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Lifeistooshort

Need help! I had the "talk" and now he is confused

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Lifeistooshort

I contracted H about 5 years ago. The person who gave it to me choose not to be honest with me about it until after the fact. I had only been with 2 people in my entire life and I was in my 3Os. I was proud of that and felt like a filthy scum when I recieved the news. I've had a relationship that lasted a while and I was upfront and honest with that person and he accepted it and we had a great relationship and managed for him not to contract it from me. after that relationship didn't work out, i didn't date because I was afraid and ashame of having to tell yet another person about my condition. I've never been involved in a support group, I never told my family, so I have to deal with this on my own. I recently started dating a guy who I think the world of, I really saw my fairy tale with him, but i struggled at the fact that I eventually had to tell him that I had H. I had to gain his trust first and make sure that after I shared the news with him, he wasn't going to run out and tell the whole world I had H. This has been a terrible thing I have had to deal with. I am a very upbeat person and I am bound and determined that there is much more to life than just having H. I am full of life and life must go on. The problem is I had the talk with him and he was very receptive and very understanding and respected me for being honest and having the courage to tell him. I can't do to someone else the same thing that was done to me. I can't let this change who I am, an honest person who does what is right no matter the consequenses. I didn't have a choice in the matter, i at least want to make sure my partner knows what he is getting into. I've explained that we can still have a healthy relationship and that I am on suppresive medicine and have not had an outbreak since the intial diagnosis. He is confused and said he has mixed feelings. Which I understand and respect his honesty. I don't know what to say or go from here. I feel we are both just lost out there by ourselves. He has questions and I am having a hard time dealing with my own situation I don't know what to say or how to help. Does anybody have any suggestions? I feel dirty and ashame and I feel that if I was in his shoes, I would run the other way, but I also know that what we have is something special that neither him or I would find anywhere else and wish and hope he would choose us and never regret it. I'm so alone and confused.

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Lattegirl

Hi-

I would say that the first thing you have to do is love yourself. You have to move beyond the feeling dirty, ashamed, and all the rollercoaster emotions. You are not a bad person. You've had a relationship prior and your partner knew you had herpes. That person didn't judge you and accepted you. That is your goal here and there is no reason that this situation can't happen with your current partner.

One suggestion I have is to stop calling the virus "H" and refer to it as herpes. It's a virus, not a demon or sentient being. Viruses are not even alive (like bacteria). A virus can not survive on it's own, it needs a living cell in order to replicate. Thus it is more of a machine. Again, the virus is not you, doesn't define you, give you orders, or anything else. Did you have chicken pox as a child? If you, you've got that virus still in you and it is also a herpes virus. No one seems to care much that you are infected with the chicken pox virus. If your chickenpox reactivated, (referred to as shingles), you could pass this virus on to someone who had never had chickenpox. Society needs to move beyond the herpes stigma, because every human on this planet has at least one herpes virus (and there are currently 8 of them).

Okay, you've talked with your partner and been honest. You did the right thing. Your partner's confusion is understandable. You need to give this person time to think and process. If this person really does love you (and it sounds like he does), then together you will overcome this hurdle in your relationship. If your partner has questions, then do the best that you can to answer them. Seek help for your answers together via your doctor, local health clinic, student health clinic, etc... whatever resources you have. The CDC has a great set of resources on their website. If your partner is willing to do this with you and become educated, then I'd say that person is in it for the long haul.

My other suggestion to you would be to seek some mental health counseling. You don't sound like you have fully accepted your situation and you need to find a way to process your thoughts and feelings. This is all normal, doesn't mean anything is wrong with you.

Again, we (society) have to abolish this stigma that pervades this disease. We don't seem to care that people get chickenpox, whooping cough, common cold, etc.. All these are contagious viruses and can be passed from person to person. For reasons that seem to date back to the Puritans, we attach a bad image to gential herpes simply because it is contracted through sexual contact. Sex is not bad!! You are not bad. You caught a virus. That's it. It's a virus and it is not who you are.

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Lifeistooshort

Dear Lattegirl,

Thank you so much for your advice and response. You are right about everything. The results of having "the talk" with your partner, depend alot on our own presentation of the facts. I have not come to terms with having herpes, and therefore, when I presented it to him, I scared him. I mean, who would want to know that this will ruin your life (according on how I presented it to him). We since have spoken and did some research, he said he was not willing to loose me because of this. You were right, he just needed time to think and process. I am really excited and can't wait to see what the future holds for us, but I know you are right, I knew if he was willing to educate himself and was willing to accept this, that he would be in for the long haul. I believe having the talk with him showed him that I am trust worthy and honest and I believe this has also brought us closer together. I can't wait to update and let you know where this has ended. Hopefully happily ever after.

Thank you

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Sympathetic

How good to hear a positive story like yours! I hope all goes well with you two.

I was the receiver of 'the talk' recently, and had to make the decision whether to consider developing an online friendship further with this knowledge in hand. It took me about half an hour to decide - YES! He has lived with it since '67 and is confident about dealing with it - meds, sensitivity to signs of OB, etc - and cared enough to tell me far in advance, so I think he is worth knowing better.

I hope your partner's understanding continues to grow, and that you can get right past this and on to the really important issue in your lives - happiness!

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Lattegirl

Awesome!! I'm so glad to hear this. Best of luck to the both of you!

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firefox09

Your story was so enlightening. I recently had "the talk" with a guy I've been dating for a little over a month. Things were starting to progress and I knew I had to tell him before going to that next level with him. Like your guy, he also really appreciated that I was up front and honest with him. He told me that he is going to really try to work through this and that he just needs some time to let it digest. I wouldn't have told this guy if I didn't see a future with us, so I'm really hoping that things turn out for us the way they have for you. Thank you so much for sharing, your story really gives me hope!

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