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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

Sensitive topic here, obviously, and I don't mean to ruffle anyone's feathers. If abortion is sensitive for you, I'd recommend choosing a different thread.

DH has always placed having children as a priority for him. Having children has always been something I imagine myself doing, but have other more important goals. DH comes from a big family, and wants 4 children. I'm an only child, and probably want only 1 or 2 children. Children were something DH and I had previously talked about, and we'd agreed to wait until we were farther in our life and careers to add a big financial and emotional responsibility like children to the mix.

I had an abortion about 3 years ago. My husband and I had just had our 1st anniversary, and had been together for about 2 years. We both made near minimum wages, I worked 6-8 hours of overtime per week and DH was working two jobs. We lived in a rented space, an unfinished basement in another person's apartment. I say "space" because two of our walls were concrete, and two of our walls were hung bedsheets. Washer and dryer were on the other side of the room, so if someone needed to do laundry, they were basically in our room.

I got pregnant unexpectedly, due to birth control failure. I told DH as soon as I found out, and let him know we needed to decide what to do. I didn't immediately knee-jerk for abortion, and proceeded to do a lot of research online about my options. I also journalled extensively during these days, writing down everything about how I felt and imagining the situation from different angles. I made budgets, and researched rent prices for 2 bedroom apartments, and thought about what my mom would think. I still have all my journals, and I read through them tonight. I even wrote a letter to my unborn child, letting it know how much I respected it, and how I was working really hard to make the best decision to protect it from pain or suffering.

On paper, DH and I agreed that having a child too early could really set us back in our ability to provide for that child later. DH and I also agreed that adoption was too much, and we probably would not be able to give the child up after it was born. We both agreed that we wanted a child and the idea was exciting, but the time wasn't right and the child would probably suffer from lack of healthcare, lack of good food, and lack of access to good education or secure childcare, all things we could provide if we waited instead. DH and I set a date, and DH drove me to the clinic and sat with me in the waiting room. DH also held me at home during the at-home part of the process. All throughout our extensive talks over about 1 week of decision time, and even on the day of the clinic visit, DH didn't express that he thought keeping the child was a better idea.

I found out about a year after my abortion that DH didn't want to go through with the abortion process after all. This is still an incredible source of guilt for me, and comes up every time DH and I discuss future children. I sense that he has a lot of anger at me about this, but I am also angry with him about this. If DH had thought keeping the child was a better idea, I wouldn't have gotten the abortion. At the time we decided, I thought our decision was unanimous.

DH continues to bring up children, but when I begin to ask him about the right time to have children, DH can't be specific. Mostly he doesn't say anything, or says "I don't know," but today he said, "I've wanted a baby since a long time ago..." So, I began asking him about why he conceded during our abortion decision making process if that wasn't how he really felt or what he really wanted. When I told DH that I wouldn't have gone through with the abortion if I didn't think our decision was unanimous, he got so angry he couldn't stay in the same room as me anymore.

I'm really very confused, and have legitimately been trying to do the right thing throughout this whole process... But even 3 years later, we still aren't able to talk about this situation and clear it from the table. The farther in the past the conversations fade, the harder it is to talk about, and I really want to get it out in the open and come to a same-page version of events. What can I do to get DH to talk to me about this?

Thanks for any feedback, especially from women or couples who have gone through abortion in the past.
Kayla

PS. Mods, I looked through the search feature to see where other abortion related topics had been posted before. Based on that I chose family and parenting. Feel free to move me if it's not the right place!
 

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Man even I am not touching this one.


Except to say in his defense a lot of men today believe they have no right at all to say anything about it. This is what is constantly taught to us, he did what we are told to do to be good boyfriends and husbands. Don't question, just go with her and hold her hand. The whole "her body, her say" thing. I am sure there will be people who come on here now and scoff at my post. However for these men it is a difficult thing to live with if you feel like the baby is both you and the women's child. So maybe in his heart that was his child that was being terminated but his mind and conditioning told him he had no right to disagree with the decision. So he did what he thought was right but he still grieves the loss of his child. This makes a lot of sense to me actually. How could you not resent that. I don't think he should resent YOU but how he didn't get to really have a say because he was told it was unreasonable for him to try to.

Also are your sure that the vibes you had and did send out at the time weren't really, to abort is the only choice but it's a choice we are making together? Lots and lots of women and men seem to think the man has absolutely no say in this decision. To me the headline of this article should help you understand why he may not have told you how he felt at the time. That article isn't as unreasonable as the headline though, but plenty of people argue the headline. I guarantee you if someone came on here and tried to argue that the father of the child should have some choice in the matter there would be plenty of people who would argue how monstrous that concept is. So no wonder lots of men don't say anything.

Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with the way he feels. That is kind of the price that is paid for locking men out of the decision. Not saying you did this but western society seems to have. Men don't get a say in if the child is born or not, and women don't get a say if these men see it as a loss of a child or not.

You guys need to talk about this. I may be wrong about his thinking but it is a possibility and may explain why and how it all got so confusing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sokillme - Yeah, it's a "not even with a 10 foot pole" situation that I just happen to be inside of.

I am a very clinical/objective person, so while I felt very emotional about the situation, I almost definitely laid out my argument as "There are more important fish to fry." As in, there will be other eggs and sperm, but there will not be other times we are in our early twenties and trying to start a solid, safe life. However, I absolutely DID think he should have a say, and wanted to hear what his say was. I absolutely did NOT start the conversation with, "When should we go to the abortion clinic?" Instead, I started our conversation with "What should we do?" DH explicitly agreed - as I remember it: "I really want a child, but I don't think I'm prepared," and also agreed adoption would be too painful.

I get all the reasons why he might have said the opposite of what he wanted in the moment, and it's not my intention to shift blame away from myself. I also mourn the loss of a child, and think all the time about different things might have been. I just want to get it all out in the open and out of the way - is it what he wanted, or not? How does he feel about it now? He seems pretty angry - what is he angry about? How is he working through that anger? Is there anything I can do to help? Is there something we can do together to orient the child conversation forward? But, as long as talking about children brings up this hesitance, baggage and complete unwillingness to talk... I'm feeling pretty helpless.

Thanks for your response,
Kayla
 

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He basically left the decision up to you without letting you know that you were making the decision all by yourself. So he now takes no responsibility. He most likely does this in order to live with himself. He's being very passive aggressive about this.

I don't see how your marriage can survive this. You can try getting the both of you into counseling for it. But few marriages survive this sort of turmoil.
 

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Sokillme - Yeah, it's a "not even with a 10 foot pole" situation that I just happen to be inside of.

I am a very clinical/objective person, so while I felt very emotional about the situation, I almost definitely laid out my argument as "There are more important fish to fry." As in, there will be other eggs and sperm, but there will not be other times we are in our early twenties and trying to start a solid, safe life. However, I absolutely DID think he should have a say, and wanted to hear what his say was. I absolutely did NOT start the conversation with, "When should we go to the abortion clinic?" Instead, I started our conversation with "What should we do?" DH explicitly agreed - as I remember it: "I really want a child, but I don't think I'm prepared," and also agreed adoption would be too painful.

I get all the reasons why he might have said the opposite of what he wanted in the moment, and it's not my intention to shift blame away from myself. I also mourn the loss of a child, and think all the time about different things might have been. I just want to get it all out in the open and out of the way - is it what he wanted, or not? How does he feel about it now? He seems pretty angry - what is he angry about? How is he working through that anger? Is there anything I can do to help? Is there something we can do together to orient the child conversation forward? But, as long as talking about children brings up this hesitance, baggage and complete unwillingness to talk... I'm feeling pretty helpless.

Thanks for your response,
Kayla
I get it, it's hard when your spouse doesn't have the ability to communicate this stuff. I don't have answers for you though. It seems a very big problem in marriages.
 

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He is now older and more mature and is judging the past with his current mindset.Basically he is condemning your actions in having the abortion while not taking into account his contribution or lack of one to the decision to abort.I wish I had some advice for you but I don't and I agree with @EleGirl that this marriage will struggle to survive.
He is judging you by your actions and himself by his (perceived) intentions.
You can't win in this scenario and shouldn't have to even try.
 

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He basically left the decision up to you without letting you know that you were making the decision all by yourself. So he now takes no responsibility. He most likely does this in order to live with himself. He's being very passive aggressive about this.

I don't see how your marriage can survive this. You can try getting the both of you into counseling for it. But few marriages survive this sort of turmoil.
But he conveniently comes to that conclusion AFTER the abortion.

As you pointed out, he is using the same history revisionist rationalizations and justifications we see other wayards use all the time. In order to live with himself and HIS poor choices {not objecting and, like sokillme pointed out ~ just letting the woman decide while actively pretending to participate}, he's changing his recollection of how it all went down after the fact so as to wash his hands of responsibility.

He's MAD because his wife seems to want to SHARE culpability with him which is making him face the fact the lie he's telling himself is untrue. Plus ~ he's now feeling accused though his recollection has him walking the line, shutting his mouth and being supportive of his wife's choices ~ no matter what she said {including asking him for his opinion}. He wants a trophy, not blame.

Truth is, he was probably absolutely FINE with the abortion at the time because many young men in that position are scared and nervous about how they are going to be able to manage that; but once it was done and the gravity and consequences of the irreversible decision started rolling in he wasn't quite as "fine" with it anymore. He'd just appreciate it very much if she'd just accept the responsibility entirely for the decision and stop mentioning his involvement while at the same time, she {who ultimately WAS in control of the absolute final decision so saying had he objected she wouldn't have done it could FEEL, to him, like she's wanting to shift TOTAL responsibility to him when really, in our society, it was completely out of his control} is infuriated that he won't acknowledge participating, share responsibility with her and feels judged by him for the choice.

This is a consequence of sin {not going further than that}.

I don't think divorce is the solution, repentance is.

The OP poster can repent of her sin and 100% own her role in the decision between her and her God. She doesn't need to bring her husband in on that or share anything with him. He can do likewise or not. She's not responsible for making him own and repent for anything, that is between him and his God.

Then ~ never speak of it again. It's an enemy of good conversation as every time it comes up, you two fight. It doesn't matter what his recollection of the events that lead up to that decision are or what actually occurred while making the decision ~ IT happened, it's over, you can't change it, so move on.

Another way to put it ~

Your position is reasonable from your perspective ~ you recall trying to be open and inclusive about the decision-making process and gave him every opportunity to object and state his opinion and it's infuriating he now wants to make it appear or seem that he DID actually have objections he failed to state and he somehow thinks that makes him less {or not} culpable for the decision. Surely he doesn't get to act all "judgmental" when he failed to say ANYTHING.

His position is reasonable from his perspective. Despite kind of agreeing with you and being moderately OK with the idea, he FEELS now he went along with it to be a supportive loving husband while ultimately knowing that, as a man, he really didn't have the final say on the matter. It's frustrating for him to hear you now characterize such support as culpability for something he feels he never really had any control over in the first place. At any point in time had you canceled this abortion plan, he'd have been a dad. It's not like HE could have had the abortion by himself, right?
 

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I am not convinced the marriage is over. They need to talk about this and deal with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
But he conveniently comes to that conclusion AFTER the abortion.

As you pointed out, he is using the same history revisionist rationalizations and justifications we see other wayards use all the time. In order to live with himself and HIS poor choices {not objecting and, like sokillme pointed out ~ just letting the woman decide while actively pretending to participate}, he's changing his recollection of how it all went down after the fact so as to wash his hands of responsibility.

He's MAD because his wife seems to want to SHARE culpability with him which is making him face the fact the lie he's telling himself is untrue. Plus ~ he's now feeling accused though his recollection has him walking the line, shutting his mouth and being supportive of his wife's choices ~ no matter what she said {including asking him for his opinion}. He wants a trophy, not blame.

Truth is, he was probably absolutely FINE with the abortion at the time because many young men in that position are scared and nervous about how they are going to be able to manage that; but once it was done and the gravity and consequences of the irreversible decision started rolling in he wasn't quite as "fine" with it anymore. He'd just appreciate it very much if she'd just accept the responsibility entirely for the decision and stop mentioning his involvement while at the same time, she {who ultimately WAS in control of the absolute final decision so saying had he objected she wouldn't have done it could FEEL, to him, like she's wanting to shift TOTAL responsibility to him when really, in our society, it was completely out of his control} is infuriated that he won't acknowledge participating, share responsibility with her and feels judged by him for the choice.

This is a consequence of sin {not going further than that}.

I don't think divorce is the solution, repentance is.

The OP poster can repent of her sin and 100% own her role in the decision between her and her God. She doesn't need to bring her husband in on that or share anything with him. He can do likewise or not. She's not responsible for making him own and repent for anything, that is between him and his God.

Then ~ never speak of it again. It's an enemy of good conversation as every time it comes up, you two fight. It doesn't matter what his recollection of the events that lead up to that decision are or what actually occurred while making the decision ~ IT happened, it's over, you can't change it, so move on.

Another way to put it ~

Your position is reasonable from your perspective ~ you recall trying to be open and inclusive about the decision-making process and gave him every opportunity to object and state his opinion and it's infuriating he now wants to make it appear or seem that he DID actually have objections he failed to state and he somehow thinks that makes him less {or not} culpable for the decision. Surely he doesn't get to act all "judgmental" when he failed to say ANYTHING.

His position is reasonable from his perspective. Despite kind of agreeing with you and being moderately OK with the idea, he FEELS now he went along with it to be a supportive loving husband while ultimately knowing that, as a man, he really didn't have the final say on the matter. It's frustrating for him to hear you now characterize such support as culpability for something he feels he never really had any control over in the first place. At any point in time had you canceled this abortion plan, he'd have been a dad. It's not like HE could have had the abortion by himself, right?
I can't reasonably respond to much of what you've said here, primarily because I find concepts of sin and god to be two steps backwards and contrarian to what I've experienced working with multiple psychologists over the years. Reliance on the concept of self - locus of control, internal family systems, etc - has done much to heal the psychological damage concepts of sin and god did as a child and teenager.

That being said, I'll strongly reemphasize that I'm legitimately not upset that DH is upset. I understand many of the reasons why he could be upset, and I can see from many perspectives why he might have felt helpless in the decision or been unwilling to trust my invitation for input, etc. I get it. But, I don't get why he won't or can't talk with me about it. Bringing it out in the open and getting on the same page about it emotionally is the only way to start taking steps towards building a family. I'm not even asking him to confirm culpability, as you would put it. I'm interested in knowing why he would flip flop or say one thing and mean another, because at the point we DO have kids, I'm not interested in fighting for him to take responsibility for their education, behavior, growth, etc... If I open a conversation about it, no matter how gently, it always leads to lashing out and withdrawal.

Am I starting the conversation wrong? Am I being too accusatory, somehow? I don't get how I can possibly be more gentle. I mean, I've been waiting for something more in depth than "It's complicated" for 3 years now. I feel that some level of reflection or introspection is due. No matter how you slice it - god or self or whatever - self imposed helplessness is not an excuse for inaction.

He basically left the decision up to you without letting you know that you were making the decision all by yourself. So he now takes no responsibility. He most likely does this in order to live with himself. He's being very passive aggressive about this.

I don't see how your marriage can survive this. You can try getting the both of you into counseling for it. But few marriages survive this sort of turmoil.
We started MC about two months ago, but we've only had two sessions. Our last one was a few days ago, in which I was instructed to ask more questions (oops, backfire there I guess), and DH was asked to reduce "stonewalling" or giving the cold shoulder by providing timelines for hard conversations. DH's given abortion timeline is 3-4 weeks before I should bring it up again, specifically the day of our next MC session. Of course, I had to ask 10 times and play "parent" by asserting that MC emphasized my right to a timeline, but.. I mean, it's a start I guess.

Thanks for feedback so far, everyone
Kayla
 

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@Kayla, your husband has to forgive himself for making a choice he clearly regrets, which was not speaking up about his needs when he had the opportunity. He was not completely truthful with you when you did your best to be open TO his truth. That's not for you to confront, that's all on him. I think he should go to IC as well and explain to the therapist in his own words, without you around, why he blames you. He needs to get the truth out so he can start facing it,if there's any hope of having a decent relationship in the future.

The choice he made is not your fault, but he also seems to be failing to own his choices, instead preferring to punish you emotionally, which is positively toxic to your relationship. Not to mention, unfair to you, someone he should love and care for and communicate honestly to. Stonewalling you is not being loving or caring. It's a passive tactic to punish you with silence and ambivalence. You are as good as nonexistent when he shuts down. My solution to men who stonewalled me was to leave the relationship, because if they're too immature to use their words, there's no future for us, anyway.

Sorry you're here in the context of a difficult subject, but I sincerely hope you have learned to manage your guilt and accept no blame, because after all of your due thought and planning with your husband, you both made a decision. My husband tells me "I always make the right choice." The part he leaves out is "at that time." You did what you thought was right and best, and you thought you had 100% of your husband's support. It is beyond unfair and vindictive for him to be mad at you about something he had 100% investment in and ability to affect the outcome of. That anger should be turned inward and faced until he accepts it as a part of him.

Then he owes you an apology.
 

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He does not get a pass for not speaking up befor the abortion. He is just as responsible for the decision as are you.

He's trying to excuse himself of the decision. He needs individual counseling to help him get over his guilt.and then marriage counseling for both of you.

Its not the end all to be all. Things like this could draw you guys closer with thie right mind set. Understanding on both sides and forgivness wrapped with love is the only way through it.

If you guys start pointing fingers just remember when you point fingers three are pointing back at you.
 

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I am not convinced the marriage is over. They need to talk about this and deal with it.
He most likely looks at this as the death of his child. The impact that the death of a child has on a marriage is beyond any other problem a couple will have. I cannot explain it. But I've lived through it, the death of twins at birth... I can feel it but cannot explain it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Kayla, your husband has to forgive himself for making a choice he clearly regrets, which was not speaking up about his needs when he had the opportunity. He was not completely truthful with you when you did your best to be open TO his truth. That's not for you to confront, that's all on him. I think he should go to IC as well and explain to the therapist in his own words, without you around, why he blames you. He needs to get the truth out so he can start facing it,if there's any hope of having a decent relationship in the future.

The choice he made is not your fault, but he also seems to be failing to own his choices, instead preferring to punish you emotionally, which is positively toxic to your relationship. Not to mention, unfair to you, someone he should love and care for and communicate honestly to. Stonewalling you is not being loving or caring. It's a passive tactic to punish you with silence and ambivalence. You are as good as nonexistent when he shuts down. My solution to men who stonewalled me was to leave the relationship, because if they're too immature to use their words, there's no future for us, anyway.

Sorry you're here in the context of a difficult subject, but I sincerely hope you have learned to manage your guilt and accept no blame, because after all of your due thought and planning with your husband, you both made a decision. My husband tells me "I always make the right choice." The part he leaves out is "at that time." You did what you thought was right and best, and you thought you had 100% of your husband's support. It is beyond unfair and vindictive for him to be mad at you about something he had 100% investment in and ability to affect the outcome of. That anger should be turned inward and faced until he accepts it as a part of him.

Then he owes you an apology.
The bolded part of your response has helped me think about how I am approaching this. I guess my exchange with DH is more about building a trust in me that he has confronted this. And, I guess his childish response is a clear "No, I haven't, and I don't want to, and I'm not gonna." So, is it trying to confront it for him if I keep bringing it into conversation? How much longer should I allow him to work on this before I decide to move on?

I re-read my journal from the time of the abortion last night, and I'm still at peace with the ultimate decision we made. I really do think that the child would have suffered under us as incapable parents, and I really do think much of what we've accomplished over the last 3 years would have been significantly more difficult with a child. If I had an unexpected pregnancy now, for example, I would still feel it was a little too soon, but I would feel much more capable of providing for that child, especially when it comes to housing and healthcare. Unless my marriage totally imploded while I was pregnant, in which case I would heavily consider adoption.

Still being comfortable with my decision also helps reassure me that I'm not in this exchange with DH to shift my blame to him. I just want his blame off of me.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Kayla
 

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I know several people who have had an abotion. In one case they broke up later, he left to go to school and they broke up. He married and has two daughters.. He confided in me that at tmes such as their birth, gradation, and one's wedding he is haughted by the decsion to abort the child. Like your situation the reasons where valid and the decsion sound but the emotionally the decsion echoes. Another couple, married like your, had two and accept it as one does death or losing close friend's to time and distance.

You are right that this needs to be settled. If this will intrude on every joyful occasion of your lives. One question: have you accepted the decision emotionally?

Finally he needs IC not MC before the MC. You need to be forceful on this point. He either goes or you leave. What you don't need is him looking at your baby and thinking about the one he chose not to accept. I think Quality has the right answer but the wrong point of view for you. This is about finding acceptance and moving on, that is the essense of his post. How to do so is the question.
 

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Please keep posting. Yes the topic is sensitive. Please note the black triangle in the left hand column of the page. It is to alert mods when a post goes over the line. The mods will step in and clean it up. PS Elegirl is a mod and has shut down posts that got out of line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know several people who have had an abotion. In one case they broke up later, he left to go to school and they broke up. He married and has two daughters.. He confided in me that at tmes such as their birth, gradation, and one's wedding he is haughted by the decsion to abort the child. Like your situation the reasons where valid and the decsion sound but the emotionally the decsion echoes. Another couple, married like your, had two and accept it as one does death or losing close friend's to time and distance.

You are right that this needs to be settled. If this will intrude on every joyful occasion of your lives. One question: have you accepted the decision emotionally?

Finally he needs IC not MC before the MC. You need to be forceful on this point. He either goes or you leave. What you don't need is him looking at your baby and thinking about the one he chose not to accept. I think Quality has the right answer but the wrong point of view for you. This is about finding acceptance and moving on, that is the essense of his post. How to do so is the question.
Please keep posting. Yes the topic is sensitive. Please note the black triangle in the left hand column of the page. It is to alert mods when a post goes over the line. The mods will step in and clean it up. PS Elegirl is a mod and has shut down posts that got out of line.
Hi John,

Thanks for your support.

DH has been in IC, as have I, since about 1 year before the abortion. Our decision to do MC with the same psychologist was mutual. My IC experience around the abortion was limited to 1-2 of the sessions, and pretty much amounted to "I wrote my unborn child a goodbye letter and feel I made the best decision I could at the time." I accepted the decision emotionally before I even decided to have the abortion, and so didn't need much support for pain or grief afterwards. I didn't think back on it much until I found out that DH was seriously struggling with it even a year later. Now what bothers me isn't the abortion itself, but the fact that even three years later, DH doesn't seem to be able to make his own peace.

I agree that Quality has the right idea. My ultimate question now is, how long do I wait? If I'm 25, and I'd like to have kids between 28 and 32, how much more time should I give DH to get it together on this? DH and I have many marital bumps that come down to "Why did you agree to something you didn't actually want to do?" From being a gym partner, to going on vacations, to, well.. This abortion topic kind of represents the penultimate of these similar bumps.

Just to clarify, therapy timeline is: about 4 years IC for both, but only about 2 months MC for both, with IC still ongoing.

Regarding reporting posts, I certainly don't think anyone has crossed the line here. We're all adults, and we should be able to handle tough topics like this! I also trust the mods to let me know if I cross a line.

Also, Elegirl seems to give good advice too. :)

Thanks for responding,
Kayla
 

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I went back to re-read your first post and try to figure out where the real issue lays and this part kind of struck me:


chronic said:
I'm really very confused, and have legitimately been trying to do the right thing throughout this whole process... But even 3 years later, we still aren't able to talk about this situation and clear it from the table. The farther in the past the conversations fade, the harder it is to talk about, and I really want to get it out in the open and come to a same-page version of events. What can I do to get DH to talk to me about this?

I'm shotgunning so forgive me for simplifying it but this isn't how many man overcome conflict. Your husband may be a lot like me and just conflict avoidant. To guys like us, life doesn't have to be this hard. We don't need to "come to a same-page version of the events" and, unfortunately, as a younger man, I didn't particularly care about "owning my crap" either.

When a group of 12 guys go camping without any women, it's pretty much guaranteed there won't be an argument or debate or even a dust up. If there is, the guys just brush it off and are best friends again the next day.

When a group of 12 women go away on a weekend trip, there is a very high probability there's going to be some high drama and a big to-do the next day about talking it all out and patching things up.

Each of these systems of interpersonal skills is neither negative or positive. It's why men and women compliment each other and when paired are more successful than single individuals {on average}. If he approached decisions and choices as thoughtfully and directly as you, you'd likely butt heads a lot more than you already are. The way he is doing things in this instance isn't how you would handle it or even, most liely ideal {we only have your side of the story here} but it he is all that you bargained for when you married him and likely has other qualities that mold out your, er, imperfections. It also likely you don't see this TODAY but in time you will as your complimentary systems mold your children into adults and the two of you face and overcome adversities like this.

He could stand to learn that the path to intimacy is THROUGH conflict and not be so afraid to express his opinions and conflicting thoughts. Mostly he needs to do this because TOGETHER, the two of you, both with your unique views of the world can make better decisions TOGETHER, than either of you individually. Maybe you could stand to learn that never every conflict has to be resolved.

Simply put ~ maybe he doesn't want to talk about it and he just wants to get pregnant and start having babies? When he says "I'm ready, I've been ready" maybe he's NOT saying "I never wanted you to have an abortion in the first place" and then he gets mad because you are taking him back to a place he just doesn't want to go and accusing him of passing the buck when all he wants to do is move forward and have kids and forget about it.

When you say "it's been three years and we still can't talk about it this situation and clear it from the table" why MUST it be talked about and "cleared from the table" specifically?

Is he resentful of going to the marriage counselor and individual counselor and rehashing this stuff? I think I would hate that. I'd just be like "OMG, can't we all just get along and move forward".

Again ~ just another perspective. Not a fan of talk therapy and psychologists. They'll mess you up and spin you in circles at the rate of $____ per session.
 

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A lot of people feel deep guilt over aborting their child. he is clearly one of these people and has a lot of pain about it. Its pretty normal as its a massive thing to do.
Maybe he needs to have counseling on his own for a while so that he can express his deep feelings and hurts.
 

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Oh, I meant to also suggest ~~ Someday, maybe not now. Maybe after your first child is born. You need to burn or otherwise discard that journal. I don't think the older you ever needs to see or read that again and it doesn't need to be sitting around in a drawer or box anywhere like an individual and|or marriage grenade that could go off at any time.

Your mileage may vary. Just a suggestion.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I went back to re-read your first post and try to figure out where the real issue lays and this part kind of struck me:

I'm shotgunning so forgive me for simplifying it but this isn't how many man overcome conflict. Your husband may be a lot like me and just conflict avoidant. To guys like us, life doesn't have to be this hard. We don't need to "come to a same-page version of the events" and, unfortunately, as a younger man, I didn't particularly care about "owning my crap" either.

When a group of 12 guys go camping without any women, it's pretty much guaranteed there won't be an argument or debate or even a dust up. If there is, the guys just brush it off and are best friends again the next day.

When a group of 12 women go away on a weekend trip, there is a very high probability there's going to be some high drama and a big to-do the next day about talking it all out and patching things up.

Each of these systems of interpersonal skills is neither negative or positive. It's why men and women compliment each other and when paired are more successful than single individuals {on average}. If he approached decisions and choices as thoughtfully and directly as you, you'd likely butt heads a lot more than you already are. The way he is doing things in this instance isn't how you would handle it or even, most liely ideal {we only have your side of the story here} but it he is all that you bargained for when you married him and likely has other qualities that mold out your, er, imperfections. It also likely you don't see this TODAY but in time you will as your complimentary systems mold your children into adults and the two of you face and overcome adversities like this.

He could stand to learn that the path to intimacy is THROUGH conflict and not be so afraid to express his opinions and conflicting thoughts. Mostly he needs to do this because TOGETHER, the two of you, both with your unique views of the world can make better decisions TOGETHER, than either of you individually. Maybe you could stand to learn that never every conflict has to be resolved.

Simply put ~ maybe he doesn't want to talk about it and he just wants to get pregnant and start having babies? When he says "I'm ready, I've been ready" maybe he's NOT saying "I never wanted you to have an abortion in the first place" and then he gets mad because you are taking him back to a place he just doesn't want to go and accusing him of passing the buck when all he wants to do is move forward and have kids and forget about it.

When you say "it's been three years and we still can't talk about it this situation and clear it from the table" why MUST it be talked about and "cleared from the table" specifically?

Is he resentful of going to the marriage counselor and individual counselor and rehashing this stuff? I think I would hate that. I'd just be like "OMG, can't we all just get along and move forward".

Again ~ just another perspective. Not a fan of talk therapy and psychologists. They'll mess you up and spin you in circles at the rate of $____ per session.
From the bottom up... Our psychologist has been a strong ally for me for over 6 years. I first started seeing her when I was a severely agoraphobic teenager. With her guidance, I've been able to overcome a great deal of past emotional trauma, and become a much more independent and successful person. I certainly would not be where I am today without her, and do not feel spun in circles. There are good and bad psychs out there - I've been to both, and the bad ones can be BAD. DH started IC with our psychologist of his own volition 4 years ago, and (I assume?) would not keep going if he didn't feel it was helpful for him. As I said in my last post, the choice to add MC through our psychologist was mutual.

DH has not ever said, "I'm ready." Any conversation about love or sex leads to a conversation about pregnancy and children, which leads to a conversation about desire and readiness. Though DH has "wanted a baby for a long time," DH has not expressed any new confidence that he is ready. Any conversation we have about readiness usually ends in the conflict avoiding behavior you describe, especially as the conversation eeks towards comparisons of life "then" to life now. This consistent progression and eventual failure to have a forward-oriented conversation about what we should do to prepare for pregnancy is what makes me think this issue needs to be cleared from the table.

I've been pushing for forward orientation for years. After having this dead conversation an uncountable number of times, I can only figure that DH's hesitance or unwillingness to move forward has to do directly with this echo of the past. Frankly, if it has do to with something - literally anything else, DH should tell me. I wouldn't know, though, because I don't get more than 2-3 words about it after the conversation deteriorates. I'm constantly stonewalled, and so I'm constantly guessing at problems and solutions.

Your traditional gender roles seem stiff, and neither of us fit into them well. In our relationship, these roles are usually reversed. I process things and get them out (another shout out to the benefits of talk therapy), in conversation, journal or art, and I'm over it. I've processed that emotion, and I'm ready to move on. I usually get over small things in a couple hours, or big things in 1-2 days. DH, on the other hand, bottles things up, holds grudges, drinks his feelings, can't identify his feelings in the moment, falls back on lying to get out of hard conversations, etc. (If your rebuttal is that DH is probably not like this with his 'bros,' you'd be sorely mistaken here as well, but that's for DH to work on.) As a result, I'm usually the one going, "Oh my god, can't we just get this out of the way and move on?" and DH is the one who says "It's complicated," and ultimately lacks the words or ability to process and move on.

Gender aside, though, in your description of men and women, BOTH groups eventually process and move on. DH just... doesn't ever process. He falls heavily into stonewalling, halting progress for himself and our marriage, and it's starting to look bleak out here.

Thanks again,
Kayla
 
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