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The long road

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I'm new here and just found this forum the other day. I must say this appears to be a great community and with the most positive outlook of the ones I've encountered so far. Being positive makes such a difference in how we view ourselves and our situations that to join a community where negativity is the order of the day will only lead to more negative thoughts.


My story...


I have lived my entire life with cold sores, and have known exactly what they are since I was 8 years old (too damn smart for my own good I guess, with the help of an encyclopedia). When I was younger OBs were frequent and often times painful. It also had an emotional and psychological effect. The OBs never stopped me from going to school or anything like that, but I always felt people staring at me, and thought they understood what it was. Well they understood what it was, but only as a cold sore, they did not understand it as I did. Realizing that I felt better about it, but also thought it was odd that oral HSV would be ignored, and genital HSV would be viewed so differently. I thought it was odd because I have always discussed this condition with partners, and because it's oral have done so very early in the dating process. Just about every woman I've dated has reacted as if it meant nothing, because they had a relative or friend who had cold sores. While I knew what cold sores were when I was younger, I had no knowledge of how many people share this condition nor the various transmission rates. Also when I was younger I, like just about everyone else, thought the two types were strictly identified by where they presented.


I'm happy to say that no one I have been with has ever come back to me saying that they caught HSV. I've always taken whatever precautions were available and known of at each time.


Fast forward to my adult years and I've been married/divorced and have a daughter. My HSV has not been an issue in a long time. My OBs now average 1 every 2 years or less without any medications. My daughter who is almost a teenager herself now has never shown any symptoms, but at some point I plan on taking her for testing. We've talked about many things and she understands exactly what the cold sores are too.


The marriage to her mother broke down when she cheated and I ultimately decided that divorce was the best option. I took custody of my daughter and have been more or less happy since then. There's always ups and downs but I am a fairly positive person and always look for the positive spin on situations.


Two years after the divorce I met a woman through a friend, and we hit it off. Keeping to my earlier habit I spoke with her about cold sores, and she seemed unconcerned, other than just not wanting to get them. I understood her concern and took precautions to protect her. After a couple months we started to get more intimate, and I was feeling quite connected to her. On one particular weekend I stayed at her house and we had a great weekend, a weekend including oral sex. A couple days later she sat me down before we went out for a date, she explained that she had something important to talk about. Over the course of the next 20 minutes she disclosed that she had GHSV2. I was a little concerned for two reasons. First she waited until after we were intimate to tell me this, and second while I knew getting both in the same location was unlikely I also knew it was not impossible. Shortly after this weekend I began to experience what the doctors identified as a primary OB of OHSV2 confirmed by a swab and later a blood test. The only thing that made me not freak out was that OHSV2 doesn't have a track record of frequent OBs.


This relationship continued despite her late disclosure (I was already invested emotionally). The relationship as a whole wasn't bad, until the end almost 5 years later. It became apparent to me that she felt she could treat me any way she wished because we both had HSV2 and who would want me. This was an interesting point because I knew far more about the virus than she did. She seemed to still be in the 80's in her understanding of how it worked even though I tried many times to bring her up to speed. BTW she never contracted HSV1 from me. As I look back now I know that relationship was doomed from the start when I disclosed and she did not. A relationship not founded on honesty is no relationship, without honesty there will be no trust.


So now here I sit re-entering dating with the prospect of have a different talk from the ones I've had in the past (no disclosures reached yet). But as I go forward I will always be honest and will always disclose even with the risk of rejection. After all it's not just about me, it's about the woman across from me as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing here, CBK. I love your viewpoint and love your contributions to our community already. Feels really good to have you here. I can see you're a man of integrity and heart. And that seems to be rare these days amongst men. It's the people who still refuse to get educated about herpes and aren't responsible who unfortunately perpetuate the stigma of this being something horrible ... If everyone were educated, we could both protect herpes from spreading AND realize it's just a simple skin condition — ultimately not a big deal at all. But unfortunately with herpes being spread a lot through dishonesty and shame (I originally got herpes when my girlfriend cheated on me), herpes has evolved from a skin condition to some deceitful disease.


It sounds to me that you are one of the people who is helping to quell the stigma simply through your heartfelt honesty and care. Thank you for that. It's not always easy, but it's worth it. The right woman who deserves an honest and connected relationship will see that and extend the same level of honesty to you. I just know it. ;) Big bro hug!

Note: This 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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The biggest hug from me too cbk...thanks so much for sharing your story - like Adrial I can see you are a good man :-) welcome to our community too!


I'm sorry your relationship didn't work out, but you are right, it really was doomed from the start because of her dishonesty (can't figure out why she didn't disclose to you too when you created the space to share and would obviously be supported - I would have breathed a sigh of relief and been like an open book!). Sounds like a lot of denial and lack of self responsibility there - best be free of it I say :-)! I can understand that emotional tie...once you are hooked its easy to forgive, to look for the best and then push down that little voice that whispers "run" (been there - done that! %-( ).


Its wonderful you have been honest in the past in telling partners...now its just 'two for one'. I have both HSV2 and HPV...I could possibly also have HSV1 as my ex-husband of 25 years had it orally but I have never showed any symptoms anywhere and none of my three adult kids have either. Do I get tested? Two is enough to deal with and do I talk about my ex having it and me not having symptoms with potential partners when I disclose about the other two. Fun isn't it 8-| ?!


I love the face you consider the woman you are interested in as much as you consider yourself - you deserve someone worthy of that :-).

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CBK welcome to our community and thank you so much for sharing your story. You are obviously an intelligent man with an incredible amount of integrity. I am like Lelani, I am confused as to why your ex didn't disclose after you did. Like Lelani, I would be so relieved. Every date I go on I pray they have it! It would just make life so much easier! If it were me I'd probably be over the table and in for a hug I would be so relieved and happy!


I look forward to your future posts. I am still learning about the virus. I found out a year ago that I had it but I think I was one of the 80% for many years, but I can't be sure. I enjoy learning as much as I can about this virus as well as how to deal with the social and emotional impact it has on all of us so keep posting! :)



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Thank you all so much for the warm welcome. This is why I joined this site. I was on another one, but it seemed that the majority of the members were stuck in a phase of anger and blame. Happily I stumbled across this forum because if we allow ourselves to be stuck in that phase we never move on and will carry that anger and resentment into our future relationships. I'm here because I wanted to be a part of a more positive experience. And I'm happy that I can make a contribution as well.


:) CBK

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I was just talking to Adrial about that very thing today CBK. I said the other sites I was on made me want to slit my wrists by the time I was done. This community is so different and so positive (thank you Adrial for creating that space) and it is really such a blessing. Herpes is not something we would choose but now that we're here, let's see what we can make of it and how we can use it to take us to our next level of maturity and growth. It's all a choice. Thanks for being part of that positive movement. :)

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