Emotional Support for Genital Herpes

Emotional Support for Genital Herpes

ButchAndFemme ButchAndFemme
After a long and painful 5 days of being misdiagnosed, wasted money on office visits and varied medications, and 7 hours in an emergency room, my partner was diagnosed with genital herpes approximately 24 hours ago (and just for added effect, she's also got a UTI and a bacterial infection in her vagina).

While we've been together for 3+ years and have been monogamous, I understand that the virus can lie dormant for a long time before a breakout occurs.

I think we have done enough research to deal with the physical aspect of the virus, but I'm trying to be an emotional rock for her in this time and I think I'm beginning to break. Can anyone offer some advice on how to deal with the emotions of a recently diagnosed herpes patient?

The most emotional concerning aspect comes from her thinking that our sex life will never be the same, that we'll always be thinking about an outbreak or that I'll become infected (I've got an appointment in 3 days to be tested). We have always had an incredible sex life, something we'd both been searching for prior to our relationship. I think she feels like she finally found an incredibly compatible sexual partner and now we've got this enormous elephant in the room that can't be ignored.

Any insight is appreciated.

Thank you
02/19/2011
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Quote:
Originally posted by ButchAndFemme
After a long and painful 5 days of being misdiagnosed, wasted money on office visits and varied medications, and 7 hours in an emergency room, my partner was diagnosed with genital herpes approximately 24 hours ago (and just for added effect, ...
I read somewhere that 2/3 or 3/4 of people who have herpes don't have outbreaks anymore after the first few years. I tried to find something on the Internet to support this, but couldn't. But I believe it.

One in five people have genital herpes. Some people don't have another outbreak after the initial one. I hope that's the case with your partner.

Future outbreaks will not be as bad as the first time with the possible exception of times when you're severely run down, undernourished and underslept. It sounds like your partner is run down right now if she has multiple infections. Maybe that's what it takes for her to have outbreaks.

Trust me, your life is not over. You can work out ways to enjoy each other physically that minimize the risk of you contracting it. I hope that knowing that it often becomes almost a non-problem helps.

Message me with your email address if you want to talk privately about this.
02/19/2011
toxie m toxie m
I know this thread is a month old but because there's only one response I figured I'd throw my two cents in since I know it's a very common issue.

Things get easier. Maybe by now, a month later, you're already realizing this but it's also possible that this is still an issue that's still on the go. But you will, in time, get back to your amazing sex life and the herp won't really be on your mind at all. It's just a matter of it becoming less in the forefront of both of your minds when the topic of sexuality comes up. When I was first diagnosed, I couldn't even masturbate properly for months because any fantasies I tried to conjure up began with me having to have a disclosure talk with my fantasy partners. Talk about feeling unsexy, haha. But life goes on and outbreaks become less frequent and it stops being something you think about on a regular basis, and now sex is just sex for me without the underlying, upsetting STD thoughts.

As far as emotional support goes, acceptance is by far the most healing thing. Just knowing that you still love and want her is HUGE. I was convinced that no one would ever find me to be a desirable sex partner again. Having people tell me otherwise was absolutely vital. Make sure she knows you still think she's sexy and wonderful and that you'll get through it together.

And in regards to your risk of contracting it - well, there are different ways to face that. In my case, I started dating a fellow who decided that he didn't mind the risk because a) though it is annoying, it isn't life-threatening and b) we plan to be together for a long time (forever?!) and in that case it doesn't really matter if we both have it. We have unprotected sex, though of course we abstain any time I have an outbreak or even if I'm just feeling a little iffy and suspicious. It's been 10 months and he hasn't showed any signs of having it, though he hasn't been tested. It's obviously not foolproof, but it works for us. You have to decide how safe you realistically want to be if you're in a long-term monogamous relationship. I know that it might be overly optimistic to just throw caution to the wind and act as though you'll for sure be together forever. But, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Do you want to use dental dams forever? Or would NOT using them make you feel too at-risk to be turned on?

I hope things have become easier for you guys and I wish you the best. Feel free to message me if you like
04/16/2011
Eden C. Eden C.
I'm glad someone posted about this. I have been exposed to HSV many times but repeatedly come up clean on blood tests.

There are medications like Valtrex on the market that can reduce the chances of her passing on the virus.

Herpes is difficult emotionally. It is a physically painful disease, but it does not deserve the social stigma American society sometimes places on it. I've never been in a long-term relationship with someone who has herpes (or had herpes at the time) but I think it's important to remind her that she's not "dirty". Do not make love during outbreaks, but if she does have an outbreak, be sure to still be intimate with her: cuddle, talk, and spend time with her.
04/24/2011
K101 K101
I have to say (for like the 5th time today on ef) lol I just started taking aloe vera pills. My twin sister was in the hosp. last night with another UTI and kidney issues She's had them our whole life and she's going to start on the aloe vera pills to. They are great for endometriosis, IBS, genital herpes, AIDS, etc. I hope you look into them as I'm pretty confident that they can provide an unbelievable amount of relief on just about any problems. They have serious health benefits. I should also say, I only trust Natures Factory (look them up) with the aloe because most companies say theirs is pure and it is NOT! If it's not pure it will not help and it can cause diarrhea! I hope you check into them. I've only been taking them 1 day, but if you take them regularly only a couple of weeks is all it takes to start seeing the benefits.
05/16/2011
ToyGurl ToyGurl
Quote:
Originally posted by ButchAndFemme
After a long and painful 5 days of being misdiagnosed, wasted money on office visits and varied medications, and 7 hours in an emergency room, my partner was diagnosed with genital herpes approximately 24 hours ago (and just for added effect, ...
I know I am really late on adding this advice, but I work at a health clinic. Actually, I work at two. One is a women's health hospital/center, the other is planned parenthood. In our support groups, we always tell the non-infected (or if both partners are infected) to treat their partners the way they would want to be treated if it was themselves being diagnosed.
05/25/2011
Total posts: 6
Unique posters: 6