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How did I miss this all these years?

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I'm afraid that I'm going to sound like a complete idiot but I'm just realizing that I probably have HSV2 after showing first signs about 20 years ago in college. I can remember the day long ago when I noticed what looked like small water blisters on the shaft of my penis. I immediately thought that they were some sort of friction blister from biking or exercising. I was a little alarmed but mostly annoyed since an STD never crossed my mind - not even once. I was never overly promiscuous and mostly had longer term relationships at the time. I did contract a UTI once but that was my only exposure to any STD(or so I thought...)

Over the years, these "nuisances" would reoccur from time to time (2-3 times per year)but I continued to attribute the symptoms to ill fitting clothing that I would wear during long walks, biking or exercise. The assumption seemed logical since I could sometimes feels the abrasion of clothing on the side of my penis as I would climb the stairs or perform some of the other physical activities I've described. When I could feel this abrasion happen, I would start to worry that another set of "friction blisters" would appear and sometimes they actually would - further convincing me that this was the source of the problem. Also, the blisters are never very big(usually the size of a pen head) and never seemed to ooze puss or anything. If left alone, they would just subside, scab over and then heal after a few days. I honestly never thought much of it...

Thoughout this time, I somehow managed to marry the most wonderful person in the world and have been together with her in a completely monogamous and trusting relationship for 15 years. During our marriage, I would have these occasional outbreaks but continued to live in ignorance and never showed them to my wife or discussed them in any way. For me, it was just an embarrasing thing that would happen to me from time to time and was a little gross to look at. We've always had a very strong relationship so I wasn't trying to conceal anything from her - I was just not eager to show her something on my privates that was not pleasant to look at. I just continued on my way, living in stupidity.

So you may be asking what made me finally investigate after all this time? I'll ask you to bear with me here since I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent. A few months ago a coworker of mine made some seriously strong passes at me but I never gave in. Read carefully - "I have NEVER cheated on my wife and never will". I told my wife about this other person's advances and she was obviously not happy; she didn't however, accuse me of anything at the time. I had to have a couple of serious conversations with this other person to let her know I wasn't interested and that I loved my wife more than anything on earth. Things subsided for a while but after a couple of weeks, this person would continue to text or call me sporadically. I tried to hide the fact that this was continuing to be a problem because I didn't want to upset my wife over something I was trying to resolve on my own. However, the frustration of the situation showed clearly on my face and my wife confronted me one day and was convinced I had been unfaithful after all. After some long conversations, I reassured that that I had not and we moved past the situation. Move ahead to several weeks ago when she began complaining of swollen lymph nodes in her groin area. She had experienced something similar a few years ago but we never really got any answers when we went to her doctor. Anyway, as she researched her condition this time, she said, "Well, you could have given me herpes....". She looked at me when she said "herpes", implying that I had brought it home from this other person so we had to have another talk where I reassured her that I have been entirely faithful. I was actually pretty annoyed that this had come up again and that she was still doubting me. In retrospect, I guess I can't really be too surprised she had these thoughts considering the circumstances. Regardless, the bells did not go off in my head about my potential condition even then..

Fast forward to two days ago when I developed blisters for the first time since last summer(about 7-8 months ago). My first thought was the usual, "Oh great...this is a hassle", but then I started worrying, "What if she notices this and starts to think I have herpes after all." I casually started browsing the web for information about friction blisters on male genitals(You can se where this is going can't you?) Well, of course the more I read, the more I was convinced that I do actually have HSV2. I will be making an appointment with my doctor to get tested as soon as I can but from what I've been reading, the symptoms all point squarely in the herpes direction.

I'm sure, like many of you, it was disbelief at first and then my heart began to rapidly sink. How could I have been so ignorant all these years? I've been struggling with depression all of my life and this has swiflty put me in deep despair. How could I do this to my wife, the most wonderful person I have ever known? How could I subject her to this without her consent? What gives me the right to disrupt her life? She deserves better than this! She deserves better than me! How could I have been so stupid? If the tests do come back positive, I don't really know of any way that she could have avoided infection after all this time. She also mentioned that she noticed a small rash a couple of months ago when her groin was bothering her but it sounds completely benign compared to the other stories I've been reading here. I think she just dismissed it at the time and attributed it to a clothing rash from joggging even though it didn't seem to be where her rash would usually occur.

Well, I managed to talk to my wife yesterday after I sent her an email outlining all of this. I know that might sound silly but it was much easier to formulate my thoughts in writing first. We talked for a good while and she reassured me that we will get through this together and reminded me that we have actually been living with this for 15 years. I also realized that we've had a completely normal and healthy sex life with plenty of oral and traditional sex ever since we met. It's just that now we may actually be aware of the virus I've been carrying all this time and have to be extra diligent when we have sex and change our practices to some degree.

I'm so thankful for this site and for those that have chosen to share their situations. It has really helped me to feel like I'm not alone and gives me glimmers of hope when I'm in my darkest place. It really helps to hear that so many here have managed to live with their condition. Just writing this has helped to pull me out of the muck and begin to put things into perpective. Sincere thanks to all of you...

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Fairy dust

Welcome to this fab site. I am so glad that you and your wife are getting on with life and not letting this virus come between you. I have been with my partner for 14 years and we have two lovely children so H is not the end of the world though it is uncomfortable at times!

I hope all goes well for you both x

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