Most men understand that when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, the decision about how it is handled ultimately is up to their partners. Once a missed period happens, a whirlwind of emotions can overtake both you and your partner. Just because the final decision about whether an abortion, adoption, or parenthood is up to the woman, that does not mean men cannot be involved in the process.
Most women value – welcome, even – input from their partners. Keep in mind that input does not equal overbearing demands or threats hurled at your partner. Those kinds of behaviors will alienate you and your partner and are not healthy emotionally for either of you. How you choose to respond, and the actions you take after finding out about the pregnancy, can help influence your partner’s decision.
Once you confirm the pregnancy, here are a few things men can do to support their partners’ pregnancy decisions.
#1 – Educate Yourself About Pregnancy Options
There are many options for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. One of the most important steps you can take together is to educate yourselves on all pregnancy options available. Care Net is your premier abortion clinic alternative in Albuquerque. Our caring and supportive staff will present all information about pregnancy options to you and your partner as part of the free pregnancy help services that we offer all clients. Information about abortion, adoption, and parenthood is discussed. No matter which route you choose, Care Net provides ongoing support.
#2 – Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a technique that requires carefully listening to spoken words while observing non-verbal cues. From the moment your partner tells you she may be (or confirmed she is) pregnant, you must put on your “listening ears” if you want to be viewed as a beacon of support. Ask her about her thoughts and feelings. Is she excited about being pregnant, or scared and uncertain? Does she have any initial thoughts about what she wants to do? Let her know that no matter how she is feeling, it is OK to express those thoughts and feelings to you. Make sure she feels like she is in a safe space for sharing.
#3 – Share Your Thoughts and Feelings
Once your partner has had a chance to express how she feels, it is your turn to be brutally honest. Keep in mind it is OK to not be excited about a pregnancy. It also is OK to be totally confused about how you are feeling. There are no wrong feelings about pregnancy. There are only wrong ways to express them. If you are feeling negative about the pregnancy, make sure you express your feelings in a constructive way. Lead with “I” statements so your partner does not feel personally attacked. For instance, you could say something like “When you told me you were pregnant, I felt nervous because I am not sure I am mature enough to be a father.” Not only is this being honest, but it also places responsibility for your feelings right where they belong – on you.
#4 – Show Your Support
From the minute your partner tells you she is pregnant to her final decision about the pregnancy, show your support. This is one of the most important things you can do. Even if you are on opposite ends of the spectrum about how best to deal with the pregnancy, your chances of getting through it in a way that preserves your relationship are by showing your support. Let her know you care about her. During difficult times, Do not pressure your partner about the pregnancy or her choices. It is definitely not OK to “check out” on her, either. Explore your options together and find the help you need to sort through the situation. Giving her the support she needs – including exploring pregnancy options – can make your relationship stronger.
#5 – Respect Her Decision
This is the hard part, guys. When exploring her pregnancy options, your partner could make a decision that makes you unhappy. The best thing you can do in this situation is to respect her decision. We know this is a difficult ask. Men who need extra support at this time can reach out to Care Net for help. We offer a caring environment for discussing your feelings, including support groups where you can share your thoughts with other men.