Dis­cov­ery of ge­netic dis­or­der forces con­fes­sion of af­fair

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. AN­DREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION

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 lifethreat­en­ing 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? — TORN IN MIS­SIS­SIPPI

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.

DEAR ABBY: Decades ago, while I was a col­lege stu­dent, a friend took the time and in­ter­est to help me through a se­vere bout of de­pres­sion. She likely saved my life. She had no spe­cial train­ing, just a kind heart and a will­ing ear. At the time, I didn’t re­al­ize the pro­found im­pact she had made. Our lives di­verged, and I never heard from her again.

Re­cently, I fi­nally de­cided to reach out and thank her, but un­for­tu­nately, an on­line search re­vealed her 10-year-old obit­u­ary. From the notes in the guest book, I dis­cov­ered she had suf­fered many per­sonal hard­ships through­out her adult life, which con­trib­uted to her early death.

Be­cause I was not able to help her as she helped me, I want to pass along two im­por­tant les­sons I learned: (1) Thank people and tell them you care be­fore it is too late, and (2) be will­ing to lend a hand and an ear to some­one in need, be­cause you may be that one per­son who af­fects their life. She had a say­ing I would like to share, which has guided my life: “Just open your ‘I’ and LIVE be­comes LOVE.” — WITH LOVE IN MIN­NESOTA

DEAR WITH LOVE: I’m sorry for the loss of your car­ing and com­pas­sion­ate friend. I’m glad you took the time to write and share what a mean­ing­ful role she had in your life. That she made her­self avail­able to lis­ten when you needed it is some­thing more people should do be­cause we live in a stress­ful so­ci­ety in which many in­di­vid­u­als feel lost and alone. And I love her “motto”!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.