Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“He Replaced Me After My Abortion”

I’m a 25-year-old who’s never really been in a serious relationship despite wanting to find the one so bad. Truth is I’m quirky and often suffer from social anxiety in my intimate relationships. But about eight months ago I did fall in love. I fell in love the night I met this guy — he was my roommate’s best friend. We started sleeping together straight away. He told me pretty quick that he wanted a relationship. It was quite full-on, and, I gotta admit, I was scared of it. His best mate was a big alpha guy who cheated on his girl, and my guy was pretty similar in terms of being popular but with an untrustworthy character. So although we carried on sleeping together and I had strong feelings for him, I said I wasn’t sure. We were like this for six months. He knew I never slept with anyone else during this time, so in my head I guess I kinda thought he realized it wasn’t a casual relationship.

Anyway, I found out I was pregnant and I went to see him. The trip did not go as planned because he and my housemate were drunk and high. When I told him, the only thing he said to me was “get rid of it.” I felt very hurt by this response and left saying I never wanted to talk to him again. We did talk the next day when I had calmed down. We decided on the abortion even though it really was the hardest decision I ever made.

So I went to the clinic with my mum to support me; the whole thing broke my heart. I talked to my mum about the relationship and about how hurt I was by his first response and how I wasn’t sure if we could ever have a good relationship after something so big, and she advised me to let him go. She said it would be hard initially but in the long run easier. I don’t know why I took her advice, but I did; I wish I hadn’t because I basically just pushed away the only person I’d ever loved.

A week after the abortion and after I’d told him I wouldn’t ever speak to him again, I got back in touch. We saw each other 19 days after the abortion. We kissed, we chatted, I cried. The next day he went out and met someone new. I didn’t realize that at the time; all I knew is he stopped texting me. I didn’t undrstand why. But when I bumped into him a couple weeks later and asked him if he’d been ignoring me, he said, “No,let’s meet.” He still didn’t tell me that he had a girlfriend. I found out via text, and then I saw a post of the two of them on my sister’s Facebook (I had deleted mine). It broke me.

I questioned him, and he sent me a text saying he was happier than he’d been in ages and that she was changing his life for the better, that he’d gotten what he had wanted all along. I felt sick. All I know now is that he’s totally in love with her – my housemate has told me. He’s not using it as some way to hurt me back; he literally doesn’t care about me anymore. I feel used and worthless, and it has only been two months since the abortion; I still don’t feel ok about it.

I think I’m falling into a deep depression as I feel so alone and my anxieties make me think I’ll never feel like that about anyone again as he’s the first guy I’ve ever loved and I’m 25. His new girlfriend is basically everything I could never be. I get that he’s with her and I know I pushed him away, so I do blame myself for a lot. I basically wish I weren’t alive. — Replaced

I’m sorry you are having such a hard time and that you feel depressed and lonely and anxious. I think it could greatly benefit you to talk to a therapist about how you’re feeling, especially since you say you wish you weren’t alive. You have so much to live for — a whole life ahead of you still — and there’s literally no shame at all in getting help to embrace that life you are lucky to have, to learn some tools to deal with your anxiety, and to understand the difference between love and lust.

What you described of your relationship with your ex-boyfriend doesn’t sound like love. You never trusted him, he didn’t support you, he did not love you. I don’t want you to think that what you two had is what love looks like or what you should strive for again. A real loving relationship is SO, SO, SO much better than what you described. It builds you up; it doesn’t break you down. It makes you feel supported and cared for. Love is your mother coming with you to your abortion. Love is not your boyfriend telling you coldly to “get rid of it” when you told him you were pregnant. There are different kinds of love in our lives — romantic, platonic, familial — but the thing they have in common is the support and care they provide us, the bond that builds around and on it.

When you start recognizing the love you already have in your life, it helps you to attract more of it. Eventually, you will find a romantic love upon and around which you can build a relationship. You did not have that with your ex-boyfriend. You had lust, attraction, excitement, maybe some occasional companionship. But I am telling you, what you had with him doesn’t even begin to touch the the potential depth of a truly loving relationship. Not even close. There is something waiting for you that will blow your fucking socks off with its intensity; you don’t even have any idea yet, but I sincerely hope you will keep your heart open to it so you can find out.

As for your abortion and the feelings you are having about it, I want you to know that there was no other option that would have changed the course of your relationship with your ex. Keeping the baby would not have meant you’d still be together with him. You would not. He had no interest in staying with you and he sure as shit had no interest in being a father. He made that perfectly clear. You would have been a single mother, navigating that incredible and overwhelming responsibility on your own, still struggling with everything you’re struggling with now and then some. One day, if you choose to, you can be a mother, and you can experience the joy and the love of that role, hopefully as a wiser, more mature woman, ideally with a partner/co-parent who can support you and your parenting journey. That, too, has the potential to crack your heart open so profoundly that the ache of loss you’re experiencing now will pale in comparison.

I’ll say it again: The potential for love and joy still yet to come for you is so much greater than the pain you are feeling now. I don’t say that to dismiss your current feelings — I know you’re hurting — but to offer some hope that this is much more the beginning rather than the end. Please don’t give up now – not when you have so much to look forward to.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

22 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JD January 7, 2019, 10:00 am

    LW I’m sorry you’re having a hard time but you don’t fall in love with someone you just met. Also you don’t assume your relationship status. His reaction was not great but pretty common. Did you expect a man you never even discussed the status of your relationship with the be excited you were pregnant? What he said was awful but hey, been there, they say that. I agree that some therapy would be beneficial. You’ve been through a lot of pain and need a way to process that.

    In the future, know that you don’t love someone until you truly know them and that until you both agree upon the terms of your relationship there isn’t one. You only mention sleeping with him, not dates or meeting parents, noemal relationship things. Sex does not equal love or a relationship.

    Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark January 7, 2019, 10:10 am

    Sorry you are having such a rough time. But honestly? Stories like yours are precisely WHY it is so important to keep abortions legal. This guy sounds like a fucking asshat. He certainly isn’t father material… You can and will do better.

    Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark January 7, 2019, 10:12 am

    Also, birth control. Look into it.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      atlimbo January 8, 2019, 2:44 pm

      Can’t agree more, Mark – Birth Control. Also, WWS about therapy, right away. Feeling like you don’t want to be alive because of the end of a (terrible) 8-month FWB situation is not safe and you need to think of yourself and your (real) loved ones right now.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    peggy January 7, 2019, 10:13 am

    Don’t blame yourself for “pushing this guy away”-I don’t see where you did that at all. The truth is that you never really had him-and in time you will realize that he was/is not a good,loving,reliable person/partner for you. You should get some therapy and then take some time to understand what makes a good partner in general and then for you specifically-before you date again. I wish you well-things will get much better!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Poppy January 7, 2019, 10:18 am

    The only advice you,need right now is to call your doctor or a doctor and get seen immediately. You need to tell them what going on and they will help you.

    Reply Link
  • GertietheDino

    GertietheDino January 7, 2019, 10:21 am

    LW, I want to give you the tightest hug and let you know you will be OK. Wendy is right, what you had with your ex wasn’t real love and you will know that when you fall in real love one day. Also, she’s right about the therapy. Talking to a professional will definitely help you work through your feelings about this whole situation. Good luck!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    anonymousse January 7, 2019, 10:35 am

    Please go see your doctor about your depression. That’s the first step.

    I hope that in the future you can see how this was not a good relationship and that it wasn’t love. I know it’s hard to understand that right now, in the thick of it.

    Communication is very important to a good relationship. As is protection. A lot of this fiasco is bad communication, ill timed information sharing and the word of your housemate.

    Spend time with friends, your mum and staying busy. Marie Kondo your life. If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t waste time on it (unless of course it’s your job or school.)

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    dinoceros January 7, 2019, 11:49 am

    A lot of people who don’t have much relationship experience or see themselves as lesser than other people choose to pursue relationships with people who aren’t good for them because they think it’s all they can get and they are just so relieved someone is into them. You have every much of a right to be with someone who is a good boyfriend as someone who has had lots of boyfriends. But you need to see a therapist. You can’t fix any of this if your depression is telling your things that aren’t true.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Juliet January 7, 2019, 11:53 am

    LW, please hang in there. I can only assume that your life is like most of ours and that these horribly painful emotions are going to change, and hopefully fade. The best advice I ever got was: to do my part, to hang around and give that change a chance to happen. I urge you to keep breathing, be honest about how you feel, and take care of yourself.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    brise January 7, 2019, 1:05 pm

    You are having an awful time now, and you did nothing wrong that pushed away your ex. The relationship wasn’t there in the first place, you were never exclusive and couldn’t even speak together about it.
    What you experienced can happen, especially when you are young, inexperienced. For your next relationship, do use a better birthcontrol. This pregnancy and abortion revealed who has your back and who hasn’t. This guy is out of the picture and it is the best for you: at least the situation is clear. In my opinion, you should move out and find a roommate who isn’t the best friend of your ex, nor a serial philanderer. Do pick someone who makes you feel good and valuable, not disposable, or simply a more neutral roommate.
    Your sadness is normal after an abortion. It is a big blow, physical, emotional. I understand completely your sorrow. I think you shouldn’t have regrets. You made this choice, there was probably a decisive factor for yourself in this decision, not only your boyfriend’s cold words. You made the right choice in these circumstances, and now, the best for you is to focus on your own peace of mind, your studies, your social life. Forget about this guy. He has found happiness: good for him. You will find it too, and later, when you will be in a good relationship with a loving, supporting partner, you will look at this present period of your life as a dark moment, very painful, with a disappointing person. And you will go through this and be happy again. Find a therapist at your college to discuss all these negative emotions. It is very common to feel depressed after such events and very useful to treat it properly.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      anonymousse January 7, 2019, 4:02 pm

      I agree that you should move out as soon as you can. Maybe being around this jerk (your roommate) has contributed to you feeling badly right now.

      And generally (not always) when a guy’s best friend is bad news, he probably is, too. Jerks tend to stick together because better men don’t want to be associated with assholes.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        atlimbo January 8, 2019, 2:45 pm

        “And generally (not always) when a guy’s best friend is bad news, he probably is, too.”

        What a great point! I never thought of this, personally, but MAN is it spot on when I actually think about it.

        Link
  • avatar

    csp January 7, 2019, 1:09 pm

    LW – I am giving you a virtual hug right now. With this guy, you couldn’t have done anything different. Don’t beat up yourself. You should understand that this dick’s opinion has nothing to do with your actual value. You have been through a lot and should be loved and supported.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    cdobbs71 January 7, 2019, 1:16 pm

    Oh no….so sorry LW….breakups are hard, but not having him there to support you after having to get an abortion is terrible…..by not being by your side at the abortion and letting you deal with it all on your own says exactly what kind of man he is (ie not a man at all)…..its hard to believe it now, but you are so much better off without him….he does not deserve a second more of your time….feel better soon

    Reply Link
  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue January 7, 2019, 2:03 pm

    LW, you talk of being 25 and not having found “the one” as something really awful. But 25 is still young and it’s ok to not have found “the one” yet, time isn’t up there’s still PLENTY of time ahead of you to love and get more relationship experience.

    Side note: When the guy asked to be in a relationship and you said you weren’t ready but then continued on like normal and assumed you were in a relationship…that’s not how it works (unless you can keep your heart out of it). It sounds like maybe he was more of a friends with benefits. I also don’t suggest telling someone major news when they’re inebriated it just doesn’t set the conversation up to go well at all.

    I wish you the best and hope you look into therapy so that you can realize this “relationship” wasn’t love as well as to cope with your feelings regarding the abortion.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    SpaceySteph January 7, 2019, 3:03 pm

    Hugs for you LW, please do see a therapist. You do not need to keep feeling like this, there is help out here.
    But it sounds like this guy is just running a play on you– think about it. He meets you and immediately its like he wants a serious relationship and its hot and heavy, and then he meets a new girl and he doesn’t even have the courtesy to break up with you the person he claimed to want a real relationship with, he just ghosts you and is now “never been happier” with her. How long before he drops her the same way?

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    JD January 7, 2019, 3:44 pm

    They weren’t in a relationship she just assumed they were per her words so not sure why he had to break up with her. Just saying his response sucks but a lot of men have sucky responses to an unwanted pregnancy. Doesn’t make him horrible.

    Reply Link
    • CurlyQue

      CurlyQue January 7, 2019, 4:30 pm

      I’m not sure why she assumed they were when he out right asked to be in one and she said no. Next time LW changes her mind and wants to be in a relationship she needs to talk with the guy not assume. Though really i think the LW’s instincts about the guy were right she should’ve just stopped seeing him after it was obvious they didn’t want the same things.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Poppy January 7, 2019, 4:46 pm

      Thats right they werent in a relationship. I would say she had poor timing on telling him she was pregnant. You dont tell someone news like this while intoxicated or high or even around friends. Its a private announcement between the two of you. Also, i hate to say this but I think she might have been more upset over the fact that he didnt want a “family” with her then his words in itself. She didnt want to hear “get rid of it” she probably was expecting the fairytale version of announcing it to him.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sapphire January 7, 2019, 9:37 pm

    I’m so sorry. Sending virtual hugs. Please seek therapy and spend time with people like your mom who can be a part of your support system.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    BTDT January 16, 2019, 12:08 am

    Losing your first love is so, so hard. You have never experienced moving on from a breakup and so you have no reason to believe you ever will. The first guy I loved dumped me and I was devastated. I thought my life was over. Over time the hurt did go away and I found plenty of other people I could have feelings for. Breaking up always hurts, but you eventually realize that there is more than one person out there you can love and lust after. And every time my standards got higher and I refused to tolerate the crap I had tolerated before.

    I just broke up with a man I’ve loved for 14 years because he isn’t willing to commit to me the way I have committed to him. I really thought he was the last man I’d ever be with. I am devastated–full of grief and anger and loneliness. I can’t imagine ever being attracted to anyone else again. But I also know from experience that those feelings don’t last forever. With such a long relationship, they will take time, but it won’t be forever.

    Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You will get through this, I promise.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment