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bird

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bird last won the day on June 27

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  1. Here is my story. I had contracted herpes (HSVII/genital) in 2012 from a partner who *claims* he didn't know. I was naturally devastated, but luckily had been on road trip with said partner, and honestly being away from home distracted me from the bizarreness of it all, at least temporarily. I could be distracted with all the adventures that we had planned for the trip. And surprisingly this partner was totally not freaked out by this new diagnosis, let alone current symptoms/outbreak. Over the years I had managed to disclose successfully to a handful of different partners. Most of them came around and we had full-fledged relationships, ending for other reasons, but mostly on good/decent terms. However, in September of 2018 I had met this one guy and failed to disclose to him. He was everything (I thought) I wanted and thus I was greatly ashamed & intimidated about disclosing. Then, what I will call "the perfect storm" happened and I failed to disclose before sex. I'll skip the details about that here. But I do have another post where I got into trouble with him being angry from having told him after the fact. Fast forward to about 6 months later. I had been working hard, and even enrolled in courses to propel my career, just hoping to redeem myself and help build greater self-confidence in order to prevent the weakness I had experience previously. Having started to feel stronger and better about myself, I put myself out on a dating website. I had so much interest and quickly met a great guy that I started to build a connection with. I thought I would have the courage to tell someone within the first few dates, but it started getting close to six dates, and I was growing increasingly anxious. After I had made the terrible mistake with the previous guy, I was sure I would have the confidence to tell just about anyone, but that seemed to have faded, and I struggled all over again with shame and (lack of) self-confidence. One night we had a miscommunication that upset me, and he was so apologetic and sincere, that it became clear to me that this man was dedicated, so I thought F-it! If he's so dedicated there's one quick way to be sure. Also, in the weeks leading up to this, I had run it through my head that I could approach with the mentality/attitude that *he* needs to be okay with this if we are going to progress. And by that I meant it's *his* responsibility to be cool with this (not mine). I finally got myself to a point where I don't feel like I need to take full responsibility for someone accepting something about me that I cannot change and that I didn't really get the decision to. I no longer need to take responsibility for whether someone else can make a reasonable rational decision based on facts, and that me already knowing, sharing/disclosing, and protecting myself (& my partner) is a lot LESS riskier than had he continued dating so many other people, many of which could have it and not know it or not be able/willing to disclose in advance properly. So that night I texted him to get his butt over to my place and that we needed to have a talk. He hurried over and was scared that he had done something wrong. I quickly reassured him that wasn't the case. We walked over to a cute little suspension bridge in my neighborhood, where we could have privacy from neighbors, and then I managed to cough up the news like hairball (awkwardly). He immediately stopped me and told me that even though he hasn't dated many people, it wasn't the first time he had a relationship with someone who had this. He barely let me finish and then hugged me and reassured me. Then we continued walking the neighborhood and he took that as an opportunity to bring a few other important topics to the table, nothing related to this site. I felt amazing, redeemed & relieved, and finally proud of myself. I hope this lil story helps at least one person. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Oh, and no judgements from me if you are struggling or fail to disclose. I'm here to do my best to educate & encourage so you don't continue making these mistakes.
  2. Here's my follow up to this experience: The guy's emotions were changing back and forth. I felt like I was at his mercy, after he threatened me with legal and criminal action. He'd go from total and seemingly genuine forgiveness, to paranoia, and back to threats again. After doing everything I could to placate him, I finally stood up to his anger and told him to "get a grip" and that there was nothing else to do but wait (for results so many months later). He cursed me out and then I finally blocked him. Many people had advised me to much earlier on, but I didn't want to shut the door on him until he got results months later, but I had really had enough. I kept my his email address unblocked and he knew where I worked and lived so he could've contacted me either of those ways. However, it's been over 6 months and I have not heard from him since. From his social media posts, it appears he's mostly well. Even though some would say his reaction was over the top, and wound up pushing me away, it was one of the toughest lessons of my life. I am still giving myself credit for coming clean, even if after the fact. I hated reading stories of people who had waited sometimes a decade or more before disclosing. I could not live with that guilt that long. I am going to write up an experience where I did recently successfully disclose, so I encourage you to read that, especially if you're struggling with disclosing.
  3. I want to add to this conversation that I don't agree with people being so hard and judgemental towards someone who struggles with disclosure or who has already committed non-disclosure, but is struggling with coming clean. I understand the moral/ethical argument against non-disclosure, but I am not going to knee-jerk dismiss those who still struggle. I think the overly hard dismissal can prematurely alienate these people. I believe that is just compounding the shame and embarrassment they're likely struggling with already. This forum should be a place to safely voice concerns, thoughts, and experiences, without too much judgement and without fear of being judged. These people are often looking for support and guidance. I also believe that giving them space and listening and fairly presenting the possible alternatives is a more effective approach at changing their minds. Lead by example - not by judgement.
  4. "All the fears of rejection that kept you from disclosing it earlier..." is an inaccurate statement. Those fears you initially had, in the case of your partner having rejected you, did not in fact come true. He rejected you because you put his health at risk, you robbed him of making a choice about his body, etc. Your fears seemingly created the inevitable, but this was only a self-fulfilling prophecy in that you set yourself up for rejection by simply being dishonest with him. Don't get me wrong, I'm not on some self-righteous high horse. I'm currently dealing with having made a similar mistake. But I'm a little relieved I was able to come around with the truth sooner than later, albeit not soon enough (before sex). Trust me, I certainly felt the pull of the current to sweep me up with the day-to-day goings on and not have to find the strength and courage to face the ugly reality I had created for both of us. But I knew I couldn't be myself living this lie any further that I had from the initial mistake, and he didn't deserve to be manipulated any further, even though I was sure disclosing to him after the fact would hurt him and destroy our lovely budding relationship. I had to own up to my error so I could move on with a better conscience and learn to never make that mistake again, and also allow him to have the choice to find someone else who wouldn't betray him so.
  5. As a person who failed to disclose, I can attest to the dishonesty not being a preferable option. I had that eating me up inside. I was a shell of my normal happy genuine self. Trying to suppress the guilt is not healthy, worthwhile, long term option. I believe it will affect your soul/character in permanent negative ways you may not yet foresee. It took me about a week to come clean. He was hurt, sad, disappointed, scared and outraged. I took his fury (which was surprisingly fair and controlled for the most part). I just listened and agreed and apologized. I have done some serious emotionally painful soul-searching, but I can now start to move forward. I'm even starting to feel a little more back to myself. I won't soon forget this mistake and hope I learned from this horrible experience and everything he said to me, so that I can avoid this disaster in the future. It's heart-breaking losing a really good man. I'm sorry I blew it. But I don't feel entitled to people and I want him to be able to live in the truth/honesty, even if it's not me. Granted I wasn't married or even hadn't been in a long-term relationship. But I think you need to stop thinking about yourself. You owe her the truth. Things will likely go topsy-turvy, but if you are otherwise a good man to her and your family, and she sees you came forward with the truth, she may likely be able to forgive you (though on her own terms & timing).
  6. I think Carmex is an outdated/false treatment. It's got salicylic acid, which I understand stimulates cell turnover, which helps reduce chapped lips. But I don't believe this would prevent the virus from doing it's thing. In fact, I would argue it thins the skin, so it would actually make it easier for the virus to break through the skin, thus creating a full blown outbreak. I love Abreva in treating outbreaks (most effective the earlier you notice something amiss). I've often been able to keep them at bay within 1-3 days.
  7. I started dating a guy a few weeks ago. Earlier in the night, prior to having sex he confessed he had had a mouth sore and didn't know what it was so he consulted his dentist, who told him simply he has herpes. And then he added he doesn't have genital herpes. Later that night we started to have sex and I chickened out on my own status (HSV II - more details in other posts). It wasn't until a week later, when he was supposed to come visit me, that I finally was able to confess. But my question/issue isn't about the disclosing per se. It's after the fact. I told him he should go get tested immediately to confirm he doesn't already have it and then again later (whenever his doctor recommends, as it seems there are varying time frames to wait for the antibodies to build up). He resisted/denied my request for getting tested right away, claiming he had already been tested for EVERYTHING, including HSV. But now, a day later, I'm wondering why his story doesn't seem to jive. He claims he recently had a mysterious mouth sore, and that his dentist (visually) diagnosed it as herpes (more obivously type I). So how could he claim he was surprised by this recent symptoms/diagnosis, when he claims he had already been tested for it. He would've come up positive already for at least Type I, no? The mouth sore shouldn't have been a surprise to him, unless he was just making out with someone and somehow got it that way, I suppose. Either way, I'd like to insist he get tested right away, in addition to waiting later. That way we could be sure he doesn't already have it. MY MAIN QUESTION IS: Is that weird of me to ask/insist of him to take a test now? He seemed comfortable taking my word for it that my last test results came back negative for other STIs. But I'd be willing to take it again if he asked/insisted, in fact I plan to anyway. I'd just really like to clear that possibility out right away, so we won't have to wait unnecessarily another 45+ days for a diagnosis.
  8. I'm with Redfaith417 on this one. I am personally guilty of recently not disclosing. I deeply regret not having had the courage to say something. But now instead I get to deal with even worse shame and guilt for potentially (partner has to wait at least a month to get tested) exposing him against his consent. I think it's very generous for anyone to understand what she was struggling with, as I know I had similar feelings. I had all sorts of reasons that led up to my chickening out. But now in hindsight realized there just isn't any excuse. I've been spending the past week reflecting on how I failed him and myself. I haven't even tried to get him back. What I did totally blew a beautifully budding relationship apart. As tempting as it was for me to continue the lie until he was more emotionally involved/hooked, I just knew I could not be myself, relish in even the simplest of joys like autumn breeze across my face, let alone build a solid honest pure relationship with him because the guilt just haunted me. All the time, attention and moments just felt like a charade on my part. I would rather lose the loved one based on honesty and reality (albeit belated), than suck my partner into living a lie. I just don't feel so entitled to people. I can understand how she could make such an awful mistake as not disclosing right away, and I think it's terribly sweet, generous and forgiving of you to understand where she was at, but I really can't understand her giving you grief for your broken trust. She should be catering to you. But perhaps this is some kind of unforeseen trouble you can invite into your relationship by hiding the truth from a long term partner; she obviously still cannot respect you, when she should be catering to you for being so forgiving.
  9. Hi Butterfly2018. I too fell in love with a man who was beginning to make me feel, as you've put it, "How I felt before herpes" - which was like I was this magical wholesome person and I just wanted to be free & blissful with him. Most of my disclosures resulted in them choosing to be with me. But the BIG difference was I gave them the choice ahead of time and thus we could manage risk in a controlled together fashion. I think one of the many factors that led to me failing to disclose to this guy was just how impressed I was becoming by him. I've been starting to wonder that it has been easier to tell someone I'm not that swept away by, and, conversely, more difficult with a very impressive person that I wasn't sure I was good enough for. Sad truth, he would've accepted me had I disclosed in advance, but now he can't forgive me (heck, I can't even forgive myself). Here is a statement I've posted elsewhere: I don't think it's necessarily "horrible" to disclose anymore. In my experience, the fear is the worst part. Looking back, I allowed the fear to let me feel unworthy and it eroded my self-esteem, which in turn eroded my ability to talk normally and maturely about it. The sooner you tell, the easier. Because I've lived the opposite route multiple times. As more time goes by, the more it feels like I was being dishonest, even though we hadn't even had sex yet. I too struggled with when was the too soon ("Hi, My name is _____, and I have genital herpes." versus too late (Uh oh, he's got his hand down my pants!). I read an article recently where someone tells them after the second date has gone well and it's obvious there will be a third. I've just decided that's my plan of attack for the future. I have also recently gone the route of not disclosing, while I *knew* I had it, to a good man I was starting to fall in love with. I think in my mind I tried to deny the reality of what I was doing to avoid the embarrassment and awkwardness. But the reality of what I did, when I knew I had to tell him, and after I did finally tell him, was the WORST. Dishonesty is never a good thing (I'm unfortunately still learning), as tempting as it can seem. I have more shame now in having potentially exposed a totally innocent man and making his life unnecessarily more difficult than it already has been for him. I could've avoided it all with a simple, mature discussion. I'm here to WARN people NOT to make the same mistake I have made.
  10. I don't think it's necessarily "horrible" to disclose. In my experience, the fear is the worst part. Looking back, I allowed the fear to say I was unworthy and it eroded my self-esteem, which in turn eroded my ability to talk normally and maturely about it. The sooner you tell, the easier. Because I've lived the opposite route multiple times. As more time goes by, the more it feels like I was being dishonest, even though we hadn't even had sex yet. I too struggled with when was the too soon ("Hi, My name is _____, and I have genital herpes." versus too late (Uh oh, he's got his hand down my pants). I read an article recently where someone tells them after the second date has gone well and it's obvious there will be a third. I've just decided that's my plan of attack for the future. I have also recently gone the route of not disclosing, while I *knew* I had it, to a good man I was starting to fall in love with. I think in my mind I tried to deny the reality of what I was doing to avoid the embarrassment and awkwardness. But the reality of what I did, when I knew I had to tell him, and after I did finally tell him, was the WORST. Dishonesty is never a good thing, as tempting as it can seem. I have more shame now in having potentially exposed a totally innocent man and making his life unnecessarily more difficult than it already has been for him. I'm here to warn people not to make the same mistake I have made.
  11. I don't think it's necessarily "horrible" to disclose. I'm not sure you should be held at fault if you truly did not know you had it. In my experience, the fear is the worst part. Looking back, I allowed the fear to say I was unworthy and it eroded my self-esteem, which in turn eroded my ability to talk normally and maturely about it. The sooner you tell, the easier. Because I've lived the opposite route multiple times. As more time goes by, the more it feels like I was being dishonest, even though we hadn't even had sex yet. I too struggled with when was the too soon ("Hi, My name is _____, and I have genital herpes." versus too late (he's got his hand down my pants). I read an article recently where someone tells them after the second date has gone well and it's obvious there will be a third. I've just decided that's my plan of attack for the future. I have also recently gone the route of not disclosing, while I *knew* I had it, to a good man I was starting to fall in love with. I think in my mind I tried to deny the reality of what I was doing to avoid the embarrassment and awkwardness. But the reality of what I did, when I knew I had to tell him, and after I did finally tell him, was the WORST. Dishonesty is never a good thing, as tempting as it can seem. I have more shame now in having potentially exposed a totally innocent man and making his life unnecessarily more difficult that it already has been for him. I'm here to warn people not to make the same mistake I have made.
  12. @JB33 I feel like I could be the girl you're talking about. I too have recently met someone new and we've been having the same challenges. The side-effects she had mentioned is news to me. I'm generally cautious about pharmaceuticals, but I know a friend who has been on it regularly for years and so have I. I've never noticed any side-effects. And I don't think I'll let that stop me. I kinda see it this way: we ain't gonna live forever and cancer is gonna get us one way or another if a car accident or something else doesn't, so no need to over think that part. I also want to address what you called a "lifelong illness". Puh-lease! I honestly rolled my eyes. It's not like cancer or something where you're practically suffering on a daily basis. I would compare it to the occasional flu or common cold; usually just occasional discomfort and a temporary bummer. The most difficult part is the stigma, which I suffer from as well, that is all just in our minds. Another thing I'd like to add is that I have a friend who once met a lovely girl. They had all the chemistry and such. She soon divulged that she had HSV2 and he politely and reluctantly turned her away. He tried to start another relationship with another girl who didn't have HSV but he was miserable (not that there was anything particularly wrong with the new girl, they just didnt have chemistry). Years later and he's still single and looking. I sorta feel sorry for him. I just think how much happier he could've been sticking with the girl he did connect with - even if he did wind up picking up this pesky "disease".
  13. I guy I know but did not date shared that he had met a girl who disclosed that she had HSVII. He told me this years before I ever got it myself (and he does not know that I have it now). Anyway, he would tell me how sad he was that he had to let her go because that was a deal-breaker for him. But years later, he is still single and lonely and I wonder how he WASTED a potentially GREAT relationship over something relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. Now, it was just days ago that I disclosed and got rejected. But I have been slowly coming to realization that I need to STOP presenting it with so much SHAME. I really doesn't present myself well when I have so much shame. I think I'm going to try to remember this story of my friend who ended up lonely and remind myself that I have VALUE - exceptional value - despite some random condition!
  14. This is a good question. A little background: I contracted HSVII about 3 years ago from a guy. The next guy I dated was the first I had to formally disclose to. He accepted me but he hated condoms so I used the medication and abstained if I had symptoms. About a year after we broke up, he claims he still comes up negative with no symptoms. For the past 6 months, I have been on and off with another guy. I disclosed to him before sex and he accepted me, but things have been more difficult. Aside from him seeming awkward about protection and touching me, I just seem to break out more. I'm wondering if it is the rubber condom irritating the area where I break out (base of vaginal opening). But even just getting turn on it seems to initiate a b/o. But now that I haven't had sex with him in a while and recently broke up again, I don't feel any symptoms. It's so frustrating. I have found myself not saying anything to him that I think I may be having symptoms, because it feels like every time we start to go and he's touching me, I can feel a bit of tell-tell irritation. I'm tired of it. But then I sort of feel guilty and self conscious while we're having sex and just pray that he doesn't catch it. I just can't bare to tell him every time, especially since he acts so awkward/uncomfortable about it. In the end, that was a large part of what made me break up with him the last time. I'm glad I had at least one positive experience with my previous ex who was okay even without protection and we had great sex. I hope I don't have to wait too long before I find someone else like that.
  15. @Elise1977, I am HSVII positive. I've noticed that the outbreaks seem to go away when I'm not sexually active/stimulated, I'm also suspecting that condoms increase irritation, inviting another outbreak. It feels like a curse. Often he would instigate sex with hands, but it would never progress beyond that and that made me really sad and self-conscious and ultimately hopeless if he was that uncomfortable about it several months into the relationship. I tried talking to him about how he feels for me and he didn't really say a whole lot so I told him he should just go and he did. Then we sorta got back together after spontaneously inviting myself over and having some decent sex. Later that week, when he was at my place and things were steering towards physical intimacy, I confronted him again about how seriously he felt about me, because things still didn't seem right, and he again he didn't say anything very positive so again I sent him away. I can't tell if I'm sabotaging the relationship or following my gut instincts. I guess I can't totally blame him. Maybe he just doesn't know how to turn me down if he's uncomfortable. Still it hurts. I don't think I've completely lost hope, but I do think I'll be more inclined to seek men who already have it.
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