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FLNewH

Really Need Advice on How to Deal with Herpes Comment

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So, I've been dating this guy for about a month. We've been friends for a year and a half, I told him about me being H+ before anything sexual ever happened. So, we are talking today via text and I let him know that one of our mutual friends, I'll call her Amy, asked me how things were going with us. Amy also knows I'm H+. So, I told him that I told her we have been seeing each other. His comment was this "Since you've told her your situation, if we don't work out and she runs her mouth, then I'll be marked".

 

Marked? Are you fucking kidding me? This is the same man who told me I should not be ashamed, I should not feel gross or disgusting. The same man who had no hesitation being intimate with me. The same man who told me not two days ago that he is falling in love with me. That he doesn't care about my baggage, he just cares about me. Needless to say, I feel like I've been punched in the stomach. Marked? I cannot get over that.

 

And I know what you are going to say. I'm letting the stigma take over. But, sorry, how can I not feel like shit about that comment? We decided to not continue the conversation via text and rather should talk about it either over the phone or face to face tonight. But, I gotta tell you, I'm pretty f'ing pissed off right now about that comment.

 

Any advice on how to handle this conversation like an adult and not like an emotional asshole would be greatly appreciated. Because, at this moment, I want to just tell him to go fuck off.

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I think I'd react just like you are.

 

I also think it's easier to be sympathetic when it's someone else in the situation, it's different when it's you. I just replied on another post about someone's ex outing them on facebook and stated basically what your guy did. (That he pretty much will have people questioning his status now). It was an insensitive thing for him to say, but it was probably his honest thoughts. Now you have to figure out if you can deal with his selfish/human point of view. I say human because we make mistakes. He might not have been thinking about how it came across and just stating his first concern. Good luck with your conversation tonight.

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Thanks @NMissouri. I'm trying to breathe about this and calm down. You're right, when it's someone else's issue, it's easy to say it's "don't beat yourself up" but when you are in the situation, well it's looked at differently. I told him I'm pretty torn up about what he said. He said he didn't mean it like that. Whatever. I'll keep in mind that he is H- and has never had to deal with this, so he is not sensitive to these kinds of remarks and doesn't really "get it". I'm not going to sugar coat my feelings, but I will calm down a bit before having this discussion.

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Thing is, you had a clear slate and decided who you wanted to tell. But he might be entering a situation where some of those decisions have already been made for him, and he's not as comfortable with your besties as you are. It wouldn't bother me, but some people are a lot tighter about their privacy. He's obviously being open and honest with you, and I think you're right to wait until you can talk face to face.

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Thanks @Sil88. You're right, I made the choice to tell. Unfortunately, one of the people I told just happens to be a mutual friend. He asked me to not tell any of his other friends. Which made my jaw drop. Like I would say "hey nice to meet you and btw I have herpes and I'm f'ing your friend."

 

Believe me, i get the whole "it's my choice to tell, not your choice to tell for me" and I get that if he decides to stay with me, he will have to deal with this. And he will have to deal with the stigma just as much as I will (well, not just as much, but some).

 

This whole conversation with him really sucks. I was doing fine. Finally felt like herpes wasn't ruling my life. Now, within a split second, I'm brought right back to the fact that I fucking hate herpes and feel like I'm never going to have a normal relationship ever again. Because, obviously even though he may say it's ok, it's really not ok.

 

I wish Herpes would go fucking jump off a bridge. And yes,I get that herpes should be my wingman. But I'm really just over this shit.

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He might be perfectly fine with your status and his risk. He might not like the idea of other people judging him for it. From this point forward, maybe you both need to talk about what your boundaries are with H.

 

He accepted you, he didn't necessarily accept the stigma. It's not that black and white IMO. Heck, I have herpes, I don't accept it (the stigma) lol.

 

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I agree with how you are feeling about his comment, but also agree with what Sil said. On one hand, he should not have said what he said but clearly he has not accepted the stigma as it relates to himself. And he's human, he said something without thinking how it would make you feel. Like any new relationship, you're both going to have to learn what pushes your buttons, what is acceptable and what is not... no one is perfect, and I am sure his intentions were not to make you feel bad, but he can't take back what he said. Talking this out, calmly expressing how that made you feel, listening and perhaps accepting his explanation and apology will allow you both to clear the air on an important topic, and then move on. If you can, try not to hold that comment against him. I understand that it's upsetting, and you have the right to feel hurt, but I am sure after this convo he will never utter anything close to those words again, knowing now he should have never made that statement to begin with. Everyone has said hurtful things to other people without realizing, not about just about herpes, but about anything...this is one of those times. Go into this conversation with an open but forgiving heart... it might just bring you both closer together.

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I think @MMissouri said it best

 

He accepted you, he didn't necessarily accept the stigma

 

I would just let him know (when you are calmer) just how much that comment hurt and set you rigt back... and accept his apology because I expect he just plain wasn't thinking when he said it. As others have said, some people are more private about their stuff (whcih sadly perpetuates stigma in many areas :( ) and if he's really sensitive about that, it may take him awhile to trust that it will be fine no matter what happens.

 

I had a guy I was talking to (who is also H+) who thinks I am "wonderful" because of all I do, suddenly stop and say "So anyone who dates you does so knowing that all their friends will know your status". Uh. Yup. I think it caught him off guard to realize that ... but I also think that if I was interested in dating him (I'm not) he would still want to see me ... but that moment of realization that others may find out was a shake-up for him (and will likely be for anyone who dates me)... ;)

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Hi everyone. I wanted to thank you all for your words of advice. It really helped me "simmer down" and have a rational conversation about this with him.

 

So, I get his feelings about people finding out and then looking at him like "he must have herpes since he's with her". My choice of disclosing is my choice. Even if I choose to tell my status to someone, they do not have a right to "out" me to others. They do not have the right to discuss this around the water cooler with others that I have disclosed to. What I was not realizing was, that although he is H- (assuming, since he's never been tested), he would essentially feel "outted" himself if this mutual friend shared my status with other mutual friends of ours. By him coming into my world (meeting my friends, having mutual friends that I have confided in, etc) he is "outting" himself as being with an H+ partner ... and also opening himself up to the stigma that comes along with it. I do need to be sensitive to the fact this is all new to him, just as it was new to me back in October when I had my first outbreak. So, my bad for not seeing it from his perspective. I need to give him time (just like I had) to educate himself and get more comfortable with this.

 

With that said, I explained to him my feelings about the wording he chose - "marked". I explained to him how shitty that was. How hurt I was. How I felt that although he says I'm not gross or disgusting, that one word brought me back to feeling like I did the moment I found out I had this. And, I explained all the whys of my feelings being hurt by what he said. And he totally got it. He said he didn't think when he said that, and that he doesn't think of me as being gross, but he understands why I would feel that way after what he said.

 

I also explained to him that if he chooses to be with me, that there will be times he will have to deal with my status. And he needs to decide (soon) if he is OK with this. He will have to deal with the ignorance that comes along with this subject. I told him there will be awkward situations, difficult conversations (like the one we had last night) and sometimes people will say things that hurt feelings or offend, but you have to just blow it off. And then I gave him an example. A couple nights ago we were hanging at his buddy's house (who does not know my status) ... stories of boy scouts came up ... and somehow it turned naughty ... and at one point his buddy made a joke about the boy scouts now having STD patches for the guys to earn. I told him I wanted to crawl under my chair and was just praying they didn't specifically refer to herpes in that joke. But, instead I just laughed along with them and avoided the eye contact he was trying to make with me. I told him, there will be times when stuff like that happens. It's the stigma. The joke is part of the stigma. My reaction to the joke is part of the stigma. His reaction to our mutual friend knowing is part of the stigma. It's just a day in the life. And, he will have to learn to deal with it if he wants to be with me.

 

We got our fears and thoughts out in the open. He confided in me that he does sometimes ask himself WTF is he doing (referring to the risk of getting it). But then he tells himself he knows exactly what he is doing, he's in love with me and doesn't think it's a big deal .... but then the stigma takes over. I get it. Emotional roller coaster. I told him my biggest fear is giving this to him and losing him because of it. He told me that he knows the risks and that if I do end up giving this to him, then he will be ok with that since he has already chosen to be with me.

 

I did ask him to get a blood test in the next month. I explained that if he's never been tested, he may be positive and not know it (like me). But, if he gets the test in the next month, if it comes back positive, I'll know I didn't give it to him. However, if he waits another 2-3 months, and he comes back positive, we will never know if he already had it or if I gave it to him. I apologized for being selfish with my reason for wanting him to get tested, but that's where I'm at right now. I told him I cannot deal with another unknown. Am I itchy b/c I shaved? or is it Herpes? Is that zit on my leg b/c my fat is rubbing together and it's hot out? or is it Herpes? Am I bloated and crampy b/c I'm getting my period? or is it Herpes? Did I give this to him or did he already have it? I can handle the other unknowns, but not that one.

 

Longer story just a little shorter, I get his feelings, he gets my feelings. And, the fact that we had this open dialogue is unreal to me. I have never had conversations with anyone like I've had with this man. If it were anyone else, I would have moved forward with the "fuck off" attitude I had yesterday afternoon. But, I'm glad I calmed down enough to be adult and have a rational conversation. I put all this out there because I know there are others out there going through this and they may not know what to say. So, I hope by me sharing the discussion, it will help someone at some point.

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Thank you for the update, and sooooo glad that you guys were able to work through it. Having those difficult conversations is all part of being in a solid relationship (herpes or not), and it seems like you guys are well on your way to realizing that. And, I totally agree with him getting tested... I would ask the same. Enjoy each other, you deserve it. :)

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thank you @positivelybeautiful. It's definitely different with him. He always jokes that he has a bigger vagina than most women he knows :-P because he likes to talk things out. That is fine by me ;-) What was great is, once we were done talking about herpes, we moved right on to the next conversation. I asked him if he was thinking about not seeing me anymore because of this. He goes "nnnnooooooooo. shut off your brain" haha

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And THAT is where Herpes actually is your friend. You were forced to have that difficult conversation.... to have an ADULT conversation about how these things are affecting you both ... and any relationship that lasts (with both people content and happy, and not just staying because they don't know how to leave) MUST develop this ability to be vulnerable ... so well done!

 

I hope for your sake at some point he really *gets* it that he can take a stand to be 100% behind you (and not be ashamed if he is "outed") and empower you through this ... if he truly loves you, other peoples opinions won't matter ... I expect he is working through all that right now and realizing that love is messy at times, but in the end, you stand with your partner even in the icky bits...

 

 

(((HUGS)))

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I'm glad things went well! He sounds like a good guy. I hope things continue to work out well for you both. Good luck with his test results! I'll be looking for an update. :)

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Hi all! So, we had a follow up talk this weekend. He is on board to take the test. I offered to look up some testing facilities for him. Who thought that would be an overwhelming task????

 

Just want to make sure I get him to the right place and ask for the right test. I need to make sure they do the IgG test, correct? and can he go to any kind of blood-test lab, like a Quest Diagnostics or a LabCorp? Or does it have to be a clinic? He doesn't have a PCP, but I'm wondering if a walk-in clinic could do the same thing?

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i understand feeling the stigma but one way i look at it as this..

(and i havent got my.test results back yet so im speaking of hpv/genital warts) i always tell so therefore i refuse to feel guilty over something so small especially when the choice was theirs..

actually...i know ive given it to one person I've been with..but..the choice was his...and while i hate that it happened we were both adults and he had a choice and he chose to be intimate with me..

idk if that helps you or not..

i also can relate to feeling awkward about ppl cracking jokes.

my two closest friends, one has hiv and the other a clean slate...i tend to feel more comfortable with the hiv+ friend because the viruses mever cross our mind..whild sometimes my clean slate friend will act funny if i offer her my drink etc..

i just fi.ished watching the intro video here..and its so true ..education is freeing..

i think noone should feel stigmatized by what their std chart shows...including my best friend w hiv..

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Generally I think you need a script to get the labs to run the tests .... Planned Parenthood is great ... and there are STD walk in clinics ... I would prefer them to a walk in clinic or even a PCP. Best to go to a place that deals with this stuff every day ;0

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don't know if its too late for this info FLNEW but anylabtestnow has a slew of tests and no script or anything needed. there is one by countryside high school. my igg test was 49$ and results ( with numbers) in 2-3 days by email link. they also have a big (and expensive) STD panel on steroids. I mean all the regulars plus HSV and all the heps but its @ 275$.

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this is just for tests. I took a printout of my results to PP to get antivirals. I then had PP move my RX to a closer pharmacy because only PP in our county is way down in St Pete and its maybe 3$ more expensive but no 1 1/2 hr drive thru traffic each way.

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My comment about the labs needing a script was for labs like Quest ... there are labs and STD clinics that will let you test without the Dr visit ... just google around and you should find something near you :)

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thanks all. I tried google dancer ... and got overwhelmed! hahaha

 

Thanks Seeker! That was what I was looking for.

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just wanted to say thank you @seeker. I found a place in SH for him to go to ... $59 ... walk-in, test and get the results emailed. easy-peasy :-)

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