How I Told My Husband I Have Herpes
In case you don’t know it, I’m married and my husband does not have herpes!
This comes as a shock to a lot of people. I don’t think it’s the married part but the part that my husband doesn’t have herpes.
Of course prior to having herpes and when we hear of people having herpes we automatically assume that anyone they sleep with will automatically get herpes. At least that was what I thought.
But this post is not about how to prevent transmission to your partner, I have many other posts you can read and or watch. Today I’m going to share the story on how I told my husband that I have herpes.
Let’s go back to July 2011 when I was diagnosed with genital herpes
It was Friday before the 4th. So nobody was really working that day and everyone was preparing for the holiday weekend. I was out in the field working, I was in sales at the time, so I was out driving around seeing clients. Anyway, I got the phone call from my doctor. The call went something like this: “Alexandra, yeah I’m sorry to tell you but you’ve got herpes.” I think I turned ghost white and I felt like everything froze. I’ll share the rest of my disclosure story another time or you can go here.
At the time back in 2011 I worked with my husband. Now he wasn’t my husband, my boyfriend or anything else at the time. He was just my colleague. I had to at some point walk back into the office that day and finish up the day before the holiday weekend.
I walked into the office and I must have looked off. I mean I can imagine how I looked. I had no colouring in my skin, I must have had a deer in the headlights look and just been dazed. My husband asked me, “Alexandra, are you OK?” At that point I lost it. I completely lost my shit. I collapsed to the floor of his office and began balling. I think he was probably worried and also not expecting someone to be lying on his floor balling.
He asked me what happened and was I okay. I began to tell him that I was just diagnosed with herpes and didn’t know what to do. You have to remember that he wasn’t my boyfriend or husband at the time, just a colleague. Bill was so awesome. He just said that i was going to be okay and that whatever I needed from him he would be there from me. He had to go but then called me from the car on his way home to check on me. It really was the sweetest thing.
But now let’s fast forward to when we began dating. I always have to ask my husband when we started dating, I think it was 2014. We’ll just go with 2014 for the story. My husband, then colleague, had a conversation about dating. Remember we worked together so we didn’t want to approach this without thinking it through. We had some things to talk about like the work thing and some other personal stuff that we had to work out. So in that same conversation I brought up the fact that I have herpes.
I said something like, “you remember that I have herpes right?” Bill said, “yep but I don’t care.” I want you and I love you. I of course loved that response but I also made sure that he understood what this meant.
I made sure that he understood that it’s contagious, that he could get it, I will have it for life and that it causes annoying blisters. His only questions were around his life. He wanted to know if it would shorten his life or impact his life in any way. Of course the answer was no. I actually think I had some information on herpes so I think I handed it over to him and told him to ask me if he had any questions. That was pretty much the end of the conversation.
With that being said, we have had more conversations about herpes. There have been days that I’ve cried because I’ve gotten an outbreak, I’ve also had plenty of outbreaks here and there and had to have the conversation that we can’t have sex and so on.
This is a perfect point to make. I always say that having the herpes conversation should be the easiest hardest conversation that you have with your partner. And that it’s not just a one time conversation. This is something that you will talk about here and there if an outbreak pops up.
As far as disclosure, that’s one of the scariest things to do. The fear of disclosing kept me in a relationship that wasn’t healthy for me for way too long. I don’t want that for anyone. Nor do I want you to not date because of the fear of rejection. So I’ve created a Tell Your Partner Toolkit where there are about 12 videos of me walking you through how to tell your partner. We talk about past relationship disclosures, one night stands, casual relationships and potential long term relationships. It’s really helpful and you can purchase it here.