Pregnant and Facing Divorce

Do you have any advice for a woman who is facing the prospect of becoming a mother and getting divorced at the same time? I am that woman. I've just found out that I'm pregnant. Meanwhile, my husband has announced that he's leaving me and wants a divorce. What should I do? I've considered moving back home, but my family lives on the other side of the country and I think it's important for my child to have a relationship with his or her father.

It takes courage to reach out for help at a time like this. We know how devastating it can be to find yourself facing a pregnancy when your marriage appears to be coming apart at the seams. We can imagine that you’re experiencing a wide range of conflicting emotions at this point in your life.

To begin with, we’d encourage you to look for a way to save your marriage before it’s too late. Is your husband open to marital counseling? This is something that both of you should consider very seriously. If he isn’t willing to go that route, initiate the counseling process without him. That will show him that you’re serious about avoiding the tragedy of divorce.

Studies indicate that marriages can be saved if couples in the midst of troubled relationships will simply slow down the process and get some outside help. We have a staff of licensed Christian therapists here at Focus on the Family who would be happy to offer you a free, confidential session over the phone. They can also refer you to a qualified marriage counselor in your area. Please don’t hesitate to call our Counseling department. We’re here to help in any way we can.

It’s crucial to add that this is the very best thing you can do for your child. Research has shown that children score higher on every measure of well-being if they grow up in a home with a married mother and father. Even if your marriage is less than perfect, staying together is almost always better for your kids than getting a divorce. Statistics on adult children from divorced homes confirm this. The one exception would be when there is physical or emotional abuse occurring in the home.

If reconciliation is out of the question, we’d encourage you to remain in the area if your husband is willing to take an active, positive role in your child’s life. Fatherlessness has a profoundly negative impact on boys and girls, and your baby is going to need his or her dad. If he doesn’t want to assume this responsibility, it might be a good idea to relocate so as to be closer to your extended family. A loving, involved grandfather or uncle can’t replace your baby’s father, but he can certainly provide a measure of the male attention and affirmation that every child so desperately needs.


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