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Loving Husband

Disconnected Husband

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Boy where to begin, welp, sorry if this is long winded.

Met my wife 10 years ago, we have been married 6.

She developed a cold sore on her lip about 4 months after we started dating, she never had them before and I had not/still dont.


Over the next few years she averaged maybe 3-4 scores a year but when she got them she shut out the world completely.

Took off work till it almost healed entirely, would skip family functions, wouldnt leave the house, refuse guests....and that much has hardly changed.


Well a few years after that, marked our 1 year anniversary of being married, we were intimate which involved oral and of course the next morning she had the on set, our first official day of our vacation. We didnt leave the house we rented the whole week and then just went home.

Fast forward 5 years later and that was pretty much the last time she kissed me or gave me oral...well...no it was the last time.

And as a result she has had maybe 3 sores in those 5 years...only meaning that she has proven to herself that those WERE the triggers. As long as she avoids all lip irration she avoids cold sores. Truthfully, it seems to be somewhat true, based on those numbers of outbreaks.


Though when she did get 3-4 a year we were younger and oral was a part of sex 3 times a week minimum, plus kissing all the time. So percentage wise the outbreaks to oral/kissing was small.

Though it matters not, once she realized how to beat the beast there is no discussion.

Its greatly affecting our marriage. Now dont get me wrong. We are two peas in a pod and she is my best friend. I wouldnt leave her for anything Earth has to offer,  so this is not some sad rant of a man that demands sexual acts.

I just miss my wife's physical desires. We dont cuddle cause she gets too hot, we dont kiss nor do oral because of the thing we cannot speak out loud about...seriously. it's not even allowed to be brought up.

So basically now. We are in our young 30s and every few months we have sex and that's it. We dont kiss, we dont foreplay...well I do the works for her but she wont do anything for me but engage in actual sex. So I feel like sex is only there to pacify me...and its not about the sex. It's about my wife wanting to engage with me on a intimate, sexual, lustful level.

We've talked dozens of times and I've explained she didnt get sores every time we kissed or had foreplay so maybe we should ease into it.  If we only kiss or have oral maybe 1 every few months to start maybe she can see that everytime isnt the onset of a nightmare...she promises to try but it goes nowhere.


At this point I feel like I have a roommate, whose a best friend, sometimes with benefits.

Doesnt feel like a real relationship when it comes to the bond and closeness of wanting each other physically because we love each other...I feel she is intimate to keep me content and I dont care about the sex as a whole...I care about my wife WANTING to have sex....the whole thing I think irks her even because oral can transfer to genital.

I'm guessing I'm without answers since there is no cure for oral herpes.

My wife is an amazing women and I'll never leave her nor cheat on her, she is an angel who has been with me through some hard times. I'd die without ever having sex again if that's what it meant to stay with her. She deserves that much from me.

But is there an answer? Anyone?

Just feeling disconnected and lonely on the physical level I guess...well if you read this thanks for letting me vent....been going on for years now...just feel lonely sometimes and it sucks.

Anyways, thanks again and hope everyone else is dealing ok in their own situations

God's Speed for a Cure some day!

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Oh and I realized too after posting this that I think my real issue is actually that I make an effort for her by just not pressing the matter for 5 years because I know it hurts.

Yet when i ask her to just put her toes in the water there is no give at all.

I'm feeling like her fear of oral herpes is greater than her love for me in the sense that she wont even try a controlled study. Just kiss or oral for even 10 seconds then wait a month...try again...try to realize that isnt the ONLY trigger.

If I had to guess it was the frequency in itself. Not the act as a whole but at this point even kissing is out the window.

Human phobias are no joke. Just wish I could help her

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@Loving Husband 

Oh your post just makes me so sad. I wish I had something to say to make you feel better. I think there's something much deeper for her about this and it may not be fixable for her even with your help. I can't imagine spending the rest of my life in that situation because both parties have to be willing to work on this and it sounds like you are already becoming aware that she is not.  But I'm sure you will stick with this for as long as you feel you need to.  I don't know,  I hope someone else on here has some wiser words for you than I can provide. I'm a bit older than you and as I've written in other posts, I worked in an end-of-life field where I got to see what the dying are thinking about and regretting so I am hyper aware that life is too short to be wasted.  Just my too cents.

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Thank you so much for the reply.

Yeah, I'm coming to a realization that this may very well never change. So the question becomes will I leave my wife over oral sex or kisses?

No...she is the foundation for which I'm motivated every day to be a better man, I wouldnt leave her over this. I am greatly sadden because these are things I enjoy...of course.

I cant hardly imagine a life without them, atleast occasionally, but I told this woman one day that I'd be with her through sickness and health....she has my support no matter the outcome but yes. After this long, I sadly expect no changes or attempts, we havent tried counseling but I see no change because someone else suggests it. Mayne though, not coming from my mouth where of course its biased.

Either way, thank you for atleast responding.

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Would your wife be willing to go on suppressive therapy to see if that will keep her outbreaks from happening? The same as for any other medical condition that can be treated with medication, this may help her to feel more at ease with intimacy if she feels she has another method to control the outbreaks.

I also think she could benefit greatly from speaking with a therapist because her actions are not healthy for her or for your marriage. She is allowing her fear to affect not only her, but also your marriage. And while I applaud you for being so understanding and accepting of her refusal to be intimate with you in a real way, there will come a time where you will grow to resent her and it is not fair to either of you to be heading down that road.

My heart breaks for you because you both deserve to be happy and HSV should never get in the way of that. I cannot imagine what your wife went through to make her feel such shame about something that is really so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

Would your wife be willing to come here and post and read and get advice from those of us who have been there and done that?

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