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Bad Boyfriend, Good Father?

He’s a bad boyfriend, but will he be a good father? If you’re wondering something like this, you might be facing a pregnancy decision in a difficult relationship. You may want to choose the option of parenting, but have strong doubts about your partner’s ability to co-parent. If your partner doesn’t treat you the best, does it also mean he won’t be the best parent?

The option of parenting can be tough to consider in a trying relationship. Find support in your pregnancy decision at Avenue Women’s Center. Our free services include private options consultations with information on resources, referrals, and support systems. For nearly 40 years we’ve come alongside women in their decisions with accurate and reliable information about their options. Receive individualized support as we address your unique concerns and needs. Contact us today and set up your free appointment at one of our five Chicagoland locations!

Bad Boyfriend …

Your partner disappears for extended periods of time, ignoring or avoiding you altogether. He has a short fuse and says hurtful things to you when he’s angry or upset, without apologizing. He is aloof, indifferent, or noncommittal. He isn’t there when you need him most. He cheated on you or lies to you. These could be just some of many reasons why you consider your partner a bad boyfriend.

Maybe things were going great for a while, and you became sexually involved. Your pregnancy might’ve come as a surprise in the midst of everything, or you may have even planned for it when things were going well. Then issues popped up and it all turned south again. When it comes to relationships, it takes emotional effort and self-sacrifice. Love requires effort to keep thriving, and not everyone is up for the challenge. You might want to work things out in hopes that your bad boyfriend will change. You may also be ready to break things off romantically. Regardless of your relationship status, you may be considering parenting as your strongest option. Could a bad boyfriend be a good father?

Good Father?

Some men opt out of fatherhood, but others embrace the role and become great fathers, even if they weren’t such great partners. Why? It’s difficult to answer this with certainty, since each pregnancy situation is different—and so is the relationship between two people. One theory is that a parent’s love for their kids is different than the love for their partner. The love part of parenting may seem to come easily. The sacrifices can be challenging, but are often worth a child’s well-being and happiness. You can’t know with certainty what kind of parent your partner will be. Much like a pregnancy decision is ultimately up to you, the decision to be a good father is up to him. As much as you want him to step up, you can’t force him into it. While you can’t change your partner, you can move forward in a pregnancy decision as you consider co-parenting with him. As you take the next steps, here are a couple helpful things to keep in mind:

Talk about his involvement. When sharing your pregnancy news, ask him about his honest thoughts on becoming a parent. He might need time to process this option and think it through. Instead of bringing up all his bad-boyfriend behavior, focus on ways you could work together as parents. How could you find common ground? How involved would he want to be as a father? Would it be beneficial to think ahead about your roles as co-parents now? What values would you both want to instill? How could you be consistent in discipline together, even if apart? You might not have all the answers right now, but speaking with a counselor, therapist, or parenting coach could helpful in figuring things out.

Maintain Respect. This can be tough when emotions run high, but it’s important to keep a level of respect despite your differences. How you work through difficulties will be reflective in your parenting. You can respect each other even if you don’t agree. If things get heated, take a break and wait until after you’ve both calmed down. That might mean setting a time and day later to work things out—and committing to it. As parents, it will be up to you both to teach respect by giving it first to each other.

Learning more about your local resources and support systems can be a beneficial first step if you’re concerned about your partner’s involvement with a pregnancy. Avenue Women’s Center offers women free options consultations to discuss and address their practical needs in a pregnancy decision. Receive accurate and reliable information in a nonjudgmental, confidential, and understanding environment. Call, text, chat, or email us today and let us come alongside you with caring support!

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.