Advice for Men Dealing with an Unplanned Pregnancy
„I am pregnant!“ These three little words not only turn her whole world upside down, but his as well. But how should a guy respond when his girlfriend is pregnant?
This article spells out how men are affected when their partner is pregnant. We provide practical tips on tackling this predicament.
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Surprise Pregnancy: An Emergency for Both of You
An unintended pregnancy can trigger varied thoughts and emotions in both parties involved; These can be negative, positive, or a combination of both. At the same time, the reactions and needs of guys and girls are often at odds with each other.
Common Reactions in Men:
On the one hand, many guys may feel a sense of pride if they fathered a child: "I'm going to be a dad..."
However, other concerns and emotions are very often present:
- Apprehension about not measuring up to the responsibility of becoming a dad.
- Concern about the effect this may have on one's life and perhaps also the relationship.
- Uncertainty in how far to a be part in the decision on whether or not to keep the baby.
- Resentment, about the pregnancy.
Many guys would like to escape this situation as quickly as possible - understandable! Their first reaction is often withdrawal, internally and externally. They retreat in order to think about things - which stance to take and what the implications of either choice would be.
What is She Going Through?
Emotionally, many girls experience similar thoughts and feelings: On the one hand, she experiences a sense of joy, pride, and anticipation. At the very same time, however, she is usually anxious about what the future may hold and whether she will be able to handle all the responsibility that comes with having a baby. One fear usually looms larger than the rest: “Will I end up alone with the baby - without the dad to support me…?"
Amid the emotional chaos of an unplanned pregnancy, women usually long for warmth, reassurance, a strong shoulder, and room for dialogue. This is exactly what her partner cannot "offer” in this situation.
It is obvious: This is the perfect storm! Understanding what is going on in your partner's mind is hard. We are glad you have sought us out!
5 Practical Tips on How to Deal with Her Unplanned Pregnancy:
An unexpected pregnancy can be a shock. It is okay if your concerns initially quench your joy.
But she needs to know what is going on inside you. Otherwise, she will probably interpret your reservation as personal rejection.
Don’t be afraid to share your specific worries. In this situation, open and honest communication will serve you both well.
A decision does not have to be made on the spot. You should give each other time to gain clarity regarding the situation you are in.
Take some time to be alone. You know best what you need: a hike, a long car ride, or downtime in your man cave. This change of setting will probably be helpful as you assess the situation. So, let's roll!
Remember our #1 tip: If she knows that you just need time to yourself, it will be easier for her to accept.
You will probably find it helpful to talk to someone you trust – your best friend, your brother, your father ... Somebody who knows you well, with whom you can have a serious conversation, and who will take time for you; a person whose opinion you value and who has confidence in you.
Ask him what character traits he sees in you. What distinguishes you from others? Which attributes are going to help you become a great dad? You might be surprised by what others see in you!
Can’t think of anyone to approach? There is a test we usually offer for women. Feel free to take it, changing the gender as you read 🙃:
💪🏻Strengths Finder Test – Do I have what it takes?
Think about specific scenarios – What would fatherhood be like?
What kind of father would you want to be? What strengths would you bring to the table? What would you teach your child that no one else could?
There is a test we usually offer to women. Feel free to take it, changing the gender as you read 🙃: This may also help you to put yourself in her shoes.
👥 Personality Test – What kind of dad would I be?
Knowing that her partner is there for her means the world to women in this situation. Show her how much you value her:
- Choose to do something she enjoys: Take her out for a meal, to her favorite hang-out, a picnic, or a walk…
- Buy her flowers.
- Take out the trash for her.
- Accompany her on prenatal appointments. This will signal to her that you support her.
- Hold her.
You are in this together!
If You Don’t Want the Baby
While reading all this, you may be feeling an aversion to the whole situation. Your prevailing thought may be that you do not want the baby or the responsibility; You simply want to find a way out. You may be trying to persuade her to have an abortion at any cost. Perhaps you don’t even recognize yourself right now…
Are you wondering why we list all these details? Because this is a common way for guys to respond. We understand how hard this situation is on you. You are not the only one battling these thoughts and feelings. It is okay to feel that way. Your responsibility lies in what you do about these considerations and emotions.
The girl who is carrying your baby is definitely struggling right now. In the end, she will be the one who physically bears the consequences, no matter what you both decide. Putting her under pressure because you do not want the baby is not very honorable. In any case, it is also against the law.
Surely there are other ways to deal with the pressure you are feeling.
If You Want the Baby, But She Does Not
It happens again and again that the guy is happy to become a father and is ready to take full responsibility - but the girl doesn't want to keep the baby. Perhaps this speaks to your current situation, and you are worried about what you can do.
Pressuring her is probably neither advisable nor effective, even if you are sensing the urgency and sadness of the situation. Here is another way to handle it:
- Find out why she is leaning towards an abortion. Then you can seek solutions together.
- 💡 We even made a self-evaluation for this situation: Take the Solution Finder Test!
- Make sure she knows that you see her and care about her, and not just the baby. She wants to know that she has value, apart from the baby.
- Take a clear stance. Let her know that you want the baby and that the thought of her having an abortion is painful for you.
- Clearly state that you will support her if she chooses to keep the baby. It is important to many women to know that they will not have to do this alone.
Are Men Even Allowed to Have a Say?
Not only guys, but also girls ponder this question. Isn’t pregnancy a women's issue? And yet it always takes two to tango!
Ultimately, it is left up to the woman to decide. She is the one who is most directly affected by this decision, physically, emotionally, and mentally. That is why it is stipulated by law that the decision to terminate a pregnancy may only be made by the woman herself.
This is a common scenario: The man takes a neutral position, believing this to be the most considerate approach. But this leads the woman to believe that she is left to shoulder the burden of decision-making on her own. Therefore, the well-intentioned statement, “I'm behind you, no matter what you decide!" doesn't provide her with much support. This neutrality, arising from the fear of taking a stand, can make her feel even more insecure.
Putting tip #1 (above) into practice will probably provide the most assistance right now: honesty and a willingness to communicate! Stating clearly what is going on inside you without pressuring the other person can be very beneficial and bring you closer together. A win-win situation!
Understanding Her Point of View
You desire to understand what a woman is feeling when she experiences an unintended pregnancy? Great! Check out our profemina homepage. Our articles can help you decipher the thoughts that are going through her head. We are here for both of you!
One of the following articles may be a good place to start:
- Pregnant, Now What?
- Arguments Against Having an Abortion
- Abortion Pros and Cons
- How Do I Make a Good Decision?
Your partner might find this test helpful:
⚖️ "Abortion – Yes, or No?" - Take the Abortion Test (Immediate evaluation via email).