1. Kathleen B.
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    Kathleen B. New Member

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    How would you react if you found out an ex-girlfriend had an abortion?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kathleen B., Oct 15, 2014.

    I'm working on two characters (James and Gwen) who, while dating senior year of high school, get pregnant. Gwen's mother (Diane) convinces her to have an abortion, worried about what being a teen-mom will do to her future. Gwen is supposed to tell James, but she doesn't. Afterwards she goes off to college and doesn't look back.

    Years later, they meet and fall back in love. He finds out (from Gwen's dying mother) that she had the abortion. She is half asleep when James visits and mentions how happy she is that they've gotten back together and moved past what happened in high school. When he asks her to clarify, she mumbles that the abortion was the right thing and now they can start a family in their own time, as adults.

    I'm curious how he would react. Have you ever had a girl abort your child without telling you? I'm not quite sure how angry James should be. Plus, this is 15 years past the fact. Does that change how angry he is?
     
  2. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    It's never happened to me but if it was 15 years ago and they were in high school. sure, I might be a little peeved but not to the extent where it's going to have a negative impact on the relationship and especially if we're going to move past what happened in high school.
     
  3. Twist
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    Twist Member

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    Don't have personal experience, but I'd probably be fairly ticked. Putting anything else aside, it'd put a pretty big dent in my trust of "Gwen", finding out she did something so big without even telling me about it and then kept it a secret for fifteen years. And not even actually learning it from her definitely wouldn't help.
     
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  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that it depends almost entirely on James, his life experience, how he feels about having children, how he feels about abortion, and a bazillion other factors. I can see any number of possibilities:

    "That was my child, too; how dare you?"

    "OK, it was your decision, but this was something really important, and if you couldn't trust me then, how can I feel that we had a relationship? Now I'm not sure about our relationship now."

    "I'm so sorry that you had go to through that alone."

    And any number of others, and mixtures of the above.
     
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  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I wasn't exactly famous for my maturity in high school, and I doubt if James and Gwen were, either. Being angry about a poor decision (not telling him, not the abortion) a high school senior made fifteen years ago seems petulant and self-centered. You were both young, in a tough spot. Let it go.

    BTW, they weren't pregnant, Gwen was.
     
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  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never been in this position, but if I was James, I wouldn't have been too pleased to have been left in the dark about this. But, 15 years would have limited my anger...but, then, I'm not particularly hot-headed. What kind of a person is James? Arrogant and macho? Intellectual and dispassionate? Gentle and considerate?
     
  7. Kathleen B.
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    Kathleen B. New Member

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    These are all really great points. To respond to a few:
    I think that's exactly it. It's not so much that she had the abortion, as they've started seeing each other again and she still didn't tell him. He found out from someone else - where Gwen might never have told him. It's a trust thing.
    After going through a rebellious phase in high school, he grew up to be quite responsible, returning to help his father manage his business to keep it from failing after serving overseas. He wants a family. I'd say he grew up with old-fashioned and traditional family-structure expectations, but he also was a marine, saw the world, and can adapt to (and is willing to accept) new situations.
     
  8. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    You've given some of his formative influences, but you haven't answered whether he's arrogant and macho (the marines is a fairly masculine environment) or sensitive and caring (just because he wants children doesn't qualify for that...he might want somebody to follow him into the family business - and plenty of successful businessmen go through life being led by the groin) or what.

    To go on a bit, my children all had a similar home environment, but they were all very different people by the time they were young adults (even before that!) so you can't define a person's character by their upbringing - it's the old nature/nurture thing!
     
  9. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I think he's be upset she didn't tell him after they got back together. If she had told him and he was upset teenage her didn't tell him, it would sound a little petty (depending on how upset he got.)

    But, if he realized she just wanted to put it behind her and, thus, didn't tell him, I can see him dropping it, too. This depends on the character, though.
     
  10. Lemon flavoured
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    Lemon flavoured Active Member

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    I wasn't particularly happy, since she told me about it in the same email she dumped me and said she never wanted to speak to me again...
     
  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I honestly don't know the answer to this one. Personally, if it were me I would have told the father, because it's his child as well as mine. I would have wanted to know his feelings about the situation before I made a choice. But being young teenagers with pressure on them? I don't know. I think it might boil down to how Gwen feels now. If she's sad that she gave up 'their' child under pressure, he'll might be more likely to understand and maybe be sad too, but not angry at her. If she's dismissive of the child or the importance of the choice she made, he might feel differently.

    Do they discuss HIS position at the time of the abortion? How would he have felt then, if he'd known he was going to be a father? Would he have supported the abortion, or would he have wanted to keep the child? That will also factor in. In other words, is the issue ONLY that she didn't tell him? Or did she make a decision he would not have agreed with?

    I think from a story standpoint, this all has to fit with where you're taking the story.
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It sort of depends on whether he would've wanted that abortion to have happened in the first place. If he knew he would've preferred the abortion, or perhaps wouldn't have asked for it but would find it a relief if she did abort, then knowing that she did abort likely wouldn't cause him to become angry. Depending on how understanding of a guy he is, he might even go so far as to feel sorry that she had to go through that all on her own, shouldering the burden of it for the 15 years alone when it should have been his too.

    My first question would be, "Why didn't you tell me?" But the truth is, if he's a mature guy, he probably knows she didn't tell him 1. perhaps she was freaked out and 2. she didn't want him to feel the guilt. The truth is, she's sparing him the pain of it all, the regret, the responsibility, so he can live with a clean conscience (plenty of women feel guilty after aborting - it's not a statement of right or wrong but simply that it does affect the woman deeply) without having to carry the weight of something he could do nothing about anyway anymore.

    I think in the end it all depends, also, on why she kept it from him.
     
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  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't imagine some guys would not be saying "THANK YOU!"
     
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  14. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, this girl sounds like a saint.
     
  15. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I have a friend who that happened to. She aborted and went off with his friend. She came back to him a number of years later when my friend was high up in his job and on good money, he rejected her advances because he'd found someone else but also because when he asked her why she'd killed their child, her answer was that it was nothing more that a little mishap on her part. He took it really badly.

    But, my friend did actually know about the pregnancy and was looking forward to becoming a father so this girl really ripped his heart out and stomped all over it.
     
  16. Kathleen B.
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    Kathleen B. New Member

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    Honestly, it’s not about protecting him. It’s that Gwen is terrified that he will want to keep it, and she believes her mom – she’s afraid her life will be over if she has this child. So there is some (well-intended) pressure from her mother, though her mother thinks she should tell James. But she makes the entirely selfish and scared decision to keep it a secret. She might also be a little intimidated by his feelings for her. He doesn’t leave her in doubt that (even as an 18 yr old) he loves her, and she’s afraid she’d have to give up everything she’s dreamed in order to stay with him and have their baby.

    As she gets older, it just seems like the window of opportunity to tell him gets smaller and smaller until there's no easy way to tell him: "Oh, by the way, you remember when I broke up with you fifteen years? I was pregnant and had an abortion."
     
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  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    How your character reacts will play a major role in defining your character. So any reaction you can imagine is plausible, at least to some degree. Your choice will therefore shape the story you write.

    It's really and truly your decision, and yours alone.
     
  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, that's a heartbreaking scenario, and a very good one for a story. Good luck exploring what these people will do with their past and future.
     
  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh my word... I gotta say, your friend is a frigging bitch. (sorry to say)
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That sounds very realistic, actually, and I really like it! Still, James' reaction would depend on what kinda guy he is. Would he have wanted the baby if only he'd known? To have had that choice taken away from him - that's gonna be a blow either way. But it might become something unforgivable if he would've wanted the baby.

    To be honest - okay I'm a woman, so it wouldn't happen to me lol - but if I were James, I'd ditch the girl. How would I be able to trust her ever again, if she could keep something this great from me and never even give me the choice? I wouldn't hate her, because I understand her reasons, but that says nothing about whether I could trust her again. And without trust, there's no relationship. We'd be friends at best.
     
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  21. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    My friend was the guy, apologies if I miss wrote it the other way. And yes, the girl was a friggin bitch
     
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  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    But, what choice? The choice to tell her to risk her health and her future having a baby that she doesn't want? I don't want to drag this into a debate about abortion, but I don't really feel that it would be reasonable for him to expect to get a choice.

    I realize, of course, that people are unreasonable all the time.

    Edited to add: If the lack of trust is about not being informed, and not getting his chance to state his case, and not getting the chance to grieve, yeah, I can see that. I'm not saying that he's entitled to that, but I can see a reasonable person looking at a particular relationship and saying that it was a reasonable expectation. It's the "choice" part that I'm arguing about.
     
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  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Given how crazy my ex is, I would literally get down on my knees and thank God.
     
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  24. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Yes, I was just going to say, looking at it from the other side of the coin, what if he was glad that the decision had been taken away from him? that he would have hated for her to keep it and feels they would have split up if she'd kept it because he would have felt that he 'had' to stay with her, do his duty and face up to his responsibilities which at the time, he may not have wanted to do.
     
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  25. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    'You killed my baby, you murderer.'

    'Actually, things are so much worse for you. I raised Satan's boy under your name, and, and here he is.'

    'Daddy, my Daddy.'

    'Oh my god, a fat child.'

    'Puppy fat.'

    'A jackal..!'

    'Woof.'

    'Sit down.'
     
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