- Pregnancies can be planned in order to keep a breakup or divorce from happening.
- Narcissistic women may lie about their birth control or seduce partners at specific times to plan a pregnancy.
- Women can use children or pregnancy to their advantage to hurt their partner or trap them in a relationship.
Pregnancy can be one of the most scary and exhilarating periods in a woman’s life. Men today have become more involved in pregnancy, family planning, and childrearing, as compared to previous generations. Whereas many pregnancies are carefully planned or at least a joint decision, surprise or unilaterally unwanted pregnancies add tension and confusion to relationships. This is especially true if the relationship is on the rocks or one partner is adamantly against children. But what happens when a pregnancy is planned as a method of controlling the wayward partner?
Narcissists will only engage in relationships for the benefits. For example, narcissistic women may latch on to a new partner and get married to take advantage of benefits, money, status, or prestige.
Pregnancy and childrearing are also important and profitable bargaining tools in a relationship and breakup/divorce. In most states, child support is increased per child of the union, and mothers are overwhelmingly granted majority custody, thus resulting in higher child support awards. This makes for an easy payout for narcissistic mothers.
Narcissism and the "surprise" pregnancy
Faking a pregnancy or planning a “surprise” pregnancy is sadly not unheard of, especially if the narcissist is not the one to initiate the breakup.
James, now 50, recalls when he and his then-wife were in the initial stages of separating. He initiated the first separation, and then his partner not only announced that she was pregnant but that she was getting an abortion.
“I immediately told her we would work it out, that I wanted that child,” he says. “She changed her tune and we got back together, but we ended up divorcing anyway when our daughter was a few years old. My ex never changed her ways; she kept cheating and stuck out the marriage longer to get a better alimony payout.”
Pregnancies can be unplanned surprises but can also be opportunities for exploitation and financial benefit.
Joe and his then-wife, Mary, were separated and living apart after Mary had admitted to cheating with a friend. A few months after the separation, Mary called him and invited him over to talk about the divorce and see her son/Joe’s stepson. One thing led to another, and they slept together. After a few weeks of silence, Mary called to tell him she was pregnant.
“I was so happy about the baby. We had been trying to get pregnant for a while before I found out she was cheating, but it just never happened. She blamed me for never getting pregnant and it caused so much tension and drama between us. Then, suddenly after one time, she was pregnant, and she told me to not bother with a condom since she was on the Pill. It seemed too good to be true and too convenient, but I ignored the bad feelings.”
Joe and Mary got back together but the good times didn’t last very long. “A month after the baby was born, I moved out again and refiled the divorce papers. She had admitted that she just didn’t want to be single and pregnant again like she was with her first child.” Not only was Mary getting child support from her son’s father, but now she was getting extra child support from Joe for their child as well as spousal maintenance.
Michael had been happily involved with a new girlfriend of a few weeks when his ex told him she was pregnant. “We had slept together one time a month prior…and the first thing she demanded was that I tell my new girlfriend and that I break up with her.”
Michael insisted that the divorce proceedings continue and that he would support his ex’s choice to either continue the pregnancy or terminate, but that they would not get back together. “My new girlfriend was surprisingly supportive, and she told me that she couldn’t be angry about something that happened before she was in the picture...this infuriated my ex-wife. The last time I slept with my ex had been a huge mistake and a terrible lack in judgment, but she assured me she was on birth control…when I told my ex I was not going back to her, baby or no baby, she had a sudden miscarriage at home, and then was furious when I did not run to comfort her or bring her dinner.”
Babies and pregnancies do not need to be planned in order to be loved and wanted. But children born to narcissists are simply a means to an end or another method of gaining and maintaining control. Children of narcissists are simply the extension of the self; they are not separate beings but exist to complement the parent. Children become dollar signs, photo ops, and a means of manipulation of the other parent. The child will be dragged through court, used as a prop to attack the mean, hateful father who left them, or create part of the backdrop for the martyred mother left to struggle alone. Remember that narratives are deeply important to narcissists, and a narcissistic woman will use anything to her advantage to illuminate herself and vilify the father.
For the narcissist, a pregnancy, whether real or faked, is a method of entrapment. It will keep her in a man’s life for at least 18 years and cause a lifetime of emotional abuse. It is entirely possible for a woman to track her monthly cycle and identify the most fertile days which increases her chances of getting pregnant. Birth control is a private and individual choice and has no way of being proven that it is being used properly or at all. In many cases of surprise pregnancies while on hormonal birth control, it turns out the woman was lying. “After she told me she was pregnant, I confronted her about the apparent failure of the birth control,” recalls Joe. “She said she was on antibiotics for a cold, or that she must have forgotten to take the pill that day.”
Although far-fetched, it is easy to download photos of positive tests from the internet as well as purchase actual pregnancy tests from legitimately pregnant women (Silvers, 2021). It may sound crazy to non-narcissists, but to narcissists, anything is considered rational and perfectly sane if it allows them to stay in control.
Female narcissists manipulate their own reproductive systems and their own children in order to maintain their power. Having a child with a narcissist binds you for life, with little or no room for freedom. After the child is born, then comes the manipulation of the court systems, finances, and lawyers.
A narcissist doesn’t want to have children with you because they love you; they want children with you as a way of permanently holding the reins and keeping you in check, controlling your life, and competing for even more love and affection.
Silvers, A. (2021). 8 red flags the pregnancy is a trap. www.annsilvers.com/blog/news/8-red-flags-the-pregnancy-is-a-trap