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Settling and never finding true love

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So my Ex keeps popping in and out of my life ans it's so confusing. This last time he just stop dealing with me for 2-3 weeks with out any explanation or anything. I was so hurt and devastated. I love him so much but I think I'm only dealing with him because he have me herpes. I don't want to have to disclose to anyone I'm scared of rejection. Especially because of where I work and my job title. He just came back around telling me how much he loves me and he wants us to work things out and how much of a good women I am. He still has never acknowledged that fact that he gave it to me. I honestly thinks he's in denial. He won't admit that he has it. So he drops a bomb on me and tells me he has a baby on the way. My heart dropped . We've been broken up for 7 months but we've been back in each other's lives the last 2 months. He's telling me that he don't want the baby at all but he do what's right and take care of it. He also said he doesn't want to be with the mother either. He said that's why he fell back from me for this couple weeks because he didn't want to hurt me and he didn't know how to tell me because we we're just getting back on the right track. So I told him we will work things out and discuss things deeper if we decide to be together. I told him I would support him. Just as long as him and her are truly over. I swear I love this man so much but I do always know that I wouldn't have stuck around that long after we ended the relationship. We been talking about the future buying a house getting a business together. But now he's acting funny again and being short with me. Last week he spent the night with every night expect for 2. He has his own place. I swear I just hate that I have this. I feel like I'm only putting up with this because of what he gave me. I don't want to pass this on to anyone so I only deal with him. It's so much that I love about him. He keep saying he's so stressed and going through a lot. I don't even know what to think about us anymore. Life is just so much easier without this. He thinks he's stressed I am too. I just don't know what to do? I'm so scared I'll be alone forever. This is a hurting feeling. I'm a good woman and I have a lot to offer someone.

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You said it girl - you are a good woman and you have a lot to offer! I know the feeling of being stuck in a crappy relationship because of your own shame/anxieties. When I finally got out of mine I was scared and anxious all the time of having to deal with this. But you know what? It's been way better than I expected. Yeah it's annoying, but you've already taken the amazing first step of acknowledging how you feel, and reminding yourself you are a good person. And you care about others. You will see that telling others is one of the most validating experiences - it is hard, but once you have done it it makes you feel brave, and agentic, and caring. You seem like a great person, and you have every right to step away from a relationship that is toxic and a man that doesn't respect you or give you what you need. There are some AMAZING people out there who will want you and love you, herpes and all.

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@FlowerPower thanks! I just can't wait to wake up one day and all the feelings that I have for him are gone . I will be so happy. I swear sometimes I just want to shout what I have to the world. But then I don't I'm afraid of how people will view me. Have you had to disclose to anyone if so how was it? Any advice?

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When I divorced, some of the best advice I ever received was to cut off contact with an ex entirely. I couldn't quite do that 100% because we own a dog together and he watched the dog often, but I set a boundary for only e-mail or text and only about the dog. My ex eventually caught on that I wasn't going to answer calls or reply to texts about anything except the must-know information about caring for the dog. It felt FABULOUS. Believe me, he tried.....kept sending texts of old memories, funny memes about golden retrievers, etc. but I stuck to my guns. I, too, was terrified about being alone and not finding anyone better. Turns out being single is actually a lot of fun for me right now and not having to deal with his drama feels so awesome.


I used that same no-contact technique over a year later with the guy I was seeing long-distance when I got my HSV diagnosis. He was super nice at first, but over the next few months he kind of slowly faded into the woodwork. I still had strong feelings for him and kept reaching out to him with a lukewarm reception. I had a really hard time facing the fact that he just wasn't that into me and I was just making myself miserable by continuing to chase him. Not to mention I surely looked pathetic, but my diagnosis had just obliterated my confidence for a while. Eventually I got up the courage to just cut off contact entirely. No chats, no text, no Facebook likes or stalking his social media.....just cold turkey. That whole "longing for him" feeling was gone within a matter of weeks. Magic!


He's your ex for a reason. (Multiple reasons as you state in your post.). You can do so much better! {hugs}

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@HikingGirl, I am going through the same thing right now - ex is sending me a long sappy email a week, and they have been escalating in intensity. I've been using all of my self control to not email him back at all (except about house things, bills etc). It feels so empowering. I don't feel a longing for him right now, and I'm currently dating two different, awesome people and having a great time! Being single is great.

@TaintedLove, I have disclosed to several people over the years and have only ever had one rejection because of it. After my separation I was really freaked out about it because I hadn't had to think about herpes for 10 years during my marriage, let alone disclose to anyone. I had two very different experiences. The first guy I thought was just going to be a one night stand and I so badly wanted to feel normal and sexy and free (and I was drunk) that I didn't tell him when we first slept together (with protection). I told myself I didn't need to feel guilty about it, and honestly, it wasn't the guilt as much as the internalized shame that really got to me. You see, I realized, that as we continued to see each other that me not telling him was more a reflection of how I felt about myself - I believed that that info was so terrible that no one would want me if I told them. This solidified my shame and anxiety, along with the worry that I would transmit to him without it being his choice to take the risk. When I finally told him, he actually took it pretty well, and even thanked me for being so honest. I just said, listen I want you to know, because I care about you, that I have hsv, commonly known as herpes, so before we sleep together again, I want you to consider this. After that, I felt such relief, but even more importantly, I felt empowered, agentic, and proud of myself. I felt some of that self-imposed shame disappear. Also, and this was super interesting to me, I felt some of my attraction to him disappear - it had been so wrapped up in feeling less worthy and possible rejection that when I finally dealt with that info, I realized that he wasn't as attractive as I thought. That was a pretty immediate feeling, and regained some of my own power.

The second guy was way more of an emotional connection (e.g. someone I wanted to date) and I trusted him right off the bat, so on our second date, as we were talking candidly about our anxieties, I mentioned that one of mine, when it comes to relationships, was having herpes and the stigma attached to that. He told me he got cold sores and we discussed the similarity. He then told me I was an amazing person and couldn't wait to spend more time with me. I should note that both of these relationships are casual, not monogamous (with everyone's consent), so yeah, fun times.

My advice is: the biggest source of shame and fear is your self. When you keep that shame inside, all it does is reinforce that you have something to be ashamed about. Sometimes people might not want to take the risk of getting an STI (though sex always has a risk and there are much worse STI's to be gotten), but knowing that you did the right thing by giving them that choice, and that you offered that info forward because it's a small part of you and because you want people to accept you as you are, will help you accept yourself and others to trust you. But it might be slow and difficult to really get to this point. The only way to do that is to practice. I started by telling my friends and family. I highly recommend a therapist. Just say the word Herpes out loud as much as possible so it loses its strength. You might be surprised what your friends tell you when you disclose to them. One of my best friends told me in response that he had AIDS. That put things in perspective a bit for me.

People are generally good - most people, especially the kind you will end up attracting, will be kind and decent, even if they don't want to sleep with you. You will have to learn to see your value not in how many people want you sexually, but in how brave, resilient, good hearted, and intelligent you are. And you will, as soon as you practice letting go of the shame.


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@Flower Power you just made me cry. I swear I wish I was strong and brave. Sometimes I want to yell it to the world and see what everyone's reaction will be. I live in a small town and people talk about this as the worst thing ever. I'm ashamed and afraid. I'm a nurse and hearing how other nurses talk about people with diseases upsets me at times. Some of my family and closest friends knew right away. I went into a bad depression. I disclosed to this guy he took it well but he cut me off right afterwards. He's someone that I would have loved to be with. But oh well. I just ask God to please give me the strength and courage to get over my ex. This is not healthy for me at all. @HikingGirl I wish it was that easy for me. I just want them feelings to be gone so bad. Every time he see me easing away he comes back into my life. I just to be able to tell him NO! And mean it. I just be feeling like know ines going to want me. I swear where I live people talk about this so much. Work, social media, even when I'm at at the beauty salon. Especially since the whole thing with Usher. The only time I feel good about the situation is when I'm with my ex. I don't have to pretend or be scared. I wish it wasn't like this. I just want to get off him and live life again.

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Well, the fact is that people love to gossip and they will talk about ANYTHING. It's just a word, really, that is used as a marker for shame. So many words have been used in that way: gay, slut, poor, home-wrecker, whipped....you name it. Unfortunately people externalize their own shame or disappointment about themselves (whatever that is) onto others because it makes them feel better about themselves. Especially when it becomes dissociated from actual people they know and love. Think about it this way - for a long time, people would talk as if being gay was the worst thing ever. They would whisper about people behind their backs and vow to disown their own child if they found out he liked men. But how many people have actually disowned their children? A study found recently that people would say they hated transgender folks, until they actually had a conversation with a transgender person. Then their attitudes changed. Part of it is not knowing much, another is the need to denigrate in order to seem better in the eyes of friends and neighbors, and yet another is the feelings of shame people have around their own sexuality. But how many people have sex, even risky sex? Lots. They can't be that scared of it. And my own experience tells me that when they actually put a face to the thing, its not quite as scary as they thought, especially with adequate information. Again, I've had plenty of kind, loving, hot, wonderful people want to sleep with me and have a relationship. I can't tell you what to do with your relationship. The best thing anyone ever did for me regarding mine was to give me permission to be scared and not brave (it's scary!) and not pressure me to leave him. But I can say the only way to get over the fear is to face it. When I finally did, it was scary as hell, and it still is sometimes, but I'm learning to love myself again. I believe you can too!

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Thanks @FlowerChild.... well said those words were very encouraging. I have to start believing in me again and face my fears. I need to face the fact that this is me and there's no getting around. I am a wonderful person. I love my life and I love my children. I'm believing in me again and I'm go start back living and enjoying life again. Thank you so much. ❤❤❤

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