ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How I Told His Other Woman He Had Herpes

Updated on September 26, 2013
rulalenska profile image

Rula Lenski is an experienced writer on the topics of women's self-esteem and self-defense.

Imagine 50 of These -- On You Know Where

This is what just one herpes simplex sore looks like on your mouth. Imagine 10 to 50 of them you know where.
This is what just one herpes simplex sore looks like on your mouth. Imagine 10 to 50 of them you know where. | Source

And The Facts That Convinced Me to Do It

I complained that seeing him every 5 or 7 weeks was not often enough, and that his one-line replies to my recent emails felt like a brushoff.

He said, "I see other women."

I froze. The man beside me, whom I had thought honest and fair in all dealings, a man I'd loved for almost three years -- suddenly my love and respect for him plunged to zero.

He said he now loved a married woman living three states away. She'd been his college classmate. After 40 years she found him on Facebook and told him how "she'd always been so fascinated by me." He glowed as he said that. I asked why he hadn't told me so I could step aside -- and avoid any diseases he and these women might be trading. "I didn't want to hurt you," he explained, and he added defensively, "I never lied to you." No, he'd only withheld the truth. Now the truth was out.

"She's married?" I said.

His face went blank, then assumed an expression I'd never seen; this very intelligent man now looked crazy, even stupid. "It's not a marriage," he insisted. "Oh, yes it is," I said. Oh, wow, I thought. Two cheaters. That's his chosen relationship.

"Did you tell her you have herpes?" I said.

He said yes.

"What did she say?"

He shrugged. I'd learned a lot about him in the last few seconds, and the shrug meant, "I'm not going to speak a lie, but you can infer I am lying by omission."

I was certain, right then, that he hadn't told her. He'd given me herpes a year after we'd been together. I called him after the first painful outbreak, when the doctor confirmed it, in August. And then I spent a day searching the internet for facts and sharing them with him:

  • One out of every four U.S. adults has genital herpes.
  • It is possible to have herpes and not know it (a doctor added, "But not very likely.")
  • One can have sex with an infected person for a long time before the virus is shed and creates that shocking and painful first breakout.
  • Condoms are not protective against herpes. Genital herpes can appear, and be transmitted, from waistline to thighs, front and back.
  • Herpes can look like heat rash, blisters, acne, inflammation, or purple spots.
  • Women pick up the virus faster than men do.
  • Herpes won't kill or scar you, but if the virus gets to your eyes it can blind you. If a pregnant woman has it, it can harm or kill her baby.

Herpes can look like heat rash

It's a Crime to Transmit STDs

  • It is a crime to knowingly pass on STDs. Legally the charge is sexual battery. Those who do it belong on the public list of sexual offenders. If you can prosecute for medical expenses, you should. Because the herpes virus can lie dormant for long periods it is, however, hard to prove that a particular person gave it to you.

Let me add what I know from experience:

  • Many people with herpes won't tell you they have it!

For a guy who said he loved me, he had seemed strangely uninterested in my suffering (fever and chills, nausea, painful blisters) and sadness and the $400 it cost me to have diagnosed a disease I'll have for life. I'd just ended 7 years of post-divorce celibacy, so I asked him to apologize for giving me herpes. He whispered, "I'm sorry I and the universe gave you herpes." I'd thought that really odd. When he had blisters or when I did, we dealt with it, chalking it all up to bad luck, and didn't talk much about it. We were going to stay together anyway. We were both over 50. He'd said I was his last love.

Dumping cheaters and liars on the spot has saved me a lot of time and trouble. I recommend it. I packed my things. He panicked. Wasn't I hungry? Didn't I want dinner? "No." Couldn't we keep things going as they were? I said, "I'm nobody's recreation. I won't be on your string." How about staying the night? I said, "Only a foolish woman would stay." He followed me out to my car in his bare feet, repeating, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

I said, "Have fun," and drove away.

I'm mature enough to know that cheaters cheat; that's what they do; it's a flaw in their moral character, and they're liars too if they hide it; and it's not me nor the "other" who is at fault. If it wasn't the married woman, it'd be someone else. He'd given me her name. I found an address and phone number. I wondered if he'd told her he had herpes. My bet was that he hadn't. Was it wrong to let her know? Or irresponsible not to let her know? I looked for advice, legal, moral, any kind:

  • Most advice says "Don't call the other woman. What he is doing with her is not your business."
  • I thought of writing her a letter. But I didn't want anything on paper.
  • I didn't have her email address.
  • Although I found her on Facebook, you can't go on the Net, like Facebook, and post that a specific person has herpes, because legally that's an invasion of privacy.

But I put myself in her situation. I would want to know. I talked with two close friends. One said, "If she already knows he has herpes, calling her will do no harm. If she doesn't know, she ought to." Another said, "Somebody has to say that they know what he's doing and it's wrong, or he will keep doing it."

Would I be punished for speaking up? With harassment? A lawsuit? After I solidly believed that telling her was the right thing to do, as one woman to another, I decided to accept any consequences that might come. I forced myself to formulate my message fairly, calmly and carefully, not saying "X gave me herpes" -- I couldn't prove that -- but say, "X has herpes," which was inarguable. One morning I left a short and very polite phone message with my name and phone number.

Heard nothing back. I went on with my life.

But she located an email address I seldom use and three weeks later I found her reply there, just as polite as mine. No, she hadn't known he had herpes. She'd been shocked to learn that. And yes, in January, 13 days after she first slept with X, she got the painful breakout that sends us all to the doctor and warps our sex lives forever. And after her breakout she'd asked X if he had herpes, and he'd said, "Not that I know of."

I'd told him in August. He'd knowingly chosen to infect her in January and then lied about it, to this woman he supposedly loved.(Beware of the "love" you find on Facebook!)

Like me, through X's dishonesty she had believed she was his one and only. She was sorry to have caused trouble for me, she wrote. I replied don't be sorry; thank you for forcing an end to the relationship.

We emailed back and forth discussing how X could be charming but had some awfully weird ways. She said they'd had a talk and he'd agreed he should warn any future lovers about his herpes. But he won't, I wrote. The proof is what he did to you. I told her she could sue and said I'd be her witness.

She didn't do that, but gave it a few weeks of thought and then broke up with him. He's probably doing it to some other lady now. And then another lady. But he'll have a lonely old age because he is promiscuous, selfish and a liar. Of course he can't advertise those traits, and admit to having herpes, too, and still get women. Why he wants to harm women while pretending to love them, I will never know.

X loves posting photos of himself cuddling and playing with kids; it's part of his image-making. I imagine telling him, "One day when that sweet little girl grows up, a man will knowingly choose, without warning her, to infect her with his herpes. What would you think of a man like that? Do you think that's okay?"

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rulalenska profile imageAUTHOR

      Rula Lenski 

      5 years ago from USA

      Thank you. I am doing okay. Interestingly, the fastest-growing group of herpes cases are people age 50 and over.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      5 years ago from Southern Clime

      Maybe one day there will be a cure for all forms of herpes. One in four with the disease sounds pandemic, and it is still spreading.

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub. I wish you well.

    • rulalenska profile imageAUTHOR

      Rula Lenski 

      6 years ago from USA

      I now believe he was less sly and cruel than he is needy and weak. His lack of self-respect should have tipped me off. I'd hate to be so fearful and ashamed as to hide the facts about my life.

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 

      6 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      What a git he sounds! You're well rid of him. Some people really are unbelievable! No one has the right to treat someone like that. Thanks for writing about this.

    • rulalenska profile imageAUTHOR

      Rula Lenski 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Midnight, for your story. We all have to learn to follow our gut feelings and back off immediately when we see (or smell) red flags.

    • Midnight Lights profile image

      Midnight Lights 

      6 years ago from USA

      It seems things went well for you. I on the other hand, but not related to herpes (though I was also apparently given herpes, but only had 1 breakout). My experience was that of meeting a guy online and letting him come live with me, he turned out to be very docile and showed no interest romantically or otherwise in me. He often compared me to his "ex's" as well. I sent him packing a few days later. It was a very eye-opening experience and I gained much knowledge from it, but one I wish I had never learned.... and to this day regret. I blamed myself for years, til now. I was deceived, but I at the same time, saw it kind of coming (based on my experience with men). My issue with telling anyone about what he did was being told, "I don't care, that's your problem", as well as he currently "online dating" a married woman I also told of his ways (she could have cared less - of course she is listening to his lies and figures it was me), and from an ex of his: "she seems a little obsessed"... while she told me he would live to be a lonely old man.. a backstabber basically. Great write, and thank you for sharing. I'm glad it worked out for you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)