I am distraught after my wife forced me to accept her having an abortion

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a man in my 50s, and I want the public to know that men also feel the pain of an abortion.

My wife didn’t seem to want children, but I like kids and wanted to have as many as possible. My wife and I had never sat down to talk about having children when we got married, so we ended up aborting our baby.

After some persuasion, we conceived two children through fertility treatment. I’d thought that we wouldn’t be able to have more, but then she got pregnant naturally. However, she cried aloud and said things like, “If I give birth, I will die,” or “I would abuse the child.” I was forced to agree to an abortion.

I feel so much pain that I want to be tried for murder. But my wife seems to be in high spirits, as if she had a malignant tumor removed.

I can’t wait to get a divorce, but as a parent of two children, I am desperately trying to keep my feelings to myself. I still hold a grudge against her because after the abortion, she just said, “It’s OK as we have two.”

— E, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Mr. E:

when I think of your painful feelings of remorse, which are so strong that you want to be tried for murder. I only hope that your voice will reach the child who was never born into this world.

On the other hand, you say your wife is in high spirits, but is that really the case? She never wanted a child, but she now is raising two. This must have been painful for her in ways that you, who love kids, could never imagine. Did you ever care for or show appreciation to your wife doing her best to meet your wishes?

Some women never get used to the idea of wanting to be a mother, or even the idea that an unwanted pregnancy could spark a love for the child. It is certainly a stereotype that only women suffer because of abortion. At the same time, the idea that we hope that all women want to become mothers also needs to be reconsidered.

Your relationship may change if you can understand how your wife feels about accepting two unwanted pregnancies before you decide she’s not going through the pain of abortion.

— Masami Ohinata, university president