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Mixed status couple
Jun 19, 2004

My boyfriend is - and am +. We have been together for 3 years and just discovered when we had plans to get married. Although he does not say it loud I can see that he does not want to get married to me anymore although we still very much inlove. We had a long talk and decided to go for counselling in a different city. Do you have patients who changed their minds about their partners like my situation. Everyday I think about going on with my life but I still love him and the fear of disclosing my status to another boyfriend is overwhelming. Do you think the counselling might help. He also feels bad to leave me thinking I will not cope with the rejection and fears my family when they discover he has not been on my side. I have helped him in desperate situations but I don`t want him to feel obligated to pursue our relationship.

Response from Dr. Remien

This can be very difficult and trying. I think you are doing a good thing by seeing a counselor - I think it can help a lot, however things turn out. It can be a good forum for getting everything out in the open. Talking about all the fears and concerns can help put them in perspective. In my experience, most couples are able to cope with the issues and remain together in a loving relationship. However, it is true that some people simply cannot cope with the HIV and find that they need to leave. Again, either way, I think you want to know the truth. As you said, you don't want to be with someone who is just doing it out of "obligation."

It is important that both of you go into the counseling with open minds. Use the time to be truly honest with each other. And you should not assume that he "wants out." Just because he is showing ambivalence does not mean he doesn't love you and want to be with you. Give him space to express his feelings, including his fears - they are normal. See where it all takes you. Because again, you want your relationship to be based on honesty and openness.

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