Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “The Woman He’s Cheating With Has Herpes”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss herpes, youthful engagements, and time to MOA.

I was sleeping with an engaged man. BIG MISTAKE! It only happened twice before my mom’s voice in the back of my head said,”Hey, stupid!” But anyway, I still hung out with him. I decided to introduce him to a friend of mine and they hit it off. Now she knows he’s getting married, but I think they have slept together. But that’s not what concerns me. “To each their own,” right? But what does concern me is that my friend has herpes. I don’t think she told him or intends to. What should I do as they are both friends? — Caught in the Middle

 
Maybe, since you are a friend of this man, you should politely suggest he end his engagement since he’s having such obvious trouble committing. And then you should tell him that you’re concerned that he never asked whether you’d been tested for STDs (assuming that’s the case), and if he’s going to cheat on his fiancée, he should at least make sure the women he’s banging have been tested for STDs. And then he’ll probably ask whether YOU have an STD, to which you can say, “Well, I don’t, but I’m not the one you’re currently sleeping with, am I?”

I am 21-year-old female who is engaged. My parents are very old-fashioned when it comes to relationships, and as a result I haven’t seen my fiancé much in the year we’ve been engaged because my parents think it’s best to wait until we are married. Now, we make love once a month and I know that’s not healthy for a relationship. How do I step up and tell my parents that I really want to be with him so we can get to know each other? Should I talk to them with my fiancé? I want to do it in a respectful way where they will understand. — Once a Month is Not Enough

 
Oh, honey. It’s probably better to get to know a person BEFORE you agree to marry him. Why don’t you go back to just dating, put ideas of engagements on hold, and move out on your own and become independent from your parents before you start talking about marrying someone.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for two months. At first, our relationship was the best. We kept in touch constantly. Now it’s summer and it seems like I’m getting in his way. I’ve tried to talk with him about this, but all attempts at trying to fix things have failed. He is my best friend and my boyfriend. I love him and I don’t want to leave him, but I feel worthless when he won’t try to make things better. I feel so lost and confused, and I feel like I did something wrong. How do I fix things from here? Or am I just going
overboard? — Lonely in Alabama

 
If, after only two months, your relationship is already in the shitter and your boyfriend makes you feel worthless, it’s time to MOA. And, yes, you are going overboard — not by being upset that you have a boyfriend who makes you feel like crap, by insisting you love him and that he’s your best friend. Girl, it’s been two months. I have cheese in my fridge that’s been around longer than that.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

111 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 9:03 am

    Aww, cheeeeeeeeese, le sigh.

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    • katie

      katie July 19, 2013, 9:36 am

      i ate a grilled cheese sandwich that had mac and cheese inside it in PA.

      be jealous.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 9:40 am

        pasta between bread, all caked in cheese — G E N I U S

        did you eat it with a side of cheese fries? because that’s even G E N I U S E R

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      • othy

        othy July 19, 2013, 9:48 am

        So jealous.

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      • avatar

        ktfran July 19, 2013, 10:11 am

        One of the food trucks here in Chicago does that as well. I can’t remember which one. Maybe Cheesies?

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      • raptor

        gillociraptor July 19, 2013, 10:58 am

        That’s awesome.

        The best grilled cheese sandwich I ever ate had fried green tomatoes, baked beans, and cornbread inside it. Like, bread, cheese, fried green tomatoes, cheese, cornbread, baked beans, cheese, bread.

        From here: http://meltbarandgrilled.com/menu/

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      • katie

        katie July 19, 2013, 11:06 am

        wow, like a southern grilled cheese triple decker? thats incredible!

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      • raptor

        gillociraptor July 19, 2013, 11:36 am

        Yeah! I think the non-vegetarian one had pulled pork on it.

        If you’re ever in NE Ohio for whatever reason, go to that restaurant. You will wait forever, but you will not be disappointed!

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      • avatar

        stickelet July 19, 2013, 1:21 pm

        I love Melt! So delicious!

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      • avatar

        cowsaysmeow July 19, 2013, 3:12 pm

        I have family in the area. A visit to see them is incomplete without a trip to Melt, and I sometimes try to plan them around whatever Melt’s sandwich of the month happens to be.

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      • avatar

        Anna July 19, 2013, 8:57 pm

        Aw dude I miss Melt so much!! I wish that chain existed in NC.

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      • avatar

        Boosker July 19, 2013, 12:42 pm

        I just ate lunch and am full, but I would make room for that sandwich.

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      • avatar

        convexed July 19, 2013, 3:42 pm

        Yes, here in Pennsylvania we like that kind of excess. I am surprised that the grilled cheese with mac-n-cheese inside didn’t have cut-up hotdogs on it as well. Hurray! Any place that sells a salad in Pittsburgh has at least one variety with French fries on it. Sometimes it’s hard to find salads that don’t include French fries as an ingredient. Also plenty of sandwiches have fries IN them.
        Another thing I like to point out is the pierogie sandwich. This does not use bread. It uses pierogies for bread and bacon for filling.

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      • avatar

        rachel July 19, 2013, 3:46 pm

        WHAT??? How is there a such thing as a pierogi sandwich and I have not heard of it?

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    • kmtthat

      kmentothat July 19, 2013, 10:39 am

      Cheese > men. Always.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 11:07 am

        Whaaaa? No way, I’d choose men over cheese any day! Also over pride, self respect, etc. sometimes. Le sigh. <—- What's with "le sigh"? I've been saying it everywhere these days. I think I'm trying to male "le sigh" happen.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 19, 2013, 11:09 am

        I used to always say “le sigh”, it’s from Pepe Le Pew, right?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 11:10 am

        I don’t know. Is it? I think I saw someone say it and I just ran with it.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 19, 2013, 11:12 am

        I just looked it up; it appears to be! Also, I found this for you:

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed July 19, 2013, 11:11 am

        Just googled it. It is indeed from Pepe Le Pew!

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat July 19, 2013, 12:54 pm

        Dude, I totally say le sigh! I for sure speak no French so it is tres awkward haha.

        And as someone who gave up cheese for Lent, I would definitely pick cheese over men. Though not over red wine. Thus: red wine>cheese>men>everything else in life.

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  • avatar

    Christy July 19, 2013, 9:04 am

    Hah, Wendy, I also totally have stuff in my fridge/freezer that’s older than her relationship.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 9:12 am

      I really shouldn’t make fun of people who get so attached after such a short time, *but* I have a suitcase of clothes sitting out that I haven’t unpacked yet that’s been sitting there for longer than her relationship… That’s it, this weekend I’m unpacking and cleaning.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 9:17 am

      I have a butternut squash in my fridge older than the relationship. I’m going to take Wendy’s advice and part ways with it.

      Also, summer started 6 weeks ago, so LW you had 2 good weeks and then 6 shitty weeks? What’s the point?

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    • avatar

      Bunnycsp July 19, 2013, 9:23 am

      I don’t think I have washed my sheets for the entirety of their relationship…gross, I need to wash my sheets.

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    • avatar

      AmyP July 19, 2013, 9:26 am

      I have condiments six times as old as her relationship.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 9:34 am

        I have box of condoms, like, 24 times as old!

        Oh c o n d i m e n t s

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      • avatar

        Christy July 19, 2013, 9:41 am

        AP I’m pretty sure those are expired and you should buy new condoms. Please do me a favor and check the date or else I’ll worry.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 9:44 am

        Oh it’s ok I won’t use them. I’m on the wine birth control. See, when you drink wine, your body gets all warm and fuzzy, and what that is is the wine molecules sort of taking over and then they act like a shield and kill the sperm. Trust me on this. Science 101, my friend.

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      • othy

        othy July 19, 2013, 10:47 am

        Maybe I’ll try this and let you know how well it worked. And, I’ll let you know how Mr. Othy responds when “Surprise, the AP patented birth control didn’t work!”

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 10:51 am

        First of all, it won’t work with that attitude. You have to think positive! “Positive thoughts for negative [pregnancy] results!” <– that's the AP patented birth control method's slogan. Meh, it kind of rhymes.

        Second of all, trust me, you won't get pregnant. Look at me, I'm 34.5 and I have never been pregnant, proof!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 10:54 am

        Wine also blocks STDs. Red wine does. You will get STDs with white wine though. And just be careful with rose, it could go either way.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 10:57 am

        See, the cold syrupy white wine is a breeding ground for STDs, the STDS love it, they get together and chill out in the wine and then when you drink it they just slide right into your belly, into your blood stream, and then you start to get infections down there.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:02 am

        I wonder if beer has a similar affect. I get all warm and fuzzy when I drink beer…perhaps I can swap my pill for a nightly beer to ward of babes.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 11:10 am

        Egad, no, woman! Facepalm! No, beer won’t work. You’ve lost your marbles. That’s the silliest thing I’ve heard. Not only will it get your pregnant, but it also causes STDs. See discussion re white wine above. God, are you thankful for me or what!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:25 am

        Hmmm…maybe I’ll have to add a nightly glass of red wine to my beer regimen.

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      • avatar

        KL July 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

        Beware of rum, though. It causes long-term relationships. I had some before what was supposed to be a one-night stand. We’ve been together for four years.

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      • othy

        othy July 19, 2013, 9:49 am

        I was thinking about some of my condiments. Pretty sure some of them moved from my apartment to my house with me. 4 years ago. I really should clean my fridge.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 19, 2013, 10:35 am

        I think we are all going to be very productive this weekend 🙂

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 19, 2013, 12:46 pm

        Check out the dates on those containers… I went through my fridge door once (after what i didn’t think was that long of a time) and there was stuff in there that had “expired” years prior.

        Also a fun game to play with your medicine cabinet:)

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    • avatar

      AllegroFox July 19, 2013, 10:40 am

      I have a jar of home made jam that’s older than MY relationship. One of my BF’s friends gave it to him as a gift when he left the UK. We met nine months later. Three years ago.

      I periodically check the jam for grossness…it’s still good!

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      • raptor

        gillociraptor July 19, 2013, 11:00 am

        The jam is the key to your relationship. When the jam goes bad… watch out.

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      • avatar

        AllegroFox July 19, 2013, 11:19 am

        There is definitely a part of me that is afraid to eat the jam.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs July 19, 2013, 9:07 am

    LW1….its none of your business what is going on with the engaged man and your friend….while yes if someone has herpes they should inform their partner (if they are sleeping together, probably are), but it is also the responsibility of the engaged man to protect himself….that is on him, not you….i say just but out (and why would you set up your friend with someone who would cheat on his fiance? not cool!)

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    • avatar

      Christy July 19, 2013, 9:16 am

      Why would you tell SOMEONE ELSE’S STD status? That is TOTALLY crossing a line.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary July 19, 2013, 9:21 am

        I totally agree, but If I were her I would feel bad for the bride because she’s likely to catch herpes from her fiance. And that’s just shitty. Also…her friend slept with her former sex partner who is engaged? My friends don’t sleep with anyone I’ve ever slept with. Like EVER. It wouldn’t even cross their mind, or my mind.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 19, 2013, 9:37 am

        Yes, I’d feel bad, but (1) herpes isn’t actually a big deal, all things considered, and (2) HUGE violation of trust by LW. It’s shitty for fiancee, but it’s not like fiance had any regard for her anyway. If LW were to tell anyone anything, she should tell fiancee that fiance was cheating with her.

        I’ve really tried to reconsider STDs as just infections. Like, that’s all they are. They’re infections that happen to be on your junk. Infections spread all the time. There are ways to deal with the infections, and ways to try to minimize risk of infection. But they’re just infections.

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      • avatar

        jbk886 July 19, 2013, 9:48 am

        Herpes is incurable, and will be a constant reminder of a horrible (hopefully soon-to-be ex) fiance. It’s easier to not say anything, but I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. Of course, I say this as someone who thinks that the LW should stop hanging out with this creep, so I’m not worried about how to preserve the “friendship.”

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 10:03 am

        Yeah, since herpes in incurable and will likely flair up again and again…I think it’s in a different class than like crabs.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 19, 2013, 10:11 am

        I don’t think she cares about the fiancee, just the dude she was banging. She never even brings up the fiancee in her letter. Because let’s be real, if she cared about the fiancee, she probably wouldn’t fuck her fiance.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 19, 2013, 10:50 am

        So, can I just say with herpes and HPV, yes, they are “incurable” but that doesn’t mean that your body doesn’t fight them. Just like any other virus (cold, flu) once your body recognizes the disease, it will take care of it. If you get herpes at 20, you won’t have flare ups at 40 unless you have something that suppresses your immune system.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:00 am

        It depends on who you are, everyone is different. I’ve dealt with HPV in a relationship and even though they where overall very healthy, it flared up regularly (like multiple times per year even though it was contracted years before).

        It’s similar to any virus: some people get chicken pox and never shingles, other’s will have shingles flair ups regularly (my co-worker, an other wise healthy 30 year old, has shingles flair ups yearly). Some people with the cold sore manifestation of herpes only get one cold sore ever and are done, for other’s even when healthy its a chronic problem.

        I don’t think this is an area that sweeping statements can be made as every individual is vastly different.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 19, 2013, 11:11 am

        My mom had shingles flair ups and after the third time, they found out she had a low immune response. Once they fixed that, then then stopped. My point is that people act like it is this lifetime issue because it is “incurable” and that just means there isn’t a pill that can definitively eradicate it because of the structure of viruses. But if someone is dealing with flare-ups years later then there is something else wrong. A normal immune system will fight it.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:16 am

        I disagree. You can’t use anecdotal “evidence” to make such sweeping statements.

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      • katie

        katie July 19, 2013, 11:19 am

        no, i think thats just true about immune systems. if your immune system isnt working properly to fight off the virus, you will have flare ups, so if you fix your immune system, it will work better and the flare ups will slow or stop.

        as far as i know thats just how the immune system works.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 19, 2013, 11:21 am

        Yeah, she’s right about immune system function & flare ups, as far as I know. But even something little like fighting off a cold can weaken the immune system (or distract it?) enough for a flare-up, I think, so it’s kind of a nebulous concept.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:24 am

        Flare ups can be cause by a million things, including immune issues. For cold sores some of the most common triggers are a poor nights sleep, spicy food, stress, changes in your hormones (think periods). Those are not immune system issues. For genital herpes some of the common causes for flare ups are friction during sex, sunlight exposure, and hormonal changes (like your period.

        There are SO many different reasons why a person with a virus can have a flair up, it’s unfair to make sweeping statements. Issues with your immune system can be one of MANY causes.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 19, 2013, 11:33 am

        OK, what makes AIDS so scary and devastating? It attacks the immune system that is the defense of everything. Every other virus is fought by the body. And a flare up isn’t caused by friction, sun exposure, ect. it is caused by the virus. The body has to fight it faster than it adapts. So the virus changes and the body defends itself. eventually, the body wins. That is why the flu comes back every year and every once and awhile it really hits the population because it has adapted in a way that the body hasn’t seen. So then they body fights it and will be aware of that version in the future. People die from the flu because of lowered immune response.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:44 am

        The herpes virus goes dormant in the body and reactivates due to a trigger causing an outbreak, it does not morph like the flu virus.

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      • katie

        katie July 19, 2013, 11:51 am

        but… arent “triggers” just other things that weaken the immune system? like, whatever they are, they weaken the immune system so its not able to work against the virus for whatever time frame, you get a flare up- so still the immune system is the bottom line.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 19, 2013, 12:00 pm

        But if you have flare-ups based on common things that reduce the immune system, then doesn’t that just mean that having a “normal” immune system isn’t enough to prevent flare-ups? I think most people even with good immune systems are going to have times where they’re stressed or don’t get enough sleep.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 12:01 pm

        @Katie, I just had this conversation with GGuy. Yes, a lot of them do affect your immune system (like a cold) but others such a spicey food (cold sore trigger) or friction (genital herpes potential trigger) or homone changes due to your period do not.

        My whole point is the original statement was SO sweeping- if you fix your immune system you’ll never have to deal with an out break…well that’s not necessarily true. There are a myriad of reasons why a person might have a flare up- stress, lack of sleep, a cold, hormone changes- it’s misleading to say you’ll never have another outbreak if you keep your immune system healthy. That is too black and white for me.

        Also, what are the chances a person with the herpes virus will never get a cold again in their life…or never have a bad nights sleep. Having something like herpes or HPV will be something that affects you for life, even if you only have 1 flare up ever- you will have a virus that is contractible. (FTR- I’m not trying to make people with different viruses feel bad, heck I have a cold sore right now, I just want to point out it’s not as simple or black and white as it was being presented.)

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 12:24 pm

        Thanks for the biology lesson, I took it in high school.

        Your phrasing is what I take issue with. Saying things like “weak people” is a stab at anyone who carries a virus. I have a cold sore right now…do I have a weak immune system? No, I probably had a bad nights sleep or drank a little too much last weekend. Not everyone gets to the point that their virus never reactivates, and not all viruses go dormant forever.

        I’m done debating this with you, we will not see eye to eye.

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      • katie

        katie July 19, 2013, 12:33 pm

        GG, i think your just taking this unnecessarily personally. yes, you do probably have a weak immune system- tons of people do! that doesnt make you a bad person or anything. but, there are ways to build up your immune system so you can help things like getting sick often, or having flare ups, or whatever. for instance, my chiropractor, when i told them i was sick and i didnt want to come in, told me to just come in for the adjustment anyway because it would boost my immune system and help me. having a healthy immune system is just another thing to keep in mind about being healthy in general. its something i think about semi frequently. (is that weird? i dunno i grew up with a hippie parent, think about the status of my immune system isnt weird)

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 11:41 am

        “Remember that triggers may not be the same for everyone, and doctors are not certain how much lifestyle has to with outbreaks of herpes symptoms.”

        http://www.webmd.com/genital-herpes/guide/potential-herpes-triggers

        “Remember, not everyone’s cold sore is triggered by the same thing.”

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

        GG, I don’t get why you are personally offended. What Bunny is saying is accurate. Most people with herpes have severe outbreaks at first and then they get less frequent or less severe with time. Some people might have one outbreak and then never another. Some people have the virus but never get an outbreak. For people who do get occasional flare ups, it happens when something weakens the immune system. It might be a cold or other illness (hence, why they are called “cold” sores or “fever” blisters), or something else. But the other things you mention – lack of sleep, drinking, stress – those all weaken the immune system. It doesn’t mean YOU are weak.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

        Katie I disagree, I’m actually thinking more of a random 18 year old who contracted HPV and is having repeated outbreaks, reading this and going “holy shit I have a weak immune system, am I going to die? Should I rush to the doctor and get a full body scan? What’s WRONG WITH ME??!! Oh it can be fixed and I’ll never have another outbreak? Yippie!” It’s alarmist and misleading to me.

        And I think overall body health all the time, so no I don’t think you’re weird. We try to live fairly healthy, and other than beer drinking, I think we live much healthier than the average bear. Which is why implying my immune system is compromised does rub me the wrong way. I eat well, I sleep well, I’m fairly active, I have low stress, no chronic illness- overall I’m really healthy. But I still have to deal with the occasional cold sore.

        But yeah, I wasn’t taking it personal, more thinking someone who doesn’t know any better could think there was something massively wrong with them- that could be magically fixed with a quick trip to the doc to “fix” the immune system- when in reality herpes and HPV are often life long things to deal with. And that is normal and totally manageable.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 19, 2013, 12:43 pm

        My thing is that even if you can fight it by boosting your immune system, I don’t think that means that everyone should be expected to not care about having herpes (or any other virus or illness). Like a lot of illnesses can be treated by medication, but that doesn’t mean that a person isn’t going to prefer not to have it.

        I’m not saying the LW should tell, but I think that it’s always going to be a personal thing where someone thinks a certain virus or illness is a big deal.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 12:46 pm

        Guys it’s they way bunny phrased it…

        “they found out she had a low immune response. Once they fixed that, then then stopped.”
        “if someone is dealing with flare-ups years later then there is something else wrong. A normal immune system will fight it.”

        A normal immune system also gets a cold here and there. A person with a normal immune system also gets a shitty nights sleep here and there. To me all that read that if you’re having flare ups that is something WRONG with you, and that’s not necessarily true.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 19, 2013, 12:47 pm

        I think a bad night sleep or beer is what lowers your immune system. Not forever obviously, but right after that happens.

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      • katie

        katie July 19, 2013, 12:54 pm

        honestly, any random person who reads that they have a weak immune system and their first response is “am i going to die”- i cant even give that person sympathy. and same for the person who reads that herpes outbreaks can be cured by boosting their immune system, so they go to their doctor and ask for the immune pill. come on, people. learn about your body. learn about science. be informed.

        and lindsey- viruses are a part of our world. you might as well understand how they work and how they interact with your body. of course no one wants viruses, but i guarantee there are many of them in your body right now. also, many of them coded into your DNA. they are literally a part of us.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 19, 2013, 12:55 pm

        HPV actually does go away on its own, eventually. It usually takes about 2 years for the immune system to clear it up. Of course, some types can cause cancer and that is worrisome. But if you’re talking about a guy having it, that means he has/had warts. They will come and go for a little while – you’ll usually have to go get them removed so it doesn’t get too severe – and then eventually you won’t get them anymore (but of course you can get re-infected).

        Herpes, for many people, can be mostly dormant. But yeah, lots of people will get occasional outbreaks for the rest of their life. If something happens that makes you immunocompromised (chemo or HIV/AIDS) it can actually get a LOT worse.

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        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 1:03 pm

        Yes Cats I was talking of a male with HPV manifesting as warts, and with out reinfection (there was no question of monogamy and I don’t have it) the outbreaks continued for over 4 years. Doctors could find no reason why they kept reappearing or why the body wasn’t “clearing” the virus, and they just had to be removed time and time again.

        And to everyone, obviously someone who thinks there is a pill to fix their immune system has bigger fish to fry, but we’ve all seen the wide range that writes into Wendy. You never know who could be reading a sweeping comment that could mislead them.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 19, 2013, 1:10 pm

        GG – he probably had a weak immune system! hahahah, ahhh. I kid, I kid.

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      • avatar

        Bunnycsp July 19, 2013, 12:15 pm

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/22028517

        How a virus works and the immune response. what you are talking about is viral latency. which is when a virus is frozen mid lifecycle.

        a virus is a little sac that convinces a cell to reproduce the virus instead of the cell. but once the t cells figure it out, it contained. The way that most little kids get warts on their fingers and never see them as an adult. That is the body fighting it then knowing forever how to fight it if it is seen again. Some people’s immune systems don’t work as well as others but any “trigger” is an attack on the immune system. The herpes virus is a side effect. Once all latent cells are found and eradicated, then the virus is gone. This can take years, in weak people it can take a decade. But this is why outbreaks happen at first consistently, then farther apart, then gone forever. It is part of how this viral lifecycle works.

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        GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 1:22 pm

        tehe Cats, tehe.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 19, 2013, 1:27 pm

        @Katie, I don’t have a problem understanding how viruses work. I’ve taken bio and anatomy. I just said that some people are going to think it’s a big deal. That has nothing to do with the science of it.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 10:59 pm

        I’m home eating peanut butter on pita bread. Typical of a half American / half Middle Easterner like myself!

        So what the hell are we arguing about? I need issue spotting.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 19, 2013, 11:54 am

        I guess I’m not sure what the point is? Even if boosting your immune system will prevent flare-ups, I wouldn’t want to have herpes. I’m sure that it takes a lot longer than a cold or flu to clear, and you still have to tell your partners about it. I’ve also dealt with the whole boosting your immune system to handle HPV thing, and it required a lot of effort on my part, actually, and a few of my friends had the same experience.

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        lets_be_honest July 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

        If someone thought they were going to DIE because of a weak immune system, I’d venture to guess they have more important issues to address than a weak immune system.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 19, 2013, 12:02 pm

        Totally. And while she’s at it, she should also warn anyone who kisses or gets a beej from one of her friends that’s had a cold sore before.

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        kerrycontrary July 19, 2013, 12:11 pm

        My opinion is, like or not there is a still a stigma around herpes and STDs in general, even though they are very common. But genital herpes gives everyone the willies because it’s incurable and it looks yucky. So if someone contracts herpes it can be a little more difficult to find someone to date and have sex with, if you are honest about your STD status. I’d be heartbroken if my fiance cheated on me, but I would be on a warpath if he gave me herpes on top of it.

        I don’t know…if I knew a good friend was going to unknowingly contract herpes from a guy she was going to sleep with (or was currently sleeping with) I’d probably tell her. BUT it doesn’t seem like any of these 3 people care about each others well being. All 3 people involved in the LW’s story are shitty, so I don’t expect any of them to do the right thing.

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        cdobbs July 19, 2013, 1:04 pm

        some of those infections can kill you, HIV, Hep C, there could even be new emerging diseases that are passed through sexual contact, better safe than sorry

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl July 19, 2013, 9:09 am

    LW2 so your ass backwards with courting, but having sex? What?

    Don’t get married, stop having sex with him and tell your parents they need to treat you like a grown up! If you’re old enough to get married you are old enough to decide how frequently you interact with your partner.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle July 19, 2013, 9:14 am

    LW1 I actually kind of think it’s none of your business—the ENGAGED man is the one who should be worried about STDs, not you.

    LW2 It sounds like you are from another culture, maybe? In an arranged marriage? Or, at least, I hope that’s the case. If not, then WWS.

    LW3 Stop trying to fix things & move on. It sounds like this was a bit of a fling, on his part, so try to get past your hurt & have fun for the rest of the summer.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary July 19, 2013, 9:23 am

      Yeh I get the arranged marriage vibe. And a lot of arranged marriages work out great. So maybe just sit down and have a talk with the parents. If they don’t agree, just say you’re going out to meet a friend instead!

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    • avatar

      SasLinna July 19, 2013, 9:23 am

      LW 1 should mind her own business & find some new friends. At least get rid of the “engaged guy”.

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

        LW1 should get into some sort of therapy to find out why she cavorts with such trash. I couldn’t imagine being in a group of friends where this type of behavior happens… repeatedly. Hey let’s pass around the soon to be married guy – no wait don’t fuck my friends because she has herpes and that would be bad for you – because that’s what I’m concerned about – because I might want to fuck you again too.

        BLEGH… I don’t usually go straight to judgy labels, but when I do after reading letters like #1, I call trash trash.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 19, 2013, 1:39 pm

        I was gonna say, Hey LW1, are you going to follow your friend around and make sure everyone she dates/bangs KNOWS FOR SURE she has an STD? Or just this one guy? Are you maybe…jealous? Even if you stopped the affair because it was wrong, I’m betting you still wanted to continue it on some level, and might have another reason for wanting to possibly throw a wrench into Dude’s tryst with your buddy.

        In any case MYOB.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary July 19, 2013, 9:18 am

    So I feel like LW2 is from a different country? Or her parents come from a pretty strong culture/ethnic group? Or they’re really religious? Whatever the reason, it’s time to tell your parents that if you are going to marry someone then you want to spend time with them, end of story.

    LW3–Not to bust on you, but you’ve been together for 2 months and he’s your “best friend”? You really have no other friends that you’ve known for longer or are closer with? That seems a little unrealistic. Also, it’s clear this relationship can’t make it through the distractions of summer. That’s fine, some can’t. The whole “don’t fall in love at the jersey shore” sort of thing. Break up now and enjoy the rest of your summer.

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 19, 2013, 12:43 pm

      At least summers down the shore last 3 months 🙂

      Something tells me LW3’s best friend/boyfriend got the overly attached desperate vibe and is pulling a fade out… because generally it is a bit of a red flag to make these types of declarations after such a short period of time.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay July 19, 2013, 9:19 am

    LW2: I’m not sure if there’s something cultural that may be stopping you, but if not, it’s best not to marry anyone until you’ve had a chance to be an adult and make your own decisions. Otherwise, you might find yourself married to a man you hardly know whom you end up not liking that much once you do know him. Marriage is a big decision and needs to be done without pressure from parents and with knowledge of the person.

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  • lemongrass

    Lemongrass July 19, 2013, 9:29 am

    Lw 2: do not get married yet please!!!! The rest of your life is a very freaking long time. You really need to know who you are getting into that with. You need to break away from your parents and be an individual yourself before you make such a huge commitment.

    Lw 3: if at 2 months things aren’t peachy then gtfo. Seriously you should at least get 6-12 months of a honeymoon period. If he’s not treating you good now that isn’t going to change.

    Actually all people: if someone isn’t treating you the way you want to be treated it isn’t going to change the longer you stay.

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  • avatar

    Leah July 19, 2013, 9:34 am

    LW2, if you’re having this much trouble telling your parents to butt out of your affairs, you’re not ready to be engaged let alone married. Go back to dating and really get to know each other! If you want a deeper commitment than just calling each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”, ask him to get you a promise ring or, if he has already given you an engagement ring, downgrade it to promise ring status.

    I get the impression that you come from a family and/or area where marrying young is the norm. If people won’t get off your back about getting married soon, tell them you intend to wait until you’re 25. That’s the age when your brain will stop developing and biologically you’ll be a true adult. If you give yourself that time not only will you get to know your partner, but you’ll get to know yourself, too!

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  • avatar

    Christy July 19, 2013, 9:40 am

    A different take: LW2, I know you want to get out of your parents’ house, and marriage seems like one of the only ways, and you love your fiance, but is there any other way to leave home and not marry your fiance yet?

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 9:46 am

      Yes, LW2, here’s what I would do: pick a school far away so you must live in the dorm; tell everyone that’s your dream and you must do it now! while away you’ll get that independence you need and well, maybe you won’t *need* to marry your boyfriend just yet; you can take it slow and get to know him. get a single dorm room.

      Done! Ok, give us another problem, Christy and I will help.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 19, 2013, 10:13 am

        Or if you can’t afford college, look into how much money you’d need to move out and get an apartment. Save for start-up costs, and then move out. Even if it’s a terrible apartment with terrible roommates, you’d be away from home and building your own life.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 19, 2013, 10:46 am

        Or she could look into nannying abroad! I’d do that. I’d go nanny in France.

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  • avatar

    Scooze July 19, 2013, 10:19 am

    Wendy rocks. Perfect answers.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow July 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Cats chimed in to talk about STDs. drink!

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  • avatar

    Caris July 19, 2013, 1:26 pm

    How do you make cheese last so long??! Cheese doesn’t last long when I’m around :s

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph July 19, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Agree. I have a standing grocery list item for a 16 oz brick of cheddar. It lasts about 1.5- 2 weeks before we eat it all. How big was this cheese?

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  • avatar

    Boosker July 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

    LW #1–Please say something, if only to save his fiancee from herpes. She really, really doesn’t deserve that (not that anyone deserves an STD).

    LW #2–I think you’re getting too caught up on how often a couple should be having sex. First of all, everyone’s sex drives are different, so what’s the right amount for one couple could seem like a ton or not enough to another couple. I would be far more concerned about not being able to get to know one another before your marriage. It sounds like you come from a traditional culture (culture meaning either ethnic or religious here), and while some very traditional cultures are all about spouses getting to know each other post marriage, that seems like a really bad idea. You should KNOW who you’re marrying.

    LW #3– Sounds like your bf is attempting a phase out. Best thing to do in that situation is to just let it happen. You can speed things along and get closure immediately by confronting him. Or you could just start hanging out with other people and let nature run its course. I technically never broke up with my first boyfriend. It all worked out.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph July 19, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Wow LW 3. I wouldn’t even call my husband my *best* friend, let alone a guy I’d been dating for 2 months. I feel badly for your actual friends, who probably haven’t seen you in 2 months because I bet you are one of those people who immediately retreats into the new couple bubble and forgets all about their previous life.
    Until you get dumped, and remember why you needed those friends. Maybe he’s phasing you out, maybe he’s busy, maybe he’s just not that into you. But whatever it is, you need to get out of the bubble, go call your other friends, apologize for getting too wrapped up in a guy to talk to them, and get back to your regular life. Then, if he calls or doesn’t, you won’t feel worthless.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph July 19, 2013, 1:45 pm

      I’m kind of torn on LW1. Like… I agree her motives are not so good (she obviously doesn’t care one whit about the fiancee, she is probably just trying to get back at her friend) but just because she has bad motives doesn’t mean telling is not the right thing because it would protect the fiancee.

      On the other hand, she doesn’t know that the girl didn’t tell him herself. Or whether they used condoms. Or actually, whether or not they even had sex. So she might ruin her friendship with the girl for nothing.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ July 19, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Why did you mention cheese, Wendy? I have heartburn and I’m nauseated just thinking about food.

    I’ve got about 4-6lbs of cheese in my fridge. I use them to make home-made mac’n’cheese. It’s too hot out to make it, so I’ve been using it sporadically to use it up. Cheese slices for the kids, extra pizza topping, fresh parmesan for pasta meals… I had to throw one block out because it had turned science experiment. Colby Jack does not handle my fridge well (we need a new one anyways).

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    • avatar

      Solitaryflame July 19, 2013, 3:10 pm

      Just FYI… You can freeze that cheese (ooh, I rhymed), and it will last for several months. I freeze it all the time. Then just put it in the fridge and let it thaw slowly. Tastes fine. The texture might change slightly, tho…

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      • katie

        katie July 19, 2013, 3:12 pm

        re: freezing cheese- i have found that cheese freezes very well if you leave it in its original package. i bought some 8 oz blocks on sale, and they do fine. i bought a bigger block at costco and cut it into smaller blocks myself and froze that in ziplocs… and it turned all grainy and weird. melts ok, though, so for mac and cheese it would probably be fine.

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ July 19, 2013, 7:00 pm

        These have already been opened, and I really want to use ’em up. Damned kids just don’t eat cheese as much as they do when it’s in macaroni/cheese.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 19, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Certain peoplr here constantly give me grief saying I all too often suggest that many young women today are, well, to be polite… perhaps just a wee bit dim. But these three today truly are pinacles of insight and profound relationship wisdom… I am not even sure why they wrote in as their lives are beyond together and drama free…

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    • landygirl

      landygirl July 19, 2013, 5:15 pm

      I’m sure that when you were in your 20s you never did anything stupid or made any mistakes. When you come to a woman centric column like this one guess what? Women write in! If it was Dear Wendell, then all the stupid dudes would be writing in and we could insult them for being idiots.

      It’s your gross generalization that MOST women are stupid that is insipidly annoying. I guess insulting women makes you feel better about yourself. Have fun with that.

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