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1st "relationship" since being diagnosed... and it goes left!!!

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Souledout:
"Once a cheater, always a cheater", goes the old saying. It's so not true. I made a mistake and cheated on a boyfriend when I was younger. It ruined me (and the relationship) and I swore never to do it again - and I never will. Talk to him about it make your decision. Maybe everyone deserves one chance?

Casinokiwi:
Missmac,
While I have no comparison i feel like in a hetero relationship HIV is extremely difficult.  In the hetero world HIV is much less accepted and people still have many misconceptions about it.  Right, wrong, or indifferent in the gay community folks are just more educated about it.  Before I was diagnosed I didn't know any gay men and since diagnosis that seems to be my entire support network.   

I have been on one date since my diagnosis and it didn't go anywhere and I didn't disclose. 

I agree with the others that you do not need to settle on any of your standards because of your status.  Going into a relationship with lower standards is not a recipe to long term happiness. 

The cheating...   People can change but they need a wake up call.  I  cheated and contracted HIV.   That was a pretty big wake up call and I am still figuring out who I am.  Only you can determine if your friend has really learned his lesson. 

Good luck!

tednlou2:
I guess I'm conflicted on this.  Was he aware he was in a monogamous relationship?  Has it been a year without sex?  I am sympathetic about your issues with sex.  Having said that, I would wonder why enter a monogamous relationship, with all the expectations that come with that, if you have these issues with sex?  Sex is a huge component of a healthy relationship.  Now, if he did make a commitment to a monogamous relationship, then he should have been upfront that he could not wait that long.   

He may love you very much and be the partner to grow old with, but hormones got the better of him.  For many, that is a deal breaker, regardless of whether he loves you deeply.  After knowing him this long, you should be able to judge his character.  Is he really into you, shows love for you, talks you up to friends, would rush to the hospital to be by your side, and wants to spend as much time together as possible?  If so, then I would think hard about dropping him.  If he is that person, then I think he would be worth moving passed this.  I would much rather have a partner there for me when it counts, than someone who is 100% monogamous, but shows no love and can't be counted on when it matters.  That's not to say cheating is okay, if that is not the rules of your relationship.  And, I know a romantic affair hurts much worse, and is much harder to forgive.  For me, a romantic affair would rip at the core of our relationship. 

missmac2009:
Sorry for taking so long to respond, been real busy with work lately...
But for starters, thank you everyone who chimed in and gave your opinions and thoughts I really do appreciate it!!!

As far as him knowing if we were monogomous, I mean in my opinion I thought it was obvious, but at the same time I never came out and said we are only supposed to be with eachother sexually, cause to me when you tell me you want a relationship with me, that also means monogomy... Call me old fashioned but I take friendships and relationships seriously and if its not something i wouldnt want done to myself then I expect the same, but maybe it wasnt clear enough...

I under no circumstances am saying that being poz makes me less lovable or that I should put up with lies and cheating just because of my status... But at the same time, since being diagnosed I feel that especially the dating aspect is a whole different ball game, for me at least.

I did not expect for it to take me as long as it has to be comfortable with the sex thing, nor did i expect him to wait around forever for it, so as messed up as it sounds, it didnt really surprise me when he did what he did, because I know plenty of men that have no emotional attachment to a sexual affair, its just sex to them, but that also doesnt make it right.

I guess the hardest part about this situation for me, is that everything else about him is wonderful... he makes me smile when all i want to do is cry, is is always there for me in anyway he can be, and yes he has been the one to drop everything to come lay by my side in the hospital, so I know he does love me and care about me, I just feel like his "head" got the best of him....

But when it all comes down to it, rather I can forgive him or not, it will take time and is something that I will have to figure out on my own because as most of you know, we are in charge of our own thoughts and feelings no matter what others think or feel.... So guess time will tell, maybe it will work, or maybe I will give up on it and do my own thing but as of right now I am having nothing to do with him for the most part as I am not anywhere close to the forgiving, even if we never are together again.

Thanks everyone for listening!!!

bocker3:
I know I'm a little late to this one, but I was very interested to hear a little more from you prior to chiming in.

I am definitely in agreement with Jeff, who said that you should never settle because you feel like damaged goods -- hell, I don't think one should settle regardless.  However, given your latest post, I wonder if you actually might be pushing someone away because you don't feel worthy -- or something along those lines.  Why do I say that??  Well, you "expected" monogamy, without speaking of it -- even though you are having "issues" with sex.  I'm reading that to mean that you aren't having any with him.  To not have sex and not expect him to look elsewhere for it, requires, at best, a very understanding partner -- but more importantly, a completely informed partner.  Relationships almost never survive when one assumes something and expects the other to assume the same thing.  Quite frankly, that is a recipe for failure.
From everything else that you describe of your relationship -- he seems like a wonderful man.  it doesn't sound like giving him a second chance -- one where he and you are both in agreement on ground rules -- would be settling.
Relationships take a lot of work -- I know so many people who break up at the first sign of an issue.  Sometimes that is probably the right move, but often, with some work, you can come to an even better place.
Believe me - in the 23 yrs that I have been with my partner, there have been times where I was mentally dividing up our stuff.  However, we have always worked through the tough patches -- sometimes ourselves, sometimes with the help of a counselor.  Why?  because we do love each other and we know that we are human and will make mistakes.  He stood by me when I tested positive 8 years ago -- despite his being (and remaining) negative.  Perfection is a great aspiration, but is a bitch of an expectation (especially when one may not understand the expectation).
So -- you are right -- only you can decide to forgive him.  However, I would encourage you to talk to him -- avoiding him isn't going to give you your answer.  Figure out why this happened.  Figure out what, if anything, would need to be different FOR EACH OF YOU -- in order to try and continue on.  Basically what I am saying is -- do all you can to try and repair this relationship, so that if you do decide to end it, you know that you gave it your all.
Love isn't like the movies -- it's work -- it can be hard at times -- but I think it's worth it in the end.

good luck

Hugs,
Mike

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