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

Trying to cope (long time coming)

Recommended Posts

I learned about my diagnosis one month after I was married. We were both tested for any STDs prior to marriage and were told we both were free of any diagnoses. However, when I followed up with the doctor's office afterwards they told me, then, they do not test for herpes. I was devestated and crushed. My husband said he felt terrible and was unaware he had it, and we both still carry a lot of pain around how things happened and how uneducated we were. Every time my anniversary comes around, it's the anniversary of when I contracted as well. I had to find some support and am glad I found this site because I feel like he leaves me to deal with the emotional aspects on my own. We haven't been intimate, and I feel like my health status has kept me in this longer because I'm uncertain about how I will be received if I move on. I feel like I'm being rejected now and am scared of future rejection at the same time. I hope to gain some perspective in being a part of this community. I really want to learn how to better deal with my status whether I'm in a relationship or not. Only two people besides my husband are aware, and one only knows because she was my marriage counselor. This was a much needed step so I could learn how to still live fully.

Link to comment

First step,

Talk to your husband.

You may need to start by cutting the marriage counseling sensativity angle and attempting to reach a genuine level of communication centered around blunt honesty.


For example, have you sat down together and discussed how you felt when you were diagnosed?

Have you asked the really scary, difficult questions like "did you know?" "Were you always faithful?" And "why are we letting herpes become the center of our feelings toward eaxh other, rather than focusing on what brought us together in the first place?"


Those kinds of questions in the sterile counseling environment get some very different answers than what is bluntly true.


If you have done thise things, was the conversation dominated by careful adherence to rules of pleasantries, or did you allow each other to express sadness, disappoinent and regret?


Obviously, take all this advice carefully. I've never been married, and my relationships may all be a mess of debacle and shambles.

But, when what you are trying so far hasn't worked for a long time, it may be time to approach issues differntly.


Give each other permission to be human beings and not chaste examoles of undying political correctness, or clinical platitudes.


If you haven't worked past your diagnosis, you haven't communicated about it.

Just be prepared for some serious challlenges of patience, understanding and empathy. Because I guarantee that's what effective communication takes.

If no subject is truely taboo, hurt us going to happen.

Link to comment

Thanks, RegularGuy. Yes we've had conversations outside of therapy. I find that effective communication, however, requires two people who are willing and capable (the key) of being open and vulnerable with one another, partnership. I didn't mean to imply or for you to infer that herpes was our only issue. It's difficult to sum up years of marriage in a couple of paragraphs. Herpes is just one issue that has intensified others that would probably still be issues regardless (i.e. dismissiveness and passive aggressiveness, running/shutting down from uncomfortable emotions), but I don't think I would be struggling with what to do if I wasn't +. So that is what I am trying to work through on my own and why I needed to find additional support. I also get where you're coming from, if therapy is plagued with niceties it isn't going to be effective. Good therapy means people can lay that stuff down without being afraid, but they still have to be willing to do so in and outside of therapy. I'm in the process of considering returning by myself. Thanks for the suggestions.

Link to comment

I get you.

Very difficult to get the whole picture from a single post.

It sounds like ol dude leans toward a certain style of handling his own emotions and communication of them in a way that might not be so easy for you to empathize with and navigate.

Unfortunately, none of us dudes are really good at things like empathy and compassion, especially when we feel scrutiny of those closest to us. Becoming defensive and evasive is a common struggle.

I had a little taste of this dynamic with my girlfriend just today. Not the same context, but I began minimizing and deflecting the significance of my actions, only to realize that I was doing so to avoid responsibility and end the conversation quickly. It feels like turning a huge amount of momentum around to reverse that instinctive behavior and let empathy be more important than justifying.

A little effort goes a long way, though.


All that said, there is a possibility that your husband's behavior is more than simply typical of the gender. Either that he feels futility outweighs progress, or that he genuinely fears the conclusions of such conversations might be worse than letting the issues stand.

There is a lot of long term effort to be invested in assuring a significant other that difficult conversations won't spoil the relationship, only help to grow a level of closeness. That's a pretty steep hill to climb, one that I certainly have not ever achived in any relationship, current one included. While things might be trucking along fine, I see my girlfriend's hesitation to approach honest expression of disapproval as a flaw on my part for not having assured her through my reactions and behavior that those discussions will turn out fine.


That is all to point out that we all have some stuff to work on both internally and toward our partners that will likely be a life long endeavor. But the bottom line is that both people have to try. It seems like you feel like you are giving a 100% effort and him less, netting zero communication or close to it. I have felt the same way in the past, and it is very frustrating.

It is an obstacle that can be overcome, and maybe one on one counseling might help. But you have to believe that there is a solution that doesn't involve the properties of the universe changing, that he will still be him and you will still be you. Just better aware of how your individual words and actions are received.

It sounds like you have been working on that for a while.

Do you feel like your husband is working on it as well?

Link to comment

We recently had a conversation and I asked how much he felt he was giving or investing. He told me up to 80 percent at times but definitely lower more often than not. He also didn't think that giving more was something he was capable of (which I asked years before because I don't believe in holding unrealistic expectations if someone isn't capable). This was the first time he acknowledged it. So I'm willing to work on healing me so I can still be my best and not wrapped up in pity/sorrow. Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate other perspectives and they help gain clarity.

Link to comment

Well, if he is aware that he is putting in max 80%, he may likely be struggling with some internal thoughts and feelings about himself. The defeatist attitude is sadly very common. I know a few people that struggle in that way just about every day. There are a lot of underlying causes behind why someone will not do the few simple things they need in order to get the results they want. It turns into anxiety, shame, and depression sometimes, but always manifests as apathy or excuse-making.

When it's a loved one suffering from this kind of disinterest or inability to grow, evolve and succeed, it can be both heartbreaking and very frustrating.

I'm sorry to hear that the investment of effort probably isn't even in your relationship. That's something I don't know how to navigate myself.

It leaves one feeling unappreciated and taken for granted. But you can't expect another person to be coherced into behaving differntly or thinking didferently. Interactions with a significant other are very much rooted in projecting ones feelings about themself.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

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...