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2 Disclosures to Make: Former Lover as confidante / Current Lover as I was just diagnosed

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DISCLOSURE #1: Former Lover as my confidante


Should my disclosure talk (which will be my first ever) be any different in this case?


The only person I can think of to confide in with 100% total trust is a former lover. We were together for 2 years about 15 years ago, and we were together for a year having just recently broken up before I started seeing the person I am currently with (and who I suspect gave me HSV-1). Former Lover and I have not slept together since I started seeing the new guy two months ago. We have been good friends throughout these years and I trust him completely not to be judgmental and to genuinely care about what's going on with me. I don't have close girlfriends that I trust completely like I trust him.


Yesterday I was practicing what I might say to Former Lover and thinking I should go over today to talk to him. I really, really need someone to talk to about this because it's causing me such turmoil keeping it to myself.


But then I realized that by telling Former Lover, it's not just me whining about my situation and looking for a shoulder to cry on. He is going to wonder if I could have given this to him, or if he could have given this to me.


So I need to be sensitive to his feelings.


When we were together, we never used a condom. We were exclusive. But we've both had lovers before each other, of course.


Should I treat this like a regular disclosure talk? Or treat it like telling a friend because I need support? Or a hybrid of the two?


I was also going to ask him for advice about revealing it to the current boyfriend.



DISCLOSURE #2: Current lover of 2 months, who I'm still seeing and hope to continue seeing


Current boyfriend (who I see on weekends due to distance, but not every weekend) knows nothing about the HSV-1 diagnosis. He (and the rest of my world) know the initial diagnosis, which was impetigo (highly contagious bacterial infection of the skin, common in children, caused massive breakout on my face).


I suspect the current boyfriend gave me H, but there's really no way to be sure, correct? When the dermatologist looked at my face (before taking a swab and blood for testing), I told her the story of how current boyfriend's mustache had rubbed a raw spot on my lip a week before my outbreak began, and I kept touching it. She shook her head and said, "Yeah, no. He gave this to you. He probably doesn't even know he has it. The incubation period is right in line with him being the one."


As far as what the dermatologist said, should I even bring that up when I tell current boyfriend? I know I shouldn't say anything in a way that accuses him.


He has said something twice that made me think that he might have cold sores. He said he gets places near his mouth sometimes when he shaves, so he's worn a mustache and small beard for several years. That got me thinking that he might already have this.


Or just present it to him as how I found out I have the virus that causes cold sores, he may have it as well, etc.




Thanks, everyone!

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This afternoon, I visited Former Lover and told him the whole story chronologically, from the start of the breakout, through the misdiagnosis, to the dermatologist scaring me with the possibility of HIV, my almost a week and a half in isolation and despair, the diagnosis of HSV coming one very long week after the swabs were done (and still no blood test results yet), my emotional roller coaster, my concern for him and asking him to get tested (and I made sure he understood that he would need to ask specifically for HSV tests to be included).


I cried. He reassured me that everything will be okay and I'm still the same person I've always been.


We talked about how I might tell the current boyfriend in a way that doesn't sound like I'm accusing him. I told him I realize this guy might dump me on the spot, and I'm going to have to be okay with that. I can do my best to make someone understand this very-often-misunderstood illness, but I can't make them truly understand. I've been dumped before. I've spent a decade in self-induced celibacy. I've survived a broken heart many times before. If this guy dumps me -- as much as I like him and was feeling like we might have a future before this happened -- so be it.


It was a HUGE relief to tell someone. I let him know that he is the only person I feel like I can confide in with 100% trust. We discussed our odd friendship -- lovers many years ago, then lovers again recently, and friends throughout all of these years. He let me know that he is always here for me.


That went really well. I do feel a lot better. I've had a lot of tears today.


Now I've got some time to work through how I will present this to the current boyfriend.

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Current Boyfriend has reserved a jacuzzi suite at a hotel for two nights over the New Year's weekend, so I have about 7 days to figure out how I am going to begin this conversation about H with him.


This will be the first time we have seen each other in person since I was infected (based on the doctor telling me the timeline fit together for me being exposed by him and then the awful OB I had), due to us leaving a little over an hour apart, me being sick and disgusting to look out for so long, and then family obligations and holidays.


During this time that we haven't seen each other, we've made progress as far as getting to know each other better. This is a new relationship. We're exclusive. We both slept with other people (unprotected) right after our first date, but then decided we wanted to focus on each other. So it's been nearly three months now that we have not seen anyone else.


I'm trying not to be nervous about starting this conversation. I don't want to cause an OB when I'm finally healing from my first (and only, so far) OB.


He'll drive to my house and pick me up before we drive to where our reservations are.


Should I sit him down at my house and start this conversation before we ever begin the drive? Or tell him while we're driving?


There's a good chance he will leave, go back home, and I'll never hear from him again. Then the jacuzzi weekend will not happen. In that case, I'll probably go have two quiet nights for myself and relax in that giant tub.


But I'm hoping that since we really like each other and have been getting to know each other, he'll use logic about this whole thing. Especially since the doctor said there's a 98% chance I got it from him.


I've read through all of the disclosure posts to look for hints on how to present this to current boyfriend.


Any other tips? I realize I should not begin with, "My doctor said you gave this to me," but the recommendations to begin the conversation with, "Do you ever get cold sores? Yeah, me too" doesn't seem authentic.


Thanks everyone!


P.S. My test results said HSV and genital HSV. but did not indicate 1 or 2. I'm assuming it's type 1, but blood tests have not come back yet. I had an incredibly severe facial OB and very mild genital OB. I don't think he has any idea that he could have this. The only mention of anything being amiss was when he made a comment about how he sometimes gets irritated places near his mouth when he shaves.



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I’m afraid I’m not any help with the how other than being really factual and straightforward. If I were in your shoes, I think I’d have the talk before the getaway. Preferably as soon as possible. I’m worried that if you wait until you’re all packed or in the car, and if the disclosure doesn’t go as hoped, it will make for an extremely tense and awkward getaway. While some recipients of a disclosure might not give it a second thought and want to move forward, some may need some time to think/process/research.

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