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Husband Gave Me Herpes

Group Therapy: Husband Lied About Sexual Health

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My husband was in the military before I met him and contracted herpes.  He knew he had it and was treating it secretly.  Before we got married I asked him if he's been tested for HIV and everything and he said yes and that he didn't have anything.  Now after 16 years of marriage and 2 teenage kids, I found out that he has it and he never told me!  I had to ask him!  Who knows if he ever would of told me!  I'm so hurt and angry I don't know what to do.  He's a great guy, everyone loves him, we have a great marriage, but who does that???!!  Is he really the person I thought he was?  He said he was ashamed and scared I woudn't marry him.  He could of told me when I got pregnant the first time!  I wouldn't of been so mad and happy that HE told me instead of me figuring it out.

Find out more after the jump.

How do I get past this?  He claims he thought I knew — NO!  After 10 years he said something about having a sore, but I didn't know where it was and he never told me he went to the doctor nor what the doctor said.  Just within the past 2 years he's started taking Valtrex.  I don't know what that is!  I don't listen to commercials.  I asked him about it one day, "what do you take this for anyway?"  He jsut kinda brushed around it saying "Oh, just some red sores, like pimples"  He did NOT say "herpes"  why after 14 years of marriage would I think that open sores meant he had herpes?


So now what do I do?  Just give it time and deal with it?  This is the only time he's ever lied to me.  Even though there are a bunch of little lies about it.

Do I forgive him and stay together?  I think I'd be more miserable without him :(  I have not been tested yet, I go Thurs.  I may have had breakouts but thought they were jsut pimples from shaving.  As I read other's posts, I don't have some of the simptoms they have.  Could I have passed it on to my children and now they have to get tested?  They are 15 and 13.

Thanks for reading my story and any comments you may have.

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HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
sorry for all the typos. In the heat of the moment I totally didn't spell check. Anyway, seriously, go to a couples therapist. My heart really REALLY bleeds for you.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
This is a horror story and my heart REALLY goes out to you. While I get why your husband didn't want to tell you, what he did was WRONG!!!!! I mean, what he did is so Fup and you have every right to feel betrayed because....YOU WERE!! I would suggest counciling. He needs to accept full responsibility for how you feel and what you have done. I think with counceling and pray this can be worked through, but seriously, see a therapist, because there is no way in hell you should just "let this go". I mean, he's been lying to you for years and has put your health at risk. I get it, I get, he was scared, but you know what?? Who freaking cares. He was completely selfish in keeping this from you. I had a boyfriend cheat on me YEARS ago and he gave me gonorrhea or chlamydia (i forget). Thankfully, that is curable, but man I totally get where you are coming from because this son of a bitch didn't even tell me I got sick and he had some infection and thanks to paying attention in sex-ed, I knew something was up.
Skeptic52 Skeptic52 6 years
You mean he's got herpes, not HIV, right? I'm sure that's somewhere in the comments, but there are so many of them! Anyway, I KNOW how men act about STDs and I've got plenty of experience dealing with military men, especially, even medics. All of my friends in college (because I went to a military university for a long time) dated (and most of them married) military men. I was also fixed up with a lot of them. Either way, I was around them all the time and heard a lot. I got way more information than I wanted to know about how men think about disease so nonchalantly (because it RARELY ever affects THEIR's almost always women who suffer). I actually knew one guy who eventually admitted to me that he'd given his girlfriend a really awful strain of HPV that caused her a lot of trouble. He knew he had it before he met her, because he'd been tested several times (about half the time it didn't show up, because he's a male), and he was well aware of how it would most likely do nothing to him and he'd have no symptoms (he was a army medic). For the most part, he wore condoms with casual flings. He had a fear from being in the army in the former soviet that he would contract AIDS, so he was careful with prostitute-like situations (which there were TONS OF). But, with her, he used no protection if she didn't ask for it...which eventually she stopped because they were in a "serious relationship" to her knowledge. He KNEW he gave her HPV and said nothing when it began to cause her major problems. Long after she broke up with him and he was REALLY drunk and violently angry, he finally admitted what we all knew. He just kept justifying it by saying she was a "whore" anyway and deserved it and if she didn't want it she should have insisted he use a condom. Men often have a very unique way of pushing ALL responsibility off onto women so they don't have to feel an ounce of guilt, and that's exactly what he did. The sad part is, that's just one of MANY stories I witnessed with guys avoiding owning up to STDs. My point is, he might not have cheated on you, but he very well could be like a lot of men that I met who have that awful male mentality that sexual health is all OUR responsibility. So many of them knew that the diseases wouldn't affect THEM (only the women who contracted them), so they rationalized it however they had to in order to keep living their often sleazy lives without guilt. It horrified me, but I used it as a learning experience, definitely. My aunt had a similar situation, contracting a disease from her husband (now an ex from a long time ago). She contracted hepatitis and is still being treated years later. It GREATLY altered her life, but he was pretty much able to keep on living how he'd always lived. She eventually got divorced and remarried to a good guy and they dealt with it very well. They've been married longer than I've been alive, and he still hasn't contracted it. So, it's definitely something that can be conquered and dealt with.
chillchic chillchic 6 years
I agree with those who said you might want to look into whether or not he's had an affair. You say it's the only thing he's lied about but if he was able to hide his illness from you for 16 years, who knows what else he could be hiding from you. You need to get tested for everything. You have every right to be angry, this is a BIG deal. I do recommend therapy. Hopefully it can save your marriage and help you restore the trust and also help your husband realize how selfish his actions were.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
@ Anonymous: Haha! Well, guess I don't want to hang out with you guys! (Just being silly. Absolutely no offense intended.) ;) I do agree that fungus and bacteria and parasites are much easier to catch than non-airborne viruses. You are very right.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
Good lord, do people still think you can get STDs from sitting on toilet seats? You'd have to do some really weird and gross things on that seat in order to even have a chance of catching something. And so would the infected person who'd sat there just seconds before you. Urban legend.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 6 years
I agree with most posters... but I would seriously try and find out if he truly has had it your whole marriage... or if he did have an affair. I don't know what I would do in this situation, you don't want to throw away your life but he did put your health at risk. I am sorry. :(
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
I'm so sorry for your situation. One of your comments grabbed me and that was "He's a great guy, everyone loves him, we have a great marriage, but who does that???!!" Well when it comes to judgment over sexual activity unfortunately for society in general a lot of people do this. People who are other wise good friends, partners, husbands/wives can surrender their better selves to shame. No question what he did was wrong and selfish. It will be up to your Mercy and Love to forgive him if you can find that within you. It sounds like your relationship otherwise is right in every other way so there's a good place to start. I agree that counselling would be a great benefit. From a different perspective I think we should take into consideration that this is a common reaction believe it or not to our societies stigma towards talking openly about sex and educating each other rather than unleashing a public court of opinion upon a person when they find themselves in these situations. IMO societies projected intolerance on this issue is actually shooting ourselves in the foot by reinforcing this shameful and selfish behavior by individuals like your husband.
marcied23 marcied23 6 years
as far as the children are concerned, did your ob/gyn give you a full work up when you were pregnant? they usually check for sti's in the mother to ensure that the child is your kids should be safe. i can't give you advice about your husband, since i am not married...but it does sound like you want to say...he was obviously ashamed...maybe counseling would help.
janeaustenrules janeaustenrules 6 years
First of all, my sincerest sympathies that you are dealing with this. That is a big blow to absorb. I confess, I would be concerned about when he contracted herpes since he has demonstrated a failure to be honest and forthright with you. There is a very easy way to rectify that though. If he was diagnosed in the military (or anywhere), there will be a medical record of it. Tell him he's damaged your trust and that you want access to that aspect of his medical record and confirmation of the date of diagnosis and treatment recommendations, prognosis etc. If his story is corraborated by the medical evidence, this may help restore your trust and faith that he has been honest with you abot the main things. Good luck!
weffie weffie 6 years
I would kill the sick bastard, for reals. Little white lies are forgivable, but this is a big fat major life-affecting hell of a lie. What an asshole.
kismekate kismekate 6 years
Nevermind - had to re-read it 11 times. Got it now. Haha.
kismekate kismekate 6 years
Wait wait wait....I re-read this like 10 times and it sounds like you're saying he has HIV. Did you mean HPV?
vabeachbum vabeachbum 6 years
00rainpuddles and sonofDavid, it is possible for people to carry herpes and not have an outbreak until many years later. There are cases all the time of women who pass it to their babies because they never knew they were infected. You can get tested for it, but the test is unreliable and gives a false negative/positive more often than not. Please remember that this post is from a real person with feelings... I don't think jumping to the conclusion that he had an affair is fair without having more information. To the OP, it sounds like it was one of those things he always meant to tell you and just found the right moment. Yes, he's in the wrong, but it seems that he really really regrets it. I don't think it's worth dissolving a marriage over if he's a stand up guy in all other areas. As far as your kids go, the only way they could have gotten it is through vaginal delivery. And babies that contract herpes in this way don't live very long, a few days at most. They have no immune system to fight the virus and it will unfortunately lead to mortality. So, since your kids are basically grown and healthy, you don't need to worry about them. Hang in there.
runningesq runningesq 6 years
First, as many people mentioned - get tested yourself. Second, I would recommend counseling. 16 years of marriage is a long time and - IMO - not worth throwing away because of this. But OF COURSE you are devested and feel betrayed - and you have every right to be ! I think couples counseling could go a long way toward rebuilding trust in your husband. Good luck.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 6 years
Too bad they don't have a dam cure for that one yet. I'm pretty sure your doctor will tell you its not picked up unless you have sexual intercourse so your children should be fine. for At least there is medication. I know this won't help you but at my university alone one in four students contracted that crap. The good part I know from friends who have fessed up is after a while you don't experience symptoms anymore, like maybe even years. Technically speaking, it would be worse to get Chlamydia, making women infertile becuase you don't know you have it. That's worse. I don't know why there's so much embarrassment over this stuff becuase so many people get it and then sometimes they get it from the first or second person they slept with, possibly fiance's or husbands like in your case. I wouldn't destroy a marriage over this. Its not worth it.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
I agree with the posters above. Bad thing for him to do. Not worth dissolving a marriage over. You do need to talk with him about honesty, though. He acts weird when he feels uncomfortable. And making you guess the correct questions to ask in order to find out anything...that just doesn't work.
LaProfesora LaProfesora 6 years
I am very happy I can help! How you feel is completely normal and expected. I think you are extremely strong and have to continue to be for your well being and that of your children. I know you will do what is best for you and your family, whatever that decision be. Counseling will help you heal from the shock and sadness and make you stronger to be able to face this situation. Couple's therapy will help you address the issues of trust and security that you both need if it has been lost. Your husband needs to take these steps, in order to rebuild the trust and actually show that he wants to make a wrong, right. Best of luck!
bspearson bspearson 6 years
Thank you everyone for your comments and opinions. It gives me new things to think about. I really appreciate your insight LaProfesora. I've thought about counseling and your post made it clearer. My days are so inconsitent. Some days I'm pissed off, some days I'm so sad and depressed. I walk slower, going to the store is depressing. He definately took the spring out of my step. Please keep the comments coming, it really does help. I've never done this before and I'm glad I did :)
LaProfesora LaProfesora 6 years
I also wanted to comment on your children's risk. Research as much as you can so you can feel better. But generally, the only way herpes is transmitted is through an active sore, it is where the virus are actively replicating. In the case of children, it is only transmissible during vaginal delivery and only if there are active ulcers present. I encourage you again to seek counseling and to get as much information as you can. Being in control of the information can alleviate alot of the unknown stress you may be feeling.
LaProfesora LaProfesora 6 years
I really want to comment, because I want to be able to provide some perspective for you, on such a difficult situation. This is a pretty big betrayal. This is a fact. Even if it had been for only a year, you have the right to now if you are at risk for developing a chronic illness. And it did put your children at risk during child birth, had you developed the ulcers. It was irresponsible and it was very immature. How do you move on? You first need to decide if you can forgive him. This is not going to happen soon, but can you see yourself accomplishing it? If you think you need time and can do it, then be courageous and try. But if you cannot, and feel like the trust is gone, then you have to realize this now, and understand that nothing he does or you do will help you get past it. I honestly feel like he really was ashamed and didnt mean for it to happen this way. It doesn't excuse what he did or make it right, but I dont think it was his intention to hurt you, and with a little communication, you both could have worked it out. It was his mistake, a huge mistake. I say get tested, and then decide from there, if it is something you can move past or if it was something unforgivable. I encourage professional counseling and sexual education for both of you, to do together and hopefully you can weather this. Good luck!
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