My boyfriend and I are both still in school (although he only has a year left of college). We had relationship issues a little while back because he got naked pictures from another girl when drunk and, before that, he also made out with another girl when drunk at a party. He lied at first about anything happening at the party, but eventually he told me the truth. And I caught him in the whole picture incident. He apologized and nothing has happened since. I honestly think he won’t mess up again, but he knows I don’t trust him much right now.
We are currently working on our trust issues, but we still aren’t ready for a baby. I’ve never lied to him until now when I lied about the abortion. I really love him, and I know he loves me. I told him I had miscarried and that the clinic did a D and C to remove the already-dead baby. I had to tell him something because he knew I had had a surgery appointment. I feel horrible for lying, though. Should I tell him the truth or not? I feel really guilty and I don’t want to lose him; I’m aware, though, that I may lose him for lying. So the big question: Do I tell him or not? — Lied About Abortion
I answered a similar question a couple years ago and I’m going to tell you what I told the previous LW who was also debating whether or not to tell her boyfriend that she had had an abortion: As long as you keep your abortion a secret from your boyfriend, it will continue to be a burden that will weigh on you. The truth is that an abortion is nothing to feel ashamed of. And as long as you keep it a secret, you perpetuate the myth, if for no one else but yourself, that it IS shameful and it IS something you should feel guilty for. Of course, telling your boyfriend doesn’t mean you won’t be free of shame or guilt. His reaction to your admission might contribute to those feelings. But what telling him the truth will do is free you from the anxiety of wondering what would happen if he knew.
Maybe what will happen when he knows about your abortion is you’ll lose him. But maybe this relationship wasn’t meant to last forever anyway. Maybe the trust issues you’ve had and the fundamental difference of opinion regarding an unplanned teenage pregnancy are signs that you aren’t entirely well-matched. And maybe if you do break up, the lessons you will have learned from your relationship and your breakup and the way you handled a difficult decision will benefit you in future relationships. As I told the LW in your situation before:
Sometimes the success of a relationship can be qualified by the lessons we learn rather than the duration. It would be a mistake to sweep an issue under the rug in an effort to make a relationship last longer. Instead, face the issue head-on and see what you learn — about yourself and your boyfriend. Do you share the same values? He is supportive of you? Does he trust you? Can he forgive? If the answer is “no” to any of these, you are better off without him. It may be a hard lesson to learn, but knowing the answer, one way or another, will open the door to a more fulfilling relationship eventually — whether it’s with him or someone else.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].