Dear Barb—Aborted Relationship

Dear Barb:

I am in a situation! I have been dating my boyfriend for three years.  We are in different provinces and both attending university.    Ben and I get along great and have never really had a serious argument or break up.  We try to see each other as much as we can and plan to eventually marry. We both agreed that we would have children one day, once we have a house and have found jobs in our fields.  But, recently, I discovered I was pregnant.  We were using birth control, but I guess that’s not always 100% effective.  When I told Ben I was pregnant, I was shocked by his response.  He said we are not ready for a baby and we need to get an abortion.  Abortion is not something I would even consider.  I feel this is our mistake and we need to deal with it, not just sweep it away.  Ben and I have not been able to agree on this.  I am a religious person and he is not.  I feel very strongly about this.  In fact, I was devastated by Ben’s reaction, so much so that I am wondering if he is the person for me.  We had never discussed abortion before; I guess I just assumed we were on the same page.  This is making me question our entire relationship and whether there are other major life issues that we have never discussed.  I am not going to abort our baby, but I just don’t know what to do about the relationship.  Looking for some advice.  Thanks, Dawn.

Hi Dawn:

Thanks for sharing your story.  You have made your decision not to abort your baby and are sticking to it.  If you were to do what your boyfriend asked and abort your baby, you would have to live with that decision for the rest of your life and since you have strong feelings that would be a heavy burden to carry.  It doesn’t sound like your boyfriend will support you throughout the pregnancy, so you need to make plans on how you will care for your baby on your own.  If your boyfriend does decide to stay with you then I would suggest you both go to family counselling as soon as possible.  Don’t make marriage plans until you work through this issue.  Hopefully through counselling you will be able to discover if you are a well-matched couple, or if there are other morals and values where you are both very different.  If you discover you are far apart on most major life issues you could end up in a very unhappy marriage.  After counseling you may decide you would both be better off apart, however your boyfriend may still want to co-parent your child.  This is another issue that can be worked out with a family counselor who specializes in these types of issues.  You might want to check out the following website for more information:

Thanks for your letter, Dawn

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