How Do I Approach the Subject of a Past Abortion with My Spouse?

Does a part of you feel prompted to have a dialogue with your spouse about your past abortion?  If you choose to open this conversation, it may be the first time your spouse has ever heard about your abortion experience.  Or, this may look more like a follow-up discussion to clarify or expand on information that you’ve already shared.  Approaching this subject with a spouse is almost always a challenging and complex undertaking.  But it’s also a courageous one!  Know that you don’t have to prepare for this dialogue on your own, even if that seems to be the case.  Restore After Abortion is in your corner!

Every unexpected pregnancy experience is completely one-of-a-kind.  So is every abortion experience and post-abortion recovery process.  That’s why it may be important to seek additional support as you figure out how to approach these topics with your spouse.  An advocate can help you process your thoughts and feelings ahead of this conversation and plan what you’d like to say.  Restore After Abortion exists to fill that role.  We’re a post-abortion recovery program that’s been serving women and men facing circumstances like yours for over 20 years!  One of our caring leaders is available to support you as you navigate life after abortion, with all its complexities, including difficult conversations.

Your approach to the subject of your abortion will depend on the unique dynamics of your marriage relationship and your situation in general.  However, here are some tips that may help no matter your circumstances!

  • Be clear and concise. It’s almost always beneficial to prepare for this conversation in advance by thinking through what you’d like to say and how you’d like to communicate it.  You may have a lot to say and reflect on with your partner.  It’s okay to have a series of follow-up conversations as opposed to expressing all your thoughts and feelings at once.  This way, you and your partner can absorb the information at your own pace.
  • Be authentic. Of course, it’s completely your choice what you’d like to disclose, if anything.  If you feel safe being transparent with your partner, that’s often a helpful approach.  Your spouse may be more intimately connected with you in an emotional sense than anyone else in your life.  His or her trust and support is probably essential.    Your partner will probably have questions for you about your past abortion, and it would be wise to answer them with honesty.  It’s okay to let your spouse know if you need to think over your answer before responding, or if you’re not ready to talk about something just yet.
  • Maintain a posture of acceptance. Listen to what your partner has to say, even if it upsets you, and accept the response you receive.  That’s much easier said than done.  But your spouse is taking in significant information about your abortion, possibly for the first time, and he or she will need time and space to process this.  Remember that feelings and attitudes may adapt as your news sinks in and emotions are explored.  Your spouse’s immediate reaction probably isn’t indicative of the way he or she will continue to engage with you around this subject.

Chances are, your abortion decision was a significant experience that has played a role in shaping your life to this point. It’s a heavy topic to approach with anyone, let alone a spouse.  It’s okay if you’re feeling scared to bring this up, but don’t let your fear stop you from clearing the air if that’s what you believe is best for you and your marriage.  Our caring leaders at Restore After Abortion are here for you every step of the way.

Learn more about Restore!  We offer opportunities to heal in a support group or one-on-one setting.  Our services are free and confidential!