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Meeting someone with herpes


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Hello. I just joined this forum because I have met a woman I really like who recently informed me she has herpes. I do not. I am seeking advice and help.

She said she has never infected anyone. She is in her early 40s and has has had herpes for nearly 20 years and rarely has oubreaks anymore. She said she can always tell when she's about to have an outbreak because of the way it feels. I believe everything she has told me. My questions: If you begin to shed before an outbreak, are you always able to detect it? Do condoms offer protection if there is not an outbreak and a person is shedding? Are the instances of women infecting men any less than men infecting women? I have just started to learn about herpes and I apologize if my questions have a tone of ignorance.

I can tell this has affected her self-esteem her entire adult life and I would like to know what I can do make her feel like she is sexy and beautiful and lovable, in direct and and indirect ways.

To sum up, I am looking for any help and guidance with this and appreciate any time you can devote to answering this post. This relationship has great potential.

Thank you.

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Hi Dieppe,


thanks for your post. you asked some good questions...

If you begin to shed before an outbreak, are you always able to detect it?

I don't know if it's possible to detect when shedding, as I think that can actually be happening any time. (there's a 2% chance of transmittion when asymptomatically shedding) But it IS possible for most people to feel when an OB is coming... and this is when it's most likely to be tranmitted

Do condoms offer protection if there is not an outbreak and a person is shedding?

Yes, the chance of transmittion decreases with condom use.

Are the instances of women infecting men any less than men infecting women?

yes. It's more likely for a man to infect a woman.

I can tell this has affected her self-esteem her entire adult life and I would like to know what I can do make her feel like she is sexy and beautiful and lovable, in direct and and indirect ways.

Being accepting and understanding and supportive is going to help her a ton. You are probably making her feel good by doing this and educating yourself. Herpes doesn't define who she is, and you knowing that will be a good reminder to her that she is beautiful.

Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

gee...i hope the guy i am dating has the same kind of reaction that you do dieppe. i would love a guy to be that supportive. its good to know they are out there.... :wink:

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re: what you can do

I would also like to add that you really are a sweet guy. You have good, valid questions. I myself am no expert, and can't give you an expert anwser to your medical/biological questions, but I would like to suggest for making her feel better... just be your normal self, be kind, loving, charming, romantic, understanding.... and NEVER, EVER try to make her feel bad for having herpes. That's about all you can do. If her self-esteem is low, that is something only she will be able to work through. You can't fix that, she must do that on her own. You aren't responsible for her own personal feelings. Maybe offer for her to see a counselor for that issue. (it may or may not be a result of having herpes...she's had it for 20 years now, right?).

I think it's great that you are educating yourself on this issue. I hope you two are able to have a good relationship. Herpes, afterall, really isn't that big of deal in the whole scheme of life.

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Our relationship has kind of fallen apart now. She will not let me get too close. Everytime we take a step in that direction, she pushes me away. I learned she had an awful time with Herpes when she first contracted it 20 years ago. Frequent outbreaks that were very severe. She said she contracted it from a one-night stand in the early 1980s, then the guy denied he had it.

It fits in with her life, in which she has fulfilled the role of victim to some extent. She never had children because she was afraid she would have an outbreak during delivery. She has never married, and she is a real beauty and intelligent and talented and successful in her career and other areas of life.

I do believe she is very scared that she will infect me; I am a sensual, sexual man and I think she sees risk every time we are intimate. I also believe it is the main reason she suffers such low self-esteem and is so threatened by other women in my life or former girlfriends who live hundreds of miles away.

I have educated myself about Herpes. I know the risks of having unprotected sex with her. I don't look at Herpes as some type of curse she has, and she knows that. I always want to have sex with her. But there is a paradox in that if she keeps pushing me away, then I am more hesitant to expose myself to the risk of infection. If our relationship were heading down the path to marriage and being together permanantly, I would be willing to accept the risk.

We have not seen each other for about two weeks now. I guess I will just wait to see if she comes back to me. I know on the surface she figures I'm out romancing someone else -- that's her self-esteem talking -- but underneath I'm sure she knows that's not me.

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A man like you

I am also happy that there is a guy like you still out there. I am push guys away to when I feel they are getting too close. You give me hope that someone would love me despite my faults.

Good Luck to you Both

I hope you Guys work it out

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P.S. to Update

I'm in my late 40s and have never married either. I have already had all the sexual adventures I need and now I am looking for a permanent relationship. I want to settle down and remain monogamus with one woman for the rest of my life. Herpes is no big deal. The stigma of the virus, (created by the media?) is far, far worse than the virus itself. I've learned that from reading this forum.

She says she adores me. When I told her I love her, she responded with: "I think you are my friend, but anything beyond that is irrelevant," and, "Thank you for loving me. You get to join a who gaggle of my friends who love me."

When we met and started dating, she said she was looking for a mate. We went down that path for about a month and a half, then it seemed to overwhelm her. She broke up with me when I mentioned I had received an email from a former girlfriend who lives 400 miles away and had become a dear friend after we parted four years ago.

A week later she called and said she was sorry and was really beating herself up. I wish she would not do that. We can be our own worst critics and it just piles on the weight of low self-esteem. We started seeing each other again, but this pattern has just repeated itself in one form or another over a period of several months.

I know she is very threatened by any reasonably attractive woman I come into contact with. And the irony is is that she is a true beauty. The day after I met her I told my best friend I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever met. I was stunned and even intimidated at first by her beauty. She is so afraid I am going to succumb to the advances of another woman, when in truth most women look at her and think she has it all.

I'm not out seeking to find another relationship. I have a pretty full life, even without a family, with a full-time high-profile job and am active in outdoor recreation with a group of friends. And I have other professional and personal goals to work on. I know men whose lives are empty and they become bored and they seek relationships, no matter how inappropriate, to fill the lonliness. And I know men my age who have gotten out of lengthy marriages who figure life is going to be a sexual feast.

I think the next time we have contact I will just tell her that when she is ready to commit and not push me away anymore I will be here for her. I don't want to continue in the present pattern, though. I do think it will help her overcome that hump in faith if she sees that during our periods apart I am not spending my time with other women. I do wonder if her pushing me away is a test of that.

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      She tested positive for HSV2. No, there was nothing of that sort in that area.   However I also have ulcerative colitis so I’m on medication that makes me immunosuppressed. I have been bleeding a bit when I pass stools during the time of redness, so I’m unsure if I’m getting a flare from the colitis (from all the stress of everything) or if it’s due to the virus making it’s way to an already inflamed area and popping up as blisters that I can’t see and hence the bleeding.    I had two equivocal results (at 4 weeks and 6 weeks) that then went to a positive result (7 weeks after exposure). Combine that with some flu symptoms, redness, tingling etc. makes me feel it’s conclusive that this points to a hsv2 infection.
    • Anonimus
      Thanks!!!!! I appreciate your help.
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