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positive guide to herpes disclosure



Helping my partner cope with MY New diagnosis

So I found out last week that I have hsv2. I had told my current boyfriend that my ex had called and said he had it so I was getting tested. I was a mess and he was so supportive. I felt like he was the best man in the world with his calm and supportive reaction. I told him losing him was my biggest concern and he made it seem like that was nonsense. Fast forward 2 wks. My results came in and he did not react the same when I gave him the results. He said little and was kind of dry. He has pulled away since then telling me he is just in shock and needs time to process everything. He said he was initially trying to be optimistic when I first brought it up and support me. Now that he knows it's a reality for me, he knows he probably has it too since it's been almost a year. He's had no symptoms just as I have not. He's really taking it hard. I am having trouble with how much space and time I need to give him. I am used to talking to him daily. I'm dealing with the news of my positive results and the thought of losing the man I love. I feel rejected and it hurts. Though he tells me he just needs to take it all in and we will talk about it, I feel horrible. He doesn't even know for sure if he does have it. He says it would feel so weird right now to talk about it to me or anyone for that matter and he's just not ready. I sent him an info sheet on how common it is, transmission risks and how many don't even know they have it. I just need advice on how to help him handle this a little better considering I'm supposed to be giving him time to process it. He sees it as the end of the world I feel. After reading and doing some self education on it, it's REALLY NOT that serious. He said it's not like a cold and very serious to him. He's a nervous wreck. I want to be there for him, I want us to be there for each other. I love him and I fell alll alone. All I do is cry.


  • I'm so sorry you're experiencing this, @Princess83. It sucks, big time. I was seeing someone long-distance when I got my diagnosis and initially he was so unbelievably kind and supportive. In hindsight, I think he assumed he had it too. When his results came back negative, he just kind of slowly faded into the woodwork. It hurt like hell and I was not in a good space for several months. I hope that's not the case with your situation....I only mention it because I can relate. {{{hugs}}}

    P.S. There's no guarantee he has it. I was married for 15 years--not realizing all that time that I had both HSV1 and HSV2--and my ex didn't get either strain.
  • Thank you so much @Hiking Girl. I pray everything comes together. He is stuck on the stigma, the embarrassment and that it's for life. He's not looking at how common and treatable it is or how hsv2 is the same as hav1 but just in a different place on the body. Yesterday he said he is just really nervous. He can't talk to anybody because of the embarrassment. I am praying he doesn't even have it. I also pray that he doesn't grow distant as u just spoke of. That's so hurtful and I love him with all my heart. Maybe if he doesn't have it, he can see that we can have a healthy relationship without him getting it. I'm going to start taking the pills even though I'm symptomless. I've read that helps the time of shedding.
  • @princess83
    I'm also dating someone that has been with me for a while before my diagnosis.
    I talked to her about how our relationship has been the best I've ever had, but that I understand if she can't cope and decides to leave me. That opened the door for a long discussion about HSV, our thoughts and feelings, and gave her the chance to be honest about how she feels.
    Your boyfriend may be feeling similar things, but is concerned about hurting you, or "detracting from the difficulty of your situation", as my girlfriend put it.
    Tell him you care about him, and you appreciate him sticking around. Tell him you understand that he has probably considered leaving, and it means so much that he's been there for you. The important part between me and my girlfriend was that I told her I would understand if she left, I would be sad about it, but that I get why.
    Telling her that gave her the reassurance that I was tough enough to handle my bad news, while also letting her vent about her own feelings and emotions. It ended up being very little venting and a lot of constructive conversation about what HSV means and how we should handle it.

    I don't know that she will never change her mind, but it's been a few days since I first told her I might have a problem, and only 1 day since it was confirmed and I broke the bad news to her. What I do know is that being 100% honest about things has helped our relationship get pretty damn strong, and that her knowing none of the ideas she has, or feelings she has are taboo has helped her be open about how my diagnosis is effecting her.
    She was shocked, like I was. She was mad, like I was. She wanted to learn everything she could, like I did. She was conflicted about sharing the truth, like I was (though I never hesitated to tell people it might effect, or who I could trust to be supportive). She considered what the implications of leaving me or staying with me were, including eventually having children of her own, like I did.

    But so far, things are okay. We even had a good date tonight.
    And I think it's because I chose to trust her, and to be completely up front and honest.
    If that ends up getting me kicked to the curb, and years of loneliness and rejection, it will be because she decided I wasn't good enough. Avoiding talking about things wouldn't make me convince her I'm better than what I am, but it would likely convince her that she can't talk to me about her emotions because I'm too busy/fragile/sad/uncaring. Statistically, most relationships end due to poor communication. Open the door for him to admit that he had considered leaving, that he's shocked or even depressed. Don't try to dwell on it forever, but let it be said, and hear it.
  • @RegularGuy
    I totally understand what you are saying. I don't know if I can find it in myself to give him the option of leaving me. I'd rather that be on him. I love him so much and this seems like such a minor thing for love. We've still only talked briefly and all he has said is he wasn't leaving me and it's not my fault so he's not nad at me either. We will finally see each other tonight and talk some things out. The dust has had time to settle and emotions aren't as high. I hope you and your girlfriend can get through this! How long have y'all been together? We are a year in a few days! I pray we both can continue loving relationships with the people we love.
  • @princess83
    Congrats on one year!
    I've only been with my girlfriend for 3 months. We have really great communication, which I am really grateful.
    I'm sure your guy is mostly feeling empathy for you, if you can assure him that you're not going to become a sadness monster forever, he will get a lot of relief. Make it clear that you are going to keep being Princess83, and doing Princess83 things. You just need to adjust and recover.
    Try to spend more time talking about things that are positive and try to get some laughs in, if you can. That really helps ease tension when I talk to my girlfriend about H stuff.
    It's a lot of weight on your shoulders to both reassure yourself and your significant other, but that's just what it takes sometimes.
    Good luck!
  • @RegularGuy
    Thanks a bunch. We finally saw each other this wknd. As soon as we greeted each other, he told me how much he missed me and that we were not talking about "this". Lol. He told me he got tested though he drug his feet and now his results will be in this week. He reassured me that regardless of what the results showed, he would be here with me and that he wasn't leaving me. He told me that we would get through this together and that he sees me as the same woman. Our wknd was normal and great. I was a bit disappointed which I told him because I wanted to talk about this finally and then drop it. I guess since he has reassured me, I am ok. I pray that things continue to go on a positive path for us. I guess I should say I think he's processed things well because he still wanted me as always (tmi. Lol) and we don't use condoms. Things were just normal. I fell good about that though that he thinks I'm worth the risk even though those exact words weren't spoken. I started taking valtrex last Monday. Maybe that helps him to know that.
  • Well, it sounds like he decided that he was going to stick with you, regardless of how difficult it was for him to find out at first.
    Proof that the diagnosis does not drive away people who genuinely care.
    Thanks for the update!

    I agree that you will probably need to talk to him, and especially listen to his explanation of his emotions and fears. It seems like initiating that conversation is probably up to you.
    I started it with, "I know you probably thought about leaving me because of this diagnosis. It means a lot that you chose to stay. Thanks for being there." Then I just waited until she gave herself permission to open up.
    It wasn't a negative conversation at all, and I think it helped me feel better about myself as much as it helped her feel like she wasn't doing harm by evaluating her options.
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