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elizabethl

oh the shame...

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elizabethl

well here i am. on a herpes support site. thank god. my story is very, very complicated so please bear with me. i have been married for 16 years to my husband. we didn't have sex together before marriage, as i grew up in a religious family and also had some unfortunate experiences with sexual abuse and assault. it was a relief to not have to deal with sex at that time. my then boyfriend/fiancee was understanding and supportive (mostly). looking back i married him mostly because i knew he was a good man, a hard worker, would be a good father, etc. i felt i needed someone to take care of me. you should know that i also struggle with dysthymia...a long-term, low-mid grade depression. can you say

S H A M E???? i was (and am) loaded down with it. so there i was, struggling with just getting by day by day, worked when i had to, birthed and am raising two girls. i love them - and my husband. convincing myself i could live nicely without sex (i already had my children) it was a 'duty' and a hard thing to have sex with my husband. here i am at 40, realize now that i have a huge attraction for other women, and cannot deny and repress it any longer. looking back now, i have always been attracted to women. i secretly planned my 'divorce strategy' and had affairs with a few women while keeping this all from my husband. one fateful day, he found out EVERYTHING. Holy F U C K! since then he's forgiven me and we've talked more than we ever have, and openly talk about all sorts of things. so now what? do i stay with him? leave and find a woman? actually, through lots of talking and lots of tears, we decided that this does not have to be the end for us and our family. we do make a good team, he has been there to support me to his best ability through E V E R Y T H I N G. but still i long to be with women. we have been working towards juggling both - our marriage, and my 'special friendships'. we have a few kinks yet to work out but it has been pretty good. enter *h e r p e s* it seems that during one of my trists with a woman, she gave me the herpes virus. it has never been confessed, but that's of no matter now. my life has taken yet another dramatic turn. now...when it looks like i am finally close to finding some peace and happiness, WHAMMO! BAM! POW! it all came crashing down. having had a couple of women that i told AFTER we were intimate (with disasterous results and MORE shame), the last few times i have tried telling women I've been spending time with and have been left time and time again. the last one said "but it's not you, it's the herpes" well guess what, the herpes IS a part of me and therefore, not seperat-able. the shame and guilt i feel are enormous. i've always struggled with feeling damaged or defective...the sex abuse, depression, attraction to women, and now herpes??? man what must i have done in past lives! (not that i necessarily believe in them). i am currently feeling like i will NEVER find a woman that can fill me and love me...when the women my husband is most comfortable with me being with are other bisexual women who are married (he still fears losing me, and i am still regaining his trust). this takes a lot of the control away from just she and i, and now - with other views and fears and opinions to consider - i am alone. who would want to put not only themselves at risk but their husbands and families???? I am lost. i've cried more in this past week than ever before. i feel like a really, really bad made-for-tv movie, but it is sadly, my reality. i also feel that i have no one to talk to who will understand. i don't want anyone who doesn't have to know, to know. my husband is fine with the herpes and continues to stand by me, and hasn't caught it yet. i take twice daily suppression meds and haven't had an outbreak for almost a year. the risk is low for someone to catch this from me...and i've only ever had 'spots' or sores in two little spots...but it's taken over my life seemingly, as well as my confidence, pride, and self-acceptance. please respond if you have advice, support, or a kind word. thanks, for those of you still reading to the end.

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catiesmom

I feel so sorry for you, with all the things you've been through. What a trooper you were to make it through the abuse, find a comfortable marriage, understand yourself and your own needs, and then herpes stops your show. :(

I don't think you're at a complete loss, though. My husband and i have considered introducing a 3rd into our relationship, but the idea of having to explain my virus makes it that much harder. Surprisingly, 2 of my best friends and SO's best friend's girlfriend all have herpes! At least i'd have options if i decided to exercise them! :)

I really think if you were more open about it, you'd find it's not uncommon at all. I know that's a really hard thing for you, and understandably so! I just hope you can find some sort of situation that works for you and your family. Best of luck!

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justmyself

Maybe you can find someone who already has it. Have you tried any of the dating websites? I have to imagine there are gay/lesbian herpes websites out there. Do you know what type you have? If you have type 1 genitally, 80% of the population has type 1, some orally. So it would be very rare for someone to catch type 1 genitally if they already have it orally. Have these women who have rejected you ever been tested? They may have it already and not even know it!

Don't punish yourself for your feelings though. Each and every one of us deserves to be happy. So do what makes you happy! Having your husband to support you is wonderful! Lean on him! You guys obviously have a very special relationship! Be thankful for that!

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