Post # 1
And he gave her herpes. I can’t even express how sad I am for her right now. She’s rightfully upset, doesn’t know if she wants to continue the marriage, and she’s absolutely devastated about the herpes part of everything. She does say she believes him when he says he had no idea that he had it. Apparently, he’s been acting very remorseful, but she can’t tell if it’s because he got caught/found out he has herpes, or because he’s actually regretful about cheating.
One of the biggest reasons she’s contemplating just staying in the marriage is because at least they both have herpes now. She’s terrified that if she ends things with him, she’ll never find anyone else.
She’s asked me if I think anyone will date her knowing her diagnosis. I don’t know what to tell her, Bees. On the one hand, I know herpes isn’t uncommon. There are a lot of people who have contracted it and can date each other. Or date people without herpes if they use proper precautions. She’s still in denial, though, and in her distressed state, she seems to think all men with herpes contracted it by cheating or by sleeping with “sleazy women”.
Does anyone have any positive stories I can share with her? If she wants to leave her husband for cheating on her, I don’t want her diagnosis to stand in her way.
Post # 2
I once dated someone with herpes, I tried it but it was always in the back of my mind. Along with several other main reasons I ended the relationship. Afterwards he found a pretty girl and they dated for years, got married, and appear to be living happily ever after. It’s not the worst condition out of all of them.
Post # 3
Part of me wants to go anon for this… but I guess I will share it.
When I was young and dumb, without proper sex education, I didn’t know you could get herpes when someone had a cold sore. Granted, my boyfriend at the time wasn’t showing any signs of a cold sore (although one showed up a few days later and he had a history of getting them), he went down on me, and several months later I was diagnosed with HSV-1, which is the strain of herpes known to usually cause cold sores on your mouth. But, because it was in my genital region, it is still called genital herpes.
I have had mutiple partners since, including my Darling Husband and have always been extremely careful. I am on medication to supress any outbreaks and medication in case I do have an outbreak to help it heal quicker. In addition, if I even feel so much as a TINGLE that I might be having an outbreak, I will turn down sex/oral, even with a condom.
I cried for a long time thinking that herpes was a death sentence to me and any future relationship I would ever have. I found that by being completely honest about it with my partners and taking the necessary precautions, it is totally manageable and far from a death sentence.
I do have to say though, my case is pretty mild in comparison to some of the pictures you see in sex ed class.
Some things for your friend though… usually the first outbreak is the worst. Over time, they get less intense and less frequent.
Please make sure she gets on suppression medication and learns how to manage her symptoms.
Best of luck to her. This is awful. <3
Post # 4
There’s no denying the stigma around herpes, but it’s not a death sentence and plenty of people are mature enough to give someone with herpes a chance. Not sure how severe your friend’s case is, but for many people the first outbreak is pretty bad and then they may have no other outbreaks ever again, or maybe the occasional very mild one. You can also go on anti-viral medication to drastically reduce symptoms and the likelihood of transferring it to another partner.
I think your friend should get some therapy. Dealing with a herpes diagnosis is hard enough when there isn’t infidelity involved, but with both of these things, she probably feels like her entire world is collapsing in on her and there’s no hope. I absolutely think staying with her cheating husband out of fear that no one will ever want to date her again cause she has herpes is the wrong call. She still has worth and I think especially after hearing the story of how she came to contract the STI, and doing their own research about it, a lot of guys would look past it and give her a shot!
Post # 5
She needs to leave this POS husband of hers, herpes or not. She should NOT stay with him out of fear of being alone. There is people out there who won’t cheat on her, and there’s people who will love her regardless of her condition. Reassure her and give her the strength to leave this guy.
Post # 6
I totally get feeling like she’s stuck with her husband because let’s be real, this is going to be a hurdle for some men out there. But it just boils my blood that your friend’s husband cheats on her, exposes her to incurable disease and gets essentially rewarded for it. Something similar happened to a girl I was friendly with in college- her boyfriend was always cheating on her and she was always forgiving him. Anyways, he also contracted herpes and my friend decided she basically had to stay with him because no one else would ever want her (which was not true, she was a beautiful girl with a great personality, but I didn’t blame her for not wanting to have those conversations with future dates). We already despised the guy for always cheating on our friend, but we were really disgusted after this went down.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t stay with someone just because they have herpes too. I am a practice nurse and believe me it is more common that people realise. Most people don’t have regular outbreaks and when they do they just abstain or use protection. I have met people that don’t tell partners and just don’t have sex when they have an active sore as the tingle and sore stage is when it is contagious. It’s not the end of the world.
She needs to get rid of her man if he cheated and admitted it. How did she find out? Was it purely because of the herpes? Because it can be from a previous partner and you might have missed it
Post # 8
I had a friend who had herpes. She never seemed to have any problem finding a partner and believe me, she was not hiding her diagnosis. We weren’t even BFFs and I knew it.
I think there’s a dating site for people with it, too (like E-Harmony or Farmers Only lol).
That shouldn’t be the reason that she stays with him. Even if the diagnosis was HIV, I probably wouldn’t advise staying married to someone you didn’t love. Working through this and staying married should only be done because they both love each other and are committed to the relationship 100%.
Post # 9
tiffanybruiser : Unfortunatey, it seems like she has a pretty bad case. She’s been super sick for almost a couple weeks now.
Carritas27 : She found out about the herpes because of her outbreak, yes. They’ve been married for a few years, so I doubt it’s from a previous partner. He admitted to the cheating when confronted.
Thank you all for your perspectives. I’m going to let her know when we chat tomorrow that there’s a lot of hope for her personal life. She’s always said that cheating of any kind is a dealbreaker and not something she thinks she’d be able to bounce back from, and I definitely don’t want to have to see her stay unhappy just because of herpes.
Post # 10
ChasingZenith : This is her initial outbreak though right? Those are typically really bad, and subsequent outbreaks are almost never that bad. Is she taking medication for it?
Here are a few statistics on herpes that might make her feel a little better. From http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/statistics/:
-Herpes infection is common. About 1 in 8 people aged 14-49 in the U.S. has genital herpes.
-About 1 in 2 people ages 14-49 in the U.S. are infected with HSV-1, which is the typical cause of oral herpes. However, increasing numbers of genital herpes cases are caused by HSV-1.
-Symptoms of genital herpes often go unnoticed. Most people with genital herpes—close to 90%—don’t know they have the infection.
-Globally, researchers estimate that about two-thirds of the population under age 50—more than 3.7 billion people–are infected with HSV-1. Some 140 million people aged 15-49 are infected with genital HSV-1, primarily in the Americas, Europe and Western Pacific.
Post # 11
A friend of mine contracted it in college. Her first outbreak was excruciating, she said. Blisters and it seemed to last forever. She could hardly pee without yelping in pain, and could hardly walk or play sports. However, she says she’s never had another outbreak (and it has been many years). I don’t know if that’s entirely accurate, but she swears it is true. She had partners in between (whom she never told) and although her D H knows, they don’t use a barrier method and she says he has not contracted it. She had two children and says she did not have medication during delivery (which I thought you had to have “just in case”). Anyway, every person is different, but I know some people have few or no outbreaks after their initial exposure.
Post # 12
I know a few girls that have HPV and herpes (not both at once) and they don’t have any trouble dating. Like others have mentioned, they only had one or two bad outbreaks in the first year, but basically never showed up again. You’re still a carrier, but don’t have outbreaks. And since you only really transmit during outbreaks it’s not that much of an issue.
The people she’s dating may also be more understanding given how she got them. (that shouldn’t be the case, but probably is).
Post # 13
Only because I would love to hear similar stories, I’ll share mine.
My ex cheated on me. Gave me herpes AND chlamydia. And yet no one knows to this day. Of course chlamydia is curable and the other isn’t. but I did a stupid thing by staying with him because like her, I thought “we both have it, I won’t have to worry about telling another partner” well I could never move past the cheating and what he had done and I ended things. He never once mentioned he had herpes & I never told him about what I experienced either. He’s not in a relationship with someone & I know she has no idea he has herpes.
I would tell her not to stay with him just because of her diagnosis. She will find someone who accepts her and won’t cheat on her! & herpes is honestly so common there’s so many people out there who have no idea they even have it. Put an end to the cheating husband!
Post # 14
I remember reading statistics somewhere where is said that 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 ppl will have herpes. Fear lf not finding a partner BC of her diagnosis shouldn’t keep her from leaving her scummy husband.
Post # 15
I have genital herpes. It’s not as uncommon as people tend to think, it’s just that a lot of people aren’t even aware they have it because outbreaks are few and far between for most and outbreaks are often misdiagnosed as something else.
(For instance, I was 18 and in college when I had what I’m now sure was my initial outbreak. I was young and stupid and I was sure that my promiscuity had caught up with me and I had caught an STD, so I went to the campus clinic, but the gynecologist insisted it was a yeast infection. I’d had yeast infections before and this seemed different, but she ignored my protests. She swabbed me for gonorrhea and chlamydia to make me feel better, but those were negative. I continued to get regular STD testing done, not knowing that herpes is NOT included in the standard panel so I was actually not being tested for that. A few years later, I started dating a guy who had been a virgin before we dated. A few months after we started dating, he had an outbreak and it turned out to be herpes; it was obviously from me, and I felt horrible about it.)
I get that your friend is dealing with the double-whammy of probably a pretty severe initial outbreak and the discovery of infidelity in her relationship, but in the long run, she will be fine. Most subsequent outbreaks will be milder; herpes is actually very manageable, and is not a big deal 98% of the time. Especially after you’ve had the virus for a couple years, your chance of passing on the virus becomes extremely low (under 2%) under normal circumstances, so it’s generally of minimal concern unless you are actively having an outbreak. My fiance did catch it from me now, because we had sex one morning and I didn’t know yet that I was starting to get an outbreak. FH doesn’t care because he was already planning on only being with me for the rest of his life anyway, so it makes no difference. However, I think only having herpes in common is a terrible reason to stay in a relationship if other aspects are not working out. Like I said, there are plenty of other people with herpes out there, and there are also a lot of accepting and open-minded people out there. I eventually broke up with the virgin ex because he turned out to be an emotionally abusive douche canoe; I’ve had subsequent relationships, and I have not found that having genital herpes has significantly hindered my dating life. (And obviously, it’s had no bearing on my FH’s decision to be with me and marry me.) Your friend is not damaged goods or anything of the sort, and she definitely should not let such a minor thing overshadow the vibrant and beautiful woman she is.