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hiv destroyed my 13 year marriage
Nov 10, 1999

my husband is hiv posotive and i am negative well the problem is sex i have not had sex with him ever since finding this out and that was 3 years ago i am afraid even though i know how to protect one self i cant seem to get over the fear,he will be leaving soon and i feel that i caused the split at least he tells me that (he says he cannot live without sex any more and that he needs to move on)i guess i understand that but hes real bitter about this i knew the marriage couldnt survive hiv and i was right am i wrong ,i feel guilty for not being the wife he wants me to be and he always says that i am the one who is making his health worse and worse everyday,when he leaves i fear he will not get the medical help he needs what do i do please answer i feel so guilty cause he is sick and wonder if he will be ok on his own i think to myself (how can you do this to someone whos sick i am his full time caretaker and we do love oneanother sometimes love isnt enough LOST IN A TINY TOWN.................

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Your closing statement is very wise and important to remember, that "Love is never enough" as much as we wish it was enough. A very painful reality is that some marriages can not survie HIV (or any other serious illness).

If indeed the two of you love each other as much as you say you do, then how come you have not found a good couples therapist and began working with him or her in order to help you through this very difficult time? All of your feelings are completely understandable, yet so are his. If he does get sick and does not take care of himself if and when he does leave you, then this is not your fault. He is a grown up and needs to take responsibility for his own health care. I am very uncomfortable with how guilty he istrying to make you feel by telling you that you are making him sicker. This is very manipulative, and just another indication of why it would be an excellent idea for the two of you to try couples counseling before you end the relationship. I hope that this is helpful. Best of luck. Michael Shernoff, MSW



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