My Girlfriend Is Pregnant: How Do I Save This Relationship?
Sometimes the best jewels come in the least attractive packages. If your girlfriend is pregnant, slow down, take your time, regroup, and hold on!
There is nothing more life changing than having a child. The way a man plans for his first baby is much different from a woman. When a woman finds out she is pregnant, she instantly worries about the health of the baby and what she is going to do about being alone. If you are wondering, “My girlfriend is pregnant! What now?” there are several situations you’ll face together.
A man’s head goes into overdrive worrying about how he’ll afford a baby and provide for things like college. He worries about things that aren’t immediate but are well into the future.
The problem is that a surprise pregnancy is one of the hardest scenarios for any couple to make it through. There are so many emotions involved in pregnancy, most real and then the hormonal ones your girlfriend is going through.
My girlfriend is pregnant: 10 questions and scenarios you’ll have to muddle through
When I was 22, I lived with my future husband. We were barely mature enough to take care of ourselves, and the next thing we knew, we were thrust into adulthood when I got pregnant. We both went kicking and screaming, but we went together.
The issues we faced as a couple are the same ones I hear many couples struggle through as time goes on. Here is what you might be facing if your girlfriend is pregnant.
#1 We don’t have enough money. There is never going to be a time in your life where you’ll feel financially secure enough to have a baby unless you make your first million by thirty, or you are too old to really enjoy their childhood.
If you are destined to be entrepreneurial and set the world on fire, having a baby won’t squash your dreams. In fact, it could be the catalyst pushing you to work harder, achieve your goals, and find your inner creative spirit. [Read: 17 brilliant yet simple ways to save money as a couple]
Money doesn’t make a happy family, albeit, it does make it easier. You will be able to make it through the rough spots to get to a stable place while you are still young enough to have the fire in your belly to do so.
#2 We’re too young. Young is all relative. There is an ideal age to have a baby, of course, but your age doesn’t determine how good of a parent you’ll be.
When I was pregnant with my first, I decided that although I was young and had to give up a little more than I wanted to at my age, by the time my son was in college, I would still be young enough to find my second wind… and I was right, I am finding it.
#3 We haven’t been dating very long. If your girlfriend is pregnant, you have to realize that having a baby is stressful to any relationship, whether you are together for ten years or two days. If you are willing to make a commitment to love the baby no matter what happens in your relationship, then you aren’t going to be putting so much pressure on yourselves to make it all click together at the same time.
Focus on what your priorities are and readjust as you need. Take one day at a time in your relationship and just try to form the underlying friendship it takes to be parents.
#4 We aren’t getting along as it is. Many people think a baby will be the glue binding their relationship together. That is not true in the least. Pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life are going to be filled with more stress than you can even imagine. [Read: Stress ruining your relationship? 10 signs and quick fixes]
They consist of sleepless nights, anxiety, pressure, and, above all, fear of the unknown. Even if you had the greatest relationship in the world, it would still be challenging once you hear that your girlfriend is pregnant. Again, you are going to be a parent whether it is a joint partnership or not, so learning to get along and support each other no matter what type of relationship you decide to have, is the key to a happy and healthy “family,” intact or not.
#5 Do you get married or continue to build a relationship? When your girlfriend tells you she’s pregnant, one of your first thoughts is “should I ask her to marry me?” If you were thinking about it prior to the pregnancy, then it can be more excitement to add to the pregnancy surprise.
But, if you were nowhere near the point of asking her to say “I do,” then it is best to put that on hold and deal with the emotions at hand. There is no sense in muddying the waters if you aren’t there yet. [Read: 11 ways to know if both of you are ready to have a baby]
There aren’t the same societal morals that there used to be about getting your girlfriend “knocked up.” Pregnancy is not a thing to be ashamed of. If you believe there is such thing as fate, that baby is coming, and it isn’t about you, it is about that soul wanting to be here. Don’t feel pressured to ask her to marry you if it isn’t the right time. Take your time to find out where your relationship is at in the absence of a shotgun wedding.
Sometimes, other conditions may arise where it behooves you to get married. If you are getting insurance through your job and she isn’t, if you get married your insurance will start to cover her and make sure you don’t owe a huge hospital bill in the end. There may be some financial benefits to asking ahead of time instead versus waiting it out. [Read: Should you get married? 14 ways to know if it’s for you]
#6 If you don’t ask her to marry you, will she resent you? If I can be honest, some women do find it embarrassing to be pregnant and not married. If you love her, and you think you want to spend your life with her, then it is best to make the commitment out in the open. Even if you don’t follow through with getting married, an engagement may help to calm her fears of the future. There is a lot of pressure riding in that belly.
You have the option to walk, figuratively, she does not. If you want to make her feel as if you are excited, love her, and are ready to embark on this new journey as a couple, then don’t wait it out just because. Make it official. Will she resent you? Probably not, but if you have the feeling, why put the additional stress on her by making her wait and wonder? [Read: 16 questions to make talking about marriage really easy]
#7 If you do ask her, will she forever wonder if you just asked her out of obligation? Again, honestly, one of the hardest things about telling your boyfriend you are pregnant is to feel like you are ruining his life or “trapping” him into something. Your girlfriend is probably not thinking about the mess she got herself in as much as the mess and obligation she is putting on you.
If you ask her, however, and you really mean it with joy and happiness, she will never wonder if you asked her just because. If she is inclined to look back and wonder what if, she is going to whether you ask her or not. It is a feeling you can’t shake, and the only way to undo it is by making a wonderful life together where no one looks back and regrets any of it, no matter how it turns out. [Read: 13 down-to-earth ways to express your love without words]
#8 How are you going to tell friends and loved ones? If you think it is hard to tell your family, think about how difficult it was for her to tell you. There was only one of her.
If you go to friends and family as a team and tell them with a show of force, there can’t be anything coming your way but positive energy. If they don’t approve, then screw them.
Just remember that as shocked and fearful as you felt when you first found out, they are the same emotions that people who love you are going through. They aren’t doing it to hurt you or to squash your happiness. They do it specifically because they want for you to be happy, and they worry about your future. Allow them to get used to the idea the same way you and your girlfriend did—and are. [Read: 14 small ways to make your girl feel special and loved]
#9 How is it going to affect your career and future dreams. There are two ways to look at having a baby enter your life, and what it means for your career and future. You either use it as a means to motivate yourself to work harder for your dreams. Or, you can feel bad for yourself and blame your lack of advancement on the fact that you hit rough times.
The truth is, in any bad situation, those with determination and drive always rise to the top. It is going to be hard, harder than anything you have probably ever done, but, only the best things in life are worthwhile. And having a child in your life is one of the biggest blessings you can ever receive. [Read: A helpful reflection: What am I doing with my life]
#10 Your house or mine? Assuming you both have different places, decide whether to keep separate spaces or live together. If you don’t move in together, you may miss out on some of the most magical times of being pregnant. If you choose to move in, you are stuck together like it or not, because finances aren’t going to get any better.
The decision to move in is a complex one, but if something should happen, you want to be there to help out any way. Not something you have to decide on immediately, it will make things much easier to manage. [Read: The 8 big cons of moving in no one wants to talk about]
If you work together and work toward the best solution caring for the feelings of one another, no matter what happens, it will all work out fine. Someday you’ll look back, and it won’t seem as stressful as it is now. Everything in life has a resolution, everything. Just remember nothing, or any situation, lasts forever.
Surprises are good things, right? So if you find out that your girlfriend is pregnant, try to see this surprise as, yes, a challenge, but with the potential to be one of the most incredible additions to your life for a lifetime.