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When Your Wife Wants to Parent and You Don’t

Are you and your spouse facing an unexpected pregnancy?  You’re probably feeling completely blindsided, especially if the two of you don’t agree on how to handle this.  Maybe your wife wants to carry to term even though this pregnancy wasn’t planned, and you’re not on the same page.  This may seem like one of the most shocking and worrying situations you’ve ever confronted.  But you and your wife can tackle the challenges you’re facing and pursue a positive outcome, maybe even growing your relationship in the process.

It’s extremely common for couples to have opposing views when navigating highly stressful circumstances like yours.  Both of your feelings are valid.  But one outcome will be pursued in the end (abortion, adoption, or parenting), and the process of figuring this out can feel daunting.  Avenue Women’s Center is here for you and your partner throughout your pregnancy experience and beyond.  We’re a limited medical clinic that offers free first-step services to help individuals make informed, empowered pregnancy decisions.

Learn more about Avenue!  We’ve been providing support since 1981!

Your Outlook is Understandable

There could be many potential reasons why you don’t want to parent.  Maybe you don’t feel ready to become a dad (or you don’t feel ready to grow your family, if you’re already a dad).  Your mind may be reeling with questions about the long-term practical and financial implications of possibly having a baby.  And that would make sense! It’s probably overwhelming to think about your life and the lives of your loved ones taking this unexpected direction.  You likely feel a strong sense of responsibility to your wife and family, and want to secure their well-being.  All these factors and more could naturally lead a person to desire abortion or adoption over parenting… although you’re undoubtedly wishing that none of these were options you and your wife had to consider.

A Strong Partner During (and After) This Pregnancy

The ball is in your wife’s court regarding this pregnancy decision.  Even though that may be an uncomfortable reality, remember that you don’t have to agree with each other to support each other.   It’s possible to move towards a positive outcome that both of you feel at peace with.  Here are some tips to help you take a supportive approach and be a strong partner to your wife during this difficult season and beyond.

Initiate healthy communication.

Chances are, your wife values your perspective, and you value hers.  It’s important to be transparent with each other about your feelings concerning this pregnancy.  Have a calm, respectful dialogue about both of your views.  It can be helpful to use “I” statements, in which you communicate your perspective (rather than drawing conclusions about hers), then invite her to do the same.  Choose a time when you’re less likely to be interrupted, and a comfortable, distraction-free space.

Be present and engaged during her decision-making process (if she’s open to that).

Most married women want their spouses to be involved as they process upcoming pregnancy decisions.  Take initiative and offer up-front to be present during your wife’s decision-making process.  Let her know that you’re on this journey with her, if she’d like you to be.  Consider attending appointments with her and seeking information about her pregnancy, options, and resources together.  Look for ways to support and empower her throughout this process, letting her take the reins.

Remind her how you feel about her.

Chances are, your wife has qualities that you love, even if you’ve been going through a rough time in your relationship.  Chances are, you love her, even if you’ve learned from experience that real love can be complex and sometimes painful.  Encourage your spouse in her strengths and remind her how you feel about her.  She may already know, but hearing it from your lips will likely be a huge encouragement to her.  Your words have the power to build her up, and this could only help her make a pregnancy decision with greater clarity and confidence.

We all need support when navigating a difficult and complicated situation like an unexpected pregnancy.  If you and your wife are feeling the weight of this, reach out to Avenue Women’s Center!  Our no-cost, confidential services include medical-grade pregnancy tests, options consultations, limited medical ultrasounds, and more!  We believe that when a woman is empowered to make a pregnancy decision with strength and resiliency, she’s better equipped to make the best decision for herself and her family.  We’re available to meet you and your partner with the highest standards of empathy and professionalism. 

Reach out to ask us your questions and schedule an appointment!  We have five locations in Chicagoland, Illinois, and we offer virtual appointments as well.

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.