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Author Topic: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions  (Read 14637 times)

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Offline Mariposa

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My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« on: June 16, 2012, 10:38:49 AM »
Hi everybody, im very grateful to have access to advice and support, and wish you all strength and happiness.

Im presently writing this in a flood of tears. My boyfriend is working away at this time, so he doesnt witness it. I found out about two week ago that he tested positive for HIV (i am negative). He has been working away for four months now, and was tested about 3 months ago, but only just found the courage to tell me.

When he first told me, i was supportive and then after we spoke i did research, to try get informed. Im been researching since.

My emotions have been like a yoyo, and im having trouble sleeping. I feel torn inside out and im trying to stay positive, but im reeling.

He doesnt want me telling anyone about it, so i have no support, and its hard to get my head around.

This evening when we spoke, i felt terrible, because i released a torrent of frustration upon him. I have recently been feeling angry..angry at everything..at him..at his risk taking that landed him where he is. Im ashamed to feel this way, but i cant seem to help it. I actually imagined thumping the hell out of him in my mind. Im frustrated because of plans for the future we made, and yes, i know it can still happen, but im scared.

I would like to know if others went through a stage like this, how they coped, and if it all came ok in the end.

Recently ive been very depressed, and im trying not to be positive for my partner. Thankfully he is not here at the moment, but he is visiting in 9 days from now. I want to try get my head around everything more before he arrives. At the moment i feel like i cant remember what happy feels like.
 

Offline Mariposa

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Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 10:39:38 AM »
..and i apologise for how selfish that sounds. I just have no one to turn to and dont know how to deal with my feelings at this time.

Edit: i meant to write "trying to be positive for my boyfriend"
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 10:41:20 AM by Mariposa »

Offline emeraldize

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Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 12:20:45 PM »
Hey Mariposa,

There's absolutely nothing selfish in your having posted here seeking some feedback. I think it's great that in your researching you found your way here.

So, while I haven't had your experience, I can say that getting educated is the first step and everything else is based on the quality of your relationship and whether, without HIV, you would have continued on course with this man.

If it were me, I'd be interested in knowing if he was cheating on me, but again, that's me. Some people are completely cool with partners who cheat. I'd probably seriously reconsider whether we were good for the long haul. But, if for example, you two have been monogamous for a long time and he's stunned with the diagnosis, then that's a different situation.

You both definitely need time to talk. Your anger, fear, frustration are all normal reactions. My woman-to-woman advice would be this. Now that he knows he's HIV positive, his options for a partner are going to be radically limited. I know this as a heterosexual HIV positive woman and have spoken/written to a number of HIV positive heterosexual men who find the same limitations in dating/partnering. So, he's had a lot of time to think about this and if he's smart, he's not going to want to lose a good woman.

Keep your emotional guard up. Don't be manipulated into being his permanent partner if he isn't worth the investment. You can feel bad for him, for the two of you all you like, but if he's not good for you, let him go. I will tell you, as an outsider, that waiting 90 days to tell you he was positive, was 89 days too long for me, I don't care what continent he was on. But, again, that's me. I believe in telling people as soon as possible so they can get tested. I would be concerned that he was so self-absorbed as to not have shared that info pronto.

HIV has a way of taking over your thinking -- try not to let it be that lead blanket. Happy is still inside you. Rely heavily on your head right now as the heart is always an able competitor.

Offline Mariposa

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Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2012, 09:29:02 PM »
Hi emeraldize, Thank you.

Yes, the fact he didnt tell me...stings. I realise he must have been going through a lot, but still, if it were me, my desire to make sure my partner was safe, would override that.

We have been together for just over a year and a half. During that time he said he has been faithful, im not sure of course, but i wish to believe it. There are definitely other things in the relationship that have me concerned, but we worked through so many of them, and was hoping to move forward..and this is a huge blow.

I was the one that pressured him into getting tested. In fact, ive been pressuring him for over a year and frustrated about this. I got myself tested and sent him the results, thinking he had not done it yet, in the hope he would get over the fear of being tested. But, he had the test done about a month earlier. Eventually it came to a head with me saying not to bother visiting unless he has the test done..and eventually, after a week of heartbreak he told me.

We never had unprotected sex, although im on the pill (for my hormones rather than for sex). I am serious about my health and dont take risks.

The doctors say he has probably had HIV for many years going by his HD4 count and viral load. His last test (2nd one) showed his HD4 at 280 and his viral load at 15,000. So, i guess he caught the virus well before we were together. Before he met me, he had a playboy lifestyle (for want of a better word). Sleeping around a LOT, and awful lot. Initially he told me he took risks a couple of times (no condom), but now he says it was more, maybe about six, but cant recall exactly. This in a country were STDs etc are RIFE! I cannot believe he could be so reckless, risking something lifelong, for one shag!!!!!!!! (sorry, when i think about it at this time, my blood boils.) Did he not think that maybe he would have a partner in the future, that maybe not having a condom on him should mean dont have sex!! He say about 90% of the time the girls would ask him NOT to wear one..honestly, makes me sad the world cares so little about disease, and sad that alarm bells wouldnt be BLARING in his head when a girl says that. If a girl you just picked up requests no condom, you can be sure she says the same to every guy!!

Just cant believe it..

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,363
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 12:02:29 AM »
Hey, Mariposa, I'm sorry this happened. I'm sure the next visit will be difficult for both of you, but you've got obvious confidence and intelligence. You will definitely figure out what is best for you. Em

Offline ImisstheOldTimes

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  • Posts: 86
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 02:03:18 PM »
Mariposa,

Honestly you have every right to be upset, no one likes to feel like thei health is in jeopardy, he should have been honest with you regarding his status from the beginning, that way you would have not felt like he was lying to you. I'm glad you are actively aware of your own health and chose to use a condom. Question: did he ever ask or try to get you to have sex without it after he knew? If yes, I would dump his ass in a heartbeat cause that would mean he didn't care about your welfare. Just my two cents if I was in the same situation.

Heidi
Life is a BANQUET, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

                             ~Auntie Mame

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,363
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 02:27:59 PM »
Question: did he ever ask or try to get you to have sex without it after he knew?

Hi Heidi - The OP stated she never had unprotected sex with him. His sharing of status was not until recently and while away. If you re-read her thread, you'll get the sequence of events. Em

Offline ImisstheOldTimes

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Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 04:49:29 PM »
Hey Em,

Yeah, got that! Hence the reason I asked if he had ASKED her or trie, not DID...if you re-read my response I even commend her on her own safety. Sorry if you misunderstood my post.

-Heidi
Life is a BANQUET, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

                             ~Auntie Mame

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,363
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 06:10:27 PM »
Hi Heidi,

I think I simply read her text differently than you.

"He has been working away for four months now"
"was tested about 3 months ago"
"just found the courage to tell me""
it came to a head with me saying not to
bother visiting unless he has the test done"
(6-16) "he is visiting in 9 days from now"
"we never had unprotected sex"
"I am serious about my health and donít take risks"

Offline Blue75

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  • Posts: 53
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 07:09:25 PM »
Hi Mariposa,

What you're feeling is exactly how I felt upon learning my husband has HIV.  Like you, I too am HIV negative.  We only found out 4 months ago and are still going through the hurry up and wait process.  Still waiting on liver biopsy results so he hasn't even had a chance to start meds even though his CD4's are below 200.

I also get to feeling sad, angry at life, scared, frustrated, pissed off...on and on and then I have to stop and realize what he is going through and that makes me even sadder for him.  We have been together for 15 years, so of course, cheating was the first thing that went through my head, but fortunately for me, that was not the case. 

I'm sorry you are having to go through this.  It sucks. It is possible that him not telling you right away was because he was and probably still is trying to come to terms with it; however, I agree, he should have told you a lot sooner than he did.

I know exactly what your feeling with the loss of sleep, thinking of future, what to do now...it's hard.  I would definitely consider what Emeraldize says regarding your relationship with him and is he someone you would want to be with for long term regardless of HIV. This is an investment.

I can say that things have moved from frustration and anger to fear. My husband is one angry man and I don't even know how he is handling things without breaking apart, especially when I consider what's in my head.  It makes it even harder when you have no one to talk to physically.  This is a good place to find information as well as reading other people's stories and situations.  Helps to know you're not the only one.  Take care.
Husband:
2/14/12 Tested HIV+
3/16/12: CD4-216, VL-56,500
5/4/12: Started Atripla
5/7/12: CD4-184, VL-12,000 (Taken off Atripla after 3 days, awaiting liver testing) Started antibiotics.

Offline ImisstheOldTimes

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  • Posts: 86
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 04:20:01 PM »
Em,

I get what you meant now, sorry I guess I should have reread it as you suggested. Sorry if I sounded harsh.

-Heidi
Life is a BANQUET, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

                             ~Auntie Mame

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,363
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 05:38:54 PM »
Heidi,
I felt similarly and hoped I didn't come across as harsh to you.
While I try to avoid emoticons. This time one is warranted.
We're cool  8) and thanks for the post!!
Em

Offline Mariposa

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  • Posts: 4
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2012, 09:06:54 AM »
Thank you all.
Would like to ask you Blue, when your anger abated? I seem to have ups and downs, and sadly, every time we have attempted to talk he has hard a sharp response, not a loving one. Also because of other underlying issues. We were already working through issues, and i was already wondering if this is possible and is he the man for me future-wise..but i felt we were finally getting on the right track..but then this, the biggest blow that i really never thought would be a factor in our lives. It makes my decision all the harder. I thought after coming through some of the heartache he put me through over our time together, would eventually result in a relationship worth having, where we can make solid future plans. I now feel as though the shaky ground that was already there, but leveling out, no longer has any solid foundations.
much of that is fear talking, because im scared of the future.
We already have no solid grounding, and this just makes everything so frightening.
At my age (39), i was hoping this was my final shot at a good long term relationship...i wanted so much for it to work, but im not sure if i am strong enough to ride out the underlying issues and now this.
im very scared, and feeling very hurt and angry at life. I havent had it easy (many havent of course), my life has been pretty tough, and i had hoped that this relationship would eventually smooth out.
All very selfish sounding at this point, but i wish to resolve my own issues and emotions, in order to better work out what to do.
I also do a hell of a lot of research regarding this situation and his health...so much so i am reeling.
Im just struggling with whether we are actually strong enough to make it together even WITHOUT this new turn of events. THis just makes it so much more ...
feeling pretty lost.

Offline Blue75

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  • Posts: 53
Re: My boyfriend has HIV, and im struggling with my emotions
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 03:58:16 PM »
Hey Mariposa,

I am 37 so  I can completely understand you wanting to settle down into a long-term relationship.  We aren't getting any younger!

For me, my anger gradually lessoned over the course of the first 3 months.  Mostly, when he was able to see a good ID doctor and feel like he's in good hands.  What has helped me with the anger is when I sit back and imagine life without him....I can't.  I love him way too much!  He is my life and we've had some tough times through the years (step kids & parenting) and we've always managed to overcome those and we will this too.

It sounds to me like you've been handed a shit sandwhich just when you thought things were getting better.  He got a bigger one.  He is the person who has to live with this for the rest of his life whether you stay with him or not.  He can't run from it, can't hide from it, and will just have to deal with it, whether you are there or not. 

You on the other hand, have a choice that is solely up to you to make.  Do you love him enough to put everything else aside and hold his hand into his new journey?  Without knowing exactly what you two have delt with relationship-wise, it's hard to give very good advice. 

I haven't been in the dating scene for a very long time but I tell you what, if after only 1 1/2 yrs of dating, you've already had a ton of issues and the ground hasn't been stable even before this...that's a warning sign in my eyes.  When my husband and I first started dating, the first 3 years were the best!!  Falling in love and walking on cloud 9, perfect.

It would be good for you guys to sit down and have a good long talk.  He's scared too, and he's going to want and need support.  My husband has his moments when he's so angry and pissed off, that it's hard to want to be around him.  Just mad at the world at times...I have to not take it personally.  Just something to keep in mind if you choose to stick it out.  It was easier for me to want to stay...my marriage vows are very important.  You have a much harder decision.  Follow your heart but use your head.
Husband:
2/14/12 Tested HIV+
3/16/12: CD4-216, VL-56,500
5/4/12: Started Atripla
5/7/12: CD4-184, VL-12,000 (Taken off Atripla after 3 days, awaiting liver testing) Started antibiotics.

 


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