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Author Topic: Trying to support partner  (Read 1209 times)

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Offline Neil

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Trying to support partner
« on: February 22, 2012, 07:50:00 PM »
Hi everyone

I am just looking for some advice here and really just to talk about how I am feeling. I have been dating a guy who is positive since before Christmas. The problem is that he was diagnosed about a year and a half ago, and I really do think he is struggling to cope. He is from abroad, and he met a guy from his country and came here to start a new life. The guy was also positive but he was very abusive, physically and psychologically, and basically made him feel very bad for having HIV, basically telling him that nobody else would want him because of his status. He told me that he has always had low self esteem, and this is not exactly helping, neither does the fact that when I first met him, I had a lot of anxieties about it although he was the first positive guy who I have dated and I was his first negative.

Anyway, the stage we are at now is that things are improving; I am trying to direct him to support services and counselling services, and even suggesting things like meditation to help him. Other than be there for him, I am not sure exactly what else I can do. The problem is that, he is having money problems, he lost all of his friends at home, and he only recently told his family (which was the result of an argument about other things). So he is basically in this country, with no friends other than myself, and his work colleges, money shortages, and low mood at times. The reason I think that he is not coping, is that he does not seem to be dealing well with the small ups and downs of life, and blowing a lot of things out of proportion which can result in arguments. For example, one day he said something to me, and I did not like the way he spoke to me. I asked him to be aware of it, and not to do it again. I did not realise until about a week later that he took this to mean this is the reason why he has no friends, as he is ‘cheeky’ to people. I reassured him he is a very polite person and very well liked by everyone, and this is just a part of getting to know each other, and to have these discussions is normal.

Anyway, things seem to run smoothly, and when they are good they are great. I think I have managed to deal with things quite well, but sometimes, I just feel some of the issues are out of my depth to deal with. Life is normal, and then something comes up. For example, tonight he has told me that he disclosed his HIV status to a manager at his work, and that he fears this manger has told another manager, and that it may be becoming common knowledge at his work. All I can really think to do there is tell him about confidentiality and the employer responsibility, and direct him to aids map web page on employment. He was worried about employers in the future finding out from his current boss, but this would not happen?

Anyway, I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice on the best way to support him, considering he is not coping with it, he is alone, having money problems are problems at work.

Offline Ann

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Re: Trying to support partner
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 07:55:18 AM »
The best you can do is exactly what you're doing - being there for him. Keep the lines of communication open as you have been doing. Give him time. It can take a lot of time (and patience on your part) to get over being in an emotionally abusive relationship, but love will win out at the end of the day.

I've known other poz people who were repeatedly told they were damaged goods and no one else would want them, and it takes a while to understand how wrong this is. Keep loving him and he'll understand too. Patience! :)

You're right about the confidentiality laws in the UK and they're pretty strict in enforcing them. The only "if" I can think of is whether or not the employer is aware of the laws. They should be, because the confidentiality laws come under the same law as the one that governs any disability, and for the purpose of the law, a positive person is covered from the point of diagnosis.

Regardless of whether or not the employer is aware of the laws, they are still obligated to understand and implement them and can be prosecuted for not abiding by them. Ignorance is no excuse.

Direct.gov.uk has a lot of information on this - google hiv employment law UK and look for the direct.gov.uk hits.

Good luck, and keep doing what you're doing.

Ann
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