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This Guy’s The Complete Package Of Red Flags, Wrapped In Red Flags

, , , , , , , , , , , | Romantic | November 10, 2023

I ended up divorcing my husband due to him being… well, the words to describe him are not family-friendly. Let’s just start with “worthless” and let the rest of the story help you come up with the adjectives.

I was in my third trimester with my baby girl. Two weeks before my due date, I had a day off work, and my stomach tightened. It was early morning and just felt like a cramp. I believed it was a Braxton Hicks — a false labor pain. My husband went to work as usual.

It was lunch before I felt it again.

It came again less than an hour later, so just for fun, I took out my phone and loaded an app that counted/timed contractions. I thought this would be a good test run for the real thing. False labor pains happen in the second or third trimester. Unlike in movies where everything becomes dramatic when your water breaks and everything happens quickly, it’s basically like wetting yourself and heading to the hospital fairly calmly since the actual birth can take a long time. (There are exceptions, of course, but the movies make it way more exciting than it really is at the start. It only gets exciting at the end.)

As I walked around the store, I recorded my “tightenings” on the phone. I left with five full bags and proceeded to lug them back to my apartment. Each time I felt something, I stopped, put the bags down, input the time into the app, and waited for the feeling to pass.

When I finally got home, I looked at my phone.

Huh. Each “tightening” was exactly four minutes apart by now.

I called my husband.

Me: “I think I’m in labor.”

Husband: “I thought you said they were false labor.”

Me: “I thought so at the beginning of the day, but now they’re only four minutes apart.”

Husband: “Are you getting them right now?”

Me: “…No. It seems to have stopped.”

Husband: “Well, then it’s not regular and probably a false alarm.”

We got off the phone. I felt another tightening.

I called my husband again. 

Me: “I seriously think I’m in labor.”

Husband: “You think you are in labor? Or you are in labor?”

Me: “I’m not sure I’m in labor, but they’re happening still.”

Husband: “How about you call me when you’re actually sure?”

Me: “[Husband]…”


I scowled and sat around my apartment playing with the app. The “tightenings” seemed to get more intense but less regular. And then more regular but less intense. But they definitely weren’t going away.

I called [Husband] again. It was now about 4:00 pm.

Me: “You should come home. Now.”

Husband: *Sigh* “Okay.”

I clenched my teeth at his sigh. I’m sure you can imagine my state two hours later (now 6:00 pm, for those counting) when [Husband] walks in the door with three huge bags from a local grocery store.

Me: *Incredulous and angry* “What the h*** is that?!”

Husband: “We needed toilet paper and paper towels.”

Me: “Your very pregnant wife tells you to come home now, and you go to the drugstore to buy paper products?!”

Husband: *Shrugging* “How are you feeling?”

Me: “They’re still not stopping. We need to get to the hospital.”

We then got into an argument over real labor versus false labor, with [Husband’s] Expert Via Google opinion that it was still false labor. The contractions are totally irregular, you don’t seem like you are in that much pain, it’s two weeks early, the doctor told us yesterday that you’re not dilated at all, etc., etc., going on for an hour. Finally:

Husband: “Look, if you think it’s real labor, then call the doctor.”

Well, the nurse’s station answered. I described what was happening. She told me that she didn’t think I should come in.

Me: “Why not?”

Nurse #1: “Well, you are talking to me easily and don’t seem to be in that much pain.”

Me: “Is it possible I just have a really high tolerance for pain?”

Nurse #1: “No.”

She then hung up on me.

Then, one of [Husband’s] friends called.

Me: “I still think it’s the real thing.”

Husband: *To his friend* “[My Name’s] having false labor pains.”

Seriously? My husband is telling his friend I’m in false labor as if he knows ANYTHING?

Husband: *To me* “My friend says you should press a tennis ball into your back.”

I pressed a tennis ball into my back, and it was perhaps the best advice anybody had ever given me. I owe the man a case of beer and one h*** of a BBQ dinner.

[Husband] proceeded to fall asleep on the couch. (Of course, he did. It’s not like something exciting was happening or anything.) I debated waking him but decided to let him sleep. After all, it would be his last chance for uninterrupted sleep EVER.

Meanwhile, the contractions continued to get more intense, longer, and more regular. This was definitely the real thing.

I called the nurse’s station again.

Nurse #1: “You still don’t sound like you are in a lot of pain.”

Me: “I assure you, I am in a lot of pain.”

Nurse #1: *Dismissively* “I would suggest waiting.”

I finished packing our hospital bag. I tried everything imaginable to make myself more comfortable: leaning over the couch, lying on the floor, curled in the fetal position, etc. My tennis ball played a critical role in each position. Finally, the pain was intolerable. 

I woke my husband up. It was now 2:00 am, and I was trying not to scream.

Me: “It’s time to go to the hospital.”

[Husband] is THE WORST when he is awoken from a deep sleep. He gave me a sleepy, disbelieving scowl.

Husband: “Don’t you remember that the teacher at the class said to wait as long as possible before you go to the hospital because if you are not far enough along, they will just send you home?”

Me: *Through clenched teeth* “Yes, I do. Why do you think I let you sleep for the past five hours? LET’S GO.”

We went downstairs. It was both raining and snowing out. Great. That’s what I need while my entire body is screaming like the souls of the d***ed from the pain. Just that extra smidgen of wet and uncomfortable on top of the sundae.

Husband: “I have to get a cup of coffee.”

Me: “Seriously?!”

Husband: “Yes, seriously. I’ll just go to the gas station to get a cup. Wait here.”

The night employee was looking out at me with total and complete terror. He could tell something was off by the way I was grimacing and giving open-mouthed yelps at regular intervals. I grabbed my tennis ball, bent over the dashboard, and pressed it into my back. 

My husband returned about fifteen minutes later.

Husband: “Sorry I took so long. I had to wait for them to brew a fresh pot.”


The employee gave me a sad smile. I think it was pity.

When we got to the hospital, [Nurse #2] told us they were filled to capacity.

Me: “Excuse me?”

Nurse #2: “You’ll have to wait in the waiting room.”

I looked at the little grey room with the tiny television and the uncomfortably upright couches.

Me: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

I spent the next three hours leaning against a wooden bench with my trusty tennis ball jammed into my side.

Yes, I said THREE HOURS before they even checked me in.

Me: “Does anyone ever give birth in the waiting room?”

Nurse #2: “No. It’s never happened.”

Me: “Never say never…”

When they finally admitted me, I was dilated to four centimeters. I think this was the first time [Husband] let it sink in that I was actually having our baby.

Up until that point, I had been taking the whole thing in somewhat stride — walking around, using my tennis ball, bending over the couch, etc. — but once I lay down, ALL H*** BROKE LOOSE.

I started shivering, the contractions went from zero to sixty, and I felt total panic set in. I truly was not sure I could do this. The staff were doing great, though. They got moving as the room faded out around me. I couldn’t focus on anything but my body’s pain and the contractions that were making me spasm. 

When the nurses asked how bad the pain was from one to ten, I said ten.

Husband: “Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad!”

The only reason I didn’t punch him out was because he was standing against the wall, out of reach.

Yet another nurse squeezed my hand, told me to breathe, and said it would be fine.

Then, I was given an epidural. It was one of the scarier experiences of my life because you’re trying desperately to stay still while your body wants to convulse like crazy. But once it was administered and the drugs kicked in, all was well.

It was now about 6:00 am. I looked around, my brain finally registering that something was missing. No, someONE was missing. My husband.

The nurse checked outside the room in case he had just stepped out. No dice. He was gone, as in gone from the hospital. I called my mom in tears and she arrived in record time.

For the next twelve hours, I was in the room, watching television, and trying to remain relaxed. Countless calls to my husband’s phone went straight to voicemail. My water finally broke during this time.

At 6:00 pm, I was surrounded by doctors and nurses being told to push. I must say, it felt incredibly strange to be part of the same intense scene you have seen played out in the movies and on episodes of TV a billion times. It was like living my very own cliche.

After the first push, the doctor said:

Doctor: “Great job! You will have this baby in no time!”

I pushed again. 

The pushing process turned out to be way easier than I expected — I know nobody says that — and I couldn’t stop laughing at myself through most of it. I think either the epidural was hitting me a bit harder than normal, or maybe my brain was just reacting to the situation that way. I’ll never know why I decided to giggle like an idiot about inane things.

Nurse #3: “Do you want a mirror to see what’s happening?”

Me: “Nope!”

Two more pushes, and my baby was out.

My husband arrived over an hour later. I had already held my baby and gotten that first dose of The Best Thing In The World. That was now over. I was exhausted and miserable, and I wanted nothing more than a shower and sleep, but I was too tired and post-birth-unstable to get up for said shower. 

My mom all but dragged my husband out by the ear into the hallway to have a “talk with him”. The next thing I knew, my mom basically exploded and demanded he be removed.

Apparently, my husband originally decided to head home for a bit because he was “exhausted”. Then, on the way out, he got a call from his (female) “best friend” who “needed him.” You know, less a female friend and more like a female “friend”. The kind of person that he tells you is just a friend and you don’t have to worry about it. The kind of friend he somehow always picks over you, his wife. The female friend who gets priority more often than she should. The friend he had a very codependent relationship with. 

I had initially been chill about it because I didn’t want to be that insecure person who can’t handle their spouse having friends of the opposite gender. Unfortunately, I hand-waved a lot of concerning things due to self-doubt and some manipulative comments from my husband about my slowly growing discomfort.

Well, apparently, he spent quite a while with her while I lay in the hospital preparing to bring new life into the world. This is why my mother ripped him a new one when he finally decided to come back after he’d gone through the texts and messages and carefully calculated how to strategically miss the messy part of giving birth.

He didn’t believe it at first when I called (from my parents’ house) and told him that we were divorcing. He tried to play it off.

Husband: “Oh, women always say that when they’re in labor.”

Me: “Labor is over, a**hole! Now it’s consequence time!”

My dad and his brother (my uncle) ended up going home to pack more baby stuff for me. I don’t know what was said during that time, but my husband was very sullen and sulky after my dad came back carrying the majority of the things from the nursery, including the crib.

He barely waited for the divorce to be finalized before he was engaged to his “best friend”.

I can only be thankful for my support network because child support is all I get from him, even though he was awarded joint custody.

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