Incorrect Herpes Diagnosis Leads to Lawsuit and Destroyed Marriage
What does it take to destroy trust… and a marriage? How well do you every really know another person? I’ve seen relationships turn on a dime. Sometimes a breach of trust can be so damaging that you can never look at the person the same way again. Sometimes you learn that you had simply wanted to see a person in a particular way and that in fact the person had told you in many ways exactly who they really were.
What would you believe if you found out that you had been diagnosed with herpes, hepatitis and terminal HIV and the only person who could have given it to you was your spouse?
How Much of What you Truly Know is Actually True?
The truth is you really never know… not 100%. You may never really know someone… and it’s rare that you ever really know anything. Most of what we now know ONCE was known as completely FALSE. Half of what we know today… will one day be proven false.
A better word for “know” is “believe.” Much of what we “know” or should I say we “believe” is because it is what we want to believe… or what we need to believe. It is our “model of the world.”
Anthony Robbins tells a story centered on “how can you drive on a winding mountain road when at any time the person in the opposite lane could lose control and/or cross over into your lane?”
Since you have no control over this, how can you possibly drive on that winding mountain road? The answer is “you have to have faith.”
Sometimes continuing to believe what you believe requires faith. It’s also true that sometimes continuing to believe what you believe makes you just a complete idiot.
Faith requires taking the risk that you will be a complete idiot.
THE NEWS STORY
A woman got a blood test and a swab and when the results came back they said she had herpes, hepatitis and terminal HIV. Anyone remember Gilda Radner’s character Emily Litella on Saturday Night Live? She was famous for the line at the end of the skit, “Never mind.”
Three weeks after the diagnosis the hospital said, “Never mind.”
What was life like for those three weeks? What would you believe about your spouse after receiving that news? What would you believe about your spouse after having been accused?
Trust, Herpes, and Relationships
You may have heard the pop-culture terms “I’m just not feeling it” or “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
The United States Census put the divorce rate at:
• About 50% of first marriages for men under age 45 may end in divorce, and between 44 and 52% of women’s first marriages may end in divorce for these age groups.
• First marriages which end in divorce last 7 to 8 years, on average.
No doubt people divorce for many different reasons. My guess is that for a HUGE PERCENTAGE of divorces there was a primary incident or action that destroyed “trust.” After that incident the relationship was never the same.
Herpes is an opportunity to build trust. However, many people don’t want to know the truth. If you tell someone WHO THINKS they don’t have herpes what the statistics are and how exactly it can be transmitted, you are going to see a lot of resistance and a lot of denial.
If you tell someone that without a blood test they cannot be sure that they do not have herpes, and that in fact it is very likely that they have either HSV-1 or HSV-2, you may just lose a friend.
Of course a month later, a year later… 5, 12, 18 years later, when it is revealed that one or both have herpes… what happens to the trust?
A person with herpes has been provided the circumstances to start a relationship with trust right from the beginning. A person with herpes has been provided the circumstances to expect a more honest and truthful relationship on the part of the other person. Herpes provide the circumstances to bring real communication, openness, and honesty to a relationship.
BACK TO THE NEWS STORY
There is a lawsuit and I would imagine there will be a nice settlement. The couple claims their marriage was sound before the incorrect lab results, and now it may be damaged beyond repair. It’s likely that people reading are quite sure they know how they would have responded… yet the truth is we are often quite wrong in our analysis.
I’m sure there will be a NEWS STORY soon which will illustrate a person’s shock and dismay at a herpes situation they found themselves in… as well as their shock and dismay at how they responded!