Disclosing is one of the things that we fear the most when we’re diagnosed with herpes. There’s so much that we wrap up into dating and wanting to feel desired and now with a herpes diagnosis we are fearful that we’ll get rejected. We either don’t disclose because we’re so caught up in the stigma and with the fear of rejection or we just got caught up in the moment and didn’t get a chance to disclose. Ok this happens...I get it but let’s look at some possible consequences of not disclosing.
Yep, this is true. Lots of times we think out of sight and out of mind, however that’s not the case with the herpes virus. This virus works a little different. While you are most contagious when you have outbreaks and if you expose someone to the virse with an outbreak you’re probably going to transmit it. But the thing is with the HSV virus is that you can still transmit it when you have no symptoms at all! Yikes! This is due to what’s called viral shedding. We talk more about viral shedding here so go check it out. By telling your partner about your herpes diagnosis your protecting your partner more because you guys can come up with the best plan for safe sex. Without having the conversation you’re just putting your partner at risk without their knowledge and at the end of the day it doesn’t feel really sexy.
Here’s what I’ve learned in life is that at the end of the day the truth will always come out. And in this particular situation they way the truth can come out is your partner potentially getting an outbreak or they see your prescription for the antivirals in your medicine cabinet or their bff mentions it while they’re drunk. Whatever the situation is, it can happen and then there’s a bigger problem. The bigger problem isn’t that now your partner had herpes but it’s that there’s a huge lack of trust. This can lead to breakups, an unhealthy relationship and your partner wondering what else you’re hiding. None of this is good and it could have been prevented by having the conversation upfront.
Here’s the thing, we’re talking about this because I don’t want you to be living with guilt or shame. The last thing you want in your relationship is secrets and feel like you have to keep them. If you’re in the situation of not disclosing to your partner and don’t know how to approach it then the best way is to lead with the truth. I get that it’s a super hard conversation to have. Personally when I’ve been in situations where the truth is hard or I need to apologize for something I’ve done the best way to lead is with your heart and your vulnerability. When the person you care about sees how much it’s eating you up and how much you want to set it right there will be compassion. This is something we talk about almost weekly in the Secret Society weekly Support Group calls as well as if this is something you want to talk about privately then we can set up an Emergency Call.
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