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My story/lessons over the years/loving yourself/dating

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Hey guys, I just wanted to share my story and offer some advice from my experience. 

I got herpes from the second guy I ever slept with after a long term relationship when I was 18. I am now 27.

Herpes ruined my self esteem and self acceptance. I've avoided relationships. Over the years I've sought  out men that I thought I could do better than only because I didn't think that men on my "level" would accept me. I didn't think I truly deserved it. I self sabotaged in so many ways because I felt disgusting and gross. I have subconciously sought out men with " problems"  because i figured theyd accept my problem in exchange for my acceptance of theirs.  Ive slept with people and not told them because I knew I was "being careful". I've left my family and moved away from my small home town city  because I feared letting myself get close to anyone Because then i would have to tell them I had herpes. I feared they would reject me and tell people. I have listened to people, friends, coworkers, society joke about how disgusting herpes is. 

A year ago I dated a guy who I actually thought I deserved and i didn't tell him I had herpes. I took antivirals everyday. 6 months into our relationship he got herpes. 

I broke all trust in our relationship by not being honest with him and our relationship ended. And now because of me , he has to live with herpes. I can honestly tell you that knowing I inflicted the same emotional suffering on him weighs much heavier then if I had just been honest with him from the start. The guilt is heavy.

Since then i have disclosed to 2 men that I went on dates with that I have herpes. They did not reject me. I'm sure in the future some will. And that's okay because you are more than herpes. 

Life is unfair and people can be cruel but don't keep the cycle going. EVERYONE has flaws whether they accept them, hide them, repress them. The right person will understand that, but first YOU need to find true value in yourself.  If you dont believe youre more then herpes then how can someone else believe that?

Its the anger that fuels the attitude of "well someone lied to me why shouldnt i"   The person who gave you herpes kept it secret because he was emotionally suffering with coming to terms with it himself. Be the person to find empathy and forgiveness and let the anger go for YOURSELF. The burden is much worse then the actual disease.

Herpes is not you and you are not herpes. Just like a cold is not someone and someone is not a cold.

If someone really loves you they will accept you for you. In reality, it is just a skin disorder and society has placed a huge stigma around it. But society is ignorant to most things because people are afraid of vulnerability. You are better than that !!

Also, throw the facts at them. When you're on antivirals and have sex without a condom it lessens the risk of passing it on to 2 percent a year. 4 percent without antivirals. That's the almost the SAME percent as the risk of pregnancy with a condom (1.5 percent) and 4 percent is the SAME percent as getting pregnant  using the "pull out method". Life Is full of risks so if someone really loves you then you'll be worth the 2 percent. 

Hope my story can offer some comfort and guidance to all of you. Life's short, don't let anyone tell you (or yourself) that you deserve the best 

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Thank for your insight. I was diagnosed with HSV 29 years ago. I have disclosed 5 times in those 29 years with no rejection, but I have similar thoughts as you. I now believe that I had a tendency to settle based on my partners willingness to accept my HSV status. I have been married twice...one of 15 years and the other of 3 years and believe both failed because the relationships were a perfect fit for either of us. I, too, have experienced the overwhelming guilt and giving a partner HSV, despite disclosing and taking precautions. It’s brutal and I feel the same.

Now I find myself in a relationship of several months with a long time friend of over 40 years. Yes....I said that correctly. We have not done anything to put her at risk and I have not disclosed yet but need to very soon. She is perfect for me in every way and we do love each other very much, but it’s the fear of rejection and the loss of a relationship and friendship that is consuming me.

I have not had an episode in over 7-8 years and have been on daily suppressive forever. I know transmission rates are very low based on how long I have had HSV, asymptomatic, on daily suppressive therapy, but wow I’m a mess about the disclosure and have been for months.

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