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How did your DHs react post abortion?

(13 Posts)
eskimomama Thu 21-Jun-18 12:14:10

Hi all

I had a medical abortion 2.5 weeks ago. I was at 5 weeks + 6 days. The decision was made very quickly, because we cannot for many reasons have another DC right now.
DD9 has special needs, DH has an auto immune illness, and I'm very underweight. Too many things that convinced me I couldn't have a healthy baby, and wasn't strong enough to look after a newborn.
I am nonetheless heartbroken and I feel guilty, empty, I feel so much grief, and I haven't told anyone. I'm seeing an abortion counselor at the hospital and it's helping me a bit.

But my DH is so indifferent! He was very supportive during it - the most awful weekend of my life - but since then, he has clearly moved on, no regrets whatsoever, he never ever talks about "it", and I'm mad at him because of that.
Is it typical for DHs to react that way?

He says he's "numb", that "we have too much chaos in our lives already" to which I answer an abortion is not "just part of the chaos", like a car accident or money problems, it's a tragedy on its own (my feelings at least).
He seems to think that we made the decision, and that's it. No need to be mulling over it like I do. I do feel some regret, mixed with grief.

It's only been 2 weeks, and he was already like that last week, while I was still bleeding heavily.
I told him about my massive cramps and all the gory details of the big clots, just to make sure he really got the picture. But not really. He always called the embryo a "blastocyst", never anything else, and he never touched my belly while I was still pregnant.

Generally he has a tendency to throw all the serious stuff under the carpet, and has narcissistic tendencies too. But when he says he "must feel neutral in order to function" I just see lack of empathy.


Is this ok? Or am I right to be mad?

LMW1990 Sun 24-Jun-18 17:17:52

@eskimomama I just read your post, almost believing it was myself writing it at first!

I had a termination in April, at 12 weeks, after much heartache and decision making. Whilst I do believe it was the right decision for us, as a family, I'm still pretty heartbroken to have had to have made such a decision and I feel so much guilt. I feel ashamed and everywhere I turn there seems to be something to remind me (friends having babies, on the TV, adverts etc).

My DP is very inward about it. He doesn't talk about it, or want to. He says he feels useless and doesn't know how to help me. I am currently on the waiting list for counselling as I am the kind of person who NEEDS to talk. Bottling it up causes me no end of stress and has been making me ill.

It's extremely hard to hear someone else (especially your DP) talk about things so clinically and you tend to take it personally on behalf of your child. That baby will always be a part of you, regardless of what stage you chose to terminate.

I have come to the conclusion that even though his reaction hurts me, it is his way of dealing with it. Like your DP he was incredible on the day and I was so proud of how he held it all together for me. I guess I just expected him to feel the same as me/ react the same, but what two people do to anything? It is hard, and it is heartbreaking, but it doesn't mean they love us any less.

I'm sorry you are going through this. It does get better. But it takes time. Allow yourself to heal and grieve. You are welcome to PM me if you need to talk x

ProjectMoose Sun 24-Jun-18 21:36:34

Mine has been useless. Its been four months and like both of yours, he was great on the day.

He's been shit since, gets angry when I get upset, one of the best ones was when I was crying and talking about my feelings and he said "you're talking about it as if it was a baby"... I was only 6 weeks pregnant when I terminated but all I could think about in those first few weeks was what it would've been if I hadn't gone through with the procedure.

Your hormones will be all over the place still op, after only two weeks it understandably feels very raw for you. Have you considered counselling?

eskimomama Mon 25-Jun-18 09:51:34

LMW1990 thank you for your kind words. Same here, pregnant women and newborn babies invading my life just when I'm trying my best to think about anything but them. Having to buy newborn gifts (or rather postpone it until I'm ready), receiving newsletters about how to stay healthy during pregnancy... urgh.

Same as you I'm feeling ashamed and ill from all the thinking. I sleep so badly. But I feel I need to process it, I am not the kind of person who (consciously or unconsciously) refuses to process tough events.

DH has "forgotten" ALL the abortion-related appointments I had in the past 2 weeks. I had 2 counseling appts, one checkup scan that revealed retained tissue, which made me feel like crap for the entire day but had no one to talk to, was waiting for DH to ask but again he forgot. And the GP this morning. Seriously, if he can't remember any of them, despite me telling him about them the day before, it's not being forgetful anymore, it's more like forgetting on purpose. What else is taking priority in his head? work? It's really bothering me, and his excuses aren't enough.

Projectmoose Thank you too. I had that comment too. Maybe they are a bit right to not refer to it as a baby, but it's too extreme to see an embryo (especially their own!) as just a group of cells that way...

I saw a counselor who told me I can't change his way of thinking about the abortion, but that I shouldn't be afraid of opening up to him as much as I feel like. She suggested I write a letter to the child that will never be born, and tell DH about it. He didn't find it crazy but didn't feel the need to do the same. At this stage I almost consider that this baby was my own and not his sad

Mythreeknights Mon 02-Jul-18 19:59:19

I am totally with you all! This week would have been our babys 2nd birthday which coincides with the anniversary of my mum's death (she died the week my baby would have been due, ie about 8 months post my abortion).
And yet this week he has mentioned neither the anniversary of mum's death (which he cant have forgotten as her funeral was on his birthday) or the baby we never had. He also referred to it not being a baby as at 6 weeks it was just a "bunch of cells".
Im feeling very angry right now towards him, and knew abortion would drive a wedge between us, and yet i felt I had no choice at the time. I am angry that he pushed me towards it, angry that he never thinks about it, angry that he is surprised when I still get upset about it, angry that for him it meant nothing. And very angry that I dont have a 2 year old bouncing on my knee right now. I have no idea how to process all this but counselling is a good first step. Currently Im just waiting for this shitty couple of weeks to pass and hope I can push it to the back of my mind again. Heres hoping you all can forgive your husbands better than me!

KSJG85 Mon 02-Jul-18 20:19:33


I think our DH are processing what's happened just in a very different way, one that we cannot relate to. Probably much the same as they seemingly cannot relate to us. My DH said the exact same thing about using the term 'a small number of multiplied cells' instead of baby. I could have (and nearly did) punch him. But, a few years on I can see that that is how he needed to view the process in order to cope and 'stay strong'. A turning point for me was when I wrote my DH a letter, with a very similar content to what you have written, ie explaining how I felt and how I interrupted his behaviour. To this day that letter has never been discussed but it did make a huge difference. I think it meant he was able to really think about the information without feeling confronted, on the spot or pushed for a response. Maybe worth a try? X

Majorintrovert Mon 02-Jul-18 20:25:17

Hi OP.
My partner honestly wasn't much help with mine. I'd lost my brother 2 months earlier and I was suicidal myself. I couldn't imagine life without him and I had severe ptsd from it. So he made the decision which was probably the best thing for me. I genuinely wanted to join my brother. So he stayed strong. It killed him he says now as he always wanted children, but we hadn't been together long either.
So I had a surgical at 10+5. August 26th 2015. I woke up and felt my heart rot even more. I sobbed and sobbed and mourned and honestly, he wasn't much support but I guess he hurt as well. He's very blank with his emotions and thinks if I see him upset, it'll make me worse.

We went on to be married and have two children nearly 3 years after. I hope you're okay OP. It isnt a nice thing to go through x

ProjectMoose Tue 03-Jul-18 13:50:44

What have your partners/husbands been like regarding contraception after the abortion?

Mine has been behaving in a confusing manner, telling me he's adamant he doesn't want more children then only using the withdrawal method as a means of contraception.

He didn't pull out a few times and was very nonchalant about it and just said whatever happens was meant to be. Obviously this is my responsibility too but I'm fairly sure that if I get pregnant again I will keep it, regardless of what he thinks. I just find it disappointing that he seems to have such a cavalier attitude to it after everything I've been through these last few months.

LMW1990 Tue 03-Jul-18 14:05:01

@ProjectMoose - Mine has been very adamant that I am taking my pill everyday. Neither of us wants to go through the heartache again and we are still not in a position to have a child. Nothing has changed in a few months, that's not to say it won't ever. He has said that had it happened a year or so in the future he could see himself being happy about it. So that's what I'm aiming for. Personally I would take some more permanent measures contraception wise, for your own peace of mind if nothing else.

eskimomama Thu 12-Jul-18 11:56:26

ProjectMoose I could have written your last post. Exactly the same. He hates condoms, doesn't feel much with them, asks to remove it and withdraws, except that's probably how we got pregnant 2 months ago sad
I don't tolerate the pill and due to hormonal issues in the past years I don't want to try again, I 'm scared of the copper IUD as I already have heavy periods and am anemic after the abortion. But I'll ask for the copper IUD once it can be inserted. I still have remains of the placenta so I must wait until it's completely out for the IUD, and that can take months... which means more of these horrible scans in the same place where happy pregnant women go. Urgh.

But like you if it happens again, I'm keeping it.

eskimomama Thu 12-Jul-18 15:00:06

mythreeknights I totally feel for you as the fetus was conceived on the anniversary of my mother's death. I had no clue obviously but the scan said it must have started on that day. Typically. And typically DH didn't even see it. I stopped mentioning it as he's useless with this anyway.
Guys are rubbish with remembering dates in general, death anniversaries even more so. Maybe it's a good thing to not be attached to due dates/death anniversaries, but at the very least acknowledge the first year...

eskimomama Thu 12-Jul-18 15:09:14

KSJG85 may I ask what you mean about your letter to your DH about "interrupting his behaviour"? I do see my DH needed to react differently to it, but I doubt he has even feelings about it a month later. I desperately wanted to hear his feelings in the first 3 weeks or so and sort of gave up after his multiple blank reactions. But... I don't want this to become a crack between us for the future. It does feel like it at the moment. I constantly need to remind him. "Why am I so tired? because I'm anemic after all the bleeding", etc.

And it struck me how frequently we hear about pregnancies and abortions in the media. I'm less emotional now, but I find it difficult to congratulate pregnant women or new moms. For him it means nothing.

eskimomama Thu 12-Jul-18 15:14:51

majorintrovert so sorry you went through such a difficult time. I'm sure you've heard that going through traumatic events in the first & second trimester can affect the baby's development. Glad it turned out ok with your DH eventually.

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