For many unmarried, sexually active women who are in relationships, dating, or just casually hooking up—in addition to safe sex—pregnancy prevention is the goal. For some reason, I always foolishly assumed that once you’re married, you’re out of the woods and all pregnancies—even the unplanned ones—would be at least remotely welcomed. However, one Reddit poster recently proved that this assumption couldn’t be more wrong.
Jill*, who is 40 years old and has been with her husband for 20 years, turned to the site after her partner advised her to abort their unborn child. Jill and her 45-year-old husband currently have an 18-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter. Before learning of the pregnancy, they felt like they were almost ready to focus on themselves and pursue things that they were previously unable to because they have been busy raising kids. Jill explains:
For starters, this was definitely not a planned pregnancy. I was using birth control, but I guess after all these years it finally failed. I should note that he was not wearing condoms, even though I have asked him many times to do so. I have no idea if we would be in this situation if he had, but that doesn’t matter much now. What I do know is that my husband absolutely does not want to have another child and has told me I need to abort the baby. The reason why he is against having this child is because he doesn’t want to start over again. He sees the light at the end of the tunnel and wants to spend our time and money on ourselves and not on raising another child.
I can understand how he feels. I would never have imagined I would be pregnant at this age, but as much as I would love to spend the next 20 years just focusing on our life together, I don’t know if I can follow through with an abortion. I have always been pro-choice, but I just don’t think I can do this. I think part of me hesitates because our other two children have been two of the greatest parts of my life. They have added so much happiness, and I feel like this child would do the same. Obviously, that’s not necessarily guaranteed (and I know about the risks to mother and child for pregnancies at my age), but I can’t help but think that in some way this was meant to happen.
I have talked with my husband about all of this, but he is still all but demanding I abort our child. Initially, it was only a suggestion, but last night he went so far as to suggest that I would be killing him by choosing to have this child. I’m not even sure what this means.
I’m just not sure what to do here. Logically, I think the best thing to do may be to have the abortion. Money (we can afford it), time, family dynamics all say to do it. I’m not even sure I am up for the challenge. I do worry that maybe I can’t do this (parenting a young child) anymore, but my heart says that it would be a mistake for me to terminate the pregnancy. I’m also worried that even if I do go through with it I may end up resenting my husband in the future. I could use some help. I’m just not sure how to make this decision, and if I do decide to keep it, how to help my husband come to terms with that.
Jill is in a tough position. What should she do?