Talking About Herpes - Now What?

by Carlos

Well, I guess I'll start from the beginning. I contracted Herpes at the age of 21 on an overseas trip while in the Military. I am now 38. It was quite stupid on my part to have unprotected sex with a one nite stand in a foreign country, but I was young and invincible (so I thought) at the time.

I noticed some irritation on my penis a couple of days later which quickly blossomed into a painful cluster of sores. This was honestly the worse pain I had felt in my life!

So, I go to the clinic, get diagnosed with herpes, and out the door I go. No information, no prescription, just an explanation that there's no cure and I'll have recurring sores for the rest of my life.

That first outbreak seemed to take forever to heal. I felt so dirty, ashamed, stupid, and even had a few thoughts of suicide. I went through all phases of denial, anger and depression as I tried to cope with this new "friend" of mine.

The worse thing about it was I had the Love of My Life waiting for me back home. I finally resigned to the fact that I was screwed, and began steeling myself for.....

TALK #1:

I'm back home from The Military, and ready to get back on track with my civilian life. I decided to have the Talk with my Girl before we engaged in any sexual activity. I began by apologizing, saying how stupid I was, and basically telling her that she probably wouldn't want to be with me after this conversation. Looking back, I now know I went about this in ALL the WRONG ways.

What did i know?? I had no information about the disease, and I didn't know there were medications to help with outbreaks. Needless to say, the conversation didn't go well. She left me... I didn't know how to respond. Was this how it was gonna be for the rest of my life?? Back into depression I went... I didn't have any sexual partners for a long while, and those I did have, there was noooo way I was going to tell them I had herpes. Not after THAT talk.

Fast forward a few years. I've moved on with my life, and found someone that I'm really starting to have feelings for. I have kept my secret from her for 2 years, being careful to have sex only when outbreak free. I'm really feeling like we'll have some future together, so I began steeling myself for....

TALK #2:

This time was a lot different. I had come to the conclusion that I was tainted, and no one was going to want me as their significant other. I was ready for the rejection, the look of astonishment, and the whole "how could you do this to me?" conversation. But it didn't happen... I looked her in the eyes with confidence, no crying, no apologizing beforehand, and just came out with it. She looked me in the eyes and paused for what seemed like forever, and said "Ok, so what do I need to do?" She didn't care that I had this disease. She loved Me for Me, and said it's just something we'll have to deal with. I married her, and we have a lovely healthy Boy together. Although I did eventually pass it to her after several years of unprotected sex, it was only after she didn't care whether I had sores or not. We were going to be together, so what did it matter?

Fast forward a few more years. We have now been separated for nearly a year for reasons I won't go into. I have no intentions of going back, and I'm filing for divorce. After TALK #1, and a rocky Marriage, I've kind of hardened my heart to suppress my emotions. Until now... I've met someone that makes me happy, and whom I can make happy without all the drama of a committed relationship.

Unfortunately, she has become pregnant by Me.

Whoah, Right?? Our lack of judgement got the best of us. I guess mine more than hers.

So here I am, in a hell of a pickle again. My outbreaks had subsided to maybe two or three a year. I've been so stressed in the last few months that I'm getting them back to back before the old ones even clear up. I believe she's getting suspicious, as we normally have sex a few times a week. I manage to make up excuses as to why I can't see her for days at a time, and I can tell she's getting annoyed by it. She also keeps mentioning that she has a feeling there's something I want to tell her.

On top of all this, she is a Registered Nurse. I have no clue of how she will respond when I tell her. I don't know what I'll do if rejected again. Will she tell her friends? Will she tell her family? Will she cut me off from my child?

I find myself slipping into depression again as I ponder my situation, and nurse my fresh sores. Who knows how this will turn out. I know I need to tell her ASAP for the sake of our child. I'm well aware of the risks that may occur with herpes if contracted late in the pregnancy. All I can do is keep my head up, and hope for the best as I steel myself for...

TALK #3:

To be continued...

I must admit, this website and others have helped in keeping me sane. Without hearing others stories, trials and tribulations, I would be lost as how to approach this situation. I encourage those new to this disease to continue your research and learn all you can about it. The more you know, the easier the "TALKS" will be.

I apologize for the lengthy story, but I feel a lot better now that I've got that off my chest. I haven't felt comfortable talking to anyone about this, and I'm thankful that this site exists for those of us that are 1 in 4.


Thank you for sharing your story with our community. I know it took a lot of guts to admit that you failed to let a partner know that you have genital herpes before having sex.

This is an exceptionally hot button topic for a lot of us but what's done is done and now you have to do what's in the best interest of the child that's involved here.

Obviously, you have to have "The Talk" with your girlfriend IMMEDIATELY. If not for her but for the child. Honestly, beyond that it doesn't matter what she does or doesn't do.

If she rejects you then so be it. Hopefully you will have leaned a valuable lesson (ALWAYS TELL A PARTNER BEFORE HAVING SEX) and move on to be a great Dad to your child.

Wishing Your Success and Happiness


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Mar 17, 2012
It's a GO!
by: Carlos

Well, Talk #3 wasn't easy, but it's done. She's accepted me for me and we are moving forward with our relationship, taking precautions as needed. She has been tested, coming up negative for hsv1 and hsv2. She goes to get tested again in a few weeks just to make sure. Of course she had some tough questions for me, but I just kept my composure, maintained eye contact and gave it to her straight. All of my worrying and stressing was unneeded, as she was very understanding and even let me know that she's had partners with herpes in the past. I feel like someone just lifted a car off of my chest, and now I can breathe.... I'll NEVER put myself in that type of situation again. So for those of you reading this, PLEASE HAVE THE TALK BEFORE BEING INTIMATE. It's not worth the stress and headache of having to apologize after the fact. Fortunately for me, my Woman is super cool, and this is another testament of her Awesomeness!!

Mar 10, 2012
by: Carlos

I agree. The only reason I have for not having the Talk beforehand was FEAR. The reaction I got from the first Talk was quite traumatic for me, and I never wanted to feel like that again. I consider myself to be a pretty good looking guy, and being rejected for the first time EVER after telling of my H really through me for a loop. I know this was wrong of me, and reading others stories has helped me to gain the confidence and security I need to change my ways. From this day forward, I promise myself that this will be the last time I make the mistake of waiting until AFTER. It is waaaaay too stressful, and only causes more problems. I appreciate your frankness, and I'm sorry that you contracted our "friend" the way you did. You have helped me see things differently, and for that I thank you. Good luck to you in your future relationships!

P.S.: Talk #3 goes down tonight....I'll let you know how it goes...

Mar 10, 2012
by: Anonymous

In reading your story, I have to wonder and ask why "the talk" is not occurring before you have sex with the people in your life?

I am on the receiving end of contracting herpes from a partner who failed to tell me he had the virus and that alone has torn my world apart (my blood pressure has been high and now I'm on medication for that, I've been seeing a therapist and I'm on daily med's due to the stress level and not to mention anti-depressants for the first time in my life). I never got the choice to make an informed decision about the virus and move forward with this individual if that was my choice after all was said and done.

I have since had this talk with a few people in my world when we are to the point where we are taking our relationship to an intimate level and have had mixed reactions, but I feel that I owe that to the other person to tell them in order to allow them to gain knowledge on the virus versus hiding it. I have this and no matter how much I don't like the fact that I have it or am embarrassed by it, I cannot do to them what was done to me, because I know that it will tear their world apart, like it did mine.

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