Wife Refuses to Let Dad Know Their Baby's Gender & He Doesn't Think It's Her Call


pregnant wife and husband

In theory, your baby's "gender reveal" should be incredibly special. It's the first time mom and dad will have a chance to really imagine what their baby is going to look like, decide on a name, or even start the process of buying all of their adorable baby gear! But for one couple, the decision to find out early if they are having a boy or girl has caused a major rift between the two and now the dad is seriously ticked his wife won't allow him to know if he's going to have a son or a daughter.

  • Frustrated, the dad wrote in to an advice column looking for wisdom on how to settle their debate. 

    The anonymous dad wrote in to the Care and Feeding advice column and explained that he and his wife can't agree on whether to learn the gender of their second baby. "Chatting with family on the phone, I said I wanted to know, and my wife said she wasn’t sure -- that she was thinking about being surprised -- and made a joke about how the gynecologist wasn’t going to tell me without her permission," he wrote. But unfortunately for him, his wife wasn't joking. She became adamant that the couple make the decision together to learn the baby's gender.

    "I’m pretty firmly on the side of wanting to know, since it seems like one less uncertain thing in a process with a lot of uncertainty," he continued. "I didn’t like the feeling that she was making the decision for me. It doesn’t seem to me like that big of a deal if I know and she doesn’t. But to her, that feels like I’m the one deciding for both of us -- that I’ve made up my mind to know regardless of what she thinks," he added. 

    "We left the situation unresolved, and I’d be interested in hearing what you think," he wrote.

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  • Online the reaction to the couple's disagreement was pretty much split.

    Some people felt as if the dad-to-be's wife had gone way overboard in her request to be surprised. 

  • One one side, many felt that the wife seemed sort of "controlling."

    advice column

    Someone else agreed that it was weird that the man's wife didn't want him to know. "The issue is the mother deciding for the husband, and not letting him know just because she doesn’t want to know. It’s a weird, entitled, possessive way of thinking," they wrote.

    And another person felt it was completely nuts not to know your baby's gender before birth. "The fact that some people just don't want to know the sex of their baby is utterly incomprehensible to me," the user wrote. "I'm not even kidding with how shocking I find this bizarre notion of voluntary ignorance; I would sooner sympathize with the urge to eat subway garbage than I could possibly understand the urge to keep something so fundamental a 'surprise.'"

  • But other people disagreed. They felt like the dad needed to back off and let his wife make the decision.

    These people argued that the man needed to cut his wife some slack. She was growing a whole human inside of her, and if she wants to be surprised about the gender of their baby he should just give her that.

  • One person added that the dad has no idea what his wife was going through -- just cut her a break, the person wrote.

    advice column comment

    "She's the one growing an (expletive) human. Men can suck it," another person added.

    And another person had had it up to here with this dad's complaints. "OMG ... quit your whining you don't know the baby's gender ... it's not like she's ignoring the CVS/amniocentesis test," the commenter wrote. "Besides, A happy wife is a happy life ... and an unhappy pregnant wife is gonna come back to you over and again."

  • In the end, the husband followed up his letter to let the advice columnist know that the couple did decide to learn the gender.

    advice column

    But columnist Nicole Cliffe decided she wanted to take a crack at his problem anyway.

    "Me, I always want all the information I am even remotely entitled to in any given situation, so I want to know right away," she wrote. "I think that it’s almost certainly going to be a mess for one spouse to know and the other to be in the dark -- just think of the pronoun slips! -- so I am sympathetic to your wife’s wish for you to pump your brakes on this one."

    But that didn't mean Cliffe loved the idea of the wife forbidding her gynecologist from telling the dad the truth. "It seems a little threatening and a little anti-teamwork as you embark on the greatest team project of your lives, but then again, her gyno is her own medical provider, not yours, and until that baby exits her body, this is her show."

    Cliffe added that she was "delighted" that the couple had worked out their issue. She was "even more pleased that you did what I would have encouraged you to do: Talk about your mutual reasons for wanting or not wanting this information, get all those feelings out there, and then make a decision as a family," she wrote. "Good job, gold star."

gender bias