What Nobody Tells You About How Abortion Affects Marriage

May 14, 2018  |  
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People rarely speak openly about this very sensitive topic, but when they do, they usually think of young, single women—women who aren’t in stable relationships, are still in school, aren’t financially capable of supporting a child, and just aren’t quite yet adults. But people rarely associate abortion with married couples. Married couples don’t transform into some creatures incapable of mistakes the moment they tie the knot. Their biology and anatomy work the same as single individuals—or as young, destitute, confused, single people. Married couples are just as capable of having an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy as anyone else. And while society is certainly far from lenient on single individuals who decide to terminate pregnancy, it isn’t quite as shocked when those individuals go through with the procedure as it is when married couples do. There just is a slightly higher stigma about abortion and married couples. Here is what nobody tells you about how abortion affects a marriage.

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People judge you even more

Friends and family can think that, just because you are married and settled, you should move forward with an unplanned pregnancy. They assume marriage means being ready for parenthood.

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Even you judge yourself harder

You know what decision was right for you. But the voices of others get in your head–as you see your life and home, which could technically support a child, you wonder if people are right to judge you. But ultimately, you know you made the right choice for this point in your life.

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Your married, infertile friends get angry

If you have any friends who are trying to conceive, but can’t, they become angry at you and your partner for aborting. They don’t exhibit that same anger towards a single friend who has ended a pregnancy–they only seem to harbor that anger towards you because you’re a married couple.

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You question your commitment

Deciding not to go through with a pregnancy, with your spouse, sparks doubts, fears, and conversations of “How committed are we to each other, really?” You were given the chance to do something that certainly would have forced you into a deeper commitment and decided not to take it. What does that mean?

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What if you want future kids?

Abortions can come with complications that can hurt your future fertility. This triggers an important and difficult conversation of: what if this hurts our chances of having kids when we are ready?

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There can be resentment

Even though you came to the decision together, you and your partner can hold slight resentment for each other. Even though you did not yet want a child, you are somehow angry that your partner didn’t want one. He can feel the same way about you. It’s a very complicated time.

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Reminders of babies and pregnancy are strange

Passing by a nursery design store or baby clothing store takes on a new meaning. A wave of silence, and perhaps darkness, passes over both of you. You didn’t used to think much when you’d pass by these places.

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Married friends with kids can feel judged

For some reason, your married couple friends who do have children take this personally. They feel like you are rejecting their choices and lifestyle. They don’t think about the fact that you didn’t want children before this incident, but they weren’t angry at you then.

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Your sex life takes a hit

Your sex life will take a hit for a while. You both hold onto some guilt–feeling somehow what happened was your fault. Even if you were very careful about birth control. But still, you subconsciously feel you’re not allowed to have sex for a while.

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It’s a secret from your future children

If you do wind up having children in the future, the abortion from your past feels like a dark secret you’re hiding from your child. Especially if that child asks for a sibling.

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If your in-laws know

If you choose to notify your in-laws, they can be some of the toughest on you. They wanted grandchildren. They feel like you’ve stolen that from them. Again, they weren’t angry before–when you just hadn’t been pregnant. And they didn’t have grandkids then, either.

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Your abundance causes guilt

You never thought of yourselves as having too much before. But, now that there was almost a third person who would have benefited from your resources, sometimes your abundance (of money, love, bedrooms) makes you feel bad. It didn’t used to cause negative feelings.

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You can judge your partner’s depression

Your partner might exhibit depression after your procedure. You may find yourself asking “How can he be so upset? I’m the one who went through the horror.”

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Your partner can feel isolated

It’s hard for you to understand what your partner is going through. It’s hard for him to understand what you’re going through. You can both feel rather isolated.

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If you struggle to conceive later, you feel punished 

If you struggle to conceive later, when you want to have children, you both silently wonder if someone is punishing you for having an abortion in the past.

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