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Friends' Reactions Left Me Hopeless


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I found out about three weeks ago I have HSV-2. I decided to share with a few close friends, as I knew I would need emotional support. What I didn't expect was how hopeless their responses would leave me feeling about my future. My best friend (female) immediately told me about a guy she had dated about four times when he disclosed to her he had herpes. She walked away because "nobody wants herpes!" When I pointed out that I was going to be the person everyone walked away from now, she tried to backtrack and say she hadn't liked him enough anyway, but it was too late. I got the point.

I also shared with a lifelong friend (male) who was my first boyfriend. We live several states away from each other now, but talk regularly on the phone and flirt and tease about visiting each other for a hook-up. His immediate response, after wanting to take a baseball bat to the guy who gave this to me, was the say, "Herpes is a deal-breaker for me and for most men." He, too, said, "No one wants herpes."

So now I'm feeling like I don't even want to try dating ever again. They're right. No one wants herpes. It is probably a deal-breaker for a vast majority of people when it comes to relationships. I don't consider myself a bad person -- I've been through a ton of therapy in my life to learn how to have healthy relationships and love unconditionally, and it might have been a deal-breaker for me if I was given the chance to make that decision. (Like most people, I was not.) So I'm having a hard time going along with the notion that I'll have a better relationship with someone who will accept the fact that I have herpes, because I don't think rejecting herpes necessarily means a person wouldn't be a good partner. I can't blame anyone for not wanting to risk getting an incurable disease.

For the record, I'm 49 and had gone nine years without sex before I met my "giver." I'm staring menopause in the eye and will probably lose most of my sex drive in a few years anyway, so what's the point? Has anyone made the decision to just let that part of their life be over and be happy being single and celibate -- key word being "happy?"

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I'm 60. I had been celibate 7 years and then dated someone for 9 months.  It fizzled and then I was celibate again for 4 years.  Then I was in a relationship 6 weeks when I found out I had herpes. My giver was not supportive and I was devastated.  Its now been 2 years and I met someone.   I was nervous about disclosing but I did and he was very understanding.   I'm not sure where this relationship is going but its a huge relief to get that first disclosure out of the way.  And to be honest, my sex drive has been stronger in my 50s than before.  For me sex has always been more mental than physical.  Please don't give up.  I was in your shoes 2 years ago and never thought I would have sex again. 

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So, I've had H since I was 23. I'm 61 now. I disclosed every time before sex and really didn't have too many problems at all with men not accepting it. I had one guy say he needed to think about it. He came back two weeks later and we dated for several months. I then met my late husband (he just passed away 4 months ago) who was head over heals in love with me and said he would be the last person I'd ever have to tell. He was correct. We almost made it 24 years married. He never got H from me. We had him checked every year. We mostly had oral sex (90 % of the time), but when we had intercorse, he chose to wear a condom (totally his choice)....then when i started anti viral meds, I had no more outbreaks at all and we stopped the condoms. I am now facing dating at some point. Not ready just yet as I'm still mourning. However, I am extremely fit as I weight train 5 days a week. I eat clean and take several supplements along with anti viral. From past experience, don't freak when you disclose. If you freak and cry and carry on, then they will definitely freak too. Just be frank and a bit matter of fact because it really is not a big deal. Remember to include in your disclosure that you are safer knowing you have this than all the other people who have no idea they have it! I've just been surfing some of the positive singles sites and trust me, there are millions out there with H and a lot of awesome people to choose from from lawyers, teachers, doctors. Ceo's etc normal people just like us

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/14/2020 at 7:55 PM, Sumshine said:

So, I've had H since I was 23. I'm 61 now. I disclosed every time before sex and really didn't have too many problems at all with men not accepting it. I had one guy say he needed to think about it. He came back two weeks later and we dated for several months. I then met my late husband (he just passed away 4 months ago) who was head over heals in love with me and said he would be the last person I'd ever have to tell. He was correct. We almost made it 24 years married. He never got H from me. We had him checked every year. We mostly had oral sex (90 % of the time), but when we had intercorse, he chose to wear a condom (totally his choice)....then when i started anti viral meds, I had no more outbreaks at all and we stopped the condoms. I am now facing dating at some point. Not ready just yet as I'm still mourning. However, I am extremely fit as I weight train 5 days a week. I eat clean and take several supplements along with anti viral. From past experience, don't freak when you disclose. If you freak and cry and carry on, then they will definitely freak too. Just be frank and a bit matter of fact because it really is not a big deal. Remember to include in your disclosure that you are safer knowing you have this than all the other people who have no idea they have it! I've just been surfing some of the positive singles sites and trust me, there are millions out there with H and a lot of awesome people to choose from from lawyers, teachers, doctors. Ceo's etc normal people just like us

@Sumshine Can I ask you something? Where you have had this virus for almost 40 years, were there ever times where the virus was worse and you would have more outbreaks or have your outbreaks been the same throughout the years? How long have you been on Antivirals and do you find that the Antivirals have worked steadily for the time you’ve been on them? I’m trying to get some insight on the virus as time goss on. I’m 35 and was diagnosed at 24. The first few years I had typical outbreaks with a sore every few months. I start antivirals and for 8 years had zero outbreaks. All of a sudden 2 years ago this virus started coming out with a vengeance and I’m at my wits end. Also the nature of the outbreaks have changed. I do not get sores anymore just swelling, irritation, nerve pains, sometimes redness bot internally and externally. Idk if this will be the rest of my life or if things will ever go back to how they were. I also eat well, take supplements, work out 5-6 days a week, etc I’m not stressed. Looking for some hope.

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@GreyhoundLover I think a lot of people have a negative reaction when herpes comes up because of the stigma surrounding it. There are so many people with this and everyone is afraid to talk about it which is why theres so much stigma. I only have one friend who I’ve confided in. She has oral herpes which is why I told her I have it genitally. She was so comforting and was like “it’s literally not a big deal, yes its uncomfortable when you have flare ups but don’t let it define you or let peoples ignorances define you.” My therapist was also very comforting. You deserve to be happy and find someone who makes you happy. Don't just shut down love and accept being single and celibate because of this. I know its hard but there are great people out there that herpes doesn’t matter to.

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  • 3 months later...
On 8/24/2020 at 10:34 PM, ash128083 said:

@Sumshine Can I ask you something? Where you have had this virus for almost 40 years, were there ever times where the virus was worse and you would have more outbreaks or have your outbreaks been the same throughout the years? How long have you been on Antivirals and do you find that the Antivirals have worked steadily for the time you’ve been on them? I’m trying to get some insight on the virus as time goss on. I’m 35 and was diagnosed at 24. The first few years I had typical outbreaks with a sore every few months. I start antivirals and for 8 years had zero outbreaks. All of a sudden 2 years ago this virus started coming out with a vengeance and I’m at my wits end. Also the nature of the outbreaks have changed. I do not get sores anymore just swelling, irritation, nerve pains, sometimes redness bot internally and externally. Idk if this will be the rest of my life or if things will ever go back to how they were. I also eat well, take supplements, work out 5-6 days a week, etc I’m not stressed. Looking for some hope.

Sorry, I don't get on here much at all. My outbreaks were very much the same over the years until I started anti viral. Nothing terrible, but I wanted no outbreaks! I have not had one since I started the meds. It's been over 5 years now.....I think. 

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On 8/14/2020 at 7:55 PM, Sumshine said:

So, I've had H since I was 23. I'm 61 now. I disclosed every time before sex and really didn't have too many problems at all with men not accepting it. I had one guy say he needed to think about it. He came back two weeks later and we dated for several months. I then met my late husband (he just passed away 4 months ago) who was head over heals in love with me and said he would be the last person I'd ever have to tell. He was correct. We almost made it 24 years married. He never got H from me. We had him checked every year. We mostly had oral sex (90 % of the time), but when we had intercorse, he chose to wear a condom (totally his choice)....then when i started anti viral meds, I had no more outbreaks at all and we stopped the condoms. I am now facing dating at some point. Not ready just yet as I'm still mourning. However, I am extremely fit as I weight train 5 days a week. I eat clean and take several supplements along with anti viral. From past experience, don't freak when you disclose. If you freak and cry and carry on, then they will definitely freak too. Just be frank and a bit matter of fact because it really is not a big deal. Remember to include in your disclosure that you are safer knowing you have this than all the other people who have no idea they have it! I've just been surfing some of the positive singles sites and trust me, there are millions out there with H and a lot of awesome people to choose from from lawyers, teachers, doctors. Ceo's etc normal people just like us

@Sumshine your story is very encouraging. I would like to know was it easy for your husband to accept you with H?whow did he not get it? Was he taking some meds as well?

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He was so crazy about me that he just didn't care about the H at all. His first response was " can't you just put a band aid on it??" I said "well, yes, that would be a condom!!" He absolutely 100% did not care at all to wear a condom. He never one time complained about it.  We had oral sex 95% of the time.....who doesn't like that. When we had regular sex, he wore a condom which was purely his choice. We did this until I started the anti viral, and then he never wore a condom after that. I had had H 20 years before he and I got together so my viral shedding was already significantly lower which happens after having it for so long. So, in addition to the low viral shedding, the anti viral cut it down even more. We had a very normal life together and great sex life. I think if someone really cares about you, H doesn't matter.  Now he's gone and I'm still young (62) and in excellent condition. I still workout religiously and am certain (at some point) I'll be disclosing again. I'm just not worried about it at all.

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