I am faced with a difficult situation. Recently, I found out that my ex-girlfriend is heavily pregnant with my child. She never even discussed with me, the fact that she is pregnant. In truth, we have not spoken since our break up several months ago. I have found out only through a mutual friend who thought I should know.
The relationship itself ended very badly. Romantically, we are just not compatible and we could not make it work as a couple, despite many attempts.
I am not sure what to do. I am uncertain whether I even want to be a father at this stage of my life, as we both are still very young and this pregnancy is obviously not an ideal situation.
What is the right way for me to respond?
I hope that you can help me,
I can well imagine the stress and confusion that you are experiencing in light of this news. You are indeed, faced with a difficult situation. The fact that your ex-partner has not disclosed the pregnancy to you makes the matter more complex. Obviously, the first step is to contact your ex-partner and confirm the news and that the baby is indeed yours. If so, you ultimately have a big decision to make. Do you or do you not wish to be involved in your child’s life?
Depending on your current experiencing Christian, you yourself may benefit from counselling in order to explore your feelings, within a confidential setting, free from judgement. The therapeutic process will allow you the opportunity to explore what you want as well as address any underlying emotions that have been raised for you by the pregnancy, such as anger, sadness or guilt. Remember that any feelings that you are having are valid and worth confronting.
I recommend that you weigh up the pros and cons of becoming a father at this stage of your life. What would being a father look like? How would your involvement impact your life? What changes would need to be made? What would you expect from your ex-girlfriend and what expectations, if any, would she have of you?
It would prove helpful if you do decide that you wish to be involved, to seek legal advice in order to comprehend and become fully aware as to what your rights are. I would also advise couples counselling, not for the reconciliation of your romantic relationship, but in order for you both to resolve and reconnect as parents whilst also developing your communication skills moving forward. The therapeutic process will assist you both for the future, especially if co-parenting is the direction you wish to take. Time in therapy will allow you to work through your difficulties whilst also addressing key questions such as, do you still respect one another? Do you trust one another? Are you willing to work together as a team? Just because you no longer wish to be romantically involved does not mean that you cannot make great co-parents to your child.
Whilst you did not choose this situation, you now have the choice as to how best to react to the pregnancy. What does your intuition tell you? Take your time before springing into action. Silence any negative or worrying thoughts in your mind that stem from what you presume would be the perspectives of others. It is important that your response feels absolved of judgement and what is in fact right for you, not what you think everybody expects you to do. Ensure that you allow yourself the space that you need in order to fully explore all of the paths open to you Christian. In the meantime, ensure that you are prioritising your health and well-being, including your sleep routine and following a healthy diet. Take charge of your stress levels. Self-care is a wonderful antidote to situations that feel beyond our control.
Wishing you clarity and strength,