So...it's been a whirlwind year. I met a wonderful woman late last year. We're both older (late 30s/early 40s). We hit it off fabulously and have been seriously discussing marriage for several weeks, even going so far as to discuss a plan for this summer. I previously told her of my past in terms of the sexual partners I've had, etc. After a short moment of shock/surprise at my "number", she expressed nothing but grace and love and our relationship kept going and growing. This far, we've been abstinent and plan to be until we're married, if and when that happens.
So, this week...I find a small abnormality on my genitals Tuesday night and of course...I freak out. I've never been tested and have used protection in all past relationships save one where we together for more than a year. So, I go get a full test panel on Wednesday. Thankfully, HSV2 is all that comes back positive on Thursday, everything else is negative. But, because I didn't fully understand HSV2 at the time, I spent an hour or two in absolute mourning. I believed I'd have to see this wonderful woman for the last time. I was preparing to end the relationship because I couldn't see putting her or any child we might have at risk. I was a wreck and just spent time praying to God apologizing for my past, thanking Him for His many blessings, and asking Him to use this aspect of my life...to use me to further His purpose.
Thankfully, I was moved to keep reading and reading and using the ole' google to educate myself on HSV2. I found this site on one of those searches.
I knew I needed to tell my girlfriend and since we had plans to hang out tonight, I couldn't in good conscience let it slide. I found several sites that had good advice for telling this stuff to a partner. I am so glad for having found this advice. Part of me felt like approaching her with tears in my eyes, begging for forgiveness, apologizing again for my past, and putting myself at her mercy.
Instead, I prayed that God be with me, to keep me calm, and to help me introduce the topic in a matter of fact manner, giving out the facts as I know them presently, and encouraging her to ask questions and seek information on her own. My doctor also advised me to guide her toward her gynocologist and also offered to meet with both of us if helpful.
Then, I prayed that God help me accept her response, whatever it was.
So, I show up tonight and she is working in the kitchen. We chat, catch up on each others' days. We move to the couch/living room after a bit where we like to sit and hold each other while we talk (and kiss ;P). As I'm holding her, I tell her I got tested this week. Slight silent pause. Then "Most of my tests came back negative but one was positive, HSV2". She was silent a minute, then asked...what does that mean? I explained that I had herpes. She has HSV1 and quickly made the connnection. She actually takes a oral viral suppressant daily to treat her HSV1. We talked through some of the facts I've learned thus far from a variety of helpful sites as well as from my doctor. I offered that, from what I've read, its seems very possible for people like me to have a normal sex life, children, etc with a few adjustments and precautions. She listened politely. She commented that she didn't like the part about using condoms all the time with her husband. After a few questions...she offered, I don't know what you want me to say. To which I told her she did not owe me a response of any kind or on any timeline.
We sat silently for awhile and she just cuddled close to me and I held her. I was careful not to initiate anything more with her...allowing her time to digest what I'd just shared and think on it. After a few minutes, she turned to face me and kissed me. Well...that kiss turned into one of our typical make-out sessions. She was receptive when I told her I love her and reciprocated as we've often done in the last several weeks.
I know she has some research she'll likely want to do. She may still decide this is not something she wants to deal with in her life. And I'm okay with that. Her response this far has been very grace filled and accepting.
I am so thankful to God for where he has brought me. While I don't want to lose this woman (she's the best thing that ever happpened to me!!), I know God is with me and will sustain me through whatever this life offers.
If you have someone you need to tell...I hope you find my story even slightly encouraging. I pray that you focus on "the audience of One" as you prepare your heart...look to Him no matter what. God Bless!