Take a Breath
Finding out that you’re pregnant is an emotional journey, filled with excitement, fear, surprise, and a range of other emotions. Before telling the father of your baby, it’s important to take some time for self-reflection and to explore your own emotions. This will help you approach the discussion with clarity and self-assurance.
Planning what you want to say can greatly ease the pressure of the conversation.
If your partner is likely to be thrilled about the news, it will be easier to tell him. Consider planning a fun surprise to share the news with him.
However, if this pregnancy was unplanned, it’s natural to feel apprehensive about your partner’s potential reaction. In such cases, it’s crucial to approach what could be a difficult conversation with a plan in mind.
Clarify Your Expectations
Before talking to the father of your baby, take time to reflect on your personal goals for the conversation. Think about what you hope to achieve and specifically identify what you need from your partner.
Keep in mind that support means different things to different people. Are you seeking:
- Emotional support: your boyfriend to walk through this with you?
- Financial support: the promise of monetary assistance to raise your baby?
- Practical support: help with day-to-day care of your baby?
Understanding your goals will build your confidence in this conversation.
Choose Your Words
Choosing the right words can make all the difference. Eliminate negative phrases and avoid using language that may induce unnecessary worry, such as “bad news” or “don’t be upset.” Instead, focus on using inclusive pronouns like “we” and “us” rather than “I” or “me.” This helps convey the idea that you are a team, navigating this journey together.
Be Honest and Direct
It’s important to be open, honest, and straightforward during the conversation. Do not expect him to read your mind. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
The timing of your conversation is just as important as what you say. Consider the following questions:
- Would you like to tell the father of your baby before or after you’ve told your parents?
- Would you like him to be with you when you tell your parents?
- What about the father of your baby coming to your pregnancy center appointment with you?
Regardless of the answers to these questions, find a time when you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Avoid having difficult conversations when you’re tired or going through a transitionary phase, such as just waking up, leaving for work, coming home, or heading to bed.
Respect His Reaction
It’s essential to give the father of your baby time to process the information you’ve shared. Remember that people react differently, regardless of whether the news is positive or challenging for them.
From appearing calm and you wondering if he has even heard what you have just said, to him blurting out insensitive remarks or struggling to believe the news, reactions can vary greatly. These responses are all normal when dealing with shock. Try to be understanding. Remember, you have probably been through these same responses yourself over the past few days.
Remember, this conversation is just the beginning of an ongoing discussion. Schedule a time to talk again the next day, giving him a chance to digest the news and gather his thoughts.
Handle Conflict Healthily
If his reaction doesn’t meet your expectations or desires, the situation might become challenging to navigate. You could feel disappointed if he isn’t supportive of the pregnancy.
Here are a few suggestions for handling these situations:
- Listen to his reasons, focus on understanding rather than being understood.
- Try to determine the cause of his reaction. Is he worried about finances? Worried about the life change? Once you understand then you can work together to make a plan.
- If your boyfriend doesn’t want a baby and you do, you need to express your feelings. You can say something like, “I understand your feelings, but I plan to have this baby. Please know that the door is open to continue this conversation should you desire to support my decision.”
- If things are getting heated… call a time out. It is amazing how 20 minutes apart will bring back peace and order.
- If you do not initially get the reaction you were hoping for you will likely be upset. Try saying, “I understand that you’re surprised, and I am emotional. Can we take some time to think and try talking about this again?”
If you don’t see eye to eye, seek counseling before making a rash decision. Prestonwood Pregnancy Center can help you access counselling should you need it.