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Author Topic: Emotional wreck  (Read 4714 times)

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Offline med forum

  • Member
  • Posts: 76
Emotional wreck
« on: November 05, 2007, 08:55:11 AM »
Without going into a million details, would anyone have any advice or previous experience
in the following.......(If you read some of my previous posts I go into some detail about my serodiscordant relationship with my boyfriend of 3 years.)

I have been his number one supporter through the last year and a half since his diagnosis and within the last 4 months found out that he had cheated on me. We've had a great relationship with a lot of trust
but he's had so much on his plate (especially in the last 10 months).

My question is.....why would he have opened the door to potentially jeopardize our relationship? What would have drove him to do this? I have tried to talk to him about it but he either gets very emotional or just completely shuts off and locks himself up emotionally. Would anyone have the slightest clue? I'm struggling to comprehend this?

Please help
Peace & health

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Emotional wreck
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 01:26:47 PM »
Med, I responded in your other thread. I will just briefly suggest that the best thing you can do for both yourself and your bf is to change your focus to taking care of yourself. You can do that by seeing a therapist, by getting some counseling at any HIV resource in your area or even checking out a steps program such as ALANON. Doing some of those things ought to be helpful in getting clarity in the situation, something which I suspect is not in abundance right now. There are no quick, lasting solutions for what's going on. 

Andy Velez

Offline BirdBear718

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Re: Emotional wreck
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 03:20:30 PM »
Reasons for cheating are varied.
I agree with couseling and going for support.  They are always very helpful.
I also agree with making yourself a priority in your relationship at this point.
You are taking care of him.  He is taking care of him.
Who is taking care of you?
You be that person for you.

Good luck.  I hope you are able to find some resolve.

Offline Central79

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  • Posts: 527
Re: Emotional wreck
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 10:47:28 AM »
Hey Med

I can relate to your post, as the positive person in a sero-discordant relationship I've found it really hard to keep my relationship together over the time since I've been diagnosed (January 2006). I would second Andy's suggestion that perhaps you also get some counselling, and maybe consider going to somebody together.

There are so many issues in my relationship to do with HIV that it's difficult to know where to begin. I'm going to put some of them down, not because I necessarily think that they all apply to you - but just to give you an idea of the kind of stuff that may be going through your boyfriend's head. I hope that in time he will be more communicative with you about how he's feeling, but you might need to give him a bit of time with his counsellor to figure out how to do that (I've been seeing one for about 4 years now).

Like me and my boyfriend, you and your boyfriend look like you've been together at a time when you were both negative. In my case I have found that a really hard thing to deal with - the fact that I now have to wear condoms, and that I present a potential risk to his health is hard to deal with, especially when we used to have sex bareback and were concious, even at the time, of how lucky we were. It was inevitable that I start comparing my life now with then and that lots of feelings can come up: anger, guilt, shame and despair. They're all negative, and before too long I start associating my boyfriend with feeling shitty about my life and what has happened to me. This has definately led me to push him away on occasion, and to wish that we hadn't got back together after my diagnosis in order to avoid those feelings and the worry about infecting him.

I get very angry with my boyfriend, although this has eased up a lot. I blame him for "letting" me catch HIV. I spent a very unstable year when we were apart, trying to get back together with him and I blame him for not trying as hard as me to make it work - at least that's my perception sometimes. Rationally I know we both tried our best. I basically spent the first year we were back together shouting at him and it culminated in me breaking up with him over the phone, feeling really crappy the whole night and then getting back together with him the next morning. That was our crisis - the thing that allowed me to say "okay, so I'm not HIV -ve anymore. But do I want to loose this relationship as well?". The way I reacted to trying that out told me that I didn't - and after that I settled down a lot. The fact that my boyfriend is still around after a year of verbal abuse tells me a lot, and was something we had to go through. The net effect has been to make me feel loved, and like he's not going to abandon me, which is something I struggle with more since my HIV diagnosis (it was also there before) - I have often felt "less than" other people, unloved and unlovable and, really, why is this guy with me? The HIV makes those types of feelings much worse.

Independent of the relationship stuff that might be going on between you, your boyfriend is obviously going to feel pretty shitty about his status for a while. Reading some of your other posts it sounds like he's had quite a bit of denial going on and is probably bottling up quite a lot of stuff in terms of anger, sadness and grief. He might be doing this to protect you, or because he's scared of letting himself down, or for a myriad of other reasons. I certainly have problems in this area - going to a councellor has helped me articulate myself better but I still alternate between quite choked with emotion sometimes, and other times bottling it all up. I know it's not easy to be around.

I'm also not sure that my boyfriend always understands what I'm going through. He seems preoccupied with things in his live that, to me, seem trivial and unimportant. He doesn't always understand how I'm feeling or give me the space to be sad. His approach is to jolly me along - lots of encouragement. I wish that he would sometimes give me more space to be sad and not cope. It'd be nice to cry on his shoulder and feel supported and listened to. I think that he worries that if he "lets me" fall apart with him then I won't cope with other areas of my life. Of course the truth is that I'm comparatively together around him and then fall apart when I'm by myself or in therapy. He also occasionally puts his foot in it - he's naturally a talkative person, and has told a lot of people my status, which I didn't envisage. This has definately made me trust him less, which doesn't take much when you feel vulnerable and scared.

I don't know why your boyfriend cheated on you. But I hope some of the stuff I've written maybe gives you some ideas. The point is that it's not the specifics of any given situation between different serodiscordant couples, it's that there's a lot of stuff to work through regardless. This stuff is really, really hard to deal with with lots of emotions flying around which can lead to people making mistakes, testing each other and pushing each other away. I think my relationship has survived because my boyfriend has given me the space to do this, whilst consistently (more or less!) telling me how much he loves me, and wants to be with me.

Lastly, I think you should be really proud of the way you are handling this. You are obviously concerned about your boyfriend and are able to put his infidelity in the context of an otherwise "great" relationship. You have not made any knee-jerk reactions and you're obviously keen to understand what's going on and think it through before you do anything. Those are amazing qualities.

All the best,

Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline med forum

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  • Posts: 76
Re: Emotional wreck
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2007, 08:56:35 AM »
Thank you so much for all of your encouraging words. I really do appreciate it!

Peace & health
Peace & health


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