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wondering how to cope
Mar 13, 2012

I am a married man with two children. Seventeen days ago, I performed unprotected oral sex on a woman I did not know. Three days later, I developed a sore throat and infected tonsils. Later, I experienced what I believe to be some swelling and soreness in my neck, and currently have some discomfort in the back of my throat, with the feeling of something being stuck there. All of this leads me to believe that I have been infected with HIV, and my life is turning into a shambles. I have had difficulty sleeping and difficulty concentrating. I am struggling to concentrate enough to do my job. I woke up early three days ago, wrote a suicide note, and went outside to kill myself, but could not do it. I told my wife about my sexual atrocity two days ago; we still love each other, but she does not seem to accept the possibility that I have HIV. She says that there is no future if this is the case, that the lives we have worked for will be gone. I do not anticipate support from anyone I know if I am HIV positive (not that I deserve any).

Suicidal thoughts have still not left my mind. I certainly do not look forward to physical pain, but I am not sure I can cope with the shame, the regret, the isolation, and the specter of dying because of this horrible sin before my children are grown.

I am sorry to bore you with my sad story, but this is absolutely destroying me. Where should I turn for help in a time like this?

Response from Rev. Brown

My Friend: Before drawing to deep conclusions of ending it all let's take a moment to back up assess the situation and not allow guilt to defeat you. First my friend you must forgive yourself for having an extramarital affair and as you said you still love your wife, so it is important to find what triggered you to have oral sex with someone else when you love your wife and have a family. Since your wife has not left, that is an indicator that she still loves you and would like to work through what has happened. The second thing I see is that before drawing the conclusion that you are HIV positive go and get tested so that you can be sure. The reason sleep could be hard and you are feeling these other symptoms could have nothing to do with being HIV positive, but dealing with the stress and guilt of what you have done. My friend lastly you have too much to live for to want to end your life. You have a wife that you love, and children who need the wisdom, love, care, and kindness that a father gives. Suicide would only deprive your family of the great gift that God has given them in you. For further help you should turn to counseling with a professional and if you belong to a household of faith speak with someone in leadership that they might pray with you and for you and offer you advice.



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