Whether planned or unplanned, pregnancies can catch the parents-to-be off guard. Research tells us that unplanned pregnancies account for about 45% of all pregnancies in America and if you and your partner fall in the unplanned camp, you might especially have mixed feelings at the thought of a baby on the way. You might waver between anxiety, excitement, and joy because your world is about to flip upside down.
What if you’re excited for a little one on the way but your partner isn’t? He may be your boyfriend or your husband—either way, a lot of emotions can arise if he makes it clear that he’s not ready for, or doesn’t want, the baby.
You’re not alone. Many women have sat right where you now sit, trying to figure out what to do next. Like you, he’s felt overwhelmed, grieved, frustrated and confused about what to do next. Here are a few things to consider:
Take Some Time To Process
First off, don’t panic. Fear and panic are natural responses, so cut yourself some slack if you’re still feeling overwhelmed after he tells you that he doesn’t want a baby. Your mind may go to single parenthood, ending the relationship, or an abortion. Before making any decisions, take some time to slow down and reflect on the situation. Take time to calm down via meditation, walks, or prayer. If you can, take a few days off work in order to examine your feelings and thoughts with a close friend or family member that you trust. Seeing a counselor is another helpful idea.
Talking with your partner about the future without taking some time to reflect personally can lead to frustrated conversations that may complicate things instead of making it clear on how to move forward. So try your best to gather your thoughts before sitting down to chat with him.
Find The Underlying Cause of Your Partner’s Resistance
Your partner might use a number of reasons to explain his resistance to having a baby and you may agree with some of them. Some common reasons include not having enough money, lack of community to offer support, or a difficult work schedule. But the reality is, as valid as those explanations are, his real resistance to having a baby is more likely to be internal.
Have an initial conversation with your partner and ask them to be honest with you about his reservations. The truth is, he might have unresolved issues from his childhood, reservations about the relationship, concerns about the baby’s health, or fear of responsibility. Your boyfriend or husband may feel a sense of shame or guilt for not wanting a baby and may not want to open up about his real internal struggles. We recommend talking to an objective third-party to give him a safe place to open up. Find a counselor or therapist for him to talk to alone and for you both to talk to together. As you move forward, keep in mind the source of his reservations because those reasons will inform the path forward.
Make The Right Decision For YOU
There’s no right or wrong solution in this situation. The important thing to remember is that you’re in unique circumstances—your financial, emotional, mental, and spiritual reality and surroundings aren’t like the next person’s.
If your partner never comes around, work with your therapist or support system to help make the right decision for you. This may take a few days or a few weeks, but whatever decision you make, stay strong and don’t waver.
It’s possible that in the end, you may keep the baby and lose the relationship. But remember that the guy who won’t stay with you or love your unborn baby will likely fail you in bigger ways in the future. Focus on moving forward in a healthy way and lean on the people around you to support you on the difficult days.
Visit Your Local Pregnancy Center
For many people, the terms “pregnancy resource center” or “pregnancy center” can invoke headlines of clinics strong-arming women into making decisions they don't want to. While abuses have happened among pregnancy clinics in the past, present day clinics are designed to support each woman individually and care for her regardless of the decisions she makes.
Visit your local Source clinic to talk with a licensed counselor. She’ll help you work through your feelings, chat with you and your partner, and help you figure out next steps for your family. We also have a number of clinicians available to perform free well woman exams, STD tests, and ultrasounds to confirm your pregnancy and offer referrals for other services you might need.
We’re so sorry you’re in this position—it’s one no one ever expects to be in, but rest assured that there’s a team of women at The Source ready to provide judgment-free, emotional and mental support, as well as high-quality healthcare. Click the button below to set up a free appointment. We can’t wait to meet you!