How Many Women Plan Pregnancies Without Much Input from Their Partners?

How Many Women Plan Pregnancies Without Much Input from Their Partners?

And is Khloe Kardashian one of them?    

By Marianne Garvey

It’s been just over a week since we heard the rumors that Khloé Kardashian may be nearly four months pregnant with her boyfriend Tristan Thompson’s baby.

You may remember Season 13 of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (filmed months ago) seemed to show Khloé planning a pregnancy — she visited her OB-GYN to check her follicles and to determine when she would be ovulating (answer: when she was visiting Tristan) and to get the doctor’s opinion on when to have kids (answer: now) and then subsequently went off the pill.

Yes, we seemingly went into her uterus along with the doctor. 

As Khloé herself has also said, "Tristan and I definitely talk about starting a family. He wants to have five or six kids with me and that’s lovely. We could start at one and we could grow from there."

Now, on this episode, we do hear Tristan’s voice on the other end of a call when she informed him on speakerphone while driving, “the doctor says we have to be careful [to not get pregnant]” and the NBA star agreed. While there are obviously edited conversations (and still no confirmation on the pregnancy by Khloé or Tristan), this got us thinking: What if what we saw was the only conversation? How many women out there plan a pregnancy without explicitly getting their partners onboard?

New York based Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW Stephanie Manes, tells Personal Space that she has encountered women in her practice who have basically planed a pregnancy on their own, and not informed their husband or partner of their plans, for whatever reason—the relationship is failing, the person doesn’t want kids, the woman’s age—and she says it all comes down to a feeling of being desperate.

“It is an interesting topic,” Manes says. “With patients where I have encountered this, there has been a sense of desperation to have a child.”

The woman so badly wants to be a mom, she’s convinced she just needs to get pregnant and everything will fall into place.

“I imagine this is foremost reason why most women decide to ‘go solo’ with having a child, without their partner knowing,” Manes says.

She had one patient who was convinced that her partner would come around once she was actually pregnant. 

“[She thought] that his reluctance was just ambivalence and he just needed a little push,” she says. “With another patient, she wanted a child so badly that whether her boyfriend broke up with her or not was really secondary.”

Family Matters NY psychotherapist Alice Kaltman tells us that a woman planning a pregnancy on her own (while in a relationship) can backfire. 

"First of all the 'means' don’t justify the 'ends,' even if the end results in an adorable little baby that the father adores," Kaltman explains. "The foundation of a healthy parenting partnership is trust and collaboration. And the parenting partnership starts at conception. A woman who purposely misleads her partner from the get go doesn’t strike me, professionally or personally, as a woman to trust."

But that said, Kaltman says in situations when "a guy is on the fence and a woman has made her desires for a child clear, a man who is not taking the time to be careful, leaving birth control decisions up to this blatantly baby-crazy woman to take full charge of, well, that dude is letting his ambivalence guide his future." 

A pregnancy gained through deception, is "a hard wrong to right," Kaltman adds. 

"Early parenthood in particular is filled with enough stressors on its own. Add in a reluctant dad’s legitimate reasons for resentment and instead of a slow burn, you might get an instant fire. It’s not impossible for a woman to make amends, and therapy can help! But particularly if the parenting couple fall in to over-doer (mom) and under-doer (dad) roles, where a woman doesn’t share parenting duties freely, is critical of a man’s attempts, if a dad is shut out of the picture and doesn’t make attempts to help out, or is hovered over/managed by the mom, he will probably withdraw based on his feelings of resentment, coupled with a sense of incompetence in the parenting arena. And so, the relationship is doomed to be an unhappy one."

As for why a woman would choose to try to get pregnant without informing her partner of her intentions, Kaltman says:

"Actually, I think the kind of woman who resorts to this unfortunate behavior believes she has the right to do so. She may have even been a vaguely manipulative person in other areas of her life. She may be a person prone to lies; little white ones and big juicy ones. She’s been trained by society to believe that motherhood is a precious gift that all woman are entitled to. She’s got a time crunch. She may even have friends/family who support this kind of maneuver. As I said above, she might also fool herself in to believing it truly was ‘an accident.'"

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