“I am terrified of confiding in my husband, though I really really want to just cry on his shoulder.”

Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I have followed your blog for a long time now and have found myself nodding my head in agreement at everything you say. I admire what you do to countless women, especially today when I am in need of your wisdom myself.

I am an educated, liberal minded woman married (for almost 2 years now) to a man I fell (and am) deeply in love with. This is my problem. Today I found out that while I have a normal pap test, I am positive for High risk HPV. This means I have a risk of developing cervical cancer (the very word gives me shivers) but that there are no abnormalities at this time. It is entirely possible that the virus doesn’t result in cancerous cells, and that it just lies dormant. With yearly testing and good medical facilities (I live in the US), it looks good for me. For this, I thank the Gods.

But you know what is coming, don’t you? My husband and I have both had previous sexual partners. One each, specifically. I was in a long-term relationship with someone who I thought I would marry until things fell apart, and my husband had a one night stand with a woman who he knew in passing through a common class. Al this was before we met each other.

It is not possible today to test a man for the high risk HPV that I carry. Another one of those cruel twists of biology and gender, much like virginity or lack thereof. My husband and I were both honest about our pasts to each other before we got married, and decided to let the past be where it belongs. However, he has had a much harder time dealing with this than I. For one, I was in a happily committed relationship during the time I was sexually involved with my ex, and my husband simply sees red at the thought of this. He doesn’t see the double standards that he toes the line of, as he claims that what he did was a “Stupid shameful mistake that should’ve never happened”. I try to understand his reactions (I have no contact with my ex, and in fact do not even bring up any conversation that could connect to that time in my life) But this problem is something we have dealt with for the entire time we have been married. It is one of the big troubles we face, but we are happy together in spite of, or despite, this.

I am a blunt, honest woman and want to get this HPV diagnosis off my chest. But there is no way to tell from whom I caught it from. It could as well be my husband who gave me the virus, or the ex. Not only am I dealing with the mental stress of having tested positive for this, I am terribly worried about how to broach the topic to him and what he might say. I am not worried about my safety, as I said, we are in love and he is a wonderful man who would never hurt me physically. But the mental agony I am likely going to undergo has me in tears.

Please help me, IHM. Give me some strength. I have this dreaded virus in my body. I don’t know what it might do in the future. A small part of me feels dirty and repulsed by my own body and myself. I am terrified of confiding in my husband, though I really really want to just cry on his shoulder. I am scared what this will mean for my marriage. I cannot bring this up to anyone else I know, and you are my only hope for some understanding.

Related Posts:

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66 thoughts on ““I am terrified of confiding in my husband, though I really really want to just cry on his shoulder.”

  1. You should tell him. I am sure he will understand and comfort you.
    On the other hand, if such a confiding harms any one’s marriage , such a relationship is unworthy of continuing.

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    • Thank you for your kind reply, to everyone. Your responses gave me comfort. I am taking a few days to process everything myself and do some reading about all this, and plan to tell him in a couple of days. Hoping and praying it goes well. I have no doubt it will be a tough conversation, but I hope we can deal with it well.

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  2. I think you already know the answer to your question. Regardless of whom you got the virus from,you need to bring it up. Your husband loves you and will understand. It may take him some time and there may be some hurt feelings and some emotional trauma, but also know that these things have a way of sorting themselves out. Be well, my friend!

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  3. Is there any treatment you can take for it? Do you have a support group of women? Sisters? Friends? First deal with your health, undertake whatever corrective steps you can, then address your hesitancy. All of this, all together will lead to an emotional fall-out

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    • I hope it does not lead to an emotional fallout. I do not wish to confide in sisters or friends about this at this time. I know I will find peace if I share this with my husband, who is my best friend. And I am taking steps, what I can, to deal with my health. Thank you for your reply.

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  4. I ageee with Dr Arun,
    Tell him right now.
    Don’t wait.
    The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for you.
    If i were your husband, I would demand to know why you did not tell me right awayl
    Not telling him is in no way gong to solve the problem.
    So , why the hesitation?

    What has happened is something that is to be faced together.
    Remember your marriage vows?
    Remember, marriage is for better or for worse, in health and in sickness, in prosperity and in adversity.
    Once you are married, and happily so, everything should be shared.
    Don’t assume that he will be angry with you for being afflicted.
    How do you know he wont rally around you and comfort you and face the situation bravely?

    In the meantime, seek the best medical advice and take precautions to see that it is not passed on to others.
    Unless the doctors say it’s okay, it is best not get pregnant.
    God be with you and let’s hope modern medicine will find some solution.
    Regards
    GV

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  5. “my husband simply sees red at the thought of this. He doesn’t see the double standards that he toes the line of, as he claims that what he did was a “Stupid shameful mistake that should’ve never happened”.”

    Therein lies the problem. As wonderful a man as your husband may be, he’s been socially conditioned to see sex outside of marriage as something sinful–hence the one night stand instead of a committed relationship. It’s ridiculously immature to think people shouldn’t be in relationships and/or should get married to the first person they date long term. This is my usual response here–but I think he should go for therapy. This person needs to see the inherent sexism in his line of thinking and should actively try to change it.

    I do think you should tell your husband this–how about taking him with you to your next doctor’s appointment? It would be helpful to have a medical professional with you there to explain things.

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    • Kay, you are assuming that people will find a therapist who is perfect. It’s simply not possible to find a non-sexist therapist in a population which is around 95% sexist. This is not a solution every single time in India. It might actually even make things worse because the therapists might point in the wrong direction, based on their own value system. This is India, where even abuse shelters and NGOs offer abused women ways to reconcile with their families and not find ways to help them get a divorce, especially in the rural areas. If you are offering advice, it needs to be tailored to the situation, otherwise, it’s just worthless.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The letter writer has clearly stated that she is in the US. It is not hard to find non-sexist, objective therapists there.
        It would be nice if commentators read the context properly before trashing someone’s advice as “worthless”.

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        • To Anonymous, I was not referring to an entire country’s “population” as you seem to assume, but trained professionals, who have to counsel people from diverse backgrounds ( the US being a melting pot of cultures from several countries) without necessarily being aware of the biases and prejudices within a specific community. From my personal experience with a marriage counselor here in the US (yes, I live here), it is not an assumption, but a fact, that it is not difficult to find an objective, non-sexist counselor in the US. In fact, those seeking counsel are encouraged to “interview” a counselor before starting counseling, to know their comfort level with the counselor.

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      • Kay I really don’t think you’re being helpful here at all. She is worried about how she’s going to tell her husband. How is therapy for her husband going to help her?

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        • The commenter Sphinx describes how therapy may help below.

          Also, the LW says “my husband simply sees red at the thought of this. He doesn’t see the double standards that he toes the line of, as he claims that what he did was a “Stupid shameful mistake that should’ve never happened”. I try to understand his reactions (I have no contact with my ex, and in fact do not even bring up any conversation that could connect to that time in my life) But this problem is something we have dealt with for the entire time we have been married…”

          The reason the LW is afraid of sharing medical news with her husband is because she fears she will be unfairly judged by her spouse as his views are pretty sexist. I think therapy will perhaps help him come to terms with the fact that his wife had a previous relationship, and it’s completely okay.

          This part struck me as extreme as well “in fact do not even bring up any conversation that could connect to that time in my life.” That’s not normal–there’s something really wrong with the husband if he’s so touchy that she can’t even bring up any conversation that could connect her to that period of her life. He needs to become a spouse that she can confide in–and unless he actively tries changing (and therapy is a way to do this), I don’t see it happening.

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    • Kay,

      Thank you. I will admit I have thought exactly as you have about his feelings on my past. I know it is not the ideal situation. Too few marriages are perfectly ideal, I feel. This is in no way a defense of his attitude, which I do not condone. But he is a good man, I love him, and this is something he is truly working on getting over. I do plan to tell my husband everything, and hope we will face the news in a good way. My fingers are crossed. I have a feeling everything will become worse before it becomes better, but I am holding on to that shred of hope that it does become better.

      I will think about the therapy for him, and for us, but I need to clear this first. Thank you for your reply.

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  6. Tell me again why discouraging pre-marital/extra-marital/casual sex is such a bad thing ? I remember IHM being so upset about our health minister discouraging such lifestyles.

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    • In terms of a solution against disease, discouraging pre-marital sex does not work. You’d be burying your head in the sand to assume that it can. Pre marital sex has happened and will always happen.

      It would be smarter to inform people about their options and advice them on what is risky sexual behavior.

      Besides, sex is important in life for some/many people and the only way to learn about your sexual preferences is by having sex. No point in waiting till you get married and discovering that your partner is a lousy lay.

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    • Irrespective of how much ever you dislike my comment, the fact remains that the OP is in this situation because she and her husband had pre-marital/casual sex with others. And, as a society it makes sense to discourage such lifestyles.

      PS: Instead of just disliking my comment, please provide a rational counter argument (if you have any).

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      • Anon, your entire reasoning is flawed. For one thing you seem to have assumed that the HPV was because of pre-marital sex. But the LW could have gotten HPV from her husband too. Are you going to discourage marital sex as well?
        If you are referring to the confusion between the LW and her husband, you are placing the blame in the wrong quarter. Neither the LW not her husband can be held accountable for their pre-marital sex life as it was their personal life and no one else the right to question their personal decisions. Neither the government nor the society has any business peeping into other people’s bedrooms. No matter how much you want to, you do not get to pass judgment on other people’s sex lives. The blame for LW’s dilemma lies strictly with the primitive mindset that lies in our society with respect to sex.
        The LW would probably not have been in this situation
        1) If the husband had not been brainwashed by being brought up in a society that already has a very Victorian mindset about pre-marital sex / casual sex
        2) If there had been more emphasis on condoms, sex education and other preventive measures by the previous health ministers
        The entire ‘moral’ of this story is that society needs to be more open about sex, not more closed (as you’ve wrongly concluded).

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        • I have wondered myself why I am in this situation. As some of you have said, it is not, and will not be, clear from whom I got this infection. There are only two possibilities, but that is torture enough, don’t you think? It is easy to go back and regret certain acts from your past, but it is done now. When there was premarital sex, it was with a man I loved and who loved me. That we would’nt marry is something we didn’t know at those times. I have censured myself more than any commenter would, but the truth is, it happened and I cannot change it. I appreciate all points of view, and thank you for that. But premarital sex is here to stay.

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        • If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs. Even with only two partners, you caught a disease and are wondering who gave it to you. Just image the situation in US/Europe where people have dozens of partners in the course of a few years. How are you supposed to confirm that partner#15 is clean and is not carrying any infection and does not indulge in risky behavior ?

          It’s not just pre-marital sex but the combination of casual and pre-marital sex that “feminists” (like the ones here) want to promote that causes the problem. What if someone falls in “love” ten times and sleeps with 10 different people. Are we going to pretend that it’s not a risky behavior because it was in the name of “love”? The more sexual partner one has, the higher the risk of catching an infection.

          PS:
          1. I have nothing against you and wish that you get well soon. I am just against the promotion of this free sex attitude.
          2. For everyone claiming individual rights, at least in the Indian constitution they are not absolute and the government has the power to curb them in the larger interest of the society.

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    • Because its none of the health ministers business as to who sleeps with who and when. He has far more pressing issues to troubleshoot.
      What if her husband gave er ths? Then can we blame mariage instead f per- martial sex?
      Discouraging, encouraging, coaxing etc t should be in someone else’s private life. We Indians need to recite ‘ I will mind my own business and not judge ‘ everyday many times.

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      • Going by your argument, the government must also stop discouraging smoking, drug use etc. After all, that too happens in someone’s private life.

        PS: If someone want to live without ever being judged, they should live in an island with no one around.

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        • Tell me if drinking alcohol or using drugs become all right after marriage? If that is so, then we can go ahead and discuss your weird theory that drinking and drug-taking is similar to having sex. o.O

          Liked by 1 person

        • drinking and drugs causes harm, SEX is absolutely harmless if practiced safely. You can have sex any number of times irrespective of your marital status if you protect yourself and cause no harm physically , but you cant shoot up heroin and claim it causes no harm🙂 hence the distinction.

          Liked by 1 person

      • To the anon commenter above, who told me he has nothing against me, and had other points to raise..

        I understand what you are saying about the statistics of the thing. More partners (and the partners that these people have had themselves) statistically increase the chances of an infection. This is irrefutable, and you and I both know it.

        However, please do not mix this with the morally absolutist point of view that deals with morality (specifically morality of what a person (man or woman) does with their body). Secondly, I do not understand what you are trying to say by quoting “love” when you say “What if someone falls in “love” ten times..” Do you deny that it is possible to love more than one person in a lifetime? Do you think that it is repulsive, both the act of this love as well as the open acknowledgement of it? Do you think that it is impure or in any way less because they are not married yet?

        I hope that one day you change your mind about your notions on love and what it entails. Love doesn’t become some exalted pure thing just because it succeeds marriage. Neither does it become shameful and lowly if it comes before marriage. The same for sex. That I do not judge premarital sex does not mean I am going to encourage people to go romp about. But I stand by what I said in my previous comment that it (oremarital) sex is here to stay.

        I do not mean any offtence to you either, and I entreat you to consider separating scientific fact from moralizing.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You folks were up in arms when our health minister suggested that “condoms are safe, but fidelity is safest”. Tell me again why pre-marital/casual sex should not be discouraged ?

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        • Holy crap…are you saying that we are living in a society that encourages pre-marital sex? Where the hell am I living then? It is difficult to think of a society that is more hostile to casual sex than ours…I guess we could turn ourselves into a country like Saudi Arabia, but that might be bit of an overkill.

          It seems difficult to get through to you. Your argument about publicly discouraging casual sex is impractical, it violates other people’s privacy, it violates their sexual independence, it violates their right to individual choice, it violates their human nature and last but not least, it has been shown to be ineffective as a sole preventive strategy against STDs / HPV…and you want others to tolerate all this simply so that you can indulge your warped inclination to judge other people’s private sex lives. You can still try…Good luck to you…

          Liked by 1 person

    • Condoms, are safe, fidelity is safer but actually abstinence is safest.

      Tell me again why we don’t encourage complete abstinence in *all* adults, irrespective of marital status? Wouldn’t that be the healthiest solution?

      Also, for the record, yes, certain sexual behaviours are riskier than others when it comes to sexual health, but pre-marital sex is not one of them.
      As long as you practise safe sex with one partner (irrespective of whether you marry them or not), your chances of catching an STI will be low.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quote:
        “Condoms, are safe, fidelity is safer but actually abstinence is safest.”
        Unquote

        Reminds me of an old joke.
        Pardon me if you have heard this before.

        While advising on the various methods of contraception an elderly man was telling a young man
        “The best method is to drink a glass of cold water.”
        The young man asked: “Before the act? or After the act?”
        “Instead of the act” answered the old man.

        So true!
        Regards
        GV

        Liked by 1 person

    • It should not be discouraged because it doesn’t work. Pre-marital sex is awesome. Health issues cannot be solved by imposing a moral opinion. Consensual sex should not be discouraged or frown upon, it is a world of discovery that every person has the right to enjoy. What the health ministers should focus is in responsiblity, respect, being prepared and knowing the consequences of it.

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      • “What the health ministers should focus is in responsiblity, respect, being prepared….”
        That is what he was doing. Anyone who explains STDs in graphic detail is ‘scaring em straight’.

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  8. I think you need some emotional support during this time. If you have any close friends who knows how to offer you what you need, please confide in them. Spend a few hours talking about it and getting it off your chest. Illnesses are a major fear of mine and I can really understand how you are actually feeling and it is all the more worse if you don’t have anyone to confide in. You could try to work your way into the conversation and explain it to your husband in detail. I don’t think it is an option for you not to tell him, so the sooner the better. You would know how to deal with the problem better once you know what his reaction is. Good luck to you, lady!

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    • Thank you, fem. It is stressful. I find myself imagining worst case scenarios a lot and I know the sooner I tell him, the sooner the imaginings will stop. I worry about my health, his reaction, the conversation that will be dreadful, how long it will last, what it will mean… it’s seemingly endless.

      I just need to gather some courage and tell him soon. I plan to.

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  9. Hug.

    Tough situation sigh. Maybe hang on for a week or two, deal with this big news yourself, come to terms with it yourself and then bring it up with him?

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    • Your advice I instantly agreed with, and that is what I am doing now. Coming to terms with it myself (not easy, but trying) and planning to tell him soon. Special thanks to you.

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  10. Many many people have HPV, and few people will get some disease coz of that. Do take care of your health, especially for genitals.

    Our body has more bacteria than number of cells, microbes being dirty is a perception. Some bacteria are good and some. Are bad just like people. So please do not think you are dirty.

    I feel you should tell your husband. It does not matter where and how it came from. If he can be tested, great. Since you said that he cannot be tested, well what do we do. And this is not a cruel twist of biology like virginity. These are man made tests and science. We have not developed our science enough to develop tests coz we as a society are patriarchal.

    You guys have a lot more to discuss than just this HPV. Looks like both of you have Some unresolved issues and have avoided discussing them and this HPV bring it up and forces you to talk about uncomfy things.

    All in all –
    1. Tell your husband. In a neutral tone. Not accusatory like it must be coz of u or whatever.
    2. It does not matter how it came because you have no way of finding out. So, take care of your health, especially genital health and see what you can do from now on.
    3. Work out trust/ insecurity issues with your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And this is not a cruel twist of biology like virginity. These are man made tests and science. We have not developed our science enough to develop tests coz we as a society are patriarchal.” – lol. I wonder why patriarchy even bothered to create a vaccine for HPV when it primarily affects women.

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      • Actually patriarchy is not the reason why there isn’t a men’s HPV test. Plenty of people working to get around that right now, lets not be dismissive of their efforts, and call it patriarchy.

        Also, for all people with kids on this forum, vaccinate your teenagers-both boys and girls, against HPV. It’s three doses a few moths apart, and can be given as early as 11-12 years.
        Also, anyone under the age of 26 who hasn’t been vaccinated can still ask their doctor and get it.

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      • Patriarchy did not develop the vaccine. People working in systems which have different value systems of gender equality did. That does not mean we forget that all these societies were patriarchal at one point in history and some still are in varying degrees even though the system is not.

        Indian system is largely equal but we do not have a system that is well implemented.

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    • I will do everything you said, but start with the hpv itself. like I mentioned earlier, it is going to get worse before it becomes better for the both of us. i am dreading it, but I hope he understands.

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  11. I agree with Arun. This is one of the times that you absolutely need help and support. I work at a Cancer research facility. I can understand how you feel at the moment. The possibility of something bad happening specially to our health is sometimes scarier than actually dealing with the situation, if it indeed does go bad. This is quite literally the “In sickness and in health” kind of a situation. However your husband might feel about your past relationship, and in fact even if you knew for sure that your ex gave you this virus, your husband has to help and support you. He definitely would if he loves you or atleast cares for you. If he doesn’t, then its time for a reality check and introspection of your relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I notice something new here.
    There is a “Like button”
    When do we use it?
    When I like the comment I simply click on the “up thumb” icon.
    When I don’t like a comment or am neutral I simply leave it alone.
    When I find the comment really bad only then do I click on the “down thumb” icon.
    How is this Like Button different?
    Just wondering.
    Regards
    GV

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I feel sad to read that you are shamed into being repulsed by your own body. There is no need for that, you have done nothing shameful! Let your husband deal with his own shame if he feels ashamed and not saddle it on you. HPV is part and parcel of being sexually active and the way to prevent it is not ‘fidelity/no premarital sex’ but inoculation (This is a ‘PARENTAL ADVISORY’! Inoculate your children from HPV and future cancer risk).

    Now that you have HPV it would be important to confront him about it because he might have now got it from you. He will have to be screened for anal cancer/ colorectal cancer and other cancers triggered by HPV as part of his life as well. I am sure your doctor has already told you this. Other than that who got it from whom does not matter.

    I also agree with the commenter about not having kids, not because of HPV – but because you can’t be scared of your husband’s reactions and start having babies at the same time😉. Fix your relationship dynamic and your other problems will be solved. How to fix it? Talk and be honest and let your husband know it is time for him to get over his hangups about your past. Do not let him shame you.

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    • I will try🙂 Hope it goes well. And you are right, we are not ready for babies at this moment. We should deal with everything else first.
      Thank you for your kind words, Elizabeth. Grateful.

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  14. A few points to bring up with your husband-
    1.HPV is extremely common. Almost everyone who is sexually active will have contracted an HPV virus infection at some point in their life. Depending on the strain, it either clears up on it’s own or lurks inside cells, increasing the risk for developing a cancerous lesions. So really, you caught a particularly nasty strain of what is otherwise a very commonly sexually-spread virus.

    2. It’s impossible, as you said, to currently test a man for the virus. It’s also impossible to determine the age of the infection in you, but all things considered, it’s fair to say that there is a 50% chance your husband gave you the HPV.
    A one-night stand is more risky (from a sexual health/STI POV) than a committed relationship. Don’t blame him, but at the same time emphasize that this was random bad luck and he cannot assume that he was NOT the carrier.

    3.This is all about you, not him.This website has a few tips on how to talk to your partner about HPV.
    http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/std-sti/hpv/relationships-hpv.html

    Hope this helps:)

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    • Thank you. It is heartwarming to see such wonderful, thoughtful responses from all of you who do not even know me. I will read this link and prepare myself for the talk.

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  15. Tons of my girlfriends have had HPV in college and it is no big deal at all. Many of them got pregnant, had families, etc. My understanding is that once you have it, you have it. You just have to get regular PAPs all the time so it doesn’t get cancerous. In some of my girlfriends, the HPV went away naturally.

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  16. I agree with the other commentators that you do need to confide in your husband and hopefully he will rise to the occasion and see the situation for what it is, nobody’s fault but one that he needs to support you in. If he cannot get past it, I agree with Kay that a therapist might be required for both of you. For you in helping to get over this stressful situation and for him to realize what he is doing. Since you do live in the US hopefully you will find someone good. I wouldn’t usually suggest a therapist but I do in this case because to me this is a symptom of unresolved problems in your marriage. If your husband had problems with your sexual history he should have made peace with them before marrying you and if he hasn’t yet you guys need to sort it now sooner rather then later. Also regardless of what his reaction is you do need to put yourself first and take care of your health. From my understanding at this point all it means is getting regular pap smears and watching the results carefully? And please remember that even in the absolute worst case scenario cervical cancer is very very treatable as long as it is detected early which is why regular testing is so highly recommended.

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    • Thank you. I am wary of therapists, but I agree that we need to fix the unresolved issues first. And if that’s waht it takes, then that’s what it takes. He was aware of my past (and I his) and was initially accepting, but then it became something that he couldn’t handle. It is confusing, but that is what happened. We have much work to do.

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  17. LW,
    I know how you feel. Been there. But hey, it’s a virus. It sits around. Cervical cancer is a probability. But so is dying in an airplane crash.
    The first thing is to accept it. Go through the anger, denial, grief phases. Indulge yourself. But at the end of the process, come out understanding that you have it. From what I know, sometimes even a condom is not enough to prevent HPV transmission. So, there’s nothing you can do today and now. We enter sexual relationships with a certain amount of trust, and getting HPV feels like a betrayal of that trust. It can bring up a number of feelings – hurt, anger. You’ll have to come to terms with the fact that you have it; no amount of mooning over what ifs of your past is going to undo it. So, no feeling dirty!
    The next is to find the words to talk about it. You are scared, the word “cancer” does give people the heebie-jeebies and compounding this fear is the fear of being judged by your husband. Start with your fear of having cancer. That is the most important emotion that your husband needs to respond too. If there is love, then losing you, however remote, would really affect him. Seek his assurance that you need him to be strong with you and support you through this. Make it all about you and your needs. If you both want a family, then you should have a medical understanding of what your condition imposes. Having a baby while being HPV-positive is a risk, but so is having diabetes or a herniated disc.
    Then, when this is out of the way, you can talk about transmission. The possibilities. And there is no denying that it could be your husband who is the carrier. A probability. That’s the science. Or it could be your ex. And knowledge about the carrier is important only so that any precautions if any, that your husband needs to take, are taken.
    The path ahead is only forward. You can’t undo the past. Courage, Sister.

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    • Thank you for your generous, kind words, dear Megha. I don’t know you but I am happy you wrote to me. I think in this past week, I have come to the acceptance stage you mentioned. Many thanks to IHM listening to the troubles anonymous strangers, I can never thank her or you all enough for lending me your strength when I needed it so much.

      And I will work on the not feeling dirty. It is fading, but slowly.

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  18. I dont think you should tel your husband….If he can’t stand your ex even when you are married to him and fully committed now, I don’t think he’ll be able to stand this..You never know what kind of friction it creates in your marriage. First get yourself fully thoroughly checked and seek medication. Hope it turns out alright, if it doesn’t and get serious, and become unavoidable, then you’ll have no option left other than to tell him. There are few things best burried in hatchet….just because you are married, you really don’t have to spill the beans ! I don’t believe in telling everyhting inside out to your spouse as I am sure every spouse hide few things that they dont wanna know anyone else ! Just give yourself couple of more weeks and see medical attention…and once everything turns out right, just keep it hidden !

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    • Thank you for your comment and your thoughts. Unfortunately, I am of another opinion. I cannot imagine hiding this from my husband, not because it may become unavoidable to tell him some distant day in the future if something happens, but because that is not what I would like my marriage to be. With convenient omissions.
      Honesty and trust is what a marriage stands on, and I couldn’t bear to deliberately hide something from him. This has to do with my health and wellness, and hence it has to do with him. If the tables were turned, I would like him to come to me with uncomfortable truths as well. And I pray I will have the fortitude to treat him kindly. The reason I wrote to IHM was because I knew I will tell him, no matter how scared I am to do so. And I needed some support, and time. Thanks to the wonderful people here, I feel a lot stronger than I did a week ago.

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  19. OP, while I do understand the agony of the diagnosis and the ensuing discussion with your husband, it would do you good to go easy on your self. This was not your fault- so try and cut through to the logical side of this: you have a health issue that you need to discuss with your spouse. The impact is primarily on your health (yours and your husband’s) so that ought be the focus of your discussion. Thinking of where you might have contracted the virus from will only lead you in circles, and you’ll feel none the better. (A brief digression: my friend was diagnosed with HSV; she had had only one partner. My point is, this is absolutely random and beyond our control so why beat oneself up about it.) I wish you good health and a strong, happy marriage. Be well!

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    • Thank you for this. The logical rational part of me agrees with every word you have written, while the chronic worrying anxious part of me stubbornly shakes its head and continues to conjure up nightmare situations. It is a battle. But I hope to come out stronger. It might be a knock to the marriage for a while, but I hope we prevail.

      Thank you again.

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  20. Dear letter writer,
    Others have given excellent, practical advice. Just wanted you to remember a few things, you probably already know this, but it might help to hear it again and again:
    – this is not your fault
    – it doesn’t matter whether you got it from your husband or your ex-bf (it is neither of their fault either)
    – you and your husband be there for each other and support each other
    – go ahead and cry on his shoulder. Get it all out. You will feel better, stronger.
    – take care of the practical stuff to stay healthy
    Wishing you a strong and happy marriage and lots of hugs.

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  21. after reading the comments .. I think if the letter writer was ME, I will probably never come back to read what advice I am being given..

    So I will just shutup and wish all is fine with you dear .. Take care and God bless

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  22. Pingback: “I’m baffled that Indians (not just men) truly think that virtue stems from being sexually chaste.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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