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Author Topic: Is it wrong to be angry?  (Read 15118 times)

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Offline SecretKeeper

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Is it wrong to be angry?
« on: August 20, 2007, 10:44:40 PM »
Well, my husband had tested positive about 2 months ago now.  We're starting to settle into the fact that - yes this really is happening.  And now, as we're getting adjusted to the facts of HIV and everything that may or may not come with it, I'm starting to find that I'm pissed at him. 
He knows how he got it (even though he's lied about it to others).  I know how he got it.  I'm pretty sure he even knows who he got it from even though he won't tell me.  And I'm angry because I feel like his choices have turned my world upside down.  This all could have been avoided very easily. 
I tell myself that "how" or "why" he got HIV doesn't matter now.  He has it and that's the way it is.  But now, for some reason, that just doesn't seem good enough for me anymore.  And I know this is dumb, but I kind of wish he would just say "I'm sorry".  And then the guilt sets in and I feel bad for being angry & wanting an apology.  And then I get angry for feeling guilty.
Anyone else out there who is at least a little mad? 

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2007, 01:32:34 AM »
I get mad, but its been 13 yrs since I tested pos, and 11 yrs since my husband died.  I know I can't change things, but initially, I was upset, angry and confused.  My husband knew he had the virus and didn't tell me.  It was all out on the table soon enough, and then we got married.  Yeah, strange but true.  He died 1 yr and 10 mos later. 

If I were you, I would tell your husband that you want some compassion and sympathy, vent and get it out.  It won't be easy, but is it ever easy with this damn virus?

HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline Ann

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 06:05:51 AM »

It's entirely normal, under the circumstances. The emotion itself isn't the problem, but how you choose to deal with the anger may be.

I strongly suggest you find some counseling for yourself, somewhere where you can work through these feelings in safety. If your husband will go to couples counseling with you, so much the better, but no matter what he does, make sure you get some help and support for yourself. You won't regret it.

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Offline mjmel

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 09:52:11 AM »
No, being angry is not wrong. Staying angry, however, will not do you any good either.
I'd get that apology because I think it's important for you in moving forward. So get it.
I prefer being up front with things.....so I'd just flat out ask for it. But, that's me.
Good luck. Welcome.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 09:54:18 AM by mjmel »

Offline redhotmuslbear

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 10:03:34 AM »

On reading your post, my first reaction is to want to kick your husband's ass for you.... but what would that really solve? 

I do not have a sense of "betrayal" around whoever gave me the virus a couple decades ago, but I have had those feelings towards other people in my life -- my parents, my maternal grandparents who raised me, my ex-partner of 12 years, and a few friends.  What I learned from working through my anger towards these people is that (1) counting on an 'apology' leaves my peace in their hands and (2) reaching a place of forgiveness towards them maintains my power and produces a far greater sense of comfort and resolution that an apology could ever afford.

Admittedly, those words may not be much consolation to you right now.  Still, I hope that you can look forward to a place and time where you have resolved the matter for yourself, independent of whatever your husband may acknolwedge.

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Offline dixieman

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2007, 11:07:41 AM »
First... I'd like to say were you married when he somehow got infected? Or was he infected before and found out after you were married? alot of factors to consider. Was he negative we you were first married and contracted the disease after because he was playing the field and not being monogamous in your relationship? oh and are you poz or neg? So yes... if it's the latter... I would be extremely upset and mad if he did not keep the vows of matrimony... Unlike like yourself I found myself in the same situation... both tested neg prior... we were together for 5 years... he played the field and brought this gift to me... so I booted his ass out the door... once you loose trust... what do you have? Now that's from my experience... so what is your experience? You both have alot to deal with... its your decision... was it before he was infected and had no knowledge or was if from and adulterous affair? Oh and if your not infected you have alot to contemplate? But, you need to work out your anger in a positive way for you... not for him. wishing you the best....

Offline Bucko

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2007, 08:58:49 PM »

If you didn't feel anger over your hubby's betrayal I'd suggest something was wrong. Anger is the healthy response, but as other have said, not indefinitely.

I'd suggest that you put your feelings into the context of a grief response. You definitely experienced a loss. Actually, you both have.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: that's the order of response following the standard (and admittedly simplistic) model.

Counseling should help.
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Offline lovingwife

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2007, 04:13:34 AM »
It's not wrong to be angry. My husband apparently contracted the disease in 1996, never got tested. We married in 2003. Now we have no sex life. I'm a little bitter and angry. His blood work is never good and I worry everyday that I may soon be burying my husband at the age of 38.
The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

Offline Paulette

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 11:41:06 AM »
It's very normal to be angry, but at least he told you(unlike my ex-husband) who knew of his status when we got married, and never told me ; all he did was repeatedly infect me over and over for three yrs, ( i brought charges against him, and now he is serving a five year sentence for knowingly infecting me with HIV) so just be thankful: for he loved you enough to share this with you.
I have HIV; it doesn't me;)

Offline Why

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2007, 07:11:08 PM »
Secret Keeper - I am almost in the same situation as you.  My doctor just confirmed my positive result on 9/11 and I am just devastated, shocked, stunned, in total disbelief.  My husband and I have been married for 7 years, together for almost 10.  We have a 4 year old and we just had a baby, applied for life insurance, got denied, that's how i found out.  Now both of us are positive.  I had no idea about his past, I had a feeling but I asked him questions back then and he lied flat out.  I asked if I should be worried about anything and he said no, he said one time deal with one woman, wore condom, nothing to be worried about.  The just this week, when he found out I was truly, positively positive, he feeds me info in bits and pieces, saying he slept with loads of people.  I was aware of one but not loads.  I think he may have slept with both men and women.  I don't know how to deal with my diagnosis, his diagnosis and the betrayal.  I havent told anyone but my boss who's also a friend.  I don't know how to disclose to anybody.  I am just in disbelief and have trouble coming to terms with everything.  I am not sure what to deal with first.  We are taking our baby to the hospital on Monday to get him tested.  I hope he comes out negative or I would be just totally crushed.  Any advice would be helpful.  I just want to crawl into bed and sleep.  When I wake up and realize it's not a bad dream but my new reality.  It hurts hurts so so deep.  What I can't handle is the fact that this could have been prevented, that he did not protect me, that he risked my life for his selfishness.  I don't know what to do.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2007, 08:05:39 PM »
Secret, I'd say that's a rhetorical question. You ARE angry. That's the reality. And that needs to be respected. I think Ann's suggestion of some professional help is a good one. You need a safe place where you can say anything and if the walls tremble some from what you have to say -- and I don't expect it's all anger -- then so be it.

Having that freedom will help with getting some clarity. I'd say it is important for you and your husband to have some straightforward talk and not just one conversation, but an ongoing dialogue and probably not just about HIV, but enough of whatever needs to be said. That will increase the likelihood that you too can re-connect emotionally and rebuild trust and intimacy in the relationship.

I'm not advocating "dumping," but I am definitely in favor of saying what needs to be said in order to move forward. There's no easy, neat formula for this. It involves taking chances and hopefullly with the least amount of hostile hacking at each other as possible. But sometimes  honesty isn't pretty or comfortable.

We're here for you so keep us posted as you want to. 

Also, I am not clear if you have in fact received a confirmation that you have tested positive. Please clarify if and when you have that information.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2007, 08:17:36 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2007, 08:11:21 PM »
Why, pretty much whatever I have said to  Secret I could repeat to you. I just wanted to acknowledge what you've written separately. This is a mighty huge thing to have suddenly occur in your life, not the least of which is the status of your baby.

Fingers crossed the baby tests negative. By the way, how old is your baby? Even IF the baby tests positive, you need to know that many times an HIV positive baby will convert back to negative within 6 months when its own immune system kicks in. Hopefully that won't matter in this case and you'll get a negative result next week.

As with Secret, I urge you to get some professional help so that you can without holding back say everything you want to in a safe setting. You're entitled to that and I think it will  help you to move forward to deal with things.

It's important that you have a good HIV doctor with whom you can form a solid working partnership to keep you healthy. And of course you know we're here for you so please keep us posted and talk here as much as you find to be helpful to you.

Andy Velez

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2007, 10:44:25 PM »
People give anger a short shrift. They don't want anyone around them to have it. It makes people awkward. It can be embarrassing. It is something we are taught to suppress and to shun.

Screw that, I think.

Anger is a natural thing to feel. You NEED it. And properly channeled, it can propel you through the darkest times. of COURSE you are pissed. It's the people who do NOT exhibit that emotion who scare me the most. Many of them end up being people who lash out with "humor" and with "advice."

You will feel angry. And you need to express that. And deal with it. Because the only way out is through.

Anger, especially over such complicated stuff as sexuality, betrayal, and deception are natural things. They are supposed to be there. Don't apologize for how you feel. You might apologize for what you say or do, but your feelings? Please, absolutely natural.

Part of the human experience is trust, love, compassion, empathy - and also anger, bitterness, duplicity, and sadness. You have to feel all of these things, or else you are totally missing out on the experience YOU signed up for; being a human being on this planet.

We live in linear time, however. And living in a single moment will destroy you, if it goes on too long. For that reason, I recommend finding a good counselor/therapist to talk with about this. Maybe even couples therapy?

If this is a relationship worth keeping, the work ahead is formidable. It's certainly been done before. But you have to be made of some seriously strong stuff. And sometimes we find great strength in anger. Use it. Embrace it. Take it for the rocket fuel that it is.

You deserve that strong person you are. You deserve love, and you also deserve your anger.

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Offline hudstar

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2007, 10:30:38 AM »
I got angry when my ex told me a few years back that he "kind of" suspected he had been infected before we met (I was 22, he was 30) It took that little remark to change my attitude towards us both having HIV. My anger has grown ever since. The thing that angers me most was he was much older when we met, he had achieved most things in his life and he had positioned himself long before my arrival within a public service job that enabled him never to struggle then and to this day. How could I tell him how much I suffered because he did not act on his suspicions. I realise now that it is in his character to ignore stress! I felt for a long time I had no right to be angry because this occurred 20 years ago and I was a dopey kid thinking love gave you immunity to HIV. Ultimately I was unsafe so I got infected. I will never know if I would have been unsafe if I met someone else..... I did not really have much experience before him. I feel angry because my mind tells me I was infected because he should have acted upon his suspicion as a person old enough to take responsibility. He had evidence as he had a mystery flu and further knowledge that a previous guy he had seen was ill with HIV. I am still in contact with my ex and we are still close friends however since that remark I do not know how to handle this as so much time has elapsed. I'm feeling angry now where things between us have been content. I cannot tell him how I feel as I don't see much point to it now. Last year was the first time I went to an AIDS day memorial. I went alone and lit a candle for the guy who infected my ex all those years ago. I never knew him, only his first name and that he had died a few years back. My ex does not talk about any of that.
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Offline Breezy19635

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2007, 01:43:40 PM »
I understand the position you are in. I was infected by my lover (I am female he is male) of 2 1/2 years. Once, a friend of his asked if we used condoms. I told him no and the friend told me that he didn't use them with my lover either (I did not know he was bisexual and was having sex with men). He told me that he didn't have sex with any other women. I found out later this, too was a lie. Then the friend told me that he was HIV poz. I was devastated, but when I confronted my lover, he danced around it. I was in such an emotional state, I only heard what I wanted to, which was that he had been tested. He never told me what the results were.... but I didn't even think of that until later. In 2003, I went to jail for drug related charges (I smoked meth). They offered an HIV test and I took it, then promptly forgot about it. I didn't hear anything for about 3 weeks. Then the officer told me I had a contact visit. Usually those were reserved for people being questioned by the FBI and I thought that was what it was. It wasn't. It was the lady from the Health Department who needed to draw more blood. She became my biggest supporter in my life and because of her getting me involved in HIV prevention counseling and testing, I now run a program for Native Americans for HIV and STI testing. Anyway, when I first found out, I wasn't angry with him, I thought he didn't know. It wasn't until I got out of jail and was still sleeping with him (I thought that he would be the only one who would have sex with me now) and he went to jail. His ex-girlfriend then told me that he had full-blown AIDS for 13 years before I met him. When I confronted him about it, he looked away and admitted it. I felt a great deal of anger. I talked about it in my recovery group and since then, I have forgiven him. Not for his sake, but resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I had to work through it and so I have to echo what others have said, get some counseling. Grief counseling is a good thing, because you have experienced a loss. When I came to a place of acceptance, I understood that he was just a sick person who was also on drugs. They make you do things you regret later. I made many mistakes, but the truth of it is that I didn't protect myself and I didn't ask before we ever had sex. So I have to take my responsibility in the whole experience. I know that your situation is different, but know that the sooner you deal with the anger, the sooner you get to let go of most of it. I still have days when I get a little mad.... but my belief in a higher power helps me through that, cause I ask Him to remove it.
Take care... and know that you are feeling just what you should be feeling.

Offline bear60

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2007, 11:23:16 AM »
Its possible to find peace after you forgive him. Then you will not feel anger. Say it out loud  " I forgive you.....(fill in the blank) for infecting me with HIV."
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline MarcoPolo

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2007, 11:43:29 PM »
Anger is always the first response and that is normal.  I don't fully understand how you feel because i am negative but i understand the anger you feel.  I felt that anger when my partner was diagnosed 3 years ago and was lying in a hospital bed, comatose and on a ventilater.  Why, why had he done this to me?  Now he was going to die and  was never going to get to say all the things i needed to.  Well he recovered and is doing very well today.  I got to tell him everything that i was feeling and it was quite liberating and put us on the road to a better relationship.  Tell your husand how you are feeling so that he knows and it is all out on the table.  Believe me you will both need each other for strength and support and if you are not honest with each other this will be difficult.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 12:08:32 AM by MarcoPolo »
I Love Every Part of him so i Guess that Includes his HIV

Offline BirdBear718

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Re: Is it wrong to be angry?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2007, 11:46:58 PM »
My initial thought is:  no it is not wrong for you to feel angry.  He lied, he cheated, he hurt your body.
However, I am an angry person (although I am trying not to be).  So.....

So, while I want to give you comfort, I can only say that it would be beneficial for you to get counseling....both marital (to help sort out issues of infidelity) and your own personal counseling so you do not sink into an angry depression.    Try to be proactive with this -- it will HELP YOU in the long run.  Schedule an appointment today even if you don't want to do it. 

Has he said "I'm sorry" to you?  If he hasn't, then tell him to tell you.  He may just be ashamed. 
When I want something, I tell someone.  Sometimes you have to tell someone you are mad and need to hear "I'm sorry" to be able to move forward.

You've read and been told you have all emotions: love, compassion, anger, bitterness, and so on.  Implement the ones you need, just don't let anger be the strongest one in your life.  It will hurt your self esteem, your body, and play tricks on you more than the disease can.  Don't let anger win.

Good luck.
Don't forget about that counseling...


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