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Author Topic: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?  (Read 637 times)

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Offline stylus19

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Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« on: July 13, 2019, 10:57:38 am »
Hello everyone, I have been a lurker on these forms before when I first found out I had HIV in 2015.

For background, I received my diagnosis in 2015 and caught it very early after infection. I have been Undetectable since 2015 and have coped with everything by essentially forgetting about my status and telling no one and silently taking my pill every night in secret.

Right now, I am in a situation with my boyfriend and I know it is self-created and I am at fault  :(. I have not seen anyone since my diagnosis in 2015 but prior to that I had a few boyfriends. I started seeing my current boyfriend in January of this year. It quickly developed into something special and now I love him deeply and care about him immensely and the feeling is mutual. I am his first serious relationship.

The problem is that I have not told him about my UD HIV over the past several months. I know this is my fault and I know I couldn't hurt him physically with it during sex because I am UD and not infectious. However, clearly this is a huge breach of trust. I had not thought about it much as I have been dismissive of my status for all these years except for taking my medicine but it has been bothering me a lot lately. I don't know what to do. I love him deeply and don't want to hurt him or cause undue stress for him as he is about to move two hours away to go to graduate school. If circumstances were different, I know we could be together for a very long time and maybe even forever. He is the greatest guy and I know I will never find another like him and it pains me to have this burden on myself and the potential to cause him huge amounts of stress as well.

I feel like the best idea would be to tell him but I don't want him to freak out and think I gave it to him or to lose him but I know this is a real possibility. I have also read stories of legal action being taken as well even when you are UD and not able to infect others. Additionally, I have never told anyone and I don't want this to get out to my friends/family if I tell him and mark me as a pariah. Part of me thinks it would be a loving act to just let him go and not have him worry about this and allow him to find someone better who he wouldn't have to worry with. I can feel myself acting weird and withdrawn around him over the past few days too.

So, those are my worries. He is a very understanding, enlightened, and empathetic guy but I know this is kind of an unprecedented situation. Any thoughts or ideas on what I should do are appreciated. Or even what you would do if you were me. Thank you.

Offline Dave_H

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 11:03:27 am »
It can be a scary thing to disclose this to someone, especially after some time has passed. They might feel a little hurt that you couldnít open up to them sooner. Regardless, he deserves to know and the longer you wait, the higher the chance that itíll create more hurt feelings. Good luck  :-\

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 11:17:24 am »
@Dave_H

Can you please open your own introduction thread before posting again, I sent you a PM yesterday. Thanks

@stylus19

Welcome to the forum.

Not sure where you are based but if it's a location where people are taken to court for non-disclosure I would carefully consider either talking to a solicitor before opening your mouth or better yet moving on and chalking this one up to experience learned.

Otherwise yes telling is the way to go, if you ask me. Sooner or later he is going to figure it out and, hiding any long term medical condition in a relationship is going to rock the boat. Best to tell instead of being caught out thought and, depending on how accepting / forgiving the other person is you either move forward together or apart

« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 11:20:00 am by Jim Allen »
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Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 11:22:07 am »
PS.

We have a thread from someone in a similar situation if you are looking to hear someone's experience https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=72694.0
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 stylus19

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 11:37:34 am »
Thank you both.

Jim, I am located in the District of Columbia in the US. So don't know what that means as far as the legality of everything. I have found mixed sources online.

Part of me just wants to come out and say it and see his reaction, another part of me wants to try to continue as we have been even though that would be hard, and another smaller part of me thinks that the best way to show my love would be to just let him go find greener pastures.

My mind keeps jumping to the worst case scenario but I don't know how I would react if I were him and if he loves me enough to get through this.

This is really difficult, especially since I have never told anyone and everything has been really good up until this point  :(



Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 04:56:58 pm »


..... part of me thinks that the best way to show my love would be to just let him go find greener pastures.



Are you kidding me ?   ???

Care to elaborate how YOU would react if you were him ?

Offline stylus19

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 05:24:59 pm »
Hi Grasshopper, thanks for your reply.

If I were him, I would be upset and probably not know what caused the sudden break-up and change if I decided to go that route. But part of me thinks this would be easier for him than having to deal with my deception around my status and the ensuing anger/upset/panic that would come from that.

I love him so much and think so highly of him that I almost feel like I would be protecting him from a huge problem in his life. Does that make sense? I hate that I am in this situation and I know it could have been avoided :(

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 07:02:00 pm »
NO !, in my opinion it's NOT a matter of "showing of love" that you are contemplating of letting him go, but rather a lack of courage to open up and be honest with him. Courage and trust are THE foundations of any meaningfull relationships.

Offline bocker3

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 08:43:00 pm »
NO !, in my opinion it's NOT a matter of "showing of love" that you are contemplating of letting him go, but rather a lack of courage to open up and be honest with him. Courage and trust are THE foundations of any meaningfull relationships.

I think you need to step back a bit.  You may be fortunate enough to live someplace that likely doesn't criminalize this situation, but here in the US, the OP could be in big legal jeopardy.  The fact that U=U doesn't matter in the US, so there is an angle that complicates things beyond your perfect world opinion.  Yes, trust is a foundation in meaningful relationships (not sure I agree with courage, but we'll leave that alone) - but if coming clean were to not be handled well, the ensuing legal mess is something that must be considered.
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Offline stylus19

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 09:02:16 pm »
Hi bocker,

Yes, that is my worry. I need to balance my desire to be honest with him and me wanting to give him a chance to process things with my own self-preservation in case the worst happens and he freaks out. I checked though on the links above and where I live (Washington, DC) there don't appear to be any criminalization laws. This is maybe the hardest situation I have ever dealt with  :-\

At this point, best case scenario is that he is disappointed but willing to move forward and worst case is that he majorly freaks out and tells everyone the situation and it blows up. I would ask him to keep it between us but I know that's a lot to ask. This would be the first person besides my doctor that I have ever told about my status. See my dilemma. I really do love him.

Offline newbie2016

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 06:36:23 am »
If this person is someone you love and have a life with, disclose,
I have disclosed and as emotionally draining as I found it (being only a few people know as well), it turned out to be empowering that was something I would of never thought I would feel ever.
Be prepared and the hardest part is waiting out the reaction or response, you may never meet someone as great again.
I hope it works out well, if not pleasantly





Offline MarkintheDark

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Re: Disclosing to boyfriend - too late?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 03:21:31 pm »
I empathize with your situation, particularly if it feels like "he's the one."  And you've done your homework.  And, nevertheless, you're scared.  I get that.

fwiw, too, we had a pretty solid community in DC at the height of AIDS.  I imagine there are support groups, particularly all over NW, Dupont, Adams Morgan, etc.  One thing I loved about DC was that there were a lot of really smart people in meetings...and we kinda kept Trio's in business  ;D

I pulled this from another thread and I'll suggest it here.  Have you involved your doc in the discussion and are they up on U=U?  None of us can say how your bf will react.  But this is good, strong relationship stuff, imo, as anxious as you are about it.  I think "glass half full" deserves an equal hearing as your brain chews on this.  One thing that jumped out at me from that other post was the suggestion you offer to take him with you on an appointment with your doc.

Point being, you're not stuck doing this alone.

If I can offer any supportive words, they'd be that you've stuck with your treatment.  That, imo, says a lot about your character.  He may need space to digest it.  Take a deep breath.  Though it may not FEEL like it, sounds to me like you've got this.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 03:30:36 pm by MarkintheDark »
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