At the precipice: quitting a 12 year relationship with a + man
May 5, 2012
I am at the end of my rope. My guy of 12 years tested poz in 2003. It was a long road back to health for him and I was there the whole time. Luckily I tested negative over and over, and we've used condoms since then so I am not worried about my status.
However, an undercurrent of our relationship is a link between sex and anger, meaning, if he doesn't get sex, he is angry. The HIV+ status really changed sex for me. I am super cautious about things like post-dental work, or post-gardening when my hands are cut-stuff like that. He doesn't see this as precaution, rather, a rejection. Plus, he has such a high sexual appetite I pretty much never get to initiate sex on my timing.
Anyway, in addition to all the above, he has very underdeveloped communication skills. On top of that, the fact that we did not use condoms before he tested positive AND I didn't get infected seems to have made him very nonchalant about the realities of infection. I read through the archives here and really wished he was one of those who worried about getting his partner infected. He is an immigrant who knew nothing of AIDS when he got to the states (though was infected a few years prior) and I am a US citizen who lost many friends to AIDS in the '80s and '90's.
We had an incident 10 days ago where he basically wanted to "climb on" and I wasn't into it-the anger escalated to where we haven't spoken now in a week-this was AFTER he got really abusive. I hate to think that it is the anger, not the HIV, that will ruin (has ruined) this relationship.
Counseling for him is not an option-he doesn't think he has a problem. However, I could use some help! If you know anyone in the Bay area who is adept at HIV serodiscordant AND cross-cultural couples, I would LOVE a referral.
Thanks and wish me luck.
Sad in San Fran
Response from Dr. Fawcett
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. No one should live with abuse of any kind so I am glad you are looking for support. Some of the issues you describe are universal (meaning not necessarily related to HIV) so any program addressing domestic violence could help.
There are fewer services for serodiscordant couples around the country. I would try two local resources to find support groups or information in your area: the San Francisco AIDS Foundation or, in the east bay, the Pacific Center . Either should be able to give you more guidance.
Even if he doesn't agree to get help I encourage you to take care of yourself and get the support you need and deserve.
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