My Abortion’s Affecting My Marriage

Growthtrac Marriagec Medic

Q

I aborted a baby when I was in my late teens, but eventually married my baby’s father. We’ve been married five years now, and we have a child together. Although we obviously love each other and have forgiven each other for what we did as teens, sometimes I feel resentment or anger creep into my feelings toward my husband. I’m conflicted because I don’t think I should have these feelings or that they’re fair. Plus, I don’t want them spoiling my relationship with my husband.

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A

You made a decision when you were younger that you now regret—one that has had a tremendous impact on your life. Many look back on an abortion with deep regret. Many don’t fully deal with their grief for years. Belated feelings of grief are perfectly normal and even healthy. I encourage you and your husband to talk about them openly–but oh so carefully.

As you process your feelings, remember that grief and loss often are not one-time events but feelings that come and go. Identifiable stages to grief include denial, sadness, and even anger. Over time, denial often erodes, giving way to underlying feelings of sadness, guilt, and loss.

There are several practical steps to take to heal from this incredible loss:

First, go easy on yourself and your mate. While you regret your choice and feel guilt and sadness, punishing yourself or your mate will not be helpful. As much as your husband needs forgiveness, so do you. Blame does nobody any good.

Second, dig deep for the feelings beneath your anger. Anger is generally considered a secondary emotion. Look deeply for feelings of sadness, hurt, and loss. These emotions–rather than anger–will be easier for your husband to hear. Talk about your loss. Cry. Seek out those who will lovingly walk through this experience with you.

Third, honor your lost child. Some find value in memorializing their aborted child. Perhaps there’s is a ritual or special way you can remember this baby. Talk to your spouse about a choice you can make together to honor that child.

Fourth, get support. Many have found great relief in seeking support. No one knows your grief and loss as much as someone who has gone through it as well. There are many grief support groups, and trained people who can walk you through your belated grief process. Consider joining such a group.

Finally, trust in God to comfort you. The Scriptures are filled with comforting words. One I particularly like comes from Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”

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