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Family and Friends >> My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS

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hurtingheart
Newbie

Reged: 02/28/13
Posts: 5
My Partner Hid His Poz Status for Our Entire Relationship, now what?
      #272426 - 06/07/13 07:10 PM

I am writing to see if anyone else out there has gone through something similar...maybe you have your own story to share or some advise...how did you move forward...how did you feel...

About three months ago, only two weeks after our wedding, the most wonderful day of my life, I found out that my now husband was HIV+. My heart sinks now just writing it.
It seems the CDC is seeking out people who they have a record of as being diagnosed positive but show no record of any treatment. They are doing this to "map" the virus. Due to the search the Health department from our state had two women come to our house and hand deliver a letter. Having worked for an HIV/AIDS organization I knew intrinsically what the letter was.
I brought the letter to him and simply, calmly asked him if he was HIV+. His first response was no. I asked again. He said "I do not know". I asked again, He said yes. I nearly collapsed. I asked him how long he has been positive and he told me, finally after some side stepping, that he has been poz since 2004 with no medical care. This is a few years BEFORE we met in 2007.

I was on fire with anger. Our entire relationship went flying by my face. Some peculiarities about our life, some of his "closed off-ness", his unwillingness to worry about or plan for the future all fell into place in my head.

Since he was hiding and ignoring his status he never suggested we use condoms. I thought it was not needed as we were in a committed, monogamous relationship. So for many years we had unprotected sex.

I was convinced I was positive. I thought of some times when i had been very ill and he never worried enough to tell me about his status. What if I were sero-converting and he was just watching it happen?

It was painful, sad, and scary. I mean in some aspects it still is.

Now I am in this place where I am married to a man I love whole-heartedly but I do not trust him in the least. I worry about what other ways he has deceived me, especially since he fabricated many lies to cover his diagnosis. He has been healthy so I would never have know if that letter did not show up at our house. He still would not have told me, which is a hard pill to swallow.

He is now in treatment, is going to a support group and going to a therapist, as am I. The issue is he refuses to go into couple's therapy. Well, more he makes excuses as to why it is not happening etc. This might be passable if he was someone who would discuss what has gone down.

We spend our days trying to pretend everything is fine but sometimes it just is to much for me to bear and I break down. He hates it when i cry and gets very uncomfortable and agitated.

I do love him more then I can ever explain. Anyone who sees us together can easily see the love between us, it is tangible. I do not want to lose this love. He is my partner, he is my friend, he is my family. I just fear that if I want a life with him I will need to "shut up and put up". I will have to just come to a realization that I will not get him to talk but is that fair?

I know that this is hard for him as well. I know he feels guilty. I know this is the first time he is actually acknowledging his illness but when will we touch on the hurt he has caused me? When will we deal with how we are going to rebuild trust?

He also does not want me to tell anyone, nor will he tell anyone. It makes seeing mutual friends impossible because our life has been revolving around his HIV care since I found out and we are supposed to pretend all is well in the world. I am to honest for that. It hurts to much to pretend and then I end up looking like I am just oddly upset or "off" for no reason.

My heart breaks when i look at him. I see him looking at me, seeing me being committed to staying with him, working to navigate this new world of HIV, be informed, show him love etc but he also sees I am suffering and does not feel he needs to push him self to help me heal.

Has anyone dealt with anything like this? Did you stay? How did you move forward?

HELP



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kicker
Moderator

Reged: 10/25/10
Posts: 1130
Loc: GA, USA
Re: My Partner Hid His Poz Status for Our Entire Relationship, now what? new
      #272428 - 06/07/13 09:08 PM

Many people marry under false pretenses with what they call the "Love of their life." Whether its something as simple as he pretended to be a neat freak only to turn into a slob after marriage, to this particular situation. They all issue varying degrees of the feeling like you have been betrayed. Now since your last post on this topic you have had maybe 9-12 one hour sessions with a therapist alone. As has he from the sounds of it. Therapy doesn't work overnight, it can take months, years, decades, a life time, and sometimes never to work.

This isn't about what advice someone who has no involvement in the situation can give. This is about you feeling hurt and scared about what to do next. I think you already know the answer just want permission to do it. (What ever "it" is.) If you stay you have to wait to get your answers that may never come. If you go you will have wasted time, money, and emotions on this particular person. So really the question becomes, do YOU want to stay and work through your feelings, maybe without ever knowing his, or getting any answer that satisfies you? Or do you move on pick up the pieces and try something new?

Really the choice is you and no online advice, no support group, no therapist, no anyone can choose for you. Which way do you feel that you will be able to cope with better. Leaving or staying. Neither answer is wrong or right except to YOU. So it really isn't a matter of which will look good or bad. It's about what is healthiest for you. Take responsibility for your part in all this.

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hurtingheart
Newbie

Reged: 02/28/13
Posts: 5
Re: My Partner Hid His Poz Status for Our Entire Relationship, now what? new
      #272440 - 06/08/13 12:57 PM

Take responsibility for my part? What do you mean by that?

I am saying that I am gong to therapy, supporting him and trying to work toward something better. I am taking responsibility for my part.


I am not looking for permission to do anything, but rather, I am seeking out people who may have gone through something similar. Looking to see how people coped. Maybe have someone with whom I can talk to who has lived through it.

Please bear in mind that "my role" in this is as the person who took him for someone who would be my partner, would care for me and would not deliberately hurt me to spare himself discomfort or confrontation. My role in this is as the person who was put at risk and treated unfairly.


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kicker
Moderator

Reged: 10/25/10
Posts: 1130
Loc: GA, USA
Re: My Partner Hid His Poz Status for Our Entire Relationship, now what? new
      #272441 - 06/08/13 01:17 PM

See this is why I utterly hate giving any type of sympathy to people. Nine times out of ten people only hear what they want to hear. Your responsiblity in this which I clearly layed out is your happiness. Not his or anyone else's idea of what your happiness is. And you are responsible for your own happiness. So it's your responsibility to make the choice.

You want to see me as being an asshole fine see away. Just realize you just bit the hand trying to help you. I'm done.

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Hopefulheart
Newbie

Reged: 12/26/13
Posts: 4
Re: My Partner Hid His Poz Status for Our Entire Relationship, now what? new
      #274567 - 12/26/13 03:40 PM

I can relate to you. I have and am currently going through the same thing. I don't even know where to begin. I met this guy. I fell for him so quickly. It was like we had known each other for years. We dated for a long time before we ever tried to become intimate. It was wierd, at the time, because the first time we tried he could not. I thought something was wrong with me. Maybe I was a turn off to him or I had disappointed him some how. We waited a few weeks then tried again and that time we were successful. We did however use a condom. After that we had somewhat of a healthy sex life. After some months had went by, looking back now, I think he was trying to tell me but was afraid or maybe he just did not want to admit it. He told me that many years before we had met that he had experimented with drugs. I asked him if he ever used needles and he told me one time. He would hint around and tell me that sometimes he was afraid that he had been exposed to HIV. It scared me but I thought he was being parranoid. I had never met any one that had HIV or that even knew anyone with the disease. I told him to go and get tested. All the while I was swearing to him that he was ok and that he would be negative. I thought in my mind....surely if he was HIV positive he would know by now. I was not very educated about the disease. One day we were having protected sex and the condom broke. he did not realize the condom had broke until after the ending. I was scared but I never in a million years thought I had a reason to be afraid but he did. He begged me to go to the hospital and get medication for a possible exposure. I did not want to go but he kept pushing me so I went. They gave me a heavy cocktail and put me on Complavir for 30 days. I told him that he had to go and get tested because the medicine was making me very sick to my stomach and he told me that he would and he did but it would be almost a week before the results would be back. All the while I am thinking to myself "why take this medicine? He is not positive, there is no way". As stupid as it sounds a few days after the hospital incident we were having protected sex again and guess what.....the condom came off inside me. I was in shock. How does that happen twice in a life time let alone in a week. I continued to take the medicine. It was a Friday that I would never forget. The day his results came back. I went with him to the clinic. The nurse took us to a room to wait for the doctor to come in. When the doctor came in she told him that he may want to talk to her alone first but I told him no that I was staying. When she said the words HIV positive I took a deep breathe and I felt as if my heart sunk to my toes. I felt like the heat from inside my body was burning through me. I was in shock. I did ok on the drive from the doctor back to his home but when I put the car in park I broke down. I cried so hard. I felt so much fear. The fear that he was dying, the fear that I was dying. I can't explain the emotions that ran through me. I went home and all I could do for days was cry. The thoughts ran through my mind over and over and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.....He KNEW!! I confronted him and my worst fear came true he admitted it. He had known that he was positive for many years. I could not believe this man that I loved so much could do this to me. What kind of monster was he. How could anyone do this to another person not to mention someone they loved and was marrying. I felt so hurt and I lost all of my trust for him. The next step for me was to determine if I wanted to stay with him or not.

Long story short I did decide to stay with him and I am now married to him. My situation is a little different than yours. First let me say that I by the grace of god was negative but I had decided to stay with him before I learned that I was negative. I had to deal with a lot of hurt and anger before I could commit to a life long relationship with him. It is hard and in your case even harder. My husband, from the start did at least use protection with me, it was not his fault that the condom broke...either time. He should have told me in the begining that he was positive but after many therapy sessions I come to realize that he was afraid to tell me. He was afraid he would never be loved again. That he would always be looked at like he needed to be in a red hazordous bag and he was right. Had he told me I would have never started a relationship with him. I would have never even looked at him like a person. That is sad to say but it is the truth. Before you are educated about the disease you are just afraid of it.

So with all of that being said I will tell you this. As for me, I love my husband with all of my heart. He is a wonderful man that made a horrible mistake and now he has a disease that there is no cure for and it could take his life. We do still have protected sex and we have a healthy sex life. I know with out a doubt that he loves me. We have a happy marriage but now let me tell you the bad....

Every time we have sex I am terrified of the condom breaking or not working. Every time I go to the doctor I am terrified of the results that will come back. I some times feel hopeless because when you marry someone you shouldn't have to worry about diseases and getting checked every six months but I do. I went to the doctor the other day to be tested and I thought to myself this is not fair. After being married and never having an affair i should not have to worry so much if I have a disease that could kill me. Some days I don't think about it but other days my heart feels heavy and my heart aches because I think to myself that this will never end unless we so not have any type or sexual activity.

You have to make a choice and no one can help you do that. The few family members that I have told, they don't look at met he same. It's like even though I am negative they look at me as if I were positive. It hurts. I don't feel normal but I love this man and with out him my heart would break. He is my partner. if I had to do it all over again would I make the same choice??? I don't think so. If I had known before I fell in love with him, would I have continued??? No

It is up to you. You have to make the choice if this is something you can live with.



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