At 24, I was in love with a woman, also 24, working at the same company as me. She told me she had a boyfriend in her home country, but she still dated me. We became lovers.
The relationship went on for six months until she told me she’d gotten pregnant. I immediately offered to marry her, but she wouldn’t even discuss it.
Two weeks later, during which she avoided me and didn’t return my calls, she informed me that she’d had a legal abortion.
I felt sick, though I believed she had the right to make that choice on her own.
She ended our relationship, then quit her job two months later. Colleagues told me that she went home to marry her boyfriend.
It was a hard time for me – I felt guilty for her being pregnant (though we’d used protection). I also felt the loss of my first true love.
My question: Is there a way for a man to grieve an abortion even if he supports a woman’s right to choose?
Father of Two Now
Grief is very personal. It can be acutely painful even for loss of a beloved elder who’d lived a long, happy life. Or after the death of a parent with whom there’d been a fractious relationship for years.
Or, as here, grief can follow the harsh loss of innocence, and involvement in something you wish had never happened.
Since you still carry these feelings, you’d benefit from seeing a grief counsellor to process how you come to terms with this event, now.
As a father, you also want to clarify how you’ll talk to your own children about the responsibilities of sexual activity, the protections for themselves and their partners, and the serious issues that may arise.
My sister and brother-in-law got married in their mid-20s, when our family members all felt they were still too young.
A year later they asked me what I thought about them getting a pet cat. I thought it wasn’t the right time for them as he was starting a hospital residency and she works at a large company.
But they went ahead. Their new little kitten quickly destroyed all the furniture they’d just bought for their condo!
She also escaped twice from the balcony though was luckily found.
Within months, they were asking if anyone wanted the kitty. I took her and have now kept her for several years. She’s had expensive health issues for which I’ve paid every penny.
Other than her collar, her crate and initial veterinary bills, they’ve given me nothing for her, which is absolutely fine.
However, whenever they come over, they find something negative to say regarding the cat: e.g. her litter-box smells, her toy is ratty, she looks too fat, etc.
How can I get them to just be grateful that I gave the cat a loving home?
She’s My Cat
Yes, she’s yours and they know it. But they feel guilt at having given her up, and some proprietary interest in her well-being when they see her.
Brush off their remarks lightly, saying that the cat is healthy, frisky and loved.
As for her costs, your “taking her in,” meant full responsibility for care and feeding. There was no other arrangement such as “fostering” the cat for a limited time.
Keep all the connections equally “loving” – between you and the cat, and between you, your sister and brother-in-law. Everyone got what each wanted from this exchange.
I’m a man, 65, with brain cancer diagnosed over two years ago. This greatly affected my life and those around me.
I’ve responded well to treatment and look forward to enjoying the next few years.
Shortly after my diagnosis, I discovered that my wife had a year-long affair (unsure if it’s over).
She’s been incredibly supportive with surgeries/appointments but uninterested in me in any loving way, with no sex whatsoever.
She’s unable to talk about how we could fix this. I’m desperate for affection and want to be loved again. I’ve started therapy.
Wise move to start therapy, with so much to handle emotionally, regarding your illness and your wife’s reaction.
Stay connected to close family and friends, seek a support group for people with a similar diagnosis, and accept your wife’s help where needed.
Her affair may be her own reaction to your diagnosis and her fears for herself because of it. Therapy may also help her.
Tip of the day:
Grief from the past must be addressed in the present, if memories/guilt still disturb you.