- 4 years ago
Back-story: My fiance and I began dating about three years ago. We broke up around the year and a half mark, for two months. He had always expressed feelings that he was a bit of a commitment-phobe, and it came to a head when I started wanting to at least have discussions about the future and where we saw our relationship going. He basically freaked out, told me he never wanted to be married and wasn’t even sure he could be in a relationship anymore, and so we broke up. I had zero contact with him for two months. I was completely heartbroken and I cut him out of my life completely in order to be able to heal.
After around the 6 week point, he contacted me with a multi-page letter detailing how badly he missed me, how losing me was the hugest mistake he had ever made. I waited two weeks before replying to him because I was terrified of being hurt again. Eventually we began talking again, and slowly put our relationship back together. Less than a year later, he proposed. We’re currently planning our wedding and our relationship has never been stronger. He began seeing a therapist immediately after we got back together, which has been extremely constructive for him. We talk openly about everything. I trust him more than I’ve ever trusted anyone.
Starting about 5 years ago, I had a multi-year struggle with HPV from a previous relationship. Those who know anything about the disease know that it’s extremely tricky – men can’t be tested for it, it can be contracted even if you use a condom, it can lie dormant for a long amount of time, it can cause symptoms ranging from nothing at all to cervical cancer. While my particular strain carried no visible symptoms, I did have high-grade displaysia and pre-cancerous cells, resulting in my having to undergo multiple cone biopsies and eventually a LEEP surgery to have the cells removed. I am not and never have been a promiscuous person, and I never expected to have to deal with such an ordeal – needless to say, it was a bit traumatic. When I met my Fiance, I informed him of all of this before we slept together. He is well-educated and works in the medical field so he is familiar with the disease and how easy it is to catch, even when one is being safe and monogamous. He was very understanding and kind about it, but I insisted that we use protection, for both our safety, until my body had cleared the virus completely and my displaysia was gone. He agreed. About a year into our relationship, that finally happened, and we began having sex without a condom (I was on the pill). When we got back together, I had asked him before becoming intimate, if anything had happened while we were broken up that I should know about. I realize that we were officially over and anything he did was his prerogative and was by no means cheating, but I wanted to know both because I felt it was my right to know, and becase I wanted to protect my sexual health if necessary. He told me nothing had happened, he had only gone out on a few dates and realized he wasn’t ready.
So, fast forward to over a year later. Only a couple of nights ago, we were having a heart-to-heart about our relationship. We were home after a nice night out and both a bit tipsy on wine. We were talking about how far we had come, how happy we are…all good-natured stuff. I briefly referenced the time we spent broken up, and how although I had tried to date, it had been a pointless exercise because I was comparing everyone to him, and they just didn’t stack up. He said something similar, then started to say something and then stopped, and began stumbling over his words. He was just acting strange in general, so I asked, “what were you going to say?” He insisted it was nothing, but by the look on his face I could tell there was something he felt guilty about. Eventually he admitted that he had slept with someone while we were broken up.
I’m crushed. As I said before, I realize we were broken up, so I am not contending that he cheated on me. But when we got back together, I was under the impression that he had an experience similar to mine while we were broken up – and for my part, I couldn’t bring myself to sleep with anyone because I was still reeling from the loss of him. It’s very painful to know now, almost a year and a half later, that not only did he not feel the same way – he lied. I feel like I should have had that information available to me when I was trying to decide if I wanted to reconcile our relationship or not. Not only this, but I feel like he jeopardized my health by not telling me. I would have insisted on using protection had I known.
His rationale – he used protection while with this other person, got tested a month after, and felt that if he told me, that he’d risk losing me for good. Well, maybe so, but that should have been my choice to make. And he knows well enough that he can’t be tested for HPV – the disease I’ve had such a hell of an ordeal with over the past 5 years.
I am regular with my gynecological visits so I know I am in the clear. But the fact that he lied is eating away at me. The idea that he was with someone else, while I’ve barely looked at another guy in 3 years, is eating away at me. Had he told me this when I asked him, right after we got back together, I would have had over a year to process it and work through it. Now we’re 6 months out from our wedding and I feel like I’ve been hit with a ton of bricks…that he could have at LEAST had the courtesy of being honest with me about over a year ago.
Am I overreacting? Should I just get over it? He is practically grovelling, begging me to work things out and saying he’ll do anything to make us work. I told him I will work through this if he will help me. But now I’m at a loss. I find myself thinking about it all the time. It’s so painful and I just don’t know what the right course of action is. I love this man dearly and I know with absolute certainty that he loves me, but I don’t know how to get over my negative feelings from this experience. I would love any advice.
Thank you for reading (or even skimming) such a long post. It’s much appreciated.