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New here, need to finally talk about this

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I am a 55 yo woman. I contracted Herpes (not sure which kind) about 26 years ago. I do not know who gave it to me since it did not show up right away (it's a toss up between two individuals). Anyway, that really doesn't matter at this point. I met my husband right after I got the first lesion. He did not have H or did not know he did. To this day, he does not show any signs of which I am very thankful.


As for me, I only had 3 OB's that I knew of the first 25 years. Last April, I got a nasty one that lasted 2 weeks or more. Right after that I started having pain off and on every other week, but never could feel or see anything. I finally just went to the doctor today and she found 4 active lesions. What joy. So, she gave me a prescription to heal them faster and said there is something that I can take FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE which will stop them from being so bad. I didn't even know I had these as they are high up and not on the outside. I really hate the idea of taking medication like that, but maybe I should?


My husband and I have been using condoms ever since last April when there was that bad one. I don't want him to even touch me down there as I am afraid he might rub his eyes or something. I would rather not even have relations at all. Now I have to tell him tonight that all this past year, I probably had something going on the whole time. And I will tell him that I want to take a break from se*. He will understand, but won't be very happy about it.


I also need to know if I should be tested to see what kind I have, 1 or 2. Any advantage in that? And should I take medication to ward off any more attacks or are there better things I can do to for self help? Or maybe something to do for self LOVE? I'm not liking myself much right now.

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hello notperfect. others im sure will chime in, others with more experience than I. first off welcome and breathe. sounds like the doctor was suggesting suppressive therapy. that's where you take an antiviral daily to help lower your Outbreaks ( heretofore known as OBs) and lessen your chance to pass along this little critter, its usually for those who have herpes who are in a relationship. the type thing is up to you, other know more about that than I. I do know that if you have 1 or 2 and they are in the opposite biosphere they don't tend to shed or cause OBs as much. I have the big number 2 myself and its obvious where it likes to cause me grief. don't give up on sex with your hubby. there is more than intercourse by the way :) he may want to get tested but in all honesty if he is still with you it may not be an issue for him. I mean how long have you been intimate and he hadn't knowingly caught it? im thinking he has been there for 26 years he is in it for the long haul. on suppressive you just need to be aware of OBs and be careful , wear protection. and theres no reason to not love yourself, you did nothing wrong.

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Oh, but I did do something wrong and I can't seem to forgive myself. That's where I have a big problem with all this. I love to beat myself up about it. Even 26 years later. And yes, my husband has been with me this whole time. We had unprotected sex for 20 of those years. He's never had an issue, but I know many people never show symptoms.


He just came home and was very sweet about the whole thing. He thinks it's no big deal, but I don't see it that way. It's my body that hurts about 50% of the time and I am the one who feels gross and wash my hands until they also hurt. I am just po'd at myself all the time. I guess I have to learn to forgive ME for what happened.

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Sweetie be kind to yourself.


You are sooooo super lucky to have a man that supports and loves you like that. Stop and enjoy that instead of punishing yourself for it.


All those symptoms may not be h related. It could be menopause etc as there are some similar symptoms. You will never know and for now it doesn't matter.


You and ur hubbie get a type specific blood test so u both know why each of u has. If u both have hsv2 it's very likely genitally only and in this case no precautions are necessary to avid transfer of the h devil!!!


If you have h and he doesn't well u can go on suppressive therapy and use condoms and that decreases ur risk tremendously.


If you have hsv1 then I gess wih genital symptoms u have it genitally there. If ur hubby has no symptoms then if he Tess positive for hsv1 then he could hbe it either place. Oral or genital. Either way he has antibodies and it will protect him. Hsv1 is trickle to diagnose wih no symptoms.


Anyway I on my phone and rushing. Sorry. Hope dancer chimes in soon


Hug ur hubbie. Kiss him. Please him in other ways sexually. I am sure he won't mind. ;)

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Ok friend.... lets get real here. From what you say, you made a mistake a long time ago ... I assume after you got married? Or perhaps with someone else (one of the 2 guys?). Whatever it is, it's in the past!!! LEAVE IT THERE! Dragging it back up now isn't worth anything, and it won't change anything. Your husband seems to have no issue with it, so please don't bring it back into your life. Don't stop having sex ... at least, not in the long run.


So you have started to get more lesions and have some internally? Odd are you could have been having OB's all along and not known it. Which means odds are your hubby has H. Not a guarantee, but very, very possible. So here's my suggestion:


1) Get BOTH of you type tested. Because if you have, say, HSV1 genitally and he has it (oral or genital) that would explain why he doesn't seem to be having OB's... he may have it orally and have the antibodies. In which case you would likely only want the anti-virals for episodic OB's.


2) Odds are the cause of your OB's now is menopause/hormonal changes. It may be a temporary blip while your body is working to adapt to the changes in all those lovely chemicals.


3) You may want to try the FC2 Female condom ... I know older men don't do as well with condoms and you both will get plenty of sensation AND it covers more area. I've heard mixed reviews but it's worth a try ;)


4) Self love? Sounds like you need therapy. Or come to the H-Opp weekend this weekend. Self love is on the top of the menu for the participants :)


I'm going to give you some links to look at - check them out ... I think they may help :)




Handouts + disclosure e-book:






Herpes facts video
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No, it wasn't after I was married. I have never been with anyone else after my husband came into my life. It was before I knew him. I will see if he wants to be tested (I doubt it, but will ask him). I will do the test soon for myself. Once I grow some thicker skin (or get some therapy it seems), I will maybe be back with other questions. Spilling my guts isn't something I do often. Now I know why.

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Tell him it will help YOU to feel better if he gets tested. There's an 80% chance he's got it and doesn't know it. If he has it then you have nothing to fear - you cant give him *more* of the virus at this point ;)


Spilling your guts is GOOD for you. Keeping all this in has obviously eaten at you for 26 years. Time to let it go. Time to forgive yourself for something you did a whole lifetime ago. The situation that brought it about is long past. You learned from it, you have had 26 years (and congratulations for that... you've beaten all the odds there!) with a man who obviously loves you, and I'm betting you are a wonderful person who no-one would guess is beating herself up about something she did so long ago ;)


This is an amazing video about spilling your guts... check it out :)


Kirsty Spraggon Ted Talk “You are only as Sick as Your Secrets

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So, confession is good for the soul. I wonder how many take this secret to the grave? I subscribe to the theory of 4 main types of people. (You can find its most basic form called Four Temperaments on Wikipedia.) I am melancholic. This type of person is very hard on themselves and others. They want perfection in everything. That's why I chose my screen name. I am 'not perfect' in my eyes and it digs at me.


This H anchor has been around my neck all these years and now that it's flaring up and showing its ugly head again, I am reminded daily of my stupidity. I was married at 18. My husband took me for granted, and regularly called me a b*tch. I guess I was at times, but it was still his responsibility to love me and that should not have involved calling me names. I never cheated on him, but he did on me (at least once that I know of). We divorced when I was 26 and I then found the wonderful World of Men. They talked nice to me, held doors open for me, and in general, treated me as a person of worth. Somewhere along the way (and I have my suspicions of one man who had a flaming cold sore once) I contracted this disease. I don't think he (if it's who I think it is) did it intentionally because he kept me far away from him when he did have that sore show up. The thing is it had been a good 2 years after him before I even saw my 'first' OB. Now, I'm wondering, since it can be inside the labia, if I had it before then and didn't even know it.


I watched that video just now and when she said those 3 words, I started to sob. She is such a beautiful woman and I can tell, she's probably the same type of person as me, demanding perfection. Just look at her hair. That's some perfect hair! After she said it, I started looking at her differently. I thought of her struggle all this time, of my struggle, and felt a connection. We all do hide things. My best friend does not know of what I've gone through. She gets cold sores. It seems 'okay' to the world; nasty looking, but acceptable because it's caused by just kissing someone. More like, 'poor her' to have that happen. But with the other type, the type 'down there,' it's viewed as the woman being loose and I WAS loose when I got this. That's what digs at me.


One thing, I do know that if my 1st husband had been good to me or even tried to keep me as his wife, I would never have left him. He gave up so easily. I think my healing will only come when I focus on the choices he made too. I do not subscribe to no one being to blame. There is always a choice in se*ual relations (other than rape, of course). I am from the old way of thinking. We must all take responsibility for our actions; H is not just something that randomly happens to people. The fact remains if I hadn't had relations outside of marriage, I would not be in this situation.


Enough spilling my guts for the day; it's exhausting. :-)

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You were not loose! I won't have you say that!


You wanted sex, you are human. I hate when people say that. I had 2 sexual partners my whole life and I got ghsv1....I wouldn't consider that loose and whether you have 50 partners or 2, or 1, you can still get it. Yes, H can randomly happen to people...it is possible.


Don't be so hard on yourself, there are ways people cheat on their partners besides finding comfort in someone else, they cheat by not committing to please eachother sexually, they cheat by not being kind to eachother, they cheat by not supporting one another....


Be kind to yourself...you are human, you need affection, you need touch, everyone does. There are these standards that we set for ourselves that are not at all realistic. They deny us from being human, from giving empathy to ourselves. We were made human with a mind and body and sometimes one takes over the other...we cannot expect this to not happen and if it does, we have to understand that that's how we are made.


So yes, I am not for or against going outside the marriage....but I will say there is absolutely no reason to beat yourself up for it. It happened, you needed it at the time, you got H which was unlucky and now, it's a part of your physical self. Don't make it apart of your emotional self.


Nobody's perfect and asking yourself to be will always result in failure and disappointment. Stop punishing you...



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The fact remains if I hadn't had relations outside of marriage, I would not be in this situation.


Not true friend ... if you married someone who carried the H1 cold sore orally and didn't know (as it sounds was true for the person you suspect was your giver) that they could pass it to you when they were not having an active OB, you could still get it. Hell, *I* got married and gave it to my now ex-hubby because I didn't know the "rash" I got was Herpes ... and while we were blood tested before we were married, they only did Syphilis and Gonorrhea. There are MANY who carry H into a marriage unwittingly ... I have a client who had her first OB after 32 yrs of marriage. :/


Now, about beating yourself up, yeah, you might still be doing that but you wouldn't have H as a reminder :p


So think on this. You were in an unhappy marriage. He cheated. He *may* have brought H home to you and you didn't know it. You will never know for sure if you got it from him, or that guy, or some other guy. And really, it doesn't matter where you got it. Society/culture tells us what we are "supposed" to do. In reality (at least, *my* reality!) nothing that we do is wrong as long as we don't intentionally hurt another. We are sexual beings and you were discovering that part of yourself. And *somewhere* along the way you got H.


So think on this... if I told you I got it on my first sexual experience at 17, from a guy who I never saw again (in part because my mother found out :p ... but I don't think he intended to see me again anyway ... I was innocent and naive) would you say I was a "bad" person? A slut? That I deserved to get H? That I should continue to beat myself up for my admittedly stupid behavior? Somehow I don't think you would judge me that way. So why do you feel you need to beat yourself up over something you did in your 20's when you were trying to find out who YOU were in that Wonderful World of Men?


My best friend does not know of what I've gone through. She gets cold sores. It seems 'okay' to the world; nasty looking, but acceptable because it's caused by just kissing someone. More like, 'poor her' to have that happen. But with the other type, the type 'down there,' it's viewed as the woman being loose and I WAS loose when I got this. That's what digs at me.


Actually, 60% of young people get oral H1 before adulthood, mostly as young kids sharing drinks or getting kissed by a doting Auntie. I got my oral H1 (yeah - I het the jackpot and got both! LOL ) at age 3 or so. Got the photos to prove it.


I can tell you that to the majority of the world (especially people in our age group) H isn't as big a deal as *we* make it. Many people know a friend or family member who has it. One in 5 people around you has it.... I'm 100% out and I have yet to be called a slut or lose a friendship over it. Most people applaud my "bravery" (I wouldn't call it that, but it's because I don't buy into the stigma ... I just got tired of how the stigma is affecting others with H) with coming out.


I hope that by coming on here you can find peace with H. You are being so hard on yourself. Try to take a step back, look at yourself as you would a friend, and tell yourself what you would tell her .... I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't be half as hard on her as you are on yourself ;)





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The thing is, Dancer, there is an ultimate higher truth, a set of moral rules. There ARE things that are wrong even if we don't intentionally set out to hurt someone. It's not all about consensual relationships. I get SO tired of hearing that phrase. If we all abandon moral rules/laws, then where will we be? I, too, was with someone at 17, my first love. He was a jerk and used me. I can blame it on me being naive, but the truth is, I succumbed to lust. It's not just about wanting a hug from someone. When we have sex outside of marriage (and I totally understand that when one partner has sex with someone else, that breaks the sanctity of marriage and risks introducing diseases), then we are making a choice, one that can have some pretty bad consequences.


Now I just need to learn how to live with H better and get past beating myself up about it all the time. That's the goal anyway.

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Wow! Ok in that post you are so very hard on yourself.


Not that I am for no morals are ethics but f u keep an open mind a lot of them are cultural based and vary from culture to culture or they are based historically when men and women lives til the ripe old age of 30. No time to get sick of each other or deal with the push and pull of married life that can occur over years.


Trust me I had the same beliefs ideas and you and what I did with them? I moraled and ethiced myself out of living. I lived by all the rules was the highest oral being and followed all ethical standards and that got me miserable. The other side of your coin is not the answer either


Life is not black and white there is a lot of grey and as humans we need to learn to live in that. Trust me. In the grey is where u will find happiness alot of times.


Hugs and lots of love. I am not judging I just want happiness and forgiveness for you.


Wantif and needing sex that does or does not include hugs is not wrong. It is part of ur make up.



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Thank you, whitedaisies, for the comments. I know there are gray areas in life, but there are definitely black and white ones too.


On the other hand, I just did a bit of research on the origin of genital herpes, and was disturbed to see how it was not of much interest to people in general until a certain drug company decided to make it out to be a 'terrible' disease that only their drug could help with. That was one of those black and white things I spoke of. That was immoral of that company. And immoral of Time magazine to push an agenda (like so many other agendas they push) that H was the next Scarlet Letter. Ugh.


So, maybe I am making more of a deal out this disease than need be. ;-)

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So, maybe I am making more of a deal out this disease than need be.


I would agree there :)


I got H before the drugs came out and noone worried about it ... I didn't even know anything about it until I was diagnosed. It never occurred to me to think that there was anything "wrong" about it until many, many years later when I saw all the stuff on the 'net about the stigma.


You are welcome to your beliefs ... to each his/her own ... but like I said, you really have no idea where you got it so it's very possible you got it from your wandering ex-hubby INSIDE the sanctity of your marriage (just as my ex got it from me and I was completely faithful to him in the marriage ... so why would/should *he* get H if it had anything to do with moral behavior?) .... H is an equal opportunity virus that doesn't care about morals, social status, or whatever. So I *hope* you can let go of your beliefs that this is somehow a punishment for something that you did many, many years ago. You were young. You were coming out of a really crappy marriage. You were seeking love, affection, and while it may be something that you feel that is outside of your current beliefs, I'm pretty sure that whatever Higher Power you believe in had nothing to do with your getting Herpes.... you just got unlucky like the rest of us ;)





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Yes, I have been considering that today. It really could have been my ex. I had to giggle a bit at that thought (evil grin). I mean, HE could have it too. Okay, childish behavior aside, I hope he doesn't have it, but at this point, it matters little.


I wanted to add that I am going to get tested on Thursday for both types. I haven't mentioned testing to my husband as I know he will say, 'why bother?' I'll think about that after I know for sure what type I have.


Thanks again for the help. Take care.

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