Help I Gave My Girlfriend Genital Herpes
I am recently divorced from my wife of 15 years who had Genital Herpes. I have been asymptomatic but chose to tell my new girlfriend before having sex. She took the news hard but stuck by me. We used condoms for a while but became lax.....hey, asymptomatic, bad move on our part. She has now contracted the virus and is dealing with the reality of it. She looks at me with hatred....its awful. I cant begin to explain the guilt I feel as I watch her wrestle with this. We are a happy couple and share so much together and until now, we never had any problems. How can I help her through this without pushing her further away? I want to be supportive but just cant find the right things to say. I don't want this to destroy all the good we have... I feel like I ruined everything.
Hi Joe and thank you for sharing your story with our community.
First of all, I don't want to mitigate your situation at all. I know that this is hard on the both of you but try to think about it objectively. You did the right thing by telling her about your condition. At the moment that you and her had sex there was a risk of spreading the virus and it was just as much her responsibility to protect herself as it was yours (if not more so). Even if you had used condoms religiously, there was still a chance of spreading the virus to her. So don't beat yourself up too badly.
Now on to your situation...
There is nothing that you or her can do at this point to change things. She has to learn to deal with her diagnosis on her own time line in and in her own way. She probably doesn't need you to try and fix things. If she wants your help then by all means provide her with it. But right now
she just needs for you to be her rock...not her savior.
Your guilt may be the thing that's driving her away. The more that you feel guilty, the more you try to fix her. The more that you try to fix her, the more you drive her away. Just let her know that you are there for support and always provide a shoulder for her to cry on.
Listen, if you have read anything on my site then you know that I feel that physically, HSV is not a big deal. It's just an irritating skin condition that so happens to be contagious and located on your "Love Parts"...but poison oak is too if you happen to scratch in the wrong area!
It's the mental aspect of having the virus that will destroy a person. Don't take my word for it, just do a search on the CDC website. You'll find HSV-2 mentioned as a STD (BTW: HSV-2 is NOT a disease) yet, there is hardly any mention of HSV-1 at all. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are virtually the same virus with the only major difference is the part of the body that they prefer to live so why would HSV-2 be listed as a STD and HSV-1 not listed as a KTD (Kissing Transmitted Disease).
Anyway, to sum all of this up (I've rambled enough) don't let your guilt overwhelm you. You'll end up smothering her and she'll push away. You both had a responsibility to protect her and you both failed. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Get back into your life and deal with this situation in a confident manner. Offer your support and allow her to handle her diagnosis in her own way.
I don't do this often but if you would like to discuss this further then send me a message by using the form provided on the "Contact Us" page and we'll take it from there.
Here's Wishing You and Your Girlfriend Success and Happiness
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