A Shock After Ten Years

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  • #19536
    Shasta
    Participant

    Hi. I’m new here. And like all of you, I have a story.

    Yesterday was the day that I found out that I have herpes. I went to the doctor for a rash that I knew wasn’t “right”. I had done research online and after looking at photos I KNEW. But I also knew I needed a doctor to confirm, and confirm he did.

    Here’s the thing. I am almost 30. I have been in a monogamous relationship for ten years. Most women would say that perhaps my husband is doing things I don’t know about, but we’ve spent the majority of our relationship working together in a wilderness setting where we were literally on TOP of one another EVERY day. If he did anything…..well. He’s Houdini because there was no place to do it and as of right now he still works in a situation where we are so in touch throughout the day that…really- his cheating on me and contracting it is a highly unlikely scenario.

    So in speaking to my doctor he says it is not uncommon to be a carrier for years and have no signs or symptoms. And since my husband and I have been together for ten years…it’s highly unlikely he is free and clear of this and honestly either of us could have brought this to the table.

    I left the doctors yesterday thinking: How does one tell their spouse that they have genital herpes? I was surprisingly not upset. I was more upset at the prospect of hurting my husband. But I had read enough about the infection to not feel very alarmed; it is so common. I’m not dirty. I am a married woman. I am college educated. I have a career, a home, a life. But my husband. I DID feel numb.

    When he got home shortly after I did, I sat him down and explained what the doctor had told me, and that in a few weeks he needed to go in for testing. He listened very quietly. I wanted to cry.

    When I finished he moved over to me, wrapped his arms around me and told me that this didn’t change anything and it was just one more thing we had to share and move on with. Perhaps not a wanted share, but a share none-the-less.

    I have never felt so loved. We discussed possible past experiences of where it could have come from; he admitted to having had unprotected sex prior to our relationship (as had I) and of course even protected sex doesn’t completely protect you. And we both acknowledged that my past ex and “friend” could also be the culprit. And then my husband took me out to dinner.

    Ladies….please don’t feel hopeless. I know my story is probably unusual- I am in a long-term relationship. But I feel that my husband is proof that someone CAN love you. You WILL live on, you WILL live a normal life. This is just a part of you now. It will pop up from time to time, and they have medications to tamp it down a bit, and we will all figure out what works best for our bodies. Of course we can all hope we are that case that barely has an outbreak in our entire lives (look at me; I’ve probably been infected for more than TEN YEARS and had no clue).

    You are not dirty. You are human. And when you stand in a crowd, you are not alone.

    I want to stay active on here as I do believe we all need support in this. Society tends to make us feel ashamed about something like this, and we shouldn’t be. No one makes you feel ashamed when you get the flu, you shouldn’t feel ashamed when you find out you have herpes. Life will go on.

    I will update when I find out my husbands test results. The doctor says he suspects that he might be an asymptomatic carrier- the worst kind because they NEVER know they have it and pass it on. So we will see. Thank you for listening to my story.

    Live on, lovely ladies.

    #19537
    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    Shasta,

    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.

    I agree with you that your husband may have had this all along and didn’t know it. In fact, 85% of people who have genital herpes don’t know it! That is shocking isn’t it?

    It is time that we all take a deep breath and realize that herpes is just a virus, as is other virus’s like you stated above. Do we feel shame for contracting chicken pox or mononucleosis? Absolutely not! And yet chicken pox and mononucleosis are both from the herpes family of viruses.

    Keep us posted as your story unfolds. It sounds as though you have a beautiful relationship with your husband! Many blessings to the two of you!

    Best,
    Dr. Kelly

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