Dis­cov­ery of ge­netic disor­der forces con­fes­sion of af­fair

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - DEAR ABBY / GRAMMYS / WEATHER -

DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago, I had an af­fair with a mar­ried man that re­sulted in a preg­nancy and then a mis­car­riage. I was also mar­ried at the time. Pathol­ogy test­ing re­vealed that the child had a rare ge­netic disor­der in­her­ited on the pa­ter­nal side. My hus­band’s ge­netic test in­di­cated that he was not a car­rier. The rev­e­la­tion led to my ad­mis­sion of the af­fair and our di­vorce.

I didn’t tell the other man. His wife was un­able to have chil­dren, so I didn’t think it would im­pact him. I re­cently found out he is di­vorced and re­mar­ried to a younger woman. I have no idea whether they plan to have chil­dren, but I’m torn about telling him he is a car­rier for that life-threat­en­ing disor­der.

Selfishly, I do not want to re­open this shame­ful pe­riod of my life, so my in­stinct is to leave it alone, but I feel morally ob­li­gated to let him know. Should I con­tact him and tell him he was the father of the child and that he is a car­rier of this ge­netic ab­nor­mal­ity?

DEAR TORN: The kind thing to do would be to con­tact your for­mer lover pri­vately. Ex­plain that you do not mean to in­trude, but he needs to know some­thing im­por­tant. Then in­form him that it could save him and his wife a world of heartache if they have ge­netic test­ing done be­fore plan­ning to have a child, and why. You would be do­ing them both an enor­mous fa­vor if you dis­close it.

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