Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Relationships, honesty & male attitudes to pregnancy/abortion

This is a rather spontaneous entry coming out of the musings of my mind over the last few days...

Due to a situation I've found myself in with my ex-partner, Ive had reason to question how i behave in relationships and what i expect from my partner. As I've been going through various counselling courses and personal counselling myself i have changed. This has happened over the space of 3 1/2 years in which I've been with two different partners. I realise that i am incredibly honest about things I've done, experiences which have shaped me for good or bad and, although it can take a while for me to voice my feelings, i am honest about what I'm feeling and why i think I'm feeling that way. Because honesty is so important to me i expect my partner to be the same and I've kind of realised that that isn't always the case.

I was talking to my friend Gill (who i met through Cruse training and i feel is a kindred spirit who is on a similar journey to myself right now) and something she said made me stop and think. She said that to expect everyone else to have the same high values as you do is quite daunting. Or words to that effect. And she is right - i need to reflect on that as i know that i have very high expectations and values for myself and i need to really think about whether i put those thoughts onto those i love...but then there are things which i think go beyond values and come down to respect and love. If you love and respect someone and you know that something you have done will bring them immeasurable pain then you ensure that they find out about it in the kindest way possible..i guess that this isn't just about partners but about all our relationships with those we love.

In other, entirely unrelated thoughts, i was thinking about men's attitudes to abortion (this comes after watching Borgen and my brain spinning off into thinking about stuff). I am, and always have been a huge supporter of the woman's right to choose. I guess that many of us women have had pregnancy scares and these lead us to think about our options. I remember being 17 and my period being late. I hadn't had unprotected sex but then accidents can happen and i was really, really scared. In my logical mind i knew that i didn't want a baby - i was with someone i loved (who later became my husband, and then my ex-husband!) but i had my whole life ahead of me and i didn't want to be tied down. Plus, even at the age of 17 i knew that i didn't want to have children ever. Logically i knew all of these things but the minute that i thought that i could be pregnant my emotions ran riot. I began to consider what it would be like to have a baby and these were alien emotions to me. I guess I'm saying that i now believe that none of us know exactly how we feel until we are in the situation and that judging other women for making what is an extremely difficult decision is wrong. Ive never considered how the man would feel though. I'm not talking about when you are in a committed, loving relationship because i would *hope* that the man would support his partner. What if i slept with someone i didn't know that well and got pregnant? Would he want to know that i was having an abortion? How would he feel? Would it be right for him to express his desire  to keep the baby even if i wanted an abortion? These are things that i have never thought about before because I've never thought of abortion as a man's issue. I don't know how many male readers i have but id be interested in your thoughts.

On that note, and now that I'm in thoughtful mode, I'm going to begin my uni assignment. An essay of 3000 words....first essay I've written since i did my A Levels 23 years ago. Meep!


  1. I first and foremost believe in the right to autonomy over one's own body and that no-one else should have a higher authority as to what happens to it and within it.

    But I'd think there are a range of difficulties and questions about autonomy for men as well when it comes to pregnancy - some may want the baby and be very opposed to abortion, but should they have a say over what happens inside the woman's body in the early stages when the foetus isn't a self-sustaining entity in it's own right yet? Likewise, how many men must have been affected by a partner choosing to have the baby and forcing them to become a father, when they do not and perhaps never wanted to be a father, were taking precautions, and either an accident has happened, or the woman has had a different agenda and wanted to be pregnant? I can see that all those situations must contribute a lot of pain, anguish and anger in the world, but I'm sure that's been going on since mankind evolved a conscious stance beyond mere reproductive behaviour, and will continue until 100% reliable contraception is available for both parties who are educated to use it from an appropriate age.

  2. I agree with all of your comments. I guess thats what i was trying to say - i hadnt ever really thought about things from the male point of view and when you do it opens up even more moral questions and dilemmas. Life isnt half complicated at times!!