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The love of my life gave me herpes

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I met my boyfriend a couple years ago and it was instant love. We are still going strong. The beginning of our relationship was a little tough as he unknowingly gave me herpes (he was not aware he had it). I knew this devestated him because he never wanted to hurt me. I forgave him as we are all human and I knew it wasn’t on purpose. I still love him. It can be difficult at times though because it does make me feel like dirty or gross sometimes due to the stigma around herpes. I know herpes is also a common joke made in shows or movies and it always makes me uncomfortable when we are watching something together and they make a herpes joke (especially if it’s pointing out that it’s “gross” or “horrible”.) I’m also an extremely empathetic person so I know he feels guilty about it which makes me feel sad. He’s a good person he just made a mistake. It’s a lot of hard feelings about not wanting to resent him for this, the empath in me feeling bad FOR him, everything... 


would love some support & insight if you guys could offer me some. Thank you

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I admire you for your attitude, and think it's great that you are treating your love with care and understanding surrounding this. I don't know for sure how I acquired my virus, hsv-1. So many people have cold sores and don't think of it as herpes, so many people don't know they carry any virus at all. In many ways, it's a fluke whether we acquire a virus or not, and it does seem like the vast majority of the population is dealing with this, whether they know it or not! That's the hard part for me. It's really a common virus, but we don't acknowledge that. Now that I know I have it, I struggle with fear of transmitting HSV-1 to others, and I still also fear acquiring HSV-2 (knowing what I know now, knowing how difficult it can be to even know you have it, knowing that even the medical community discourages testing). And it all comes down to not wanting to deal with that stigma, doesn't it? Because we want to be able to take the attitude that it's no big deal (because truly, it's NBD).

We have to be the change we want to see in the world. Being able to hold your head high and move forward, trusting that all shall be well, being honest and open and caring with the ones we love.

I have started to equate the whole process of transmission as akin to having the initial stages of a cold, not being aware that you are spreading something. It helps me to think of it like that sometimes. 

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