Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy places enormous strain on both of you, and it can make it difficult to act in an understanding, considerate, and supportive way. Be aware of this and try to acknowledge it.
It is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat complete meals, and continue to do the things you enjoy.
You may be having a difficult time dealing with the range of emotions you are experiencing such as confusion, isolation, guilt, powerlessness, anger, concern, or sadness. These feelings are common. It's important that you try to manage your feelings and find strategies to help yourself, but you don't have to do this alone. Think about your friends and family and with whom you might be able to share this burden. It might be hard to talk about but a supportive listener can help ease the feeling that you have to figure this out by yourself and they may have some ideas about how to move forward or come to terms with what you're feeling. If talking to someone about it feels a bit hard, writing down how you feel might help you take the first step in naming some of your emotions.
If you do decide to talk to someone about how you're feeling, seek out people who will be supportive and understanding, rather than pressuring you one way or the other. It may also be important to consider the woman's concerns about privacy when choosing who to talk to. Some people who come to Children by Choice have told no-one, some have only spoken about it with the other person involved, and others have told most of their families or friends.
You might also wish to seek counselling or support by yourself or together.
It is never okay to hit, threaten, or abuse anyone regardless of your relationship and no matter what they say or do to you. Women who have experienced violence have told us that violence can escalate during pregnancy. Seek professional help immediately if you are violent or are feeling you may become violent towards the pregnant woman or if you are experiencing violence from her or from other family members.
Finally it is important to look after yourself by making sure that you are receiving good support and unbiased information. A pro-choice counselling service will support a woman regardless of whether she is thinking about abortion, adoption, or parenting. Many women choose to involve their partners in this decision, and we do counsel couples to help them move forward in their decision making or if they are having trouble agreeing on what to do.
Some of the men who have attended our counselling have said:
- Counselling provided more verbalising of the issues with my partner.
- I have a far clearer picture of all the options.
- We should be able to make a decision together now.
- It has been helpful to be able to discuss openly all my built up feelings.
- It helped open my eyes to look at things on a broader horizon.
- I was able to narrow down specific issues to discuss with my partner.
- Counselling made me feel comfortable with any decisions we will make.
- I am more informed but still undecided.
- We were certain of our choice prior but are more comfortable about our decision after counselling.