Discerning a Way Forward: I'm Pregnant — He Doesn’t Want the Baby

Pregnant – He Doesn’t Want the Baby

721658176 | Olena Yakobchuk | shutterstock.com

Having a Baby with Someone Who Doesn't Want It

🧔🏻‍♂️ How do I respond if my boyfriend wants me to get an abortion? — Take the Test

  • Pregnant, but your partner doesn't want the baby? Our counseling experience shows that 1 in 3 women consider abortion for this reason.
  • His rebuff could stem from the fact that he is still in shock, does not perceive himself as a dad yet, or is focused solely on rational concerns. He may also have a harder time adjusting to the idea since he has no physical sensation of the pregnancy.
  • His initial rejection may not last. According to our experience, most men just need more time. In most cases, he will become supportive of you and the baby.

This article may help you understand your man and provide suggestions on how to respond.

Are you pregnant, but your relationship status is complicated? Find advice and information in "Relationship Status: It's Complicated."

How do I respond if he does not want the baby? — Quiz

Your partner is not happy about the pregnancy? Your boyfriend doesn't want the baby? Afraid to tell him you are pregnant? Answer four multiple-choice questions, and an immediate evaluation will appear on your screen.

1/4 I think his greatest concern is...

How Do Men React to an Unplanned Pregnancy?

Many women have experienced an initially hostile reaction from their partner to their surprise pregnancy — "I am pregnant, but my boyfriend doesn't want it." Perhaps you have not told him yet but are anticipating his reaction and are wondering — How do I tell him I am pregnant?

Sometimes a change of perspective can help you understand him better. This does not mean you must condone his behavior or abandon your desires, but it may help you know how to move forward.

Guys' Reaction to an Unplanned Pregnancy – Four Possible Explanations

The following considerations can provide you with insights into more masculine behavioral patterns. This may make understanding his reactions easier and aid you in knowing how to deal with them.

Here are four possible reasons why his first response might not have been supportive.

1. Initial Shock

Your partner is just as surprised by an unexpected pregnancy as you are, if not more. His initial reactions and responses reflect his state of shock. This is a huge adjustment, especially if your partner or both of you had envisioned taking a completely different road. Depending on their personality, some men are more strongly shaken than others. It may take your partner a little while to get over the shock.

He will need time to let the news sink in.

2. Feeling Overwhelmed: "How am I supposed to live up to this responsibility?”

Many men fear they will not do justice to the father's role. This actually reveals a desire to be the best father and partner possible. Initially, the unexpected pregnancy news would lead to self-doubts: "Would I be able to fill these shoes?" Just like you, he needs time to grow into this new role.

For more information, go to:

3. Masculine Rationality

Men are generally more goal- and solution-oriented in how they approach challenges: guided by reason.

Specific arguments are raised which seem purely rational at first glance, e.g., finances, living/job situation, education...

But his reasoning is usually motivated by loving care. He wants to be able to take care of his family well. When he comes up against roadblocks with no immediate solution in sight, his masculine rationale may cause him to suggest abortion as a quick fix.

As a woman, you realize that instant solutions may not be called for. Time is required for the baby to mature. This is also true in the removal of obstacles. Therefore, rational arguments are not all that matter — this decision affects your entire being — body, heart, soul, and mind. The effect on your relationship also needs to be considered — all these aspects matter in reaching a good decision.

Ideally, in time, a mutual path will become apparent by discerning common ground. However, this probably requires a general expectation of a positiv outcome and specific solutions.

4. Physical Differences

Albeit taxing, women have the advantage of physically feeling the change of the situation (nausea, fatigue, emotions, etc.). In contrast, men must grapple with the pregnancy more abstractly. They do not experience the same physical transitions. In addition, hormones aid women in adjusting to the pregnancy. Men do not have this benefit, which helps explain their negative sentiment.

The more visible and tangible the pregnancy becomes to him, the easier it is for him to adjust. Seeing the first ultrasound image, finding out the due date, noticing your belly, feeling the baby kick, or even the birth can be catalysts for changing his attitude.

How Do I Tell Him I am Pregnant?

Maybe you are reading this article in preparation to tell your partner that you are pregnant. Your research on this topic reveals that you are anticipating he might not be happy about the pregnancy. Understandably, you would like this conversation to go as smoothly as possible. Before you broach the subject, explore what path you would like to follow, regardless of his reaction. Our article How Do I Make a Good Decision? may be helpful in this.

Once you have set your course, reach out to him. Waiting until he is rested, in a good mood, and focused on you, such as during a dinner date, is ideal. If you fear an emotional outburst, plan on being in a public setting, such as a restaurant. Writing him a letter is another option if you feel anxious about getting tongue-tied.

Begin the conversation by building bridges. Tell him what you appreciate about him and what the relationship means to you before letting him know that you are pregnant. Ask him for his support, confirming that you would like him to join you in this adventure.

Hopefully, his response is better than you had anticipated, but remember, his reaction is his responsibility, not yours — and it is likely not the last word.

I'm Pregnant — He Doesn't Want the Baby — 5 Tips on Dealing with This Situation

His reaction or his words my have been deeply hurtful. As a result, you may feel distanced from him and unsure of how to proceed.

Here are five pregnancy relationship hacks:

1. 🧭 Stay the Course

This is the time to pay attention to your innermost desires. What do you really want — regardless of your relationship? Your life matters! Therefore, it is essential that you make a decision marked by who you are and in accordance with your convictions.

Making a decision "for his sake,” contrary to your heart’s desire, could have lasting effects on you, your future, and your relationship.

Stay the course until your partner comes around — if you feel comfortable with this course of action, we encourage you to do so. The chances of this outcome are high! Many men who initially react negatively have become proud and loving fathers who are grateful to their partners for their strength and courage when they had none.

2. 🛋 🌳 Be Kind to Yourself!

Especially amidst the hurt and confusion, you need to show yourself some kindness. So why not do something that is relaxing and rejuvenating? This could mean going outdoors, taking a hot bubble bath, meeting with a good friend, or spending time at your favorite hangout.

This will help create some distance from your inner turmoil and perhaps allow you to listen to your heart. This will give you renewed strength for what lies ahead. You may find it helpful to reach out for support. You were not made to be an island; you do not have to walk through this alone!

3. 🕰 Give Yourself and Him Time

As already mentioned, most men simply need time. Take that to heart! Give him the time he needs, and do not expect too much from him just now — even though this requires much patience, which can be challenging. It is worth it! Give him and yourself the opportunity to deal with this new situation.

Is he pulling away, and you're wondering why he's distancing himself at the moment?

In contrast to women, men usually have less desire for dialogue in such situations. A lack of communication does not imply that he is emotionally distancing himself from you.

He may need much more time to himself or with his best friend.

This will allow for a new perspective to emerge gradually, which does not happen at the flick of a switch.

As you show yourself kindness, allow him to do what gives him strength.

4. 💬 Keep the Conversation Going

In the first days or weeks after the initial conversation, it is undoubtedly advisable to give him some space to "recover." After this pause, it can be helpful for both of you to keep seeking dialogue.

Try to spend a lot of downtime together to give you a chance to talk. If you already have children, picking an evening or even a weekend for just the two of you might be helpful. This would be intentional quality time to open up communication on this existential question and seek common ground while your kids are in good hands.

If you can go the extra mile without this being perceived as additional pressure, show him kindness, understanding, and affection. This act of love may quiet his fears — even if these initially feel overpowering. Your gentle constancy is what can carry you through.

5. 🧐 Unmasking Fears

Sometimes the current pregnancy "crisis” may also expose older rifts and dissatisfaction or unfulfilled longings in your relationship, which had existed long before this unexpected news. 

Although this will undoubtedly take some courage, seek open communication with one another about the fears that arise within you. While you might initially prefer to ignore them, facing these issues can be incredibly beneficial. Consider seeking out the expertise of a couples counselor.

This pregnancy could therefore be a growth opportunity for each of you individually and as a couple.

No Support From Your Partner During Pregnancy — Now What?

Perhaps you have read this article and thought, "It's too late for me — he's gone." Sometimes our fears come true: He decides to split up during, or even because of, the pregnancy. Our counseling experience shows that there is still reason for hope. A knee-jerk reaction due to fear is not always the final outcome...

Perhaps you were never a couple to begin with — maybe it was a one-night stand, a friendship with benefits, an affair, ... and he responded to the big news of this "unexpected consequence" of your casual relationship with rejection and pressure. This would make you feel very alone.

  • 👩‍❤️‍👨 Pregnant from an affair...now what? Test

Can you think of someone who has your best interest in mind, whom you could confide in?

You are not alone! We want to be there for you every step of the way. Use our judgment-free resources to find the path that is right for you:

Maybe the whole situation is stressing you so much at the moment that you are thinking about an abortion:


  • Many women encounter this situation. There are several things that may help: Give your partner and yourself time, keep the channels of communication open, and address any underlying concerns.
    Self-care is of utmost importance during this season. Determine what you really want and pursue it. You have the right to make your own decision and may find it beneficial to draw upon external support.

  • Especially if the pregnancy comes as a surprise, your partner may be in shock. Several things may trigger his initial reaction:
    1. His fear of fatherhood — an awareness of the responsibility, coupled with the concern of not being able to live up to it.
    2. External circumstances (finances, living arrangements, etc.).
    In time, his attitude may change when he starts recognizing solutions and possibilities for being a dad.

  • It may prove helpful to give yourself and him time while keeping the channels of communication open. You may also want to distance yourself for a while, in order to recognize your true desires and choose your steps accordingly. Consider using us as a sounding board by taking one of our free tests. Even if you end up raising the child by yourself, you are not alone. A wide array of support options is available to you.

Our Top Picks for You:

Authors & Sources


Maria Nagele,
Social Worker

Kerstin Dörbecker

Reviewed by:

Team of Psychologists


Was this article helpful?