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Previously Known as "Dumfounded"

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I realize "dumfounded" spelling is subpar, I think that's a testament to how dumbfounded I really was when I first signed up. I have been wanting to change my name for a bit now. Not because of the spelling error but because I am no longer "dumfounded." So here's my new name and my complete story.


After having sex with my husband for close to the twelve hundredth time (that's a guesstimate) I went pee, and while wiping, my left labia majora felt sore. I assumed it was from his whiskers and went on with life. A couple days later that spot hurt like hell when pee got on it. I grabbed a mirror and with one leg on the counter I saw what looked like a very small canker sore. Again, I thought whiskers. A couple days later it stopped hurting so a checked it (same way) to confirm healing and noticed a small cluster of tiny blisters next to where the canker was. I FREAKED! my relationship is solid and never would I thought my husband cheated but I had to ask. After all neither of us have ever had any symptoms of HSV, including cold sores.


We put the kids to bed and I sat my dear husband down. "Did you cheat? I think I have herpes." My husband was dumbfounded, like me. Of course he didn't cheat and he reassured me of that. I had to have been wrong about what I saw. So, with the kids asleep and the door shut we got a flashlight. I was bent in half trying to get a good look while my husband manned the flashlight and moved in close enough for a look of his own. He's never been that close to my lady bits without the intention of sexual pleasure. Even childbirth didn't warrant such proximity. "yep, I see blisters," he said. Nooooooooo! But he didn't cheat so it had to be on odd presentation of shingles. Since shingles occurs on just one side of the body this made good sense...until it didn't. Two days later another cluster appeared and my butt (where the sits bone is) on the other side. Another freak out and more googling.


It turns out herpes popping up 15 years into a monogamous relationship isn't that strange at all. In fact my doctor explained that it's more strange so many couples come to her dumbfounded (not dumfounded) that they got herpes out of nowhere. Talk about poor sex education.


After a visual diagnosis (no culture was done) and a negative IgG the assumption is, in the absence of a false negative, that my husband is an asymptomatic carrier and it took 15 years for this to become my lifetime buddy. After lots of what/why/where/when my husband remembered a possible cold sore ONCE as a child. We both have a very short history of previous partners (especially me) and since we have more oral sex than anything else it seems reasonable this came from what maybe was a cold sore 33 years ago, but who knows. We haven't cared enough to get my husband tested and I probably won't bother until my next annual appointment.


At first, I fell apart. I couldn't eat or sleep. I thought I failed my children (I didn't), and wondered how I could possibly be a good role model for them (I can). I worried my husband cheated (he didn't) and that I'd never want to have sex again (I do, several time already since this started in December). The three things that turned this around for me: my amazing husband and his laid back demeanor towards all of this, education and learning how innocuous this virus is, and this forum (particularly the veterans).


So from "dumfounded" spelled wrong to something less emotionally charged like "username" that's my story and here's to one more awesome person joining your community of enlightened folks with better sex education than most. If you're still reading you are a rockstar!


Thanks, herpes opportunity!

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Thanks for sharing this! I remember when you first posted here and it’s so heartwarming to read about how quickly your perspective has changed. I think your guesses about how the transmission may have happened sound very likely. I also enjoy reading stories from such varied backgrounds because it reinforces the fact that HSV is extremely common and anyone could have it. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

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  • 1 month later...

I saw this post after I had read your comment to my post. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s taking me quite some time to actually come on here after joining to read what others have gone through. My boyfriend has been the one to help me through this since we both tested positive and don’t know who gave it to who first(and we don’t hold grudges against the other). And somewhat similar with your story, my boyfriend has had cold sores quite common. I recently just learned that someone with a cold sore can give the other genital herpes if oral sex was preformed. I never knew! It’s definitely a big change to happen and at first it’s like your whole world has flipped and you think you’ll never be the same. Which in a sense I guess that’s true. But it doesn’t define who you are.

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