Friday, 12 February 2010

The Black Days - depression - sexual infidelity & the importance of truth

I have been really in a black hole again the last few days.

It goes up and down, I seem OK for a week or two then I reach the floor again. A women I know who has had HIV for about 15 years said it took her 3 years to even know what day it was as she was in shock. well I thought I was not and I was doing well
But I guess I am in shock too - it has just taken longer to manifest itself.

The worse of my black dog days is the days when I start to blame Barry.

Well not blame him exactly but constantly ask him WHY??
Yes he was the one that was unfaithful, but I know really it does not matter, theses things happen and compared to most marriages I know ours has endured far longer as many have ended years ago. And BOTH of us have been more faithful to each other than the majority of couples I have known .
But it only takes one time to get HIV
And he was the one that risked that 'one time'!

I know it is not fair, he has enough to cope with without me haranguing him, but I do feel betrayed by his lack of honestly after nearly 30 years together.And what has he got to lose?

I have said I will never leave him and I never will.
And he has never abused me and always has respected me  - although some have suggested that giving me HIV is a form of abuse I do not see it like that.

But WHY did he have sex and probably risky sex with a women in Brazil he did not know and had only met that week, when he had a wife and daughter at home and so much to lose?
Well while he says he used a condom, it had to be risky whatever he says as he got HIV?

When I am in my black days I just want the truth and from him - why did he do it ?

I really do not believe it was due to a burning sexual need, as I have known Barry long enough to know that is not what motivates him ever, nor do I think his sexual needs when we were apart are greater than mine. In fact  I know my sexual libido is more than his with certainty & I have had offers but always said NO!!

Instinctively I think I know why, it was about face ( pride)  - with men it is often about face.
A woman came on to him and quite honestly that was a very rare occurrence to him and he did not want to lose face by turning her down. I know him well enough to know that that would probably be the only motivation that would lead to him having sex with another women other than me.

For a start Barry has never instigated sex, not with me and I know for certain  never with any women before me. He has not - unlike me - actually had sex with many women and even with his first girlfriend it was she that instigated it the first  and every time - he is just psychologically wired that way sexually as he fears ever sexually imposing himself on anyone.

In a way that is great as with Barry you will never find yourself having sex when you do not want it, you will NEVER not feel totally in control of your own sexual needs and your sexuality. but on the other hand it when you have been with someone as long as we have been together it would be nice to be asked at least once in a while, at the very least to feel you were needed by him sexually. You know you are but he never makes the running .

So I know he never did with the person or people he got HIV from either - I do know him very well

He waits for you to instigate it but he finds it almost impossible to say no if it is instigated. Not because he necessarily wants sex but feels he will lose face if he can or does not want to perform if asked  - how stupid but that is how he is.

And lucky for me and for him, the number of women apart from me who have instigated sex with him since we have been together is probably very few - and while maybe he has been unfaithful more than once in the years we have been together that he was away at sea and  I will never know for sure   -  but it is VERY probable that only the women he acquired HIV from has ever instigated sex with him apart from me in over 25 years.

So I know the truth really - but I want him to tell me - I want him to be honest with me??

I have never been sure either that I believe him about the condom as he would not have been expecting or wanting sex so I know he would never carry them. As sex woudl be so far from his mind even when away, especially when away that it would not occur to him to carry a condom. And he is out of practice with even the concept barrier protection altogether as I reached the menopause and felt we did not need it for many years! So the last time he used a condom was probably 20 years ago!

I asked him about that and he said she supplied it and it was too big??
 But can that be true, his penis is not that small, well not too small as to not fit an average condom!!!!!!!

And anyway he would NEVER admit to not using one as he knows how stupid I would feel he was. After all I worked in youth sexual health much of my working life and for most of my life with him - so he knows how angry I would be if he admitted to not using a condom on that sexual encounter that got him HIV.

So I think he is lying through his teeth about that condom. And it makes me so angry that even now he lies to me about that!!

And also I get so mad that even after we found he had HIV he did not 'immediately' come clean about having had sex with someone else.

Which was so stupid and unnecessary as I knew I had not had sex with anyone else since about 1984 long before I was of risk for HIV and I know he knew I had not,  and that I insisted he had a STI test in 1986 before I would EVER have unprotected sex with him, and I had a routine claymidia test around 2000 and as a matter of course was tested for all other STIs so we were both clear then.

And no way had we had HIV for more than 8 years or we would long be dead from AIDS with no treatment or medication!!

So it was a no brainier really.

We both had HIV, he was much more unwell and more progressed to AIDs than me so he had to have had it longer and he had to have had sex with someone else to get it!!

Yes even in his hospital bed he lied -what did he hope to achieve?

And when I have my black days I ask and ask him this repeatedly - why did he continue to lie even when he was in a hospital bed so ill with AIDs & PCP. Why does he still now not tell me the truth and in his own words, why am I left to guess and make assumptions about why the encounter that brought HIV and why no condom and therefore why  this horrible virus ever happened to us??


But I guess I know really why he lied about having ever had sex with anyone else and why he continues to lie about using a condom ...............
And will not tel me why he had sex that time and did not tell me ever really that he had, he let me tell him that the only way he had got HIV was if he had been unfaithful - so I told him!

Because men are all about face. Well sadly face and pride is a big part of Barry self image of himself.



And to admit he was unfaithful at all shattered the image he has of himself as being a fantastic father and dedicated and faithful family man, sadly eventually he had to admit that he had been unfaithful  as you do not get HIV from the AIR!! .

But to admit without my telling him this was the case that  he actually had sex with a comparative stranger in Brazil without even using basic protection would shatter the last illusion he has of himself - that he is always a responsible person!!


It makes me so mad and sad that even now he can not share the truth with me and with no outlet anger turns to depression.

All he would have to do to really help me to cope with our HIV is to come clean - WHAT HAS HE TO LOSE EXCEPT HIS VANITY.
Even if the truth is that he was unfaithful many times, which of course is possible, this is better than him lying to me.
But however much I go on, and on , and on for him to tell me the truth, he will not.
He prefers to keep his illusions about himself and continue to lie and hurt me. He does admit he did it now and where and when but he lets me guess why and the details.
Sadly I love hm anyway, which is why we are still together.

It is a sad situation
The last thing he needs is the stress of me getting at him when I am down 

But living with HIV is so HARD and living with HIV with the person who infected you is very hard.

It is a sort of double whammy - you have to cope with your own sadness and loss at beign HIV but also your partners guilt and you have to learn not to blame - so many of your feeligns you have to carry yourself.

It would be just so EASY to blame Barry, leave him and go round exhonerating myself for my own HIV infection for the rest of my life and blame it on an unfaithful partner!! But it is seldom so simple as that!


Many I know were infected by their partners but few, if any are still with those partners ( except a very few who knew their partners had HIV when they started the relationship and therefore knew that there were risks and were willing to accept that risk.

But I have met no one who like me who acquired HIV  due to a partners infidelity and also an infidelity that they did not come clean about nor admit until they found they had HIV and choose to stay with them and choose to  forgive.


Out of everything I have faced in my life forgiveness is the hardest.
And it does not happen in one go, with forgiveness , like everything in life, you take 2 steps forward and one step back - but if the intention is there you will get there in the end

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did it ever occur to you that he lied about more than the condom? By your admission, he has never, ever initiated sex with a woman.

Maybe women are not his true preference.

You talk about "face" where he's concerned and maybe this is another area where he's trying to save face. If he grew up in a family where homosexuality was frowned upon or even forbidden, it all begins to make sense. No?

Veritee said...

I allowed this post of yours to be published, for one reason only.

That it so highlights your total ignorance that HIV is not something that only those that are gay, ( or hidden gay) or drug users, or sex workers get.

You can believe me or not , I really do not care anymore , but my husband is totally and very hetero and got HIV from a woman beyond any doubt
And HIV actually now affects more that are hetero or striagnt and in fact more women worldwide than any men.
And I assure you = not hat you will believe me !!

That neither me or my husband grew up in a family where ‘homosexuality was frowned upon or even forbidden’
We live in the UK, while there are many other inequalities, my fathers best friend right form the 1950s when it was illegal in the Uk was gay an dmy husband grew up with a similar acceptance .
So it would not be any problem for him, or me ,to be totally fine with if he was gay , but basically he is not .

It is fine by me if you want to believe that HIV only affects those that are gay or who have sex with those who have had gay sex.

But you ar so wrong and in a way it makes me laugh that in this day and age you can still believe this >
As you sound like my grandmother in your total ignorance, and she had an excuse for her ignorance – what is yours??

As I am 58 and I know the realities of HIV –and sadly so well

It has NOTHING to do with your sexual orientation, HIV is out there and for anyone who does not protect themselves and makes absolutely stupid and idiotic assumptions about my husbands sexual orientation

Do you think I was born yesterday and I have not lived or seen the world

I can only assume that if you think I would be that ignorant you see me as being a down trodden and innocent woman who is somehow ‘fooled ‘ by my husbands sexual orientation?!!!

God nothing could be so wrong.

Veritee said...

Oh and that you only feel you can leave such a comment anonymously , speaks huge volumes to me .

As we say in the UK
Put your money or at least you real name to whee your mouth is or just bog off!!!

As if you ar not willing to put your real name or identity to your comment , then it is totally worthless.

I could pretend to be anyone I wished and coment anon all over the internet.
Bu what worth would it serve?

Except to wank of on my own opinion and not have the guts to put it in my own name >>>>>>>>
So your commens on this issue are totaly worhtless

You may as well not bothered to comment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I needed to read this, the last paragraph will stay in my mind, I hope to let it go that route with me and my partner

Veritee said...

Thank you for commenting. It is good to think that some of what I have written is useful to others.

I thought I would update the situation. It is now 2013, we are still together and content to be together. I rarely write on my blog now, but keep it open because I know this journey is not finished, that one day I will have something to write again.

But for now we take our HIV medications, get on with life and cope with the health problems that have come along, and they have some caused by HIV or the meds , some not - prostate cancer and diabetes, caused by meds, Barry, me Avascular Necrosis in the form of Kienbocks, osteoporosis, worsening of my mobility due to my damaged leg. We both suffer chronic fatigue which makes like hard and high cholesterol which is drug caused .
But in the main we continue like many older couples with health problems - I am now 60 he is 61, .

Living our lives as best we can and supporting each other.