Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Wasn’t There When I Had an Abortion”

I am 20-years-old and got pregnant in August by my boyfriend of nine years. We started dating in middle school, and I have supported him through everything. The pregnancy was unplanned and my family life at home is very unhealthy, but my boyfriend wanted to keep the baby. I disagreed. I know in my heart that I couldn’t have given this baby the life right now that he or she deserved. I wasn’t ready and feel very stupid for getting myself in this position. In the end, my boyfriend was going to leave me if I had the abortion. He’s been my best friend since I was 11 and I didn’t want to lose him, so I lied and said the pregnancy test was a false positive and had the abortion.

Shortly after the procedure, I began to harbor some bad feelings towards him. I needed him to be there with me and he wasn’t. I had to take myself home on the public bus after my abortion. I was alone, scared, surrounded by kids, and very drugged. I needed him! He was the only one that knew about the pregnancy and was going to leave me if I terminated it. I broke up with him shortly after, partially due the lack of support and also because he was too busy to spend time with me. He is one of those men who is too busy and always has an excuse.

I am hurt, confused, and alone. I don’t regret my decision to abort but I need some support. I need some help. I need something. I can’t talk to anyone in my family about the procedure. It’s been less than two months and my ex-boyfriend of nine years has already replaced me. He’s posting cute pictures of himself with new his girlfriend on Facebook and introducing her to his family. He treats this woman that he just met 100 times better than he ever treated me. I feel like I got the short end of the stick. I’m alone and very depressed. What can I do to heal from this? My heart is broken and my life is in ruins. Please help me! — Relationship Terminated

Let’s deal with the first part of your issue: you need support. It’s wonderful that you’re able to articulate that need and to ask for it, even if the person you’re asking is an advice columnist. What you really need is support from someone who can look you in the eyes while listening to you. A little hand-holding and a hug or two wouldn’t hurt either. Obviously, your ex-boyfriend is not the person to give you the support you need. If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone in your family, do you have a close friend or two you can trust and count on? You can also call the clinic where you had the abortion and ask if they can recommend a post-procedure counselor you can speak to. If you happen to be in college, make an appointment with your campus mental health and wellness office. If none of these resources is available to you, check out the website Hope After Abortion for additional resources that can help you heal and move on.

As for that ex-boyfriend of yours, as much as it hurts you to think he’s replaced you so quickly, understand that he’s most likely hurting, too. You two were best friends since childhood and suddenly you broke up with him. You had a good reason — you didn’t feel supported by him — but he didn’t know the whole story. He didn’t know you had an abortion. You lied to him about that. You were as guilty as he was, really, in the breakdown of your relationship. Honest, open communication is the number one thing in a relationship, and you didn’t have that. Instead of telling him the truth and dealing with the repercussions, you lied, and chances are, he sensed you lying. Chances are, he’s hurting a great deal from losing you and he’s confused about why things ended. Don’t mistake cutesy photos on Facebook with happiness. For all you know, he’s using his new girlfriend to mask his pain.

And if he’s not? Then you dodged a bullet, my dear. Anyone who can move on from a nine-year friendship/relationship that spanned such a formative period in a blink of an eye doesn’t have the kind of emotional maturity and depth required to maintain a fulfilling, adult relationship. And if you, a person he was close to for so long, couldn’t count on him when you needed him most, what makes you think anyone can? You say he’s treating his new girlfriend “100 times better” than he ever treated you, which leads me to believe he treated you like crap, because you can’t truly know how he treats someone else — especially if you’re going by rumors or photos on Facebook — but you 100% know how he treated you. And if he treated you poorly all those years, then good riddance! It’s time you broke free of that and made yourself available for someone who can treat you the way you want to be treated.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

137 comments… add one
  • avatar

    cporoski November 22, 2011, 7:32 am

    Right on Wendy. LW, first, I have never known anyone that came out of an abortion unscathed. Go to someone because this is alot to deal with.

    Also, anyone can make thier life look great on facebook. My friends and I have the joke about the post breakup who is happier game. Right after a breakup, people post how awesome they are and how happy and how much they are doing. Wendy is right on that he is hurting too. Good luck.

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  • avatar

    Lydia November 22, 2011, 7:34 am

    Honestly, your ex-boyfriend sounds like an ass and I say good riddance. He was going to leave you if you had the abortion? That sort of manipulation is just NOT ON.

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    • avatar

      cporoski November 22, 2011, 9:20 am

      Do you think it is manipulation or honesty? Let me start by saying I am pro choice. However, I think it would be very hard to be in a relationship knowing that you both could have been parents together and aren’t. That is a very heavy burden on a relationship and he made it clear that it was a deal breaker for him.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:25 am

        I agree. While I am also pro-choice, I would never impose my choice on anyone else. And I also think that men are often ignored and feel left out in these situations.

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        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 9:59 am

        You bring up two really good points, Flake. First, about men feeling left out in such a decision. I think it applies in both situations (keep/abort) too.
        Second, you often hear pro-choice advocates saying that pro-lifers are imposing their choice/beliefs on others, just by saying what they believe and I found it really interesting here that it seems reversed, as you point out.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:12 am

        Unfortunately, in this case, there’s no outcome that would make both of them happy. But I do know that men can have pretty strong opinions about this, and they have a right to have them as much as women.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:13 am

        You’re right. This is a big dealbreaker for almost everyone. No outcome would’ve been ok for both.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 22, 2011, 10:23 am

        Pro-life advocates aren’t imposing their beliefs simply by voicing their opinions. It’s when they actively try to make abortion illegal for everyone, thus taking away the choice, that imposes their beliefs on others.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:27 am

        Couldn’t you say the same for pro-choicers actively trying to keep abortion legal, thus imposing their beliefs on others?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray November 22, 2011, 10:31 am

        I don’t think you could. Making abortion legal does not make pro-lifers have abortions. Making it illegal does prevent pro-choicers from choosing abortion.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:33 am

        Sorry, have to disagree with you on that one. The equivalent of making abortion illegal would be forcing women to have it. Having a choice is just that, a choice. Noone should be forced to keep or abort a baby.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:37 am

        You’re both right(ish). But, no one is forcing the woman to keep the baby either. There’s always another option-adoption.
        I’m hoping to not get into a lengthy debate about all the issues that come with this though. I think most on here know my stance on it. But I think it’s fair to also say the mother is forced to raise the child they can’t abort if it were illegal.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:43 am

        Also, many prolifers would argue that its forced upon the baby to be killed because abortion is legal. Agree or disagree with the term “baby,” its still viewed as forced, just like you could say its forced upon the mother to deliver the baby if it were illegal to abort.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:41 am

        Also, pro-lifers could argue that it is being forced upon the baby to be killed because abortion is legal. Agree or disagree with the use of the term “baby,” its still viewed just as much of a forced thing as you can say its forced upon the mother to not abort if it were illegal.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:44 am

        Oops, didn’t show up the first time I made the comment.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:46 am

        This is not mine, but it describes my personal opinion very well:

        “You cannot have two entities in one body with equal rights. One must trump the other. I believe those of the living, breathing, already-here woman are more important than those of a zygote, embryo, or fetus.”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:51 am

        Right, but this is what YOU believe. I’m pointing out that others may not agree (and obviously prolifers don’t). So in being fair to both opinions, I can see why someone would believe this, but also why someone would believe that the “baby” has its own rights.

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    • avatar

      bethany November 22, 2011, 9:32 am

      I don’t think we’re really at liberty to judge him and his choices. I’m pro-choice all the way, but if he views abortion as murder, how could he be expected to stay in a relationship with someone he thinks killed his child? At least he was honest about his feelings in the situation.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 9:52 am

      Yes, what an ass. How dare he have a differing opinion and honestly voice it. He should’ve been just like his now ex and lied to her about a MAJOR life-changing event.
      FYI, not all people are pro choice. That’s not manipulation.

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      • avatar

        maddie November 22, 2011, 1:04 pm

        it takes two people to make a baby. he’s entitled to his opinion, but he should have supported HER even if he couldn’t support her choice. she could have been honest with him, but i can understand how she already felt neglected when he told her he would break up with her if she had the abortion. he’s just as responsible for the unplanned pregnancy as she is. he should have been there for her.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 2:19 pm

        My problem with is that we don’t know how she delivered the news either. If she came to him and said, “hey there, I am pregnant, you are the father, and by the way, I already booked an appointment for an abortion”, he has every right to feel angry. That is an very important decision for both of them, and while I believe that the choice is ultimately hers, she at least could have heard him out and gave him sometime to process the information before making the final decision.
        They are both responsible for it, but judging from just this letter, I cannot label the guy as an irresponsible jerk, who didn’t support her in her time of need.

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      • avatar

        GTR November 22, 2011, 8:56 pm

        I’m actually wondering how on earth it can be legal for a woman to abort a fetus against the expressed wishes of the father. Maybe I’m being naive, but doesn’t the fetus “belong” to both of them? That’s certainly the basis of the laws requiring men to pay child support once the fetus becomes a baby.

        But then again, most abortion law is fairly opportunistic and “functional” rather than “logically consistent”.

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      • avatar

        Lydia November 23, 2011, 4:32 am

        For the same reason that a man can’t abort the fetus against the expressed wishes of the mother; it’s her body, and nobody can force her to undergo a procedure she does not want (whether an abortion or pregnancy).

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      • avatar

        CottonTheCuteDog November 23, 2011, 10:30 am

        Really? How would you feel if your boyfriend (just imagine here for a second) came to you and said he was pregnant? You really want this baby but he doesn’t. He wants to kill it. You scream, “no, if you kill my baby, this relationship is over.” How can you support someone who wants to kill your baby? Honestly, it doesn’t work like that.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph November 22, 2011, 1:13 pm

        I think the manipulation is entirely in the delivery, which we are not in a position to judge. You can still be supportive of her and acknowledge that she would have to carry the pregnancy if she kept it and ultimately has to make the decision while also voicing your opinion that its not what you want for your child or your significant other, or you can make her feel like a murdering piece of crap who is going to straight to hell.

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    • katie

      katie November 22, 2011, 8:14 pm

      i think you have a point- to voice his opinion, that is ok. to have an opinion, that is ok… but to threaten to leave someone for it? i think that is where it becomes not right. they should have worked together towards a solution. those kinds of situations you cant just have a blanket black and white kind of way of looking at it… especially when there are two people with two opinions involved.

      i mean honestly, him saying that is probably why she had to hide it and lied. after he said that she felt that the discussion was over on his part- so she lied and hid it and now they arent together because of her lying. if they could have been adults about the situation and worked out something else- a compromise of some sort -this whole mess probably wouldnt have happened…. wow thats sad now that i think about it.

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    • katie

      katie November 22, 2011, 9:17 pm

      ok, i have a thought.

      so basically the two sides of the arguement is that she has a right to her body and to make choices about her body, which is true, and then that the man has a right to have a say in the life/death of his unborn child, which i personally think is right as well.

      but im sure we could both agree on this:

      they both have the right to have a partner that could communicate openly and honestly and compromise about such a serious thing. reach a desicion together. just talk about it at the very least. they both had a right to be supported, to to get through this thing together -that they got into together as well. they both stripped that right away from the other- him by giving her such a harsh ultimatium, and her by lying about what actually went down.

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  • JK

    JK November 22, 2011, 7:43 am

    LW, I completely agree with Wendy on all points.You definitely need help, find it, however you possibly can.
    Also, if you´re convinced you´re not prepared to have a baby, double (or triple) up on birth control.
    I remember in a previous post that several commenters had said that before having sex with their partners they talk about possible consequences and what they would do in those cases. I think this is a great idea, even though I guess people´s minds can change in the heat of the moment. But still, I would recommend you have this talk with future BFs, who hopefully will treat you 100x better than this one did (the way you put that was quite telling).
    I know how hard breakups are, I can imagine how much harder it is when you´ve been with the same person for so long, and through so many life changes, but remember that hardly anyone ends up with the 1st person they were with.

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    • avatar

      maddie November 22, 2011, 1:17 pm

      i agree completely that talking about unplanned pregnancy should be a conversation at the beginning of every relationship. i have a lot of compassion for the lw though because they started dating in middle school and it’s not a conversation most middle schoolers have. i imagine they fell in love and grew up together and their different opinion on abortion might have never came up, or something that they hoped would never be an issue, or maybe even the lw changed her mind when she found herself in that circumstance.

      but good communication is key and realizing that either partner might change their mind when “what if” becomes a reality. i feel like any man who is against abortion refrain from having sex with a woman who would consider it. while i understand that it could be equally emotionally damaging for the man involved, ultimately it is the woman’s body and woman’s choice. he could have made the choice not to risk pregnancy with her. (though i am not faulting the lw’s boyfriend, though i do think he’s a schmuck for not supporting HER even if he could not support her choice)

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 8:19 am

    Bring on the critics and the “man bashing” criticisms…but I also think that your boyfriend sounds like someone you should be glad is out of your life. He was entitled to his opinion about whether or not you should have an abortion – that’s his right as the father of your child. But ultimately, you should have been able to express to him, without feeling unsupported, that this wasn’t the right time for you to become parents. And he shouldn’t have threatened you with him leaving – that reeks of immaturity and an inability to grasp the severity of the situation…which leads me to believe he likely didn’t grasp all that a pregnancy and child would entail for him.

    That, plus him always being too busy and always having an excuse, means you did the right thing. Your values and decisions on serious matters should align when you’re with the right person. And the right person shouldn’t be too busy for you or have an excuse at every turn. I know you’re hurting right now, and I know you need support, but try to see this situation as having done one good thing for you – it showed you that your boyfriend wasn’t right for you, and allowed you not to spend any more of your time in a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. That’s a good thing.

    As for support – Try to talk to a friend or counselor. Search for some online forums where you can unload your troubles to complete strangers…they’re cathartic and more supportive than you’d imagine…and I’m guessing that there are plenty out there for women who are trying to deal with the multitude of feelings and difficulties that arise from an abortion. I can’t say enough – You did the right thing. You knew you weren’t ready to become a parent, so you made a very difficult decision that was in your best interest. You knew your boyfriend wasn’t going to be the kind of partner you needed, so you ended the relationship. You made some VERY hard decisions in your best interest, which goes to show that you’re pretty mature and strong. Remember that!

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    • avatar

      Guy Friday November 22, 2011, 9:55 am

      “But ultimately, you should have been able to express to him, without feeling unsupported, that this wasn’t the right time for you to become parents. And he shouldn’t have threatened you with him leaving – that reeks of immaturity and an inability to grasp the severity of the situation…which leads me to believe he likely didn’t grasp all that a pregnancy and child would entail for him.”

      I’m going to respectfully quibble with your perspective on this point only because this letter is just SCREAMING with pain by the LW, and I would wonder how much of what the LW is describing from her now-ex is his actual perspective and how much of it is what she is hearing when he’s saying these things. That isn’t to say that I think she’s lying or stretching the facts; I don’t doubt that she truly heard what he was saying in the manner she has described. And if the guy said, “If you have an abortion, we’re done” . . . well, he has every right to walk away from a relationship over something as big as that, but I’d still think he was a douche for phrasing it like that. But this is a huge deal to her, of course, and it’s clear she was very upset about it at the time, and I think it’s also possible that anything short of a 100% “Go for it!” from him was going to be perceived poorly and as a ultimatum on their relationship, when in reality it was just his trying to process the bomb dropped on him.

      I can imagine a situation — and I don’t think it’s a stretch, given the ages of the people described in the letter — where the news of the pregnancy wasn’t actually discussed, but announced by the LW along with the immediate statement “I’m getting an abortion.” Which isn’t to say that it’s indefensible for the LW to have done that, if she did. But if it were me, and it was dropped on me like that, I might be upset and defensive and resist the idea as well. I might feel like I was being ordered on this, and while rationally I recognize it’s the woman’s body and her burden and the health risks and etc., my heart would be absolutely destroyed. It’s a funny stereotype that men want to get out of the responsibility of having kids when we’re young, but for a lot of us, no matter what age we are, the idea that we were part of making a little version of us? One that’s also part the woman we are head over heels in love with? We’d want to shout it from the roof tops! We’d want to brag about it to every person we meet! And then, just as quickly, to have that taken away by the woman we love, without even being given time to process it . . . I’m not even sure it’s possible to put into words how that would feel, and I don’t know that any guy would be able to say the right thing at that moment. But of all the guys I know who feel that way, NONE of them would ever hesitate to be there for the woman when she was having the procedure. We may end the relationship, we may move on with our lives, but we’d NEVER make her take the bus home alone from that. And I do think it’s a little unfair, as some of the other posters have pointed out, to hold that against him, because she never gave him the opportunity to be there for her when she needed him.

      LW, I think your sole focus needs to be on growing stronger, finding support in the community (I haven’t searched, but I have to imagine there are support groups for young women who have had abortions and need someone to talk to) or from professional sources, and getting back to the person you were before you had to deal with this difficult portion of your life. I have faith that you can. I might suggest down the road when you feel stronger, if you feel it might help you, to talk to your ex about all this, because he may very well surprise you and apologize for making you feel like you couldn’t trust him to support you no matter what choice you made. I say this not because I’m a fan of happy endings (though I am 🙂 ), but because I can’t help but sense in your letter a little bit of frustration and regret that this ended up costing you this relationship. And maybe I’m crazy, and maybe it would amount to nothing even if you did talk, but maybe it’ll help bring you that last little piece of closure to this.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:07 am

        Yep.. Because to this day I remember the excitement turn to pain in my ex-BF’s voice when I told him that I made up my mind to have an abortion pretty much in the same sentence as “I’m pregnant”. I couldn’t understand how could he be happy, how could we have such a different reaction to the same event. The funny thing is, we had discussed before what would we do in that case, but the decision was “we’ll deal with it if we have to”.

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        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:12 am

        That’s so sad! Maybe a lesson in there somewhere that a couple be on the same page with what they would do.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:17 am

        Yeah… I haven’t really though about this again until I had a kid. When I see my guy playing with this son, as corny as it sounds, it is one of the coolest things in the world.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:11 am

        Very fair reply to RR.
        RR, you know I love your comments almost always. But this one, totally disagree.

        “He was entitled to his opinion about whether or not you should have an abortion – that’s his right as the father of your child. But ultimately, you should have been able to express to him, without feeling unsupported, that this wasn’t the right time for you to become parents. And he shouldn’t have threatened you with him leaving – that reeks of immaturity and an inability to grasp the severity of the situation…”

        First, I think this IS one of the very few situations that do call for an ultimatum of sorts. This is a deal breaker, for both parties. People generally have strong beliefs on either side of this issue and you can’t fault someone for that.

        How would you feel if it were the other way around? If she wanted to keep the baby and he was forcing her to have an abortion? I can only imagine how the comments would be if that were the case. This young lady, while I have a lot of sympathy for how she is now feeling, lied and went behind his back and aborted THEIR child. He was given zero say in the matter and now she’s saying she needs support from him? When he didn’t even know she had the abortion?

        What should have been expected from this guy? That even though he had a strong opposition to this issue, he should’ve just shut up and let her do whatever she wanted? Try to reverse the roles here and I think you would see how unfair this is. The whole situation though, is unfortunately unfair. We have 2 people who disagree on a very big, life-changing issue. No matter what, there was no way to work it out. Would it have been nice for him to support her through it, extremely. Was he given a chance to? No.

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      • JK

        JK November 22, 2011, 10:49 am

        Love your response.

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      • avatar

        atraditionalist November 22, 2011, 12:38 pm

        ultimately LW, this situation was created by you. You need to not blame your boyfriend for moving on after you dumped him for being unsupportive for something he never knew was happening!

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung November 22, 2011, 1:18 pm

        Wow, what insightful, helpful advice.

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      • avatar

        atraditionalist November 22, 2011, 6:16 pm

        no need to attack me for not giving advice – this is a comments section-meaning I can “comment” on the letter/advice/other commenters-wasn’t meant to be advice but rather a follow up comment to someone else’s

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      • avatar

        maddie November 22, 2011, 1:25 pm

        “How would you feel if it were the other way around?”

        But it’s HER body and it’s HER decision. Either way, saying it’s a dealbreaker for him when they’re in the middle of an unplanned pregnancy is emotional manipulation and FORCING her to do something with her body that she is opposed to. I agree with you COMPLETELY that a “what if” scenario should be discussed before a relationship becomes sexual, but these kids were in middle school when they met. And people can change their minds when the “what ifs” become a reality!

        He can be upset, he should be upset if she didn’t tell him the complete truth!, but at the same time she felt unsupported from the get-go when he said it was a dealbreaker.

        If you are a man and you are vehemently opposed to abortion, try not ejaculating inside a woman! He’s just as responsible as she is.

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      • avatar

        Calliopedork November 22, 2011, 3:51 pm

        Agree, maybe its sexist but I firmly agree that when a woman is pregnant her opinion is most important. I also think the boyfriend was an ass for threatening her and trying to manipulate.her into keeping a baby.they weren’t ready for. They had been friends for 9 years so even if remaining with her wasnt something he could do, he still should have been supportive of her.

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      • avatar

        SimonTheGrey November 22, 2011, 10:51 pm

        Her body and her decision — Except if she had wanted the baby, and he didn’t, he could still be held responsible for child support if she went through with the pregnancy. While I do think the ultimate decision DOES sit with her, there’s also the reality that our society is NOT “fair” about these issues.

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        maddie November 23, 2011, 12:04 am

        i agree to a point. at the same time though, a man who knowingly engages in unsafe sex knows he’s running the risk of either reluctantly becoming a parent or reluctantly having his partner terminate the pregnancy. either way he it affected and he should be able to voice his concern, but again, it’s her body that will be bear the child. if he didn’t want to get in that situation he should have wrapped it up. my comment might be different if we were talking about a couple in a stable relationship or marriage with the means to support a child who agreed to have a child and the woman changing her mind, but even still, none of my business and I still believe the choice comes down to the woman. though i still agree with your point in a way.

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      • katie

        katie November 22, 2011, 8:24 pm

        i definitely agree with you on the ultimatum part of this situation- understand WHY someone would leave another person for wanting/getting an abortion. but i do think that by him giving such a definitive answer -with no room for discussion- as “if you get an abortion i will leave you”, that is where his fault lies, in my opinion, because he effectively completely cut off communication about the issue anymore. it then became a my way or the highway kind of thing, which you just cannot have in these kinds of huge emotional situations. she was basically screwed from that point, because if she kept the baby, that is something she was not prepared to do/ did not want to do, and if she did and lied about it, well, we have the letter here to read….

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      • katie

        katie November 22, 2011, 8:24 pm

        giving her such a definitive answer… sorry.

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:27 am

        And I just thought of something else. This may even have nothing to do with the abortion per se. I wonder if she ever thought that he wanted this baby because it was THEIR baby. I don’t know how to explain it. But a person, let’s say a guy, can be very pro-choice as long as it is not HIS baby with the woman he loves. He may have taken this as a sign that the LW doesn’t love him and doesn’t want a future with him. Which only reinforces my opinion that it may be worth it to talk to him, in as casual setting as possible, so they can both have closure to this issue and move on.

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        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:30 am

        Hmm, I’m loving your thoughts today. I too think that would be a very healthy, good idea for both assuming they are both willing. There has to be a lot of love there still. They are like family already. A little closure can’t hurt (hopefully).

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      • avatar

        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:34 am

        Thanks 🙂 Just trying to keep an open mind

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      • Lyra

        L November 22, 2011, 10:15 pm

        This is a great perspective, Guy Friday. I wish there were more supportive men like you out there.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar November 22, 2011, 8:20 am

    I’m sorry that you are hurting so much. You definitely need to find a counsellor to speak to to help you process everything you have been through recently. But I have every faith in you that you will come out the other side of this just fine. Even though you were pressured and blackmailed by your boyfriend to go through with the pregnancy, you had the strength to do what was right for you. That speaks to your character. Lying about the abortion wasn’t ideal but I can understand you doing what you needed to do at the time. Holding resentment against your boyfriend for not being there isn’t fair since he didn’t know about the abortion but recognizing he wasn’t supportive enough and ending your relationship is a step in the right direction. So now stop focusing on him and Facebook posts that may not even be true. Defriend him, delete his contact info, and do whatever you have to to remove him from your life. It will free up your mind to focus on you and will free up your life to make room for the type of boyfriend you actually deserve whenever you are ready to date. Good luck.

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      lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:18 am

      Pressure? I didn’t see that in the letter. He simply said he was against it and could not be with her if she did that. That isn’t pressure.
      Blackmail? Not in the letter at all.
      Lying about the abortion wasn’t IDEAL?!?! Come on.
      I do think you gave some really great advice at the end though, about moving on from him.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar November 22, 2011, 6:19 pm

        I guess it turns on the phrasing. Perhaps the emotional blackmail was too strong. But anytime there is an ultimatum that is someone putting pressure on another. I agree in life sometimes it is my way or the highway and it can’t be avoided. If the boyfriend was so openminded and was not pressuring her then why even would there be an occasion to lie? These are 20 year olds we are talking about – lying isn’t the right thing but if she felt that is what she needed to do to affect the decision she made about her body then okay. Not ideal but understandable. Ultimately, she was the one that suffered for it.

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    Flake November 22, 2011, 8:38 am

    Firstly, your life is NOT in ruins. I would like to say that it takes a lot of strength and courage, at your age and stage in life, to make ANY decision concerning this particular issue.

    I think your BF was hurt. Not just by the break up, but because he was excluded from one of the most important decisions of his life. Did you talk to your BF about the choices you have? Did you include him in the decision making process, did you at least gave him a chance to explain why did he think that you should keep the baby? It can be a very lonely time for a guy as well. You, at least, have some control of the situation, he doesn’t.

    I think you should not have lied to him. Whatever his stand is on abortion, he has a right to it, as much as you do. And I also think that it might be a good idea to try and talk to him. You can say that, clearly, you are no longer BF and GF, but there is absolutely no reason for you two to not remain friends. Both of you still have a lot of growing to do, and this experience, while unfortunate, can provide a starting point for a new relationship dynamic. Don’t look at Facebook pictures as evidence that he is very happy with his new GF. I agree with Wendy that most likely this new girl is just helping him to deal with his hurt and confusion. No one can recover from an accidental pregnancy that fast.

    Sadly, this is not exactly an issue you can approach out of the blue with your friends, even your closest ones. I would definitely talk to a professional. There are a lot of online forums on the subject, if you would like to hear about other women’ experiences.

    And again, your life is not ruined. You will get through this. It may take a while, and you should be ready to experience relapses every once in a while. And I myself would like to offer support because, without getting into details, I went through something similar at that age too. So find the support system that works for you, and good luck.

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      ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 8:46 am

      “And I also think that it might be a good idea to try and talk to him. You can say that, clearly, you are no longer BF and GF, but there is absolutely no reason for you two to not remain friends.” Respectfully, I disagree with this. It’s in the past now, and she’s trying to get over this as best she can. Telling him the truth now would only serve to alleviate HER guilt, not do anything positive for him (or her). Also, it’s not smart to contact an ex so soon after a breakup. Likely neither of them are over the relationship, and re-starting communication could really set her back. I think it’s best to delete the Facebook, cut all communication with him, confess your feelings to someone who can actually help you move forward in a positive way (a therapist or counselor), and just move on with your life.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 8:57 am

        She needs to talk to someone about what happened. And I think that the BF is the best choice. He is the only one who knows what happened. They also know each other. They have seen each other grow up. They have been friends for more than half their lives. You don’t “just move on” from something like that, especially at that age. Whatever reason the romantic relationship didn’t work, it doesn’t mean that they should just give up on the friendship. And now, since there’s no longer any pressure on him and he doesn’t have to make any life-altering decisions, he just may be capable of providing support that she needs from a person who knows her and cares about her.

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        ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 9:07 am

        That logic is very flawed. Seeking support from the person you just broke up with sends too many mixed signals and will land you in a co-dependent, dysfunctional state VERY quickly. If she needs someone to talk to who understands…she needs to talk to a counselor or therapist. Her boyfriend is far from the only person who “knows” what happened. Plenty of women, therapists and counselors can empathize, relate and give you guidance that no ex-boyfriend would be able to provide. And sometimes, yes, you can end up friends with an ex. But the cardinal rule of breakups is that you CANNOT jump into a friendship with an ex right away…because you’ll risk never being able to move on, never developing a healthy frame of mind, and never realizing why the relationship was wrong in the first place.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:18 am

        This is one of those things that is very hard to talk about, even to professional strangers. And I definitely could be wrong, but there is no way in hell a 20-year old girl or guy can deal with this on their own. His reaction is not normal. It reeks of over-compensation. I am not saying that she should talk to him for his benefit alone. At this point both of them could use professional help. And they could talk to each other. They both need closure before they can move on, as friends or otherwise. They have a 9-year friendship as well to fall back on.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:22 am

        And I am sorry, but it is wrong and way more damaging to assume that she will be forever screwed just because she decides to talk to her ex-BF of 9 years about something very personal to them both.

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      • theattack

        theattack November 24, 2011, 3:06 am

        From personal experience, talking to my ex (who I had an abortion with) only ripped open the wounds, even years later. And I was a person who felt relief from my abortion. But talking to him made things ten times worse. No matter what a great match me are to be friends, it cannot happen without being painful. My experience doesn’t mean that’s what it will be for the LW, but it does mean she should be very careful. I can’t imagine that they could have a positive friendship together. He’s feeling pain from her thinking she probably had an abortion, and he might end up putting some blame on her. That’s certainly not a healthy dynamic for a friendship. The risk is almost certainly not worth the potential (and unlikely) benefits.

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        ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 9:08 am

        And claiming that he “cares about her” is more than anyone knows. I mean, he’s jumped into a new relationship and is advertising the fact on Facebook. She also said that he never made time for her and always had an excuse. This doesn’t sound like the kind of person she really needs in her life right now, anyway.

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        ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 9:14 am

        And lastly…she broke up with him because he was unsupportive of her. What makes you think that he’s going to all of a sudden be supportive now?

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:20 am

        He was not supportive because she didn’t give him a chance.

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        ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 9:25 am

        Personally, I think you’re giving him more credit than he should get…based on what we’ve read in this letter. She told him what she wanted…and he threatened her with leaving. That’s not a very supportive way to communicate.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:29 am

        He has every right to voice his opinion. He basically had a choice forced onto him. They probably should have discussed the possibility of pregnancy beforehand, but since my guess is, they are typical young adults, that topic didn’t occur to them. Everyone seems to forget that the decision affected him too. And this is a very reasonable deal-breaker.

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        ReginaRey November 22, 2011, 9:32 am

        Voicing his opinion in a mature way and threatening to leave her if she got an abortion are two very different things.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:42 am

        What was immature about that?? He said that he doesn’t agree with her choice (for whatever reason) and that he will leave if she goes through with it, which is his every right. What’s immature was to lie to him and say that the test was wrong.
        When my ex-BF told me the same thing, I told him that while I respected his choice, mine was already made, and I that I would love and appreciate his support, but I also would understand if this was something he could not deal with. Luckily for me my ex chose to stay. The LW’s BF had every right to make a choice that he can live with.

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      • Budj

        Budj November 22, 2011, 9:46 am

        I could still care about someone, but have my romantic feelings change if I wanted to keep a baby that they aborted. He wasn’t saying “I’m never going to talk to you again if you get an abortion”. This is a good example to why people should know where they stand on these issues before they get intimate.

        And now she is sitting there convinced he is an ass hole because she lied to him about it, making it impossible for him to be able to support her without admitting she lied, so she grows resentment and dumps him. He moves on (pretty easy to move on if you are unaware of the big issue) – meanwhile she isolated her self and she is unhappy. I’m not saying she deserves it, but she definitely molded this situation.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:30 am

        And now he can support her as a friend, not a BF, which is exactly what she needs.

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        Calliopedork November 22, 2011, 4:00 pm

        I dont think he will be supportive as a friend yet, I think she is hurting too much and any negative feedback from the bf(which i’m sure he will have) will make it worse

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 November 22, 2011, 4:07 pm

        Honestly you are making this guy out to be a douche when you don’t really know much about him. As far as this guy knows right now all they did have was a pregnancy scare that is it. Chances are that he wasn’t into this relationship anymore, because it was the first one he has ever had, and that is why he didn’t have time for her, and treated her the way he did. There is a very good chance that this guy has moved on with this other girl, and is happy because it is different, and he doesn’t feel like he is stuck in being in a relationship just because it was the only thing he knew at the time. It really is unfair to make him into the bad guy, when all that he did was state his opinion, and then wasn’t even given the chance to be called out on it.

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        Kristen November 22, 2011, 1:43 pm

        Depending on the emotional maturity of the boyfriend, I agree with this. I think it’s easy to tell someone to move on and cut off contact — and yes, usually that is for the best — but this situation is not your run-of-the-mill post breakup. Not only were they together for nine years, but those nine years were during one of the most formative times of their lives. I speak from personal experience when I say that long-term adolescent relationships like this aren’t so easy to disentangle yourself from. They grew up together, and these kinds of relationships have a way of really defining your adolescence and the person you grow up to be. I would have a hard time describing myself without describing my boyfriend because we’ve been dating since we were 15. All of my major life experiences happened with him, and trying to “move on” from that by just deleting him from Facebook would be next to impossible.

        If the boyfriend is mature enough to handle it, I think there could be a lot of good from her reaching out for support. Even though other people and professionals know what abortion is like, no one knows what it was like in the context of THEIR relationship except the two of them. Right now, because she hasn’t told him, it’s just the one of them. He hasn’t been given the chance to support her under these new circumstances… he doesn’t even know she had the abortion, or rode home on the bus alone, or is miserable. I think it’s fair to give him a chance to step up and be there for the girl he spent nine years with. And if he can’t or won’t do that, then yes… please move on.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 November 22, 2011, 4:01 pm

        I don’t think the BF is the best choice at all. Right now this boyfriend is thinking that they had a pregnancy scare that’s it. If she goes and tells this guy the truth there is a very good chance that whatever friendship they have right now is going to be ruined. He is going to resent her for the rest of his life for lieing to her about such a big decission, and most like at such a young age is going to say some very hurtful things.

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  • avatar

    Flanagan.er November 22, 2011, 9:03 am

    I really don’t like that hope after abortion site. It screams “well, you shouldn’t have done this, but it’s too late now, so I guess we’ll help you, but I hope you’ve learned your lesson and won’t let it happen again”.

    Obviously people experience emotional trauma after abortions, but according to most medical research, a majority of people feel a sense of relief.
    http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion/mental-health.pdf
    And it sounds like your depression is stemming mostly from the end of a nine year relationship, not the termination of a pregnancy, so I don’t know that this would be post-abortion trauma, other than the timing.

    Sharing is definitely cathartic, and I think a pro-choice forum such as this

    http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic83624.html
    Or this

    Will probably result only in support and not condemnation, which is not what you deserve.

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      *HmC* November 22, 2011, 1:06 pm

      “I really don’t like that hope after abortion site. It screams “well, you shouldn’t have done this, but it’s too late now, so I guess we’ll help you, but I hope you’ve learned your lesson and won’t let it happen again”. ”

      Wow you’re totally right! That’s a religious, shame site barely disguised as a support site (with what appears to me to be pseudo scientific information) for women. It refers to “…the loss of a child by abortion” (notice the use of the word child), “adverse psychological affects” of abortion, and all of the stories from other women are ONLY about their hurt and loss and suffering.

      All it talks about is the negative impact of abortion on women, with the excuse that that helps women what, feel better about being depressed? And maybe it does to some degree. But the whole site says nothing about the relief one might feel for not bringing an unwanted life into the world, or any such positive thought for women to focus on.

      I am pro-choice but I also understand that having an abortion is an incredibly complicated and difficult decision for some women. And I think that reaching out for support is the brave thing to do. And taking advantage of emotionally vulnerable women who have just made heart breakingly difficult decisions to push your own religious/political decisions is disgusting!

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        *HmC* November 22, 2011, 1:09 pm

        Oh my God I am so grossed out.

        “Hillary’s Story

        Little did I know that day marked the beginning of eight long years of living in hell. I began to have nightmares all the time; the picture of my dead child wouldn’t leave my mind.

        I began to drink a lot, and also did a lot of drugs. I started blaming my parents for allowing me to go through the abortion. I withdrew from my friends and family. But even after having two children, I couldn’t get the abortion off my mind. My marriage was falling apart and I really didn’t care. My mother threatened to take my children from me but I still didn’t care.

        Finally, I knew what I had to do. I wanted to give my life to Jesus Christ, and I wanted to walk the aisle at church so everyone would know. I made my profession of faith and was baptized. ”

        Wow thanks for sharing Hillary, I feel so much better now!

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 1:15 pm

        Holy crap… That is helpful.. The only thing this is missing is God speaking to her.

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        amber November 22, 2011, 1:25 pm

        I think it’s unfair to call someone out for how they dealt with their abortion. And the portion of the site you took this from was called Your Stories. It’s women sharing their story, not offering advice on how to deal with yours. She admitted she made bad choices and then found something that helped her. What helped her was a relationship with a higher being, in this case, God. She’s sharing her story not forcing others to take the same route to recovery she did.

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        *HmC* November 22, 2011, 1:50 pm

        I totally agree with your point! But I think you’re missing mine. I’m not calling out this one poor girl. Not at all. I’m pointing out the the ENTIRE site is skewed this way. It’s a God site disguised as a support site, complete with pseudo science. That is what I find disgusting.

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        *HmC* November 22, 2011, 1:56 pm

        “Project Rachel literally lit the path for me. From the moment I arrived at the retreat house, the warmth of God’s love engulfed me.”

        “Slowly, with work on my part, and help from others who suffer from the same spiritual malady, I found myself on the path to sobriety and in a relationship with God. I have found peace and forgiveness and mental wellness.”

        “My abortion was over five years ago. God is still healing me, but it has been a difficult fight.”

        “I’m angry at myself, my family, the abortion clinic, their counselors, the doctors (who can commit murder on a daily basis), and most of all I’m mad at my government, who prints “IN GOD WE TRUST” on our coins, yet has legalized the daily painful, violent slaughter of the youngest members of our society.”

        It goes on and on and on. Not a single person’s story fails to mention God.

        It’s a judge-y God site with a clear agenda that, in my opinion, preys upon vulnerable, hurting women. The fact that it’s disguised as a support site makes it all the worse.

        I’m not anti religion, not at all. It’s the deceitfulness and the clear agenda-pushing of the site that disgusts me.

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        amber November 22, 2011, 2:09 pm

        I do get what you are saying, I just felt like calling out one woman for how she dealt with her abortion was unfair. And I agree that the site is extremely judge-y and that if they are trying to facilitate a relationship with God they’re doing it in the wrong way.

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        Addie Pray November 22, 2011, 7:52 pm

        Ugh, vomit. That is ridiculous. p.s., I like you *HmC*!

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    Anon November 22, 2011, 9:07 am

    I was in a similar situation to you about 12 years ago. I had a flaky boyfriend who showed up about 6 hours after the procedure, and he wasn’t mature enough to help me emotionally after. I went to a counselor once and never went back. It didn’t seem like the right fit, so I just decided to deal with it on my own. Dealing with it on my own took about 8 years. No lie. During that time I was depressed, I drank too much and made a lot bad decisions. I thought that I deserved every horrible thing that happened to me (or that I allowed to happen) because of what I had done. Looking back, I really wasted a lot of time. If I would have had some sort of an outlet or someone to really help me through that time, things would have been so much easier. Even now as I typed that I thought in my head I thought that I didn’t deserve for it to be easier– That right there is how you know you’re still fucked up!!
    I know that for me, I made the right decision, but it’s still a horrible one to have to make. There are so many resources out there now- online forums and stuff- you should really check them out and get the help you need. Going through it alone sucks. I know, I did it and am still doing it. Maybe I should take my own advice and check those out….

    Good Luck, LW.

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  • Budj

    Budj November 22, 2011, 9:40 am

    First, I’m sorry you had to go through this situation at your age.

    Second, a lot of your post-abortion situation could have been avoided by being honest with your ex boy friend. Your actions of lying and breaking up with him ended up isolating you and now you have resentment so you are criticizing your ex through a vindictive perspective. If you had been honest, maybe your relationship would have been over, but you also might still have him to talk about this situation with. Chalk this post-procedure catastrophe portion up to life experience and if you don’t have a “real” person you can talk to about your emotions then I would check out some of the forums that the other commenters have suggested.

    A less popular suggestion is to come clean with the ex bf and see if you can find some support there. If he truly is a d-bag he will send you away, but then at least you will know. You run the risk of looking like a “crazy ex-gf trying to win her man back” though with telling the first lie about the false positive so make sure you have some “proof” ready if you talk to him.

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      Flake November 22, 2011, 9:43 am

      Exactly my opinion as well 🙂

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        TheOtherMe November 22, 2011, 9:49 am

        I agree with your first paragraph but I am not sure that going to him now would be the best thing, it would be like rubbing salt in the wound & he might even think it’s not entirely true, that it’s just a tactic to get him back.

        And really people, what’s up with posting FB pics of how ” happy” you are with your new BF/GF five minutes after a breakup ? Really ?!?
        – Lame and tactless.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 9:51 am

        He is just posting pictures. She assumes their meaning.

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        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 10:25 am

        We don;t know that about his facebook pictures. While I agree its tacky, this is a whole different situation than most breakups given the reason, age, length of relationship, etc. This guy could be grasping onto his new relationship so strongly thinking its his only chance to recover from the heartbreak.

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        TheOtherMe November 22, 2011, 10:36 am

        I agree but, if that’s the case, do you need to go “public” right away ? I’ve always been so careful about not “rubbing it in an ex’s face” after a breakup. You’re right about the age though… Maybe it’s my 40 year old mind talking and I just don’t relate to how it was when I was 20 anymore.

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        silver_dragon_girl November 22, 2011, 10:45 am

        I really think he’s probably throwing himself into it to
        a. distract himself from the break-up
        b. distract himself from the abortion, which I am about 98% sure he suspected happened anyway
        c. avoid dealing with the emotional repercussions of either event.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:49 am

        Agree with point C. Because if you do any research, you will find that it very rare to have a false pregnancy test (one case is chemical pregnancy). And nothing distracts a 20-year old as another 20-year old.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 10:51 am

        *a false positive pregnancy test

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        TheOtherMe November 22, 2011, 12:28 pm

        I’ve had a false positive. ( I think ) not sure if it qualifies as one but after a miscarriage, I kept getting positive results, even at the hospital.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 12:38 pm

        Miscarriage is not a false positive. And yes, even after it will show positive result for a while, because it takes some time for the hormone to leave your system. The thing about these tests is that they detect hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). If it is detected it means that an egg fertilized. Chemical pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized, but does not attach itself to the uterus for whatever reason. A pregnancy has to be confirmed by a doctor for it to become “official”.

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      • JK

        JK November 22, 2011, 12:39 pm

        I can´t imagine how awful that must be, after a miscarriage. It must have been because after a birth or miscarriage it takes a while for the hormone levels to get back to normal.
        False negatives are a lot more common (I had one with my 1st pregnancy).

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        Sarah November 22, 2011, 1:28 pm

        This is a response to your last point. I’m sorry if I misheard, but are you saying a chemical pregnancy isn’t a miscarriage? It certainly is, and it accounts for 50-75% of all miscarriages. I’ve known women who have had spontaneous abortions and years of trying to conceive certainly grieve for these losses as miscarriages.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 1:40 pm

        Chemical pregnancy is not classified as a miscarriage. I say that because I had one quite recently. Or at least, that is what the doctors at the ER said. This is not to say that it is not as significant as a miscarriage, or is easier to deal with. There’s also a blighted ovum, when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, but for some reason a baby does not develop.

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        Sarah November 22, 2011, 2:56 pm

        I think that would definitely be a debate among a lot of people. The only other word for a chemical pregnancy ending is a sporadic abortion. Many women are resistant to using this phrase and so they use miscarriage. And your doctors did not classify yours as a miscarriage. My sister’s doctor did. Not all doctors agree on this either so its best to go with what the poor woman who suffers from it prefers.

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        Flake November 22, 2011, 3:05 pm

        Agreed… Not much fun either way..

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        moonflowers November 22, 2011, 1:20 pm

        Nope, it’s not just your 40-yr-old mind. When my ex moved on quickly after we broke up senior year of college (21 yr olds), he posted all of his “HAPPY HAPPY OMG HAPPY” photos with his new gf on Facebook. I had stayed “friends” with him, but those photos and saccharine-sweet updates made me de-friend and block him immediately. I’ve sworn never to do that to any of my future exes.

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    atraditionalist November 22, 2011, 9:47 am

    9 years is a very long relationship. Most of the time I advocate for not talking to the ex at all but you guys went through puberty together! I think maybe you need to talk to him about what happened and get some real closure. It’s too long of a time line to just cut him off cold like that. If you still want to be with him tell him that. Otherwise you need to let it go and defriend him on facebook.
    I’m still torn on whether you should tell him you had an abortion if you do get back together. On the one hand it’s important to be honest but on the other you could get some nasty backlash at a time when you are sensitive. I’m all for honesty but I’m also for looking out for yourself. I guess only you can tell what his reaction will be if you told him and go from there

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com November 22, 2011, 9:52 am

    Just wanted to say to LW, I am so sorry for what you have gone through and are still going through. Follow Wendy’s advice and please find someone to talk to, face to face. You need and deserve that, ASAP. You found the energy and time to write to us, now summon up just a little more time and energy to make some calls and find someone to give you that help –in person.

    You will heal from this and you will grow and you will feel better –in time. Meanwhile, mourning is healthy and necessary. Don’t hide from the pain. Work through it, analyze it, and understand it so that you can have some peace.

    My thoughts are with you.

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  • avatar

    Allie November 22, 2011, 10:09 am

    I agree with Wendy 100%. Abortion is a really hard decision for women to make, especially when they don’t have the support of their partners or friends. As Wendy and several other commenters noted, there are many, many resources out there for post-abortion care. One is Exhale, . There are several others at http://wholewomanshealth.com/counseling-links.html, including some faith-based resources, and I imagine your clinic has many others for you to choose from, in addition to offering free counseling as well. I know you’re hurting right now, and as Wendy said, nothing beats face-to-face counseling, so please seek help. Any of these types of counseling above can help you deal with both the choice to end the pregnancy and how to deal with your breakup as a result of the pregnancy. Best of luck to you!

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans November 22, 2011, 10:14 am

    Hey LW,

    You can talk to me if you need someone, I’ve had an abortion before and it was very very hard for me to accept & deal with. I’d be happy to talk to you about my experience with it and what worked for me.

    Let me know, I can toss you my e-mail!

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    • avatar

      Flake November 22, 2011, 10:31 am

      Me too 🙂

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  • avatar

    Sarah November 22, 2011, 10:36 am

    LW, I am so sorry you had to deal with all of this at the same time. I agree with Wendy that while you probably should have told your boyfriend about your abortion, more for yourself than for him, but I can understand why you didn’t. Losing your boyfriend who you were sure would dump you at the same time as going through this procedure would seem terribly hard.

    To be honest though, you should feel so relieved to be done with this guy. What kind of jerk puts out an ultimatum right when you have to make one of the hardest decisions of your life?? It would be one thing if he wasn’t pro choice and said something along the lines of “I don’t know what this will do to our relationship and I might not be able to continue with it if you do this, but no matter what I will be there for you if you need to do it.” That would be what a good boyfriend who didn’t believe in abortion would do. But instead, to tell you that you’ll be abandoned if you make the best decision for yourself is just cruel.

    I think telling him would have been good, just because he would dump you and you would be able to get over him faster if he chose not to accompany you to the clinic instead of assuming he wouldn’t. Also, there’s always a reason people put scads of relationship cutesy photo crap on facebook and its not because their relationship is solid, its because they’re trying to prove it is. Please take advantage of the resources the commentors and Wendy have put on here. I know how hard it is to have a secret that no one else knows about, it rips you up inside. Just having people to tell you that you made the responsible and best choice and reaffirm your decision will help you immensely. I don’t know if this matters coming from a random commentor on the internet, but I’m proud of you.

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      Flake November 22, 2011, 10:42 am

      The only thing we know is that the BF said that he would leave if she has an abortion. We don’t know his exact words. They may as well have been what you wrote. She ended up doing it alone because she chose to lie to him. It is true that he may have refused to support her, had she told him, but he also may have decided to go with her. Please note the many many “may haves”, because there’s no way to know this now.

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      ForeverYoung November 22, 2011, 12:41 pm

      Perfect response sarah!!!! LW – stay strong and my heart goes out to you.

      As to the other commuters stating that she should have done this or that – that is neither here nor there and NOT helpful. She asked for support, not judgment.

      Also I really think you should use all the resources available. And so you know, it does get easier. This first break up will be difficult because of all the complexities in the situation, but just know you will get a little bit stronger everyday! (yes thats a Sara Evans song.. And I highly recommend you listen to it).

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        ForeverYoung November 22, 2011, 12:42 pm

        Commuters = commenters…. Stupid iPhone.

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        lets_be_honest November 22, 2011, 12:43 pm

        I get commanders when my iphone fixes commenters. Weird its different.

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        ForeverYoung November 22, 2011, 12:50 pm

        Maybe my iPhone knows I hate traffic and commuters and yours assumes you really like war movies?

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        moonflowers November 22, 2011, 1:23 pm

        iOS’s spellcheck does keep track of words you use more often and takes that into account for corrections. I only wish I could somehow get access to its “dictionary” to remove the bizarro typos that somehow got added to mine…

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    amber November 22, 2011, 10:37 am

    LW, I think the first thing you need to do like Wendy said is find someone to talk to. A counselor, close friend, someone trusted. I am interested in how and why the place you received your abortion let you leave alone. I went with a friend to get an abortion many years ago and you weren’t allowed to leave until you had someone with you. That seems a bit neglectful on their part. I know my friend was in counseling for a fairly long time after. After you have found someone you can talk to I think something that you should discuss is why you felt that you had to lie to your bf. I realize you thought he was going to leave you, but you should have been able to talk about this. You BOTH should have been able to state your cases and hear each other out. I realize that this is a polarizing topic for many people, but you both should have been able to at least give the other person the time to speak. Perhaps you wouldn’t have made it, but I think that lying about this has probably taken an even larger toll on you. And probably your BF as well. I’m not sure where I stand on going back and talking to the BF about this. I almost feel that you both may need to heal some before you can talk about this in a way that is helpful for both him and you. Otherwise I think you may leave feeling more alone/sad/depressed and he will only feel more anger/hurt because you will not be able to effectively talk about it. Perhaps even bringing him in to a counseling session and having a mediator who allows you both to tell your side would be good for you.

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    silver_dragon_girl November 22, 2011, 10:40 am

    I don’t really have anything to add…I’m sure all the links for support resources are way better than what I could come up with from a quick Google search, so I’ll leave that be. But, LW, please know that there is absolutely no shame in therapy, no shame in feeling depressed after the end of a 9-year relationship, and no shame in abortion.

    I would also like to say that your boyfriend is very, very obviously rebounding, and in a bad way. You are interpreting his facebook photos, yes, so it’s possible he’s not as serious as it looks…but why don’t you block him for a while? Just take a break. I know you knew him forever, so it’s not like the usual 6-month to a year breakup where you can just do a full purge, but I really think having the ability to cyber-stalk the guy is NOT doing you any good.

    I also think there’s a very strong chance he suspected you lied about the false test, and went ahead with the abortion, and that’s why he seemed “too busy for you” afterwards. He was probably trying to deal with it by not dealing with it, so he withdrew and now he’s throwing himself into a new relationship for the same reason: to avoid dealing with the breakup.

    I’m not sure if any of that is helpful or not, but that’s what strikes me. So my advice? Un-friend the ex (or hide/block him so you can’t look at his stuff for a while), seek out some counseling for yourself, and take the next 3-6 months to focus on you and get on with your life. 🙂

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    Addie Pray November 22, 2011, 2:22 pm

    About the Pro Choice v. Pro Life debates above, one of the biggest problems when you get into this debate is that we are not arguing the same point, so we just keep talking in circles. I mean, you’ve got the Pro Lifers who want to talk about when life is conceived and blah blah and you’ve got the Pro Choicers who want to talk about government involvement and choice and blah blah blah. I for one believe life starts at conception and I can’t imagine ever, ever wanting an abortion for myself. But I am Pro Choice and see that choice as a fundamental right that should remain the woman’s right. And I completely disagree that making abortion legal “encourages” abortions (unless you want to count those that would have otherwise done a back-alley procedure, in which case, aren’t you glad they chose an abortion in a safe environment??) or that women will choose to have an abortion as flippantly as they choose paper or plastic at the grocery store. … It’s a big deal. And as this LW has shown us, it does not come without serious emotional issues… Anyway, so that’s that.

    One thing I’ve been thinking about lately, and more so today after reading this letter, is just how lucky I am to be a woman and to be the one who gets to make the decision. I have a friend who got pregnant one month into a relationship. When she found out she was pregnant, her relationship with the guy ended pretty quickly. Simply because as it turns out they have nothing in common and, well, can’t stand each other. He wanted her to get an abortion, she didn’t want to. So she’s carrying the baby. The boyfriend wants to be involved but my friend and the BF can’t get along AT ALL. And I was just thinking, this really sucks for him. I’m not saying it’s not a hard situation for my friend to be in either, but at least she is in control. When the baby is born, the baby will be with her. She will name the baby. It will have her last name. She’s be the primary caregiver. The ex-BF / dad is going to have to fight to get visitation and, even then, the most he’ll be able to get is visitation here and there until the kid is older…. I mean, I would hate to have a kid but NOT be involved 24-7 or at least regular, significant involvement… Who am I kidding, the thought of having anything less than full custody would probably scare me. Anyway, I was thinking about this LW’s boyfriend and it’s sort of the opposite of my friend. He wanted the kid, the LW didn’t. And that must have really sucked for him to be so helpless and without any control. I’m not saying I think he should have a say in it – I’m not. It’s the woman’s choice. But I realize that the guy is really in a helpless place. And I think that would be terrible. Terrible, terrible. I’m glad I won’t ever have to be in a place like that. I don’t know where I was going with this, but I think it’s interesting to think about the man’s perspective – and how shitty it must feel to be so helpless and out of control.

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    • avatar

      Flake November 22, 2011, 2:34 pm

      I am very happy to live in a country that refuses to let this topic become a subject of an election. That is a medical procedure, and it should as accessible as any other.

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    • Budj

      Budj November 22, 2011, 3:13 pm

      You bring up some good points.

      As a man…that’s why I think it is important to know where your partner stands on this before engaging in sex. The only thing a man has control over is when and where he dumps his load….so he needs to be making the best decision on where to do that…on both sides of the abortion fence…in one case the guys making payments on a child he probably barely knows (sometimes by choice, sometimes not) and in other cases a guy ends up distraught over the loss of what he perceived as the essence of his child…both shitty situations.

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        Addie Pray November 22, 2011, 7:44 pm

        I don’t think you can ever really know where your partner stands on this issue beforehand. It’s one thing talking about it in the abstract. It’s another thing when faced with the reality of being pregnant and needing to make a decision one way or another. I think you’re screwed either way, literally, as the man. I mean, you don’t get a say if the girl ends up knocked out. And I feel for you, that sucks. But it has to be that way.

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        Addie Pray November 22, 2011, 7:45 pm

        I meant “knocked up.” You don’t get a say either way if the girl ends up knocked up, not knocked out. But if you knock her out, wow, you must be awesome in bed. Or violent.

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      Nadine November 23, 2011, 3:48 am

      I really, really like your stance. I am Pro-Choice too, but for me, I would find an abortion tough (I think). But like free speech, I will defend to the death peoples right to them!

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      lets_be_honest November 23, 2011, 10:52 am

      Good read. I think its a pretty fair assessment, but with all you said about the bf/man’s perspective, imagine you were the man in the sitution, would you still be 100% sure its ultimately only the woman’s say that matters?
      Someone else brought up the issue of child support and I found that interesting. The guy is on the hook to support the child whether or not he wants it, but gets no say in whether or not it should be born to begin with. Yes, as Budj so nicely put it, he made his choice when he dropped his load, but I still have trouble with how unfair it is to the man. I almost read your comment as ‘so long as I’m the one who gets all the control, its ok by me’ but then went on to say how you understood the male’s side of it. This isn’t coming out right, but maybe ou will understand what I’m trying to say.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 11:29 am

        Yes, it is ultimately only the woman’s say that matters re: whether to continue the pregnancy. Pregnancy is not just about POOF a baby! It’s a nine month long thing that changes your body and has a ton of possible symptoms (from morning sickness to gestational diabetes to potentially life-threatening stuff like anemia). Childbirth is extremely painful and even in developed countries sometimes weird things go wrong and it kills you, or the baby, or both. I hate this thing where we pretend like pregnancy is no big deal. It’s a big deal! It’s not something anyone should be forced to go through with if they’re not willing to, regardless of their plans for the baby afterwards or how much the could-be dad wants a baby. The baby is not the whole story. The ultimate say lies with the pregnant person. If you and your boyfriend lived in a house together with only your name on the mortgage, you have the right to sell that house regardless of their feelings about it. And your body and life are way more important than a house.

        Re: Child support. Child support is about an EXISTING child and what’s best for the child, not about the parents. I get that some dudes don’t want to be daddies, but the reality is biology is unfair in this department, since women are the ones going through the pregnancies. Once the kid is born, the fair thing to do is make sure that kid has what it needs to survive and thrive.

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        lets_be_honest November 23, 2011, 12:12 pm

        I’ve had a child, so I’m pretty familiar with being pregnant. I don’t think I said anywhere that it involved POOF or that it was easy.
        Also, I think you totally missed my point about child support. Totally.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 12:54 pm

        Yeah because addressing the point you made about fairness to daddy is completely missing the point. Roger that.

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    Flake November 22, 2011, 2:35 pm

    On a completely unrelated note, I do have too much free time at work today….

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    Painted_lady November 22, 2011, 2:51 pm

    I don’t have much to add other than a voice of support. Other than that, a personal story: I had a pregnancy scare a few months back, and I learned two really great lessons from it. One was that whatever you and your partner say you’re going to feel if you have to deal with it, it may be drastically different once you’re actually staring down the barrel of the proverbial gun. I had always said that while I am pro-choice, I would more than likely choose adoption if I had to make the choice. Turns out that wasn’t the case. My boyfriend, fortunately, took the line that since this was my body it was happening to, it was my choice to make and never let on that he had an opinion one way or the other until I told him what I wanted. I really wonder what I’ve done to deserve him sometimes.

    Second thing I learned is, people are, generally speaking, more supportive and caring than maybe you think they’re going to be. My best friend in the whole world is a devout Catholic who converted as an adult, and we had never discussed her views on abortion before but I thought I knew what she was going to say. She was the only person I told other than the boyfriend, though, because I trust her judgment and also that she loves me no matter how shameless a heathen I am. She amazed me when I finished telling her the whole story and she said she absolutely supported the decision I was going to make if it came down to it. She called everyday until I worked up the courage to take a test, and then when I actually did, she stayed on the phone with me till I got the negative test result. She even offered to take me to the appointment if my boyfriend couldn’t come into town. My mom as well, who’s always been a bit of a prude, surprised me when I told her the whole story. She was just sad – yet completely understanding – that I hadn’t wanted to tell her what was going on in the moment.

    My point is, people around you other than your ex may be more supportive than you think. I’m not saying you have to go spilling your guts all over the place, but I am suggesting you might try broaching the subject of abortion in the abstract with a couple of close friends or family members. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when my boyfriend, my best friend, and my mother all supported my decision unconditionally. Seek support in all these other places as well, but you will feel relieved of so much of your burden if there’s someone who loves you whom you can talk to.

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    Pinky November 22, 2011, 4:32 pm

    I would like to address the FaceBook issue. Unfriend and block the ex. Just do it. You will save brain cells. You don’t need to be FaceBook friends with your exes. That is torture.

    As for that other really big stuff, the rest of the DW crowd are way wiser than I am.

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  • katie

    katie November 22, 2011, 8:46 pm

    LW, all i would like to tell you is to not let ANYONE shame you for what you did. you made a decision that you believed was the right decision given the choices to had. no one can take away your free will, and so remember that when all the haters start telling you why your decision was wrong. “it was the best decision i saw in the situation i was in”. just remember that.

    also, please do not take your ex’s new pictures as happiness. you have no idea what he is feeling, and like i have said before on here, men are much much better at stuffing their feelings deep down where no one can see them and pretending that everything is ok…. so just keep that in the back of your head. appearances can be deceiving…

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    Relationship Terminated November 22, 2011, 10:20 pm

    EXTRA INFO

    Thank you for all of the advice. It really helps. I have no one to talk to about this.

    My ex spefically said,

    “I have to be true to myself. My family doesn’t belive in abortion.”
    During this time he was ignoring me for a few days.

    After few days I went to his house to hang out. He called me a murder infront of his mother. She didn’t know what he was refering to but I didn’t think this was right.

    When I asked him if he could come to the clinic with me, atleast drive me there, or help me in some financial way he said

    “HELL NO, not with that!”
    This all happened before I had the abortion.

    I love him alot. I want to have his children I just didn’t want to right now. In the past we talked about having kids. He gave me an ultimatum to have his kids by age 23 or he would find another woman to. When he graduated, college, that ultimatum changed to the present. Being stupid I didn’t protect myself the way I should have. I got pregnant.

    I don’t regret my abortion but it wasn’t a light decesion. I am slightly depressed somedays symptoms but I’m getting better. I could have kept the baby but I don’t think I could have given the child the life he/she deserves right now. I have no degree. I had no job at the time. I live with my verbally abusive mother. He lives with his mom. I’m helping my older sister raise her 3 kids after her boyfriend beat her and ran out.

    I wasn’t capable of being the parent that child deserves right now. I’m still trying to figure out who I am. I’m selfish. I have no idea what to do with my life. I love him but I don’t know what to do. I know I broke his heart when I broke up with him. But for him to move on so quickly, I feel disturbed. I’ve tryed to contact him to see if we could talk or try get back together. He has not responded. Maybe he won’t now because he is with someone else.

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      hhr November 22, 2011, 11:54 pm

      Of course he moved on, he has to find someone to knock up within the next 3 years! I think given all this new information, every single commenter can agree that your ex is a complete douche, and you were very strong and did the right thing breaking up with him. I’m so sorry you had to deal with this on your own. I hope you can find support from someone (NOT HIM) and begin to heal.

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      Sue Jones November 23, 2011, 12:08 am

      You will be so thankful that you did not have this immature jerk’s child once you move through the grief of the loss of the friendship. You really DID dodge a bullet there by having the abortion. Move on, get an education so you can move out on your own and earn good money, learn and grow, and you will meet more mature men with whom you could have a family with. Otherwise you may have ended up like your sister… 23 is WAYYYY too young, and 20 is even younger. So please start counting your lucky stars that you had the good sense to go through with it, smart lady!

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    • katie

      katie November 23, 2011, 12:08 am

      im sorry, but any man who told me that i had to be pregnant by a certain time or he would “find another woman” would be swiftly out the door. i am not just a walking uterus… damn…

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    • avatar

      Flake November 23, 2011, 6:44 am

      I still think your BF has a right to his opinions, although I agree that he was very rude and completely out of line and his views seem to be a little extreme. I am also going to throw the “reproductive abuser” thing out there-that definitely should make you feel better and make you feel sorry for the new girl.
      And at this point, I agree with everyone else suggesting you TRY to erase this man from your life, at least for the immediate future.
      After this additional information, I don’t think you broke his heart. You “broke” his control of you. I don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about. You did what you had to do for you now, and for your future. You should rethink having children with this man. He lacks any empathy and compassion that would make him a good partner and husband.
      And you say that you are selfish. So go on and be selfish. Go and take care of YOU, whatever that means. Do what makes you feel good, because the best thing you can give your future children (whenever that may be) is a happy and healthy mom.

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        Flanagan.er November 23, 2011, 10:37 am

        I agree so much with that. Obviously, in excessive quantities, being selfish is a bad thing. But women are conditioned from birth that they should be taking care of everyone around them at the expense of themselves, so i see nothing wrong, especially when you’re single and child-free, with making selfish decisions. Who is that hurting?

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      Pinky November 25, 2011, 4:36 pm

      Sweetie,

      Bullet dodged.

      I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. It is incredibly stressful. Please consider yourself fortunate that you’re not tied to this man in any way. Please stay as far away from him as possible.

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  • Lyra

    L November 22, 2011, 10:59 pm

    This whole situation breaks my heart. LW, I can only imagine how scared and sad and angry and frustrated you have been through all this. There are many comments above that provide some amazing resources and ideas for you.

    My experience on this topic is pretty limited, but I just wanted to express my support of you through all of this. You have been through SO much. I want to stress how important it is that you focus on YOU first. Get yourself some help and support to deal with your abortion, whether that be a trusted friend or a close relative or a counselor. Find someone who will support you and who you can lean on.

    Only after you find that support network, I think it might do you some good to get some closure with your ex boyfriend. Have a conversation with him about what happened. It appears to me that both of you have some unanswered questions. A nine-year relationship, no matter what age you are, is a huge commitment and something that is impossible to just walk away from. It is only fair to him that you tell him exactly what happened. This was a HUGE part of both of your lives. Now, this conversation isn’t going to take place tomorrow, or next week, next month, or even next year. This needs to happen AFTER you find your support network for your abortion. It needs to be when YOU are ready. Even if you have a conversation with him and you never see him again, you will have some clarity. You will be able to close that door and move on with your life. Best of luck to you!

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    evanscr05 November 23, 2011, 8:31 am

    LW, at 20 years old, you are still coming into your own person and figuring out where you want your life to go and who you want to be. It is normal, and I think necessary, to spend time in your twenties, outside of college and your parents home, being completely and utterly selfish. You learn a lot about yourself when you’re able to just do what you want for the benefit of you (within reason, of course). This selfishness gives you so much life experience and a more honest ability to be the person that you want to be and to accomplish all those goals that you want for yourself (education, travels, career, etc.). At 20 years old, MOST people are not ready to be parents. You don’t have the kind of job that makes it easy enough on you or provides the kind of opportunities we all want to give our children. You don’t have the life experiences to make it easy to handle emotionally. Based on the situation you described of your homelife, and your relationship status with your, now, ex-boyfriend, you were ABSOLUTELY not ready. You made a choice based on what was best for you AND the child, and you have no reason to be ashamed. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel that way.

    For certain, abortion is not an easy decision to make, and I would wager that many pro-choicers (including myself) would find it difficult to process all of the emotions you are inevitably feeling, despite being supportive of the process. Talk to a professional. Talk to a close friend. Have someone in your confidence that will be there for you while you heal emotionally. You should not have to go through this alone, and, as some posters provided above, there are many resources available for situations just like this. Take advantage of them.

    As for the boyfriend, I initially was of the thought that perhaps this was a situation in which you were both wrong (you for lying, him for making you feel unsupported). However, now that you’ve provided an update, I firmly believe that this man that you loved is a complete and utter ass. Be so very glad that you do not have to spend the rest of your life connected to someone who so obviously cares so little for you. NO ONE has a right to tell you what you WILL do, especially with regards to the best time to bring children into this world. Being parents is not to be taken lightly, and if you’re both not ready, it is to the detriment of both your relationship, and the child. Anyone who would call you a murderer, especially in front of his parents, when all you are asking for is support in a difficult time and decision, is absolutely immature, irresponsible, and a complete waste of your time. Anyone who would deny supporting you through something so difficult, despite not agreeing with you, is not worthy of your affection in any way, shape, or form. I know you have grown up with this guy, but just because he WAS a good boyfriend during your formative years, does not mean he IS a good boyfriend now. Longevity means nothing when your lives have gone in two different directions and your values and goals in life are not the same. The best advice I can offer with him, as others have said, is to delete from your facebook account and then block him, and remove him from your phone. He is toxic. I know you miss him, but what you miss is not so much HIM specifically, but the support and friend you used to have. He has made it clear through his words and his actions that he does not care about you. When my ex and I broke up, I was so heartbroken, and looking at his facebook only made my heart break more. It took some convincing by a good friend, but I eventually deleted him from facebook, and took him out of my phone. It took a few weeks, but the longing to check up on him faded and my heart healed a little bit every day. You cannot get over someone if they are in your life every day, even electronically. You need a clean break, as hard as it is, and trust me, it is hard. But if you surround yourself with people who love you, who support you, who want to help you get through this, you WILL get over him. You owe it to yourself, and any future children, to go be the person you want to be, taking with you the lessons from this experiece. You will be a wonderful mother when the time is right, and when you are with the right man.

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  • theattack

    theattack November 23, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Wendy, not to be a downer, but many of the comments are missing still. I know the comments I made, including a big string of comments from last night are no longer here. 🙁

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