Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Would you date someone with heart disease?

(63 Posts)
JuliaGulia Sun 21-Apr-13 21:43:40

Hi all,

I'm divorced with 2 young kids.

Is it short sighted to dismiss someone who had this condition or should I protect my children from the uncertainty of what may lie ahead?

He's a nice chap, prepared to consider life with me + my 2 kids and seems really keen on me. I like him a lot, we have a great time but I'm just weary of getting involved with someone with a life restricting condition. It's congenital so he's lived with it all his life but there's no cure.

He can't do any sport, must walk slowly and sometimes sleeps with oxygen at night. He also has clubbed fingers which sometimes people stare at but they don't bother me.

Any words of advice? This is my first date since divorcing so I feel a bit inexperienced!


Doha Sun 21-Apr-13 22:08:10

He has lived with it all his life--so is he expected to get worse quickly or has he had these symptoms for a long time.

Lie is short for us all and God forbid you could get knocked down by a bus tomorrow, l am a great believer in going with the flow- what will be will be.

There is no harm in dating--it may not work out, just don't introduce him to your DC's until you know if it is going anywhere or not.

JuliaGulia Sun 21-Apr-13 22:28:02

Thanks Doha.

Ex and I have agreed no introductions to DC until 1 year into any relationship so that gives me time to think.

I sort of care about this guy so I don't want to mess him around because there's nothing he can do to change it.

So confused!

Doha Sun 21-Apr-13 22:44:28

Why would you be messing him about! Give it a go, it may not work out but you won't know if you don't try.

You say it is a life restricting disease but is it life threatening/limiting. How old is he just now? How old are your Dc's? Remember the 1 year rule --that gives you a bit of space.

JuliaGulia Sun 21-Apr-13 23:01:26

Thanks for your reply Doha.

My twins are just 3 so pretty active and still highly dependent on me.

He's 35. I don't think it's life threatening but I just fear that 10 years down the line I could be pushing him round with an oxygen tank strapped to his wheelchair. Or worse still, he'll become an integral part of my kids lives and then pops his clogs and my kids feel that loss.

He's a bit wheezy but has a full time job, runs a house and we've spent full days together sight seeing etc. he just needs to stop and rest regularly which isn't what life with small children is like.

I really want to know more about his condition before getting too involved but he got a bit upset when I asked too many questions - probably because he just doesn't know himself and nor do the doctors as every case is different. He said he'd like to live to 70 but my nan is 90 and has been a widow for over 20 years and it's not what I would choose.

I want someone to grow old with!

ImperialBlether Sun 21-Apr-13 23:28:20

I don't think you sound keen enough on him, to be honest. If you take away his health problems, how do you feel about him? I think if you were crazy about him, maybe you wouldn't be asking the question.

SwedishEdith Sun 21-Apr-13 23:55:26

I agree that you don't sound keen - "sort of care" doesn't sound enough on which to base a long-term relationship.

Lizzabadger Mon 22-Apr-13 06:45:48

I don't think you want a relationship with him that much either. I think you feel guilty in case it's because of his condition and you want permission from us.
It is fine not to want a relationship with him regardless of the reason.

NotTreadingGrapes Mon 22-Apr-13 07:05:10

Agree with the others. If you were really into him, you wouldn't be asking.

JuliaGulia Mon 22-Apr-13 07:48:07

I probably like him a bit more than I'm letting on. We've been seeing each other weekly for a couple of months and I'm having such a great time with him. I guess I'm not letting myself get too head over heels incase I can't overcome the restrictions that come with the heart condition.

My first husband left me unexpectedly for someoneelse. I guess I want to protect myself from loosing another man - and the kids loosing someone they've come to love.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 08:19:12

He's 35 with a condition that has already been spotted and is presumably being treated, managed and monitored. He'll be more aware than most about living a healthy lifestyle, watching his weight, eating the right foods. Of all people, he is least likely to drop down dead kicking a football.... it's the ones that don't know they have a heart condition that do that.

Death is part of life and you can't protect yourself from life. He'll probably outlive you...

NorthernLurker Mon 22-Apr-13 08:24:24

'He'll be more aware than most about living a healthy lifestyle, watching his weight, eating the right foods. Of all people, he is least likely to drop down dead kicking a football.... it's the ones that don't know they have a heart condition that do that.'

Unfortunately no that isn't the case. The man described has a serious congenital problem. This isn't like high cholesterol or something that requires a bit of replumbing after crap lifestyle choices. This is a serious structural problem and this man's body will have been under additional strain all his life. This is harsh but if I was looking at a scenario dispassionately no I wouldn't get involved. Chronic illness puts a huge strain on a relationship. I work in an area which has a life limited polulation, some of whom have congenital disease. It's bloody miserable. I've seen some fantastic examples of loving care but is it something you would choose? No it isn't.

Protect yourself and your kids and stop this now before you fall in love with him and can't leave him.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 09:00:26

Actually... missed the bit about sleeping with oxygen... blush

JuliaGulia Mon 22-Apr-13 10:05:05

He lives a very healthy lifestyle and the oxygen is by choice not necessity. I agree it's not something I'd choose but I had a cancer scare a few years back - would I expect someone to steer clear? I don't know.

He's on the latest available medication straight out of trials which helps his condition and he has monthly check ups to make sure he's doing well.

Frustratingly we have a lot in common and we get on really well. After the marriage break up it's wonderful to think that there's another chance with someone and i'd hate to throw that chance away. We've agreed to take things week by week and see how things go but surely everyone begins to plan ahead at some stage...

My brother in law is only 30 and he has a pace maker. They found out after my sister had married him but she would never think of leaving him. But I know this ahead of getting involved with someone - I'm not sure what is worse.

Moominsarehippos Mon 22-Apr-13 10:08:02

I'd see how it goes. Don't feel that you need to daye him/not because of the illness. Take him for who he is, and not the wrapper.

Good luck!

Moominsarehippos Mon 22-Apr-13 10:09:10

Daye = date!!

NorthernLurker Mon 22-Apr-13 10:10:49

Oxygen isn't a 'choice'. It's been prescribed for him. He has a medical need for it and somebody having monthly hospital appointments is not by any stretch a 'well' person. This man has a serious illness. Do you think he's been totally honest with you about it?
Look, you obviously like him a lot and I agree it's not nice at all to think people may steer clear because of medical issues. Fwiw my child has a congenital heart defect albeit one which hopefully won't impact on her life too much. You were asking if you should let your heart rule your head and my answer is head rule heart on this one. It's totally different when you're already in a relationship and an issue comes up. The majority of disability is acquired not congenital. We should all be prepared for life changing injuries or disease and then you have to just get on with it. Your situation is different.

TheFlyingBanana Mon 22-Apr-13 10:36:29

Run for the hills. You are just going to end up being a full-time carer for him.

hanahsaunt Mon 22-Apr-13 10:58:14

As the aunt of children who have life-limiting conditions this makes me both angry and heartbroken that future partners will assess them on the impact they might have on their lifestyle. How awful to be given the third degree about your health before someone decides to date you or not.

My dh was upfront about his potential medical issues - probable infertility (though turned out not to be, much to our surprise) and the likelihood of developing illnesses secondary to the illness he had as a child and a probable lower life expectancy. Did it matter? No. What will be, will be.

I think if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer.

kittybiscuits Mon 22-Apr-13 11:05:05

A person considering embarking on a full on relationship with someone with a very serious health problem has every right to know the full facts of the situation. I noted that you said you didn't like to ask too many questions OP as he became upset. This concerns me. We are not talking about a 'maybe it's serious, maybe it isn't' situation here. I also think you feel a sense of responsibility already. I would consider stepping back a little, and also becoming clear that is absolutely fine for you not to head blindly into a situation where you don't really know the health status of your potential partner. It seems like it's difficult for the two of you to communicate about this. That is the main issue right now.

AnyFucker Mon 22-Apr-13 11:08:52

You can't have oxygen prescribed by "choice"

It is an extremely well-controlled drug and to have it in his home would have been very carefully planned. That, and the expense of it, would not happen for reasons of "choice"

it's more likely he had no choice in the matter, and needd it for his health.

it may be that his need for it at the moment is not as critical, but it certainly will have been at some point

blueshoes Mon 22-Apr-13 11:34:13

He needs to be honest with you about the full extent of his medical condition and you need to brave to press him for it.

Only then can you make an informed decision for the benefit of yourself and your dcs. Don't slide into a relationship by default if there is such a big elephant in the room.

NorthernLurker Mon 22-Apr-13 12:25:24

I think that whenever you embark on a longterm relationship it needs to be on the basis that you will deal, as a couple, with anything that comes up healthwise. Even with that intention , many relationships fail in the face of illness and disability. If you aren't prepared to have that intention then you shouldn't be embarking on the relationship and that's really what the OP is asking I think.
I've seen my sister be widowed young. I wouldn't wish that on anybody and if it's possible for heart to be ruled by head I would want to protect people I care about from that sort of loss. Of course it isn't possible a lot of the time and by protecting yourself from one sort of loss you can inflict another on yourself, losing out on what could have been a wonderful life enhancing relationship. Depending on which 'side of the fence' you're on that will strongly influence how you feel.
Is it 'fair' that people with life limiting illness may be confronted by these worries in potential partners? No of course it isn't. It's terribly, horribly unfair. What's even worse though is people getting in to relationshsips and then years down the track having a partner back away because 'it isn't what they thought it would be' - now that's truly heartbreaking. Better to think first, cold as I know it may seem, than back out later.

digerd Mon 22-Apr-13 12:38:37

I know a man you knew he was born with a congenital heart defect that could not be cured. He married and his wife knew about his condition. They had a child.
He died aged 35 when the child was 10. {sad face}

digerd Mon 22-Apr-13 12:39:33


Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: