Dear Carolyn: Sadly, I lost a wanted pregnancy at about eight weeks. Against my wishes, my husband had already told many of his friends and relatives about the pregnancy. He did not know "waiting till the second trimester" was a thing until I explained it to him. He thought the reason we learn about so many pregnancies in the early second trimester is that that's when most women realize they're pregnant. (Eye roll.)
At the time, I told him that I really, really didn't want to share the news prematurely but that if he couldn't contain himself then he could, as long as he understood the risk.
Now he has several people he needs to notify that I'm not pregnant anymore — otherwise they will definitely ask, which will be very upsetting to me. But he wants to tell them "together," which is so unfair that I don't even know how to respond.
I don't know how to insist that he do it himself without making it sound like an "I told you so." If you have a good suggestion, I would love to hear it, but otherwise can I just throw out a PSA to all those well-intentioned husbands to listen to their wives on this one?
Maryland: I am so sorry for your loss.
I'm also sorry your husband's insensitivity and stubbornness are adding to your emotional weight.
No need to worry about an "I told you so," though. Just be calm, firm and factual: "No, I will not tell these friends with you. Anyone you told about the pregnancy, you can now tell about the miscarriage."
Also, if he refuses to clean up his own mess — or does it only grudgingly — please don't dismiss this as "otherwise just a PSA." There's a serious issue embedded in his childlike cluelessness plus impulse-control problem plus responsibility-punt on making it right plus your . . . resignation? In light of his . . . disrespect for your wishes?
I'm unsure whether he is unwittingly reckless or knowingly dismissive. I could see taking this to a good couples' counselor — when, of course, you feel ready. You obviously have other, more immediate things to process right now. Take care.
Re: Miscarriage: I agree that it is the husband's responsibility to handle consequences, but it is not a mess. I found having people know [of our miscarriage] to be a comfort. I hope "Maryland" and her husband can move through this together.
Anonymous: Thoughtful sharing would not be a mess, I agree.
But what "Maryland's" husband did wasn't thoughtful, it was emotional and verbal incontinence. Even that wouldn't be a mess — if he had agreed to retrace his good-news steps to update people on the bad news. But he's resisting.
So a key source of comfort isn't available to this couple — yet.
Once he takes ownership of his spreading the news thoughtlessly, and thus shields his wife from the consequences of his actions, then, yes, the support of their people will likely help them.
Re: Miscarriage: No one is going to begrudge your husband a quick text to inform people you've lost your pregnancy. There is absolutely no reason your husband cannot take care of this. And if he refuses, look at Carolyn's suggestions. He's already being super selfish.