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My feelings are all over the place, and I don't know what to do.


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Hi everyone, I'm a 23 year old male from the US.

 

I guess I'll take this from the top lol...Earlier this year, I began a causal sexual relationship with a friend. I had just recently started having sex and decided the safest route was to fool around with people I trusted. Ironically, all that waiting to have sex out of fear of kids and STI's was pretty pointless. I contracted HSV2 after 1 month of us hooking up.Turns out she had been infected for 3 years after a previous bf cheated on her. When I confronted her about it, she broke down and told me she was afraid that I would reject her like so many guys before. I guess this wasn't the first time she didn't disclose to her partner, but it was the first time she passed it on...I know the blame is 50/50 because I didn't have an explicit talk on where we stood health wise. I assumed since we're friends, adults, like minded individuals, that we wouldn't put each other at risk. At the end of the day, basing your health on an assumption is dangerous and you can only blame yourself...What hurt me the most about this situation, was that she knew I thought she was STI- Free. We were friends, and if the situation was reversed I wouldn't have played with her health like that. The fact that she said nothing about it has left my trust in ruin... I forgave her since we both needed it at that point...Once things calmed down, she pointed me to this web site and showed me the ropes of how to live with herpes (got a care package with coconut oil, lysine, .ect). Fast forward a few months and hook-ups later, we began to date. In spite of everything that happened I wanted to see where we could go. Right now we're in a good place, things are pretty good. I've met her family and she has met mine. We're on track to getting pretty serious, but I still have some unresolved feeling that have been arising more frequently....The thing is I suffer from a type of depression that is seasonal, so all the emotions and anxiety I experienced earlier this year due to being infected have been resurfacing. I went to therapy to deal with it, but it's still a work in progress. Every once and a while I get an emotional upwelling that leads to long-ass text messages being sent her way of how I wish she told me, and the confused love/resentment I have toward her. Honestly, I'm tired of this personal emotional roller coster. I was hopping someone on here had some suggestion for dealing with this kinda problem of getting your emotions in check. Appreciate the help guys!!!

 

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@TroyM67

 

Hello and Welcome ;)

 

Well, you got the life lesson that many of us got here: Trust, but Verify. Especially when it comes to sex and your health in general. Just so you don't feel too bad, I got H 35 yrs ago on my FIRST sexual experience ... and I can tell you, life goes on and Herpes can become a pretty minor thing in your life.

 

So, your dilemma: I think you need to get a bit of therapy to help you with letting go of the resentment. I get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) some years (Depends on how life is going ;) ) and I use light therapy when I feel it coming on. That helps a bit. But the resentment has nothing to do with SAD ... and while it's understandable, at some point you have to CHOOSE to let it go.

 

Your girl sadly fell into the Stigma trap ... she got rejected a couple times and didn't know how to deal with it. People take rejection so personally when in fact most of the time it's a reflection of the *other* persons personality and/or their deal breakers. So while perhaps you would never not disclose, try to understand where she's coming from. I'm guessing she already had self esteem issues before she had Herpes ... H tends to bring all of our worst fears and loathing about ourselves to the surface and MAKES us face it .... but sometimes we make mistakes while going through the process. So *try* to understand that it was a gut-wrenching FEAR that caused her to not disclose ... empathy can go a long way in healing wounds in relationships. ;)

 

Just make sure neither of you are continuing this relationship because you don't feel you will ever find love if you don't. If you TRULY see a future together, then perhaps a bit of couples counseling may help you to finish clearing the air. I'd suggest you go in with the intent to clear out all the resentments once and for all, (it may take a few sessions!) and then leave them in the Therapist's office. And next time you feel like sending her that long-assed text message, put the phone down and if you *must* get it out, start a journal and put it in there. Write it as many times as you need to in order to get it out of your system ... just don't keep projecting it at her. As you said, there are TWO sides of responsibility here ... (and perhaps you are projecting some of your anger at yourself for not having a talk about STD's with her first at her ;/ ) so own yours and then work on forgiving YOURSELF too ;) .

 

Try to use this experience to create a space where you can both be vulnerable and create deeper and more meaningful conversations, rather than continuing to scratch open old wounds. Try to find the "opportunity" here, rather than dwelling on the past. Hopefully you have BOTH learned from this experience.... that you both have become more in tune with the frailty of humans and the fact that we are all human beings, being human. We all make mistakes. What matters is how we deal with them afterwards that matters ;)

 

(And BTW, we try not to use the word "clean" with regards to STD's here ... because words are powerful things and when you use that word you imply that having an STD makes you "dirty" ... which is just plain not true ;) "STD-Free, H-, etc are better ways to describe a negative STD status :) )

 

(((HUGS)))

 

These links may help you a bit here:

 

This one isn't exactly your situation, but it deals with letting go by taking personal responsibility ;)

 

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3552/not-devastated-but-still-questioning

 

And a couple more of my favorite "perspective" posts :)

 

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2886/herpes-yoga-and-self-love

 

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/92/the-positive-side-of-being-herpes-positive

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@WCSDancer2010

 

Sorry about the non-kosher language...and you are right about me needing to let it go. I truly do see a future with her, and the couples therapy does sound like a good start. I don't want to keep hurting her like this. She recently opened up about her self esteem issues, so a lot of what you said made sense. Thank you for mentioning empathy, I keep forgetting about it in the heat of the moment...Huge digression, at some point she wants to have a threesome. She suggested that both of us to use the medication for a few months or weeks, and then use protection during. She's doesn't want to tell the person joining our status, and I'm not too comfortable with that. How do I approach this with a light touch, and stay sensitive to her feelings?

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I would just point out that even with the meds and condoms, things *could* go wrong, and she doesn't need any more guilt about passing it to someone ... to be honest, people who engage in more "liberal" sexual experiences generally are more likely to get that they are taking risks and thus if you tell the person you are both on the meds and using protection their risk is far lower than being with someone who believes they have been tested but likely have not :/

 

And it's ok about the language - you didn't know ...we are just aware of the power of words here so we encourage people to choose their languaging with care :)

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It sounds like she is in serious denial about her H status, and it would probably be a good idea for her to work on that, her self esteem issues, and on building a stable, trusting relationship with you, *before* having a threesome.

 

Right now, it sort of sounds like discussing the threesome is a way for her to "defy" the H or something...by trying to prove she can have all the sexual experiences she could have had before she got H.

 

The thing is, she (and you) *can* have all of these experiences, it's just going to take more caution and responsibility, and denying or defying H is not the way to go about doing that.

 

Once you both are in a good place with H and in your relationship, I think it will be easier to discuss a threesome and come up with ways to keep all parties involved safe and informed. You can approach the disclosure together, which, in my mind, would be way less scary than doing it on your own.

 

Also, was she taking medication and using protection when you were first having casual sex (i.e., when you contracted H)? If so (I'll be disappointed, because those are the safety measures my partner and I take), you can gently remind her that taking medication and using condoms is not 100% effective at preventing H transmission and you just don't feel comfortable keeping your status from someone with whom you will be intimate.

 

If she wasn't using medication+condoms when she passed it on to you, maybe just tell her that for now you want to focus on your relationship with her, but when the time comes for a threesome, you will work with her to come up with a plan of action that you're both comfortable with.

 

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@sickoflifelessons

 

No, you and your partner should be fine. Medication and was not being used and protection was not consistently used while we were messing around. I think she was on lysine tablets at the time. (that's why I blame my self more than her in this situation...I f***ing knew better. If you don't protect yourself you deserve everything and more)

 

@WCSDancer2010

 

You are right so right on the stigma and fear of disclosure issue...So I followed your suggestion from before, and said we might want to see a couples therapist and approach the threesome a little differently. At first she was ok with the idea of therapy, but then she changed her mind. We built our relationship on being 100% honest with each other, no matter how hurtful the truth is. She feels like I haven't been honest about how I feel toward her if I need to bring in a third party.

 

She's also concerned that this third party will judge her for what she did, and she doesn't need to be reminded of how selfish and messed up it was because it's on her mind everyday. She also thinks that at this point, I want to keep bringing it up to remind her how wrong she was, she feels couples therapy would be the beginning of the end for us. I'm not trying to torture her, I know she has had an emotionally abusive relationship in the past.

 

I don't want her to think that I'm setting us up for some kind of consistent passive aggressive behavior in an area she's emotionally vulnerable in. I wanted couples therapy so we could both move forward, and put any negative feeling behind us. If all it would do is stamp and expiration date on our relationship...then what do I do?

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OK - I can tell you right now you are dealing with a girl who has FAR more than YOU can deal with ... She has a LOT of damage and insecurity (I think there's something well before the abusive relationship in there... that was likely just a side effect of a deeper issue of self confidence) ....

 

Hows about telling her that you need to do it because YOU want to let go of YOUR anger... it's nothing to do with HER ... (she obviously thinks it's all about HER) ... and perhaps if she won't go to a couples therapist, you can work with @Adrial here at HOpp... he's a life coach with H and won't "judge" her or anyone for that matter ... he's a most EXCELLENT coach (I've seen him at work!) and you can work on Skype with him ;)

 

email at [email protected] http://www.adriallifecoaching.com/

 

That may at least start her in the right direction, but honey, I'm seeing red flags around her right now.... her unwillingness to disclose H is FAR deeper than just the stigma... I would place bets that she has a LOT of much deeper stuff in there that she needs to work on... so for BOTH of your sakes, try to find some way to get her into some kind of coaching or therapy. Even if you have to say it's all about YOU for now ;)

 

(((hugs)))

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@WCSDancer2010

 

After a reluctant 3-4 hour text message conversation, she finally agreed to have a therapy session. Stuck to my guns and it worked :)...I'm really hoping for some progress for us, this can either makes us or break us at this point. She already feels like H could strain us, leading to break up in the future for whatever reason. I don't want it to be but I understand her sentiment, I feel like if we deal with this now it shouldn't.

 

Apparently she has tried therapy in the past. The person she was working with made her feel like she was to blame from receiving it from a cheating ex. I can understand the aversion to therapy from that. Bad therapy has a way of leaving emotional scars that are not easy to forget. No one wants to feel at fault and vulnerable when they are seeking help. For this reason She doesn't want to feel like she's on trial if we're to set up a Skype session with @Adrial. Her main concern is that an hour might be spent on bashing her for her actions. Spent most of my time texting her to get her to accept that it won't be.

 

I'm not afraid of losing her...I really don't want us to break up, and I want us to move forward together. If it does happens then it's better to get this ugly emotional part over with for myself. I'm going to have to deal with the anger at some point lol

 

Could you explain what you meant by red flags? How can I help her with the insecurities and other damage?...I hadn't put to much thought on how deep they might have ran until one of the responses she gave me from a long-assed text message in the past. She's under the impression I wouldn't be with her if it wasn't for H, and that everyone knows I can do better than her...In all honesty I wouldn't be with someone who hurt me like this unless I thought they were worth it. I don't know how to show her how I see her, and why I value her as a partner. I don't know how to convince her that I'm trying to do something different because I really want us to work. I really think she's a good person despite what has happened, and I would love to be there to help work through the issues that might stand in the way of us being closer.

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You can tell her for me that @Adrial would never bash her for her actions. For starters, it's in the past ... nothing can be achieved from beating her up for it. Sure, we encourage people to disclose... BUT.. we also understand how the stigma and fear and insecurity causes people to withold the info for fear of being rejected or ridiculed. The main thing is to learn from the experience and, as you say, move forward ;)

 

As for "red flags" - I'm hearing that she is VERY insecure .... and your last post just now backs it up (feeling that you wouldn't be there if it wasn't for H) ... you are going to need someone who can help her to deal with the insecurities .... I'm guessing (and I could be wrong here) that something has happened in her past that convinced her she's "not worthy" of love ... and H was just the final straw and "proof" that noone will stick with her.... and the sad thing is that this kind of thinking is often a "self fulfilling prophecy" because every time you come up with a "solution" she finds a reason why it is "proof" that she's not good enough... and you just can't win in the end unless she gets some help to let go of whatever it is and help her to accept that she is worthy of love. And right now I'm not convinced that you can do that without outside help ... @Adrial is a great resource and if you eventually do couples therapy, I'd suggest that YOU pre-vet the therapist to make sure that they will work with you in a constructive manner ... because you don't need a repeat of her past experience :(

 

Just keep telling her you need to work on how YOU communicate so she doesn't feel that the pressure is on her to be "fixed" ... and with luck, as things work out, you can work on her stuff at the same time as she comes to trust the therapist :)

 

Good luck!!! (((HUGS)))

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  • 4 months later...

Hello @WCSDancer2010

 

It has been 5 whole months since I first had the guts to set up a username/login to this website. I appreciate all the helpful suggestions that you had given, it got me to workout taking personal responsibility. Unfortunately, I'm back here again because I don't know what to do :(...

 

I had put a pin in the idea of couples therapy for a few months, figured now is the time to knock it out before I start graduate school (so those toxic emotions don't distract me). I brought back up the therapy option with my girlfriend, and I thought we had come to an agreement the last time...She then told me that last time the only reason she said yes was because I refused to see it any other way. (also she's not going)

 

This led to a argument that lasted for about 2 days. At first, we discussed how according to her, I'm being selfish and not taking her feeling into consideration. It's the same issues as before...

 

1. She doesn't like therapy (past experiences)

2. She doesn't need another person to help remind her of what she did (no third parties)

 

At some point she told me that "It's not like I'm saying don't get the help you need but you when feel the need to drag someone else into to make you feel better but not care how they feel is really something else"

 

She suggested that I have the sessions by myself, workout what I need to say and then come back to her. I told her it feels like she's telling me to just go deal with it myself. Also, I wanted to handle this together and leave whatever issues and baggage within the Skype session.

 

I told her the same thing as last time...It's not only about you, I thought I was making a compromise by finding someone who met both our needs. (being non-judgmental and a mediator who will hold me accountable If I say anything that is wrongful/dodges personal accountability)

 

Her response is that one session won't make the problems go away, and when I told her it might be two sessions I'm told..."You know? Whatever just schedule the fucking appointment seeing as how you must have your way. I'm not wasting my breathe on trying to get my view across anymore. You already have you in your mind what you want and that's all that matters to you."

 

I didn't fully control the way my H+ journey began, but I wanted to have some control in the way my acceptance of it ended (is that so wrong?)...In the end I gave up on the idea of therapy... She keeps telling me just to say whatever I want to say to her to get the anger out. But honestly..I'm still trying to process that. Also I feel that saying whatever to her isn’t fair if I pin shit on her she doesn't deserve. Saying what needs to be said with empathy is right way to go about it.

 

By the last day of us arguing, She tells me she has changed her mind because she sees I need this...but apparently this situation has showed her I'm not one to compromise, and that I'll treat her like an after-thought since I'm not taking her feelings into consideration. From here I just gave in and said, the reason why I pushed so hard for this was for both of us. There are some issues on both sides that we need to deal with and I was hoping that this could help her deal with some of the underline issues she has.

 

By not being honest with that last part, she feels a bit betrayed. I apologized..gave her some space, and now we both act like nothing has happened. But my feelings still haven't changed, even though she says I was being selfish...I don't feel that I have been at all. Somehow, I'm still the bad guy in this situation...

 

Lately the anger and irritation at her has become more frequent, and it's affecting my ability to be a good boyfriend. I'll just ask for the weekend to not be bothered, but I know my periods of "silence" or lack of communication is changing the energy in our relationship. She has given me a lot, and made me a better person, but this whole situation is changing the way I feel about us continuing this in the long term. I don't want to deal with these issues while in graduate school, I need my mood to be in order to stay focused. Seriously, I don't know what to do next...

 

 

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