Faithful Woman Gets Genital Herpes from Her Faithful Husband

by | Herpes Relationships | 20 comments

A woman wrote in to to tell a surprising, and in the end, enlightening story about the nature of herpes… and love. The story involves an aspect of herpes that few think about.

Dear HerpesNews,

I hope you will print this because I think people need to know. I personally did not know anything about herpes. I had heard the word herpes, but I had no real idea of what it was. I had a simple life where I was pretty sure I didn’t need to know what herpes was.

I surely thought that since I was in a loving marriage with a faithful husband, that I did not ever have to worry about getting a sexually transmitted disease.

If you are skeptical about “faithful husband,” I would say that your life if very different from mine.

Anyway, it was a real shock to feel that there was something going on down there, and then to look down there and see what I saw. I didn’t know what it was. Not that it was shockingly gross, but it was shocking to see it all the same. What could it be?

This might be too much information, but I shave and wax down there as the mood strikes me. I tried to think what I had been doing down there that could have caused this. Did I cut myself shaving? Is getting a Brazilian wax unsanitary?

I very quickly made an appointment to see my doctor. My doctor took a swab and said they would do a culture. When pressed, he said it looked like herpes.

When I told my husband, I admit, we both looked at each other strangely for a few days, but we talked about it. We talked about our confusion and frustration, and we both knew there must be a logical explanation, but that we just didn’t know what it was at the moment.

I went back in to the doctor’s office for the results because I ended up having a full check up, including an entire battery of blood, urine, and STD tests. My doctor told me it was in fact herpes. It was HSV-1. I had read up quite a bit on herpes, and so I finally said, “So I have genital herpes?”

I have found that doctors can be very uncommunicative and non-committal when you least want them to be. I dragged it out of my doctor that yes, this is genital herpes because I have it in my genital area, but the type I had was HSV-1, which is more common in the mouth. He said that most people think of HSV-1 as oral herpes. He said that I was proof-positive that one can get HSV-1 in the genital area.

Okay, now I’m starting to freak out. “You mean I’m a freak among freaks?” I was not either glad or sad that it was HSV-1 and not HSV-2. I was confused.

For some reason my husband seemed to be happy that it wasn’t HSV-2. I guess to him HSV-1 was less of a sexually transmitted disease.

My mind was still running 1000 miles per hour as to how I could have got it. My doctor explained that if my husband had HSV-1 either on the genital area or on the mouth, that it could have been transferred down there on me. My husband said he didn’t have herpes on either his mouth or penis, and even bringing it up seemed to draw a strange reaction. It was the first time I saw him get mad over the whole thing.

I will admit, we had a bit of a row when I wanted my husband to get tested. I wanted him to get tested for HSV-1 as well as every other STD under the sun. He was insulted and started to act very strange. I mean, if I have genital herpes, then I had to have gotten it from him.

My research, which my doctor confirmed, was that mine was likely a primary outbreak. (I’ll never know for sure, but all the evidence points to that it was.) And yes, my husband, bless his soul, does perform oral sex. I wasn’t accusing him. I just wanted to know. I wanted to be certain. I wanted to know where I got this from.

I gave him some space, but I thought it was strange. If it had been HSV-2 that I had, I would have started to become suspicious, I think. But oral herpes? It was so irrational that it seemed like it was good old fashioned denial.

He didn’t mind that I had it, but he didn’t want to admit that he had it. Well, he finally went in and got all the tests. Yes, he had HSV-1. I don’t know if he has it in the genital area or on the mouth because I have never seen any sign of it. He probably has it on his mouth like most people do and just never saw any signs of it.

I don’t know if I ever bought into the term “denial,” but all signs pointed to that my husband had the herpes and gave it to me. Who knows, maybe I am the one that had it and gave it to him. (I guess I would be in “denial” if I did not admit this.)

If 50% or 80% or 90% of people have HSV-1 (I can’t figure out what the true number is. Let’s just say A LOT.) how can so few people know they have HSV-1?

Sure some have NEVER seen any signs, but how can anyone ever say, “NO, I have never had a cold sore?”

Everyone has had a crack on their lips. Everyone has bit their lip or got chapped lips that cracked. Everyone has had some sort of sore on their lips or in their mouth at least once in their life. When the sore goes away, we don’t know what it was, and we don’t want to know. Can anyone ever be completely positive that they have not ever had a cold sore?

Well, my husband is positive he has never had a cold sore. We have left it at that. Currently “we don’t know who gave it to whom.” How strange. It’s one of the stranger things in our marriage, but no big deal. I guess not leaving it “that way” would be putting blame on one person or the other. We will see if I continue to have outbreaks, and if he ever has one.

Throughout our marriage there have always been times when we are close and times when we are a bit more distant. Overall, this experience makes me feel even closer to my husband. It’s weird, there was a little distance, but as the gap closes our marriage feels even stronger.

We continue to work through it, and now we are getting back to “life as usual.” It’s life as usual but with added closeness. We worked through a rough time, together.

Thanks for Writing in With Your Personal Herpes Story

Please use the “contact us” form at the top of the page to send in your personal herpes story. I learned so much from this story and I hope you did, too. I really connected with so many parts of it and feel I understand herpes so much better.   (Stacy and