Mixed-Status Couple Complication
Sep 19, 2012
I am HIV-negative and beginning to fall in love with someone who is HIV-positive. At times, it is difficult for me to deal with this aspect of our relationship, but I'm trying and learning a lot through this website.
Recently, I attained information that my boyfriend has failed disclose his status to sexual partners in the past. In fact, he has had unprotected sex with a friend several times and never disclosed his status. I knew this information prior to meeting my boyfriend, but felt it was important to give him a fair shot. I recently confronted him regarding the situation, and he has confirmed the incident is true. He claims he has since changed and has deep regrets regarding his past that he must cope with each day.
I'm even beginning to doubt he would have told me about his status if I hadn't asked prior to us engaging in sex for the first time (I knew about his status prior to meeting him). Since the confirmation of the incident, I have found myself having thoughts of anger and disrespect toward him, particularly having been in a similar situation where one did not disclose his status to me. On the other hand, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt and place myself in his shoes as well because I do think he is an amazing, beautiful person. I'm very torn and any advice is greatly appreciated as this is beginning to affect our relationship. And I am truly thankful for the abundance of information on this site geared toward mixed-status couples - thank you!
Response from Dr. Fawcett
Thanks for writing. Disclosing one's HIV status is obviously critical as a cornerstone of a healthy relationship in which good communication and mutual respect are highly valued. There are many reasons (not excuses) why people are reluctant to share their status, but willfully putting someone else at risk is, in my mind, a serious breach of trust.
It is a good sign that your boyfriend is acknowledging his actions, and it's good that you are aware of your own feelings. I think it would be valuable for both of you to get some couples counseling where you could discuss these issues and clear away any problematic concerns that could end up sabotaging your relationship later. I find that Imago couples therapy is especially helpful for such communication. You can find Imago providers here .
Good luck to you both,
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