Please help me convince him

K starts practically every workday in a very grumpy mood, dissatisfied with his clothing options because few tops fit and is yet completely hesitant to buy anything new. He says that he feels really guilty about spending our money on things he won’t wear forever. I’ve tried everything I can think of to help alleviate this unnecessary guilt and stress, including but not limited to:

  • Humor – “The alternative would be to go to work naked or risk your Falco bump busting out in the middle of a staff meeting.”
  • Logic – “Bean [yes, I call him “bean”], we always knew this day was coming. It is a valid pregnancy-related expense.”
  • Excitement about becoming a parent – “The fact that your belly is growing is a good thing! It means that Falco is growing strong and that we’ll soon meet her/him. Now, in the meantime, let’s find some items to cover him/her.”
  • Tactful honesty – “I’m thinking that might need to be the last week you wear that particular shirt. Why don’t we go buy a few things this weekend?”
  • Empowerment – “Everyone deserves to have clothes that fit and make them feel put together.”
  • Just buying stuff without his input.

I’m not sure what else I can do! I love this man more than words can express and the fact that he feels bad about taking care of himself in this way really tears me up. Do any of you, dear readers, have ideas about how I can help K move beyond this point and get him some damn clothes that fit? For those of you who are, or who have been, pregnant, did you feel any of this guilt? Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

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14 thoughts on “Please help me convince him

  1. What if you went to a secondhand store or thrift store? Then you’re not spending as much money.
    Or use coupons at regular stores, maybe ask for gift cards for the holiday?
    Needing clothes for an expanding body is a normal expense during pregnancy, but I understands K’s want to not spend extra money of any kind.

  2. K – You seem like a very responsible, caring, and loving person. What do you think you would say to C if your situation was reversed? How would you feel if she refused to get any new clothes, but felt uncomfortable in her old ones? Would you say the same things to C as you are saying to yourself? Would you want her to walk around feeling blah all the time and awful? I highly doubt that you would. I imagine K, that you’d be the kind of man to say “please, I want you to be comfortable and feeling good about yourself. You’re a reasonable woman, and I know you won’t go on a crazy spending spree. I know you’ll get creative and we’ll find ways to fit this in our budget. I just want you and our baby to live the next 6 months comfortably. AND, you might be able to squeeze in to some of your old clothes now, but let’s face it, in 3 months, there is no way in Hell you’re going to be even close to fitting into regular clothes, and you’re going to feel even more guilty spending the money 2 months before the baby is born and only wearing the clothes then! Much better to start wearing them now, feeling comfortable now, and getting more use out of them. Delaying buying things doesn’t actually save us any money. Your well being means so much to me.” I bet you’d say something like that K 🙂 You are a stand up kind of spouse. So .. that’s what I have to say to you! 🙂

  3. I was against maternity clothes for the very same reason! I couldn’t reason spending the money on them for “just a few months”…SO glad I did though because after you have the baby you’ll still need those stretchy band pants for a couple months! I needed mine for 4 months post partum because I had a C section and I couldn’t stand jean buttons or zippers pressing against my incision site for a really long time! So really you’ll be buying them for more than a few months, it’s like buying clothes for a season! And then you can probably take them to a consignment store and make a little of the money back. We have a baby consignment store here that sells maternity clothes and I’ve made 75$ from some of my stuff from the first pregnancy so far! Good luck with your clothing adventures! 🙂

  4. So, K knows himself pretty well and is obviously a pretty flexible guy, but I’m guessing going into a maternity clothes section is not really high on his list of enjoyable activities. I’m thinking that last option, just buying some stuff for him, might be a go.

    • I definitely agree about the maternity wear not being a comfortable experience for someone who identifies as a man. What’s interesting is that we’ve seemed to have gotten over that hurdle pretty creatively (see another of my comments for examples). What he actually needs at this point is more of men’s big and tall sort of tops like sweaters and dress shirts. It truly is, in this particular case, guilt around not wanting to spend what he believes to be “too much.”

  5. I faced a similar situation with my partner and took the tactful and empowered approach. I paired it with a helping of self-worth. He is giving huge amounts of himself to someone he hasn’t even met yet while giving up very few other emotional commitments. Doing something for himself so that he doesn’t feel pinched in too small clothes, doesn’t feel self-conscious, and makes him feel more positive about the way his body is changing may seem selfish but is incredibly important. Besides, surely that is similar advice to what he’d give your son or daughter. Maybe you could try the “setting a good example comes early” approach. In my own experience, we agreed to just buy one thing initially that would supply both confidence and comfort. Once that happened, she found it easier to agree to a few more. Maybe a little bit at a time approach too? 🙂

  6. Hi! I’ve been lurking for a while and have enjoyed reading your story.
    I come from thrifty New England stock and had similar hang-ups about buying clothes that I wouldn’t wear for a million years. But between hand-me-downs from friends, thrift store shopping, and a few splurges at the department store maternity store I was able to cobble something together. And given that pregnancy involved some physical discomforts, it was worth a lot to at least have clothes that weren’t binding or uncomfortable. I did end up wearing them for longer than I thought I would. I agree with Kathryn above that eventually it will be pretty hard to postpone this purchase any longer–so you might as well do it now and get more wear out of everything. Any upcoming winter holidays that you may celebrate could also be good excuses for just buying him some stuff!
    Do you have any sense of how much of his discomfort is about the stuff being bought (the spending $, etc) and how much of it is about the shopping process (being the pregnant guy in the maternity clothes store)? That might affect which approach you take.

    • I really think it’s more about money than anything. We’ve tried to get creative when it comes to buying and trying maternity wear. We’ve purchased a lot online, where he can try the clothes on in the comfort of our home and then I can return what doesn’t work. We’ve also gone to larger department stores, where he can take both maternity pants and men’s clothes into the men’s dressing room without anyone really noticing. The most comical experience was going to a maternity outlet store on Black Friday, where we were the only two customers in the store with three VERY attentive salespeople. They kept trying to help me (obviously assuming I was the preggo), and I just went along with it. Luckily, that store had full-length curtains in their dressing room, so we went in together. The salesfolks just assumed my husband was helping me to try on maternity clothes. It worked!

  7. Most of the shirts I buy when pregnant are non maternity. I just buy what I would regularly wear but in a size or two bigger. Then if you need to you can always take them in after baby arrives. Please go out and buy a few comfy shirts… there is nothing worse then already being uncomfortable from growing a person and then feeling uncomfortable and grumpy from not having anything to wear. You’ll feel soooo much better and that in itself is totally worth spending a few extra dollars.

    • Our typical approach these days is as gender neutral as possible maternity dress pants and a men’s big and tall sort of top – either dress shirt or nice sweater. It allows K to express his gender as best he currently can while allowing room for this growing fetus.

  8. I am feeling resistant to buying more stuff, mostly because it means admitting I can’t wear my favorite things any more, and acquiescing to go poach the women’s clothes racks. But I work at home and I don’t have to put on a professional appearance and show up to an office (which actually isn’t as great as it sounds). I liked all of the ways of reasoning I saw here. I think K. does have the right to feel comfortable. I think, though, that even if you two had money to burn, it might feel as uncomfortable trying to find the right clothes is it would feel comfortable to have better fitting clothes.

    For what it’s worth, I have had really good luck in the men’s department at the Slave Nation Army store in a certain affluent college town not far from here. It really is the highest quality stuff I’ve found used just about anywhere. Also, I realized I could get a couple more weeks out of my favorite button downs if I wear a sweater over them–I just leave the bottom buttons undone.

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