Is Getting Pregnant On Purpose Bad If Your Partner Doesn’t Agree?

After seeing this question come through our text line a couple times, we thought it was time to help set the record straight. Hey, you know us. We’re always up for a good conversation.

Now, we’re assuming that “getting pregnant on purpose” means doing something to trick or force a partner into becoming a parent when he or she isn’t ready or doesn’t want to be. This kind of deceptive and controlling behavior can seriously damage a healthy relationship, and there are lots of things to consider in these kinds of situations. Here are the big ones:

1) It takes two, and affects three. Deciding to become a parent is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your whole, entire life. And forcing someone into parenthood before he or she is ready is not only unfair to him or her, but also very much to the future child. No good at all.

2) Lying doesn’t breed love. Becoming pregnant will not ensure that a partner will stay in the relationship or love the partner any more than before. If either partner remains unaware that the pregnancy occurred on purpose (maybe he or she believes it was a birth control failure), then the lie then will continue throughout the relationship and potentially foster years of bad feelings. This could lead to further conflict, which absolutely isn’t healthy while raising a child. And even more conflict can emerge should the truth come out between the parents.

3) It can get legal. If a woman has sex with men only to become pregnant—she doesn’t want to maintain a relationship with him nor does she expect him to parent the child—this doesn’t make the situation any more “right.” Some men may just walk away, but others may want to help raise the child and would have the full legal rights to do so. In this case, a negative relationship between the parents will likely lead a negative environment for a child.

4) Abuse goes both ways. While it may seem like this issue only applies to women tricking men, that’s definitely not the case. If a man wants his female partner to get pregnant and she doesn’t want to, he might find ways to secretly sabotage the birth control. This is widely considered “reproductive coercion,” which is a troubling and potentially dangerous situation.

If you’re in a loving relationship and you and your partner disagree about the pregnancy question, opt for a conversation over a lie. You may also find it helpful and comforting to set a certain amount of time before bringing it up again—perhaps agree to check in on the subject every six months or so. We know this topic is a tough one, but having a discussion is way easier than having a baby—especially when one of you isn’t ready yet. Check out our Get Talking tool to learn ways to, well, get talking. Because seriously, choosing open, honest dialog over deception is 100% the way to go. It will not only set you up to be better parents in the future, but also better partners to each other.