From the forums:
We’re engaged, so I don’t really care. We’ve been having unprotected sex for well over a year now and will obviously continue to do so into our marriage. Either way, we both decided I should get tested just to see, as well as to make sure it wasn’t something I passed to her. Well, tests came back negative (for both Type 1 and 2). One of the things that I told her to help her feel better about her situation was that we didn’t know where she got it, and it was quite possible she got it from me so she shouldn’t be so hard on herself. I told her it was no one’s “fault” if one gave it to the other, regardless of who it was.
I don’t really want to tell her I tested negative because I’m worried she will feel even worse and start blaming herself or not feel sexy in front of me anymore (which was an issue for about a week). But I am having the hardest time convincing myself to lie to her and tell her I’m positive. There are only two people in the world I have never found myself able to lie to: my mother and my fiancée (not that I lie to everyone else on a daily basis, but you get the idea). Anyway, I’m curious about your thoughts or advice on this issue. — Pants on Fire
Absolutely do not lie to your fiancée about your test results. I’m not saying it’s never okay to tell a white lie to someone you love, but there’s a difference between telling your fiancée that you love her Chicken Cacciatore and telling her you tested positive for an STD when, in fact, you tested negative. For one thing, she could find out the truth one day and feel foolish that you felt the need to lie to her or feel angry with you for being dishonest. That anger may even open up old wounds from the early days of her diagnosis. She may see your lie as confirmation that she’s “gross” and “unsexy.” Or, you may break up one day and she may use the false information — what she believe to be the truth — against you. I know that’s not fun to think about, but anything is possible.
And that brings me to a question: why have you two been engaged “for a few years”? Do you mean, like, engaged to be engaged? Or have you actively been planning a wedding this whole time? I know of couples who get engaged and just stay “engaged” indefinitely, with no real plans to ever marry. They think of engagement as one step above just dating, as a way of showing their commitment without the pomp and circumstance (and hassle) of making it legal. But you talk about a future married life in a way that makes me think you really do have plans to tie the knot eventually. Whatever your reasons for waiting so long, it might be worth reiterating to your partner how committed you are to her, how much you want to spend your life with her, and how a little something like herpes, which is incredibly common, isn’t going to change the love you have for her, the plans you’ve made together, or the dreams you have.
Be honest with your fiancée, be prepared for her to be embarrassed, hurt, and angry, and then take some time together to learn as much as you can about HSV-1, how it may affect your sex life, and what you can do to continue enjoying each other, both physically and emotionally, so that you can move your relationship forward. I think you may find that once the initial shock and shame subsides, this could actually bring you much closer. But you both need to be honest and open for that to happen. Good luck.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].