How to tell my wife
I was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1992. For the last 5-8 years I've had very few outbreaks... haven't had one in more than 2 years. Seems like the virus is dormant for know. I was married 4 years ago and have a beautiful 3 year-old son. I have never told my wife about my genital herpes but I have been very careful not to have sex when I have an outbreak. Thank God, it seems to have worked because my wife has never complained about blisters or pain in her gential area (although she has never been tested).
The main reason why I have not told my wife is that she is very challenged already to have sex at all. She was raped when she was 18 (her first sexual experience..) and still has some trauma left over from that horrible episode. We have sex about once a week because she has a low labido.. definitely not normal for a 33 year old woman but I love her anyway the way she is. A psychologist told me it is normal for women that were raped to have a low labido because they associate sex with the nightmare of being raped.
I fear that if I tell her that I have gential herpes she will not want to have sex at all but at the same time I would feel guilty if I infected her and then having her blame me. I love her very much and dont want her to have additional trauma in her life regarding her sexuality but I feel that sex is fundamental to keep a marriage healthy so abstinance is not an option. I could wear a condom but then how do I explain it to her (also I hate condoms, have not used them since getting married and being in a monogomous relationship) ?? Any advice is welcomed !
Ernie66 - I had to think about this for a moment.
When I was 14 - I was sexually assaulted and it changed my life. Of course there is so much more to what happened than the event itself and how a person recovers can make or break how we relate in relationships in the future.
If you truly love your wife and make every attempt to be considerate of her needs both emotionally and physically and you can step outside of your own emotional and physical needs enough to truly understand what she wants and needs you will be able to have a wonderful relationship.
Not every rape victim has low libido. Not every rape victim has issues with sex. If she knows you love her and she knows she can always trust you sex can be awesome but this is something the two of you have to work out together. It is worth the effort. I am not saying you do this but if you objectify women and expect her to perform tasks that make her uncomfortable sex will never be what it could be as opposed to where she can learn to safely express her inner sexual being and have you respond to her. Humans are naturally sexual beings and there is nothing wrong with that but when we have our bodies used as a weapon against us it creates a situation where we often don't know what is okay to feel in the presence of our own sexuality.
This is really hard. I found the love of my life the year I turned 40. Before that I was married to a man who didn't really love or respect me and is who gave me hsv. Our sex life was dismal and sad. I wanted to be loved and adored and listened to. I wanted to have that lusty, romantic fireworks filled love life but he never tried to break through to the real me and find out how to unlock those bars that contained my heart. He failed to win my trust and refused to make me feel like a woman. I felt like an outsider in my own body. He eventually cheated on me rather than work on our relationship.
The man I am with now makes me feel loved and adored. He never pushes weird stuff on me and I know that my needs and desires are important. We have that passion I dreamed of. If I was presented with learning that he had hsv today and I didn't but I'd get this fabulous relationship in return I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I trust him and I know he loves me exactly as I am and it is unconditional. My hsv is our little secret and it doesn't impact the romance at all.
I don't know if that helps at all. Relationships take a lot of work and the thing that separates my current relationship from those in the past is a combination of true chemistry and a form of honesty that lets me feel free to be someone I couldn't be before.
I was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1992. For the last 5-8 years I've had very few outbreaks... haven't had one in more than 2 years. Seems like the virus is dormant for know. I was married 4 years ago and have a beautiful 3 year-old son. I have never told my wife about my genital herpes but I have been very careful not to have sex when I have an outbreak. ! You can still infect her. Many--and likely most--infections happen when there are no outbreaks because if there were obvious outbreaks most people who see the outbreak on their partner would not engage in sex. So you are not being "safe" anymore than anyone else who knowingly engages in unprotected sex with an uninformed partner.
Thank God, it seems to have worked because my wife has never complained about blisters or pain in her gential area (although she has never been tested).! Clearly, you're playing Russian roulette with the health of the woman you supposedly care about, and it sounds really selfish. HSV could affect her health as a woman very differently from how it affects you (read about it). It could have affected the birth of your son you supposedly love or any future pregnancies (read about it). She has a right, legally and morally, to know of her risk for HSV from you. You don't appear to have informed yourself of the basic information concerning HSV transmission, something you are responsible for being educated about.
The main reason why I have not told my wife is that she is very challenged already to have sex at all. She was raped when she was 18 (her first sexual experience..) and still has some trauma left over from that horrible episode. We have sex about once a week because she has a low labido.. definitely not normal for a 33 year old woman but I love her anyway the way she is. A psychologist told me it is normal for women that were raped to have a low labido because they associate sex with the nightmare of being raped. ). I was raped as an adult and molested as a child. My libido is fine--but that's just me. Having sex weekly sounds pretty average for married people from all the US statistics I've heard. With a husband as uncaring as you have apparently been to not disclose your health status, I wouldn't be surprised if your concern for yourself wasn't also related to her lackadaisical approach to sex with you. Many women have been assaulted, and go on to have great sex lives.
I fear that if I tell her that I have gential herpes she will not want to have sex at all ). And the point is? I mean isn't this her right??? Your fear is based on what you will lose, not on what health deficit she might suffer. That's capital S selfish to me. And let me just tell you--HSV put me in the back of an ambulance and in the hospital with tubes coming out of me. I was a health enthusiast with pristine health before. Never had a cavity. If you think this is simply an innocent little secret you're keeping, you're detached from reality.
but at the same time I would feel guilty if I infected her and then having her blame me. I love her very much and dont want her to have additional trauma in her life regarding her sexuality but I feel that sex is fundamental to keep a marriage healthy so abstinance is not an option. Not an option for whom? Maybe it is an option for her, in which case it's your personal problem if you can't handle it. You are the one who set the stage to be faced with that scenario in the first place because you could have told her or married someone else. Now you're complaining about the awkwardness of that scenario. What you're missing is the fact that so far, you have been stealing sex from her. But selfishly, you have assumed that the stolen sex is actually an entitlement that now shouldn't be cut off, when the truth is, you're already ahead by having gotten this far. A wife? AND a child??? You should be thanking the universe for the stolen sex you have gotten to enjoy and should count any sex you get to have after telling her the truth, gravy. Not complaining about how you might lose the opportunity to continue being a thief because of the inconvenience of honesty with a person you are sharing your whole life with---well most of it.
I could wear a condom but then how do I explain it to her (also I hate condoms It really is all about you, isn't it.
This stinks real bad. “How to tell your wife?” Yeah, after all these years and you have gotten all the goodies of not telling, you decide to entertain honesty. How brave. How manly. I don't have any suggestions outside celibacy for people like you.
How about you have NOW BASED YOUR ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP AND MARRIAGE ON A BIG FAT LIE.....
This isn't something like ....lying about the number of sexual partners you had in the past, or lying about how big the fish you caught was....this is a LIE that directly affects HER.
The whole post makes me so sick, and so sad for her. She HAS endured enough trauma in the past, and you have NOW set her up for a whole NEW trauma to deal with.
And as tohealth pointed out, you could have very easily passed this onto her. And just as easily, she could have unknowingly passed it onto your child(children?)
Have you ever seen a child that suffers from neo-natal herpes??? Maybe you need to go online and do a bit of research on it, it will break your fucking heart. I saw with my own two eyes a baby born with neo-natal herpes, ALSO DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE HUSBAND GAVE IT TO HIS WIFE....granted, he was cheating on her while she was pregnant, so a different scenario, but she ended up contracting it, didn't know it, and it was passed onto her baby. He played, he lied, and she and the child suffer.
I held her hand while she had to learn the truth of her moronic puke bag husbands infidelities, as well as hold her hand as she wept over her child. (who is now blind, by the way.)
So, yeah, I can't believe what a selfish and narcisstic path you have chosen. And how LONG you have lived this lie. Many of us here have been in denial about our status, and even fucked up and had sex, But to carry on such a deceit year after year...wow. I don't even know what to tell you , other than you need to tell her and beg for forgiveness, before it is too late. Perhaps she will forgive, perhaps not. Ultimately, it is up to her.
Today must be selfish men wanting their nookie and all else be damned day.....I don't know what the hell is going on in this world anymore. I just know it is so....depressing.
Ernie came here for support. I read attack, blame, and judgement.
I read attack and blame and judgement any time non-disclosure comes up. Some folks are triggered by non-disclosure. That's absolutely valid. But this is still a support forum, support for all who come here in all of their variety and levels of education/ignorance.
Ernie came here for support. I read attack, blame, and judgement.
I read attack and blame and judgement any time non-disclosure comes up. Some folks are triggered by non-disclosure. That's absolutely valid. But this is still a support forum, support for all who come here in all of their variety and levels of education/ignorance. I don't care what Ernie came here for or that this is in part a "support" forum. People like him are the reason you even need forums like this. Don't be the cause of populations like us for whom forums like this exist, and then want exemption from this forum's most candid judgment and analysis---all of which I find beyond fair as posted here.
Hell he needs to be blamed. He's at fault. And he clearly needs to be told because he's been at fault so long and is so tone deaf to the issue that he actually assumes throughout that whole post that HE is entitled to regular, raw sex as he likes it. So he STILL doesn't even get it. Well some of us are willing to help him get it. Ouch was right--that whole post was sad and sick.
yeah, I can easily say that it is a sensitive topic for me, as somebody I thought I knew, loved and trusted, took it upon himself to infect me with the herpes virus, NEVER told me about it, and then later on, even eluded that he felt we should just "be together" since we both had it....yeah, right! I had more self respect. Sorry. I couldn't base my relationship on such lies and deceit.
While I know I may sound harsh, and judgemental, frankly, I don't care. This isnt' a one time mistake on Ernies' part. He has royally screwed up, and I know deep down he KNOWS this. I merely stating the obvious.
I hope he comes to this forum, reads up on herpes more, and finds a way to sit down with his wife and be very VERY honest with her. He HAS to do this. You say you love someone, but then at the same time are dishonest about your health status, thus, potentially jeapordize HER health???
Ernie, please talk to you wife. Soon. It is your duty as the "man" in the relationship to man up , and tell her what is really happening. Plead, ignorance, plead stupidity, plead and plead, but let her know. No guarantees what her reaction may be, but at least she has the truth, and perhaps you can begin making amends.
Whoa... lets all take a deep breath and step back here a little bit. No one here on this forum knows Ernie or his wife. No one here can say how profoundly her past history affects her. All you know are the facts that Ernie has spelled out. I'm sure there's more to it than that, and frankly, I can understand Ernie's desire to protect her from further emotional stress. It's a natural thing, when you love someone, to want to protect them, especially when you know they're vulnerable. Maybe his need to protect her from emotional anxiety overshadowed his need to protect her from her risk of herpes more than it should have, but for Pete's sake, holster your guns, girls! You know, he didn't HAVE to come to this forum, and he didn't HAVE to write that post, so give him credit for realizing his mistake, okay? Verbally lynching him from the nearest tree may make you feel better, but it doesn't help with the problem.
Okay, Ernie... You have a little dilemma on your hands, don't you? The truth is, if you and your wife stay married and continue to have a sexual relationship, even if you started wearing condoms, the chances are very good that eventually, she'll contract it. It may take a long time, years even, but those are the odds.
I can understand why you were hesitant to tell her, but it would have been much easier had she known right from the get-go. Now you have the trust issue to deal with, too, but it's not an insurmountable problem. It would be better, I think, to tell her than to have it come as a nasty surprise at some point down the road, but it's important that you convey to her the reason you didn't tell her until now.... that you thought it was safe and you didn't want to cause her any additional emotional hardship. Sometimes I think the worst mistakes we make are the ones we make out of love.
What Caliope wrote in her post was wonderful advice. I hope you take it to heart, and I hope things work out for the two of you.
Ernie 66 - I perceive that my first post may not have made any sense as I was trying to take the perspective of someone dealing with sexual trauma and what steps could lead to her comfort and security and still preserve the relationship.
It came to mind later:
How will you explain to her when she has her first ob of herpes? Will you try to pretend it came from her rapist? This would make her even more angry about the assault and potentially lead to horrible feelings of guilt and who knows maybe even something worse.
Will you pretend you didn't know?
Will you act like she's crazy and you have no idea where this could have come from? She'll likely freak out or get super paranoid or worry about your child and his/her health.
It makes me worried because it is almost impossible to protect ourselves from a demon without a name but if she can identify that demon she can take the steps to protect herself. That demon being hsv not you my dear.
If you expect unconditional love and are willing to provide unconditionally love it requires unconditionally honesty and respect at all times not just when it is convenient or when it doesn't scare you.
I think if it is worth it to you then you can find a way to tell your secret, build your bond with your wife and have a happy ending to this story but. . . it is going to be up to you.
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