DEAR NATALIE: I just found out the woman I am engaged to had an abortion when she was 22. We are both 29. She never told me this until recently and we have been together for more than two years. I really don’t know how I feel about it. I told her I have to think things over. What do you think? Should I stay with her even though I don’t approve of abortion? She said she waited until we got engaged to tell me because she didn’t want it to “cloud” my judgment of her. —THINKING THIS THROUGH
DEAR THINKING THIS THROUGH: Sounds as though she made a difficult choice at a certain point in her life. It’s very easy to sit there and debate in your mind what she “should” have done, but it wasn’t your choice to make and you weren’t in her shoes. The very fact that she was afraid to tell you makes me think that she was concerned you would judge her. Show her compassion instead of disapproval. Let go of your judgement and instead think about how brave she was to share her story with you. I’m sure there are many women out there who have never shared their abortion story with their significant other. They’ve had to hold that chapter of their lives in silence, tuck it away in a part of their heart, and silently work through it alone. If this is something you really can’t get beyond, end it now so that you don’t create a life together that is miserable for both of you. She deserves to be with someone who can respect her past while celebrating a hopeful future together.
DEAR NATALIE: My ex-girlfriend invited me to her wedding. She broke up with me about a year ago and now she is already moving on with a new guy. I’ve known her and her family forever--we were together almost 8 years--and I feel really awful about not wanting to go. Should I go? I’m still not really over all of this. And, I don’t have a girlfriend right now, so should I go solo? —WEDDING WORRIES
DEAR WEDDING WORRIES: You absolutely should not go. You have no reason to put yourself in that position other than a desire for self-loathing. I think it was actually cruel of her to invite you so soon after you had broken up. It’s not like you’ve been apart for ten years or something. You only broke up a year ago and she moved on rather quickly. To expect you to show up is delusional on her part. I would decline, send her a small gift, and call it a day. Focus on what brings you contentment, what brings you peace and how you can create a bright future for yourself.
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