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This is a little long so please bear with me...

I've been with my partner for 2.5 years. The first year was all LDR (long distance relationship) because of Covid and right before we finally met, my SO asked me to get a STD test. I had to push for it but the doctor eventually tested herpes too and I was shocked to find I was HSV2 positive. My initial infection was either 1 year old or over 20 and I am asymptomatic.
After much too and fro and emotional pain we still met up and we stayed together, had unprotected sex and she didn't catch it. We were full on soulmates in love.

We then went back to LDR for another 10 months (thanks Covid), and she suffered a lot of anxiety about HSV in this time. We broke up several times but got back together.

I got 3 months work where she lived so we effectively lived together for 3 months. It was great, lot so of love and lots of sex.

Then back to LDR and anxiety.

In June she visited me and I proposed to her and she said yes!! I was so happy. We both were. I plan to move there in January. No more LDR!!

But since August there has been a lot of anxiety and we broke up again a few times. And got back together.

On Thursday I am flying out for her birthday. We spoke today and she had been distant recently on texts. Today she told me she couldn't do it. She couldn't face the prospect of catching hsv from me. This close to my visit and also me finally moving to her city, this feels final. I am devastated. She says she loves me and she is very upset about this, that she doesn't want to lose me, but she has severe anxiety about catching hsv and having severe extreme outbreaks (like a friend of hers). I don't know what I can do because I can never say there is no risk.

This feels like the end of such a beautiful relationship, that was gong to be permanent and it's not my fault. Not her fault either. I am distraught now. I hate God, hate the universe, feel betrayed by both. I am so angry that we could both find the partner of our dreams and then have this to break us up.

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Im sorry you and your partner are going through this.  I know that having herpes can feel like a devastating thing sometimes and the thought of getting it can probably be a little worse since they(your partner) are afraid of what their expectations of herpes can be.   I have read some of your past posts so I know you have talked about taking suppressive medication and sometimes using condoms to reduce the risk of transmission.  You have probably already done this since you have been in this relationship for quite some time but educating your partner can maybe help with the anxiety.  If you are asymptomatic, does that mean that you have never had an outbreak and that you just tested positive from a blood test? 

It could be possible that your partner may already have this and doesn't know it.  I had a blood test done in 2015 and it was positive for HSV1 and I didn't have my first outbreak until July of 2022.   HSV is so common these days and the stigma around it can be terrifying to someone who doesn't have it.  Just try to be understanding that your partner is frightened and help with the anxiety as much as they will let you.  

I hope things work out for you because everyone deserves love, even people who don't think they do.  

  • Like 1
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Hey. I saw this message and I've read your story before -it was an inspiration for me and disclosing. I'm really disheartened by what's going on now and want to support you going through this in any way I can. I created this account just to reach out to you.

My reddit username is chapstick1520 as well and we can DM there if you'd like.

But if she really, truly loves you, then this isn't the dealbreaker. I'm sorry but you don't turn down someone you love for someone like this. You don't accept a proposal and say you love someone only to do this spiel over and over again.

I reckon she's probably going through another fit of anxiety and if you went there in person she probably changes her tune. But at the same time, if she's been doing this for 2.5 years she is STRAIGHT-UP damaging your mental health. That's emotional abuse. You don't deserve that. Again, feel free to message me whenever is good for you. I'm a 30M with HSV2.

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Thank you both for your comments.
To be honest, apart from my last visit a month ago, my partner and I have only rarely used condoms at all. And I know they offer 96% reduction of transmission risk but my partners anxiety runs wild when we're apart and by the time we are talking about it , it is already out of control. I've used Valaclovir alwasy though as a supressent.
I've never knowingly had an outbreak. It's possible in my twenties as those days are a bit of a blur but if I hadn't had the blood test nearly 2 years ago I wouldn't have known. I'd had a one night stand (with protection) a year before that, and was married for the previous 20 and my wife never mentioned it. It just wasn't on my radar. So I don't know if I caught it from the one night stand, my ex wife, or from when I was younger, in which case, why did my wife not get it (unless she was asymptomatic too).

My partner now doesn't have it. She has hsv1 since she was a kid. And I have hsv2 but not hsv1. Sucky luck.
As it stands right now we are broken up. And I am getting on a plane in 10 hours to be there for her birthday, although now I don't know if I'll see her.
Chapstick, thank you for the offer. I am really touched that my story previously inspired you. I'll DM you.

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Well I just read that asymptomatic shedding only occurs 1% - 3% of the time for HSV2 positive people.  Plus if you are taking the Valtrex regularly, that would be even less.  

I hope you have safe travels and everything works out the way that you want them to.  

  • Like 1
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Thank you Allikat. I didn't know this. That is better than I though. Can you share a link?  I recently learned that shedding doesn't make it certain you're transmiting. You also need to reach a certain viral load to be able to pass it on. The information on this is so muddy.

I think my infection is more than 20 years old so I hope my chances of passing it on are very low, but unfortunately I just don't know.

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Do condoms help prevent the spread of genital herpes?

Yes. To prevent transmission of herpes, we recommend that condoms be used 100% of the time. Many patients will shed the virus and be contagious when they don’t have symptoms. Studies have shown that asymptomatic shedding occurs between 1% and 3% of the time in patients with HSV II genital infections. Many new herpes infections occur from partners who are shedding the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are highly recommended.

Condoms may not be an attractive option for monogamous couples or for couples who desire to become pregnant. Couples may opt to have serological tests to determine if either partner has an asymptomatic infection. In close monogamous relationships, the risks of transmission can be weighed against other relationship issues, such as intimacy and pregnancy.


https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/herpes-hsv1-and-hsv2/genital-herpes#:~:text=Many patients will shed the,with HSV II genital infections.

This is where I got that from 🙂 

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Guest Fatladysangnocure

Condoms do NOT always prevent the spread of Herpes .A person can have an OB anywhere on their body. Touch/rub against it/them , and well..

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Guest Fatladysangnocure

I have  TOLD a woman, I have Herpes. I  loved her . My "LOVE" for "LIFE">>  GONE. She caught Herpes in her EYE, and I never heard from her again. Shattered. Anyone, who says Herpes is ONLY a skin Rash, or you told that person, and they knew the risks, can go to HELL. I am existing now.

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