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Boyfriend gave me Herpes... and has abandoned me sexually...
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Boyfriend gave me Herpes... and has abandoned me sexually...

I've been with my boyfriend a year and caught herpes from him (he told me right away and I always knew there would be a risk). Unfortunately I have been getting an outbreak every month - I have been taking medicine but I am often still a little uncomfortable for a few days.

This has really taken its toll on me as we have both always been very sexually active.  Before I caught this (not until about seven months into our relationship) we were having sex at least twice a day.  Not only do I feel unsexy when I have an outbreak, but he won't touch me. When everything is fine he's okay because he can go straight for what he wants, but when I have an outbreak and things get heated between us, he pats me between the legs, I say 'it still hurts' and then he just gives up or sorts himself out.

He seems to think that because my body isn't ready for sex I still don't have a libido! I've tried talking to him about other ways to satisfy me but it's like talking to a brick wall, he refuses to listen.  And now even when I'm better and not having an outbreak I don't really want to have sex with him - I feel like it doesn't matter that I'm there, everything is about his penis and if it can't go where he wants it to, there's no point.

I was really understanding about the herpes thing but I'm really starting to resent him.  I feel like he gave me something that was a lot worse for me, doesn't have to deal with any of the side effects, and has the added bonus of knowing that not a huge amount of people are okay with having a partner with herpes all the time, so it's not like I'm going to go elsewhere!

Today is our one year anniversary and we have had a fight because he did the old 'patting' thing this morning and then just got in the shower because I couldn't have full intercourse.  I'm so upset because although he is a very caring, generous and lovely man, he is so selfish when it comes to sex and right now especially I need some more understanding.

And talking to him doesn't work, he just denies it and then we argue.
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145992_tn?1341348674
I need to understand, you got herpes from him and are ok with it?  He told you before you started having sex or after you caught it?  Because to me, that's a serious issue and a deal breaker.  That in itself is completely selfish and unfair and I don't blame you for being resentful.  Now on to the sex issue.  Can he even sexually satisfy you in other ways when you have an outbreak or are still sore?  Maybe he doesn't want to hurt you.  It must be hard for him to stop and cool off, I'm sure he really doesn't want to have to do that.  Maybe he feels like it would be selfish of him to allow you to continue with him.  Plus, why keep going if you can't fully enter into the act.  That would be frustrating for any man.  I don't think it's healthy to stay in a relationship with someone only because you feel trapped and stuck.  In which you do because he gave you this STD.  Let me tell you, I have two female friends who have Herpes and they've gone on to have relationships with others, the only thing they have to do is be totally upfront and honest with the person they are becoming sexually active with.  Some may stay and some may not but not everyone will leave someone just because of this.  Heck, my fiance's cousin has HIV and has found the love of his life and they've been together for about 3 or 4 years now.  You just have to learn how to live with the disease but you can't let it control you or your decisions.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Agree with mami.  I think I'd  have an issue with a man who gave me this "gift" and if you knowingly had sex with him after learning of it . . . well, you should have had protected sex. As far as other things, I don't know what you have in mind but herpes will transfer to the mouth.  Not pretty.  Now you have this issue to contend with.  I think that stress can activate it and sex prolongs the outbreak.  I would talk to your doctor about it.  There is also medication that you can take prophylactally (all the time) to hep prevent outbreaks or at least medication that shortens an outbreak.  And no, you aren't stuck with this great gift giver now.  
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Avatar_f_tn
It's not the actual herpes that bothers me.  He was completely upfront about having it before we had any sex, we both did a lot of research and I was fine with it.  As we live together and are VERY sexually active it's a bit silly to think that I was never going to get it - I did, it's not that that bothers me.  It's that he doesn't seem to understand anything but wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, and doesn't seem to understand that as my partner he should try to put in a bit more effort.  Not only because he is the one who passed on the virus, but because I have always put loads of effort into our sex life.  He just seems to kick back and relax, but now that I need him to put a bit of effort in he's just not stepping up.

Thanks mami, I especially appreciate the last part.  I think it's important to get the message across that having something like herpes or HIV doesn't mean that you're a leper... and thanks for reminding me of that.  specialmom, I appreciate your comment but I'm in a committed relationship with a man who, other than this, is wonderful.  I was on birth control, we love eachother and wanted to have the added intimacy of not using a condom, and we were unlucky.  And I caught the strain from him so it's pretty unlikely to spread anywhere else for either of us - there is a lot of confusion about this aspect of herpes and I would suggest checking facts, as I know it's pretty hard to get a clear answer from the internet, but my local sexual health clinic has kept me well informed of my options.

thanks again :-)
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973741_tn?1342346373
Well, I'm glad you are okay with it and are in a happy relationship.  And I guess that communication is the key to all sexual issues.  As far as spreading----- simplex one is the mouth kind and simplex two is the you who kind.  Unfortunately the you who kind can spread to the mouth (at least that is what my friend the dermatologist says.).  I have a friend that is married with kids  and most of my info in terms of medication and when it is most active were from her.  I guess it is person dependent.  She does say that if she takes her medicine right when she feels it starting that it will clear up quicker.  

Anyway good luck
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145992_tn?1341348674
So the issue isn't really the fact that you have the disease but that he lacks intimacy.  Well I think that is an issue in a lot of relationships.  Have you communicated how you feel with him?  Some men don't even know that they're not pleasing us.  I know my ex used to just stick it in and maybe spent about a second on foreplay and then the sex didn't even last long.  So basically he just wanted it and wasn't concerned if whether or not I was satisfied.  It is selfish and I remember getting very frustrated with him at one point and I lashed out.  I think I had gotten very close to an orgasm for the first time ever with him and he finished and I blew up.  He was shocked because I guess he never thought about perhaps I wasn't being satisfied.  After that he tried his best but really he never cared about me the way he should've.  My point is, don't wait until the resentment builds and you lash out because it could lead to him losing all self esteem and you wouldn't want him to feel that way at all.  Try saying that you like it if he did this and that and guide him.  Or tell him that you really enjoy sex and you just want it to last a little longer.  Just some thoughts, maybe you've tried them already.
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Avatar_f_tn
You are actually perfectly okay with the fact that your boyfriend gave you an incurable std? What happens if you break up? Do you really think another man is going to say "okay honey it's fine you have this STD."?

If he's only interested in himself being pleasured...then you're relationship is already hitting snags and if he won't even listen to you...major issues. You could suggest some sort of counseling if that doesn't work I don't think your relationship will last long...unless you don't mind him not satisfying you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just a quick one people - alright, not everyone is okay with having herpes. But I can tell you now, menstruation is a much bigger pain in the a** and that doesn't go away until menopause.

It's really easy for a lot of people to judge it, but the problem isn't getting any less common... the general judgement and the stigmas that are attached to the dreaded 'herpes' just drive it underground and make people want to talk about it less.

It's really not that big a deal. Regardless of what's going on now, he was honest and I appreciate that.  People need to start doing a little research before they start airing their views on websites - a much more vulnerable person might actually think that type of harsh judgement holds some water. It doesn't.

For the people who have kindly given good advice about the actual relationship issue, I thank you again. We've had a major talk about it and things have improved immediately.
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Avatar_f_tn
People the problem isn't herpes its the fact that her boyfriend is being a douche about the sex during an outbreak. My opinion is try talking to him again maybe its how you're bringing up the topic. It could be your tone. Try talking to him like you would talk to your home girl. Or just say it out right or in a joke. Maybe he thinks your nagging him the way you previously spoke about it. Go to your local sex shop talk to the associate about oral candy you can try it on him and then he can return the favor. If you make the first step then he would follow... hopefully and try some male and female virbrators. Have some fun I hope I helped a lil.
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145992_tn?1341348674
I think we figured that out Coco if you've read the other advise that was offered you would see that.
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973741_tn?1342346373
It only took mami two, I was the dense one.  Sorry.
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145992_tn?1341348674
LOL!!!!!  You're a riot.
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lol sry mami i thought she was pretty clear but every1 is different. I didn't mean to upset you hope you have a wonderful day :)
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145992_tn?1341348674
Thank you, no it's ok.  Your advice was really good to her.  You have a wonderful day as well ;)
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101028_tn?1348750963
I encourage you to check out the herpes forum here on medhelp too about this or with any herpes questions you might have.

Just some facts about herpes for the forum in general :

1 out of every 4 women in the US has hsv2. It's very common.  1 out of every 2-3 has hsv1 orally. It's also very common. The stats for hsv2 are much lower in the UK but the stats for hsv1 orally are about the same, if not higher, as well as hsv1 genitally is the predominant type there. In the US, in folks under 25 years of age, hsv1 is the cause of about 70% of all genital herpes infections. Oral sex can transmit hsv1 from the oral area to the genital area even if obvious cold sores are not present at the time.  with minimal precautions you can get the risk of transmission to a partner down significantly -anywhere from 1% to 3% risk per year based on gender and if taking full precautions ( which is comparable to getting pregnant while only using the bc pill for contraception ). Herpes is not a part of routine std testing in most clinics and you have to ask for it. It's not something a pap test will pick up on either.   The vast majority of folks who have herpes, have no idea they have it until tested.  Though it might be inconceivable to some of you that someone would knowingly get involved with someone who has genital herpes, it's quite common and not necessarily that the uninfected partner will become infected with the virus.  Most couples where only 1 partner is infected, stay that way if the infected partner was aware of their status.  The herpes handbook at www.westoverheights.com is a terrific resource to learn more about herpes as is the herpes section at www.ashastd.org.  

To the OP :

Herpes at this point isn't your issue though as you already noted. It's your bf needing to be hit over the head with a brick to get him to realize that sex and intimacy are 2 completely different things and very important in a relationship.   Have you talked to him about this at a time that sex isn't even on your minds or only when he's in the mood and gets mad because you can't have actual penetrative sex ? Have you let him know that it hurts you to feel like you are only good for sex and nothing else?  You might have to be very blunt with him - sometimes trying to be "nice" about it, won't work and also talking about it at a neutral time is sometimes more helpful than in the heat of the moment.

Also how often are you having ob's? It sounds like they are quite frequent?  Have you been back to the gum clinic for testing for yeast and bacterial vaginal infections? About 1/2 of women who have bv especially, don't get obvious signs to know it. Bv is a known trigger for herpes and can trigger ob's as well as mimick them. if you are getting ob's any more frequently than every 3 or 4 months, definitely go and get tested to be sure neither of them are going on. To test for bv they need to examine your vaginal secretions under the microscope or send a specimen off to the lab. don't let them just visually look and say nothing is going on.   Also even though transmission is no longer an issue in this relationship, are you on daily suppressive therapy with valtrex or acyclovir? If not, ask to start it. Why have more ob's than you have to? It's also obviously interfering with your sex life which is just a pain ( literally and figuratively ).  You can have sex when you have symptoms but obviously if they are in an area which it would be painful to do so, you probably don't want to.  Transmission isn't an issue and you won't make things "worse" for the two of you by having sex during ob's at this point.  You might have to be very firm about wanting suppressive therapy in the UK, they seem to be reluctant to prescribe it sometimes. I think part of that is due to the overall lower rates of hsv2 infection there - they just don't deal with it as much.  Suppressive therapy lowers recurrences by 70% which is very significant. It also makes any ob's you do have, heal faster.  

If you two can't work through this on your own, consider talking to a counselor too about it. I'm sure there are a lot of underlying issues going on for both of you that might just be too difficult to talk about sometimes.  Having a neutral 3rd party involved sometimes helps a lot.  He might be feeling a lot of guilt about it all and just tries to ignore it instead of dealing with it.  It's really hard sometimes.

grace

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