Is My Girlfriend is Using Pregnancy to Trap Me?

Hi Deb,

I’m writing to you today because of the problem that just recently came up again.

I have been with someone recently for a matter of a few months. We are intimate with each other, but do practice safe sex (condom). The issue here is that after recently speaking to her about not wanted to continue having relations, she has told me that she randomly took a pregnancy test 4 days ago with a positive result, yet as of today resulted in a miscarriage. She says she is going to the doctor in a few days to have it checked out to be for sure. She claims she believes it was a miscarriage because the bleeding was early (say a day or two) and that the cramping was very extreme with discharge.

My concern is that she had once also said that she was pregnant when another “emotional episode” had come up before. After it being resolved she “happened” to take the test again and it was negative. My question being, is it possible this is just being made up to trap me in, or could this just be coincidence once again? Is there anyways that I can tell on my own if she’s truly pregnant, for my concern is that I could be lied to because of the fact she knows more about pregnancy than I do… please help…

Concerned Boyfriend

Dear Concerned Boyfriend,


I can see why you’re concerned. If you’re girlfriend was making up the story of a pregnancy to keep you around, she wouldn’t be the first woman to do so. That being said, it’s hard to say that that’s what is going on in this case. Her description of possible miscarriage seems to correlate with what we know about first term miscarriages.

Activities which increase the risk of miscarriage are smoking and taking cocaine, but even then, the chances are still relatively small that a miscarriage will occur. Miscarriages do happen in the early parts of a pregnancy, and the symptoms you described represent symptoms of a miscarriage. So it becomes a matter of whether you trust your girlfriend to tell you the truth about what is happening to her body.

Sometimes, stress can cause a woman to be late in her period. This might be the stresses of a breakup or the stresses of worrying about being pregnant. Stress, though, is not going to cause an inaccurate pregnancy test. So if she were telling you that she was late on her period but a pregnancy test wasn’t showing anything, you could at least take a middle stance that her body is playing tricks on her. As stated, you either have to believe she’s telling the truth or you have to suspect that she’s lying.

Making up a story about a pregnancy to keep a boyfriend in a relationship is a stalling tactic, buying time to turn the relationship around. If she’s not pregnant, then lying about it is only going to last for so long. Eventually, she’ll have to claim she had a miscarriage or an abortion. In the first case, you’ll largely have to trust her.

One thing, though: it’s a little odd that a woman would “randomly” take a pregnancy test. She either suspected she was pregnant, despite using protection, or she was hoping she was pregnant, to keep you around. The very act of a “random pregnancy test” seems suspicious to me of her motives. Since you know the situation better than I do, analyse the random pregnancy test and decide whether that constitutes a suspicious action on her part.

The fact that you don’t entirely trust your girlfriend makes me think that she might have told other stories that make you suspect her motives. You know your girlfriend better than I do, so you’ll ultimately have to decide whether she can be trusted. Analyse the situation and use common sense and your experiences with her to determine. You’ll never know for sure, which makes this even harder to deal with.

You mentioned that you did not want to have relations with her any longer. When you think your girlfriend is pregnant, you are faced with the possibility that you will have a child with this woman. You might think about marriage or a lifelong relationship with this person. Even if you decide that isn’t the case, you’re going to be dealing with this woman for the rest of your life, through a child and child support. So this gives you an opportunity to look at the cold hard facts of your relationship and decide whether you want to be tied to this person for the remainder of your life.

It sounds to me like you’ve decided that you don’t want your girlfriend in your life anymore, for whatever personal reasons you might have. If so, then the miscarriage, as terrible as it is, is an opportunity for you to start at square one with your girlfriend. So now’s the time to decide whether you want to stay in or out of this relationship. A callous person would say you are free and clear…for the moment.

If you have doubts about binding yourself to your girlfriend for life (through a child), I would suggest you avoid having sexual relations with her again. If you suspect that she is not being truthful with you to keep you around, I would suggest even more strongly that you avoid sex with this woman. Sometimes, someone desperate to keep the other in the relationship will take steps to try to get pregnant or try to get the other person pregnant, so the two are bound together. If you can’t trust your girlfriend, you can’t trust that she won’t try to do this through a number of means: bad condom, persuade you to have sex with no condom, more sex when she’s particularly fertile and even dirtier tactics I won’t get into here.

So, in the end, it really doesn’t matter whether your girlfriend is lying about a miscarriage, because it’s going to be very hard for you to prove that happened. What matters is she isn’t pregnant and you apparently don’t want to be in a relationship with her anymore.

If so, try to be understanding about her emotional state. Assume she did go through a miscarriage and act accordingly, comforting her and “being there for her” emotionally. But do not let that comforting turn into a sexual encounter, because that could lead you to the same scenario again.

Good Luck,

John Clifton