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Confused as to how to proceed in relationship
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Confused as to how to proceed in relationship

Hello, I'd like to preface my remarks by thanking you for reading my post, for answering my questions, and for providing clarity in a time of need.

Recently, I met a woman and we began dating.  Soon thereafter, she informed me of her HSV-2 genital infection.  Prior to her disclosure, we had not engaged in sexual intercourse.  While I would normally back away in this situation (it's the prudent thing to do), I had developed very strong feelings for her, and decided to begin a relationship.  We engaged in protected intercourse (probably around 15 to 20 times) coupled with strong communication (but no anti-viral suppressive therapy) and I have yet to contract HSV-2 to date.  We are currently not having sex.

A month after the last time I had sex with my gf, I tested negative for HSV-2 antibodies.  I feel incredibly torn, and I constantly feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.  On the one hand, I'm in love with girl; on the other hand, I really don't want to contract genital herpes.  

I truly do care about her.  Everyone I talk to tells me either to "man up" and stay, or "man up" and leave.  But it's really hard for me.  Also, it's hard for me to overlook not only her HSV-2 genital infection, but also how she got it -- unprotected sex with a bartender whom she did not know too well.  I know I should not judge her, but I do it subconsciously and it results in me arguably emotionally abusing her.  

How would you suggest handling this situation?  I've tried to break it off a couple times but like I said, my feelings for this woman are particularly strong.  I feel schizophrenic because I'm constantly switching from "This can't last, I don't want herpes" to "I love her, her issues are mine, and I want to be with her forever."  This is clearly not healthy for my mental well-being.  Nor hers.

Thanks for your response.
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Avatar_f_tn
the woman was honest and upfront with you she could have lied, but she did not so who is to blame, you decided to have sex anyway, you could have backed off, if you want out get out you are not married , luck  jo
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684030_tn?1357024374
I'm just wondering... why wasn't the herpes a problem when you initially met and were, presumably, not in love with her? And, now that you have feelings for her; the herpes is a problem? After all, she gave you fair waring about her condition. Were you not seeking or expecting intimacy in the relationship?
Anyway, since intimacy is now an issue because of the HSV, why not stay in the relationship and remain platonic friends?
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Avatar_m_tn
Well...truth is we have resumed having sex.  I had very strong feelings for her (infatuation) when she told me.  I guess my emotions overpowered my rational side.  As time passed, I talked to some friends and gained greater perspective.  I really care for her, but I sometimes am not sure if her and I are right for each other, and the fact that I could contract herpes and be forced to communicate that fact to subsequent partners fuels my anxiety.  

When I'm with her though, I am sexually attracted to her and usually end up having sex with her.  She's on valtrex, we use condoms, and she tells me when she's having an outbreak, so I'm assuming the chances of contracting herpes is very low.  Nevertheless, it still causes me a lot of anxiety.  

Because I am young, I'm worried that in 5 years I might be the woman of my dreams (where I won't have to overlook something such as herpes) and by then it WILL BE TOO LATE.  ahhh.  I'm a mess.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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684030_tn?1357024374
The anxiety about contracting HSV is quite understandable... it would scare me s***less! But, you don't seem to be bothered enough to not have sex with her.
Surely, you must know that there's risk with each intimate moment... because you can't separate the woman and her incurable condition, regardless of how many precautions you take. All you need is one "slip up" in the heat of passion... one over-looked virus symptom... one miscalculated encounter... then, BOOM, you've got a virus for life!
Now, if you're willing to complicate your life and narrow your options for future partners; then, maybe you wouldn't mind taking a chance in getting the virus.
But, as you said, if you meet the "love of your life" years down the road... having this condition can be a major deal breaker.
I think that if you continue to be with this woman, sexually... you should mentally prepare yourself that getting this disease is a real possibility... then, you won't be so shocked and disappointed if and when it happens.
Physical attraction and raging hormones aside, you can't have her; and avoid the risk getting herpes.
The decision to risk or not risk is yours!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for responding.  I am bothered by having sex with her.  But I just do it when I'm with her sometimes and I tell myself I won't get it.  I haven't to date (knock on wood).  But you are exactly right -- I am playing with fire.  My mother would kill me if she found out.  I feel like my life is out of control and I'm about to throw my life away.  

A part of me really cares and likes this woman.  That is the hard part.  There are times when I'm with her where it feels so right and that I could be married to her for life.  That is the side of me that wants me to stay.  But then there's the rational side of me that knows it is highly risky, and doesn't make much sense, given the fact I am young, healthy, arguably attractive, and arguably intelligent.  The odds of me finding another woman within the next two years are probably pretty high.  

I feel trapped.  I've never felt this way before.  I almost feel like I'm in the movie "match point," wherein I've made one decision, which led to new circumstances, in which led to newer circumstances, and so on, till the point where I'm entangled in a web and can't move.  I know that I'm 100% responsible for the position I'm in right now.  But it still hurts.  I feel like I'm not at my potential.  I can't concentrate 100%.  I know that this is not what a healthy relationship consists of -- that is, worrying all the time.  

Any more responses would be greatly appreciated.  How would you handle this in my situation?  What would you tell your son if you found out he was doing this with a new love interest?
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372900_tn?1315515902
I think the problem is now that you are more emotionally involved, hence why it didn't bother you before.  Before you were thinking "Yeah.  We'll have sex and as long as I use protection I'll be fine and then I can cut it off when something better comes along."  Somewhere along the line you fell in love and now you're thinking "Wow.  The more we have sex the more my chances of getting herpes increases.  I don't think I can handle that."  You mentioned you can't stop thinking about her being with a bartender she barely knew.  Perhaps that bugs you more than you think.  Maybe you're a bit jealous because you weren't the first one she's been with?  Or perhaps you harbor some ugly feelings toward her for getting caught up in the moment with a bartender without thinking first and now she has to deal with the consequences for the rest of her life.

I think if you want to stay in it you need to seek counseling.  If you don't these feelings you harbor are only going to get worse and if you are already verbally abusive towards her who is to say what else will happen.  As long as she on meds, you use protection and you only have sex when she doesn't have an outbreak you should be fine.  But you can't be emotionally connected to her if it's always in the back of your mind and you're fearful of contracting the STD.  The relationship won't work.  You need to talk to her and tell her how you're feeling and then get counseling.  If you can't handle any of that then it's best to just break it off.  You aren't doing yourself or her any favors by staying.
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684030_tn?1357024374
If I was in your situation, I'd put an end to the sexual relationship with the woman and  find someone who doesn't have the virus.
And, if I were your mom, I'd say, "... it's not like she's the only woman in the world!
... I'm sure that you can find someone who, isn't diseased."
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, it's easy to say that until you really care about someone and enjoy yourself around someone.  The flip side to the obvious, "walk away and leave" argument is that with proper precautions, it is only a 1% risk per year.  Further, if you contract herpes, it is non-deadly, and marriage is supposed to be for life anyway, right?  And if you leave someone you care about because of herpes, there's a 1/4 chance the next woman will have herpes -- not to mention other STD's, and other hidden baggage.  The decision is far from black/white.
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303824_tn?1294875001
Let me help put your mind to rest a little bit. My ex-husband's wife has herpes. They have been together for about 8 years, and my ex has never caught it. They do not have unprotected sex either, and have a child together. Now I know he can get it at any given time, but from what I understand, it's all about communication. You cannot get herpes while there is no outbreak. Outbreaks are not always detectable, so you have to be safe and wear a condom. Some people go through life with herpes and never have an outbreak, while others have outbreaks all the time. I can certainly understand the mental part of your dilemma, and this is a decision only you can make. You need to weigh the pros and cons and figure out which is most important. If this girl makes you feel like no one else has ever made you feel, and vice versa, why look somewhere else. She could very well be the one for you. Just be safe during any and all intimacy.

Also, research the disease and educate yourself so you will better understand the risks and chances of you contracting it. It might be a little slimmer than you think...

I hope this helps! And I wish you nothing but the best no matter what you decide.
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Avatar_m_tn
it doesnt help and you are wrong.  you can get herpes when there is no outbreak -- it's called asymptomatic shedding.  go read about it.   in any event, thanks for your efforts.

further, she doesnt make me feel that great.  in fact, there are a lot of non-herpes issues i have with the relationship.  

i tihnk im going to exit the relationship. just havent figured out when
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372900_tn?1315515902
I don't understand why this was an issue to begin with.  If she doesn't make you feel great to begin with then you should have left the relationship a long time ago.  Do it soon because you are just dragging her around and it isn't fair to her and next time don't waste our time.
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Avatar_m_tn
its an issue cuz i have a lot of feelings for her..
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303824_tn?1294875001
I never said you can't contract the virus when there isn't an outbreak. I said you can contract at any given time, and to wear protection just in case.
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303824_tn?1294875001
And I commend her for being upfront and honest with you about it. There are so many people out there who are too ashamed to admit they have an STD whether it's for life or not. Her honesty is applaudable, although it doesn't make the situation any easier.


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755829_tn?1246922825
Well in regards to the HSV, you can certainly maintain a sexual relationship without contracting it, however best consult someone in medical field for some tips on all practical ways to prevent infection, you may be missing some good tips.  I am concerned by this:
Also, it's hard for me to overlook not only her HSV-2 genital infection, but also how she got it -- unprotected sex with a bartender whom she did not know too well.  I know I should not judge her, but I do it subconsciously and it results in me arguably emotionally abusing her.  

Had the same problem with my ex-girlfriend and some of the less (what I perceive to be) moral activities in her past, you will either need to deal with this or the emotional abuse will end the relationship, it played a major part in my relationship ending, if you can't deal with this issue and it seems to crop up all the time, you may have to end the relationship.
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Avatar_m_tn
Fantastic comment, thank you for posting.  I agree 100%.  It does come up frequently in our relationship.  One of my core values that makes me who I am is that I am a cautious human being.  It is therefore very difficult for me to respect a woman who knowingly allows someone else to stick their bare penis in her vagina, where the circumstances and his actions suggest he has had multiple partners.  She also had a threesome that she told me about.  And I found out from a third party that she drove 150 mph in a corvette.  So I'm guessing she's only told me bits and pieces of her past.

Some have suggested I am jealous of her past.  My comments on that are as follows:
If a woman I was dating had an ex-boyfriend, for example, who had a larger penis than me, and that she screwed for 3 years, I would probably be jealous (even though I wouldn't admit to it).  But when I think about my gf walking into a room and getting ****** by two guys she barely knows (or perhaps getting ****** by one while blowing the other), I tend to be turned off and lose respect for the girl.  All I can think is, "low self-esteem, low self worth, low self-respect."  And to think about the woman going out and screwing so many different men, is just hard for me swallow.  I still can't fully swallow it and it's been 7 months.

Others suggest, "love is rare, you love her move on with it."  I find this statement both overly simplistic and unrealistic.  At least for me.  
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285927_tn?1380802356
In a nutshell. Here goes.  She warned you, tells you when she has an outbreak, blah blah blah.  So you break up with her, go out meet someone else you are sexually attracted to, have sex and then wha_la, you find out you got herpes or hiv infection or for that matter, bugs!  The difference is, she was honest up front, most are not.  Think about it?  How many people do you know who are either virgins or not been around the block sexually.  For that matter, how many partners have you yourself had?  As long as your careful and considerate of one another, your chances of contracting are low.  Probably lower than ditching her and ending up with someone else who might have something worse.
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Avatar_m_tn
Another fantastic comment.  Thank you for responding.  I've analyzed your point, and here's my response.  I have had 15 partners -- but the only partner I've had unprotected with was someone in which I saw an STD report.  Secondly, only 1/4 women have herpes.  However, up to 30% of genital herpes is HSV-1.  So that means in reality, only approximately 15% of women have HSV-2.  And if you're careful and study the people you meet, I figure I'll probably be able to get a good grasp on how they behaved in the past with men.  Also, I can always ask for STD report before having sex.  

The principle you are espousing, in my mind, is "don't be greedy."  But am I really being greedy by not wanting to think about this all the time? or worry?

So do you really buy the argument that I am safer with her than without her?  It isn't without force, but I don't think it's very strong, either.  
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285927_tn?1380802356
If this is the same gal as the one in your other post! Run! Do not walk to the nearest exit.  This coupled with what you posted before is BIG WAVING RED FLAG THAT BLINKS! Get out of that relationship man!
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Avatar_m_tn
Why is it a red flag teko?  Please explain.  I think this girl truly does like me.  
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285927_tn?1380802356
Ok, here goes.  You said, she had something like 30 partners, was in love with you after two months into the relationship.  Was in high gear sexually at first and then 5 months into it, she doesnt try so hard anymore and now you say she has herpes. And she said you are perfect, which we know is not true. She is not thinking or acting in the rational world.  Why is she so needy?  Well, I aint no professional by any means but like I said in the other post, be very careful cause she is gonna have you at any cost it sounds like, and I would make very sure to take precautions for more than the worry about herpes.  Besides, I dont get that you are all that into her anyway, except for the sex. I hope I did not offend. I can only go by what you post.  :D
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Avatar_m_tn
haha, how do you know Im not perfect? JK...I know.  Shes not really needy she doesnt need to talk/call a lot.  I think she is insecure however.  But arent most women?  Im not into her for sex I actually enjoy friendship iwth her.  

Im curious to when you say: red flag, watch out for more than herpes.  Can you please explain yourself? What do I need to wathc out for?
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285927_tn?1380802356
No, most women are not.  I believe that no one out there can make me happy.  I make me happy and I am the only one that can meet my needs.  I do not need a man, however do like the idea of sharing my life with a man. There is a huge difference. I will never stay with someone because I could not make it on my own, or did not want to be alone.  Women today are self made not the product of grow up, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after.  If we depend on someone else to make us happy, and they fail us.  We resent, blame etc.  Then comes kids, divorce, alimony and child support all because we are expecting someone, who cannot, to make us happy.  If people realized this, there would be far less failed relationships, marriages and kids being raised by anyone other than their biological parents.  Oh, my.... I am Preaching again...
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755829_tn?1246922825
If you cannot get over the moral issues of her past and it causes arguments and you continue to emotionally abuse her, sooner or later she will end it, noone wants that kind of conflict, I agree with your moral issues I probably wouldn't want a girl who gets into a 3some with 2 guys, but that is me, but it is the same thing with girls who have kids, would you want one that had 3 kids? I gave my friend some advice on this once he asked me should he get involved with a single woman with 3 kids? I said look I wouldn't there are so many issues and problems that could arise with that, but I then said who is to say what true love is, if you think she is the one, don't worry about the kids so much, they have been together for ages now, and are expecting a 4th child of their own, they seem happy together so who is to judge, who is to judge that you can't be happy with a girl with a bit of a bumpy past? But my main point stands if you continue to argue over her past, you need to find a way to get over it or find someone else, continued arguments of this nature will doom the relationship.
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