Just in case anyone was wondering, I am married to the best husband ever. Who will be a great father, when the time comes.
Would he and I have dated if I had a child already? Would I eve have been free to date at all, had I born that child? The other responsible party in that affair made it quite clear that had I carried the pregnancy to term, he and I would have gotten married. Forever and ever amen, no way out, ever. (You see, his dad was a j@cka$$, and ex-boyfriend's parents' divorce was horrible, thanks to j@cka$$ dad. So he vowed never to get divorced, ever, period end of sentence. Even if he got his mistress pregnant, like his dad did, while his wife was expecting their fifth.)
Where would I be now, had I taken that path? Married to a pot-smoker with great ambitions and ideas but not an ounce of motivation to act on any of his ambitions. Guess whose fault his failure would have been? *raises hand* Oh, and *raises imaginary potential baby's hand*
Finding the strength to make the decision to terminate my pregnancy was a huge first step for me. I later found the strength to break up with this guy, instead of staying with him because he liked having sex with me. (Hated spending time with me other than when we watched his movies at home, or when I listened to his great plans and arguments and agreed wholeheartedly with every word, but golly when he snapped his fingers I'd better be ready to drop on my back -- or knees, whichever he was in the mood for.)
Later on I even found the strength to divorce my first husband. Which put me in a position where I could meet and date my current husband. And, having been with those other guys, I finally understood what I had in front of me, when I met this guy. We celebrate our first wedding anniversary a month from tomorrow.
As women, we are often raised to serve. To please others. To work for others. To put others' demands, needs, and wishes before our own. That's pretty much what motherhood is about: you've brought this other person into the world, it is your job to tend to its needs until it is capable of doing so on its own. We see our mothers model this behavior, and we internalize it.
This is why women are so easily roped into abusive relationships. We are raised to feel it is our job to make others happy, and when he isn't happy, and he tells us it's our fault, we believe him, regardless of the facts.
When I decided to terminate my pregnancy, instead of carrying the pregnancy to term because that's what the Catholic church told me I should do and because my family and my then-boyfriend's family (his dad's at least) had enough money that they could support us (since the then-boyfriend would, in the years to come, be fired TWICE from the same job for the same reason: smoking pot on the job), that was the first time I made a major decision based on what I wanted, not what someone else wanted or expected me to do. Same with the break-up, and the divorce. Baby steps, learning to put myself first when necessary.
The life experiences I've had thanks to making that choice have made me into someone who will be a much better mother, when the time comes, than that 22-year-old could ever have been.