Pregnant — He Doesn’t Want the Baby

Pregnant — He Doesn’t Want the Baby

721658176 | Olena Yakobchuk |

Four Reasons Why This Is a Common Reaction in Men and Suggestions on What to Do

🧔‍♂️ What to do if he does not want the baby? – Your Self-Evaluation

  • “I’m pregnant, but he doesn't want it; he wants me to have an abortion.” Each year we counsel over 15,000 women. Of those considering an abortion, 30 percent name this as their reason.
  • Initially, a negative reaction by your partner is nothing unusual. He is probably in shock, overwhelmed and  focused solely on rational concerns.
  • Most men just need some extra time. In most cases, he will become supportive of you and the baby.

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


    He Does Not Want the Baby – Your Self-Assessment

    Is this a personal matter to you right now? Answer three multiple choice questions about your current situation and receive an immediate evaluation.




    I’m Pregnant, But He Doesn't Want the Baby

    You probably hadn't planned this pregnancy — it happened unintentionally, and that can initially be shock for both of you.

    Above all else, most women who are unexpectedly pregnant need their partner to provide a sense of stability and confidence. They long to be held while they hear the words, "We can do this.” Unfortunately, many men initially reject the thought. Their reaction is often strong and usually negative.

    Your boyfriend/husband/the father of the child may tell you that he does not want a baby at this point in time. Frequently, women share that, in the heat of the moment, words are spoken such as, "You have to decide — it’s me or the child!” or "If you decide to have this baby, I'm gone!”

    The thought of possibly having to raise a child without their partner’s support scares most women — understandably so. This fear can be so all-encompassing that it seems to leave little room for an open decision.


    It Hurts — But You Are Not Alone in This Situation!

    This, or similar negative reactions by your partner, can be deeply hurtful... Suddenly, the things that we had considered certainties, or at least dreamed of and aimed for, are now called into question… as if the situation itself had not already provided more than enough uncertainty.

    In such a scenario, many women feel as if this were not the same man they had fallen in love with and with whom they had shared such tender moments.

    It may be a consolation to know that you are not the only one whose partner reacts this way. It’s not because of something you have done. It also does not mean that he is “not the one.” Rather, many women go through the same thing, because this is a "typical" male reaction. But what is it that makes him respond that way?


    Partner Wants an Abortion — Four Reasons for This Reaction

    Sometimes a change of perspective can help you understand this “phenomenon." This is not in order to condone his behavior, but to comprehend more of why he reacts the way he does. We have compiled four reasons for this reaction.

    1. Initial Shock

    Most men are just as surprised by an unexpected and unplanned pregnancy as their partner, if not more. They need time to let the news sink in.


    2. Physical Differences

    Albeit taxing, women have the advantage of physically feeling the change of the situation (nausea, fatigue, emotions, etc.), whereas men are forced to grapple with the pregnancy in a more abstract manner. 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.


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

    Many men feel overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy. This is driven by the fear of not living up to the responsibility of being a father, as well as financial worries and doubts whether the relationship will be able to withstand this pressure. Come to think of it, these are thoughts of someone who cares!


    4. Masculine Rationality

    Men often approach challenges with reason. This rational way of processing, which is a stereotypical masculine marker, can be very advantageous. This "male point of view" lends itself to the idea that abortion would be a quick and easy solution...

    It is often the woman who senses that there is more to it; that this decision affects one’s whole being — body, heart, soul, and mind — and will have a lasting effect on the relationship. This is often the point when feelings of being misunderstood, of rejection, or even of abandonment surface.


    Grounds for Hope

    Here is a very justified glimmer of hope amidst the pain of a partner's rejection:

    In most cases, this negative reaction does not have the final say!

    Most men need more time than women to fully grasp the news. They need time to contemplate the gravity of the situation and how to handle it. Often, it even takes passing the legal cut-off point for the other option — abortion — before he is willing to adjust to the fact that things are about to change.

    For some men, their "survival mechanism" tells them to retreat.

    Let a few days, weeks, or sometimes even months pass, and most men will do the right thing — and become proud and happy fathers. It sounds a bit like a miracle, and it is hard to think it possible in the midst of a dire situation, and yet this has been the story of countless women, including many who have contacted Pro Femina!


    How to Deal With This Situation — 5 Suggestions

    What to do if your partner’s reaction to your unexpected pregnancy has been negative and hurtful?


    1. 🧭 Stay the Course

    You are accountable for your decisions, above all, to yourself — not to others. You will feel the consequences of your decision more distinctly than anyone else — one way or another. This is the time to pay attention to your true desires so that you can make a decision that is in accordance with your innermost convictions.

    Making a decision "for his sake,” contrary to your own heart’s desire, could be trying on you, your future and even on your relationship.

    Stay the course until your partner follows — if this feels good to you, we want to encourage you in that. 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 in the midst of the hurt and the confusion, you need show yourself some kindness. 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.


    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 hard. It is worth it! Give him and yourself the opportunity to come to terms with this new situation.

    He may need a lot more time to himself or with his best friend now. As you show yourself kindness, allow him to do what gives him strength. Keep in mind that his reactions result from fear and from feeling overwhelmed.


    4. 🗣 Keep the Conversation Going

    In the first days or weeks after the initial conversation, it is certainly 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 down time together in order to give you a chance to talk. If you already have children, it might be helpful to pick an evening or even a weekend for just the two of you. This would be intentional quality time to open up communication on this existential question and to seek common ground, while your kids are left in good hands.

    If you are able, try to go the extra mile by being kind, understanding, and gentle, even when you feel like he does not deserve it. Love is the greatest weapon to combat fear.


    5. 🧐 Unmasking Fears

    Talk to each other about your fears. In doing so, you will often expose that many concerns are unrelated to the pregnancy. Frequently, the current pregnancy "crisis" highlights older rifts and dissatisfactions, or even unfulfilled desires in your relationship, which had existed long before this unexpected news.


    No Support From Your Partner During Pregnancy — Now What?

    Perhaps you have read through this article and thought to yourself, "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 last word...

    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 in a hard place.

    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 judgement-free resources to find the path that is right for you: 


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    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 cause his negative 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 in how to be 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. You have the freedom to seek external support for your decision. Even if you end up raising the child by yourself, you are not alone. A wide array of support options is available to you.

    Did you find the information in this article helpful?