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How to tell your partner

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Hello everyone,

New to this site today. I contracted herpes when i was about 22 from being raped. I soon married after this and was married for 15 years. I have been divorced now over 4 years. I have a very light case of it but find it so painful to tell my partners. I haven't been dating for a while and now back into the scene now. I am with a guy now that wants to get intimate and I am scared to dealth to tell him. He is a very compassionate man and kind hearted but to say that word is so hard for me.

Anyone have a ideas that would help me out?



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When i first told my current bf, it was the hardest thing for me to do. I went through a time where i told a couple of guys and they freaked out and i began to give up on men in all. Then I met the man I'm with now. I have GHSV-1, I was diagnosed almost a year ago, and like you I have a rather mild case. But moving on to telling the partners. I first of all got to know the guy first, I wanted to see if I could trust him with this information. I wanted to make sure that I could tell him and he would be understanding, I know that's hard to see if they are understanding, but you have to be able to gain alot of trust. Well, when it finally came to the point of telling him, we were sorta in the middle of kissing and things were starting to heat it up. I had to push him away, before things got out of hand. He just looked at me first, and he asked me what was wrong. I just told him that I needed to tell him something. That I cared about him, and that I was telling him because he needed to know. I didn't just flat out tell him i have HERPES! I just said, once in awhile, I get coldsores, but I get coldsores, down there. Told him it was just a blister I get once in awhile, and that it goes away. Told him, that the chances of him getting it are like 1%, and that if I keep myself healthy he would be pretty safe. He just looked at me and said he didn't care. He said that he loved me for who I was, and that he has loves me more and more everyday.

Find a guy like that is going to be hard, I think i'm pretty lucky. But you will find someone who will love you for who you are! It's goig to be find, you will find a great man, and you will be happy.

Good luck with everything! Just remember read up on the information and be able to answer the questions if he has any.

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Honesty is the Best Policy

I know it can be very difficult to have this conversation with a potential partner. I've been living with HSV-2 for 19 yrs, I contracted the virus when I was 19 and I'm 38 yrs old now. After I found out I had it I only had a few partners and then I met my husband and was with him for almost 12 yrs. We separated in 2008 and I am currently dating.

I had to have this conversation 4 times since I started dating and only 1 of the men was willing to proceed with a sexual relationship. The other 3 had major fears and after contemplating it for a few weeks, doing their own research, talking to their doctors and asking me MANY questions, they decided that they couldn't handle it. Each time I had to have this conversation it was VERY stressful for me. Even more stressful was the waiting for them to decide whether they would be willing to take the risk or not. I don't usually get outbreaks very often, up until this year I would only get about 1 outbreak per year, but the stress of these conversations actually made me get breakouts.

I always believed that it was VERY important to be completely honest and knowledgeable about HSV when having "the talk" with someone you want to be intimate with. You don't want to sugarcoat things because if he does his own research you don't want him to think that you were being dishonest with him. I always make sure that they understand that there's a risk that they can get it. I tell them all the things we can and must do to be safe, but never say that if we are careful they definitely won't get it. The bottom line is that no matter how careful you are there is no guarantee that he won't get it. With that said, he will either have to care enough about you to be willing to take the risk or not. I just can't see it any other way. Unfortunately some guys will be okay with this and some just won't.

Right now I do not have anyone in my life. The last guy I was dating broke up with me two weeks after I told him. At first he broke up with me a few days later, but a few days after that we spoke and he decided to reconsider and asked me to give him more time. I did, but a week and a half later he broke up with me again. It was very hard for me because I really cared about him. I told him because the relationship was progressing very nicely and I really hoped he would be able to handle it. I thought that his feelings for me would be strong enough to overcome his fears. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

You have to be honest with your guy. Make sure that you are well informed so that you can answer his questions accurately. If he really cares about you hopefully he will be able to deal with your illness. This is a situation that is really hit or miss and you just never know how any guy is going to take the news. Regardless, they have to understand that this is your reality, that you have an illness that you CANNOT cure and that if they want to be with you they have to be willing to accept you the way you are. My ex taught me a valuable lesson and this is what I hold on to every time that I miss him and feel like calling him even though I know that he's not right for me. He would always say, "You shouldn't feel sad when someone rejects you. You should be grateful because all they're doing is clearing the way for the right person to come into your life." I'll never forget those words because they are true. If this guy rejects you, you'll know that he's just not the right guy for you. Move on and soon enough you'll find your Mr. Right.

Good luck. I hope he can handle it.

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I know exactly how you feel. I was married for 11 years. A few years into our marriage I discovered I had genital herpes. I never cheated on my husband, and I don't think he cheated on me. I don't know which of us gave it to the other. My marriage went bad early on. My ex was very controlling, jealous and insecure. He verbally and emotionally beat me down and I was so crippled with the fear of being alone that I stayed. After finding the virus, I stayed because I was terrified that I would never find anyone to love me and accept me and I figured that it was easier to remain a miserable prisoner than to leave and be alone.

I have been divorced a little over 2 years. I have now told three men, and like you say the stress is tremendous. With me it is getting worse each time. The first man I told accepted it right off the bat. We had a good relationship, however, he had so much drama going on from a previous girlfriend that he finally shut me out of his life. Now he wants me back but I know that he wasn't right and that I would just be settling to be with him. The second man I tried not to let into my life at all, however, he was very persistent. He barely hesitated and then told me he thought that I was worth it. He and I had an unbelievable sex life, however we didn't connect in other areas and got to where we argued way too much. Thus we decided we were better friends. Since splitting from him 7 months ago I have again did everything that I can to avoid developing any relationship with men. I recently unexpectedly met a guy that took me by surprise. He and I shared a connection like I never have with anyone. We were both surprised how much we had in common and how much we liked each other and how comfortable we were with each other. This being said I knew I had to tell him sooner than I wanted. We had talks about sex and we connected on every level. I was to the point where I couldn't hold him off and I couldn't hold myself off any longer, although I had a horrible feeling he wouldn't accept me. After telling him, he surprised me and started asking questions. He told me he really liked me and that he was just thinking it all over. After a day or so he finally told me that although he understood everything he kind of felt misled. It has now been several days and he has pretty much disappeared. He told me he was confused and was trying to understand it all. I told him I was comfortable talking with him and that he could ask me anything at all. He never really asked any questions other than how could we get it if neither of us cheated on the other.

Needless to say, I am completely heartbroken. I don't connect with people like I did with him. I really felt like he could be my soul mate. I am an attractive, professional woman. I am in great shape and I have guys come on to me all of the time. I am amazed at how quickly I could spread this virus around if I chose to be irresponsible. Thankfully I am not. But right now I don't want to talk to or date another man. The agony that has come with telling him and how I feel now is not worth it. I don't have anyone to talk to because I cannot bring myself to share this with any of my friends or family. Everyone looks up to me and tells me how special of a person I am and how lucky the man who gets me will be. If they only knew.

Right now I feel like it would have been better to remain a prisoner in my marriage, or to not even be alive. I feel so ashamed and like I am deceiving people and I don't know what to do anymore.

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Where in GA do you live?

Here is how I give the 'talk'.

First I don't start off by saying "I have something important to tell you". Just wait for a relaxed moment and then ask him if he has ever had a cold sore.

If he says "yes", tell him you have the same thing but in a different place.

If he says "no", tell him you get cold sores down there. Definitely tell him it is herpes, but if you can get him to associate it with something he probably does not have a problem with, cold sores, he will probably accept it better.

And yes, learn all you can about the virus and how to contain it. I have had this along time too and have dated many non h women without passing it along.

Are you close to Atlanta? Are you familiar with the support group here? There are two groups, one that meets monthly at Piedmont Hospital for support and the other that gets together monthly for fun events. Go to www.atlantahclub.com to learn more.

Good luck!


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  • The Hive is Thriving!

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  • Posts

    • TCBH
      You don't put it down there. you put it on your arm. 
    • luvurself16
      I got hsv from a police officer. Sickos out there.
    • Toro
      I am 44 and I have active herpes in both of my eyes.Only Amenalief helps.
    • Jayne
      I know this thread is a couple of years old, but it’s been helpful to me, and I wanted to contribute as well. Back to Berliner’s original post, I’ve tested negative on several IGGs, with the latest ones being 1 yr and now almost 2 years past exposure.  Figuring out what was going on was the worst nightmare I’ve ever been through in my life. I made the mistake of drinking heavily a week after my father died of cancer, and I had unprotected AS with an ex, who happened to be poly and had some occasional unprotected M2M encounters.   Three days later I had a red line rash along my (sorry to get explicit) crack. This was followed by a rectal burning. Tested negative for G&C and related tests.  Over the next couple of weeks I had severe swelling and discomfort in my lower right quadrant and was told to go to the ER, where (I guess as a standard practice) they did a cat scan, which revealed nothing.  Also not a bacterial infection.  However the repeated manual examinations that occurred at urgent care and the ER seemed to relieve the abdominal pressure over the next few days.  I then had diarrhea for the next several weeks after.  I developed what felt like internal hemorrhoids, which were exacerbated by the diarrhea, and a gastro doctor confirmed via digital exam that there was indeed some sort of mass that felt like possible hemorrhoids. He ordered a sigmoidoscopy, but by the time it was undertaken, whatever was there was gone. After the procedure though, I felt much better for a while, possibly due to digestive issues clearing up after the colon “cleanse.” But this was concurrent with other issues.   About 3 weeks after the encounter I developed a large rash on my left thigh. Shortly thereafter I started having light sensitivity issues, culminating in a fever-like state after being outside in the sun only for 15 minutes after work. At work around that time for a couple days I felt like I was going through life encased in a gauzy gel- similar to being on laughing gas at the dentist, but not in a good way. I didn’t know what the hell was happening to me. I developed a severe case of canker sores for about a day. Later during a sunny drive, after getting back in the car at a gas station I noticed a red blotch below my lip. I tried to shrug it off but it happened again on the trip back.  So by about a month after the encounter I was having more anxiety. I spent the night at a friend’s house and woke up with a massive, swollen red eye and swollen lips. I got eye drops for bacterial conjunctivitis but that was wishful thinking.  A couple of weeks later, my lips were covered in sores. I smothered them with abreva. By the next day, they had mostly gone away. I tried to do a swab test at urgent care (I believe it was the next day), but there was not enough there to make any sort of positive diagnosis. Since then, I’ve had what you could call repeated aborted lesions and red blotches that appear around my mouth, particularly after stress and alcohol consumption. But even having peanut butter or chocolate would set it off for a long time. Fair skin doesn’t help- there was no hiding it. Two months after the encounter, I had my first vaginal burning- it was pretty intense and I had to use ice cubes because I didn’t know what else to do.   The worse feeling though was the periodic flare-ups of rectal itching/burning, often accompanied by another red line rash. It made sitting uncomfortable for about the next two months. I couldn’t wear pants at work- only skirts seemed to make things somewhat less irritated. And for the first three months, I was still testing for HIV along with HSV because of the overlapping symptoms (rash, diarrhea, neural pain, severe flu like symptoms without fever). I lost a lot of weight and had panic attacks. On top of all this I had just moved to a new city and started a new job and didn’t have a support network. And the sad thing is, I had to deal with all of this instead of being able to grieve for my father and being a better source of support to my mother. She had to support me without understanding what was happening.   Another bad thing through all of this was having both my ex and my current partner treat me like I’m crazy. That makes me feel alone and in the dark. Another “hysterical woman.” F*** that.  And while I felt grateful that my current was at the time still ready to be with me even if I had hsv, it’s a little discomfiting that he still doesn’t really believe me. But I’ve learned to live with ambiguity. And now I’m used to doctors as well as partners acting like this is nonexistent. Especially with negative IGG tests even 2 years later, which have left me without any answers.  I’m lucky in a way to be able to blend in because I don’t get obvious sores, genitally or orally (I can cover up the blotches with concealer, and they fortunately have lessened in frequency). But I still get the rectal itching/burning every six months or so (anthistamines seem to alleviate it a bit). And as more of a concern, I’ve had a cramp in my lower right quadrant ever since, which feels like it’s in my digestive tract. Since this has pretty much spread everywhere else in my body, intestinal involvement wouldn’t surprise me, and it isn’t unheard of anyways. I’ve tried to move past this and have since gotten married to my partner, who is a source of support (even if he doesn’t believe I’m having health problems. I know that’s a contradiction but occasionally I want to believe that too.).  I’m also newly pregnant, and symptoms have started to flare up again somewhat. I’m sure this will be an adventure. Hopefully more good than crazy. I know I’m going to struggle with the fear of passing this along but I’m trying to reconcile what doctors say (which is that it is extremely rare) with my own intuition about what I need to be careful of. Maybe I’ll repost with an update down the road. In short, there are people out there who test negative and have to live with loved ones and doctors thinking that a negative test closes the book on this. Again, learning to live with ambiguity is a real life lesson that I’m still coming to grips with. This forum and specifically this post have been a source of comfort that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. Thanks everyone for the support for the community.     
    • Rockster
      You deepthroat so good that you get all kinds of mouth-to-skin-of-base contact? Kudos to you, but that is extremely rare. 

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