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Thread: Marrying Someone with TS

  1. #1

    Default Marrying Someone with TS

    I recently got engaged to a man who has TS. The thing is, this is our second time being engaged. The first time I broke it off because I thought he wasn't ready. Last night he broke it off because he didn't feel ready and he didn't think I would want to wait until he was.

    I love him more than anything. I am completely willing to wait until he is ready, but I am struggling with knowing that he will never be able to tell me when that will be. Every time I think that he is ready, total catatonic fear sweeps over him and he is sure that he is going to fail. Even worse, sometimes he is sure that he wants to end things because "he's not good enough for me," or "he's hurting me" by going back and forth so much.

    To be honest, yes. It does hurt. What hurts worse was when I thought I would never see him again. It honestly felt like he had died. I didn't know what to do with myself. I was a mess, sob-screaming uncontrollably. Just to promise to marry someone and be with them forever and then go to never being with them again. I don't ever want that. Our relationship is still really fragile right now.

    If I am patient, he assures me that he will overcome this within a year or two and we can be married. I know that he loves me and I know that he is trying, but he is confused too. I know he wants to marry me. He wants to have a family with me, but right now-his fear and his TS are winning.

    Has anyone else had this problem, and how can we overcome this? Is there any hope in our situation? Please help if you can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,939

    Default Re: Marrying Someone with TS

    Welcome to the Forum, lookingforanswers. Sorry to hear about your situation with your fiancÚ.

    If I am patient, he assures me that he will overcome this within a year or two and we can be married. .......... He wants to have a family with me, but right now-his fear and his TS are winning.
    It is not completely clear to me what is his concern, although looking at the information you have provided, I am assuming he might have concerns about the genetic possibility of passing on Tourette Syndrome, although there may be other factors, which you can elaborate on.

    The following questions come to mind:

    1. Has his diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome been confirmed by a competent medical professional trained in dealing with movement disorders?
    2. To what degree, if at all does his Tourette affect his ability to function in day to day activity, and what effect, if any is there to his quality of life?
    3. Has he ever received any form of therapy or medical intervention for his Tourette or associated symptoms like OCD, ADD, anxiety, depression?
    4. Have you discussed a medical consultation, and evaluation as a couple to address potential genetic concerns?
    5. Have you considered couples counseling to address other concerns or fears he may have about marriage?


    While Tourette Syndrome is a genetic disorder, the degree of vulnerability cannot be predicted or measured at this time. When we speak of vulnerability we imply that the child receives the genetic or constitutional basis for developing a tic disorder; the precise type of disorder or severity may be different from one generation to another and between affected siblings.

    It has been cited as a 50-50 chance of receiving a gene of major effect when one parent is a carrier or has TS.

    But other genes and environmental factors may also play a role in shaping an individual's genetic vulnerability. There is also some research indicating that severity and complexity may be related to inheritance from both maternal and paternal sides.

    However, not everyone who inherits the genetic vulnerability will express symptoms of TS or other tic disorder.

    The severity of the disorder is also highly variable, and most individuals who inherit the genetic vulnerability have very mild conditions for which they do not seek medical attention.**
    In essence, the fact that your fiancÚ may have Tourette Syndrome should not be an obstacle to your getting married. A parent having Tourette does not guarantee producing a child with the disorder, and if you both feel the risk is too great, you have the option of adopting if you prefer. Adoption does not necessarily guarantee absolute immunity from Tourette at the very least, considering the incidence is between 1 and 3% of the population.

    We will be looking forward to your feedback and to know if there are issues in addition to your fiancÚ's concerns about genetic transmission of Tourette Syndrome that is at the root of his trepidation about marriage.

    **Source: TSFC Clinician's Guide (selected quotes)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Marrying Someone with TS

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Welcome to the Forum, lookingforanswers. Sorry to hear about your situation with your fiancÚ.



    It is not completely clear to me what is his concern, although looking at the information you have provided, I am assuming he might have concerns about the genetic possibility of passing on Tourette Syndrome, although there may be other factors, which you can elaborate on.

    The following questions come to mind:

    1. Has his diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome been confirmed by a competent medical professional trained in dealing with movement disorders?
    2. To what degree, if at all does his Tourette affect his ability to function in day to day activity, and what effect, if any is there to his quality of life?
    3. Has he ever received any form of therapy or medical intervention for his Tourette or associated symptoms like OCD, ADD, anxiety, depression?
    4. Have you discussed a medical consultation, and evaluation as a couple to address potential genetic concerns?
    5. Have you considered couples counseling to address other concerns or fears he may have about marriage?




    In essence, the fact that your fiancÚ may have Tourette Syndrome should not be an obstacle to your getting married. A parent having Tourette does not guarantee producing a child with the disorder, and if you both feel the risk is too great, you have the option of adopting if you prefer. Adoption does not necessarily guarantee absolute immunity from Tourette at the very least, considering the incidence is between 1 and 3% of the population.

    We will be looking forward to your feedback and to know if there are issues in addition to your fiancÚ's concerns about genetic transmission of Tourette Syndrome that is at the root of his trepidation about marriage.

    **Source: TSFC Clinician's Guide (selected quotes)


    1. Has his diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome been confirmed by a competent medical professional trained in dealing with movement disorders?Yes. He was diagnosed when he was around nine. They said he had one of the worst cases they had ever seen.
    2. To what degree, if at all does his Tourette affect his ability to function in day to day activity, and what effect, if any is there to his quality of life? He takes his medice and has pretty good control over it. I have never seen him have a huge problem with it.
    3. Has he ever received any form of therapy or medical intervention for his Tourette or associated symptoms like OCD, ADD, anxiety, depression? I am not sure if he has any therapy, but he does have OCD and terrible anxiety to the point that it controls what he does. He convinces himself that if he does or does not do a certain thing, something else, usually bad, will happen. They are always irrational things- and he usually dismisses them.
    4. Have you discussed a medical consultation, and evaluation as a couple to address potential genetic concerns? He is really concerned about that, but I'm not. I think if any child is born with Tourettes, there would be no better teacher than someone who understands completely. We haven't talked about consulting anyone.
    5. Have you considered couples counseling to address other concerns or fears he may have about marriage? We have talked about counseling, but not specifically couples counseling.

    I think his biggest concern is the financial aspect of getting married. We are both still in school and he just realized how much his parents are actually paying for his health insurance per month. He also mentioned that sometimes he checks out mentally, and he would is worried that it isn't fair to me if he ever does that. These are all things that I have thought about and accepted, but he can't seem to get past them. It's like he can't imagine that I would be ok with struggling a little financially or having a child with TS. Even though I am, I don't know how to convince him.

    Is this type of anxiety normal? Are there ways to diminish it at all?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,939

    Default Re: Marrying Someone with TS

    Do you know what medication he is taking, as some medications are prescribed to control tics, while others are prescribed to treat associated (co-morbid) disorders like OCD, ADD, anxiety and depression.

    he does have OCD and terrible anxiety to the point that it controls what he does.
    This may be the place to begin looking for answers, and the area he might want to discuss with his doctors. Having Tourette Syndrome heightens anxiety in some people, and stressors tend to be cumulative, so anxiety levels increase as the number of stressors increase.

    Here is a man in his studies, dealing with Tourette Syndrome, considering marriage, and who appears to be financially dependent on his parents, not to mention his implied concerns about having children.

    I am not a health professional, but I would expect his therapist, if he chooses to consult one, would advise reducing the number of stressors, deal with one life decision at a time, become financially stable, and do what he has to do to secure his ability to earn a living.

    There is nothing like financial stability and independence to mitigate stress!

    If you decide to get married before finishing school, you might want to give serious consideration to postpone pregnancy until you are both financially stable and independent.

    The short answer to your query is that anxiety and OCD are treatable disorders, and should be followed up with his doctor, but part of treating anxiety is to deal with the situations or life circumstances that cause the stress.

    The following statement is particularly interesting:

    He also mentioned that sometimes he checks out mentally
    What actually happens during these episodes and how are they triggered?

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