It's Never OK for a Father to Miss the Birth of His Child

Nicolas SarkozyWould you ever forgive your husband for missing your child's birth, for any reason? That's the question I can't stop thinking about after reading about French President Nicolas Sarkozy. His wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy delivered the couple's baby daughter (more than two weeks late -- ugh) in a Paris maternity clinic Wednesday night. He visited his wife -- reportedly for only half an hour! -- a few hours before she gave birth, but then skipped out to go to a meeting, missing his only daughter's big debut.

Sarkozy has three sons from his two previous marriages; Bruni-Sarkozy has a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship. So they've both been down this childbirth road before. But still ...

Can you believe he wasn't there for the actual birth?


Yes, yes. I know he's a very important man, with very important things to do, and lots of people depending on him: Sarkozy had to rush off for eurozone crisis talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Frankfurt. And OK, he did come back a short while later, about three hours after the baby was born.

But there's no getting around that his wife had to go through the final stages of labor and delivery without him. And he'll never really get that rush of seeing his daughter being born. And his daughter will grow up knowing her dad didn't bother to stick around when she entered this world.

So maybe it's cool with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Maybe she thinks it's no big deal that her husband missed their daughter's birth. Maybe she puts the needs of the country he serves before her own. And if so, I say bully for her.

But me? I don't think I would ever have been able to totally forgive my husband had he missed the births of either of our children. And more important, I don't think he'd ever have been able to forgive himself.

Would you ever forgive your partner for missing the birth of your child?


Image vie World Economic Forum/Flickr

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