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Author Topic: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?  (Read 948 times)

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Offline CountryMan256

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Guys, I've been on my medication for like four months now, and Yes I am still currently in a relationship.  Sometimes I get the feeling that he isn't in love with me anymore, more so here just for the support.  I don't like this feeling, I mean, I haven't been held, really kissed, and I'm not even going to talk about sex.  I've already had a dysfunctional life, with the feeling of emptiness and loneliness inside.  He's the only really one I have left and I feel myself letting him slip away right out of my reach.  I don't want to press the issue, but it's really bothering me to the point where I want to tell him that, "You don't have to stick around and feel sorry for me bro".  I don't know, but I just wanted to see if others were going through the similar situations.....Thanks
In the end everything will be ok, just give it time...

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 10:03:10 am »
I was diagnosed over a little over a year ago and was sick for a year up to that, with doctors missing everything.  My boyfriend finally called 911 and I was diagnosed in the ER after a CT scan showing pneumonia that pretty much proved it before the blood even came back.  Nothing has been the same since.  My partner was SO supportive throughout my 17 days in the hospital but it seems like since we are trying to get back to a normal life of some sort nothing is the same.  I feel like I'm letting him slip away in the same way you're talking about.  I feel like I push him away but feel so alone for doing it at the same time.  I wonder if he is staying just out of compassion, or if he's just sweeping it under the rug because he doesn't like when I talk about it.  Do you think it's just our own crazy thoughts/feelings making us push them away?  Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever get back to normal or if I should just move on, but then I"m afraid I"ll be alone forever of course.  Definitely feel for you, this situation sucks.
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

Offline CountryMan256

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 10:57:14 am »
Wow, thanks bro...Iím not the only one feeling the same.  I honestly donít want to run him off and but I donít want him to stay if he doesnít want to either anymore.  How do you cope with the feelings ?
In the end everything will be ok, just give it time...

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 11:01:10 am »
Honestly not that well....I try to just pretend everything is okay and go through the day to day but sometimes I just flip and yell.  I feel like he has no idea how much more is going on in my life than before and wants me to just pretend like nothing ever happened, but I'm so exhausted a lot of the time that i just get short.  I feel like I"m lucky he's even staying with me even though I know people say that having this isn't the end of dating etc, it sure as hell seems like it.  I had to come on here and finally talk to somebody else in my situation b/c it's making me crazy to keep it all in.  I know it will be ok in the end this just seems like a LOT to deal with
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 11:03:49 am »
Also he says that he can't take my negativity about my situation and doesnt want to deal with that.  I think we(you and I) need to work out a lot of this stuff on our own so that it doesn't effect our relationships like it is...thats where I'm at now anyway
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

Offline CountryMan256

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 11:25:19 am »
Thanks bro, we do....and that is for talking to me...itís helps more than you think.
In the end everything will be ok, just give it time...

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 11:28:48 am »
@CountryMan256

You know you have had a rough year from what a gather and to be honest parts of your posts seem to me that you are still digesting the diagnosis. I think some people digest this as they would in way grief for a loss,  its comes in waves that become less frequent, strong and harsh over time.

Have you been in face to face contact with any other people living with HIV like peer support groups or had any counselling?

Remember the below from your first post?

Quote
The one thing about me is though, now I am on Genvoya and my numbers are looking better.  At first my VL was 390,000 and CD4 was like a 38 I think...Now after a month on my meds, VL is 120 and CD4 is at 400.  I never knew about HIV, it wasn't discussed in my family, community and school.  I'm a country man, who didn't start having sex until my early twenties.  Sex education was always considered a taboo and frowned upon in my household.  If you are young and reading this, please don't wait too late to learn and become knowledgeable about this because IT'S REAL.  Don't be like me and wait until it happens to learn about it.

I feel my body getting stronger everyday now, and getting back to normal, and I really am blessed to have a strong partner who is challenging me to get my head back in the game.  I take a day at a time...it's hard sometimes but I know that I will bounce back.  Please add me to your friends list, especially if you're going through something like this, I've learned that if you talk more about it...I won't be too hard. 

Peace and Blessings. 

What's changed from this to the below?

Quote
I don't like this feeling, I mean, I haven't been held, really kissed, and I'm not even going to talk about sex.  I've already had a dysfunctional life, with the feeling of emptiness and loneliness inside.

Have you spoken to your partner about how you feel?
Have you told him what support you are needing right now?

Hugs

Jim

@ThisIsMeNow

Welcome to the forum.
Sorry to hear your have been sick, how are you doing with HIV treatment now what's your CD4 & VL like?

Quote
need to work out a lot of this stuff on our own so that it doesn't effect our relationships like it is...thats where I'm at now anyway

Yeah look if you are being negative about the situation it, is not something everyone can cope with.  I hope you can change this.

Quote
Honestly not that well....I try to just pretend everything is okay and go through the day to day but sometimes I just flip and yell

Okay well that's not good in a relationship or healthy way of coping with things.

I have been somewhat more distant and on my way out the door when my past partner kept loosing her cool. Have you considered talking to someone face to face about this issue?

Quote
I know people say that having this isn't the end of dating etc, it sure as hell seems like it.  I had to come on here and finally talk to somebody else in my situation b/c it's making me crazy to keep it all in.  I know it will be ok in the end this just seems like a LOT to deal with

Its not the end of dating no but I understand it can seem overwhelming to somebody new to living with HIV.  Its like everything new in life, either embrace it or fear it. 

Quote
I feel like I push him away but feel so alone for doing it at the same time.  I wonder if he is staying just out of compassion, or if he's just sweeping it under the rug because he doesn't like when I talk about it.

Sorry about what? How you feel and the relationship?

Normally I ask all new members to open their own introduction topic but ill leave your posts here.

Jim
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Online Jim Allen

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 11:33:01 am »
@CountryMan256

Also besides that for some people finding out they are living with HIV, the news can be a lot as well for partners to digest at times. Each does that in their own way, your only a few months in so could this be part of what is going on for your relationship?

Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2018, 11:42:53 am »
Hey Jim
Thanks for the welcome, i could use it LOL.  Also thanks for keeping up on this site, we all need it!  I know that I don't always have the healthiest responses in my relationship and that I have to deal with this all fully before I can be a part of a healthy one.  I'm trying, this has just been a lot for us to both take in.  I am seeing a psychiatrist once a month finally for about three months, because other than a few close friends, I've had to completely hide this from everyone where I am currently living.  I live in a small town that I had to move to right after my hospital stay because I'm the only caregiver for my Dad with Alzheimer's.  This little town is so religious and I feel the stigma would be awful for us if anyone here knew.  I have to hide it from my Dad(because he's so out of it he couldn't comprehend or deal), his caregivers/doctors, and most of the people in this place.  My only outlet is going back to Miami(home before diagnosis for 15 years) to spend time with friends who are accepting whenever I get a chance. I want to embrace this and be part of a community again, but that just won't happen where I am.  I just moved my Dad into a Memory Care place so I can hopefully start working on my own health.  My numbers: 1 year ago, cd4-47, viral load-10,000, ratio 11%.
Over the year once, my cd4 went to 215 but on last test was 195, viral load 62(blipped up from last test which was undectectable). Now my ratio is up to about 30 so they say thats a good sign.  Sorry for the long topic, probably should have been my intro but I"m new to all this forum stuff! 
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2018, 12:23:11 pm »
Hiya

Sorry to hear about the Alzheimer's, that can certainly take a toll on a caregiver and its not fun.

My dad is going through dementia, he keeps forgetting about the HIV and than suddenly he will recall and ask "Son, do you still have a touch of AIDS?"  Its sad, but it does make me laugh at times.

Quote
This little town is so religious and I feel the stigma would be awful for us if anyone here knew.  I have to hide it from my Dad(because he's so out of it he couldn't comprehend or deal), his caregivers/doctors, and most of the people in this place.  My only outlet is going back to Miami(home before diagnosis for 15 years) to spend time with friends who are accepting whenever I get a chance. I want to embrace this and be part of a community again, but that just won't happen where I am.

Are you looking for acceptance from others? Look people are snubbed for so many reasons in life, if its not HIV its something else in small towns.

Place i live has 7000 people, mostly devoted Catholics. If you mention an orgasm to most of them they would drop dead, let alone HIV, that said in my case they all know. I'm not saying that's for you and I am not saying to hid it, but the truth is HIV itself is not a barrier to being part of a community as its a personal medical condition and they simply don't need to know, not everyone needs to be yelling it from the rooftops. You know and your partners know, great. 

Jim

(Writing from the phone at the pharmacy, so forgive the crappy typing) 
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2018, 01:03:55 pm »
      Countryman256...I apologize for the thread takeover, I haven't posted before and it feels good to let it all out.  Just know that you're not alone in your situation.  If you and I are going through it so are a hell of a lot of others.  Still its so good to be able to chat w/ someone on the same boat.
     JimDublin...That made me laugh, I thought I was the only one who had to come out of the closet again and again but I guess with dementia we all have funny stories as sad as it really is.  My Dad, who was very accepting, says, "what?? you're gay??"  whenever the topic comes up now. I feel you on being snubbed...I don't mind that.   I don't feel so much that I'm looking for acceptance as the drastic change of living where I know my situation is pretty well accepted, to moving to a bible belt type town.(I grew up in a predominantly Catholic town and they're progessive compared to these bible belt Christians who are a bit more intense!)  I'm not sure that i want to tell EVERYbody I just have a hard time dealing with thinking that most of my neighbors/acquaintances in my area would be horrified(although I was even horrified of course when I was diagnosed).   Thanks for the advice/talk.  PS great typing from the pharmacy LOL thats doing a lot and it's appreciated!
 
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

Offline CountryMan256

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 01:51:25 pm »
Not a problem man,it feels good to know Iím not the only out there feeling this way and Jim thanks for showing me from a different perspective.  It helps.
In the end everything will be ok, just give it time...

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2018, 12:06:42 pm »
I honestly think my relationship with my long term gf is better now I've been diagnosed than it was before (not that it was bad before). Somehow all the trials we went through galvanised us, and given she was exposed to a number of my early clinic visits she has heard first hand from the doc about the condition so doesn't 'fear' it in the same way many do.

Sex is also better. Some of the hangups and worries I had before are gone, and the shared 'secret' has somehow increased the levels of intimacy between us. Of course we ditched condoms at the earliest opportunity (her idea) and our only real anxiety is if knowledge of my condition 'got out' and somehow affected the kids in any way. That last part is probably irrational to some extent but it is what it is.

For anyone else going through a new diagnosis, I would heartily advocate for massive involvement of the negative partner in the early clinic visits, as I really think this probably made more difference than anything else.
HIV - Basics
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You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
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You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here:
PEP and PrEP

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2018, 07:30:24 am »
Thanks for giving us your different, positive outlook on the whole scenario.  I think it's a lot for my partner and I since it's still pretty new, just hitting the one year mark now.  I believe it brought us together on a different level than ever before, but it's also added a whole new layer of difficulties.  We're getting through and communicating better and making the effort to see where this new journey takes us but it has been a bit rocky.  I still haven't been able to get all of my numbers into the best place a year later and I worry that it's all stress related, partially my relationship.  I also think part of it is that he expects me to just be 100% better after a year on treatment.  My cd4 has only been over 200 at one blood test, many months ago,  in the year.  Otherwise its hovering around 190 and that has me scared/stressed.   We were together for 10 years before and had been through a lot of outside stressors with our families over the past few years and we were always a great team.   I guess/hope this is just another bump in the road. 
     I get the "irrational" thoughts about your secret getting out and affecting your kids, thats a huge burden to carry even if it's unlikely to happen.  I worry about my own secret getting out and affecting my life so I can't imagine that worry.  Also I agree with you 100% on advising others to make sure to have their negative partners with them to learn the ropes along side them at the Doc visits, great advice.
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

Offline bocker3

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2018, 09:43:33 am »
I think we(you and I) need to work out a lot of this stuff on our own

This is certainly ONE WAY to tackle this.  Another way is to NOT try and do it on your own.

When I found out I was positive, back in Aug 2005, I realized that this was a pretty big "change" for my life.  I had found that therapy helped me with things in the past, so I contacted a local ASO and asked for names of people who worked with HIV+ clients.  I saw this therapist for about a year and he did wonders to help me adjust to my "new normal".  I am a big proponent of using a therapist to help talk through the fear and feelings of failure that can come with an HIV diagnosis.  The toughest stigma that comes with HIV, is usually the self-stigma.

The day I found out I was positive, I also told my partner (now husband) and ensured that he got tested.  Thankfully, he was (and still is) negative.  Because our lives were connected and intertwined - this big change for me, was also a big change for him.  At that point in time, we had been together for 15 years and had done couples counseling on a couple of occasions to work through issues.  We did it again to help navigate my now being positive.  It seems to have worked, as we recently celebrated 28 years together.

The thing to remember, with relationships, is that they don't just happen on their own - they take work.  Sometimes, they need outside help.

Oh yeah -- I also found this site and the people I met on here (and a few in person) have also done wonders for me.  HIV is part of me, but does not control me.  I rarely think of it except when taking my pills, seeing my doctor or coming on here (which I do with much less frequency than I did 10 years ago).

Good luck -- it won't be easy, early on, but you can get this virus to be in the background of your life and not the focus.

Hugs,
Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2015 969/28% <20

Offline ThisIsMeNow

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Re: Does anyone's partner act differently now that you've tested positive?
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2018, 03:15:48 pm »
Hi Mike.  Thanks so much for such good advice!  We've been together for 10 years and we've never gone to therapy together.  Ive been going monthly but it isn't enough and she doesn't specialize in HIV poz patients, so maybe I'll look for someone that does.  I also have already talked to my partner since reading your response to see if he'd be open to therapy.  Not really his thing, but he said he would try so that's a good start.  I fully agree with you on the self stigma thing.  I can't wait until this is in the background like it is for you and I can stop focusing on it.  I didn't focus on it or even process it fully for awhile. I was so preoccupied taking care of my Dad with Alzheimer's after I got out of the hospital that I didn't have the energy or time even to think about myself.  Now he's in a great place getting the best care.  I decided it's time to work through/process all thats happened to me over the past year since diagnosis, weeks in the hospital at deaths door, and the year being so sick up to that which was filled with doctors appointments with missed diagnosis's.  I'm so grateful to be as healthy as I feel now, even though my numbers aren't so great yet.  I'm also so grateful to have found this forum to come to for information, ears to listen and to hear other people's stories.  It's helped a lot to make me feel like I"m not so alone in this and I've only been on here for a few days.
Just finally accepting this, looking for people in my situation for support.

 


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