when my husband has told me to go take a nap, because I was bordering on insanity. Lack of sleep does a number on me, but pain turns me into Pregasaurus Rex. Unfortunately I tune out the pain to function, and it comes out in my attitude. It is not pretty. And I don’t realize it until he says something, like you’re acting bitchy, or you need a nap. For the safety of the family lol ;)

    A hormonal pregnant woman has a lot of crap going on at any given time. It’s compared to climbing a mountain, to make that little human being. I do think a little pampering can go a long way towards fostering a good attitude overall, but it needs to be done the right way. You also need to be the stronger one… the brick wall that she can’t break through with her emotions/hormones. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional hormonal rollercoaster and not realize it, especially when pretty much ALL of society is telling women it is ALL about them, and that men should be waiting on their every whim, and if their man *isn’t* waiting on them like that, they picked the wrong man. I’ve been watching that crap for the last 12 years, and it took me a good 4-5 to really start being able to see just how badly women are hammered on by those messages. It’s disturbing really.

  29. All the posts seem to be saying the same thing even if their approaches are different: don’t accept the unacceptable. Whether you call her a bitch, say she’s acting like a bitch, ignore her till she’s speaks respectfully, any of them say you will not accept the unacceptable. Your needs do count, her pregnancy should not erase her considerations for you.

    Another general thought. Was this a planned pregnancy and something you both were excited about? Perhaps if it was a surprise, even a pleasant one, she may be dealing with thoughts/feelings and adjusting to the thoughts of all that will change. Maybe she doesn’t feel attractive, maybe she just feels fat. Regardless, directly addressing it some fashion is best.

  30. I don’t agree with name calling. Why not just say “Stop!” or “Enough!” very sharply and stare her down?

    As a side, a tremendous number of women will pull away entirely, pregnant or not, if the guy only shows physical affection when he wants to get laid. Women hate this. Sometimes all they want is a hug or a sweet kiss for the pureness of showing love, not to get it on. Push the sex and you will only teach her to push you away. Or she may only hug you or hold your hand in public, where it would be inappropriate to grope or grab.

  31. LadyGrace says:

    Could you all please read the original post again? Here is what he says

    “she has been systematically taking steps away from me. First it was in the bedroom”. What does this mean, exactly? Is she refusing sex? Is she not initiating? Is she not as into it as he wants her to be? Is he approaching her for sex and she is telling him to “f” off? OP does not say.
    ” then it was stopping approaching me for kisses,” SHE is not approaching HIM for kisses. How is this being a bitch? Is he trying to kiss her and she is pushing him away? OP does not say. ”
    ” then it was no touching at all” Again, SHE is not touching HIM. Is he touching her? Is she smacking his hand, leaving the room, telling him to keep his grubby hands to himself? OP does not say
    ” then it was general irritability” Oh wow, if this is not grounds for a severe smackdown, I don’t know what is because you know nobody is ever irritable in a marriage.
    ” the last 2 weeks, she hasn’t said I Love You once.” SHE hasn’t said it. Has HE said it? Has he said “I love you” and she didn’t respond? Did she roll her eyes, leave the room and tell him to get a life? OP does not say.

    It sounds to me like she is not chasing after him and giving him the sticky sweet affection he is craving. How exactly is he supposed to demand better behavior? “I expect you to kiss me a minimum of x times a day and tell me you love me every day before noon or I am outa here!” He has got an “affection” ledger in his mind (and perhaps on paper) and she is not making enough deposits. If this was a woman saying all this stuff, you would tell her not to expect her husband to read her mind. (“He doesn’t kiss, touch, say he loves me enough…Wah!!)

  32. “a tremendous number of women will pull away entirely, pregnant or not, if the guy only shows physical affection when he wants to get laid. Women hate this. Sometimes all they want is a hug or a sweet kiss for the pureness of showing love, not to get it on”

    Yep, true that. There’s needs to be intimacy that is not sexual, besides the sexual intimacy. They should both be as frequent as both parties desire.

  33. If bitch is too strong of a word for your wife to handle, feel free to use another. It’s not that complicated.

    Otherwise, the summary of the comments is that the women say it’s a terrible idea, highly offensive, it will never work, and the poor woman is potentially seriously ill and the husband is likely unsupportive at best and a future failure of a father at worst.

    The men that commented and have actually done it say it worked.

    Welcome to MMSL. I’m here until Thursday. Try the veal.

  34. FlyingDutchman says:

    Athol, I really like hearing from the women that read your blog, but I am very glad you pointed out the women vs men comments. I’ve seen this over and over again with women posting “yeah, but” comments saying they wouldn’t want this or that.

    But what women say they want and what actually works are rarely the same thing. Leaves a guy in a tough spot to figure out what is the right thing to do sometimes. Women have all sorts of opinions on what they think they want but very few know what they actually need. No disrespect ladies.

  35. anonymouse says:

    I’m a woman, and I agreed with you ;) Mostly because hubby’s done it to me and it actually did work.

  36. Charles says:

    Ooh, an entire list of comments that illustrates the difference between what women say and what they do. Cool.

  37. @FlyingDutchman: “what women say they want and what actually works are rarely the same thing”

    Precisely the reason this blog and others like it exists; because many Beta guys can’t tell the difference and they and their relationships suffer for it. They think being being increasingly nice and supportive (like women often say they want) will make their woman stop being mean to them, and forget the very important point that no-one likes or respects a doormat, which is being nice to someone being continually and increasingly nasty to you.

  38. PastorofMuppets says:

    Athol … I very much doubt the guys who’ve tried something along those lines and had blown up in their face would admit such failure. I’ll stand by my comment that resorting to name calling and storming off like a teenage girl denied the car keys on a Friday night is not alpha.

  39. I get depressed every winter. I know it happens, and I do my very best to mitigate it. When I’m depressed, I’m mean and overly critical. I don’t realize I’m doing it at the time. One winter, my husband said “you are being so critical of me, it’s like I can’t do anything right, no mater how hard I try I can’t make you happy, so I think I’m going to stop trying.” Honestly, this stopped me in my tracks, I was in full blown tears within minutes because I felt terrible about hurting him. I imediately took the steps I needed to take to mitgate the damage I was doing. I HONESTLY just didn’t realize I was doing it and I do hate myself for being that way. I’m not sure you need to come back with more meanness (cause you might end up in a big fight; when you feel like shit, you’re kinda looking for a fight…), just firmly draw attention.

    I also want to point out, that as women withdraw, they need less and less. I think that’s really why the 2 week rule is a good rule of thumb. She has less sex with you, she needs less sex. I think kinda the opposite of how guys work. Sometimes you just have to kinda push the issue and give her a good fucking to reset things in their natural order.

  40. I have had four pregnancies, and with each and every one of them i withdrew from my husband. I still knew i loved him,very much, but i felt a little…well if im perfectly honest he annoyed the hell out of me. Everything he did annoyed me, i was short tempered and distant and sometimes just couldnt look at him. He knows all this by the way and he says that each time, as soon as our child was born, he looked at me and saw that whatever it was, had lifted. Shortly after our third son was born he looked into my eyes and said ‘there you are, my beautiful girl, welcome back’
    He knew that i loved him, never doubted it, but he also knew that pregnancy does things to your hormones. He has a theory that, on a very animalistic level, he had done his job (impregnating me) and i was to an extent done with him for a while. Think about it, biologically he had done his job and i was closed for business. I totally agree with him, because i know that during my pregnancies i couldnt stand him, and i feel bad about that because i honestly love him with all my heart. Now, i couldnt possibly imagine feeling the way i felt during my pregnancies, he is my everything, but i do know that i felt it, it was very real at the time, and even though i KNEW without doubt i still loved my husband, i still wanted to withdraw from him a little. 17 years on and we are still very happily married.
    i think the sugestions of paternity testing and calling your wife a bitch are ridiculously naive. Think about the biology, the fact that we are animals, what would an alpha do in this situation? He leads by having an understanding of his womans needs during this brief and important time, allowing his wife a concession while she is hormonal, and being man enough to not take it personally. I knew without doubt that my husband was still protecting me and guiding me, even while i couldnt stand him, and i was all the more gratefeul for him and his strength when i came out the other side.

  41. “If bitch is too strong of a word for your wife to handle, feel free to use another. It’s not that complicated.”

    Yeah, that was my first reaction. The guy who wrote in was being way too supplicating, but for some women calling her a “bitch” is like the nuclear option. Depends on what she’s been around.

    But, yeah, firmly call her on it. I didn’t. Enter years of a sexless marriage.

  42. anonandon says:

    I think the women in the comments aren’t necessarily saying that ‘bitch’ wouldn’t work. It would: most of them know that.

    What they are saying is that it doesn’t keep you in a position of being beyond reproach. Some also point out that, if ‘bitch’ isn’t a natural part of your vocabulary, it might come across as stronger than intended.

    For me, “you’re acting like a bitch” works every time. But then again — “you’re being absolutely unreasonable” “ENOUGH.” and “I’ll come back when you can talk to me like an adult” would also work just as well, and have the bonus of working without the added name-calling. I’d hazard that the alternatives might even work better, because they engage my rational mind and *not* my knee-jerk, indignant ‘you just called me a bitch who do you think you are’ reflex. I think some of the women in here are thinking of alternatives to “you’re a bitch when you’re pregnant” that don’t bring the discourse down to that level, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

  43. “… name calling and storming off like a teenage girl denied the car keys on a Friday night is not alpha.”
    I’m betting you’ve never experienced alpha behavior from a man. Tone of voice, delivery and frame are nothing that resembles a teenage girl and if he has those correct, he could say just about anything showing disapproval and she’d get the message.

    “Aren’t we told its the mans job to imitate?”
    Indeed. He’s way past that point though. If he was wise enough to act like a man earlier in the pregnancy and been a leader in their relationship, we’d not need this conversation and she probably wouldn’t be acting like a bitch.

    Women are honest to the emotions they’re feeling at the moment and he needs to engage her emotionally without losing control of his.

    “You’re being a bitch.” said the husband is a calm, monotone, almost uncaring voice. He seemed distracted as if he’d just remembered something he needed to do. Then he slowly got up, gathered his keys, phone and wallet off the dresser and left. Slowly shutting the door behind he as if he was never coming back.

  44. Interesting to note that in thes above comments, it is the beta/white knight males saying the “Bitch” comment is hurtful/mean, is bad advice and won’t work, meanwhile the female commenters, by and large, appluad and agree with it as the best thing to do.

    Very telling about the nature and psyche of both women and beta males, and it also shows Athol knows what he’s talking about.

  45. PastorofMuppets says:

    H – good thing for you we’re not really betting here. I AM a man. One who’s never had to resort to namecalling and cheap theatrics to get what he wants from his relationship – even through pregnancies.
    Look, nobody is suggesting that this guy not deal with the situation. Nor is anyone suggesting he do it anything but a strong, clear and firm manner. What I am suggesting, though, is the manner advised here – call her a name and then leave his home – is a display of weakness, not strength. It’s beta, not alpha. It’s more likely to engender disdain than respect.
    That is all.

  46. @ PastorofMuppets

    I don’t agree that it would necessarily create disdain rather than respect. I speak from my own experience and personality of course, but the way AK and H suggest would work well with me. The use of the word bitch would add an element of unmistakeable seriousness that other ways would not. Him leaving would allow me time to reflect and process through an emotional response without having to immediately respond.

    Like all things, one way doesn’t fit every woman every time. But because it is a way that you don’t use doesn’t mean it won’t work for the OP or others. I hope if nothing else, the OP came away from this post with the understanding that it needs to be addressed immediately and firmly.

  47. Honestly, if my husband had called me a bitch and left when I was pregnant, I would have changed the locks and boxed up his clothes to take to his grandmother’s house. Of course, I worked overtime (60+hrs/wk) at very physical jobs while trying to maintain decent living conditions for both of my pregnancies while my husband was ether unemployed or underemployed and spending his days playing video games with his friends. If he’s got everything handled that he’s supposed to, meaning both Alpha and Beta, then it might work, provided you used the right wording for your wife.

  48. Suzette says:

    Really, people, is the wife an enemy? A first pregnancy and a first baby are enormous challenges to the psyche of the husband AND the wife. Husbands worry about what will happen re: sex, love, and connection to the wife, the wife worries about her sexiness, the sudden changes in her body, and the new life she will be caring for. More alpha and more beta might help here, and perhaps a display of alpha will assist communication. She can be called out on her coldness and withdrawal without making her out to be the enemy. I suspect she is freaked out, like most of us were when we were pregnant and adjusting as rapidly as we could to constant change and challenge. How about: “Hey, what’s with the bitchiness and withdrawal? I don’t like it, I want you to knock it off, and I want to know: –what’s going on with you?” This might do the trick. Jeez!

  49. Agree with Kort – if she’d be relieved at you’re leaving, don’t use that technique!

  50. PocketAces says:

    It all depends on your personal style. If what you say isn’t congruent, it won’t be believed.

    Recently, I had to put my foot down about something with my pregnant wife. I forget what, but I do remember what I said.

    “You better be nice to me. You have one kid and another on the way. You. Need. Me.”
    She visibly startled, straightened up and after a pause very much agreed.

    I don’t know if that is considered alpha or beta, but it worked. Maybe alpha because of the implied takeaway, but seems to not be standard alpha because it points out the beta support she has been getting while pregnant. (Both kids are mine too, but I wasn’t going to say “we” at that moment.)

  51. Joe Commenter says:

    @pastor. The leaving the house part is very important to the success of this operation. It gives both parties the wife the chance to step back and reflect. It also allows the adrenaline to dissipate and allow for clearer thought.

  52. Charles says:

    Men who tried calling out their pregnant wives for being bitches and had it go badly might not speak up. However, in this day and age, their wives would probably never shut up about it. Where are these wives? I don’t hear them.

  53. Athol hit the nail right on the head with flowery language and submissive verbage.

    By even saying “if you’re open to talking about it” screams “if you allow me to speak my mind”. Hopefully with Athols help you’ll get yourself out of that bad habit…

  54. I divorced my husband over name calling (the C word). Wasn’t even pregnant. So it obviously doesn’t work for all husbands.

    There will always be desperate women who put up horrible treatment, whether it be a slap, demeaning arguments, or cheating. You can think she’s a bitch all you want, but there is always a better, classier way of getting your point across. Consider this: if your 10 year old child called you an asshole/bitch because you won’t let him go over to his friend’s house, would you say, “Yeah, you’re right, kiddo. Thanks for pointing that out, I needed that verbal wake-up slap.”?

    Name-calling followed by slamming out the front door is simply a grownup’s version of the temper tantrum. Why not add “I hate you! You never let me do ANYTHING!” just for good measure? And we’re all taught to ignore it when children pull this stunt. You’re about to become a parent, so start now being the firm yet rational adult. Children learn by watching your behavior.

  55. Charles says:

    Actually, Jaz71, it’s not obvious. Were you behaving badly enough so that the C word, as you put it, might have been an apt description of you when it was used? If you weren’t behaving badly, or if you weren’t behaving nearly badly enough to be tarred with the brush your ex used on you, then your case doesn’t apply. The original post and the pertinent examples are about when a husband calls a wife out on her bad behavior, not when he is being unjustly insulting or trying to hurt her with words. So, my question to you, Jaz71, is this: did you behave badly enough to tempt your ex into calling you such names, or didn’t you?

  56. Could he be stinky? When I’m pregnant I can smell EVERYTHING. Morning breath, coffee breath, cigs, onions from the sandwich he ate four hours ago… I still had (rear-entry) sex out of a sense of obligation and affection, but he had better be friggen immaculate before trying to KISS me while pregnant or it would turn my stomach and I’d be fighting down the urge to retch.

    It’s incredibly annoying.

  57. I also want to say that if this is her first rodeo, she probably doesn’t really know that the supersonic sense of smell WILL go away and he will smell good again. The relationship’s not broken, you haven’t fallen out of love just because you temporarily can’t stand his odor. lol

    Shoot, I had four kids and had to actively remind myself every time, “this too shall pass.” Man, having kids is hard. I hardly know why people do it.

  58. Most of these answers assume that the reader has done nothing wrong. If his wife came home one day about 13 weeks ago and found him kissing the neighbor in the backyard, or found emails that suggest an EA, or found that he had cheated on their tax return, or in some other way broke the trust in their marriage, it wouldn’t be surprising at all for her to pull away. Perhaps he might want to determine if something triggered her behavior – he can still maintain an alpha frame while doing so. (I agree that the conversation he proposed is way too beta.) Or, as others have suggested, if she is actually depressed due to messed up hormones, it would be helpful to try to figure that out. Again, he can do this from a position of strength. I usually agree with Athol, but in this case I think that calling his wife a b___ and slamming the door on the way out is not good advice. Especially as the first step in dealing with the problem.

  59. I read this last night and laughed. The poor bastard I thought. He’s in a near impossible situation. Then the comments piled on and I thought “thank god that’s not me”.

    Karma happened.

    My wife told she is pregnant this evening.

    I am showing her this post and these comments. This bud is nipped so far in advance.

  60. anonymouse says:

    Congratulations Rob ;) Karma can be a B**** sometimes ;) At least this karma will be cute and snuggly eventually ;)

  61. pdwalker says:


    Excellent Rob.

    Nip the bud before it’s planted.

    You can now use humor when pointing it out to her later on if it shows up, as in, “ah, there’s the bitchiness I was warned about” said in a playful manner.

    Good luck!

  62. FlyingDutchman says:

    An Alpha punishes with disinterest, not with emotional reaction. If you react to her drama, then she controls you and you lose attraction points. This doesn’t mean you don’t call her on it, but you keep it brief and you stay in control, don’t react emotionally and try to talk her out of it. In this case, he is showing her that he’s not interested in her behavior and she will get none of his attention if she is going to treat him poorly.

    Never criticize her emotions that she is going through, only her behavior towards you. Big difference and one that will make or break whether this works. She must be free to experience all her emotions without worrying that you will react to them like a beta. Be the man.

  63. “So, my question to you, Jaz71, is this: did you behave badly enough to tempt your ex into calling you such names, or didn’t you?”

    @Charles: He called me a fucking cunt in front of my little nephew because I wouldn’t go along with a shit test he was giving me. The name calling had been going on for a while, and I had just been blowing him off. Bringing a child to the audience was manipulative and demeaning at best. Final straw.

    I have no regrets on my divorce. My life has improved dramatically with him out of the picture.

  64. Charles says:

    @Jaz71: So, your answer to my question is a resounding “NO”. From what you describe, your ex-husband behaved badly, and then called you a fucking cunt on top of that, in front of your nephew even. Quite a hunk of nastiness, that, and good on you for putting it well behind you – as in, “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.” However, this scene was about your ex-husband’s bad behavior, not about yours. Therefore, your case isn’t at all pertinent to Athol’s original post, which addresses a (pregnant) wife’s bad behavior, not her husband’s, and shouldn’t have been brought up in this thread as if it was.

  65. I believe the topic was about resorting to calling your wife a Bitch when you don’t like her behavior. The post prior to mine asked if any women out there took this name-calling badly, and I replied to it, YES. It is completely relevant to this thread.

    Don’t be surprised if your spouse walks if you fight like trailer trash.

    Kevin Bacon quote with regards to how to have a happy marriage: “Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.”

  66. Charles says:

    No, Jazzi, your post is not relevant to this thread, not when you haven’t yet written one word about any bad behavior of yours that led up to your FC incident. This thread is about what to do when one’s (in this case pregnant) wife is behaving badly. All men – and women – who have reported in about doing it Athol’s way, or having it done to them Athol’s way, have reported success. You don’t count, because your example isn’t about your behavior at all – unless there’s something you’re not telling us.

  67. Call your wife a “bitch”? That is great advice. There are some words you should never let fly no matter how upset you may be at the time. Some women respect a man who has self control and doesn’t start yelling b and c word and slamming shit because they are made. You can show anger and be direct without talking to your wife like she’s some whore. If she is carrying your baby and you actually respect her you won’t use that word. I’m hoping that was a joke and I’m not getting it, but that’s some dumbass advice. Unless your wife is some dumb whore white trash stripper that wants to be talked to like that than show her a little respect and just be hones with how you feel and don’t beat around the bush.

  68. Alexandra says:

    I’m 7 months pregnant and just got into a huge fight with my husband. He took me out to meet up with some business partners, he got a strange beer and I wanted to taste it.( mind you I have had one glass of wine my whole pregnancy) and he pulled the glass away from me and it made me feel like he was treating me Like a child. I have been so careful my whole pregnancy and would not even THINK of taking a whole gulp of this beer because I dont want to drink but how made me so upset that I was ready to take a taxi cab home because I didn’t even want to be in the car with him. His response was your being a moody cunt. And left me at the lounge by myself. I was hurt because he wasn’t even willing to apologize for being over dramatic like I was going to kill our child. It just really hurt to hear him say that to me on top of this whole month he has not said I love you and I clean, cook, and work. I’m stressed out enough as it is and I’m upset at all at him and he gets “impatient and annoyed”. This is something I never want to hear come out of any mans mouth. It made mW feel belittled and I couldn’t stop crying my whole way home. He probably caused more harm and stress on the baby being aggressive towards me then anything else. That was not a good way to get my attention even though I understand he was frustrated. I didn’t deserve those words ever. That was so mean and he doesn’t think he even did anything wrong.

  69. @Alexandra,
    Your husband is treating you like nobody should be treated, let alone someone who has vowed to love, respect, and protect you. The behavior that you described can only be called one word that I can think of: Abusive.
    I don’t think that many people have looked at this chat string for about two years, and the many, many women (and men!) who would want very, very much to help you see how hurtful and quite possibly dangerous to both you and your baby your situation is will not be able to find your post because it is buried in a string that only shows up when people are discussing pregnant wife behavior problems in their marriages. PLEASE find a forum that is based on wives who are being insulted and abandoned by their husbands while very pregnant, or something similar! You need to talk to some of the people online who have experience in situations like yours and learn from them what your options are. It is incredibly important for you and for your baby. Please make sure that the forum that you post on has had recent activity as well, so that people are still actively reading it. Good luck and please don’t believe for a minute that you or anyone else deserves this!

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