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This is long but I'm confused...

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Okay, I'm new to this and I'm very uncomfortable with sharing this. But...here goes...

In my past, I have not been a saint or a nun that’s for sure. 19 months ago, I was unsafe with a one night stand. This left me with a lot of regrets and fears about STI’s. I shared this with no one, not even my best friends.

A couple weeks after that, I was at a bar getting drunk with friends. I met this guy who I thought was attractive and funny. We literally talked for hours! We shared all sorts of stuff. I don’t quite remember what he shared with me, nor what I shared with him, but apparently I shared my fears. He thought I was hilarious for being so anxious. Of course, by my sharing this information, he also could’ve figured I was “easy.” I NEVER give my number out when asked, but I did with him.

The next day is when we started texting. We’ve texted/talked every day since then. At first, we agreed to be fuck buddies. After two weeks, we decided we were “friends with benefits.” I wasn’t interested in dating/relationships. He was in the middle of a divorce/custody battle. We wanted to keep things light and casual.

When we first made our decision, he had told me that he had his STD workup at the health dept a week or two before meeting me and everything was negative. I had mine a couple weeks after meeting him. Once I got my clean bill of health, I decided we should forego condoms since I was on the pill. I knew the risk and was willing to take them. I trusted a man I barely knew, but we were having a lot of fun. By month 3, we were officially a couple.

7 months after that, he ended up in the hospital with an infection in his hand/arm. He had had the same thing the year before; prior to meeting me. The doctor referred to it as a "herpetic whitlow." I'm a nurse, I know what that means. He didn't seem surprised. When I then asked him about it he said, "I forgot that the doctor last year called it a virus that turned into a bacteria." He seemed genuine.

It was then and there that I figured he probably had herpes elsewhere, but I continued to play the fool. I asked him, "Have you ever had sores or a cluster on your penis? Maybe even when you were a teenager?" He said, "No. Not that I can remember anyway." He seemed genuine. I assumed he just didn’t know he had it.

Shortly after that, we moved in together. I’m used to living alone and it was an adjustment period. He was still in his custody battle and had been severely betrayed by his father. He was suffering from depression, low self-esteem, and was looking for approval. I was so focused on my own fears of having “just lost my independence” that I wasn’t there for him. We weren’t there for each other.

Two months ago, his ex (from over 20 years ago) came to town and he met up with her with my blessing. That night he found out her husband didn’t come with her. The next night, while I was at work, he met up with her again. I didn’t know about it until several days later. I found out that he met up with her and her family and he got trashed. He went back to her hotel room. He claimed he planned to sober up in the other bed. I’m sure part of him knew it was going to be more but he was drunk and didn’t care about the ramifications. He says she had other plans for the night and even had a condom ready. He also claims that he stopped her mid intercourse and “drove home with one eye closed and praying I didn’t get stopped by a cop.”

I also discovered that a month before his ex came to town he had texted another girl for about 2 weeks. He told me he never intended for anything to happen. He just wanted to flirt and have someone appreciate him. He wanted to feel wanted. I have never felt such heartbreak before in my life. I've agreed to stay and try and work this out. I love him so much that I’m willing to risk the heartbreak again. My therapist and I have been working out the details of what led to this indiscretion. He’s going to therapy and we are going to couple’s therapy.

HOWEVER, the story is now a little more complex than that....

A week after his infidelity, I was wanting to be intimate and he was avoiding it. I assumed it was to do with my emotional instability during that fragile time. He then explained, “There's nothing I want more than to be with you right now. But, there's one final secret I've been keeping from you." I figured this was going to be the talk I had anticipated since his time in the hospital. He explained that he was having a tingling in his genitals and that he had had it a little over a year ago. He said, "I never got sores during those times, but since I've had my thumb flare up twice in the last few months. I now know what that feeling is. I don't want to risk infecting you." I explained that I had figured it was in more than just his thumb since his hospitalization.

Well, two days ago, I stumbled upon some old lab results of his from 9 months before we met. It was a culture that was positive for HSV-2. I confronted him and then he admitted that he had had a sore on his penis over two years ago that was positive.

He has said that at the beginning of our relationship we were casual and used condoms. Then I didn’t want to use condoms and he thought that was great. He hadn’t had any other symptoms so he figured he was good. Then we became a real relationship and he just couldn’t admit it to me and to himself. He claims that things then just progressed in our relationship and he was too ashamed to disclose. He said he has always believed that his HSV has now made its place at home in his thumb and that other than tingling twice in the last two years, he has had no other genital symptoms.

For the second time in the last two months, I feel betrayed and ashamed. Also, for the second time in the last two months, I feel a little stupid that I forgive him and I understand why he did what he did (with both the affair and not disclosing his status). This is probably the hardest time in my life, emotionally, and my life hasn’t been an easy one to say the least.

As I continuously ask my therapist, am I crazy? How can someone violate my trust so much in the last two months and yet I forgive him and am attempting to understand him more? Do I even really know this man? Is he an evil genius sex addict that has been able to keep everything a secret for so long? Will I ever be able to trust him again? What happens to me and my health at this point? I’ve had full STD work ups twice in the last year with my gynecologist and I’ve always been clean. Of course, they haven’t checked for HSV. What do I do?


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