How Can I Convince Her To Let Me In?
The sweetest, kindest, and most genuine woman I have ever met may have finally come into my life, and I think I may have been bit by the love bug. Although we have known each other a couple of years, yet have only recently (in the last month or so) discovered a strong mutual attraction to one another.
She has expressed strong feelings for me, but informed me several weeks ago that she was diagnosed several years ago with having genital herpes, having contracted the virus, in all likelihood, from her ex-husband. Both in our mid-40s, each of us is now divorced, and have each since had other relationships.
Although she tested positive for HSV2, she has (fortunately) been asymptomatic, and has never had an outbreak. Nonetheless, due to a hugely unfair social stigma, she now feels "tainted" for having herpes. Although she has shown deep feelings for me, she says she can't bear the thought of passing the virus to me if we had sexual intercourse.
I have researched everything I could find about the statistics and facts of contracting herpes, and have made an informed decision that, although I would take the steps necessary to reduce the chances of becoming infected, I know what I'm up against, and accept my risk of contraction if we were to take our relationship to that next level. She really means that much to me.
The irony of
the situation is that she continues to keep profiles on a herpes online dating network, although she has only been hurt and disappointed from the relationships she has experienced dating others from the site(s). But, she still holds out that by keeping her dating experiences "within the box," then at least she doesn't have to suffer the guilt she would feel if she were to pass it to someone who is HSV2 free.
Of course, this bothers me greatly because, although I'm well-informed (thanks in great part to her courageous disclosure) and accepting of the risk that I will probably contract at some point, I nevertheless must be "excluded" from this special group, and denied by default the opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with her.
Actually, I have considered getting myself tested for HSV2 (probably not a bad idea), with underlying hopes that I'm positive, as crazy as that sounds!
I truly believe that she and I could have the best relationship either of us has ever had. And yet, the closer we become, the harder this issue tears at the heartstrings. Regardless, I refuse to give up on this wonderful woman who fills my life with happiness. I just wish I could convince her that her good intentions are, in our case, only causing us unnecessary grief.
Please tell me what I can do to best navigate to a happy ending in this complicated situation!