Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Question from Reader: When Cystic Fibrosis Impacts Our Relationships

As you guys know, I love answering questions on topics I have experience in. I've been blessed to have had many great relationships in my life, and now, I'm able to call the most awesomest girl on the planet MY WIFE (still can't believe it)! We all know that cystic fibrosis can impact our relationships - both positively and negatively. This particular question comes from a fellow fibro who was recently heart broken when his girlfriend of 6 months decided that CF, and the possible implications and impacts of the disease, was more than she could handle.

Hello Ronnie,

I have cystic fibrosis as well. You have been a huge inspiration to me both physically regarding CF and spiritually. I apologize for not introducing myself sooner.

However, the reason I am messaging you is because I have a broken heart. My girlfriend of 6 months told me this evening that she could not see herself marrying me because if we had children (through assisted fertilization) I might die before they get a chance to grow up. We have had that discussion  before and she was devastated but I thought she had come to accept it. For the last month or so she has been saying that we need to break up and she would never give me a reason and her actions contradicted her words of "we need to break up" because everything she does indicates she still wants to be with me. Tonight she finally broke down and told me its because she doesn't want kids to grow up without a dad and also the fact that intro vitro fertilization (sorry if I misspelled anything, my knowledge on the matter is limited) is so expensive.

Is it wrong of me to expect her to be okay with the unsure future? I'm devastated.

I have come to you seeking advice because I know you have been through this, you have a beautiful daughter, and your life example (through my perspective on Facebook) leads me to believe that  you have the experience to help me.

Sorry to hear about this [name withheld]. I can only share with you my own experience and hopefully it can help a bit.

Very early on in our dating life, Mandi caught me off guard by saying, "I wouldn't marry you unless I was totally comfortable with being a young widow."

I was shocked that she would even think about this, but, that's because I don't have an "outsiders" perspective, and frankly, I'm a man. We men generally don't think for the future, we think for the present. Women on the other hand are wired a completely different way.

It takes a very special woman to commit their lives to a man with CF. Our life is simply different. There are sacrifices we have to make as a couple that no other couple has to worry about. And, there is the prospective of an untimely death that would leave them all by themselves for an undetermined amount of time.

So, to answer your question - Yes, it is wrong of you to expect her to be comfortable with being a young widow and/or a single mother. Most girls won't be comfortable with that. Is it a reality that it could happen? Sure. Are we planning on it? Absolutely not!!
Her worry about IVF being expensive is just noise and her grasping at straws. You can figure out the money part.

I'd be thankful that this is only coming down at 6 months into the relationship. I understand that the pain is real, the hurt is real and you're not feeling great, but it could have been much worse. Imagine if you were engaged when she realized this?
Sometimes, God places something on the heart of the girl who is wrong for us. The wrong girl needs to be out of the picture before the right girl can enter it.
One week before I met my future wife, my girlfriend and I of over 2 years broke-up. I wasn't happy about it at the time. But, looking back, I thank the Lord that He ended that relationship when He did.

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.