My marriage is in a terrible place right now. I am married to a dedicated man, and we have a son who is almost two. I got pregnant a few months back and had an abortion since I wasn't ready for another child. My husband wanted to have the baby but said he'd stand by me no matter my decision. The abortion hurt him and mainly because I didn't consider his desire to have the baby. I recently confessed to him that I had been raped three years ago and had kept the secret from him because I was ashamed and embarrassed. He believes I don't love him given my secrecy and abortion, but I still love him, and I want things to work between us, and I don't know what to do.
Would you please advise me on what to do?
I empathise with you and pray that all will be well as you navigate this challenging season of evaluating the impact of your past and current actions. The rape and the abortion you went through are both very emotionally draining experiences that left you with questions that may never conclusively get answered.
First, the reasons that led you to abort the unborn child could have made little or no sense at all to your man. However, the fact that he chose to still be there for you is commendable.
The abortion, from my perspective, did not give him a chance or an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the reason for seeking the abortion or the future of your unborn baby.
In addition, the reasons for the abortion may have been selfish on your part; and could have gone against the values that both of you hold dear. Then fact, his inner pain and feelings expressed of not having been included testify to this.
I am of the opinion that, if you had given him an opportunity and a hearing on the matter, there may be a joint decision of whether or not to have the child and the child's future would have been arrived at amicably. Whether he would have agreed with you or not is not an issue to have been left to speculation. The question here is whether, from his part, there was another option available on the matter?
My take is that if this incident is not sorted out through an open and sincere dialogue that allows for the expression of inner feelings and driving motives, it can create constant suspicion and end up spoiling the future both of you intended to have.
Consequently, the fears both of you have about the future of the relationship are valid and require that you together come to the bottom of this.
Second, as painful as it was, the rape issue complicated the already unresolved and challenging issue of abortion that was going on in his mind. Rape is not only inhumane but also leaves the victim feeling wounded, exposed and violated.
It appears like you deliberately hid the issue from him. But the truth is that no one knows what his reaction would have been if he had known this earlier. My advice is that you prioritise your healing from both issues if you will have the focus and will to deal with the issues with him.
Indeed, you were a victim of rape which left you demoralised and angry. Walking past this and putting it in the past was your desire. No matter how he came to know about it, your second priority should be to explain yourself while allowing him to vent out his frustrations on the matter.
Can you still have a great future together? My opinion is that we are all human and we make mistakes. All have sinned and fallen short of any form of righteousness. God desires that we have a right standing with him and others. You should not push everything that happened under the carpet or seek to force him to see your view. It may take time.
For you to walk the path of restoring your relationship, I suggest that you:
First, embrace forgiveness. He is a man with many unanswered questions that need both of you to dialogue on. Maybe you may need the support of a professional relationship counsellor. At the end of it all, whether you will get back together or not, stopping to blame yourself or others and forgiveness is healthy for your souls and highly recommended.
Second, as you go through the issues, determine whether you are both hearing each other out. Compare and contrast the values and priorities both of you hold. What do you share in common? If you discover that you share a lot in the relationship, commit to forgiving and remaining open to constant dialogue. Third, establish clear boundaries of practice.
Since he accuses you of secrecy, you may need to reaffirm how you will rebuild this. Open and authentic communication will be key. After forgiveness, there is a need to lay down how the two of you will associate and handle issues in the future. Suppose you decide to move on together.
In that case, you are repairing your foundation and embracing clear boundaries on communication in areas like sharing your past and remaining accommodative in my approach to issues. This will help remove any fears of the re-occurrence of the issue.
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