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Telling your partner
      #12577 - 11/20/00 08:21 AM

Guys, I know some of you out there are probably feeling very guilty about your exposures and I'm sure you don't know if you should tell your partners or not. I had the same nightmare and just wanted to share my thoughts with you...

Every relationship is unique and everyone is different. There are clear advantages to being honest. On the other hand, at the end of the day you might end up breaking up with the person you love and have to face all sorts of collateral disasters (like friends or family finding out). I know it can be very stressful and extremely hard to manage on top of possible symptoms and general paranoia.

If you can handle it (I couldnít), keeping the secret is not a bad option so long as you protect your partner 100% and, of course, you learn a lesson. Infidelity is a million years old, the lesson is PROTECTION. We all make mistakes, but we have to learn from them and forgive ourselves.

If you want to be honest there are several things that can ease the shock and the pain (It worked for me):

- Go away for a weekend or a week and tell them somewhere where they can't just leave, somewhere she is not familiar with. The shock will be a big one but that way you have time to talk, cry things over, admit to your mistake and gain time. You probably won't want to go there ever again, but at least your day to day environment will be untouched in a way.

- Be there. Your partner will surely become very distressed and go through an emotional roller coaster. One minute she will be crying, the next she will be sympathetic to you, the next she will say she never wants to see you again. Just be there, do what ever you have to do. Admit the mistake, don't try to justify it and don't get angry.
Of course, you know why it happened. Your were horny and couldnít resist the temptation, this is very natural and it can happen to anyone, but it really isnít fair for the other person and it's no justification.

- Listen to her. My girlfriend was much more concerned about our relationship than HIV. If a man is unfaithful, the girl automatically thinks she is not good enough for you, that there is something wrong in your relationship. For a man, a one night stand doesnít mean anything, but still she will think that your not attracted to her anymore, deep down her sense of security is shattered. During the following weeks (or months) you really have to put in all the effort to make her feel special, to make her feel secure. Sometimes she will cry again but donít get angry. Just try to make her understand that she has to put everything behind and move on.

If you want to keep the secret and don't know how to go about using a condom say you have a fungal infection. Itís very common - just tell her that using a condom will protect her. Tell her you got it at the GYM or doing sport. She will understand.

I'm not suggesting one way or the other; itís really up to you. Just remember, as all the veterans on this forum will tell you, the most important thing is to get tested. Because of the three-month window period you have to protect your partners whether you tell them or not.

A week after my exposure I was already worried about HIV. I didnít say anything to my girlfriend and continued to have sex with her unprotected. A few weeks later we both developed a fungal infection in the genital area and I entirely collapsed and told her the truth. Since then (almost 2 months) we havenít had sex. I am negative at 4 and 6 weeks already and she is negative at 5. We both have a UTI (urinary track infection) but have tested negative for all other STDs, strange. No other symptoms. Next week I take my 9-week test.

Initially I was extremely afraid of using a condom because I thought she would clearly see that something was wrong.
I didnít protect her and now she has to go through the whole nightmare of the window period with me, but the truth is that we are much closer and our relationship is going to survive. We still have a long way to go but going through this with her, although painful, is far better for me than the hypocrisy, I even feel more prepared for the worst. She is doing fine. She feels were are OK and I can sense a change for good in our relationship. Sometimes she breaks down a bit but increasingly less. We talk much more, go for walks in the park and just do more stuff together.

Good luck. I hope this helps.

Any other experiences, suggestions?


Singapore & Madrid

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Re: Telling your partner new
      #12578 - 11/20/00 08:52 AM

Why don't you just go for a 12 weeks test? Getting the report is very stressful. I choose not to tell and able to protect my partner as you say 100%. I acually passed 6 months period so I am not worry. You will be OK!

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Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Re: Telling your partner new
      #12583 - 11/20/00 03:05 PM

What a thoughtful and thought provoking post. Sounds like you have really gone the extra mile, to help your girlfriend through all this. Glad things are working out for you.


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Re: Telling your partner new
      #12585 - 11/20/00 03:19 PM

That's a wonderful post! Your love and concern for her really comes through in your post. It sounds like this situation, as stressful and hurtful it has been for the both of you, has brought you guys closer together and made your relationship stronger.

I wish you both the best! You negative results are looking real good =) And once you both come back with your 12 week negative results and really put this behind you for good, you can continue on the path of healing that you are already on.

Good luck to the both of you!


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Reged: 09/19/00
Posts: 280
Re: Telling your partner new
      #12587 - 11/20/00 04:01 PM

Your post shows tremendous insight. I am glad you came clean and told your girlfriend about the indiscretion. Regardless of whether you broke down and told her because you got minor infections, fact is: you told her. Guilt is a very heavy load. And if you don't unload the truth you need to ask yourself if you can live with the burden for the rest of your life.

People opt to tell or not to tell. That's their decision to make. But I congratulate you on this great post and hope it helps those who are still on the fence about disclosing their folly to their partners.

I told my significant other. And by experience, it gets worse before it gets better but eventually you get to a place where you both can learn to forgive and go on.

Best of luck with your upcoming tests and keep us posted! == PVS

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Reged: 09/15/00
Posts: 53
Re: Telling your partner new
      #12634 - 11/21/00 03:03 AM

What a wonderful post. I am glad for you and for her, and giving your relationship another try.
I too told mine, and never regretted that decision. That being said, he did stick around.
I really appreciated your sensitivity towards what it feels like with the mood swings after being cheated on, pretty darn accurate.
Hang in there, we are pulling for you both.
Sounds like this sad event might cement your relationship, what a great lesson.

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Thank you new
      #12646 - 11/21/00 06:37 AM

Hey guys, thanx for being there. Great feedback. It really helps.


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