How To Tell Your Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy

The chances of needing to tell a partner about an unexpected pregnancy at some point are pretty high when you consider that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Even if you have a healthy relationship, it is common to feel a little nervous about telling your spouse/partner that you are pregnant when that wasn’t part of your plans right now.

So, how exactly do you tell them about an unexpected pregnancy? This article will discuss what you can do to make that conversation flow a little easier.

Timing Matters

When you tell your spouse/partner about an unexpected pregnancy, timing matters. Choose to share the news when you have plenty of time to talk or simply can spend time together afterward to process your thoughts and feelings. In other words, telling them that you are unexpectedly pregnant just before you both leave for work would not be ideal.

If either of you is significantly preoccupied or stressed, it may be best to wait. Talking about an unexpected pregnancy just after an argument or before an important job interview could start this journey off on the wrong foot.

Another aspect of timing is to tell your spouse/partner soon after you discover that you are pregnant. This way, you haven’t already spent a great deal of time moving through the phases of coping with an unexpected pregnancy while he is just getting started in the first phase of shock.

Where To Tell Your Spouse/Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy

In-person and in the comfort of your own space is the ideal place to tell your spouse/partner about an unexpected pregnancy. This will give them a chance to respond honestly, and you can talk freely in a private setting compared to out in public. Showing your partner the positive pregnancy test helps to alleviate his shock, and you probably wouldn’t want to pull that test strip out at your local coffee shop.

Unless your spouse/partner is away for an extended period of time, such as military deployment, definitely do not tell him about an unexpected pregnancy by phone or text message. Next, we’ll discuss what to say because words matter.

How To Tell Your Spouse/Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy – Choosing Your Words

Before you talk with your spouse/partner, it is critical to remind yourself that you did not get pregnant by yourself. An unexpected pregnancy is not something you need to walk on eggshells about or carry guilt or shame over. Once your mindset is ready, you can think about the words to use when you tell them that you are pregnant.

You are not responsible for your partner’s response to an unexpected pregnancy, but you can choose words that may help set the tone for your conversation about it. For example, consider the difference between hearing, “I have terrible news,” and “My period is late, so I took a pregnancy test today and found out we are pregnant.”

Approach talking with your partner about an unplanned pregnancy with the confidence that this is an issue you can tackle together. Use words that are natural to you but think ahead of time about how you want to phrase them directly and positively.  For example, say, “We are pregnant” rather than “I’m pregnant,” because this did not happen all by yourself.

Give Your Spouse/Partner Space and Time to Process the News

If you are not looking at the pregnancy test results for the first time together, your partner will be in the difficult position of having to react to the news in front of you, and that’s not easy. He may feel compelled to filter his reaction so he does not hurt your feelings, or he may react with unfiltered honesty – and that can be painful if he is initially unhappy about the pregnancy. However, this is not a free pass to treat you disrespectfully, which is never okay.

The moment just after telling your spouse/partner about an unplanned pregnancy is the time to “hold space” for him. Holding space means he has a chance to experience his thoughts without pressure to discuss them right away. He may need to process the news on his own for a bit before coming together to discuss it with you. Don’t take his first reaction personally if it is negative – he is most likely responding to his fears rather than you.

Like you, your spouse/partner will move through many different responses as he comes to grip with the news of a pregnancy neither of you saw coming. Common responses men have to an unexpected pregnancy include:

  • Happiness
  • Shock
  • Fear
  • Denial
  • Anger

Take One Step at a Time

There is no denying that difficult conversations come with the territory of an unexpected pregnancy. Take one step at a time, and do not make any permanent decisions while your emotions are high or conflicted.

Once you have moved beyond the initial shock, you can move on to discuss your feelings about topics ranging from your hopes, dreams, and goals to your fears and next practical steps to making a pregnancy decision. It is essential to take one step at a time as you share honestly about how you feel about your pregnancy options, including parenting, adoption, and abortion.

  • Step 1 – Confirm your pregnancy

Your first step is to confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy and verify that your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy is one that is likely to carry to term successfully rather than end in miscarriage. You can get these answers only by a pregnancy ultrasound performed by your healthcare provider or at an unbiased pregnancy center such as Willow Womens Center.

  • Step 2 – Weigh your options and make your decision

After you know you have a viable pregnancy and how far along you are, talk with an experienced pregnancy advocate who can review your options with you and your partner. The licensed healthcare professionals at Willow Womens Center can provide the information you need about parenting, adoption, and abortion so that you can make a confident decision about your unexpected pregnancy. You will never feel rushed or pressured to make a pregnancy decision; instead, you will be empowered to make the best decision for you and your family.

Willow Womens Center Is Here for You

At Willow Womens Center, we understand how confusing an unplanned pregnancy can be. We compassionately provide confidential, no-cost services to help you make an informed decision about your unexpected pregnancy. Make an appointment at Willow Womens Center today.