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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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I feel desperate... I am 37 divorced and three children, one

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I feel desperate... I am 37 divorced and three children, one w special needs that requires constant time and attention. I have a boyfriend who has a very
My boyfriend has a very strong personality and at times controlling .I had an eating disorder when I was 12 and it in the last 6 months re-appeared. Because of my eating disorder my birth control pills were not absorbed. I am now 8 weeks pregnant. He is livid and expecting me to get an abortion in two days. I cannot picture having an abortion but I cannot picture having another child. I know he is the innocent victim ( he has expressed from the very beginning) that he never wanted more children, always checked that I was taking my pills, etc. I told him I need a break that I have to think about everything. He keeps pushing me into saying and confirming that I will go through this on Monday. Also, he keeps telling me not to tell ANYONE and keeps checking on me that I haven't. What do I do?


I'm very sorry to hear of the situation you find yourself in. Obviously no-one can really tell you what to do in this situation but I can help you to clarify the situation and decisions you must make so that you can make a decision. Can I ask you firstly if having an abortion is at all an option for you? You mention that you can't see it happening but does this mean that in no way would you proceed with that choice or just that this is an option you doubt you could take?

I should make it clear straight away that I have no moral stance on abortion either way and therefore am very comfortable discussion any option with you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Having three children and one with special needs - I don't want to but I can see the logic and practicality of not having another child. I went to catholic grade school, catholic highschool and catholic college so I am conflicted in that way too if I do I hope God would understand. My boyfriend says it will ruin his life if I continue on. Again I now it's all my fault so I am trying to do what's in the best interest for everyone

I can fully appreciate the ambivalence you must be feeling over the dilemma you are presented with. Without making a decision do you know whether it would be possible for you to make a decision either way? I'm pushing this line of questioning as it is important to clarify straight away whether there is actually a decision to be made here or whether it is more a situation of working out to accept a particular course of action and communicate this to those around you.

Also, this is not a situation where blame should be portioned out. You have unfortunately had a complication with your birth control medication that has lead to this situation.

If you put aside everyone else's needs for a moment, what do you want?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
In a perfect world I would want time to stand still or my boyfriend to accept this but that is not I guess that what's best for all is for me not to have it-- I know this complicates it but my ex said if I wanted to keep it he would take care of it and me ( he has always wanted me back) I constantly feel controlled and manipulated by my boyfriend whereas I am not in love my ex but he is my best friend. Sorry even if this is conflicted... I am leaning towards not having it. I hope I didn't ramble but answered your question.

You do not need to apologize to anyone for feeling conflicted about this situation. You express yourself well and if you r gut feeling is that it wouldn't be appropriate to have the baby then perhaps that is the decision you should make. I know you have spoken with your sister and ex but perhaps it would be good to discuss this in detail with a person who does no t have a personal connection to you. Have you considered meeting with a counselor?

From what you have written is sounds as thought perhaps you have already made a decision but are finding it hard (understandably) to accept that decision?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Your responses are making me feel not so alone...I have tried calling numerous places but nobody has Saturday hours or the few that do I have tried to call but can only leave a message and time us not on my side. There is an appt set up for Monday and my boyfriend says that that us the only thing that is allowing him any sanity. And to some extent I feel like I owe him that because he was so emphatic and careful about not having more children....he trusted me that I was taking responsibility and I told him I was.

I'm glad it helps to chat here. You were taking responsibility for birth control but there was an unfortunate interaction with pre-existing eating difficulties. It's very easy to use hindsight and apportion blame but really this seems like an unfortunate accident to me. Can I ask you bluntly...have you made the decision to go ahead with the procedure?


This resource my be of help over the next couple of days if you don't have access to any support services near home . I haven't had any involvement with this service so I can't make a recommendation but they appear to be able to provide online counseling specifically for pregnancy and abortion related matters. I can see that their advisor's must have a minimum of 100 hours experience and from looking at the various client stories posted they appear to not hold any specific religious or politically stance on this matter. They are based in the UK but I see no reason why you couldn't use if you wanted to. I hope this is of some help. Please write back if you have further questions or wish to continue our conversation.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you again. I will check out for sure I guess I have a fork in the road either get this done and continue w boyfriend that may have contributed to my return of eating disorder or return to ex......I just want to feel free to do what I want yet is it fair to cause turmoil in someones life who never wanted this?

Whenever two people are engaged in a sexual relationship and use birth control there is ALWAYS a risk of unplanned pregnancy. No birth control technique is fail-safe and any adult who engages in a sexual relationship with another adult knows that there is a possibility of unplanned pregnancy. You are not causing your boyfriend turmoil the situation is. You both hold responsibility for the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy and that is what has occurred. By agreeing to be responsible for birth control you were at no stage giving him a 100% guarantee because you couldn't do that. It happens to be the case that sometimes when people become unwell while taking birth control measures that the birth control looses efficacy and an unplanned pregnancy occurs. It could have happened if you got sick in a variety of other ways as well.

By the way, have you been getting any treatment or support for the eating difficulty?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No not yet it's definitely on my priority....see he just called and started saying the same thing over and over that I did this just get it over with let's go to a concert and it's just not that easy for my ex is very understanding and wouldn't do that... My boyfriend says I'm talking in a tone and like I always have to agree and say I'm sorry.. Yet now w getting my ex involved I feel like I'm letting him down.... Sad that I don't feel free to be me always living for others.
It might be a good idea to try and just focus on what you want and making sure you communicate clearly with your boyfriend. If you are planning to have the abortion it might be a good idea to tell him so that he stops trying to persuade you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for all your help. I think it made me feel better especially from a male perspective that it's not a question of blame..I could go back and forth all day and that may be part if what I have to do. I am going to follow the link you suggested and you are definitely a credit to your profession. It would love it if you practiced in Michigan but I don't know where you are at. Anyway, a sincere heartfelt thank you- Margot

You are more than welcome Margot. Unfortunately I'm somewhat of a distance from Michigan - Sweden actually!!

I'm glad this has been of help to you. If you ever have questions in the future or if I can assist you in any way please don't hesitate to contact me. Best of luck!

Dr John B and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

I just wanted to check in and see if everything went OK. If I can ever be of assistance in the future please don't hesitate to contact me.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up. I truly felt that your opinion and advice was genuine and heartfelt. I ended up not going through w the pregnancy and am having continous regret. I think either choice would present regrets yet not to this extent. I am seeing a counselor in Michigan to deal ith the self- imposed loss and to regain the happiness that I have lost from this relationship. Thank you again, I am not sure what I would have done if I didn't have someone to talk to at that moment.


You are more than welcome. I'm sorry to hear that you're having to go through something really, really tough right now. Please feel free to contact me if you ever require assistance.

I wish you all the best!

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