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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    He cheated after 20 yrs of marriage and gave me Herpes!
    An_184653 posted:
    Went to the dr today only to find out I have herpes. Came home and and hour later finally got out of my husband he had a one night stand. Been married 20 yrs have 2 kids and have always had a good relationship. I always told my husband that the only thing that would break our marriage would be if he cheated on me. I suffer from depression but take meds which help a bit but the side effects include decreased sexual desire. I work out and do my best to keep fit (I am tall and thin and so was my husband) but my husband has gained alot of weight over the years and this really turns me off and I have tried to encourage him to do something about it for years. He lost his mother a few months ago and it has really taken a toll on him and his dad passed 8 yrs ago. He has not dealt with losing her well and I found out he has been really depressed about that, some work problems and my lack of affection. He is not using that as an excuse he just broke down and told me he felt like a mess. I feel really bad for him and I love him but... I feel sick, dirty, disrespected, angry and so much more. How could he do this to us, our marriage and our family? How can I ever forgive him and ever trust him again. I can't believe he cheated but also gave me herpes. I was so embarrassed and humiliated at the dr office today. I feel damaged both physically and emotionally. I will have to live with all of this for the rest of my life. I have an appointment with my dr/consoler in a few days. How do I do this?
    cjh1203 responded:
    I'm so sorry. I know what it feels like to be cheated on, but getting herpes on top of that adds a whole new layer of hurt and anger, I'm sure.

    It is possible to rebuild your relationship after something like this, but it takes lots of time, patience, talking, desire and, usually, marriage counseling.

    Does your husband get any kind of treatment for his depression?

    When you say that one of the things he's depressed about is your lack of affection, do you mean in a sexual way, or are you not affectionate with him in any way, such as kissing, touching his arm, etc.? Have you had any kind of sex life with him recently? Even if you haven't, it's no excuse for what he did -- it's just something that will need to be addressed if you decide to stay together.

    People have different levels of tolerance for cheating. After 20 years of marriage, I would work very hard at staying together if I found out my husband had a one-night stand -- if he'd had an affair, that would probably be a different story.

    The fact that you now have herpes means you are going to have a constant reminder of his one-night stand, and that's a pretty rough complication. From a strictly medical standpoint, millions of people live with herpes and, while I understand your embarrassment and humiliation, doctors see it all the time and, to them, it's just another medical condition.

    Only you can decide if you think your marriage is worth working on. If so, I really think the most important step you can take right now is to find a good marriage counselor.

    Good luck -- it's good that you have an appointment for yourself, and I hope it will help.
    3point14 responded:
    Were you both virgins when you met? If not, well, herpes can lie dormant for YEARS. I'm not saying this excuses his one night stand, but there is a chance that that's not responsible for your condition.

    Not that herpes is going to be an easy thing to deal with no matter how you got it, really. Webmd has good sexual health message boards so you might go there for support.

    Would he seek counseling, either individually or to try to fix your marriage? Would you? Can you see yourself ever truly forgiving him? If you can, try to. If you can't, don't bother.
    ridethestorm replied to 3point14's response:
    neither of us were virgins we we met but have been together for 25 yrs and married 20. My dr did explain it can lie dormant for years as well but since he cheated and about a week later I got herpes it seems to be from his cheating. I can't believe he did this to us our family and to me. Not only cheating but giving me herpes is such a double hit. The B*%^# that came on to him (per his story) knew he was married. But he knew what he was doing too. I am seeing my dr/counselor tomorrow and we will need couples counseling as well. I just feel so cheap, dirty and disgusted that he slept with another woman and then came home had sex with me and gave me herpes. I don't know if I can every forgive him and I know I will never forget. My life has changed forever now that I have herpes. I am a breast cancer survivor I could handle cancer better than this -- this is personal.
    3point14 replied to ridethestorm's response:
    It's actually more odd that it would show up that shortly after an exposure. Did she have active lesions? Has he been tested?

    ((hugs)) YOU are not cheap, nor dirty. Quite frankly, even the woman who might've given you herpes is only cheap and dirty because of her actions, not her disease. As much as it is something sexually transmitted, and therefore not "blameless", nobody wants herpes. Nobody wants to pass around herpes. Heh, I'm sure your husbnd didn't want to contract herpes.

    You should be disgusted with his actions, not with your unfortunate fallout. This is not something you deserve, and I'm so sorry you're going through it, especially as a breast cancer survivor.

    I wish I had better advice. But just treat yourself well. Take time, away from him, maybe, to process all this. The cheating would be bad enough, in my book, but the herpes (if he did give it to you) just makes it that much worse. Nobody deserves what you're going through. You're already doing the right thing with the counseling, and I truly wish you peace from all this soon.
    IslandL replied to 3point14's response:
    Actually from what I've read it's more likely for genital herpes to show up within 30 days after exposure. There is lot's of information here on Webmd about this and all STD's, but it's still best to write down any questions you have and ask them to your doctor.

    I'm so sorry your H did this ridethestorm. I'm glad you have a professional to help you through it.
    Consider the Karma Consequences ;)
    3point14 replied to IslandL's response:
    I'm no kind of expert, you could be a million percent right. I have a co-worker who has it and her doctor told her it was more likely to remain dormant for upwards of a year before the first outbreak, but the hearsay of one doctor doesn't really compare to a website dedicated to medicine. Thanks for the info.
    An_184654 replied to 3point14's response:
    My dr/counselor had a family emergency and had to cancel my appoint for tomorrow. I can't see her until Tues. It is so hard no having anyone to talk to. I was going to tell a friend tonight but she was too busy to get together. I am really scared to tell anyone. I am embarrassed and ashamed that my husband cheated and gave he herpes. Never thought this would happen to me. I would rather battle cancer again - I had breast cancer 8 yrs ago. My husband comes home tonight was gone while I found everything out over the phone. He will be sleeping on the couch. Wish I had a dog house for him. My dr said that it can be as soon as a week to get an outbreak and it has been 2 weeks or so. I don't deserve this and I don't know what to do. It is going to be a long hard road and I'm not sure what path I will take at the end. I am so sad
    fcl replied to An_184654's response:
    I would just like to point out that you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your husband is the one who stepped outside your marriage and who put your health at risk (not to minimize herpes but it could have been an awful lot worse ... HIV, for instance). HE is the one who should be ashamed, not you.

    Hold your head up high. Take your time deciding what you want to do and where you want to be heading.

    Wishing you well
    cjh1203 replied to An_184654's response:
    FCL is absolutely right -- you have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. This was something that was done to you, and not anything you did or deserved.

    I'm sure you feel very alone right now, but you have a lot of company. Quite a few of the people on this board have been cheated on and there really are millions of people who have herpes. Years ago, there was a stigma attached to herpes that I don't think exists much any more. Nobody is going to be judging you the way you seem to be judging yourself.

    I hope you can find someone to talk to before your appointment. Please remember that, even though you don't know any of us, there are always people here to offer encouragement and support. It seems like your whole world has crashed in on you, but you will get through it -- it will be difficult and painful for a while, but you will.
    magicmuffin replied to An_184654's response:
    I am really feeling for you right now, anon. I have been through similar, although it was a long time ago, early in my marriage. I too found out over the phone (chicken s&^%) that my husband had had a one night stand. You feel like your heart is actually tearing apart inside your chest, I know. Although I was very lucky to not have gotten anything from him (although waiting for test results was agony) I can tell you if there is anything you HAVE to do it is to go through the entire grieving process, get through this and forgive him. Yes. Not necessarily for his sake, but for yours, or you will be haunted by this forever. This is to give you peace. And keep telling yourself that you are not in this alone. While it is very very good that you are seeing a counsellor I would also recommend telling a TRUSTED friend, someone you can call anytime night or day when it hits you (again and again because it will). Someone that will not defend your husband nor judge him. I thought I was going absolutely nuts until I was able to talk about it, and I did, over and over for a long time, although it does get less with time.
    I would also suggest not doing anything rash until you have had a chance to process and deal with this. If you find you cannot live with him for now, ask him to leave temporarily, or have separate bedrooms, whatever. If you decide later that you cannot continue, you can act then.
    No, you did not deserve this, nor does anyone. What you do deserve is time. It really does get better. Out of this I truly learned the meaning of the quote "That which does not kill us makes us stronger". Hang onto this, and God bless.
    RandilovesRandi responded:
    Sorry for what you going through you feel betrayed and on top of that he gave you a std that is uncurable. But they do have medicines that keep it under control so you dont get that many breakouts.
    paintingmuralsmom replied to 3point14's response:
    I have been married 7 yrs with 2 kids with my husband. I found out 2 days ago he has been cheating on me with multiple women for a year and admitted one of them had herpies and I came down with it 4 months ago. It sucks- it took about a month for me to get it. I thought he gave it to me from oral sex, since he gets cold sores, but that isn't the case it seems. Very angry here.

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