It feels like one minute, you’re falling in love and can’t live without each other; then the next minute you can’t stand each other. Throw in a pregnancy in the middle and you have quite a sticky situation.
Marriage can be tumultuous on its own, and maybe your marriage was doomed before the pregnancy came about. Or maybe you both thought a baby could save the marriage. No matter if the baby was intentional or not, it’s coming, and it’s a part of both of your lives. The unfortunate part is that neither of you want to be around your spouse, at least for right now.
How can you deal with so much change and upheaval at once? Here are some things to consider as you take this journey.
Take Care of Yourself (and Your Baby)
If you are pregnant and separated from your husband, you may feel alone and like you are taking on the world. You may even be sick, or just emotionally distraught. Make sure to pause for a moment. Take care of yourself as much as possible. Rest often, go out and get fresh air, eat well, do things you love, get light exercise, and definitely go to all of your doctor appointments. Remember that it’s now not just you that you are taking care of—you also have a little baby growing inside of you. Do it for both of you.
Develop Hope Despite Uncertainty
When you’re married and living together, there is some security in that. You more or less know what to expect, even if things are on the rocks. When you’re divorced and living apart, then there is security in the knowledge that you two are separate and can live your own lives apart from each other. But married while separated? That’s a whole new ballgame. It’s a huge gray area fraught with uncertainty.
The key now is to develop hope despite uncertainty. Because whether you want to or not, you are having a baby, and that baby is coming. It’s your job to create an environment of hope so your baby can thrive and you can offer it everything it needs. So you and your husband are separated, and you aren’t sure what that means from one minute to the next. But you can be hopeful that things will turn out ok despite the roller coaster ride you’re going through.
Set Up Some Ground Rules
To lessen the amount of uncertainty, set up some ground rules with your spouse. Make sure they are in writing so everyone is on the same page and can refer to it if memory gets foggy. Cover subjects such as where you will both sleep, arrangements for money, if/when you will see each other, a date in the future when you will “talk” about the relationship, if/when/how you will tell your family and friends, and what will happen if you are still separated when the baby comes. Figuring out the big stuff will help your day to day life more predictable and take stress off of both of you.
Gather Support Elsewhere
Here’s the deal—you’re pregnant and now you’re doing things more or less alone. Maybe you can handle it for a while, but eventually you’re going to need help. Physical help, emotional help, etc. If you can’t lean on your husband for those things right now, then gather support elsewhere.
Think Good Thoughts
This may be difficult, especially if you and your spouse are fighting. But try your best to give him the benefit of the doubt. Think good thoughts. Be as happy as you can. Watch funny movies. When a negative thought appears, turn it on its head. Try your best to let go of the past and think about the present moment. That is all you have control over, anyway.
See a Therapist
If your spouse will go with you, great—but if not, go alone. This is too much for anyone to handle on their own. You need to talk it out with a professional. There will be a lot of emotions to deal with, so sort them out with someone you trust to tell you what you need to hear.
Date Your Spouse
If you are on any kind of speaking terms, it will be helpful for you and your spouse to connect at a neutral location once a week or so. Set it up like a date, and think of it as a date. Maybe at this stage, you are back at the beginning, getting to know each other and rebuilding your relationship. That’s totally fine. But it can’t happen unless you connect. This is also a great opportunity to talk about the pregnancy and the baby. Hopefully he’ll be excited and his excitement will help you in your pregnancy journey. Even if you don’t end up in a solid marriage again, you’ll at least be on the same team.