In general, genital herpes (HSV II) has a stigma associated with the virus. In my opinion, the major reason for the stigma is due to the fact the virus is an STD, and sex and intimacy are areas of insecurity for millions of people. I am writing “my story” with the hope that it will help another individual learning to live with herpes. Herpes, at the time I contracted it, was the worst thing that could ever happen in my life; however, 10 years later it is now one of the best things to happen to me. For if it wasn’t for herpes, I would not have met my best friend, soul mate, and husband.
I contracted herpes from a former boyfriend of mine when I was only eighteen years old. He was a few years older than me, and he was only the third person I had intimate relations with. After the diagnosis, I felt my world had been shattered. I was angry, afraid, and devastated all at once. Initially, I was afraid to confront my boyfriend in fear of him getting angry or worst leaving me alone with this disease. Eventually, I summoned the courage to confront him. He denied knowing he had the virus, but I could tell he was lying. Even though deep down I knew he was lying, I was terrified that if I left him, I would never find someone to love me. I settled in a relationship because of fear.
We stayed together for almost six years and had two children. I never married him because I never really loved him. Over the years we grew further apart, but I could not comprehend how to take care of my children as a single mother. It was then; I decided to go back to school. Working, raising two children, and going to school full time was as difficult as it sounds. As I approached graduation, our relationship had gotten worst. We were not sleeping in the same room, we did not talk, and I wanted out of our relationship. I knew something had to change for my sake, and the sake of my children.
Even though I knew I needed to get out of this relationship, I was still afraid of dating due to herpes. I came across the Positive Singles, and decided to create a profile. I still remember the day when I saw my husband’s picture on the site. He had the most amazing smile so I decided to send him a message. We exchanged messages for a few months, and I told him about my present situation. He replied by stating he would not date me while I was living with another man. This made me respect him so much more. We did not meet right away. I waited until I separated from my boyfriend, and sent him another message. We began to text, talk on the phone, and really get to know each other. Eventually we scheduled a date for an upcoming weekend. We planned on spending the entire Saturday together.
The Friday before our first date, I was working as a server until 10 pm. I remember him sending me a text that evening “I wish you were not at work tonight.” I responded, “Well I get off at 10 PM.” At the time he was in graduate school in a college town about 70 miles away, but he drove up that night to meet me. The first thing I said was “Thank God you look like your picture.” From that point on we were inseparable. He stayed until Sunday, and when I went to work the next day I told the women I work with that I met the man I was going to marry. We met in the beginning of April, and in mid-May he had to move to Orlando for an internship. Two weeks after he moved, he flew back from Orlando on Memorial Day weekend. We went to dinner that night at the Cheesecake Factory. When our desert arrived at our table, the words “Will you marry me?” were written in chocolate syrup on my plate. I turned to look at him and he was down on one knee with a wedding ring. Today we have been happily married for three years and live in Charlotte, NC. We have a wonderful home and a healthy relationship.
Thanks to the best herpes dating site Positive Singles, I have the life of my dreams. What was once a curse is now the one thing that made my relationship with my husband the most honest and open relationship I have ever had with another human being. The website not only allowed me to meet my husband, I also met a support network who helped deal with and openly discuss my herpes disease. Today, herpes does not affect my life, except for the rare occasion it rears its ugly head. When that happens, I can tell my husband about it and it is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I do not need to be afraid nor fear my disease. If you are reading this letter and recently were diagnosed with herpes, please take some time to sign up for PositiveSingles.com and keep hope that you too can find your soul mate!