He said the couple "invested emotionally and financially" in the projected image of their baby: creating a blue nursery, buying "boy-themed items", and "even naming him after my late grandfather".
However, he continued: “A chance remark from her mother disclosed we're having a girl.
“My wife admitted she knew from the beginning but didn't tell me, thinking she was protecting my feelings.”
The Redditor revealed that he had suffered a “tumultuous” childhood and that, growing up, he had “always craved a strong male figure in my life”.
“I never had that bond with my father and always envisioned having it with a son,” he explained, adding: “My wife was aware of this deep-rooted desire.”
Upon learning the truth, he admitted that he felt “devastated”, saying that it brought up “the weight of past hurts and fresh betrayals”.
“In my pain, I cleared out the nursery and, in a moment I regret, told her mother she wasn't welcome at upcoming family events, seeing her as part of the deceit,” he confessed.
Ending his post, he said: “I acted out of deep-seated emotions and past traumas. I love my wife and regret my reactions, but I feel lost.”
The expectant dad said he felt painfully betrayed by his wife's deceptioniStock
The original poster (OP) then asked members of the AITA subreddit whether he should be condemned for his actions, prompting more than 6,400 comments in just three days.
“The way OP is acting about having a daughter comes across like he's going to have the same kind of relationship with her that he had with his own father,” one fellow Redditor wrote. “Little girls need their daddy to be their first male role model too.”
Another agreed, saying: “The fact that men are often disappointed by our very existence as woman, even in utero, continues to highlight society's s***ty view of woman [sic].”
She added: “Sorry we exist? Sorry you think you can’t live out your field of dreams fantasies with us? [...] It’s actually you that doesn’t want to include us due to archaic gender roles.”
A vast number insisted that both husband and wife were in the wrong, with one saying: “I cannot imagine why she thought it would be less painful for you to think you were having a boy and then disappoint you later. Getting your hopes up accomplishes nothing.”
“That said,” they continued: “You very much did overreact in clearing out the nursery and disinviting her mother from coming over.
“This reaction is crazy and you talking about this pain and devastation surrounding having a girl is probably the reason she was afraid to tell you. Because she probably wants to be excited about this child and didn’t want to deal with you acting like it’s something devastating that it’s a girl.”
"Little girls need their daddy to be their first male role model too," one commentator pointed out.iStock
They went on: “Also, you are projecting wayyyy too much on an unborn child. What if you did have a boy, but he wasn’t as interested in this intense father-son relationship that you are craving? Can any real-life father-son relationship actually even live up to the one in your head that is supposed to heal your past wounds?”
Concluding their lengthy response, they added: “Your kids are real people, don’t set them up for failure by having all these weird expectations for how they will better your existing traumas.”
Meanwhile, another commentator offered a more succinct summary of the whole thing: “I’m not sure what [the mother] expected to happen at the birth,” they said.
“But I totally get why she lied.”
Still, some Redditors were more forgiving of the heartbroken dad, with one writing: "I think OP is mainly upset that [his] wife lied, not necessarily that it's a girl. He's had no chance to even get his head around that."
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