HIV positive partner and cheating

Question

Dear Doctor Fawcett,

First of all, l thank you for all the hard work on this website. My partner and I had been in love for almost three years and it was all good until I discovered that he cheated on me a couple of times in the beginning of our relationship. He took full responsibility for his action, we both cried all night and now we are trying to cope with this. I think he is kind of secretly depressed but he does not acknowledge the fact in that it takes a lot to be HIV and always be strong.

I am trying to stand by him and support him, although I am very hurt and I don't want to be in that situation again. Do you think that being HIV had to do with him and cheating? I see him hurt too, and it breaks my heart. We are seeking help and I can only hope for the future.

Answer

Thanks for writing. A small minority of people justify bad behavior based on their HIV status, which is really just a rationalization. You mention seeking help - hopefully it is some kind of couples counseling where you can learn couples communication skills. It sounds like you both suffered from that experience and are committed to healing your relationship. I hope he is also getting support so that he can fully express his feelings relative to HIV, which is important for his overall health. I'll include a link from TheBody about Relationships/Sexuality and HIV/AIDS.

Good luck to you both,

-David