My ex told me he would want me to have an abortion if I were to ever become pregnant

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Dear Patricia Marie,

I have a rather sensitive topic I'd like your advice on. Last year I ended a 4 year relationship because my ex told me he would want me to have an abortion if I were to ever become pregnant. This crushed me, not because I'm against abortion (because I'm not, it's a personal choice in my opinion but an emotional one I couldn't go through with).

I've been with someone new for the past three months and I recently asked him that, if I were to become pregnant what would he be wanting me to do. He also told me he'd prefer an abortion at this stage of the relationship.  I have no intention of ever becoming pregnant before marriage, however I do want some reassurance that no matter what happens, the man I love would be there for me.

I am not ready to have a family right now, nor am I planning to.  But I find it incredibly difficult and cannot quite come to terms with the fact that the men I seem to fall in love with don't see a pregnancy as something they would have an emotional connection with.

My question to you is, should I stay with my current boyfriend and just trust that he doesn't mean this personally, or leave him and seek out a man who is on the same page as me? 

Patricia Marie says...

I am sorry that you are feeling so fearful and anxious, but you are making decisions on assumptions, and by doing so, putting intense pressure on yourself which is then affecting your relationships. If you were to get pregnant with your new partner, the fear of him wanting you to have an abortion and abandoning you is so overwhelming, that you are almost wanting to risk ending it for something that may never happen. I'm wondering if these insecurities are connected to deeply buried feelings, igniting past fears of loss and separation.

Even if you were to meet someone who initially gave you assurances, the reality is people and situations change and we can leave ourselves open to disappointment if things can't always be as we had initially hoped. You are wanting guarantees, something life cannot give us, no matter what the circumstances. I doubt the men you say you fall in love with aren't able to connect emotionally to a pregnancy, I suspect it's more likely they are neither ready nor wanting to be fathers just yet.

I believe counselling will help your fears and anxiety, enabling you to deal with things in a more positive way, so you can hopefully enjoy your relationship in the here and now, and be in a much better place to deal with whatever the future brings.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a therapist in your area.

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