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Woman breaks off engagement because fiancé won't test for rare genetic defect.

Woman breaks off engagement because fiancé won't test for rare genetic defect.

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'I'm breaking off my engagement because my fiance might get sick in the future'

My fiance and I have been together for five years. He's the love of my life and I literally can't imagine being without him. So the thought of doing this is making my stomach roll.

He was adopted and neither he nor his parents knew much about his medical history. A few weeks ago, he met his biological brother for the first time and found out that his birth father had passed from Huntington's disease.

There's a 50% chance that my fiance also has the genetic defect that causes Huntington's, but he refuses to get tested.

It's not the disease I'm scared of, it's the not knowing. If we know he'll get it, we can prepare financially, practically, and emotionally. He says a positive test result will hold him back from living his life, but I feel like it's the opposite.

How can we live with this giant maybe looming over us? How can I make smart decisions on where to live, how to budget, or even whether or not to have biological children with this man if I'm not allowed to have all the facts?

So, I've come to the decision that I have to break it off. I respect his decision, but I can't understand or accept it.

I have literally no one I can talk to about this because it's his f**king secret and not mine to tell.

Edits:

I would not leave him if he tested positive for the defect. I would not leave him if he got sick. I just want to plan for us to be able to afford the best life and care for him if he does - which means we'd have to start immediately.

I don't want or need 'perfect' children. That isn't realistic. But it is possible to avoid them being subjected to a 50/50 chance of having this disease. Of course there are alternative options, but again: they involve preparation and planning. I'm more than willing to take a full genetic panel as well.

Yes one or both of us could get cancer, or permanently disabled in an accident, or any other number of things. But I've come to learn that you can't plan for every unpredictable thing life throws at you - this is the rare occasion that we do have the opportunity to prepare.

Essentially it comes down to the fact that we're incompatible, regardless of how much we love each other. I'm a planner and he's very laid back. Until now, these traits have complemented each other, but unfortunately they've brought us to an impasse that I don't think we can both move forward from happily.

Second edit:

I'm floored at all of these responses, supportive and... otherwise. At the very least, I feel validated that this is a complex issue with no clear and obvious answer.

I've decided to take a few steps back. Those of you who brought up the fact that a few weeks is probably too little time for him to fully process his possible diagnosis have a really valid point. Just because I want to immediately jump into problem solving mode, doesn't mean it's necessarily the right thing to do here.

So, I'm not leaving. Yet at least, and hopefully never. I'm going to find a therapist to help me work through my anxieties and give my fiance some space (not literal) to work through his. And then we'll revisit this conversation, hopefully with more patience on my part and willingness to act on his.

Update:

Some of you gave me great advice and support, others the wakeup call I needed, and the rest of you... well, reddit gonna reddit.

I'm not sure if it was obvious, but I was not in a good place when I made that post. When I stress, I don't sleep or eat. For him, it may have 'only' been a few weeks to accept the situation, but for me it was a few long weeks of nonstop anxiety where I was lucky to get even an hour of restless sleep a night.

I was plain exhausted on top of everything else and only began to consider leaving when I started to hit my breaking point.

Anyway, we talked about it. At length. We cried, we fought, we researched, I showed him empathy. We consulted with friends, family, and specialists. We pressed pause for days or weeks when we needed a break from the whole damn thing... and in the end he agreed to have the test.

Guys, to say we dodged an absolute maelstrom of bullets would be putting it mildly. He's negative - both for developing the disease himself as well as the risk of passing it on. No matter what else happens, this is one area where he's assuredly safe.

All of this said, once the euphoria faded we decided it was necessary to put a hold on our engagement and take some time apart. I still love him with all my heart, but this was our first serious disagreement as a couple and it forced us to seriously reflect on ourselves and our relationship. Neither of our positions were wrong, but they were so disparate that there was no realistic compromise.

I've spent the last few months traveling abroad, and other than a few texts we haven't spoken much. But I'm home now, and we have our 'second first date' tonight. Wish me luck!

More Edits:

We decided together to take a break. It's been an incredibly difficult, emotionally charged roller-coaster of a year. I didn't leave him!

We planned from day 1 to keep communication to a minimum. It was difficult. I actually began keeping a journal of all the things I wanted to call or text him about. It's extensive, and I can't wait to share it with him.

I didn't give him an ultimatum, but I understand why that's the takeaway. I only told reddit that I was thinking of leaving, and I know that it was rash and irrational.

Why does everyone seem to think that traveling means sleeping around!?

He made his own decision to get tested. That took a while, since there are a lot of steps you have to go through before they'll even agree to do it

We rode the emotional high for a bit, then realized we weren't the same people we were at the beginning of the year, and no longer knew how to be together normally given everything we learned about ourselves and each other during the hardest of situations

Update 2

After losing an entire day to defending myself on reddit (my own fault lol, it happened last time too), the positive tone here is amazing. Thank you all for reading and commenting! I promise I'll come back tomorrow to let you know how our date went - I have butterflies and I can't remember the last time I felt like this.

r/trueoffmychest doesn't allow links, so I hope you guys don't mind if I leave this here. I've been completely humbled by this disease, and we're one of the lucky ones.

So that's where we are. Here's the link to the original post to see how the date goes.

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