An unplanned pregnancy is often a confusing or scary time for both of you. At LifeTalk Resource Center, we are here to help you as well as your partner or friend.
When you first hear that your partner may be pregnant, you will probably be flooded with a variety of thoughts and emotions. You may have mixed feelings at the idea of her continuing with the pregnancy or at the thought of ending the pregnancy. Being emotionally supportive is one of the best ways to help your partner as well as yourself. Open communication is very effective and letting her know that you are there for her will provide some comfort. You are both in this together.
Many men have been taught that it’s a woman’s “right to choose”, but that does not mean that she doesn’t want to hear your feelings and opinions. In our experience, most women simply want to know that their partner cares. She typically doesn’t want to be pressured one way or the other, but she does want to know your thoughts and emotions regarding the situation.
You may feel guilty, confused, scared, sad or even angry.Attempting to understand the other person’s perspective may be helpful. Focusing on fault, placing blame or questioning why it happened is not beneficial when faced with making a decision. Instead, put your energy into the present and the future. Let her know and that you are there for her and will do what you can to help.
Deciding what the best option is may be difficult if your preferences are not the same.For example, if you would like her to keep the baby and she chooses to have an abortion, it may be especially difficult. It is important to talk to her about your moral, ethical and spiritual beliefs.
If she definitely doesn’t want to be a parent, but you’re still thinking about it, consider…
However, there is still the possibility that she will make a choice you don’t agree with. If this is the case, and she chooses not to speak to you, it is recommended that you talk to someone. Talking to a friend, family member or a person from your church may be helpful. Do not try to go through this alone. There are others who can relate to your situation and they are there to be of help.
If your partner/friend had an abortion against your desires, it is normal to go through a period of grief for your loss. Finding someone you feel comfortable speaking with is important. If needed, LifeTalk offers free counseling, should you need a confidential place to talk.
If she wants to keep the baby, but you don’t, there may be challenges. You may feel unprepared and overwhelmed. It is not unusual to think a baby will change your life in a negative way. Or you may not wish to continue the relationship with your partner and feel that having a baby with her will keep you connected to her. If you are uncomfortable dealing with her, it helps to arrange visitation through a friend or family member.
If your partner/friend is pregnant, there are many ways to show her you care:
- Be willing to talk to her about the pregnancy, no matter how you feel. Be constructive in your comments and explore all options before making the final decision.
- Check in with her often to see how she is feeling.
- To help her feel special, bring her a flower or write her a note
- Be understanding of her pregnancy symptoms. The nausea, fatigue, irritability and moodiness are normal, especially early in her pregnancy. The moods will pass.
- If she has the abortion, she may have some anxiety, regrets, depression and sadness. Let her talk about her feelings without taking it personally.
- If she needs more support than you can give, suggest she get counseling – at LifeTalk or elsewhere.