DEAR FIONA: I’m 17 and my boyfriend is telling me to have an abortion

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Our agony aunt helps solve your problems

Q When I told my boyfriend I was pregnant, he said I should get rid of it.

I was shocked by this and it led to such a furious row, that we split up and now I’m completely alone.

While I think that, as I’m only 17 and on my own, abortion is the most sensible answer, I’m terrified.

I’ve no idea what an abortion involves or how I go about getting one.

I can’t talk to my parents as they’d hit the roof – they never liked my boyfriend anyway. What can I do?

A You’ll only know if abortion is the right answer for you when you’ve considered all the alternatives.

Arrange a chat with your GP, or a counselling session with an organisation such as Brook (brook.org.uk), the young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity.

Counselling will give you an opportunity to think through your options, but you need to act swiftly.

If you decide you do want an abortion, the sooner you act the better.

Are you sure there’s no family member or friend you can turn to for support?

Are you really sure your parents wouldn’t be sympathetic if you decided to have your baby?

Have you considered the possibility of having the baby adopted after it’s born?

You must examine all the possibilities for your own future peace of mind, before you consider abortion. You don’t have to be alone, however much it seems that way now.

Q My boyfriend has been divorced for two years. His marriage lasted 12 years, even though his ex-wife had many affairs.

I love him desperately, but he doesn’t seem to believe me and keeps leaving me. When he comes back, he’s very apologetic.

He says his ex-wife’s behaviour has made him insecure and rejected and he admits his life is a mess. I am trying to be patient with him, but how long will he be like this? It’s tearing me apart.

A I can understand that, having been hurt once, he may be afraid of rejection again, but his behaviour is similar to what his wife did to him.

It may be that he enjoys feeling sorry for himself and is not trying to get his act together. I suspect it may need you to be less patient and more forceful if you are to break him out of this cycle. Point out what his behaviour is doing to you; get him to talk about what he thinks his ‘mess’ is. Reassure him that you love him, but make it clear his behaviour is hurtful.

Q We’re planning to marry next year and my fiance and I are saving like mad to pay for a big wedding and a nice honeymoon.

I think he is taking it all a bit too far as he begrudges every penny I spend. Even a small treat, like an occasional bottle of wine or a trip to the cinema is frowned upon. Last week, I spent £40 on a present for my parents’ silver wedding and he hit the roof.

A Conflicting attitudes to money are one of the big reasons relationships – even long-term ones – break up, so you need to tackle this now. Your fiance may be feeling pressured by your combined marriage and honeymoon expectations, or he may just be mean.

If it’s the former, couldn’t you scale down the expenses of one big day in favour of a more flexible approach to finance?

If he resists this idea, perhaps you need to reconsider whether perhaps he is just mean with money.

In which case, you need to ask yourself if he is really the man for you.