Coping with a Pregnancy Decision
- How are you doing?
If your partner or friend is facing a decision about an unexpected pregnancy, you are probably worried about her. You may be thinking about how the decision could effect you. As she considers parenthood, abortion, or adoption, you may be feeling scared, guilty, sad, shut out, or just plain confused. Even though you may be trying to be strong for her, your own feelings may be quite intense. You may be upset at the idea of losing or continuing the pregnancy. Or, you may be worried about losing your relationship with her.
Most women want to know how their partner feels. You may think it is better to support whatever she wants, or you may not want to influence her too much. But, it’s important to tell her how you feel, knowing that ultimately she has to follow her own feelings. She does want to hear that you are concerned about her and that you care.
- “I feel so guilty.”
Some men feel guilty that they caused the pregnancy, especially if they were not using a condom. Unless you pressured her into having sex, you are both responsible for the pregnancy. Focus on what you can do now and in the future. Tell her that you are sorry it happened and become involved in preventing future pregnancy until you both are ready. You may feel guilty if she has chosen an abortion. Most people choose abortion only when they think it’s better than the alternatives. If you still think abortion is morally wrong, the solution lies in forgiveness—from yourself, from her, from God.
- “I feel bad because I am not a good provider.”
Sometimes men feel like a failure because they cannot afford a child - or another child. It may be a goal to become financially stable so that you can have a child someday. Or, you may feel that if you are working all the time, you can’t be there with her and your children. More and more families are relying on two, or even three paychecks to get by. Or, you may feel that even though it will be hard, it’s wrth having another child. Share your thoughts with her and let her help you.
- “Will we break up?”
If both of you agree and support each other and talk to each other, the relationship can even get better. Even if you don’t agree, if you show that you care about each other, the relationship can grow. But it is a very difficult time, so be patient and take the time to talk to each other. Even if you have agreed to break up, caring for each other now will make you both cope better with this unexpected situation. You will feel better knowing that you did your best at a difficult time.
- “What do I do if she keeps blaming me?”
If your partner is blaming you, it may meant that she wants to hear that you are sorry she is hurt and going through all of this. Try sincerely saying “I’m sorry I helped you get into this and I am sorry you’re hurting.” You don’t have to take all the blame. If she continues to blame you, it may be her way of taking responsibility.
- “I want this baby.”
It may be especially hard on you if you wanted to have a baby with her or get married and she doesn’t or isn’t ready. You may fee the loss more than she does. People who suffer a loss need to grieve. It’s important that you find someone who can listen to what you are going through. That may be a counselor or a friend who can keep a confidence.