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MountainGrl

Hurt/Bewildered by husband

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MountainGrl

I am hurt and bewildered by my husband's behavior, and I just wanted to see if others out there think he is overreacting or if my expectations are way off.

Here's my story. I think I must have picked up hsv1 as a child. I rarely got cold sores, but I do remember a couple of incidents during college and when I had my first after-college job. Anyway, I met my husband in college. It never seemed to be a big deal to him; we dated for 4 years prior to getting married and we just did common sense things like not kiss during that time. Even after we were married the first few years I recall a couple of instances but again, no big deal. I just can't recall it being an issue. That said, I did not know that fever blisters, cold sores, were herpes at the time we were dating or first married. I didn't intentionally hide information, and I guess neither of us knew better. I certainly wasn't hiding the cold sores!

About 3 years ago I had two outbreaks fairly close together. Maybe that time he did some research, maybe he learned something in the college level health class he took the year before, maybe he saw the herpes med. commercial on tv that says "It is possible to spread herpes viral infection when you do not have symptoms," or a combination. I'll never know. But since then he does not want to kiss me on the lips. At first when I questioned him he didn't want to talk about it and when I asked if it had to do with cold sores he adamently denied that, just saying he didn't really like kissing, that it wasn't me. I let it go for a long time, not wanting to repeat that scene. But it still bothered me despite the fact that we still have a sex life (he kisses cheek, neck, just not lips). I brought up the kissing thing about a month ago, and he admited that he is just a germ phobe (which has always been true) but didn't specifically mention cold sores. So I have a cold sore now and he is being really distant. I couldn't even look him straight in the face for 2 days. It makes me feel so worthless. I know others have it worse, but it just seems unfair that he is the only man I've ever been with, I got this as a kid, and I just feel mostly sad knowing that no one will ever kiss me again. When I tell him how I feel he says he knows it isn't my fault and he still loves me and doesn't want anyone else. I asked him why he wouldn't prefer someone clean that he can actually kiss and he gets upset and says he doesn't understand why I don't believe him when he says he loves me. I guess I just don't feel unconditioally loved, but I can understand him not wanting herpes. He just doesn't want to get this, so I suppose never kissing me is the solution. We've been married 10 years and he never got a cold sore.

So is this NORMAL?!

Sorry so long, but this has been building a long time.

Thanks,

MountainGrl

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MsLucy

"So is this NORMAL?!"

I've always believed that 'normal' is whatever you get used to. It's a relative thing. Having said that, I also have to say that I like kissing, and I would miss it if my partner took that part of our relationship away. Would it be a deal breaker? Probably not, but it would take a LOT of rethinking on my part not to be hurt or resentful.

If your husband is a germ phobe, as you say, I can understand where he's coming from. Granted, it's extreme, but then again, that's what phobias are... an unreasonable and exagerated fear of something. If he's a true germ phobe, when he told you he never really liked kissing, he was probably telling the truth. If I was that afraid of getting someone else's germs, I wouldn't like kissing either. It's a possibility that he's always had phobic tendencies, and they're getting more severe.

What bothers me, though (and this isn't even my business), is whether, now that he knows herpes can be spread when no symptoms are present, he still allows you to perform oral sex on him. I mean, if he's so afraid of catching it orally that he won't kiss you, what about down there? If he hasn't thought of that, though, maybe you should just let that sleeping dog lie. ;)

Seriously, I can understand why you're hurt. I would be, too, even if I could see things from his point of view. But when you really think about it, phobias are like a disease... a psychological one. Would he be receptive to counseling to try to overcome this fear? It's worth a try, if he's willing. If not, the ball is really in your court.

He's probably very sincere when he says he loves you and wants to be with you. I doubt this has anything to do with those feelings. In fact, I doubt this has anything to do with you, as a person, at all. It's about fear, and letting it become the controlling factor in our lives. Unless he's willing to seek help to try to overcome this, I think it's going to be up to you, to either try to shrug it off (because it's not about you... it's about his irrational fear), or decide whether it's an issue you're willing to live with (or without, as the case may be).

It may help you to try to remember that merely kissing someone on the lips doesn't mean you love them. It really doesn't mean anything. There are so many more meaningful (and sincere) ways to express genuine love, and when you think of it in those terms, kissing on the lips almost becomes ... well, trivial by comparison. But only you can decide just how important this issue is to you. Before you let yourself get too upset, though, try to look at it from the wide angle.

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MountainGrl

Thanks

Thanks Ms. Lucy. I do not do oral sex on him, primarily because I never liked doing that prior to him weirding out on the cold sores. He never minded since he doesn't like me to do things I don't like in that arena. You're right about it still being hurtful even though I can see where he's coming from. When I say we have a good sexual relationship, I mean it in the most traditional way, without the "extras."

Phobias are a hard thing to get one's head around. My phobia is falling (roller coasters are ok since I am strapped in, but don't ask me to climb more than 3 wrungs of a ladder!). It does make me a bit sad that he could feel the terror from kissing me that I feel when I have tried to climb the ladder into the barn loft with him and just couldn't. But if his phobia is real, then it is real, and I do believe him, though I'll spare the details here (since this isn't a phobia forum).

To anyone who posts or reads, thanks for the support.

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motorcyclemaintainance

MountainGrl,

There a potentially easy way to resolve the situation:

It's exceptionally likely that he's already infected with the coldsore virus (HSV-1), but not showing any symptoms. Most people do not have symptoms.

So, arrange an IgG blood test for him, and if he's positive for HSV-1 antibodies, then he can't catch coldsores from you, he's effectively immune to them because he's already been exposed. Then he can stop worrying about it.

Good luck!

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Ultra Violet

Phobias are treatable. My flatmate is a hypnotherapist who successfully treats people for phobias. :)

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gotitsowhat

80% of everybody

has the coldsore virus, hsv1. Get him tested. He probably already has it. Does he realize that 80% of everyone has coldsores or has had them?

I would really miss kissing in a relationship, I think. But if all else is good between you and he still insists he won't kiss you on the lips....I guess you have to weigh the whole package and make your decision based on that.

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