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Spouse has HSV2, I do not.. Concerns & Questions

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We've been together nearly 15 years.  Unprotected sex about 13 years.  About 9 months ago she cheated with a former friend of mine, they had a protected one night stand, which I found out about a day or 2 after. I'm guessing the guy has HSV2, ever since I knew him he was always cheating on his gf/wife. No idea though. Last time I contacted him to let him know I knew that he slept with my wife, he denied it and threatened me. Obviously I'm hurt and upset by her decision to hook up with him... she has been battling some anxiety and depression issues after we had a miscarriage... she caved under persuasion from him. We talked about it at length and this was the only time. We want to stay together, so I have forgiven even though the visions constantly play in my mind.

She had no symptoms or outbreaks after the one night stand. Fast forward to a month ago, she had a Brazilian wax a few days before Valentine's day. A week later she came down with some viral bug (sore throat with severely infected tonsils, swollen glands, high fever) that lasted 10 days. About 3 days in, she had what she assumed was a yeast infection that later led to 2 lesions on her vagina (one on the side, one at the bottom near her anus). Extreme pain. Dr. did a swab test that was positive for GHSV-2. Blood test confirmed (no igG was run though). I tested and it came back negative today. We have sex 4-5 times a week, almost always have. 

Did she possibly get HSV-2 at the waxing place? The severe outbreak was about 10 days later... Or did she get it from him 9 months ago? Or was it dormant for 15 years? ? (Yet I never caught it) 

Moving forward, we want to stay together and have sex as usual. I've worn condoms since, but I really dislike it... and we want to have kids. Do I just forget about it and go unprotected and avoid sex during outbreaks?  What is the transmission risk? Can I still give her oral without a dental dam? Also, she likes using a mini egg vibrator during penetration but now seems afraid to use it with a condom on me... worried the vibrator will tear her or the condom and cause an OB...

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  • Howl23 changed the title to Spouse has HSV2, I do not.. Concerns & Questions


First, thank you for sharing this experience with us. I am sure many can relate in some way to your experiences. Please know that this is not your fault, and you are a very kind human for forgiving your wife. I am so sorry that you both experienced a miscarriage; that can be very very heartbreaking and I cannot even imagine the grief you and your wife must be feeling. 

I am so sorry that your wife and that person were intimate. You did not deserve that. Forgiveness is so powerful, and one of my favorite songs is called Forgiveness by Matthew West. Listen to it! It's really heartwarming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lu5udXEZI

It also may be helpful for you and your wife to attend couples therapy, as it can help you heal and communicate. I'm sure your wife feels truly remorseful, and I am sure you feel very hurt. It can be really helpful to have a mediator to help you communicate and work together to be happy so you can start a beautiful family! 

Has she ever gotten a bikini wax before, and if so, from this center? 

Also, you said it was not an IgG blood test, so it must have been an IgM bloodtest? This means the infection is very recent, as IgM antibodies are the first to spike in numbers and then slowly decrease as IgG antibodies build up in number. 

Because of the severity of these symptoms (flu-like) it seems this was her primary outbreak. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the average incubation period for an HSV infection to show up is 4 days, but the range is 2-12 days. So, the fact that this suddenly showed up a month after the incident seems it is unlikely it was contracted from the guy.

Herpes and other viruses like molluscum contagiosum can pass via waxing, because they are spread via skin to skin contact (so if the wax person reused the same gloves, spatula/wooden wax spreader stick, or just didn't clean the establishment/table.

Also, if someone already has HSV, getting a wax can trigger an outbreak (because it irritates the skin, and if someone already has a sore it actually opens up the skin and causes microscopic cuts where the virus can spread to). However, since this seems like your wife's first outbreak, you don't need to worry about this.  

In terms of physically intimacy, there are basically 4 options: 

1) suppressive medication: antiviral medication taken daily to help reduce the likelihood of viral shedding (which reduces likelihood of passing it to you).

2) condoms: internal or external condoms can be used. If you don't like condoms, she could try an internal one. 

3) suppressive medication and condoms: using both antiviral medicine and condoms

4) none of the above

Here is a sheet that explains the safety percents when condoms and/or suppressive medication are used. https://assets.website-files.com/5bad419cb04cd52dae8f7a89/60bf0e3302177fcd83cd1752_herpes-opportunity-disclosure-handout-2021.pdf

It also might helps to have a talk with your wife's OBGYN about everything. HSV can impact childbirth (but don't worry! Modern medicine is wonderful!) so it would be great to talk to the OBGYN about it. Also, the OBGYN can talk to you both about how to have safe intimacy and different antiviral suppressants, should your wife choose to take it. Make sure not to pressure her to take them; it is her choice and you are in a partnership, so of course you can offer your opinion but allow her to feel supported and accepted no matter her choice. Being diagnosed with the very judged virus can really be crushing, but remember- and remind her too- that it's society's stigma of H that makes us feel bad. Socially-constructed stigmas have no true weight, and they are incorrect and are fueled by judgement, fear, and lies. Focus on the science and the truth, that H is a common virus and that you can still be a wonderful parent, spouse, and human regardless of H!

Stay strong and stay hopeful. Support your wife while getting support yourself. You have been under stress, so make sure you are leaning on others in your support network and that you are taking care of yourself. 

I am praying for you and your wife.









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Thanks for the kind support! We've been through a lot this past year or so. Most would likely go their separate ways. I've thought about it.. but at 40+ that is tough to start over. We have a business and home, etc. together. Our personal situation is unique, which I won't elaborate on that now, but gives us motivation to move forward together. 

She had a wax at this place before maybe around the time she cheated (within a month or 2). It has excellent reviews but it is in a weird mostly industrial area (odd....). So based on what you said it does align with my thought that she was exposed there. vs. with him. Would any test result help determine that? We aren't sure what test they ran, they only told her it was positive for HSV2 and negative for HSV1. She is seeing her OBGYN in about a week.

Based on the link you shared, the risk without protection is 4%. I think I'd rather take the chance.. as I have no desire to re-enter the dating scene even if we separate some day. I know HSV has a lot of stigma and is mostly a skin disorder. I have bas psoriasis in a few areas, which also has a stigma (grosses people out).

The cheating is never justified.. Apparently they had secretly been hanging out and texting as friends a few times over 6 months. She swears it was only sexual the one time.  After all we went through I think it does explain her vulnerability and I am 100% sure he was the one to take it to a sexual level and persuade her at that vulnerable week (we had some bad news). I still am haunted by the mental images of them being intimate... more so because I know what he is like... He is a fit, ripped bad boy with a criminal record... and that is not what she has ever been into. We both had known him for 10 years. He knew how to play the friend card to get some action 😞




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It's great that you both can see past this mistake and move forward. It's how you get through the struggles in a relationship that really matters and shows who you are and how much you care about each other. 

Honestly, so many places could even be clean and still people could get sick. All it takes is one technician/salon employee to forget or neglect to practice sanitary practices for someone to contract a bacterial or viral infection. 

Sadly, there aren't any tests that help determine a date-specific result. Even IgG and IgM tests can be iffy because sometimes people's IgM numbers randomly spike back up, even after their primary outbreak. And, many times those who have had HSV for 12+ weeks (the time it takes for IgG antibodies to build up to detectable numbers) still receive false negative results.

Since the text she came back positive for was a swab test, and then it was confirmed by blood, it seems it would be an IgG test, because that is the only test that can differentiate between the two strains. However, this would also possibly mean she has had it for 12+ weeks (unless a false positive occured that just happened to seemingly validate the swab test result). I would ask the doctor who diagnosed this about which blood test they utilized to confirm the diagnosis, or if they only relied on the swab, etc. 

That guy sounds like a scum bag 💩. Yes, the unfaithfulness is not justifiable and you did not deserve that. Maybe her self-esteem and self-image were  quite low at the vulnerable time, as people often gravitate towards those who validate how we feel about ourselves. When we feel bad about ourselves, we make choices that either validate these feelings or even self-sabotage. Furthermore, operators like this loser know how to manipulate those who are in a vulnerable state, and take advantage of them. He is a jerk. I don't care how ripped and cool you think you are-- if you act like a disrespectful jacka**, you are a disrespectful jacka**, and that is unacceptable. Thankfully, your kindness, forgiveness, and history of building a life together with your wife have so much more weight than these rough patches. Talking to a therapist might help you work through letting go of the images that pop in your head. You can also try tapping, a form of meditation that is amazing. Here is one of my favorites for intrusive thoughts: 


You can also try the introduction to tapping video first, and check out his other amazing videos. 

Stay strong! 

Blessings to you and you wife!




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Thanks again for the information and support! 

So you're saying it may not have been from the recent waxing? I would think that if it was from the cheating 9 months prior, that she would have had some sort of outbreak back then? The extreme outbreak and flu like illness aligned about 10-12 days after waxing. I've read a bunch online that usually the first outbreak is the worst. I'll see if the test has more details, or at her next visit they can do another test.

Yes the guy is a real jerk, threw away his marriage for a bunch of college girl side action. He was cheating before marriage too. I even told him he shouldn't get married. He's a drug addict, alcoholic, racist, sociopathic liar with rage issues. Sadly he had 2 kids with his ex and I'd bet there are more he isn't aware of or is ignoring. The guy is bad to the core, just puts on a good act. I never thought he would do this with her, he always had plenty of girls to choose from. Apparently he was on court ordered sober house arrest and played up the lonely friend card. She hid the hanging out and texting from me. She said he wanted to hook up the first time they hung out and she drew the line and said friends only. Visit #5 "he crossed the line" and she gave in... Had I known sooner that they were texting I would have definitely put a stop to it and clued her in on his ways...😞She doesn't know the real him... She knew he had hit rock bottom from addiction though. She didn't know he was a serial cheater.

I think she truly regrets it and I don't think she would do it again with any other guy... I guess part of me thinks it could have been worse.. it could have been her falling in love with a guy, or getting a more serious STD. I'm working on putting it behind us.


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Yes, so since correlation doesn't inherently mean causation, technically it could have been from the waxing place and hypothetically it couldn't have been. However, yes, the time frame aligns perfectly! Oops, sorry, I also just realized the incident happened nine months ago! I think I thought it was one month ago (but then I just realized that is when the waxing happened!) So, yes, the time frame aligns perfectly with the likelihood of this being the primary outbreak, especially because of the flue like symptoms and everything. 

Ugh, what a chump. Sadly so many cruel people prey on the kindness of others, and it 's terrible. If anything, this guy could have been jealous of you and just wanted to drag happy people down with him. It's just so cruel. With people like that, I just give it to God. Let the anger and frustration go; as a close family friend once said, "Don't let the bastards get you down!"

I am so happy that you and your wife are moving forward. Truly shows the power of love! Stay strong and be kind to yourself. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd like to correct an information here.

HSV is transmitted from skin to skin contact. There is NO WAY she got it from the wax, unless she had sex with the waxer. The HSV virus does not live in superfices and needs a mucous membrane to spread.

Please, read this article. Something that really helped me was to trust in scientific knowledge specialized in this subject (even doctors are ignorant about it) and stop looking for videos or information. Some places will tell you that the test is not accurate, others that it is, others that the only way is with an outbreak. You will find different ways to approach the virus (some people don't even care), some people don't care about disclossure, others yes; some people think HSV-1 is the same as HSV-2. Here is the right scientific information, read it, understand the virus in your on way, and make your decissions. I wish you the best. The scientist is Terri Warren, you can also watch videos of her on YouTube. 


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  • 1 month later...

I think the hardest part of all of this for you will be being able to continue on sleeping with your wife as if nothing happened between her and your friend...  You know they did and so that will stick in the mind...  I know this from experience of course... my relationship was never the same with her after that...

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