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Settling (settled) for a spouse


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Anyone on here settled because of H and married someone who also has it because you couldn't take the thought of passing it on to someone else?  I've been married for years, beautiful family, beautiful home, great job, looks from the outside like an amazing life.  But to get here, I settled.  I don't think I ever loved my wife and don't love her now.  I always feel and think had it not been for H, I would have married much better and differently.  Am I alone on this?

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Agree, sort of.  It depends if you are willing to risk infecting someone you love and want to marry.  I wasn't willing to do that.  Felt if I was with someone that wasn't infected, and later got infected for life from me, the relationship would never be equal.  So, didn't go down that road.  Now that's water under the bridge.  Herpes has helped lead me here.  Maybe I'm the only one who settled with another on a website or meeting group because they didn't want to infect another.  Unfortunately that's water under the bridge.  Just wondering if there is anyone else out there in a similar situation.  Would love to know and share feelings and thoughts on the matter.  

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If you aren’t happy you need to leave ! It’s not fair on either of you just staying out of convenience! I have literally found my soul mate, the happiest relationship I’ve ever had ( first one since my diagnosis 2 years ago) I literally had it in my head I wouldn’t Be able to have a relationship due to herpes but I have ! He doesn’t have it and he’s 100% accepting of me because he knows we are so good together and isn’t going to let this little skin condition come In the way ! 

what I’m saying is if you aren’t happy leave and you will both find other people more suited and willing to accept you, even after disclosing! I know you say you don’t want to infect someone you love but if you’ve told them of the risks and if you’re being safe by using either protection or Acyclovir  and avoiding sex during outbreaks then you’ve done as much as possible to prevent that risk and if she does catch it at least you know you did what you could and that she’s consented !  You need to change your attitude about this because it’s not healthy to let it impact you in such a level it is ruining your quality of life !  

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I can't imagine anything ruining my quality of life more than entering the dating scene as a divorcee in my 40s with an incurable STD.  Plus, I don't want to break up my family, I have kids.  That's great you and your spouse are willing to take on the risk of infection, I just couldn't do that to someone, much less someone I love, not after all I've been through with this.  So, I am where I am.  Maybe I'm unique, maybe no one has ever approached this disease like me in refusing to spread it and risk infection to another even if they are willing to risk infection.  But that's why I'm here, trying to write and talk with other people to get their perspectives.  I'm happy for you that the man you love, also loves you enough to risk a life long STD.  That's a special thing.  I hope you guys are life long partners and he goes through life without ever being infected.  That would be AWESOME and a real win against this disease.

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  • 1 month later...


  If you have no desire to leave the relationship and that option is totally off the table  then I won't tell you to end things.  I will encourage you to work on finding a way to love your wife.   

Have  a fresh approach to the situation.  Maybe learn to love the one you're with.  See your wife  in a different way.  With fresh eyes and heart.   Develop  the desire to want to love her.   Like,  wouldn't that be great if you did  love her?   So work on wanting to love your wife.   I believe  there are self help books on the topic  and meditations and all kinds of things you can do to develop love for someone. 

Maybe you do love her in a way,  there are different kinds of love,   but you're  not "in love"  or have ever Been "in love" with her but I'm sure you care for her.  There must be  some kind of connection there between you.     So build upon the positive things that  you have with her.  Think about all the things you have in common,  weigh up the positives versus the negatives.  

 You could look at this in a practical way.    

You're certainly not the first Person to have married someone because it was practical or convenient and seemed the right thing to do at the time.   And  sometimes those kinds of marriages can become strong and work well.  Comfortable and solid.   And there is nothing wrong with that.     You can even learn to love someone and that can grow into a deep love.  Arranged marriages in other cultures often work that way.    Maybe give up the romantic idea of love  which often can change over time anyway.    

And Not think that the grass maybe greener elsewhere or  have  regrets about your decision.   Make a firm decision that  you'll be the best husband you can be and find   love within yourself  for your wife. 

Also,  how does she feel about you?   I hope she's not unhappy.  Is it possible she senses it from you that you don't love her?  Maybe it is something you could talk about with her.   Not necessarily tell her that you don't love  her,  but find out how she's is feeling about your relationship now.  But like I said I think it is possible to develop love for someone.    You make a conscious choice about it and build upon the positive things about your wife that you enjoy.  And you could be a lot happier if you shifted your mindset.  





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Thank you Birds, that was a very helpful post.  You have no idea how much it helped. 

As with most relationships, the issue is probably not with her, it's with me.  At 42 yo now, I've had this disease for way more than half my life, I've had it since I was 16 from the first girl I kissed.  I've only EVER been monogamous.  And I guess with the pandemic on top of a typical sexual midlife crisis when going into your 40s, it's driven me to depression.  Not necessarily depressed about my current life, but the life I lost in my teens, 20s, and to a lesser extent in my 30s because of this disease. 

Oh well, I know most would say I have a perfect, charmed life if they knew me.  And I know many have it worse.  I just hate the havock this disease has caused me for so long.  And am so sick of the depression it has caused for decades.

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@VA2121 please dont feel bvb depressed. I think all of us are going through the same situation with this disease. Birds is right, you may have chosen your wife because of this disease but if your life is good you have lovely kids then work on developing love for her. If she loves you its not going to be fair for her if you leave now. Also I am 38, I don't know about you but I feel that at my age I am not sure if I will fall in love. If I find a partner the live might develop gradually. That can happen with you as well. You might need to work on it.

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I understand I do.    I have an Autoimmune disease that started in my early 20`s it really messed up my plans for my life.  It really effected my younger years as the autoimmune disease effects me physically.  I know it not the same story as yours but   I do understand about experiencing  a  sense of loss.   

You're grieving a sense of loss of your younger years,  some things you didn't get to experience.    Maybe you did want to play the field more,  have more experiences with dating and girls.  And you feel  you've missed out on things.     And it's possible you did but  honestly you  may have dodged some other bullets that may have been  worse and you avoided just a lot of crap.      Tell yourself you didn't miss out on anything.  That might help.  Lol. h

Things  happen to people in many different ways.     Our plans,  dreams can get changed in a blink of an eye  and  we end up on another path that we didn't expect.  And it can suck.  It sucked what happened to me and  It sucks what happened to you.  You were young,  and I feel for you,  that sisteen year old young man.  

So I think it's ok to Grieve, to feel sad, depressed about losing those years.  It is natural and understandable to feel that way.   I have experienced it myself.  But it's not good to stay in that grief for long.    You do have to move forward.    Grieve your loss of your younger years,  write a journal,    do some kind of ritual,   talk with someone about it,  get mad about it but then move forward and  let it go.    Don't  let it consume you.  

Maybe speak with someone regarding the depression.,  if you haven't already.  Therapy can be helpful if you find a good therapist.   I actually see one myself and she's helped me with things.  I have anxiety but also have had Depression too.   Maybe someone who understands chronic disease and  illnesses and how it can effect people's lives.  

You sound like a really nice guy.  And I hope you can find peace and acceptance  in all of this.    




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  • 2 months later...

@VA2121 just wondering how you are doing?  Re-evaluating and looking over your life in your 40s brings about many mid life crisis...me included. HSV definitely robes us in one way or another but what good is it to lament over it. I'm speaking from personal experience as I also still struggle with my diagnosis 20+ years later. As for your spouse I completely understand where you are coming from. However, try changing your prespective. Many married couples are miserable and end in divorce without HSV issues. I look at friends/families marriages  (without HSV issues) and theyve dealt with all kind of crap i.e infidelity, separations, drug abuse, babies outside of the marriage, domestic violence, etc. My point is the grass is not greener on the other side; try making an effort to work on yourself first and marital issues second. You might realize that you already have everything you need to find the joy in your life by changing your lens. 

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  • 3 months later...

I was married to a wonderful man for 25 years who didn't care I had H. He passed away March 31st 2020. He never aquired it from me. There are plenty of people who aren't going to care about H if they care about you. That's the bottom line!!! He loved me and never even mentioned H other than to say " I'll be the last person you ever have to tell." I'm still young and will definitely be disclosing my status as I have since age 23. If someone doesn't accept it, they aren't the one!

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