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I blame my DH for my abortion

(26 Posts)
Mythreeknights Mon 16-Jan-17 12:46:56

Not sure how to get over this one. I am just so filled with regret and resentment that a) if he didn't want any more children, why hadn't he had the snip and b) when I fell pg, he gave me no real choice.

We already had 3 children, youngest was under 2 at the time. The pg was unplanned and my first reaction was to abort. He didn't want it, I wasn't sure if I'd cope with a 4th child, but my heart was mixed and increasingly so as time passed. His mind was firm, we debated and argued, he was unrelenting. I put his feelings first. I wanted to do the best for our family and for our marriage (ironically, to keep it together). I went along and had an abortion which was a bit traumatic in its process, (unforseeable) and have felt utter shame and regret ever since.

If I mention it, he says I have to forgive myself (and him). But I keep picturing a 6 month old as part of our family and I know I'm going to picture this unborn child as part of our family for the rest of my days. He seems completely unaffected by it, and I understand that he didn't go through the process physically, but I feel so alone that the grief and pain is all left to me. It was an impossible decision and I know it would have pushed me to the limits to have gone ahead with a 4th, but as things stand, I wish I had gone ahead with it.

I feel I've let myself down so much - he hardly forced me to have one, he just said he 100% wanted me to have one, so I felt I had no choice. I did post on mn at the time (diff name), but I was in such a panic I didn't really SEE the posts warning me to be sure I was doing it for me not for him.

Is there any way back from this?

At my worst, I'm basically simmering with resentment and am emotional, but then I get a grip and get back to normal, only it's not back to normal as underneath it all there's this massive lump in me that hates him for what happened. I know I need to put the past behind me and move on, accept what happened as 'for the best / the best decision you can make at the time', but I can't.

Any advice from other MNetters who've been through the same? Can a relationship heal again when scars cut so deep? The wider issue is that now I feel in everything that he puts himself first (he goes away at weekends a lot, he's home late from work as long commute, he like entertaining, but it's me that makes the beds and cooks the food...) I just feel like I'm turning into this bitter angry unhappy person and he doesn't even seem to notice, or if he has, he hasn't asked why.

KnittingPearl Mon 16-Jan-17 14:16:37

I haven't been through anything similar, so may not be the right person to advise, but I didn't want to read and run.

My first feeling is that there are two main parts to the issues you are facing as a couple - the abortion, and how you handle your feelings both about it and your husband, but also the fact that he is not pulling his weight at home.

Does he recognise that you felt very pressured to have an abortion that you weren't certain about, or is it more of a "Well, I gave my opinion, I didn't force her" while being utterly unable to step up and be supportive, and recognise that he had a hand in the pregnancy too?

I don't know what your situation is moneywise, but counselling, either on the NHS or privately would almost certainly help you, if not your relationship. There may also be some PTSD mixed in with all your other emotions, given the trauma involved in the process that you allude to.

On the other matter - are you a SAHM, or do you also work? Does he view all housework/dealing with the children/admin etc to be your job? When he goes away for the weekend - do you ever get weekends away?

If you think he is generally a good person, perhaps it might help to write down all the points you feel angry or sad or guilty about, both to do with the pregnancy and abortion but also the wider state of your marriage (I say write down so you have them clearly there in the event you get upset) and have a discussion with him?

I don't want to write off your relationship, but I think without a serious amount of work it is very much in trouble. There can be a way back, but it will involve willingness on both sides and a lot of honest and painful talking, with no guarantee that it will work at the end.

Please let me know if you think this is all wholly unhelpful and I will ask MNHQ to delete it.

Finally, be kind to yourself. If you are feeling angry, don't feel guilty about being angry, and the same with bitterness. flowers

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 16-Jan-17 14:21:35

I think the advice you've just been given is spot on. I really don't have anything to add, except to emphasise 'Be kind and gentle to yourself'.

On another note, has he had the snip now? If not, I have to admit, sex would be off the menu until that was taken care of, after what you've been through. Petty perhaps, but he needs to show he's willing to work on things, and act to make sure he never puts you through similar again - actions speak louder than words.

Mythreeknights Mon 16-Jan-17 14:43:05

He did have the snip after the abortion, but until that point he procrastinated, he didn't prioritise it. We were both totally on the same page about having just 3 kids, but once I was pg again, I felt conflicted.

I work pt (4 days/week) and do all the after school clubs and weekend kids activities, house keeping, food shops etc. He works very hard, long hours, often away mid week and is ambitious.

I think the fact he has been away so much and is taking me for granted is the trigger for all the post abortion grief and resentment. Coupled with the death of a family member just before Christmas and an overbearing MIL over Xmas - it's not been an easy time.

He has his 'activities', he tells me I need to find some of my own, but given he's away so much, I'm not clear how I'm supposed to factor anything in for me. Getting my hair cut alone seems to require 6 months planning.

Bluntness100 Mon 16-Jan-17 14:49:12

Are you sure you are not romanticising having another baby and focusing on that ? I've not been through this either, but if your life is as hectic as it sounds, as awful as this may be, maybe you did make the right decision? Having a baby is very hard work, especially if it's a fourth and if neither of you were a hundred percent commited to having another child it would have made it tougher.

Maybe your resentment and unhappiness is due to a build up of many things, and you're focusing on this. Probably you need to sit down and talk about how you both spend your time and try to make it easier.

KnittingPearl Mon 16-Jan-17 14:53:30

It all sounds like it is one thing on top of another, and you aren't getting time to catch your breath between waves of shitness.

On him saying you need to find your own "activities" and it being difficult - it's almost amusing if it wasn't so not funny, how he isn't thinking about what he can do to enable you to have some "me" time.

How about you have one or two evenings a week/one weekend a month where even if he isn't the one in charge of the children, he is in charge of organising childcare, so it doesn't take six months to organise a hair cut (I think it should be far more than this, but I don't know the ins and outs of your marriage)? And then as well as you getting some time to yourself, he will also hopefully recognise your contribution a bit more?

BrieAndChilli Mon 16-Jan-17 15:02:51

I fell pregnant a 4th time when my 3rd child had just turned 1.
We talked about it, discussed the pros and cons and ultimately decided to terminate as we felt that it was what was best for our family and the children we already had.
The difference being that the whole way through DH made it clear that it was my decision and although he felt an abortion was the best thing he knew it was ultimately up to me (whereas I felt it was a joint decision. Just because I was carrying it doesn't make it any less a part of DH or any of a less impact on his life. )
The abortion was horrible and DH will never know what that was like but I don't blame him. I do still occasionly wonder what it would have been like if we had kept it and it makes me feel sad but I still believe it was the best decision.
You need to first reconcile your feelings about the abortion with your decision to have the abortion.

Mythreeknights Mon 16-Jan-17 15:05:23

Bluntness thank you - I needed to hear that. You are right, the reality is that life would be very difficult with 4 unless our circumstances had changed significantly. I need to take responsibility for my part in the decision making process and accept it.

knitting, he's not all bad - he always encourages me to do things and get away, but my friends are mostly in London and the SE and I am not (I am a flight away). I have 1 weekend a year or so just with friends (god that sounds PATHETIC!!!). Basically I'm bitter about a whole load of things and I need to take action and sort it out.

Adora10 Mon 16-Jan-17 15:41:29

He doesn't exactly sound supportive though OP, can see why you feel resentful, it was far more traumatic for you than him, he should recognise that!

And why six months to plan a haircut OP, where is he?

I think you maybe need to decide if he's actually someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Huskylover1 Mon 16-Jan-17 15:52:55

But it was a joint decision. I don't think you can say he forced you (unless I'm missing something?). You wanted to terminate, he agreed. You then weren't sure....all the while the pregnancy is getting farther along, so you are pressed to make a quick decision. Even had you not aborted, you may have miscarried....or there could have been a birth default.....even had you gone ahead and had a healthy baby, you acknowledge that it would have placed an awful strain on you and your marriage. You don't seem to be coping with day to day life as it is (not meant horribly), so I think bringing another baby in to the mix wouldn't have been fair on your existing children. It's done now, and I think you need to put it behind you and focus on the 3 wonderful children that you have. Many women who want children, never have one, let alone 3. Focus on the positives. flowers

OurBlanche Mon 16-Jan-17 16:50:32

And yes, you do need to just get on with making some arrangements to do something just for you.

He can't do that for you... you can, if you choose to, make any arrangement you like to go out, start a hobby, a class. You just have to make the decision.

So, stop maundering in 'might have been, identify your opportunities and act!

You will feel far less resentful, no matter how tricky it is to organise.

UnDeuxCrois Mon 16-Jan-17 17:16:43

Hi mythreeknights, I remember you from an antenatal thread I was on under a different name and I'm sorry to hear things are difficult at the moment.

I had two abortions when I was with an ex and if I had been left the choice I proobaby wouldn't have had a termination either time. I am in a different position from you in that in retrospect I think it was really good that I didn't continue with the pregnancies but even so I do think about how life would have been different from time to time. I think that is quite normal, so perhaps that combined with the extra pressure is making it worse. I know that I think more about the abortions when I am unhappy with my DH.

If you do keep feeling this way, would you consider talking to someone about it? It was largely poor communication and feelings about the abortions that led me to split from my ex so I wouldnt recommend letting it stew.

Mythreeknights Mon 23-Jan-17 14:41:07

Hi undeux good advice. I had a long chat with DH and he had no idea I was still grieving so much. He apologised for not supporting me better in the aftermath, or on key dates, tbh, he has moved on so much that he can't remember them! To him it was genuinely a 'simple' solution to a problem. He is happy we did it. I believe it was the right thing for him, for us and for our existing children, but just not right for me. A sacrifice for me. We discussed our other issues - him being away at weekends and the inbalance in our relationship. He was mortified and wants to sort things out. You are right, communication is key. I feel so much better for having talked to him. I don't know if he will change - actions speak louder than words - but I'm going to be better at finding time for me, so I don't resent him so much. I couldn't imagine not being with him, I do want to work it out. He even suggested going to couples therapy - which I do think would be a good idea and is something I need to look into.

Seeingadistance Mon 23-Jan-17 16:55:49

I don't know where you are, but Pregnancy Crisis use a room in the centre where I work to provide free, confidential counselling for women who've had abortions. I've looked them up on-line and they are part of a network called CareConfidential. www.self-help.org.uk/search/?entryid54=92159&char=C

If you do want to go for counselling, on your own or as a couple, they would definitely be worth considering. I sometimes see the woman who does the counselling, and from our conversations they seem very supportive and totally non-judgemental. You can go to them for as many sessions as you feel you need, and in our area anyway they are available round the clock - for phone or in person counselling. It might be better to have counselling with someone who is experienced in this area, rather than a more general counsellor.

Whatever you decide, I'm glad you've spoken to your husband now and that you are feeling better about things, and more positive looking forward.

Seeingadistance Mon 23-Jan-17 16:58:31

Meant to say, if you click on the link in my last post, you can find a centre in your local area - assuming you're in the UK.

KnittingPearl Mon 23-Jan-17 17:38:33

I'm so glad you've had a constructive talk with your husband. I know that it won't be a magic instant solution, but it is such a very important start to finding a way to fix all these issues. All the very best wishes.

Lucy7400 Wed 25-Jan-17 10:01:38

Ignore the link 'kindly' added by seeinginadistance they are pro-lifers. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/CareConfidential hmm

Seeingadistance Wed 25-Jan-17 10:54:08

Thanks for that link, Lucy. I did have a look at their website in case they were pro-life and didn't see anything there to suggest that they were. The women who run my local group are most emphatically not, but it is a network, and according to the link you provided there is an issue at some centre, and with some counsellors. The organisation as a whole is not pro-life.

In any case, the OP has already had an abortion, and it seems that the report referred to in the wikipedia article related to advice given to women who are pregnant and considering a termination. As far as I can make out from my conversations with the women who provide the counselling many or most of the women they see have already had an abortion, sometimes many years before.

It's up to the OP to decide whether she wants to approach this group for counselling, and as you've pointed out, she might want to have a chat with any counselling service in the first instance to find out what their own stance is on abortion.

Lucy7400 Wed 25-Jan-17 11:44:29

Nonsense. Care confidential was founded by a pro life group and many of their 'counselling' services are in church buildings. You only need to refer to some of the stories added by some of their servies to see they hold a biased stance. You seem to know an awful lot given you supposedly just happen to know this counsellor. hmm I have reported your post so hopefully mumsnet will see the sense in removing a post abortion counsellibg session supported by a pro life group.

Lucy7400 Wed 25-Jan-17 11:56:18

incase your still not clear

Seeingadistance Wed 25-Jan-17 18:43:02

Lucy, you seem to be implying that I'm lying about my knowledge of this group. I am not. I see the woman who does the counselling on a regular basis and we have had a number of conversations. I deliberately had a look to see if they seemed to be pro-life, because I would not have recommended that the OP seek help from such a group. Admittedly, I didn't check on the services they provide to women who are pregnant and considering an abortion. I only looked at the services they provide post abortion, and I thought I was quite clear that my knowledge is based on one of a number of groups. Nothing I have heard about that particular group suggests that they are pro-life. Rather, they are very much pro-woman and pro-choice.

It is up to the OP to decide what kind of counselling she chooses to have, if any, and I thought this would be one option she might wish to explore.

Coffeegrain Wed 25-Jan-17 18:50:51

Men just don't understand. My ex referred to the lost pregnancy as a 'bunch of cells'..
we've split and he was with ow within months. I then received a message from her saying as a women who has never wanted children she fAils to understand what the problem was with a failed pregnancy a year ago. I think unless you've been there it's impossible to understand.
Your husband seems to be reacting in the correct way.. I hope you can work it through

Lucy7400 Wed 25-Jan-17 20:02:12

The two links make the link clear that many of the counsellors run by this group are pro life yet you still argue the point. Yes, I think you are lying.

Lucy7400 Wed 25-Jan-17 20:26:59

You're a minister in a church outreach centre.

I rest my case.

Seeingadistance Wed 25-Jan-17 21:07:15

I was offering a supportive option to the OP, based on my, admittedly limited, knowledge of the group who use a room in the centre I work in. They have a let like many other groups, such as a dance school, yoga classes, a group for people who have a history of drug addiction, a group which provides activities for people with a range of disabilities, a knitting group for women with mental health issues and a musical group for people with dementia.

As I have said from the start, I offered this as one option for the OP to explore. From what I know of the group in our building I have no reason to believe that they promote a pro-life stance or are in any way judgmental of the woman who go to them for support and counselling. I've already said that I would not have recommended this group if I thought they were pro-life or would be anything less than helpful for the OP.

Actually, the only judgmental attitude I see here is coming from you.

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