We broke up. Then, I had a miscarriage. It's been several months, but I'm beginning to feel really guilty. Should I tell him? If so, how? (maybe a little NSFW, better safe than sorry)
posted by anonymous to human relations (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We dated for around six months and are both in our mid-twenties. Overall, I felt like our relationship was a very good one while it lasted. We rarely fought and when we did, we always compromised. We were playful and affectionate in and out of the bedroom. We enjoyed the time we spent together. We got along very well with each others families and friends. We had a deep emotional connection. We loved each other and said so often and openly. I felt like it was the ideal relationship and I was beginning to relax into it completely.
Then, he broke up with me very abruptly via an e-mail. In his e-mail, he explained that he would be moving in a few months time for work-related reasons and that he did not want to put the effort into a long distance relationship with me at this time. Although he would not be moving for several months, he said he did not want either of us to grow more attached to one another when he knew an LDR would simply not work out between us. I replied to his e-mail, explaining that I felt this sort of preemptive breakup was pointless, but that if that was what he wanted, then okay. I chose to believe what he was telling me and accept it instead of fighting it. He wanted to be friends, but I told him I wanted a period of absolutely no contact (no e-mails, no phone calls, no texts, don’t poke me on Facebook, and certainly no face-to-face meetings).
I tried to take the breakup as well as I could. I went out with friends and threw myself into work and creative projects. At first, I made myself as busy as I possibly could, so I didn't really have time to think or see straight, much less deal with my feelings and emotions. Then, I was hit with what I thought was a combination of massive stomach flu and breakup depression. I spent a lot of time in bed and eating saltine crackers.
One day, I started spotting brown. This was very not normal for me and alarmed me considerably, so I called my gynecologist. She explained to me that there were all kinds of different ranges of normal and that I shouldn’t be alarmed, but if I wanted to see her, she was fine with that. When I went to see her, she started by asking me a few questions and in the course of her questioning, I realized that I was very late for my period. In fact, I had skipped a couple of periods by that point (I am relatively irregular, so I hadn’t thought much about it at the time. I was kind of wrapped up in all the stress from the breakup anyway). She explained that I might be pregnant and this brown spotting might be implantation bleeding and suggested that I take a pregnancy test while I was there. The test came out positive.
I was shocked by the news of the pregnancy. When we were together, my ex and I always practiced safe sex. Our birth control method of choice had been condoms. Whenever we had penetrative sex, he wore a condom. We never had an incident where a condom broke. However, sometimes before we had sex, he would tease the opening of my vagina with his penis when he wasn’t wearing a condom. Sometimes this would happen after he had just ejaculated from oral sex. Because of this, my gynecologist thinks that this pregnancy MIGHT have been the result of precome. I had always believed that the whole you-can-get-pregnant-from-precome thing was the kind of myth they told you in what passes for sex-ed classes here in the South, but apparently I was very, very wrong about this.
When added to the very recent breakup, it just seemed sort of emotionally unbearable. I did not know what to do or really how to handle it, but I decided that I wanted to minimize the potential for drama as much as I possibly could. In those first few days after I found out, I only told my mother and two very close, trusted friends about the pregnancy. I was thinking of ways to break the news to my ex when the brown spotting returned. Except this time, the spotting turned from brown to bright red and was accompanied by the most horrendous cramps I have ever had in my life. Alarmed, I visited my gynecologist again. She confirmed that I was miscarrying at 8w3d.
This was literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me and was extremely emotionally difficult. I decided to have a D&C because I didn't want to go through the waiting game of a natural miscarriage. I wanted more than ever to tell my ex what was going on. I desperately wanted his emotional support. I asked for advice from the two close friends that I had previously told about the pregnancy. They suggested that telling him about the miscarriage was probably not a good idea. Admittedly, they’re not big fans of him now because of the way he chose to break up with me. They explained that they felt that his e-mail break up spoke to a pronounced lack of maturity and respect for me. They worried that he would do something to further hurt me at a time that was already very traumatic for me. They predicted he would react to the news in one of two ways, either (a) he would be upset and do something dramatic, or (b) he would not care. Either way, these were not the reactions that I would want from him, so they advised that I definitely not tell him. After all, what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him and the jerk had broken up with me, thus conceding any right to my feelings. At the time, they convinced me. I was very worried that he might react dramatically and tell a lot of people about what had happened. I wanted to minimize this sort of thing. So, I did not tell him about the miscarriage.
Because of all the emotional turmoil going on in my personal life, I went a little crazy. I began to do things that were very uncharacteristic of me before the break up and the miscarriage. I started very heavily partying, drinking and smoking all night long and stumbling back to my apartment in the wee hours of the morning alone to cry until I fell asleep. One weekend, about a month and a half after my D&C, I ran into my ex at one of these parties. We began talking and soon enough, we were meeting up for “friendly lunches”. Pretty soon, the physical part of my relationship with the ex began again and suddenly, I was sleeping over most nights out of the week. We gradually and very slowly worked our way back up to sexual intercourse. Except...when we tried to have sex, I burst into tears. I ended up crying and hyperventilating in the fetal position at the foot of his bed. He was justifiably freaked out by my sudden outburst and he asked me what was wrong. I just couldn't explain to him what was wrong, at least not without revealing the secret. I wanted to leave his apartment and go home to be alone, but he insisted that I stay with him. He just held me for the rest of the night in silence and then we went to sleep together. A week or so later, he moved away. Besides seeing him very briefly at his going away party, I have not really spent time with him in person since the night of my crying fit.
Since he moved, we have cultivated a very close long-distance friendship. He lives about 500 miles away. We speak daily and are very friendly with one another. It looks like in six months to a year I may be sharing a zip code again with my ex. He has alluded to us reexamining our relationship when/if that happens. Because of this, I want to be as open and honest with my ex as I can possibly be. Also, I am beginning to feel really guilty about not telling him. It's actually eating me up inside.
1. Lately, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the person that our potential child could have been, and I am beginning to feel like I owe it to our shared history and that lost potential child to tell him. I feel like my ex has the right to know and to grieve the child. Should I be feeling guilty? Is this something that my ex is better off not knowing at all?
2. The truth is, I don’t know how to approach this sort of conversation with him. I am ashamed of my miscarriage. I feel incompetent and unworthy, like the type of person who loses all the things in life that are supposed to be the most important to her. I lost my ex, a person whom I love very deeply. I do not want to admit to him that I also lost our child. How do I tell him? What do I say? How do I explain waiting so long to tell him? Was hiding it from him selfish of me? I was only trying to protect my own emotions on the advice of my friends. This is the sort of thing that I feel should only be done in person, should I wait longer to tell him or should I insist on visiting him soon to give him this news? Please help me.
Thank you so much for reading this long thing. I will take any advice you guys give me to heart.
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