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First time since we found out

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Teresa:
Tonight was the first time hubby initiated sex since we found out he was postitive. It was awkward to say the least. We have used condoms for birth control so we know how to use them (and since im neg im sure we use them correctly). He was nervous..i was nervous. We started but didnt finish. He was having trouble keeping an erection. I asked him if he was ok...he had tears in his eyes and said, I have aids, it would kill me if i gave it to you. Im scared. I told him i was scared too but we would get through it together.
I have read the Lessons here numerous times and ive had him read them too.

Does anyone have any suggestions for us? Is this about what everyone experiences the first time after u find out your HIV+?

Thanks
Teresa

Londonguy:
That sounds really intense.  I didn't experience anything like that the first time I had sex since being diagnosed, but then I wasn't in a remotely similar position.

I'm sorry I can't offer much advice but I dearly hope that things improve for you and I'm sure some people here will be able to help you.

RAB:
Teresa

This is tough.

The first thing I think is important for you to understand is that your husbands inability to "perform" (I hate the phrase BTW)  has nothing to do with his love for you, it has nothing to do with his desire for you, it has nothing to do with who and what you are as a woman.

The fact he initiated sex is actually a good sign.  It is a strong indication that the love, desire, and need for physical contact is still important.  It's still burning inside of him.  It means he loves and desires you just as much as he did pre-diagnosis.

I guess what I am trying to emphasize is this doesn't have anything to do with who and what you are as a woman.

O.K. setting that aside for the moment.  I'm not surprised that he is having difficulty.  Every essence of his being, every thing he has understood to this point has literally been turned upside down.  He's feel unworthy, uncertain, most important he's feeling exactly what he stated a fear he might infect you.  As a man I can't imagine being able to maintain an erection under that kind of pressure.  Which in turn leads to an entirely different situation.  One where he's questioning his very masculinity.

My advice is to take it slow.  Be patient.  Talk openly and honestly.  Let him work through this.  Express your continued love and commitment. 

It also might not be a bad idea to consider seeking help from a professional.

Your husband obviously loves you and desires you as much as he always did. 

You obviously love your husband and are willing to stand by him.

Express that to him.  Be gentle with him.  Let him know that you understand and have no immediate expectations, that you are with him through this in the long term.

I wish you both the best.   

RAB

Oceanbeach:
Dear Teresa,

I was single when I was diagnosed and remain single 12 years later.  My 10 year anniversary of my AIDS diagnosis will be in a few weeks. I chose not to have sex of any kind for the first couple of months.  I found this relatively interesting because prior to my initial diagnosis, I was extremely sexually active (3 to 5 times a night, 3 to 5 nights per week).  My room mate and I used to compete to see who could pick up the hottest man and the games were heavy, competition was tough.

At the beginning of my HIV diagnosis, I completely lost interest in sex and that lasted for a month or two.  It had nothing to do with anything but me and my lack of interest.  Over time, I started getting interested again.  I lived in an L.A. beach house, dated lawyers, actors, a few doctors.  Life does begin again and being designated as a "status date," I had to be me.

The AIDS diagnosis was different because it seemed more devastating and my phone quit ringing.  For the first time in my life, my dance card was not full.  I felt it was important that I get involved in a "permanent relationship."  It became open season on me in the beach house and I became involved in two abusive relationships which lasted 4 years.  I moved 536 miles away and in the last 6 years, I don't want anyone to touch me.  There is a really nice RN that says he loves me and can't understand why I need the 3 feet distance.  There is a nice doctor on some of the committees I participate in, he is pleasant, appears to really like me but, I prefer to be left alone.  I look good on an arm but prefer to be a magnet for impotent men.  There is a man who uses the term erectile dysfunction and we get along just fine.  We have a nice dinner at a local cafe and he drops me off at my door.

I believe the point I am trying to make is... it is not you as a woman and a wife that is the problem in your sex life.  It is the disease, it is stronger than most of us, shapes our opinions and if allowed will control our futures.  Give it some time and life will be better, your husbands initiating sex for the first time since his diagnosis in just over a month is a very good sign.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org

AlanBama:
Teresa,

My heart goes out to you and your husband.   Just give him time and lots of love, that's the best thing you can do.   

Hugs,

Alan

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