Miss Information

My boyfriend was totally supportive, until I had an abortion.

By Cait Robinson

Have a question? Email missinfo@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content, and clarity.

Dear Miss Info,

I've been in a happy, functional, long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for about two-and-a-half years. In general, my boyfriend is unconditionally supportive and wonderful. We've been through a lot, and other than a few bumps in the road, our relationship was smooth, until a month ago.

I discovered I was pregnant. Since we only see each other a couple of times a month, it was easy to figure out when this happened. I was blind drunk, he was sober. I drunkenly egged him into not using a condom, and he obliged. He paid for Plan B the very next day, but the test couldn't be denied.

For me, there was no question about what I would do. I was going to abort. I wasn't prepared to have a child and neither was he. He was on board with this. Neither of us harbored any delusions of keeping it. I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood, and chose a medical abortion (i.e., "the abortion pill").

The thing is, I've been very disappointed in him throughout this whole ordeal. Perhaps he was simply feeling too shell-shocked and guilty to respond properly, but his reaction was cold. He didn't initially offer to come down to be with me for the appointment, and I had to have a friend rearrange her work schedule in order to take me. He told me he couldn't get time off from work, which I can understand, but it turned out he never asked. He just assumed that his employers would refuse his request, and seemed to think that asking would be an imposition.

I was alone on the day of the abortion, and it was a terrible experience. I should not have been alone. He should have been with me. Two friends called to check in on me during the abortion (which took four long, painful hours), but he did not. When I called him afterward to let him know it was over, I told him how hurt I was that he hadn't even called to check in on me. He said that he had been thinking of me all day, but "didn't want to bother me."

I can't comprehend that. This is equally his fault. I feel like I bore the punishment for our mutual stupidity, while he just went about his life as usual. I had to ask for time off work without being able to explain why; I had to go to Planned Parenthood for multiple blood tests and ultrasounds; I had to spend an afternoon stumbling around my apartment in agony, while he just went to school and work and felt a little bummed out. He should have manned up, and made more of an effort to take care of me. Instead, he seems to think that we should just move on and "never talk about it again."

I feel he just wanted it quietly dealt with, and his concern about it being rude to ask for time off seems like a lame excuse. I know it wouldn't have been a pleasant visit for either of us. But he should have been here. He could have at least called to check up on me, or at the very least, sent me some flowers or something. He didn't, and I just can't understand why.

This is very uncharacteristic of him, and I don't know what's up. He doesn't seem to be able to talk about it, and changes the subject any time I try to bring it up. He's avoiding it, plain and simple. Obviously it's easier to stick your head in the sand and pretend it's not happening, but I didn't have that luxury. I love him, and see a future with him, and he feels the same, but I am not sure how to move past this. He keeps saying and doing the wrong things, even though I've been very clear about what I need. I want him to acknowledge that I went through a lot, and that he could have done more. I want an apology. And I want it to come from him. I don't want him to apologize because I tell him to. I want him to apologize because he means it. I am not sure how to address this with him, and I don't even know how he can rectify it at this point.

 Preggosaurus Rex

Dear Preggosaurus Rex,

If text-based support from an internet stranger counts for anything, first things first: your choice of moniker made me laugh, and also suggests to me that, even though these profoundly difficult experiences, you've still got a good handle on yourself.

In all matters reproductive, men's involvement is treated like a footnote. This does everybody a disservice. On the one hand, you have good men who have their experience cheapened or ignored (where are the parenting manuals for men? Who keeps men company when they're sitting in a Planned Parenthood waiting room, scared to death?) There can be a helplessness and loneliness to men's experiences, whether they're watching a partner carry a pregnancy, suffer a loss, or undergo a termination. All of this joy and suffering happens in women's bodies; men are often stuck on the sidelines wondering what to do to help.

Meanwhile, as you know, inhabiting a female body is no cakewalk. We're the ones who have to undergo the physical pain, plus bear the brunt of the vitriol from judgmental types over daring to take ownership our own bodies. (Biology! It all sucks. Well, thanks for listening, guys!)

If your boyfriend doesn't have the tools to deal with these things, it isn't necessarily because he doesn't care. It may be because, like most of us, he's ill-prepared for hard situations. He may just not know how the hell to support you though this. So, that's the "compassion" angle... which, I know, doesn't help you when you want to grab his shoulders and shake. Now comes the pragmatism. Whether he likes it or not, he has to learn some coping skills, and he has to do it now. He has to come to a place where he can talk to you, so you two can lean on each other. You shouldn't have to go through this alone, and neither should he. Talk to him, and stress the importance of this: you can be a help to him, just like he can be a help for you. If you can't talk to each other about it, though, it will only become a wedge.

If he isn't sure where to turn (another perk of abortion: people are often shamed into secrecy), a number of support resources exist. Exhale is an Oakland-based hotline that also helps men (holla, Exhale! Gender equality makes my heart sing!) Backline is another good resource, though they focus more on women. Also, full-spectrum doula projects (i.e. birth, adoption, and abortion) are popping up across the U.S., typically staffed by kick-ass ladies — you can find a list of them here (look for the ones marked with asterisks). If you want to grab coffee and debrief, a doula would be happy to help. If there isn't one in your city, try writing to the nearest one. It's not uncommon for a doula to offer support via phone or email, entirely on the client's terms.

Your experience is by no means unusual; any reproductive choice can bring up profound and baffling responses in even the best-adjusted among us. It's terrible that you had to go through this alone, but you don't have to wade through the aftermath on your own — and neither does your boyfriend.

Commentarium (117 Comments)

Dec 11 11 - 9:03pm
nn

My thought? Near the beginning you said you egged him into having sex without a condom, when it apparently wasn't what he wanted. Any chance he feels resentful over that? Or scared that he was almost a father, AND resentful? I'm not saying he shouldn't man up and address this with you directly, but if I had to make a guess about what he's been feeling, that would be it.

Dec 11 11 - 9:51pm
pars

I had the same thought. Perhaps he's afraid of hurting the girlfriend by voicing his own feelings, which might be reasonably conflicted, resentful, and and maybe a bit angry. I agree with the opinion that the writer is right to expect support from her fella, but she should be prepared to deal with his hurts and pains too.

Dec 11 11 - 10:25pm
L.

1. Letter also states that he was drunk and he was sober, therefore he could have said, "Nope, you're drunk, you are not able to make wise decisions right now, we're using a condom."

2. He could have insisted on using a condom. There's no indication that she FORCED HIM to not use one. She "drunkenly egged him on and he obliged." That doesn't imply that he put up much of a fight, and he still could have used a condom or simply refused to have sex if no condom was present.

Dec 11 11 - 10:26pm
L.

*SHE was drunk and HE was sober

Dec 12 11 - 12:26am
M

@L. The fact that they are both responsible for the consequences of the action wouldn't necessarily nullify his potential feelings of resentment and anger. One can only control how he/she acts on her or his feelings. Perhaps the author's boyfriend is angry and doesn't want to share that, for fear of hurting her.

Dec 12 11 - 5:30pm
Johan

Whether true or not, he will never bring up the fact that he feels sad or upset about the abortion, for fear of making her feel guilty about the decision. This probably goes a long way towards explaining his poor behaviour.

Dec 14 11 - 6:50pm
JCB

@ L: you're coming up with rational reasons why he has no right to be upset with her over the unplanned pregnancy, but the thing about negative emotions is that they aren't rational. Yet they're just as real, and just as capable of causing damage - as LW is realizing.

If I could venture a guess, I'd say LW's boyfriend is going through a tough time too. He probably feels a mix of resentment toward her and anger with himself for the original mistake, plus shock and fear about the possibility of fatherhood (and its termination), and some added emotions he can't even describe. And he's dealing with it all by stuffing it inside and pretending nothing happened.

In order to fix this, two things need to happen: LW needs to realize he is not acting out of hostility or indifference toward her but out of repressed pain, and he needs to recognize the pain for what it is and open himself up to her. I wish them both the best.

Dec 11 11 - 9:06pm
jparkes

As a man, i can tell you with some authority that we just aren't built to deal with those kinds of situations emotionally...so we avoid even thinking about them, like it never happened. It's unfair, but boys aren't allowed to express emotion so from childhood we repress the things that we don't know how to deal with.
I would look at the situation a little differently were i you, first recognize that he may be as upset about it as you are. Second, recognize that if he did feel as bad as you he would think himself chivalrous by not bringing it up or talking about it as to not upset you.
Emotional topics will forever cause men to withdraw, they know it's a no win situation for them...they don't know how to work through it, and they know that by avoiding it you inevitably become upset with him for not bringing it up. Either way he loses so men fall back to early training and ignore it as best they can.
If only i could take my years of accumulated knowledge back to my younger self i would have been a great man.

Dec 11 11 - 9:31pm
jparkes

On the other hand...he may be trying to figure out a way of leaving you without seeming like the asshole he would be.

Dec 11 11 - 10:10pm
LM

"As a man, I can tell you with some authority that we aren't built to...(fill in the blank"
Why would anyone, seriously, anyone, think that because they fall into a certain (very broad) category, they can speak for all people who also fall into that category. I would never dream of saying "as a woman, I can tell you with some authority we aren't built to..." And we make fun of (or at least we should make fun of) people who turn to the one black person in the room and say "what do your people think?" Can we all just stop believing that we are the authority on what everybody else in our category of person thinks/ feels/ is "built" like?

Dec 11 11 - 11:47pm
LJ

My boyfriend is also very sweet, caring and supportive, but he is not good at dealing with stressful situations. If I'm stressed, I reach out to him for support; when he's stressed, he closes off. When he had to go through a medical procedure, he basically stopped talking to me for a few days because he just wanted to deal with it by himself. Maybe the letter writer's boyfriend is the same and truly thought that he would only be adding more stress to her situation, or was just too stressed himself to deal with it like he should have.

As for the fact he doesn't want to talk about it, he probably recognizes he screwed up by not being there for you, but it happened, and continuously hearing about how he screwed up is making him feel like a failure. So, again, he's avoiding it.

Not the greatest thing, but maybe you could bring it up from that angle, and then move on from it.

Dec 12 11 - 3:57pm
mr. man

guys who can't step up to the emotional necessities of life are poor choices for long term partners. i have my failings, but stepping up to the plate is not one of them. otherwise you fail yourself and your partner.

Dec 12 11 - 10:19pm
whoa there, excuses

she needs to DTMFA unless he's willing to go to therapy with her like right this instant.
no one should be alone while doing a medical abortion. being alone is terrifying and not safe; she's lucky it only took 4 hours. regardless of how upset, scared, weirded out, or confused he was, she was all of that, doubled, PLUS IN TERRIBLE PHYSICAL PAIN! no excuses. he needed to be there. and because he wasn't, he needs to understand how completely shitty it is that he wasn't there. this seems like a pretty clear situation. maybe "men" don't know how to deal with emotional things, blah blah blah -- this is no excuse. someone you love is in pain, you help her. someone you love is in pain and you are 1/2 responsible for it? you extremely, no excuses, 100% help her. no good.

Dec 11 11 - 10:04pm
Turkish

He should have manned up and been there for her. Simple.

Dec 11 11 - 10:17pm
agreed

Completely agree. Just because it might be hard for him too (and probably should be) isn't an excuse to ignore her ordeal. If he can't apologize and recognize that, he might not be as awesome as he at first seemed.

Dec 12 11 - 3:57pm
mr. man

yep, agree with turk. man up.

Dec 11 11 - 10:29pm
E.

Was he really okay with the abortion? Writer says he was but there's a possibility he wasn't.

Dec 11 11 - 11:36pm
DTMFA

DTMFA

Dec 11 11 - 11:37pm
Sin

Yes, it was your ordeal. That's sort of the price that a woman has to pay sometimes for the sake that it is your choice. It wasn't your boyfriend's choice. He didn't get to decide, and he knew it, so he didn't argue with him. You get to make the choice, but don't be angry at your boyfriend for not being comfortable with it. He didn't get a vote.

Dec 13 11 - 5:03am
Ha

And why should it have been his choice? It's her body. They both did the exact same thing (have unprotected sex) but she has to go through the painful abortion. So he should have been there for her, period.

Dec 14 11 - 12:31am
Ridiculous

@Ha - If it was HER choice and her choice alone, then it is HIS choice whether or not to be there for her and his choice alone. Your statement demonstrates a profound selfishness and lack of reasoning ability. People who think the issue can be reduced to "it's her body so it's her decision" can't then have any expectation of support. I'm glad I'm in a relationship with someone who would rather look for support during and after a tough decision rather than your approach. Good luck throwing the "fact" that men should just shut up and play in the corner because it's not their place to help figuring out what to do, but should then step and and be there afterwards for support. Nice double standard.

Dec 14 11 - 12:37am
Ridiculous

Also, thank you Miss Information for not marginalizing about half the human race in talking about reproduction in this light. Luckily I have never been through this type of situation but if I ever do, I can guarantee you that I will feel scared/torn and sad as would my girlfriend. I would be there for her, but I think I would need her just as much. And no, I wouldn't know what to say to make everything alright. It would be something we'd have to figure out together.

Dec 14 11 - 5:30pm
CaitRobinson

@Ridiculous Thanks. I actually wish there were a lot more discourse about men's experiences with reproductive choices, period. Nearly all of it ends up landing on women's shoulders, and along with it a lot of chest-beating and finger-wagging. Reproductive choices and rights are an "everyone" issue, for sure.

Dec 12 11 - 1:01am
andrea

I had a very, very similar experience--"I just can't make it!" What bullshit. Throughout our very long, on-again, off-again relationship, he failed to step up every single time we had an opportunity to be together in a long-term way. He's not the one for you.

Dec 12 11 - 10:20am
Buck Nasty

On-again, Off-again, ..., it seems like you gave him the option to not step-up and he took it.
Listen up chicks - its extremely rare that the dude will do any more than you expect of him. And "expect" includes verbalization + accountability.

Dec 13 11 - 5:05am
EllieS

Yeah, chicks. You want to know something about men? Listen to buck nasty. He knows so much about men. And steppin up. NEVER give your man the option to not step up. Never do that.

Dec 15 11 - 1:48am
@EllieS

Hahahaha! High five!

Jan 05 12 - 10:27pm
Cooletta

My boyfriend (29 to my 44 at the time) never had to be asked. We agreed to split the cost, he took off work, drove me, and laid in bed with me afterward and rubbed my back to ease the pain. My bf is not even what I would call the sensitive type, but he loves me so he took care of me . You deserved better!

Dec 12 11 - 2:04am
Dea

That sucks that your bf wasn't there for you while you were going through this experience. I've been through it too, and I thought the hardest part was/is the secrecy -- it's not something that's acceptable to talk openly about, and people often and unknowingly make judgmental and ignorant comments. This website might be helpful for you and your bf -- it explores men's concerns and feelings related to abortion: http://menandabortion.com/index.html

In any case, I think it's important to be able to communicate with your partner about issues that are important to you, so maybe say something like, "I know this may be an uncomfortable topic for you, but it's important to me me that we talk about this", and voice your concerns in a non-accusatory manner. e.g. "I felt lonely when you didn't call that day, because it made me think you didn't care", etc. That way, he hears you out, and gets an opportunity to explain his response. If he brushes you off or tries to make it seem like you're being oversensitive, then he's probably not mature enough to deal with the tough things that come with having a serious relationship. Good luck.

Dec 14 11 - 5:31pm
CaitRobinson

@Dea So glad this exists! I hadn't heard of it yet. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 12 11 - 3:47am
H

Men can be a bit strange about things involving the mysteries of menstruation and pregnancy. I've had boyfriends who asked about switching to a non-condom form of birth control and refused to speak about other methods and left it completely up to me, as though I am the only one effected by it. My current boyfriend was pretty flumoxed when I asked him to go to the store and buy some maxi pads for me and he couldn't find the right kind. Maybe the LW's boyfriend simply opted out of the abortion because he had no idea what he could/should do in the situation. Or worried that his presence would only make things worse. That often happens with the absent friends/family of people with serious illnesses.

And, yes, while the guy is a bit of an ass not to have been there, he is going through some things emotionally, too. Any man who doesn't put up an argument against abortion quasi-had the abortion, too. His body was not effected, but can't a man whose partner has an abortion go through most of the same emotions as the woman, as well as a few differnet ones?

Dec 12 11 - 4:35am
AAC

Gotta say that "man up" is one of the most tooth-gratingly annoying expressions I've ever heard -- especially when it comes from soi-disant feminists who don't want to be boxed into traditional female roles, yet expect the men in their lives to Act Like Men. It's the job of both parties in a relationship to exhibit strength, willpower, and perseverance, regardless of what's between their legs.

Anyway, it sounds like the LW's boyfriend is pissed off or alienated. Maybe he thinks that if it's her choice, then it's her responsibility to take care of it, especially since she "drunkenly egged him into not using a condom" -- a statement that merits some unpacking, BTW, since that's some CRAZY shit. If she took such a casual attitude about having unprotected sex, then maybe he thinks the abortion will be an equally casual event for her.

Or maybe he's sad about the notion that they made a life together that's now been aborted, but he doesn't want to say so and risk (1) a long lecture about how his feelings are irrelevant, since he's not the one with the fetus in his body, and he should "man up" and keep it to himself; (2) a manipulative outburst of tears; or (3) any number of other unpleasant behaviors.

Or maybe the whole incident feels kinda icky to him, and he's lost respect for her and for himself as well, and part of him wants out but he can't bring himself to end things. So he doesn't show up or support her, as a passive-aggressive way of expressing his resentment and trying to push her away. And honestly, I would probably want to get away too; something about the LW's letter gives me the willies.

Dec 12 11 - 8:20am
Kristina

Lord forbid that he would have to deal with 'unpleasant' behaviours in a relationship; or take responsibility for his actions rather than shutting down on her when she needs him the most. That would just be silly.

Dec 12 11 - 11:05am
wha?

But she didn't need him.
There was no discussion.
She TOLD him what she was doing.
She decided HE wasn't ready for children.

Pretty much the same thing happened when SHE demanded he not use a condom.

Maybe he isn't feeling that he has anything to say about any of it, because he's never been given the opportunity to say anything.

Dec 12 11 - 1:43pm
babyjane

It's clear from the letter that he agreed that he wasn't ready to raise a child, and agreed that an abortion was the right choice. There is no indication that he wanted to raise a child anywhere in this letter. She didn't force him to have unprotected sex, she made a suggestion (albiet a drunken, stupid one) that he went along with. If my bf suggests we get Thai for dinner, and I agree, is he "forcing" me to? Having unprotected sex was a choice they are equally culpable for, and they share equal responsibility for the resulting pregnancy.

Dec 12 11 - 4:26pm
Preggosaurus Rex

I am the Letter-Writer in question. Hi.

I suppose I should have clarified that I did not RAPE my boyfriend and FORCE HIM to have unprotected sex against his will, but oh my god, who the hell would infer that from my letter?! I was intoxicated and suggested we ride bareback. He said, "Okay!" Many children were conceived in this manner: You get lost in the moment, forget about birth control, and BAM, someone is pregnant. It's not that unusual.

I guess I also should have clarified that the decision to abort was mutual. He did not wish to carry the pregnancy to term. He sent me money for the abortion. He had plenty of opportunity to voice his opposition, but he did not, because he had come to the same conclusion I did: Having the baby would be a huge mistake. I did not make the decision for him.

Sorry I give you the willies. The misogyny in your response also gives me the willies. SO... I guess we're even.

Dec 12 11 - 5:19pm
hmm

By misogyny you mean this ? "That 'man up' is one of the most tooth-gratingly annoying expressions I've ever heard -- especially when it comes from soi-disant feminists who don't want to be boxed into traditional female roles, yet expect the men in their lives to Act Like Men. It's the job of both parties in a relationship to exhibit strength, willpower, and perseverance, regardless of what's between their legs"

Dec 12 11 - 11:01pm
Friend

Hey Preggo Rex,
I am sorry he was not there for you, that sucks. I'm also sorry that you made the bad choice to go without protection and needed to end the pregnancy. You both were hurt by this situation and now its time to clear the air or move on. Forgiveness is key for both of you. I hope you find this important life lesson for yourself and do your best to make choices that keep you safe and healthy, going into the future. If you find yourself pregnant and not ready to parent please choose life. Hopefully you will find Mr. Right and have a blessed life.

Dec 13 11 - 12:48pm
AAC

@Preggosaurus Rex: I'm not among those who thought you "forced" your boyfriend into having unprotected sex. I do think you're using your boyfriend's behavior as a pretext to forget your own responsibility for what happened -- you were the one who chose to describe your behavior as "egging" him on.

More to the point, your comments about him being "supportive" and "wonderful" feel pro forma. Of course you're pissed off at him, but there's a difference between being angry and getting off on that anger. I don't actually think you're interested in his feelings or what he's experiencing; you're just exulting in your sense of being wronged, because it takes your mind off your own share in things -- not to mention giving you access to some narrative of sisterhood and patriarchy that lets you throw around charges of "misogyny" without having to think about the possibility that maybe you're pissed at your boyfriend because, instead of acting like the paternal masculine archetype you want him to be, he's showing that he's a fallible human being with feelings.

Dec 13 11 - 6:37pm
y

+1

Dec 14 11 - 12:18pm
Preggosaurus Rex

@AAC: I wrote the letter because I was CONFUSED by his behavior and looking for insight, since I have no experience in this realm to draw from. I was hurt and confused, not angry and looking to castrate him because OMG PATRIARCHY. In fact, I never said a damn thing about feminism or the pro-life/pro-choice struggle or anything like that.

I still love that people think that, when a girl suggests that perhaps it'd be fun to have sex without a condom, a guy really has to be sold on the idea. Because he was SO AGAINST IT. And, you know, he couldn't have said, "No condom, no sex." And, again, I was intoxicated and should not have even been trusted with choosing what shoes to wear. He was stone cold sober. Yes, I drunkenly encouraged him to not use a condom. But he was sober and he went along with it. I think that makes us EQUALLY TO BLAME. Since it takes TWO PEOPLE TO GET PREGNANT.

I think what's happening is that everyone is projecting their own feelings about abortion onto me, and my boyfriend, and my letter, and seeing things that simply aren't there. Like my blind anger for my boyfriend: NOT THERE. And my cavalier, careless attitude about having an abortion: NOT THERE. And my self-righteousness: NOT THERE. I wrote a letter looking for help with a relationship issue, that is all.

Dec 14 11 - 12:32pm
Preggosaurus Rex

@AAC: "I don't actually think you're interested in his feelings or what he's experiencing; you're just exulting in your sense of being wronged, because it takes your mind off your own share in things -- not to mention giving you access to some narrative of sisterhood and patriarchy that lets you throw around charges of "misogyny" without having to think about the possibility that maybe you're pissed at your boyfriend because, instead of acting like the paternal masculine archetype you want him to be, he's showing that he's a fallible human being with feelings."

Please read the letter I wrote again and tell me how I am "getting off on my anger." Seriously. Provide specific examples. And please explain to me how WRITING AN ADVICE COLUMNIST asking for INSIGHT ABOUT HIS FEELINGS and looking for ways to move past this rough phase is discounting his feelings?

You're projected a lot of baggage onto my letter, and half of what you're writing is just totally made up bullshit.

And, for the record, my boyfriend and I have talked about it and reconciled and things are good between us again. I do not regret having the abortion, and neither does he. After it was over, we both felt relieved and happy that we did not have the spend the rest of our lives in penance for one moment of stupidity. We have moved on.

But it's been interesting to see how the subject of abortion brings out the ugliest in the internet.

Dec 14 11 - 1:28pm
AAC

Your last two posts, which sound like the writings of someone sitting at the keyboard trembling with rage, don't exactly give a lot of credence to the "I'm not getting off on my anger!" argument. You seem like a person who enjoys feeling self-righteous, and in my experience, people like that tend to enjoy emotionally beating up their partners and making them feel like a piece of shit. That's the vibe I got from your letter: that of someone who wants permission to verbally beat the shit out of her boyfriend and make him crawl, NOT someone who's authentically looking to understand his POV.

Actually I think your comments about your intoxication are revealing, because they confirm what I suspected: that you're pissed off at him for agreeing to what you drunkenly proposed, and that it was his job to be the voice of reason. While I agree with your words that you two were "equally to blame" for the condomless sex, your original letter doesn't read that way. It reads like the writing of a woman who expects the man in her life to be a rock and to take care of her, and who's blind with anger at having him turn out to be a human being. I actually think he should've shown up, should've taken care of you, and should've done all the things you hoped for. I just take exception with your self-righteous vehemence, and the sense that you're yet another person who knows how to pay lip service to other people's feelings and needs, but deep down aren't really interested in them. And perhaps your boyfriend is the same way, which makes you a great match, I suppose. Good luck with your future.

Dec 14 11 - 1:33pm
AAC

P.S. Fuck yes, I'd have to be "sold" on the idea of condomless sex with a girl who wasn't using birth control. Actually, I've been in that exact situation, and my response was NO. So kindly don't presume to speak for what a guy would do, hmmmm?

Also, there's a strong gendered component to your complaints in your original letter, so don't claim that feminism wasn't on the table until the Nasty Bad Internet Commenters brought it up. After all, how the fuck can you talk about abortion, and "man up" for that matter, without gender being part of the discussion?

Dec 14 11 - 2:01pm
Preggosaurus Rex

WOW, YOU'VE REALLY GOT ME PEGGED! How did you know that I am a self-righteous, emotionally abusive man-eater?

I really don't understand why you're reading so much anger and hatred in everything I've written. I wasn't looking for an excuse to dump him or punish him. My boyfriend and I were in a difficult situation and I wrote looking for help to move past it. If you question my motives, fine. But you're inventing subtexts that simply are not there. And it's great that you cannot separate abortion from a abstract, gendered, political context; but it gets a little messier when you're actually terminating a pregnancy. My concerns are not about politics or gender, but about my health and my relationship and how to move on. And that's the truth. I wrote in because I was confused and hurt by my boyfriend's behavior after I became pregnant, and after we decided to abort, and I wanted some insight in how to deal with it. That is all. You can disagree, but given that I wrote the letter and know exactly what was happening in my mind and heart when I wrote it, you would be wrong, plain and simple.

And it's great that you're so diligent about using condoms, but I assure you, my boyfriend did not need to be sold on the idea. Millions of babies each year are accidentally conceived by couples getting caught up in the moment and plowing on without birth control. It's not unusual, and that's all that happened. There was no coercion, no dishonesty, we just plain fucked up. And that's all there is to it.

Now, I'm bowing out of this conversation. You seem angry in general, and toward women in particular. Maybe ripping into random strangers on the internet is some form of therapy for you. Or maybe it's just a hobby. But have at it. Go nuts. I felt the need to jump in and defend myself (and my boyfriend) when people started making wild assumptions, but I realize now it's useless. Whatever.

Dec 14 11 - 2:38pm
AAC

Fine, but: who cares what's in your heart or mind? All we have to work with is what you wrote, and if that comes across as self-righteous and punitive, it's the fault of the author, not the reader. I don't think you're some kind of monster, far from it; I just think that, at heart, you blame your boyfriend for the whole thing (even if you say otherwise). Gender expectations are part of that; so is the human tendency to exult in one's injuries as a way of having power over the person who allegedly inflicted them.

If you get this enraged over what's been written here (which is mostly innocuous), I suggest you never post a video to Youtube, or do anything else on the Internet, because it's a jungle out there. Peace.

Dec 15 11 - 1:55am
@Preg Rex

Please don't feed the troll. AAC is clearly just enjoying picking a fight. And like my best friend always says, "Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics: you might win, but you're still retarded."

Dec 15 11 - 10:55am
AAC

It must be rough to have an Internet GIF as your best friend!

Dec 15 11 - 10:56am
AAC

(or JPEG, if that's your kink; those PNG people are just deviants, though)

Dec 15 11 - 7:54pm
@@Preg Rex

First off, she is enjoying the drama as much as he is. Already clear.
Seccond: That phrase is offensive and degrades people with intellectual disabilities.

Dec 12 11 - 11:14am
BrosephofArimathea

He blew that crisis. That's strike one.

Dec 12 11 - 8:40pm
eggshell73

Totally agree. Something happened that neither of them wanted to happen. She dealt with it and he didn't.
From personal experience, a similar situation ended the relationship. I'm better off without him. Looking back it was a big crisis he backed out on preceded by a bunch of littler ones. I'm wondering if the poster was to look back over the span of the relationship, if she'd see a similar pattern.

Dec 12 11 - 8:43pm
eggshell73

I want to add that, in my experience, the guy in question was not a douchebag. He was not mean. We had a hell of a lot of fun together, but he couldn't deal with crisis, and life is full of crisis. He was a lot of fun, but not a very good friend.

Dec 12 11 - 11:41am
Disillusioned

Perhaps he's having trouble coming to terms with the reality of what happened. It's perfectly rational to be anti-abortion and pro-choice, but it's so much harder when it's your situation and not a philosophical discussion about what other people should be allowed to do. In the end abortion is killing *something* -- what that something is, and whether or not people should be allowed to kill it is the actual debate, but biologically there is no argument. Thankfully I've never been faced with that choice, but I can imagine the difficulty of the decision and the emotional toll it could take.

Dec 12 11 - 1:37pm
babyjane

I appreciate what you're trying to say, but there IS a debate about whether abortion kills anything. Biologically and legally, fetuses are not considered independent life forms at early stages of pregnancy. The idea of a fetus as a living things really stems from religious and spiritual beliefs, not medicine.

Dec 12 11 - 3:43pm
Disillusioned

No, the debate is whether a fetus or an embryo is a *human* yet (and if it's OK to kill said creature, whatever it may be). Whether it's alive or not is not open to debate, it is very much a living creature of some sort.

There are literally thousands of species of very basic creatures (single-celled organisms and others that have single-or double-digit cell counts) that cannot survive outside of another body (human or animal), and these bacterial and virii and other things are in all cases considered to be alive, so why would an embryo or a fetus be any different?

Dec 12 11 - 5:21pm
Yulia

Answer: To control the bodies of women.

Dec 12 11 - 6:20pm
nope

Yeah, in the context of this debate, "alive" is way more weighted than it is in, say, a scientific context. It has a lot more to do with humanity and the possession of a "soul." After all, humans don't give a shit about killing bacteria, parasites, insects... but then start to care somewhere along the way to animals, and start to really care once we get to fellow humans. The truth is, very few people actually go around believing that ALL life is sacred.

Dec 12 11 - 7:25pm
Disillusioned

It's pretty much impossible to think that all life is sacred. We kill millions of living creatures every day simply by breathing, bathing, moving, driving...

Either something is alive or it is inanimate, period. A virus, a tree, a kitten, an embryo -- they are all living creatures. There's no way around that, there is no debate. But as humans we make personal decisions about where the line is drawn between life that's OK to kill and that which is not. And since we can't all agree on where exactly that line exists, we argue and debate and squabble. (Not just about abortion, but also dietary philosophies, capital punishment, etc.) And perhaps for the boyfriend described above, that line was in a difference place than he originally thought it was. Just sayin'.

Dec 12 11 - 8:08pm
dude

A virus isn't alive. Maybe you meant a bacteria?

Dec 13 11 - 3:23am
G

"Answer: To control the bodies of women."

Holy balls, I hate this attitude. It seems as though some people believe that any any opposition to abortion is for the sole reason of desiring some sort of control over the female body.

News flash: It's not. Almost every single person who opposes abortion is doing it because they believe that it causes the death of a human being, and they are standing up for what they believe is right. A side effect of that belief is women's loss of control over their bodies, but that is by no means the primary motive.

Anyone who believes otherwise is sorrily wrong, and I pity for having such a terribly negative view of humanity.

Dec 13 11 - 8:32am
j

why should a fetus have more rights then a woman (who is already) alive?!
Explain, I really do not understand?

Dec 13 11 - 7:46pm
G

Alright, again, I'm going to have to correct you. There is no debate that a fetus is alive. It's alive. The debate is whether or not it's a person. I personally don't believe so, but there are others that do.

To those that believe it is a person, abortion is murder. Murder. They believe that by having this abortion, you are murdering a baby. Do you understand the implications of that? To someone who believes a fetus is a person, the pain and discomfort (a great deal of both) for the mother is a necessary sacrifice to save the life of a baby.

I'd like to clarify again that these aren't the beliefs that I hold, but is what many others do believe.

Dec 14 11 - 8:22am
j

Alright, again, Herman Cain I ak going to have to correct YOU.
Take control. Please, please, do me the favor of CORRECTING me. Go ahead an grab my imaginary ass. Go on, I know you want to. Oh, wait, sorry am I asking for it? Better punish me!
But first read (something that is actually taught in dirty liberals in the blues states), and answer my question. Why WHY should a fetus have more rights then a grown up adult woman? That is what I asked. I do not need a lecture about abortion being murder. Your so-called war on terror in the middle east, is what I call murder. Yeah, let's talk about murder. I have a feeling your hand's certainly are NOT clean.

Dec 14 11 - 11:52am
AAC

Uh, the poster G isn't pro-life, he's pro-choice ("The debate is whether or not it's a person. I personally don't believe so"), and if you took the time to read his post properly that'd be super-clear.

Maybe you need to ask your optician to adjust your prescription? (Or -- given your bizarre rant about Herman Cain -- your psychiatrist?)

Dec 14 11 - 1:15pm
G

Alright, here we go again.

"Why WHY should a fetus have more rights then a grown up adult woman? That is what I asked."

I'm going to clarify AGAIN that I am playing devil's advocate here, posting from the standpoint of someone who is pro-life DESPITE THE FACT THAT I AM NOT. If we are considering this fetus to be a person, then who really has more rights? The person you can legally kill, or the person who has to endure pain and discomfort? Just something to think about.

"I do not need a lecture about abortion being murder. Your so-called war on terror in the middle east, is what I call murder. Yeah, let's talk about murder. I have a feeling your hand's certainly are NOT clean."

I'm Canadian. **** off.

Dec 14 11 - 2:27pm
nope

@G
That was actually hilarious.

Jan 25 12 - 2:41am
JNN

Those who believe in the sincerity of pro-lifers in their concern for the embryo or fetus as the primary motive are too young to remember society before abortion became a right. Women's subordinate status was legally cemented by the fact that they (we) could be impregnated against our will and then forced by law to bear the child. We were essentially slaves, and being restricted to certain types of jobs, and certain levels of salary, and society-wide forms of true contempt and false respect, both from men and from each other, were rooted in that slavery. I never had an abortion and would not have wanted to. I believe an embryo and a fetus are potential human life, and I believe that people who are equipped to raise children should go to some trouble to bear unplanned children. But I would never assume that I know what is best for anyone else in that circumstance, and anyone who chooses to care more about a fetus or an embryo that the humans who are alive does so because he or she wants to put women back in the prison of 50 years ago.

Dec 12 11 - 1:48pm
babyjane

Without the inflammatory context of an abortion, what happened is actually very simply. The LW went through a painful, traumatic experience during which she needed and asked for her boyfriend's support. He wasn't willing or able to help her, maybe because he's immature or maybe because he doesn't see the relationship as serious enough to warrant that kind of emotional effort. In any case, his actions have made it clear that he isn't someone she can have a serious, longterm relationship with. Being someone's partner means supporting them through difficult times, and it's obvious that he isn't going to do that.

Dec 12 11 - 2:11pm
Russo

Cast him off you think? Not a lot of maturity shown on LW1s side when she sold him on the unprotected sex. What a shame he didn't read that immaturity and cast her off there and then eh? Should he crack open a can of 'Man Up' and take a sip?

Dec 12 11 - 5:07pm
@Russo

Yeah, I'm sure she had to reallllyyy hard sell him on the no condom thing. Anything to blame the woman, right dude?

Dec 12 11 - 5:27pm
hughthehippy

Honestly, it sounds like they both are a bit wacky. I do not dislike the person for aborting ( that's her choice) but she sounds whiny.I personally think it was generous for the BF to pay for the abortion. Several of my past girlfriends (this is back in the 60's, mind you) had to suffer dangerous back alley abortions (which they paid for themselves either through cash, sex or even both) with out the help, protection let alone ANY kind of support from their boyfriends. Move on. Forgive him. Be happy you are healthy. All of this emotional poison is just going to damage your physical health AND your relationship. I wish you healing and peace.

Dec 12 11 - 5:35pm
notfromaroundhere

Russo, both ere irresponsible. The fact that it was her idea is irrelevant. They did something together that hurt the LW and the guy bailed instead of being supportive. If you love someone and she's in a tough spot, you try to help, no matter whose fault it was. Doing something dumb on the spur of the moment s one thing. Abandoning someone to her suffering is dickish. She should dump him.

Dec 12 11 - 6:41pm
ridic

I think you're reading a lot into this to say that the guy in question is not capable of giving providing a serious and supportive relationship. It's possible that to hear it from his point of view, his emotional needs were also not being met. Many couples struggle with communicating at the best of times, much less when going through such a stressful ordeal. I think the advice was spot on.

Dec 12 11 - 5:10pm
Friend

After reading my first thought was you should not kill your baby. I have had an abortion and they are very painful and depressing. I have also become pregnant and was not ready to be a mom so I placed her for adoption. That was a good choice. I had unprotected sex and was not ready to kill off what was growing inside me again. I have been in contact with her and she is healthy and happy and she has a great life. I also have my own children and can say they are a gift weather you are "ready" for them or not. Sometimes people think you have to be ready for children but when they come they have a way of making you check your priorities. You have to grow up sometime and when you become middle aged you get real thankful for the people in your life. Use protection always or risk hard choices. People will always let you down, especially boyfriends you get to bed down with but wont take you for your abortion. Next time think twice!

Dec 12 11 - 6:46pm
well

Nobody killed any baby. Your story is also an obvious fairytale. Abortions are painful and depressing? But childbirth and adoption isn't?

Dec 12 11 - 8:08pm
Friend

If let to grow, it would have produced a baby. Giving up a baby was VERY difficult but I did do that. Abortions are very painful, and a lot of women go through depression afterward. Giving birth is also painful but with todays meds you can deliver with out pain. If you think a few unwanted pregnancies prior to getting married and having children is a fairytale then you are either too young to know about life or too ignorant for your own good. I never said adoption was pain free.... I cried a lot and had no baby to hold afterward. Real pain is when your milk comes in and you have no baby to nurse. And I delivered my first pregnancy (adoption baby) without the epidural. I met her 2 years ago and she looks just like i did at 20. So beautiful, thats why it was a good choice. She got to live, a woman that could not get pregnant received a gift that I provided, a sweet healthy baby. There is joy in my heart that I made the right choice. The pain from childbirth is overridden by the gift of life.

Dec 12 11 - 8:10pm
dude

If you're going to bullshit this much in a single.comment, get your lies straight. So by my count you had at least four unplanned pregnancies? You sure didn't learn your lesson about avoiding risk, huh?

Dec 12 11 - 8:47pm
Friend

still not lying. 1 abortion, 1 adoption and 2 kids ages 16 and 17 1/2. I don't understand how my reality could cause people to think it was a fairy tale or lie. The point is that a drunk girl wanted to have unprotected sex and winded up getting an abortion. Her boyfriend was not there for her. My point is you play you pay, adoption is a better choice and having children is a great thing. This site must be for people with no real life lessons learned.

Dec 13 11 - 1:53am
mary

It's great that adoption worked out for you but "friendship" is hardly based on forcing your choices on others through emotional coercion.

Dec 13 11 - 8:16am
Hmm

"Giving birth is also painful but with todays meds you can deliver with out pain." No one who has ever given birth would write something so totally ignorant. I won't even address the bogus abortion and adoption stories. Nice try, friend.

Dec 12 11 - 5:15pm
Bob

I find it sad that he wouldn't have been there for his girlfriend on that day. There's no excuse not to be there. As someone whose gone through this, it's hard on the man as well.

My (ex) girlfriend became pregnant while on the Pill. She wanted an abortion. Did I? To this day I don't know. I would have like to talk about it, but I know that I would have never, even for a second, suggested otherwise keeping it. Had I suggested that I wanted to keep it, that would have instantly placed all the guilt on her for the decision and quite obviously, she was dealing with a lot already.

After we came home, I cried, heavily. And pretty much tried to work through all the terrible things that would bother me later (what I end up never having kids, etc...). This, along with long talks with close-friends has seemed to work for me and I've come to accept the decision. We broke up a few months after, not because of this, but it factored in. After we broke-up, she would call, wanting to talk about it. It's something that still really bothers her.

I'm not sure what advice I could give you, other that don't beat yourself up about it. What's done is done. You should probably have a very honest talk with your boyfriend, which is hard. I'm sure he has some pretty big walls up. Good luck.

Dec 14 11 - 5:47pm
CaitRobinson

@Bob This sounds awful for you, and I'm sorry it happened like that. I am surprised at how few men think they have to consider women's reproductive rights. Again, though, it's an "everybody" issue.

My advice for ALL men: talk to your ladies, think for yourselves, decide NOW what your thoughts are on abortion. Don't wait until you have to choose for real. Because if your lady is pro-choice and you're anti-, or the other way around, you both deserve to know before you're in a really hard position.

Dec 12 11 - 5:18pm
Bob

Oh and one more thing. Please people. Do not trust the pill 100%. Condoms suck but at least try to pull out the majority of the time.

Dec 12 11 - 5:19pm
moops

Give the guy a break. If a man had urged a woman to not use a condom, etc. he'd be branded a sexual abuser.

Dec 12 11 - 5:46pm
babyjane

There's a differences between suggestion and coercion.

Dec 12 11 - 6:24pm
nope

What? No. Almost every guy ever has at some point asked to not use a condom. It doesn't make him an abuser unless he forces her.

Dec 13 11 - 1:04pm
AAC

I don't know about "abuser", but I know a fair number of women who think that a guy who asks not to use a condom is a piece of shit...and who talk about men not wanting to use a condom as if it's part of the same continuum as date rape and burqas, i.e. yet another tool of patriarchal oppression of women (rather than, say, a way to make sex feel like something more than a vague diffuse frottage that reeks of latex and spermicide).

Dec 14 11 - 2:32pm
nope

Well, I do not know these straw ladies of yours, so I can't refute that argument. You know, condoms are not the sexiest things in the world for women either. But their is a societal expectation with condoms -- as with a lot of aspects of sex -- that the woman has to be the one to put her foot down and make sure everything's safe. Maybe they meant that the expectation that birth control be the responsibility of the woman instead of a thing couples work towards together is patriarchal? Because I'd agree with that, sure.

Dec 14 11 - 2:32pm
nope

*there is a

Dec 14 11 - 2:55pm
AAC

Well, I think it's a couple things. One of them is the idea that women have more to lose than men from unprotected sex, which is arguably true even if you forget about pregnancy: most STDs take a bigger toll on women than men, or are more easily transmissible male > female than female > male.

But it's also about power relationships, I think, and the idea that men's pleasure -- especially from PIV -- is essentially irrelevant. I mean, when a guy complains that condoms are ruining his enjoyment (which can include his ability to keep an erection), the usual responses are either "So what?", "Take a Viagra", "It's that or nothing", and so on. There's a refusal to display any sympathy, or to legitimate the idea that his experience is valid, partly because safe sex advocates have worked pretty hard to make the idea (of condomless sex) unthinkable and synonymous with irresponsibility...but partly because we still think of sex as something that men should be grateful to get, and male pleasure as being little more than another word for ejaculation, and male emotions as a sign of weakness.

Dec 14 11 - 4:16pm
nope

I don't disagree with anything you wrote, but it does all, in fact, stem from patriarchy.

"we still think of sex as something that men should be grateful to get" -- this emerges from the idea that women need to be virtuous, and that to get sex "from" a woman (instead of, say, have sex with her) is an accomplishment or prize. Patriarchy.
"male pleasure as being little more than another word for ejaculation" -- this is much trickier, and I would blame on the overall reductivist concept of sex in America, which is, let's say, cousins with patriarchy but not the same thing. Yes, the concept of pleasure in general is too orgasm-centric; the concept of male orgasms too ejaculation-centric.
"male emotions as a sign of weakness" -- obviously patriarchy, come on. Men strong, woemn weak. Men defenders, women helpless. Men stoic, women hysterical.

The bottom line is, patriarchy hurts both genders. So, you know, let's tear down this wall.

P.S. Another issue with the whole "deal with the condom or else" line of reasoning is that, frankly, there is no good substitute for a condom. No matter how sympathetic you may be to your boyfriend's loss of pleasure from using a condom, there is no pill or patch or ring or lube that is going to help prevent the spread of STDs the way a condom does.

Dec 14 11 - 5:16pm
AAC

I've always resisted the word "patriarchy" because it inherently implies that men and maleness are at the root of these issues, and I don't think that's true (nor do I think a matriarchy would be any less pathological). Gender roles evolve out of the behavior and desires of, and power relationships between, BOTH sexes. My own opinion is that some of this stuff, like the near-universal male preference for young women and the near-universal female preference for powerful men, is hardwired into our psyches, and the power structures we see in most societies reflect that hardwiring: hence (for example) the widespread female distaste for "weak" displays of emotion from men. I know it's fashionable to say it's all socially constructed, but I've never bought that idea.

That said, I appreciate your thoughtful responses, and agree that walls need tearing down. It'll involve some sacrifice from everybody, though...and just as men need to give up their fantasies of being taken care of by Mommy, women need to give up their fantasies of being watched over by an impervious, wealthy, paternal archetype. But each gender continues to resent the other for not living up to these archetypes, and finding ways to blame them for being human.

Dec 14 11 - 7:28pm
G

Just wanted to comment that this is the most thought provoking, civil, and interesting discussion I've ever read on this site. Both of you deserve pats on the bat for not reducing yourselves to name-calling and insulting one another's intelligence.

Dec 12 11 - 6:18pm
S

Maybe he's grieving.

Dec 12 11 - 6:29pm
nope

It is interesting to hear people's personal experiences with abortion as men. It can be a strange, lonely kind of grief. I agree with everyone who has said that the LW should approach her boyfriend about how his absence hurt her, but also be open to his feelings. And it might not hurt to give the both of you a bit of a break from this issue, even if it's just a week or so.

This is definitely a red flag and a fuck-up on his part, don't get me wrong. But it's not, by itself, worthy of dumping the guy.

And as a side note -- it is disturbing how many people cannot distinguish between consensual and forced sex. There was nothing in the letter to imply that she forced the boyfriend into having bareback sex, merely that she suggested it. If you think any sort of suggestion is on the level of rape you are a complete doormat, or being disingenuous. (I'm thinking the latter.)

Dec 12 11 - 8:46pm
seriously?

While SOBER he consented to having sex with you without a condom: Strike One.
He was shitty and unsupportive in a crisis: Strike Two.
This guy has terrible judgment and is not going to be there for you when you need him. Don't wait for a Third Strike, friend. DTMFA.

Dec 12 11 - 8:46pm
seriously?

While SOBER he consented to having sex with you without a condom: Strike One.
He was shitty and unsupportive in a crisis: Strike Two.
This guy has terrible judgment and is not going to be there for you when you need him. Don't wait for a Third Strike, friend. DTMFA.

Dec 12 11 - 11:27pm
Turkish

P-Rex needed her BF to be there for her. I get that people are going to appropriate blame depending on their point of view, and that abortion is a ridiculously divisive topic for Americans...but regardless as to the events that led up to P-Rex having an abortion, when she made her decision her BF should have been there for her. If he couldn't put his own beliefs and opinions out of the way long enough to support her, or even recognise his culpability in all this and just dump guilt and judgement on P-Rex...DTMFA. Cause I doubt he's capable of manning up at all.

Dec 12 11 - 11:49pm
bev

Yes! Thanks for mentioning Exhale. You can call them, and so can your boyfriend. People have lots of feelings and thoughts about abortions. Reactions are sometimes unpredictable. It's good to talk. Good luck!

Dec 14 11 - 5:48pm
CaitRobinson

@bev Spread the good word!

Dec 13 11 - 1:06am
cs

Ugh. I've gone through an abortion with no support (no partner at the time), and I know exactly how much it sucks. Obviously sympathetic, but hear him out. I can't pretend to have the first clue about how men feel regarding their partners' abortions, but his behavior suggests he was going through some bad emotional stuff of his own. Not excusing his not being there (at all), but there might be more to it than him just being an asshole. Abortion is one of those things where you can't know how you (or someone else) is really going to react to it until it happens to you.

Dec 13 11 - 3:04am
bye

Preg-Rex, the hard (but inescapable) fact is that this man allowed you to go through this experience completely alone. Whatever his feelings (or lack thereof), he agreed with the decision, came up with the money, then left you ALONE. You may love this man, but his actions don't reflect any love for you. Please, please, take it from someone who *knows* what she's talking about...this episode does NOT bode well for the future. He'll keep being aggressively passive and you'll resent his actions past and present. There are times when people *have* to show up and this was one of them. No excuses allowed (and it's not like he's asking your forgiveness anyway). First strike, only strike. Excuse the language, because I know you love this man, but DTMFA. He really is a MF-asaurus.

Dec 13 11 - 8:04am
@bye

That's not necessarily true - yes, one option could be that he doesn't love you, but another one could be that he's too scared to talk about it. Some men are bad at emotional situations like that - if he has strong feelings, he might be scared of letting them out. A third option, of course, is that he simply disagreed with the decision to abort, but felt like he didn't have the right to say anything, and is now holding in some anger.
I suggest getting to the bottom of things before jumping do any drastic action.

Dec 13 11 - 9:50am
WackaWacka

I find it tremendously hypocritical that all the folks who normally say that the abortion decision is only for the woman, the father has absolutely ZERO say in the matter, are now complaining that he wasn't there. You can't have it both ways...

Dec 13 11 - 6:19pm
seriously?

He agreed the abortion was the right decision. He didn't contest it. And then, after expressing support for the decision, he wasn't there for her.
There is no hyprocrisy here. The guy's a dick.

Dec 13 11 - 9:40pm
Catherine

Agreed. The guy is a dick. Why try to decipher his conflicting feelings and emotional baggage? At the end of the day, he acted like a prick, and there are plenty of men who wouldn't do that to her.

Dec 13 11 - 11:47pm
Just Saying

Not everybody is perfect. Maybe it would help more if you talked to him and asked how he felt instead of attacking him? It seems like you have made up your mind already and this is probably redundant, but he didn't TRY to hurt you, so maybe you shouldn't assume he doesn't care just because he's having trouble with the situation.

Dec 14 11 - 12:41am
AlexT

I feel bad for Preggo. One of life's huge boner-killers is having to find out, upon dealing with a major life issues, which of our loved ones really have our backs and which turn into complete assholes.

Obviously abortion is never fun, even in the best of circumstances. It's painful, it's traumatizing, it's scary. On top of that, there's the crazies and the poster-waving people telling you you're a hellbound skeezebag for having this perfectly legal procedure. But it's a real shit sandwich when you can't get the co-abortion-causer to have your back, even by telephone.

And, yeah: the guy completely blew it, over and over. And now, by trying to pretend it never happened, he continues to lose yards. I'm afraid that the news for this guy doesn't get any better. This guy, at this time, regarding this event, is never going to be the guy you hoped he would be. He just doesn't have it in him. He's gonna be the guy who got a girl pregnant and then pretended it never happened, even to the girl's face.

The abortion probably wouldn't have been a dealbreaker by itself, but this probably will be. Nobody wants to find out that their partner is a fair-weather fucker who can't even manage a get-well card when shit gets serious. Once they find that out, the respect just goes out the window. (Not only that, but you won't trust yourself within a mile of his bone after finding out how shitty he is with the non-recreational aspects.)

Take care of yourself, Preggo. Don't waste too much more energy on that guy; save it for yourself and your healing process. You're obviously a strong person, and I'm sorry your boyfriend turned out not to be.

Dec 14 11 - 3:06am
bye

That. Every last word.

Dec 14 11 - 11:53pm
Another Art

Before I turned 21, decades ago, my first actual lover made me attend a Planned Parenthood birth control boot-camp style class with her. It was only an hour or two long and while it embarrassed me a bit at the time, it really opened my eyes about sex and birth control. Had "Preggo" done that early on, it may not have made her guy any more sensitive, but it may have made him much less likely to let himself be provoked into luscious, but ill-advised unprotected sex. By the way, those Planned Parenthood lessons stayed with me through my adult life.

Dec 15 11 - 12:03am
Heather

Ok, Preggo, this is the last of a very long list of advice. But I'd say first of all, (we'll get to why your bf is behaving like this soon), take a good look at bf. Has he changed in any way ? Or is he only avoidant when the subject comes up ? You need to talk to him in both cases. If it is the first, then his feelings have changed towards YOU as well as the abortion. If the 2nd case, then he is in denial (semi) about the whole thing. He wants to forget it ever happened, and the easiest way to do so is to not talk about it and let you handle the whole fucking thing. Some people are like this, in the wars for example, people want to talk about anything OTHER than fucking bombs landing on their heads. Understandable.

But you are going through this experience and if you think about it, it's not so bad. (Is he religious and force fed all that abortion is murder shit ? This makes it harder). But there are lots of issues brought up. First of all, work out all the issues surrounding whether the abortion was the correct decision. (It is, but if you cover ALL the bases, this certainty will make it much easier for bf.) So - this decision is not the worst decision in the world. AND - it's over. (But emphasise how it was the right thing to do and it wasn't the worst decision in the world - it's a fetus, so it's not like it was a baby.) There are much harder decisions to make. Deciding when to switch off life support for a loved family member or child. Grappling with suicide and wondering whether you could have done something to prevent it (and quite often, one COULD have done something to prevent it.) You two still have each other, you still have your health, you have sacrificed part of your body, but you two have not murdered or stolen. You have sacrificed part of your flesh, that is all.

Let this all sink in. If you want to, print this out and leave it by the bed. Strategically cut and paste snippets. Then tell him how it was. Tell him how it was horrible, but it would have been a LOT BETTER had he BEEN THERE. It would not have been so bad after all. It would have been the physical equivalent of a mild surgery and the psychological equivalent of severe depression that lasted for two days. It would not have been so bad. It would have been and WAS manageable. But what made it much worse was that HE WAS NOT THERE. Every decision made in a relationship is manageable provided the two partners enter into it willingly. (This goes for every decision you make in future. This guy tends towards denial. But once you get him to talk about something that is difficult to talk about, it gets easier in future.)

Then tell him you know why he wasn't there (try not to use glib phrases like in denial). And say that you would have appreciated flowers, or a massage or just support (whatever you want). If he wants to get all that stuff for you now, accept it. Say it was a big deal for you too. It wasn't just him. So now it's your turn. Ask for what you want. Relive it with flowers, with talk, with him taking care of you. (Try to ease into it, don't immediately walk him into the clinic). Keep at it for as long as you want, until the pain has eased for the two of you. I hope this gets him to open up, and you to get the comfort and succour that you need. All the best.

Dec 15 11 - 2:03am
@Preggo Rex

I have found that when I am at a communicative impasse with a partner, couple's therapy really helps us to work out the kinks and be able to express ourselves and be understood by each other in a safe, supportive environment. See if your dude is willing to try it.

Dec 15 11 - 6:42pm
koshkamat

OMG ditch this awful heartles selfish loser. What a turd. Then get on the pill, fer chrissakes. It has worked for me for THIRTY YEARS!

Dec 17 11 - 5:10am
Ricochet

Guys are just remarkably bad at this. They never know for certain what the woman is thinking. They generally feel like it's all their fault somehow. And they know there is nothing they can really do to make things all back like they were before. Just telling the guy "you should have been there" and "I shouldn't have to ask" isn't solving the problem. Communication is the key. Unfortunately, in the hurley burley jumble of thoughts on both people's parts before the abortion, communication is the last thing people think of. Very often the woman will say "I don't want to talk about it, let's just get this done" leaving the guy even more in the dark. And the guy, (usually a young guy, who is still developing interpersonal skills) is more likely to avoid rocking the boat, and assumes that the last thing the woman wants to see is the person that caused this problem. Yeah, I know and you know it's both person's responsibility, but a young guy will blame himself (unless of course he's a total dickhead, and hopefully the woman will become aware of that before a situation like this arises) and generally want to avoid confrontation.

Dec 20 11 - 12:45am
JJ

He is an asshole. Yes, you say he is sweet normally but he is an assholeeee for not being there. He has no excuses. He could be the president dealing with a fucking nuclear crisis and even then, he should have gotten his shit together to check in. That he apparently is a student/part-time working tool means he has absolutely no excuse. This shows you how he feels about you when things are not sunny and happy. He will not watch out for your interest. If you convenience him or cause him any awkwardness, he will be absent, then gone.

You should yell at him, tell all your friends what he did and dump him.

Jan 15 12 - 11:59pm
Calamity Jim

Just responding to something jparks said earlier... why would he be an asshole for leaving her? Just because she has suffered trauma is no reason for her partner to be chained to her and, quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if he was looking at an out.

Let's consider the facts:
Preg Rex did, however drunkenly, coerce her boyfriend into having unprotected sex. Then she decided she was having an abortion. The tone of the letter "For me, there was no question about what I would do. I was going to abort." shows that the abortion was not his decision. It sounds very much like it was either with her or against her. I wouldn't be surprised if he is both resentful of that night of sex, feeling pressured into it, and how the abortion was decided, with her having firmly made up her mind. She also speaks up on his behalf, about how 'they both' had no qualms, but if that were true she would hardly be sending this letter, which is all about how he failed her.

She failed him as well and demanding that he 'take care of her' or 'fix it' is unfair. She was going to have this abortion with or without him and with the controversy that surrounds abortion and the rights of a father, could he really have gone 'I want it'? How come she is relying upon him to make it better? He doesn't have magical powers to make the pain go away and he is also hurting, so why doesn't he have the right to hurt on his own or to what emotional distance?

Why doesn't he have the right to leave if he can't get over the issues that obviously exist in this relationship?