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Here is my story. 

 

I had contracted herpes (HSVII/genital) in 2012 from a partner who *claims* he didn't know. I was naturally devastated, but luckily had been on road trip with said partner, and honestly being away from home distracted me from the bizarreness of it all, at least temporarily. I could be distracted with all the adventures that we had planned for the trip. And surprisingly this partner was totally not freaked out by this new diagnosis, let alone current symptoms/outbreak. 

Over the years I had managed to disclose successfully to a handful of different partners. Most of them came around and we had full-fledged relationships, ending for other reasons, but mostly on good/decent terms. 

However, in September of 2018 I had met this one guy and failed to disclose to him. He was everything (I thought) I wanted and thus I was greatly ashamed & intimidated about disclosing. Then, what I will call "the perfect storm" happened and I failed to disclose before sex. I'll skip the details about that here. But I do have another post where I got into trouble with him being angry from having told him after the fact.

Fast forward to about 6 months later. I had been working hard, and even enrolled in courses to propel my career, just hoping to redeem myself and help build greater self-confidence in order to prevent the weakness I had experience previously. Having started to feel stronger and better about myself, I put myself out on a dating website. I had so much interest and quickly met a great guy that I started to build a connection with. I thought I would have the courage to tell someone within the first few dates, but it started getting close to six dates, and I was growing increasingly anxious. After I had made the terrible mistake with the previous guy, I was sure I would have the confidence to tell just about anyone, but that seemed to have faded, and I struggled all over again with shame and (lack of) self-confidence. 

One night we had a miscommunication that upset me, and he was so apologetic and sincere, that it became clear to me that this man was dedicated, so I thought F-it! If he's so dedicated there's one quick way to be sure. Also, in the weeks leading up to this, I had run it through my head that I could approach with the mentality/attitude that *he* needs to be okay with this if we are going to progress. And by that I meant it's *his* responsibility to be cool with this (not mine). I finally got myself to a point where I don't feel like I need to take full responsibility for someone accepting something about me that I cannot change and that I didn't really get the decision to. I no longer need to take responsibility for whether someone else can make a reasonable rational decision based on facts, and that me already knowing, sharing/disclosing, and protecting myself (& my partner) is a lot LESS riskier than had he continued dating so many other people, many of which could have it and not know it or not be able/willing to disclose in advance properly.  

So that night I texted him to get his butt over to my place and that we needed to have a talk. He hurried over and was scared that he had done something wrong. I quickly reassured him that wasn't the case. We walked over to a cute little suspension bridge in my neighborhood, where we could have privacy from neighbors, and then I managed to cough up the news like hairball (awkwardly). He immediately stopped me and told me that even though he hasn't dated many people, it wasn't the first time he had a relationship with someone who had this. He barely let me finish and then hugged me and reassured me. Then we continued walking the neighborhood and he took that as an opportunity to bring a few other important topics to the table, nothing related to this site. 

I felt amazing, redeemed & relieved, and finally proud of myself. 

I hope this lil story helps at least one person. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Oh, and no judgements from me if you are struggling or fail to disclose. I'm here to do my best to educate & encourage so you don't continue making these mistakes.

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Your disclosure reminds me a bit of my disclosure with my boyfriend. I was terrified, but knew I needed to tell him, so I told him we needed to talk, and then just spit it out and told him.  I barely got it out, and he stopped me, then said HSV is nothing to him. Not an issue at all as far as he was concerned. And it has never been an issue. We've been together for nearly 5 months now, and he's still just as amazing, if not more, as he was the day I met him. 

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