Pregnant Woman Praised For Not Letting Husband 'Bond' With Unborn Baby

Commenters defended a woman after she revealed she doesn't like her husband touching her pregnant belly without asking first, but he says that is the only way he can bond with their unborn son.

The anonymous woman, known only as u/throwaway365335, posted about her situation in Reddit's popular r/AmITheA**hole forum where it garnered nearly 12,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments, many from users calling out her husband's actions as dehumanizing and taking away her bodily autonomy.

In the post titled "AITA For Not Letting My Husband Bond With Our Unborn Baby?" the woman, 26, explained that she is five months pregnant with her and her husband's, 31, first child.

The woman said that as soon as her belly started showing, her husband began constantly touching it.

"The problem is that I have an anxiety disorder and don't like to be touched especially when it's sudden," the post read.

Pregnant woman fighting with husband
A woman went viral after sharing in a viral Reddit thread that her husband continuously touches her pregnant belly without consent because he is trying to "bond." eggeeggjiew/iStock

Although her husband is aware of her anxiety, she said he still puts his hands on her belly and refuses to remove them when she asks.

"He does it all the time, sometimes when I'm asleep and also when we're with family he'd put his hand on my belly sometimes even lifts my top," the post read. "Everytime I tell him to stop it because it's uncomfortable, he tells me this is his son too and he needs his bonding time."

In the post, the woman said that over the weekend she and her husband were on the front porch hanging out with her friends. While outside, her husband walked up behind her from behind and wrapped both arms around her belly.

"My friends were weirded out I quietly whispered to him to let go but he said 'don't mind us (meaning him and his baby) we're just here bonding,'" the post read.

She decided to move away from him while telling him to stop, but he just looked at her confused and walked inside the house, avoiding everyone for the rest of the gathering.

After everyone went home, the woman claimed her husband "blew up" on her and said she should not have yelled at him because what he did was "completely normal."

"I told him I already expressed how uncomfortable I was, he said he was my husband and that he was meaning to bond with his son and not me and then told me to get over myself and stop acting like a sensitive little girl," the post read. "I got mad and told him he is no longer allowed to do it and he got angry and said that's not my call and I can't act selfish and prevent him from bonding with his son."

After her husband vented to his mother, the woman told him she thought he was wrong, but he said he had no problem staying with his mom any time they fight.

"I was speechless and had no response. He said I owe him an apology for lashing out on him in front of my friends like that."

According to a piece published by Scary Mommy, many pregnant individuals do not feel comfortable having their tummy touched without giving explicit permission first.

Some individuals suffer from social anxiety or even haphephobia–an intense fear or anxiety of being touched. Many also feel that being touched nonconsensually takes away their bodily autonomy.

However some pregnant people do enjoy having their belly touched, so it is all about clearly communicating boundaries and asking for consent before assuming it is okay.

More than 1,500 users commented on the woman's post, many saying they believed the woman's husband was in the wrong for not stopping even though she told him she was uncomfortable.

"NTA. The fact your husband is stating that you've given up bodily autonomy by becoming pregnant is very disturbing," one user commented

"Your husband does not respect you as an autonomous being. He is treating you like the incubator for his son that he deserves access to whenever he wants," another comment read. "This is repeated disregard for your boundaries and what triggers you and makes you uncomfortable. What he is doing is incredibly disrespectful, dehumanizing and cruel."

"It's your body! He's treating you like a garden for his prize seed," another user wrote. "I get wanting to bond with his son, but to completely disrespect you and disregard your wishes and own concerns? Therapy or divorce ASAP!"

Other users suggested potential compromises, such as setting a specific time for her husband to "bond" with their baby.

"If you want to find a compromise, decide on clear boundaries around when he can touch your stomach—every night for 10 minutes before bed, for example," one user wrote. "Make it something you can agree on."

Newsweek reached out to u/throwaway365335 for comment.