This is my first time posting because I don't know where to turn for advice and can't afford therapy. All of your replies are greatly appreciated.
I met a guy 2 yrs ago. instant connection, love at first sight and we rushed things in the beginning. We moved in together after 2 months of dating. We went on a romantic vacation where we were a bit 'careless' with using protection and I'll be the first to admit that. (this is where part of my guilt comes from) I was 22 and he was 30 at this time. THis was my first serious relationship. I was a student and quit my bartending job when we met because he didn't want me working nights and promised he'd support me through school. He filled my head with talks of kids and marriage. I was scared because it was so soon after we met but also in love with the whole idea... I was a kid, totally infatuated with this man and extremely atracted to him.
After the trip, his true colors surfaced:
1- We were living in his mother's basement. SHe treated me like GARBAGE even though I tried SO HARD to make friends with her! She was just a mean, vindictive, manipulative, jealous, miserable person. I could list so many examples that would make your stomachs turn.
2- Part of this had to do with his insecure, clingy, manipulative mom, but I noticed he had a severely warped 1920s mentality about women. (his mom was a housewife with no education and never worked a day in her life after being married) He would make derogatory comments about 'a woman's place' and we would fight a lot because I 'talked back' and 'never learned to keep my mouth shut' (verbatum) when he was being unreasonable. So my little fantasy of us being a cute little family unit and raising children together and working as a team quickly dissipated.
3- He had awful temper tantrums, especially when we would go out and he'd start drinking. He publicly humiliated me a few times in front of friends and family for no reason. I was mortified.
4- He ruined my entire summer. He rarely wanted to go out and do fun things (again I was 22 and just starting to enjoy things in life)He was a couch potato (he wasn't working when we met and was living off his savings) and he would get SO ANGRY when I wanted to go to the beach, or for a walk or anything! He also never wanted to go out with me but ALWAYS went out with his friends till 4am!(even though he knew I had no money and no means to go anywhere because I wasn't working) Also, when he'd go out he would NEVER answer my calls and I always worried. I spent many weekends alone at his house or at my mom's.
5- One time he told me he was going to the grocery store and came back 7 hrs later at 3am!!! ANd didn't answer my calls...the usual routine. I was scarred after that incident because it's like I didn't even know who he was!
6- These bad experiences were mixed up with good times too so I always felt torn about what to do because sometimes he made me feel so good and so in love and then he would take it away with one horrible act. We went on a trip to Cuba for my birthday and he acted HORRIBLY towards me..embarrassed me in front of friends, would disappear to play tennis with other guys for HOURS on end and even ditched me in the hotel room while I was really sick from heat stroke to go party till 4am! I don't even know what he did that night to be honest.
When we got back from the trip, I found out I was pregnant. I told my mom who made it clear that she would support whatever decision but to keep in mind how toxic this relationship is and that I had no job, no education completed and would be stuck with him doing everything on my own. I told him and he was actually very happy and excited and wanted me to keep it. After a VERY difficult decision, I made the choice to get an abortion at 7 weeks gestation. I was scared, young and no longer trusted him. He was devasted i'm not going to lie.
We broke up briefly but he wanted to get back together and give things a second go. I don't know why, but I agreed. I guess I still loved him.
Everything was horrible after that. he slowly started treating me worse and worse and as I became more and more addicted to the relationship and in lvoe with him, he treated me like GARBAGE. (always criticized me, cheated with multiple women, lied almost every day, was NEVER home except to complain that I didn't clean enough or to eat the food i cooked then back out with the guys again, neglected me, horrible temper tantrums,disrespected me, humiliated me in public, hit me one time and spit in my face twice)
It was a very abusive relationship and now that I'm older and out of it I still cannot believe I put up with it. Every time I caught him cheating, he would blame it on my abortion and would always say 'I told you that you would destroy us if you did that and you never believed me... or you killed our baby...or God is punishing you see?' etc etc etc I believed him and felt overwhelming guilt and tried my best to mae the relationship work...I put up with a lot. At some point towards the end he proposed to me and did a full 180. I don't know why, but all of a sudden he started being so much nicer to me (although there were still problems) and after undergoing so much to get his approval and affection, I was elated! So I gave things another go, we kept improving for 4 months... then i caught him cheating again. Sigh. I left once and for all...but when I did, he made sure to tell me that he tried his hardest but in the end still couldn't get over the abortion and that he would never forgive me.
Now as I got older and finished school and matured... I have overwhelming guilt for 2 reasons: the first, for the loss of a potential child that could have brought me joy regardless of the situation... but then I think what if I would have brought a baby into this world under horrible circumstances and all the joy in the world could not counteract that. The second reason, is me thinking 'what if i chose to have the baby and things got much better between us?' But then I think, he already is a father and divorced and a baby didn't keep his ex wife and him together so why would it change things for us? I also feel guilty for not being more careful with contraception so that I wouldn't ever even be in that position! (but he had a big role to play in that too -he was very manipulative)
I don't know what to think or how to feel... all though I'm over him, I'm not over what I endured for 2 yrs or the constant 'what ifs' in my head 2 yrs post abortion.
When I see these anti-abortion websites,slogans, rallies etc I feel AWFUL. I am also religious and don't want to feel like i've sinned but i just don't know what the right decision would have been in these circumstances. I thought i made the right one?
Now this jerk is dating someone new (only took him 5 weeks to move on after we broke up even though we were engaged and living together)and told me that this girl is 'the one' and they're going to have beautiful children together and he will never cheat on her. He even moved in with her right away like he did with me.... I'm so confused by all of this!
Any advice on how I can move on from all of this is appreciated!