Finding out that your partner is unexpectedly pregnant is a huge shock. We would like to support you in handling your emotions, reactions and decision-making, in what can be a highly stressful situation.
Dealing with your emotions
An unexpected pregnancy can be completely overwhelming, and the temptation can be to blame, argue, jump to a decision about how to handle it, or run away. If you feel this way, it’s a good idea to have some time out before talking.
It can also help to talk to someone removed from your situation. We have listeners who are trained to help you work through your thoughts – you can call our helpline on 020 8892 8483 any time.
Your partner’s emotions
Not only is your partner dealing with the shock and stress of pregnancy, her body is changing. The influx of hormones, and the sheer reality of being pregnant, may be affecting her deeply. She will probably also be grappling with the same questions as you are. To talk effectively, you need to be sensitive, calm and understanding.
Because of the nature of pregnancy, there is a great deal of focus on the woman’s responsibility and decision. However, many women may want and need their partner’s active involvement in the decision-making process.
In certain circumstances, it can be easy to think that there is only one thing to do. In reality you always have options. It is healthy to think through these – parenting, adoption, abortion – whatever the circumstances of your relationship.
Making a decision
Whatever you decide, the experience will be infinitely preferable if you can do it rationally and together. As with any big decision, one good approach is to list up the pros and cons of each option, taking the time to listen to each other’s views.
Factors such as how each option makes you feel, and the long-term impact, should also be considered. The more honest you can be with each other, while sharing the burden of the decision-making, the better.
It can be very helpful to have the confidential input of someone who can provide information and support, and is removed from your situation.
If you live locally to our centre in East Twickenham, London, you can visit us and spend time with a trained listener, talking it through. Alternatively, find your local pregnancy counselling centre (Pregnancy Choices Directory).
If you are considering abortion, you will need to act fairly quickly depending on what stage the pregnancy is at. However, for many this is not an easy decision to make, and should be thought through carefully.
Your rights as a partner
The legal rights regarding abortion or continuation of a pregnancy lie with women. Fathers do not have the right to insist upon an abortion or the continuation of pregnancy – even when married.