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Feeling down

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I can't believe I'm on here. I can think of about a billion things I would rather be doing, no offense, than being on here...


I did something really stupid. I had unprotected sex with a guy I didn't know all that well on three occasions in four days, the first time of which was on our first date. Then we were both busy with our kids leading up to Thanksgiving that we couldn't get together for a couple of weeks.


We had made plans well in advance and I thought we were going to have an amazing time. I went to his house and instead of a night of snuggling and giggling and passion, I got the lovely experience of a pale-faced man trembling as he told me that he has HSV-2 and never should have had sex with me in the first place. He's known for two years and chose not to disclose.


I was actually pretty understanding. People make mistakes. Often big ones. Human nature and all...


Well, he was clear when we were together, but literally the day after our last encounter he broke out. Great.


I really liked him despite his bonehead move, so I offered to still date him, but he turned me down. Wow. Talk about a major burn. So he used me, possibly infected me, and dumped me.


He told me this on November 30th and I've been feeling like a bomb waiting to go off ever since. I didn't know how long I needed to wait for an accurate test so I figured I'd just give it a few weeks. Not like I'm looking to hop into bed with anyone else anytime soon after THAT.


Well, yesterday, I noticed a bump. And then two. And then five. And now the bumps are all over one area, but they don't look like blisters at all, more like just raised skin, almost like goosebumps. I was checking it constantly yesterday, every time I went to the restroom, and I was horrified to see it get slowly worse throughout the day.


Today it hasn't changed. But then tonight I had a very stressful encounter with my boss' wife and then another stressful encounter with my ex and after getting off the phone with my ex I used the restroom and it burned so I felt and I think I have an ulcer. It feels like just a sore, open spot right at the opening.


So, yeah, I'm 99.99999% sure I have it. I'm just missing the positive test.


I don't know what to think about it or how to feel. Mostly I just feel incredibly stupid to have misjudged this guy's character so much and to find myself burned yet again in life by my lack of ability to read other people accurately. I'm so naive.


I am less disgusted by the consequences than by the choices that led me here. I feel like I've fallen off the moral high ground and am being punished. I acted like a total slut. I deserve this.

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I'm proud of you for coming on here. Being on here doesn't mean you're dirty or disgusting. Nope. It ACTUALLY means that you're wanting to get knowledgeable about this. And with knowledge comes normalization. And with normalization comes acceptance. What it ACTUALLY means is that you are taking care of yourself. You are reaching out for support. That is self-care. And self-care is critical to healing. You've come to the right place, tbt. So don't make the fact that you're here mean that you're a slut. Don't make it mean that you deserve to be punished. You have already punished yourself enough, I'm sure. Beating yourself up doesn't help at all. (Take it from someone who did it for years — this guy. I had to go to therapy more for how I treated myself for years after getting herpes than for the herpes itself!) Sluts don't get herpes and herpes doesn't go for sluts. It's an equal opportunity virus. And yes, you may have made some miscalculated judgments. But that doesn't mean you're stupid. We've all made less-than-brilliant moves in our lives. (Again, this guy.) ;) Welcome to being human. Welcome to being imperfect. The sooner you can accept what happened as a misstep and not you being stupid, the better you can heal from this and still continue to live an awesome, totally lovable life. What can you learn about yourself right now? What can you learn about accepting yourself and healing that same part of yourself that wanted that connection with a man who ended up not reciprocating? There's a deep desire in you that feels really tender. That's the part that I want to take care of. That's the part I want to protect from your own judgment. That's the part that just wants to be loved.

This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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tbt - first - Welcome. Glad you found us... this is one of the best places I have seen for support (and I've had this since I was about 17 and I'm 52 now...so I've seen a lot of H groups in my day.


Sorry your fellow ran away but I expect that he was so mortified that he had likely infected you that he just couldn't bear to stay. If YOU think you feel "dirty", imagine what is going through his head right now. He probably thinks he is the ultimate low-life .... figured he "knew" his symptoms and wouldn't infect someone. Likely your multiple romps actually are what triggered his outbreak... I don't think he "used you and dumped you". I think he went in with "good intentions" but he's just so embarrassed he can't face you. Right now he's probably considering becoming a Monk because of his error of judgement. :(


Or to put is in another perspective. I got my HSV2 in my first sexual encounter at 17 with an older guy. Like you, I really didn't know him. I was just being a typical 17 yr old girl who was flattered that an older guy showed her interest and I did something really stupid. Looking back on it, I am thankful I only got Herpes... I *could* well have gotten pregnant .... and given that he truly DID use me, I would have been a 17 yr old mom....well before I was emotionally mature enough to deal with it. As it is, I can look back and say I made a gross error of judgement.


To be honest, I think your guy had a lot more integrity than mine - at least he told you when he broke out... I found out the hard way years later AFTER I got married and gave it to my (now ex) husband. Your guy just couldn't face you after doing that to you.


So I am going to pass your words about him back to you. You said you were pretty understanding .. that "People make mistakes. Often big ones. Human nature and all... ". So why can't you give that love, compassion, and understanding to yourself? You were willing to give it to a guy you hardly know after all ;)


Be gentle on yourself.... I know this is scary and it will take time to adjust to the reality of having Herpes, but in the grand scheme of things, it really, truly COULD be worse...




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It could be worse. I don't feel like it is the end of the world or my life, but I am obviously kicking myself for my choices. But, you're right, it was a mistake and I can't obsess over what I might have done differently. It is in the past.


Now I'm wondering if I should tell him. ?


Maybe punch him. Hard.


Or f*ck him. Hard.


Or both. LOL

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Herpes sucks but I think the guy felt guilty and didn't want you hanging what he did on your head for the rest of his life. Somebody gave it to him without disclosing as well. Look at Michael Douglas with his wife and what it did to them. He never disclosed either.

Time heals all though. Much better to have herpes than mental illness which you will have if you do not get over it quickly.

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Well, I'm not too worried about mental illness. I think if life were gonna make me crazy it would have happened by now. ;)


I am going to tell him. I have about a billion things I want to unload on him and I see no reason why I shouldn't get it off my chest and let him have it.


I promise no punching or anything else. LOL



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i'm all about being honest with your feelings. whether someone did something intentional or not (although in this case, it errs more on the side of intentional), it doesn't mean you don't get to feel the way that you feel. so go for it. unload on him and get those feelings out.


but i would also practice some empathy. for example, the person who probably exposed me to herpes has been very effective in avoiding me ever since i called him with the news. and what upset me more was not so much having herpes, but the fact that he had been avoiding me. the way i see things is shit happens in life, and this is just one of those shit moments that you later realize isn't all that terrible compared to what else is out there (cancer, HIV, physical and sexual violence, etc etc).


and i told him as much. i confronted him about avoiding me, and how that made me feel. but i also acknowledged the fact that perhaps he isn't coping with this news as well as i am, and is stuck in his own head. and while i wish he didn't spend so much time rationalizing away the possibility that he could have given me herpes (thus rationalizing the need to contact his ex), i also get that he needs to process this in his own way and in his own time. and him avoiding me is more about him, and very little about me.


so maybe give the guy some time and space. if you still want to be with him despite the herpes and recent behavior, then show him some empathy to help relieve him of some of the guilt that he's probably feeling right now. we all make mistakes, but we don't always want to be reminded of those mistakes. and being with you might be this big reminder of the time he made a big mistake and affected someone else's life.


and just to touch on the feeling of "deserving" this - i don't think your actions mean you deserve anything. i used protection with this guy, and we slept together on the first date (given, we also have known each other for years, and we just happened to finally be single at the same time), and i still go herpes. you can be as careful, informed, and responsible and you might still get herpes. and sometimes i think "man, if i just chose not to sleep with this guy, i might have been home free." but then again, it might not have been that guy, but another one down the road.


but if this experience makes you rethink some of your choices and how you go about dating, and that is going to make you feel better as a person then go for it! regardless, the fact that you are looking inwardly and re-evaluating yourself is a good thing no matter the result!

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lamentj - I am an empathetic person. Hell, the night he told me I still spent the night with him. No hanky panky, but I slept all cozy in his arms. I understand he made a bad decision and I acknowledge that shit happens so I'm not going into this with guns blazing. But I do have questions I need answers to so I can wrap my head around this. I am very recently divorced because my husband of 15 years turned out to be gay. So to say I have self-esteem issues where sex is involved is probably an understatement. And I imagine it has everything to do with why I fell into bed with this guy - because feeling sexy and desireable is something I've craved my whole life and I never got that from my ex. So I'm a sucker for a man that wants me. When this guy and I were texting in the week after we had been together, everything was great and fun and sweet, but I told him I was emotionally guarded because I can't bear to get hurt again. And when I said that I felt the vibe between us change. I don't know if his outbreak inspired his honesty or if my words were the catalyst, but regardless I know I would rather know than not so I'm glad he told me the truth. Otherwise, honestly, even with my current symptoms I don't think I would think I had anything. I need to know his thoughts. I'm not going to yell or cry, but I do want him to give me honest answers.

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As for me reminding him of his mistakes and the possibility that he may want to avoid that reminder, well, that part I'm not so empathetic about. I mean, I now have a very real reminder of my mistake that I can't get away from. So if I am too real a reminder for him, he needs to man up.


Suck it up, buttercup. You don't get to play the victim in this scenerio. I call that role. LOL

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Ok, so I have to laugh. I was talking to my sis about an argument with my ex and not knowing about my current situation she said, "That man is the herpes you can't get rid of. Every time you let your guard down there's another outbreak of douchebaggery."


Oh, her choice of words!

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hey tbt!


first i had to laugh about your sister said, and second an apology if it seemed i was saying you had no empathy! definitely not my intention. i definitely support you in wanting to get answers and being honest with how you're feeling. and i agree you don't need to be empathetic about the fact that you might remind him of a mistake, i was more trying to say that him avoiding you probably has less to do with you (and how wonderful you were to want to continue dating him despite what he did), and more about him feeling guilty and ashamed about his own actions.


good luck!

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We met for lunch. It went really well. He was genuinely sad that I have it. He apologized again and again. He answered all of my questions in a forthright way.


I said my lecture bit. About how poorly he has handled this. I'm sure it is great for him because he gets to turn his back and pretend like it never happened, but I have to live with the consequences. And I don't know if it is worse that he was willing to write me off like that or, well... The obvious.


He said he just was really hoping I hadn't gotten it and maybe if he broke it off I would never get it and it would somehow be okay.


I made him swear he will never do this to someone else. He was looking down. I told him to look at me and promise me he will never ever do this again. He did.


Once I got that out, I calmed right down. It was like all the angst I've felt over him was gone. I just needed to say my piece.


Ensue flirtatious banter.



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So glad you had a chance to say your piece so you can be at peace!


He said he just was really hoping I hadn't gotten it and maybe if he broke it off I would never get it and it would somehow be okay.


Do you get it how much he cares for you? At some point he woke up and realized he "could" have passed it to you and (likely knowing how he reacted) he just couldn't bear to think about doing that to you. IE: He is living with the shame and self-deprecation that we battle on here. Proving how "un-lovable" he is by walking away.


Whatever happens, you found your voice and that is fantastic. And good for you for asking him to act with integrity in the future. Powerful stuff :)



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WCS - I honestly believe he is a good person that had a grave error in judgment. You called his reasoning... He said he had let his guard down - that he hadn't had an outbreak in a while - that he thought he would know if he was going to have one - he thought it would be safe and maybe he could feel normal for a while... Then the outbreak. And suddenly he felt terrified that he may have infected me and felt like he needed to do everything he could to keep me from continuing to expose myself. So when I was still willing to date him he felt like he had to be harsh, to swear me off so I would stay away so he could prevent me from exposing myself again. Because he knew we couldn't be just friends with the crazy chemistry between us. Oh my is there some crazy chemistry between us! He said he feels responsible for me now. He offered to pay for testing and medication - encouraged me very pointedly to get checked out and medicated. He asked if there is anything he could do "besides just not being an asshole". LOL. I told him not being an asshole would be enough for now. So we are friends again. No need to avoid each other now seeing as the damage is already done.

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he thought it would be safe and maybe he could feel normal for a while..


I think we can all relate to that.... and I think you are right - we all make errors of judgement.....and it seems that he has a conscience ... and you have to give him credit for that.


Glad you seem to be working through things with him ... one day at a time. Good luck :)

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peterk ...


we actually DO have a fair number of Europeans on here - in general they are a bit more laid back but there are still plenty of H+ people over there freaking out every bit as much as they are here... we've had several of them on here in recent weeks.


IMO the stigma has got worse over here over the years. It wasn't a big deal when I got it in the 70's. I think HIV got people really paranoid about STD's - but at the same time it took funding from herpes while they tried to find a cure for AIDS - and then along came the advertising for Valtrex telling us to protect the world from our plague and it was a recipe for mis-informed fear-mongering. I came to that conclusion before I read Adrial's blog here:



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