I Got An Abortion And Didn’t Tell The Guy: Did I Do The Right Thing?

Having a baby would have changed my entire world. Mine, not his. So yes, it is my choice. But that doesn’t make it feel any better.

The line appeared quickly, so faint you could hardly see it. My hands shaking, I grabbed my phone and quickly Googled “faint line, pregnancy test,” which resulted in pages of infertility blogs with posts screaming “I had a really faint pregnancy test and now I have a beautiful 1-year old.”

Now in full panic mode, I drove back to the Walgreens I had just left an hour before, cursing myself for buying the cheapest, generic pregnancy test I could find, and purchased two additional (more expensive) tests, both of which confirmed what I already knew in my gut: I was pregnant.

I have always wanted kids, but I knew that this wasn’t how I wanted to become a mother. After an agonizing day, spent crying on my couch with a few of my closest friends, I woke up the next morning feeling clarity, knowing that I was going to have an abortion. While I cannot even put into words the anguish that came along with this choice (as my mother simply put it: “It’s a lot to give up”) it was, in the end, a pretty clear decision for me.

What was not as clear a decision, and something that has proven to be the most complex thing to navigate, has been my decision to not tell the guy. He wasn’t someone I dated—we had been having casual sex on and off for about five months when I got pregnant. A professional athlete who traveled a lot for work, he would call when he got back in town and we would pick up where we left off. From the moment we met, I had a very visceral, physical reaction to him. I joked to my friends that my loins reached out to him.

It was, quite simply, the best sex of my life. It wasn’t about the emotional attachment, our bodies just worked together. And not just during sex—we would also spend hours cuddling and sleeping, our bodies intertwined in a way usually reserved for actual couples.

When I found out I was pregnant, he was in Europe for work, with no real return date. We didn’t, and don’t, keep in touch when he’s traveling. I spent days agonizing about whether or not to involve him, but after talking to a mutual friend who knows him better than I do, I made the hard decision not to tell him. At least not yet.

I played through the possible scenarios, the best of which would be that he’d be incredibly supportive. But then, I knew that as vulnerable as I was (and still am), I would fall in love with him. And then he would leave and my heart would be broken. Again.

However, a far more likely scenario (according to our friend, who’s pretty sure he’s anti-choice) is that he would be unsupportive, and repeat back to me the very worst things I’ve already said to myself about my choice to terminate my pregnancy: that I’m a coward, selfish, a murderer. That would have broken me, would break me now.

At first, I felt OK with my decision not to tell him—I knew having an abortion was the right choice for me. Immediately after, I was consumed with (irrational) anger at him. He was in Europe, oblivious, and I was here—in pain, sad, and bleeding.

But as time has passed, I’m haunted by thoughts of him. I have nightmares where he comes back into town and wants to have sex and I am screaming at him, “This matters! You need to know this matters!” In my weakest moments, when I’m lying in bed alone at night, when it all feels like too much, all I want is him here, to hold me and make me feel cared for. I want to feel a connection with him that might somehow justify the nightmarish turn this took.

My mind often flashes back to the moment I got pregnant. We always used condoms. But late one morning, we were lying in my bed, the sun filtering through the closed blinds. He rolled over half asleep to pull me closer. I reached up to kiss him. His hand moved to my leg. I climbed on top of him, and you know the rest. Without a condom.

The guilt around that moment is sometimes all-consuming. I was the instigator. And then I made the decision to end the pregnancy without telling him. Did I have the right to do that?

I know some people might think I’m a horrible person for not telling him. And some will say I shouldn’t even acknowledge him, that it’s my body and it’s my choice. I see both sides.

Having a baby would have changed my entire world. Mine, not his. So yes, it is my choice. But that doesn’t make it feel any better.

I’m not sure how I’ll react when he gets back into town and calls me. I’m terrified that he’s going to just show up at work one day and I’ll have a meltdown. I don’t know if I made the right decision by not telling him. But I did what I thought was right for me in that moment. And I guess that has to be enough.

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