I care for my girl­friend but my mother would dis­own me if she knew of abor­tion

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - MARY O’CONOR -

My girl­friend’s hus­band died very trag­i­cally four years ago. One year later in her mid-20s, she had a li­ai­son with her then boss, re­sult­ing in her be­com­ing preg­nant. She ter­mi­nated the preg­nancy af­ter 15 weeks be­cause of re­li­gious and cul­tural dif­fer­ences. She said it was the cor­rect de­ci­sion and has ab­so­lutely no re­grets.

She moved from a ru­ral lo­ca­tion to Dublin for per­sonal se­cu­rity rea­sons and also be­cause of com­plex prob­lems re­gard­ing her late hus­band’s es­tate and trou­ble with her parish be­cause of the ter­mi­na­tion.

We met as we were work­ing in the same com­pany and over time, we be­came very friendly. We of­fi­cially be­came boyfriend/girl­friend about 15 months ago and we care about each other deeply.

I brought her home to meet my mother and sib­lings. My mother is a de­vout Catholic and would dis­own me if she knew my girl­friend had had a ter­mi­na­tion.

Our work sit­u­a­tions have now changed — noth­ing to do with our re­la­tion­ship — and we re­alise that we will not be able to meet as reg­u­larly as we do now. My girl­friend feels in­se­cure and lack­ing in con­fi­dence. She has sug­gested that we live to­gether from next Fe­bru­ary. She also said she would like to start a fam­ily and have chil­dren over the next 10 years and then we will get mar­ried.

This came as a bit of a shock to me, but I un­der­stand where she is com­ing from be­cause of the trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences she has had over the last four years. How­ever, I can­not leave my apart­ment as I share it with other ma­ture stu­dents who, like me, are work­ing full-time by day. We have an en­vi­ron­ment of study in the apart­ment and I have a few years be­fore my stud­ies are com­pleted so 2020 is the ear­li­est that I can se­ri­ously con­tem­plate co­hab­it­ing with her.

I will do any­thing I can to help her. But I am con­cerned about our future re­la­tion­ship.

AI have short­ened your very de­tailed let­ter con­sid­er­ably for rea­sons of anonymity. It seems to me that you are bat­tling with two prob­lems. Firstly, what to do if your mother ever found out that your girl­friend had a ter­mi­na­tion, and se­condly, you don’t want to move in with your girl­friend for another two years.

Par­ents pass on to their chil­dren their moral and re­li­gious be­liefs and hope that they will be guided by them. It would be very wrong of any mother to ex­pect a future daugh­ter-in-law to share her be­liefs and it would also be wrong of her to judge her if she did not do so.

It should be of no con­cern to your mother what your girl­friend did be­fore meet­ing you. In­stead, she should be hop­ing your girl­friend will make you happy in the future. So if it doesn’t bother you that she ter­mi­nated a preg­nancy, then stop think­ing about it and get on with en­joy­ing each other’s com­pany.

Which brings me to your sec­ond prob­lem. I don’t get any sense of light­ness or fun in the re­la­tion­ship from your email other than your as­sur­ance that you care deeply for each other.

If you can’t live to­gether un­til 2020, so be it, but there is noth­ing to stop you en­joy­ing each other’s com­pany on an on­go­ing ba­sis un­til that time.

There will still be plenty of time for your girl­friend to have ba­bies and who knows, she may have lost some of her aver­sion to be­ing mar­ried by that time.

Tell her your plan for study and work ad­vance­ment and ex­plain how you see her place in all of this. Be­cause of her in­se­cu­ri­ties, be sure to tell her how much you care.

No­body should be pres­sured into mov­ing in to­gether be­fore they feel that the time is right. You will find that com­pro­mise plays a big part in any cou­ple’s story.

But you can’t be study­ing all the time, par­tic­u­larly at week­ends, and so it should be pos­si­ble for both of you to en­joy time to­gether as well.

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