Unplanned Pregnancy and Marriage: Navigating this Challenging Surprise
Your Options for an Unplanned Pregnancy in Marriage
An unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone. Whether you’ve already said your vows or are still trying to find “the one,” this surprise can be incredibly disruptive to your life.
You may have previously believed that, for married couples, any unplanned pregnancy would be easy to cope with. You are married, after all. For many couples, children would eventually be a part of the picture anyway.
But now, experiencing the shock of an unplanned pregnancy in marriage for yourself, you may be realizing this isn’t the case.
The emotions you are feeling are normal. It’s okay to be shocked, scared and even frustrated. Just because you are married doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready to be pregnant right now, and there are plenty of reasons that being a parent may not be possible for you at this time. You could have concerns about how your spouse will handle the news and how this surprise could impact your relationship.
Bringing a new life into the world is beautiful, but it can also be difficult. When you are married, unplanned pregnancy can come out of left field, and it can bring a lot of complicated and confusing emotions along with it. However, there are things you can do and resources you can use to make the best of this situation.
The Facts About Unplanned Pregnancy in Marriage
First off: Know you’re not alone. Every year, more than two million women in the U.S. experience an unplanned pregnancy. That’s nearly half of all pregnancies in America. While unplanned pregnancy is more statistically common for women who are not married, it is also something that many married couples go through. Unplanned pregnancy and marriage go together more often than most people realize.
How to Respond to an Unplanned Pregnancy in Marriage
What did you feel when you found out about your unplanned pregnancy? Shock? Excitement? Fear? Confusion?
Reactions to an unexpected pregnancy in marriage are all over the place. Give yourself and your spouse grace for the initial reaction. This is big news. You can’t always expect you and your spouse to have it all together when the news is broken.
Following your initial reaction, there are healthy some ways you can respond to an unplanned pregnancy in marriage:
Remember that you’re on the same team: Many people instinctively withdraw during difficult times, but an unplanned pregnancy in marriage is a chance to lean on each other. Be supportive and trusting of your spouse, even if your initial instinct is to pull away and be alone.
Start creating a plan: How are you going to handle this? Evaluate your situation together and create a plan for moving forward. Be honest about your opinions, and take everything into account from emotional health to financial stability. It will all come into play as you consider your unplanned pregnancy options.
Find a chance to get away together: Life is stressful. Life with an unplanned pregnancy can be very stressful. If you can, find a weekend where you two can get away from it all and focus on yourselves. Invest in your relationship. No matter which unplanned pregnancy option you choose, a strong relationship is going to be important.
How an Unplanned Pregnancy Could Affect Your Marriage
If you keep these responses in mind, you can navigate an unplanned pregnancy and marriage in a healthy way. You may be surprised to find an unplanned pregnancy positively affects your marriage. Even though it isn’t what you planned for, it is a chance to grow closer together, regardless of which unplanned pregnancy option is best for your situation.
Alternatively, it is possible for an unplanned pregnancy in marriage to have a negative effect. If this unexpected pregnancy causes stress, anxiety or frustration, you may quickly find yourself blaming your spouse for the situation. Rather than trusting each other, you could be at odds and looking for a way to get away from this newfound responsibility.
If this is the case for you, you always have options. There are resources you can access and choices you can make if an unplanned pregnancy in marriage is clearly damaging your relationship.
Resources for an Unplanned Pregnancy in Marriage
Whether you need emotional, financial or other types of support, there are unplanned pregnancy resources available to you. A few of the resources to start with are:
American Adoptions’ 24/7 Support Line: Speak with an adoption specialist about all of your unplanned pregnancy and marriage options.
SNAP: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help provide for your nutritional needs during this unplanned pregnancy.
WIC: Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a program that provides federal grants for supplemental foods, healthcare referrals and nutrition education.
Medicaid: You may be eligible for government assistance in covering some of the medical expenses associated with pregnancy.
Married & Unplanned Pregnancy: Options for Moving Forward
What are you going to do with your unplanned pregnancy in marriage? The decision is always up to you and your spouse.
The majority of couples experiencing an unplanned pregnancy end up parenting, and what started as an accident can end up being a beautiful surprise. Parenting is a joy, but that doesn’t mean it is for everyone.
Right now, you may know that parenting is not possible for your life and relationship. If that’s the case, you have two other unplanned pregnancy options.
After parenting, the next most common choice for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is abortion. Depending on where you live and how far along you are in pregnancy, this may or may not be an option for you. Abortion is a major decision, and all of the pros and cons are worth considering carefully before moving forward.
Finally, you could choose adoption for your baby. This may be surprising to you: A married couple choosing adoption? It’s actually much more common than you may think.
American Adoptions’ specialists work with married couples often. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you are ready to parent, and adoption is a way to meet your needs while still giving your baby the opportunity to grow up with a loving family. Together, you and your spouse can create an adoption plan, find the right adoptive family and maintain contact with your baby through open adoption.
Only you can know which of these options will be best for you. To learn more about any of your options when you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in marriage, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION or request more free information today. An adoption specialist will be happy to speak with you and help you make the best choice for your life.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.