Jump to content
  • Want to be a part of a supportive community? Join the H Opp community for free.

    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Should I forgive him?

Recommended Posts

Hi All


So, two years ago I got diagnosed with HSV2.


I had moved overseas to be with my boyfriend. It was our first two months of living together and stupidly I did not insist on an STD check. We were caught up in the passion. He told me he got coldsores on his mouth from the start of the relationship and I was glad he informed me as I did not have any kind of herpes. We agreed to avoid kissing when he felt one coming on. And when it happend - we did just that. I felt respected and good.


All in all I felt loved, happy, respected and madly in love.


Until I wake up with the symptoms one day in agony. Coincidentally in the light of day see a sore on his genitals. I instinctively knew what it was. I asked him 'what is that?' and he saidit's a sore from having too much sex. He said It comes sometimes, maybe I'm too rough . He said I just put cream on it. I say well, that looks like herpes to me...


He said what do you mean? And he looked genuinely ignorant. I said, you know how you get coldsores, its that, but on ur genitals. Have you ever seen a Dr about it? And he said No no i dont think its that - how?


Anyway long story short he came with me to the Dr where they confirmed HSV2. I was devastated. in pain. angry. sad. I felt trapped.


We did a full STD screen of both of us and it came back with HSV2 for us both. So I guess the one on his mouth is HSV2, as is the genital one.


Anyway he cried and cried and cried and was apologising profusely swearing black and blue he never knew he had the genital one. He called his sister and mother with my permission to tell them what happened and they were very loving and kind to me. His sister said I had a right to be pissed off - but also believed , as did his mum, that he really never knew.


We moved past it slowly but i felt resentment to him. I tried not to feel it but I did. I felt depressed to be honest. I asked if he cheated or something, he said no unfortunately its just because he has always had it and never been diagnosed. He said outbreaks for him were limited to what i saw. Which was one, tiny little red sore. So small you would think it was an ingrown hair.


Anyway, 6 months on and we are still together. I have my 3 year pap smear and low and behold have high risk HPV. I completely lose my shit. I had never heard of HPV. We both went to drs in shock, as we thought our full std screening included this but it didnt.


I now lose all faith in him and our relationship. I lose more respect and self esteem. I get depressed. gain weight. Stop going gym. Stop looking good for myself and him and he keeps trying and being nice but eventually pulls away to friends too. We argue a lot and still feel the love, but the trust is somehow broken.


The gyno we saw when i had a colopscopy discharged me saying my biopsy is normal and fine - thank god. He said hpv is so common and condoms dont protect anyway. I ask about cheating and he laughs and is kind, my partner is so ashemed on verge of tears, the dr looks at us and says no, you can carry it from ur first partner to ur last - no way to know. He said it tends to reveal itself whent he immune system is low. My immune system was SO low. My dad got cancer in that time, I started a new job in a new country, new relationship, herpes, now HPV . I was fried.


Anyway. Now its 2.5 years into the relationship. He has been supportive attending regular dr appointments with me. He cooks good food and is keen to learn about lysine and natural supplements. He is loving and nurturing and never gives me reason to think he is cheating or ever would (withthe exception of these stds)


So i really dont know what to do..because inside I still resent him for this. I dont know how to get past it. i dont know how to forgive - purely because I dont believe he didnt realsie he had genital herpes...he had the mouth one, he knows what it looks like, how could he not put 2 and 2 together? Then again he does come from a very conservative eastern, muslim culture that isnt as open as we are in the west about sex. It is shamed and youre expected to figure these things out alone. He told me all he knew is what his mum drummed into him about wear a condom for protection agaisnt HIV. so, he did!


Anyway I hope someone on here can please give me some advice on how to proceed.


I dont mean to be too graphic but when I asked him when he first noticed the sore on himself he told me it was 4 years ago in his room. He had been masturbating , he distinctly remembered the moment because he spat on his hand and when he rubbed himself it hurt in one place, he looked and figured his thumb ring must have caught the skin. He siad thats the first time he really went 'whats that?'.


As for HPV, its true I could have had it before I met him but no pap smear before picked it up. So its awfully coincidental.


I did meet him 6 months after the end of his relationship with a woman. But we didnt sleep together until months later. So, I'm not sure if that means anything, but, anyway...


I do love him. I love him SO much. He is kind, makes me feel beautiful even when I have breakouts, his family love and welcome me, he gives 100percent of his effort in all he does. His friends are nice and his humour is amazing. He did cry and feel shame and sadness after all this. So hes not emotionally void. I just wish I culd stop resenting him and move on.


Then again i do doubt mysef . What if its all lies, what if he did know he had it and gave it to me to trap me, or didnt care? What if he lies - that would be a huge issue .



Your input encouraged - sorry for length jsut feels so good to get this off my chest. I have only told one friend and my mum . Adn my mum is very judgemntal and now kinda bitchy to him which i hate and set a boundary with. When i was young, she told me an aunty of mine had genital herpes - and used to say 'ewww thats viral, so disgusting, thats what you get for sleeping around with those dirty surfer guys'. And even as a kid i thought wow, thats so mean. Its not her fault. I guess i regret telling her. but in the moment of panic overseas with no true or deep friends u can trust, and not even sure if ur partner is for real,,,its like, what choice do i have...anyway. Thanks guys. Feels good to talk x

Link to comment

@warmcuddles I think it's normal to want to blame someone or have anger and resentment toward someone in these situations. I think it may even be a necessary part of processing the diagnosis and coming to terms with it. But it does sound like it's reached a point of being counterproductive.


If it helps, it is true that HPV is extremely common. There is no HPV test for men, so the only way they know they have it is if they happen to get a strain that has the potential to cause warts and then go on to develop warts (which doesn't always happen or can happen decades later), or they find out later in life that they have an HPV related throat cancer which is more common among men than women. There is no easy preventive test like the pap smear because the location (crypts of the tonsils) is much harder to access than the cervix. So men who get other strains and those who do not develop warts or cancer can't know they have HPV. And as your doctor said, condoms only provide partial protection. This is why the vaccine for HPV is given to children of 11 and 12 years old. Many people contract HPV within a year or two of becoming sexually active, so they vaccinate when it is assumed the kids aren't yet sexually active. 70% of sexually active women contract one or more strains of HPV by the age of 22.


As for the misidentified or ignored HSV symptoms, you will read MANY posts from people with a history of similarly mild symptoms (ingrown hair, pimple, jock itch, yeast infection, razor burn, etc.) who went so far as to specifically ask health care providers if it could be herpes only to be told that's not how herpes looks, there's no way to miss it, it's clusters of painful blisters. Type herpes into Google images and you'll get the same impression. The majority of people with genital herpes have symptoms so mild they don't put it together that it could be herpes. Combine this lack of understanding and awareness with the the fact that HSV is not included in standard STI panels and you have lots of people unknowingly living with HSV. It is believed 80-90% of those who are HSV+ are unaware.


I'm not saying it's impossible he could have had a strong suspicion he had genital herpes and didn't seek testing or treatment. I have no idea. But I do think it would be healthy for you to let that go if you can. The outcome can't be changed at this point and it sounds like it's complicating your relationship. Removing that issue from the equation may allow you to better determine whether it's the right relationship for you.

Link to comment

Thanks so so very much for your reply. I agree i feel this grieving and blaming is somehow part of acceptance. I am starting to dislike myself for holding a grudge. I have tried my hardest to be positive. What has happened is, I've recently had a bad outbreak and it brings up old issues of sadness about it. Feeling worthless. I'm also apart from him temporarily while we sort out visa issues, So maybe the bigger issue here for me is trust. In general - with anyone. It isn't just with him, though it comes out with him. My family and parents were not actively involved in my welfare and safety after I left home, not much when i was growing up either. It was a very abusive scary household. In a way I almost expect abuse - so that when i finally found a nice man. I felt this was like a punishment for getting what i wanted. And i was waiting to find out more bad things about him i guess...but since that, its just been full of love. Maybe this brought out my deeper issues a little more. Which isnt fun. But yes I agree, its counterproductive now adn I need to trust, let go and enjoy the relationship. Thank you.

Link to comment

Sorry, maybe I hit something other than "post comment."


It sounds like he is a wonderful man. Supportive, doting, concerned, loving.

You love him too, you said. That's great.


Don't let the anger and frustration of the situation come between you--

many folks never find what it sounds like you "have"--a solid, happy relationship.


My husband and I both have HSV2--I was diagnosed first and had to deliver the news to him

and that he needed to see the doctor for testing/medication.


I was a virgin when we married, then a bit on the wild-side when we separated.

Later we reconciled and we are happier than we have ever been.

So of course, I felt like it was my fault.

I was scared of how he would react when I told him. He handled it well.

I was scared he might even leave me. He didn't.


He was not a virgin when we married and as we look back (not in blame, but in irony)

the puzzle pieces started coming together.


Although we can never be sure, we think he was thecarrier/had it first.

Our son was born with small blisters on his cheek, the doctor gave us zovirax cream and said something about cold sore virus. My husband had cold sores/fever blisters etc., occasionally when we were dating, so did most of his siblongs and mother. I never "got" them--I just didn't seem succeptable and assumed it was hereditary.


I thought I was coming down with the shingles the first time I had an outbreak--I was standing at the sink washing dishes and it felt like someone stuck a cattle-prod to me. For a split-second I thought I had been electrocuted. Then blisters appeared--not

on my vagina, but on my hip/side, where the side-seam of my underwear was.

My doctor suspected otherwise and ordered bloodwork--positive.

We both were.


What I couldn't wrap my head around was that when we reconciled the marriage,

I had myself tested for STD's. The results were negative.

My doctor said the virus can stay dormant and then suddenly appear and that if my husband had multiple sex partners, either one of is could have transmitted it to the other, and it could have gone all the way back to his first sexual partner, there was really nonway to know for sure.

My husband was so naive about herpes, he thought a person could get it from coming in contact with public toilets. I think your boyfriend is naive too--he probably truly related the "bump" to a cold sore.


There are two things that can happen now--this can bring you closer together, or tear you apart.

It sounds like he is willing to do everything in his power to comfort you--he sounds willing to accept things for what they are, and move

forward. Anger, frustration, confusion, denial, reasoning are all natural responses to any loss,

and you are experiencing those emotions. That is normal.

Eventually you will reach acceptance.

Like a death of someone we love, we learn to deal with it--to accept it, for our own well-being.


I hope this helps and you can find/reach acceptance. When you do, you might still

occasionally struggle with those other emotions cropping up from time to time, but you just

learn to accept things as they are, and look forward.


I hope this helps--virtual hugs to you and your boyfriend.





Link to comment

Hi @warm cuddles,


I am going to chime in here. It sounds like you could use a good therapist to get you through some of your traumatic past. It sounds to me like you might be projecting some of the trauma from your past onto your boyfriend. Getting a trained person's perspective and doing some work on yourself to help you let go may be the way to go. You certainly sound like you have a very supportive partner. Not all cultures view stds in the same light as Americans. That western stigma is just that, an irrelevant stigma. Anyway, it takes one to know one ;)... I had to deal with my traumatic past to finally heal. Please work on your healing again. Be honest with your man and start to work on yourselfrom. Go to the gym, eat healthy, reduce stress and you will start to feel better. Ask your Mom to refrain from talking about these things with you and treat your man with the respect he deserves.

Link to comment

Dear @sail Thank you so much for your input. You are spot on. I do have a lot of underbelly issues from a traumatic upbringing with many abuse issues around emotional, mental and physical aspects. Its only now at nearing 30 that I start to unpack all of that and set bigger boundaries with my family. Sometimes they still tryt o make me doubt my relationships and make me feel unlovable and that I should return home to playthe punching bag and family therapist. But i refuse. Its sad to learn they dont care and all that abuse was endured for nothing. I guess thats the hallmark of emotional abuse - you think its for a purpose or reason and one day youl be rewarded, loved, the favour of sacrifice will come back - but it never does. They are as selfish today as they were then. I actually started therapy a few years back for an unrelated situation and found it amazing and wonderful. I thought I was the crazy, bad one - in fact I realised I had been a victim of my family. It shifted my whole view on life and myself in such a profound way. I will do more therapy in time, right now im away from my husband but when we settle again i will. it is helpful and its almost sad unpacking all the abuse however, because i just fel so sorry for the younger me. I do know that stop living in disney land and pretending my past is fine is important for healing though. Just so hard to reconcile the truth with the truth, when my coping mechanism was dellusion. and amke believe. to just get through. Thank you xx

Link to comment

Dear @lifeisgood i re-read your message many times in past few days. It rang home so much xx thank yu from the bottom of my heart. I am so happy you and your husband are back together i wish you nothing but success, love, understanding and honest loving communication - you deserve it! You are right that its something you have to let go of, like a death isnt it? And im sure @sail is right that a traumatic abusive past made me feel unsafe again - it triggered past pain and made me feel he was the abuser, abusing my body with this disease. And old issues of not trusting myself to protect myself from pain resurfaced. So thank you so much for being my inspiration here and for the gentleness on my partner - he is truly a good man and i do feel very loved with him. I never expected all these issues to come out from hpv and herpes, but i guess its meant to me. Otherwise, maybe id never open up to him about a messed up past, becuase i was ashamed. its amazing how things link and relate isnt it? Thank you again xx hugs

Link to comment

@warm cuddles. Hi I'm glad you felt that I offered something relevant to you. Listen I had been with the same man for 17yrs before I was exposed to herpes. The 1st man on the market gave it to me, he knew he had it, he knew it was contagious and he didn't care about exposing me without my knowledge. I think you got the better end of the deal here sister! My point is I really think that your man simply didn't put 2 and 2 together. It happens. As for herpes it's an opportunistic virus and hpv is as well, as is every single virus on earth. I asked the practioner for the vaccine for it because I do not have it and they laughed, Im too old at 36yrs for the vaccine, and basically told me to enjoy the virus because almost everyone has it. It sucks, but I Have PRETTY much come to the conclusion that when I do get exposed that at least it will be with someone I adore and that adores me. With any luck it won't be the dangerous strain that causes cervical cancer.

Link to comment

@sail well lol I have the cancer strain! That's partly why I waswas overwhelmed.. Still, doesn't mean you have will definitely have cancer. Just have to maintain checkups. I'm one and half year in with six more months to clear the virus. Even if I don't. Cervical cancer has excellent treatment rates. I hope u find a wonderful man x

Link to comment

@warm cuddles . Well ain't life a b***** sometimes! Yes, doesn't guarantee that you will get cervical CA. If caught early cervical CA very treatable and yes it would be very wise to continue getting preventative checkups! Good luck. Xx back!

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...