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boyfriend issues

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Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed January of this year and have been reeling for the past 3+ months.  My long term partner was diagnosed at the same time.  He apparently had been infected for quite some time since shortly after his diagnosis he developed PCP and his T-cell count was 187 or so.  Anyway, we are still together but we are having some "issues."  I find myself so angry with him, I think I am finally tapping into my anger toward him for infecting me.  We have been together off and on for 7 years or so.  We were tested at the beginning of our relationship and were both negative.  At every reconciliation we discussed outside partners and he claims he was with no one else and I had not been yet he has AIDS and now I am infected.  I am sniping at him for all sorts of things now and I recently told him I thought we should get some couples counseling which he (surprisingly) agreed to.  I know it is most likely that he engaged in some sort of sexual relationship with someone and frankly I just want him to tell me the truth.  If he did have sex with someone during our "break" periods how I can be upset, I just want him to tell me the truth. He swears up and down that it has only been me but whatever.  I am venting I guess.  Unfortunately there are no easy solutions.  We had been talking marriage prior to finding out our status.  He wants to marry me and I know he loves me and did not infect me on purpose.  But if he exposed me without full disclosure (i.e., had sex with someone else) then I am not sure what that will mean for our relationship.  If he really did not have sex with anyone else then I am not sure I will ever believe him so the poor guy is probably in a no win situation.  I know it shouldn't matter how I got this virus but it does.  I still love him but I hate him too.  As I have to deal with fears about meds and changes in my body and all this acne I keep having now(btw what is that about!), I get angrier and angrier.  All the old issues are also coming up and we are being forced to deal with them.  The one good thing is that we do talk more and he has opened up about some things that he never had before and he is willing to go to counseling.  Sigh....I hate this damn virus.

Hmm when I found out I was positive I told my fiance that I did not care who gave it to who just that we would be able to get through this. So far he has tested negative although he goes for another test this week. You are lucky that he wants to go to counseling. That is a huge step forward in your lives. Being HIV positive is stressful enough without adding a relationship into the mix!

I can only empathize with you and tell you 2 stories from my own life that only you can know how or if they are relevant:

This is the first story: I don't know to this day how I was infected and it often bugs the hell out of me, to the point that i wanted to investigate a clinic that I had an abortion in years ago. As far as I know none of the 3 men i had (occasional) unprotected sex with are positive. I do have an ex who has been diagnosed positive, we have NEVER had unprotected sex, I have never let him come in my mouth, he thinks that i infected him which is probabaly true because according to the doctors I have had this for years before we met most probabaly. But since we never had unprotceted sex, the only way I could have infected him was when he was giving me oral. Unlikely, but neither is it likely that I have been infected from giving him oral without ejaculation but these are the only 2 options we have. So both of us have to live with the knowledge that we may have infected or been infected by each other which is very strange. But since we have always been honest and did our best to practice safe sex, we don't resent each other. The sad thing is that he is dying, not from HIV but from complications of malaria, in another country while I am prospering in another with a wonderful partner right now. But he wishes me all the best and I will always love him and wish him well, despite not knowing, again, because of the good will and honesty.

The second story: after I was diagnosis I got immedietaly dumped by a then-BF (who was not infected; safe sex was a way of life for me for many many years). I met a positive man online from where I live, we started as friends, he was deeply closeted about his status, divorced, single. I asked him as a friend, many times, if he was bisexual. He swore that he didn't know how he was infected and that he wasn't. I wouldn't have minded if he was! we even watched Brokeback mountain together when it just came out, you know, those cowboys living a double life, and he said nothing, and one day I found an email password he used while I used his computer, by pure accident, which left no doubt to the fact that he was having sex with men. when i confronted him, he cried. i was the only person in the whole world who knew that he was having long term serious relationships with women and casual hookups with men. And even then I stayed, I just grilled him about who he was having sex with before me because my CDs were around 100 and I was deathly afraid of HPV which condoms don't protect from and he swore he was tested for all STDs and since then did not have sex for a year, but I found out he had sex with a woman he met online during that year and then i got fed up and left.

So you see these are 2 stories in which distrust and lack of information are involved but with very different outcomes, and I think, you are the only one who knows how and what you feel about the man who (possibly, probabaly) infected you, and if you love him and think you can have a happy life together, you have to start witha clean slate, get the truth in the open, and handle it, like I did with my ex (although we were not able to determine the truth nor stayed together but we retained the good feelings towards each other). If you "smell" something that you can't define though and if you think that there is still dishonesty going on, I guess you will not be able to live with that long term.

I wish you all the love you deserve,

It's a difficult situation you are in.  I was tested as a result of my husband's surprise diagnosis back in 94. He was already in the advanced stages of AIDS at his diagnosis, and I was just HIV+.  In all likelihood, he infected me, unknowingly.  However, because of our love for each other, I found that I didn't resent him, nor was I angry with him.  He simply did not know he was infected.

It's something that truly is so inconsequential, that you have to overlook who infected whom, and move on to how to cope and live a normal life.  Don't worry about who he slept with while you were apart, it's obvious he doesn't want to bring that up.  Perhaps he's embarrassed, or worried that you will leave him if he tells you he was with other women during the separations.

So, you need to decide if you are going to continue being angry with him, or if you are going to accept what happened, and move forward to how to cope together.  Being angry with him won't solve your problems, and it won't make you feel any better, and even moreso, it won't change what has happened.

Honestly, does it make you feel better to harbor anger?  I'm guessing it doesn't.  Why not take up a workout or exercise routine?  This will help you release your pent up frustrations.

Good luck, and hopefully you find a happy medium somewhere.

Thanks for your replies.  I am struggling with trust issues I guess.  I can handle and move past this if I feel am being told the truth.  So much has happened and come out over the past few months--things that he should have told me and did not so I think my need for full disclosure stems largely from previous trust issues. This is so hard---hopefully if we can go to counseling things may begin to come out and be addressed.  I do love him but it isn't so easy to just let things go--especially something as consequential as being infected with HIV.  Again i don't blame him or think e did this intentionally--I have a measure of responsibility as well but I also believe I deserve the truth.  Thanks again.


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