Helping your girlfriend after an abortion can be difficult for both of you, especially because it brings up complex emotions that you may not know how to deal with. The process may be difficult, but asking your girlfriend what you can do to make her feel better, both emotionally and physically, will demonstrate to her that you care and want to assist her as much as possible. Approaching this situation with kindness, openness, and understanding will assist you in working through it together.
Method 1 Giving Her Love and Emotional Support
1. Tell her you’re here to help her in any way she requires. This may be a difficult situation for both you and your girlfriend, and the best thing you can do is express your love for her. Try not to make the assumption that you know what she wants. Instead, ask her what you can do to assist her and let her lead the discussion.
She may want to talk about her feelings right away, but she may also require some alone time. Simply let her know you’ll be there when she’s ready.
2. Listen to her feelings without passing judgement. Focus on listening if your girlfriend wants to talk about the abortion. She may be ashamed of her emotions, so make sure she knows she can be honest with you no matter what. Be loving, supportive, and kind. Allow her to take her time and say whatever she needs to say.
Don’t assume you know how she feels; it could range from sadness, pain, and regret to guilt, anger, or even relief. Make sure she knows it’s okay to feel this way and that you won’t judge her no matter what.
Inquire open-endedly about how she feels, what she’s been through, and what she wants next. Say things like, “This is a very difficult situation for both of us.” I care about you and will always be there for you.”
If she expresses negative feelings toward you later, respond calmly and compassionately, even if you are upset. “I’m so sorry you’re going through this.” It’s extremely difficult, and all I want to do is assist.” If she requires it, offer to leave her alone for a while.
3. Don’t downplay her emotions, no matter what they are. It’s natural to want to reassure your girlfriend that everything will be fine, but doing so risks trivialising everything she—and you—are going through. Instead, concentrate on acknowledging her pain and offering assistance in any way she requires.
Even if you’re trying to protect her, don’t try to talk her out of her feelings. Allowing her to experience her emotions will help her work through them and begin to heal.
Say something like, “You’re going through a lot right now—we’re both going through a lot.” I know it’s difficult, but you’re strong, you’ll get through it, and I’m here for you.”
4. If you are upset about the abortion, keep your cool. Supporting your girlfriend can be extremely difficult if you did not support the abortion or are experiencing negative feelings as a result of it. Stay with her if you can and wait for your emotions to settle before speaking to her, so you don’t say something you’ll regret later. If you don’t feel comfortable being around her, arrange for friends or family to stay with her.
Make an effort not to blame or lash out at your girlfriend. It’s over, and being angry or upset with her will only make matters worse.
If you need to express your feelings right away, say, “I’m really upset about this.” I’d like to talk about what’s going on with me when you’re ready.”
If you need time away from your girlfriend, tell her, “I need some alone time to think about how I feel.” I love you so much, and I don’t want to say anything hurtful to you while you’re healing.”
5. Examine post-abortion resources together. Many websites provide advice and comfort to help you both through any emotional turmoil you may be experiencing. Some also provide anonymous talk lines where you can speak with a counsellor. Among the possible resources are:
6. Keep an eye out for signs of depression or deeper emotional turmoil. Abortion, regardless of the circumstances, can be traumatic for any woman and leave her feeling depressed, numb, or anxious. Feelings of loss, sadness, or guilt are normal, but if your girlfriend appears to be more deeply affected, discuss seeing a counsellor with her. Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness are all symptoms of depression.
Anger or irritability, sometimes over trivial matters
Loss of interest in routine activities
Disruptions in sleep
Appetite or weight changes
Having difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
Method 2 Making Sure She’s Comfortable
1. Be present in person for her as much as she requires. Ask your girlfriend if she wants you to stay with her, and assure her that you will be with her for as long as she requires. Ask if you can hold her hand, or if you can give her hugs and other soothing touches. She may be sensitive after the abortion, so ask first before touching her.
Say something straightforward and gentle, such as, “Do you want me to stay with you for a while, or do you want some alone time?”
After the abortion, your girlfriend may not want to be touched or be around other people. Remember that this is not a reflection on you; she simply requires time to recover emotionally and physically.
2. Offer to assist her with anything she requires. Giving her an open door to ask for help will keep her from feeling guilty or needy. Offer to run errands, prepare meals, and care for pets or children, as well as larger tasks such as making doctor’s appointments or calling in to work.
“I’m here to help you,” you say. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make you feel more at ease.”
3. Assist her with her aftercare medications and needs. Learn about the potential side effects that your girlfriend may experience, such as cramping, bleeding, and nausea. Offer solutions such as a heating pad or pain relievers, but don’t force them on her. Ask her what she requires to feel at ease, and do everything you can to assist her.
In order to determine when a serious side effect necessitates additional attention, consult your doctor or look online. Heavy, persistent bleeding, fever, strong-smelling vaginal discharge, chills, or severe abdominal pain could all be symptoms.
You should avoid having sex for about two weeks after the abortion to avoid infection. Your girlfriend will also have to stop using tampons for two weeks.
4. Offer to drive her to any necessary follow-up appointments. Ask your girlfriend if you can drive her to her post-operative checkup (which her doctors will almost certainly require), as well as any other clinic or pharmacy visits. Wait for her in the waiting room so she knows she has someone waiting for her when she exits.
If she already has a friend or family member assisting her with this, inquire if there is anything else you can do to assist her.
5. Make her a care package filled with her favourite items. Collect items that will make her feel loved and cared for, such as her favourite foods, magazines, and flowers. When she feels like it, offer to watch her favourite movies or shows with her or take her to her favourite restaurant.
You could also include a note expressing your love for her.
These small gestures can help to brighten her day, even if it is a difficult one.
6. Consider how you can assist with contraception in the future. Consider how you can help bear the responsibility of contraception to demonstrate that you do not want to jeopardise her health or well-being. However, this could be a sensitive subject, so don’t bring it up with her just yet. Before resuming sexual activity, consider possible solutions and bring up the subject.
Bring up birth control after a week or two, or whenever it feels appropriate. Wait for a moment when you are both alone and at ease.
Say something like, “I’d like to talk about other birth control options before we start sleeping together again.” I’ve been considering ways I could assist and wanted to know what you thought.”
Condoms, spermicide, vasectomy (permanent sterilisation), or assisting your girlfriend in tracking her fertility are all possible birth control methods.
Method 3 Caring For Yourself
1. Consider your own feelings about the abortion. You may feel compelled to suppress your own emotions in order to be present for your girlfriend, but doing so will only lead to more pain and frustration in the long run. It’s fine if you’re not ready to talk to your girlfriend just yet, but allow yourself to confront your emotions mentally.
You may experience feelings of relief, loss, regret, guilt, confusion, or powerlessness. If you’re feeling particularly down about the situation, talk to a counsellor or someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. To better understand your emotions, try to figure out why you feel the way you do.
It’s normal not to have the same reaction as your girlfriend, so don’t be concerned.
If you don’t talk about your feelings about the abortion, it may have an impact on your relationship in the future.
2. When the time is right, tell her how you feel. Tell your girlfriend you’d like to talk about your feelings about the abortion if she’s ready. Communicating openly with her about your feelings can help keep your relationship healthy and help both of you begin to heal.
Use your best judgement to determine when it is appropriate to speak. You know your girlfriend well; you may want to wait a few days or a week before speaking, or she may want to discuss your feelings sooner.
Be honest if she wants to talk about your feelings but you aren’t ready. “I’m not really ready to talk about that just yet,” you say. I know you’re there for me, and I’ll let you know when I’m ready.”
3. Make contact with people you believe in. Discuss with your girlfriend the possibility of speaking with a trusted friend or family member, as well as a therapist or counsellor. This can be a good solution if you’re not sure how to express yourself right now, and it can help you open up to your girlfriend.
Your girlfriend may be uncomfortable with you discussing something very personal with others. Set boundaries together and try to come up with a solution that works for both of you.
Keep in mind that your mental health is a top priority. If she refuses to compromise, seek the assistance you require on your own.
If your relationship is strained as a result of the abortion, consider trying couples therapy together. “We’re both going through a lot right now, and I think talking to a professional could really help,” you say.
4. Keep in mind that the process will take some time for both of you. Your feelings, and thus your relationship, may evolve over time. Allow yourself time to process your emotions, and be gentle with yourself and your girlfriend as you go through this process together.
The recovery process may be difficult for one or both of you. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and communicate frequently. It will take time, but you will be able to heal and move on.
Concentrate on healing your mind and spirit by engaging in activities such as art, meditation, exercise, and talking with people you trust.
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