Unplanned Pregnancy in Marriage and How to Deal with it

Bayo Ajibola
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How to Deal with an Unexpected Pregnancy

It is not unusual for unplanned pregnancies to occur in marriage. Some marriages are as a result of unplanned pregnancies while others end due to unplanned pregnancies. An unplanned pregnancy can be received as shocking news in a positive way or a negative way especially if the couple does not have the means to afford a child.

In most cases, the couple usually settles from the shock and accepts the coming child. With time, the child brings so much joy and fulfillment that the couple forgets he/she was unplanned for. It is important for the couple to understand that Contraceptives do not guarantee to be 100% effective. In fact, the average success rate is 80-95%. Failed contraceptive or family planning methods are the leading causes of unplanned pregnancies in most marriages. Shockingly, even sophisticated methods such as vasectomy do not guarantee 100% success rate.

So what happens in case of unplanned pregnancy in marriage? This is how you should handle the situation

  1. Involve your partner in all decisions – You probably had a discussion with your partner why you should not plan for another baby. In the same way, when the pregnancy occurs, include your partner in all the decisions regarding the pregnancy. Men tend to let the women decide and offer to be supportive of her decision. However, this puts a lot of pressure on the woman. Both parties should express their thoughts and feelings about the pregnancy and reach an understanding together.
  2. Do not pass the blame to either partner – Pregnancy is the responsibility of both partners in marriage. Similarly, an unplanned pregnancy is equally a man’s responsibility as it is a woman’s. Once the pregnancy occurs, no amount of blame game will revert the situation. Instead, the couple should focus their energies on making critical decisions about the pregnancy.
  3. Find support – Sometimes, the news of an unplanned baby is not exciting, enticing or anything to smile about. Only a couple can understand what such news means to their lives. In this case, finding other couples or a support group of people going through the same situation helps reduce the pressure and stress. From them, you can draw the inspiration and strength you need in accepting the pregnancy and keeping it to term.
  4. Accept and take responsibility for the pregnancy – The first step in finding a solution to any adverse situation is acceptance. Being in denial only further aggravates the situation making it hard to find a solution. An unplanned pregnancy can prove an inconvenience at that particular moment in your life. But with the support of your partner and accepting the situation, it soon becomes a lighter load to bear.


Sometimes the best thing that ever happened to us comes disguised as a problem, an issue or an unplanned pregnancy. When this happens, the couple should evaluate themselves in terms of capability to determine if they can raise an additional child. This should be done in all honesty and preferably guided by a professional such as a counselor. Whatever decision to be made, it should involve both parties to avoid conflict in future.

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