Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Should I tell my DH the truth?(37 Posts)
I am new to here and was wondering if you could help.
I am in a massive panic, I am not pregnant yet but am trying so fingers crossed it wont be long! I am worrying as 9 years ago I was in a really violent relationship, very controlling and he stopped me taking the pill so I would get pregnant which I did. I knew it was a life sentence for me so I went ahead with an abortion and didn't tell anyone. I went to the clinic, had the op and drove myself without anyone knowing.
To this day no one knows about it, I have been through counselling and I know it was the right thing to do. I am now happily married but I am so scared that this will be in my notes with the GP or will I have to tell them about this?
I know you shouldn't keep secrets especially from a partner but things in this past relationship have never been spoken about as I didn't get any support from my family.
I don't know if I should tell him and risk him being angry that I haven't said anything in 6 years and also I know he doesn't agree with abortions!
Thanks for any help x
If you feel you need to be honest and clear your conscience then tell him. I'm sure we've all done things in our past we'd rather forget about, but the past is the past.
You had exceptional circumstances for the abortion and if he's anything of a partner he should be understanding (even if he doesn't like what you're saying)
It's up to you. As far as I can remember, the midwife asks if you've been pregnant before (including abortion), but if he's there and you want to keep it secret then you can say no, and then tell her later and say you want it kept confidential.
It's your medical record and nothing should be disclosed without your permission.
Do you really think he would be upset? It's none of his business if you don't want it to be. It's your past, not his. You made the right decision for you. Do what you feel is right.
I would tell him, just because he is your DH, he loves you and will want to support you. You will be asked about previous pregnancies at your booking in appointment with a midwife when pregnant, so if you dont tell him you wouldnt want him to come to this. Although, in some areas if the man does come to this appointment he is asked to step outside for 5 minutes in case of things like this. Not all the time though, my DH was present for all of it.
He has no right to be angry about something you did in a past relationship, if he is someone worth having a child with then he will be supportive.
If you think it will clear your conscience then have a chat about it, but if you only want to ’confess’ for fear of someone else telling him, they won’t. Your GP won’t tell anyone anything from your private medical records without your consent. The midwife will ask about previous pregnancies in the booking appt but you don’t have to have your husband present at the appointment.
Thanks so much for your replies.
Maybe it would be best to just say as I would hate for it to just slip out somewhere and he would know then that I did tell the midwife.
Would you be angry though that your partner had not told you something and you have been together for 6 years?
Sunshine, I wouldn't be angry at all. I'd be honoured that they felt safe enough to share a traumatic time with me. But only you know your dh. Does he have antiabortion views? Is be a caring type?
I may be remembering this wrong but at your booking in appt you are given a set of notes to keep with you throughout your pregnancy. I think that details
Of previous pregnancies are documented in this. It might be worth discussing what you want written in these with the midwife before she writes anything down as your partner would more than likely see these notes at some point.
I wish you well with whatever you decide xx
The old saying "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off" might be relevant here.
Of course you should feel like you don't hide anything from your DH, he 'should' accept every part of you. He may be momentarily shocked you felt you couldn't tell him, and that would be understandable. If he reacts in any other way, then he would be a cock. Good litmus test in some ways.
You are who you are. You did what you did for excellent reasons. And so from what you have said, I am sure he will be supportive. Hiding who you are is stressful, everyone needs a place to be completely themselves.
You should have no shame for your situation and treat it in such a way and tell your story.
Thank you all it's very comforting to read your replies as it is something I have been really stressing about.
Because of what happened it has made me such a private person and I really felt that no one supported me so it has made me put my guard up and talking about it is very hard.
I know we have mentioned abortions before and he has been very against them so that is my worry x
Then that is different. He may not react well if he thinks they are wrong, and may not be sympathetic.
How would you cope if he told you you had done something wrong (you really haven't btw!)
If his views are narrow minded I would be inclined to keep it to myself. But then, I couldn't be with someone narrow minded. It's a difficult one.
You have coped amazingly by the way. You should be incredibly proud of yourself for escaping an abusive relationship, going through all that alone, and keeping going and making your life better it's impressive.
I'm not sure if I would tbh. Depends on your partner I suppose and how comfortable you are discussing it with him. Do what is best for you and tell him if you feel it would help you. I don't think you are morally obliged to tell though if you'd rather keep this to yourself.
thank you so much fuckyouchrisandthathorse (I love your name by the way!) x
I actually think you should tell him, because you need to know before you have children with him what kind of man he really is. Will he be supportive and understanding of your past? Will he be able to put aside his personal feelings and understand how hard this must have been for you?
I was asked about previous pregnancies during one of my scans, my DH was right there so I would have had to lie on the spot if I didn't want him to know.
I don't think we need to tell partners everything but I think in this case you should. He may find out years from now and then it will be even worse.
I work in a maternity hospital. The abortion will be on the hospital notes (if you tell the hospital) but you can request that the details arnt on your hand held notes
Iv seen this quite a few times, on the hospital notes it will say 'TOP' and the date, then will say ' confidential information not on hand held notes'
Only tell him ( and anyone else )if it's what you want.
I'm a midwife and honestly, one early straightforward termination several years ago is of no consequence at all.
But, if you have any trouble conceiving then honesty would be the best thing, healthcare wise. Then you risk your DH finding out and maybe, quite naturally being put out that he didn't know.
So it's a tricky call. If someone is forced into an unwanted pregnancy the having a TOP is not the same as pure carelessness. I'm sure he would see that. And if you had gone ahead and remained in that awful relationship you and DH wouldn't even be together.
I wish you well. You sound amazing.
It is something you did, it isn't who you are. You are now the person your DH fell in love with and married.
It is in the past. Telling your DH might help you to truly overcome it and leave it, until you tell him it may always haunt you. It obviously was a horrible agonising decision and not something you did on a whim.
Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
No matter what his views he has no right to judge your decision. You did the right thing for you at the time.
Good luck with TTC too
You had me at the "violent, controlling ... life sentence" part.
I think, given the circs you describe, no rational person could blame you for what you did.
It's your call whether your DH is one such.
Well done on escaping, BTW, and forging a strong life, with clearly not a lot if help from outside. Best of luck.
I had an abortion when I was younger. Dh does not know this. Its not important as in my head it was a different life and I was a different person then. There were over 10 years between the abortion and meeting DH.
Its up to you to tell our DH or not but its not such a bad thing to not tell him. Its part of your past and you have escaped an abusive relationship. (well done for that!!)
Am currently 35+4 with our first child and I still have no regrets.
Sunshine, I am so pleased that you escaped such a violent and abusive relationship, and that you had the strength to save yourself from bringing a child into that violent situation, or allowing him to force you into motherhood against your will.
I am sorry you had no support from your family. No wonder you are wary of sharing things.
Does your DH know about the violence and abuse, or is it just the termination he doesn't know about?
For me, a woman's right to choose is absolute, and in your shoes, I would not want to feel that I needed to withhold information about an abortion because my partner might be anything other than supportive. That doubt , in his ability to support you unconditionally and non judgmentally over a decision you took in the face of violence and emotional abuse is as likely to cause a pervasive lack of trust as you not sharing a secret. How would you feel about a partner who would not support you?
And maybe he would actually put his anti-abortion theory to the test in the face of the horrendous lived experience of the woman he loves. And maybe he would help you re gain some trust in others, having been so badly let down by your family.
I'm not saying rush into telling him, just some things to think about. And ultimately your body and your life are yours to make decisions about and maintain your privacy over.
And relax from your massive panic. You can always say 'no previous pregnancies' and then correct it later when you see the midwife alone some time.
Good luck, Sunshine, whatever you decide. You deserve some luck and joy.
If I remember correctly from my booking in appointment with the midwife they will ask (if your partner is there) if you are OK answering all the questions in front of your partner. My midwife asked my partner to leave the room for a few seconds to ask about any physical or mental abuse in the home, and vice versa.
The booking in process is just lots of questions and arranging a first scan, nothing that your partner really needs to be there for.
Personally I would tell him. You can relax then and enjoy your pregnancy without the fear of something slipping out.
Its going to be with you until you die, even though you know you did the right thing. I know this because my mum had two abortions and was still thinking about them in the days before she died. You need to be able to talk to the people around you, so tell him. If he turns out to be unsupportive, you can escape now rather than hiding something all your life.
Reactions to having had an abortion are entirely individual. Saying it'll be with you until you die is certainly not true for most of the people I know who have made the decision. I would say a tiny minority dwell on their decision in the long term, and those would be mostly made up of people who had been pushed into making a decision they weren't fully sure of.
The op knows she made the right decision. It was not made for the sake of a future husband, it was made for the present situation.
Your history is your own to share with whoever you choose.
Hope you're ok op.
God I've said 'decision' a lot. I stand by that decision
It is your private medical information and you are not obliged to share it with anyone else. He doesn't have a 'right' to know. The thing that concerns me is that you are worried about telling him as he is anti abortion and may get angry. Not wanting to tell him is one thing, but being scared to tell him is quite another. I would be seriously reconsidering trying to conceive with any man who felt I should be denied choice or who thought it any way he had a right to be angry over my decisions about my body.
My past affects who I am now. I didn't tell me DH about it until we'd been together for about 12 years, best friends before that.
It's been such a relief, it explains a lot to him of why I am like I am and my beliefs and morals. We are closer as a result and I'm happier in myself.
Thanks so much for all your messages.
You have made me feel so much better that my DH doesn't know and to be honest I think I will keep it to myself. He does know parts of the relationship but to be honest there are things that happened that I don't think I can actually say out loud.
Although what happened is a life sentence and I will never be able to get the things out of my head I can cope with everything and I have for many years.
Like some of you have said the booking in appointments I can go to alone and I will ask them to make sure it's kept between us.
I think my DH would understand as he is a lovely caring guy but I think I am now a little proud and stubborn and because I have dealt with everything on my own I don't want to think of anyone feeling sorry for me.
Thanks so much xx
Whether you tell your DH or not you must tell the midwife. They need to know everything so they can give you the care you need. I think you should tell your DH as it would hurt him more if he found out via your notes.
Your DH might be against abortions in the case of HIS baby but be very understanding in your case.
FWIW I think you did the right thing and were very brave.
Don't not tell him because you don't want him feeling sorry for you. That is daft. He will be sorry you went through it, not sorry for you as in you are pathetic.
Good luck with your future, Sunshine! And good luck getting pg.
For the benefit of anyone reading this thread and seeing the word 'conscience' used in the context of termination, and that the OP will live with it all her life, I would like to say that I have had more than one termination, in very different circumstances, both involving factors out of my control. I have a very clear memory of what if feels like to be unwillingly pregnant, and knowing that I made the right decision for me at the time I barely give the abortions a second thought. No guilt, no 'living with it' no thoughts of what might have been - just relief and gratitude that I was not made a prisoner of my biology. As the OP says - for a life sentence.
I agree with Itsfab - he may be anti-abortion if he was considering a child of his own, but your termination was years ago and in a very difficult situation which you were incredibly brave for dealing with.
I would probably tell him, based purely on not having to worry about him finding out and the stress it might generate.
Just checked up with relevant medical staff. No one will know about your abortion. It will not show up on a scan or physically. So why make a problem for your DH. He will have to think about it one way or another if you tell him.
Chances are if you had had your exes baby you wouldn't be with your DH now.
Well done for escaping your abusive ex and good luck for the future.
Just to warn you being pregnant and having a new baby can stir up old feelings and memories. You may want to ensure you have access to extra support from the midwife or counsellor.
Good luck sunshine
I can't think of any logical reason to tell him. The truth is over rated. Everyone has secrets. Everyone has a past.
Just get on with your life as it is now and look forward.
i really feel for you in this.Itmust be such a hard thing to bring up especially if he's possibly going to be upset or think badly of you. You do sound worried. I don't want to add to that but I've had confidential information leak out more than once. Life is long and people are leaky! How bad would telling him be? if he truly believes say that abortion is the same as killing a person (rightly or wrongly ) do you feel ok about keeping it from him? its a long way off, but if you keep it from him would you also have to keep it from a future child, maybe even directly lie about it? i would think disclosure at that stage could be devastating just in terms of secrecy . it could make him question whether he ever really knew you ( if its important to him).
Join the discussion
Please login first.