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STDs Don’t Define You

Hello Chump Lady,

I am 2.5 years post D-day, and despite continued legal conflict, I truly have achieved Tuesday. Good riddance to him and his OW; he’s her problem now, and I rarely think about either one of them.

Despite my present state, I’d like to revisit D-day with you so that you can understand what I’m facing presently.

After twenty years of pick-me dancing, my husband unexpectedly let me know that he didn’t think he loved me, and thought he probably never had.

Since he seemed confused, I was determined to help him remember with some solid-gold pick-me dancing, including a lot of sex over the course of one weekend.

I noticed at one point that weekend, a small lesion on his penis. I was naive and thought it wasn’t right, but figured it wasn’t life threatening, and I had more important issues to deal with at the time. Later, when I mentioned it to him, he smiled and drolled out “Yeah?”

Fast forward to a few weeks later: I kicked him out of my home because I suspected that he was “talking” to another woman, and I got an STD test. To be honest, I was sure that he hadn’t really cheated, and I was probably being dramatic when I decided to get the test.

When I received the call that I was HSV-2 (Herpes) positive, I was borderline suicidal. Not only did I have to face the fact that I had wasted decades with an ugly human as my mate and made him the father of my children, but I felt like a toxic waste dump site. (The medical technician who called me with my results was also less than empathetic, to say the least)

I was sure that no good person would ever want a “dirty” person like me. I hated that I had become a dirty person.

Fast forward to now. I am now much more educated about STDs, and specifically HSV. I’ve always been asymptomatic, and the people who have symptoms report that it’s typically nothing more than a mild annual inconvenience, which is easily treated.

I wish I that the information surrounding STDs was not so stigmatizing. Yes, HPV can cause cancer (and I empathize with the chumps who receive this in their severance package), but HSV is common and doesn’t impact a person’s health.

Fun fact: HSV-2 is the number 1 reason that contestants for The Bachelor are kicked off the show in the final phase of auditions. Like me, producers report that the contestants are shocked to find out their status because they don’t have symptoms.

Even HIV is manageable to the point of undetectability.

My hope is to let other chumps know that STDs are not the end of the world. My STD forced me to be more cautious before jumping into the dating pool, and taught me to be more open and less judgmental. Both of these outcomes were beneficial.

I ask you to please let newly discovered chumps know that an STD doesn’t define them; it doesn’t make them unloveable or dirty. Dating is still possible (you do have to disclose; there are some good YouTube videos on how to have the “safe sex” talk.) But even with an STD, my life is so much better than the life I had with a narcissist.

All STDs are treatable, even if they are incurable. I wish someone had been around to let me know all of this when I was diagnosed.

Thank you,

NoThankU4U

(Per my screen name, of course I thank you, that was always for the ex.)

Dear NoThankU4U,

Thank you for the compassionate public service announcement about STDs.

When infidelity is mentioned in the public discourse it tends to overlook the health risks. Pathogens kill the whole the Heart Wants What the Heart Wants Schmoopie narrative. And I suppose people assume chumps are sexless and affair partners are star-crossed and cheaters aren’t out there pollinating among us with their gangrenous genitals.

Fact is, to cheat on someone is to make unilateral decisions about their health. It’s denying a chump consent about what they’re exposing their body to — and that can have life-altering consequences. I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve gotten over the years where a chump learned they tested positive for an STD at their pre-natal screening. Or how many chumps couldn’t get their cheaters to STD test themselves. THE NERVE of you to ASK! Or felt, as you did, that their dating futures were doomed thanks to this parting gift.

You’re absolutely correct, STDs don’t define you or make you unlovable. Cheating does. I wish we could flip the script on this and direct the shame in the right direction.

To any newbie chumps reading this — make STD testing one of the first things you do to protect yourself after D-Day and retest after 6 months.

But, but! They used a condom! 

Fun fact: Condoms are 98% effective at protecting against most STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea. However, condoms don’t protect you from all STIs such as herpes, genital warts and syphilis which can be spread from skin-to-skin contact.

So yeah, even the rare “considerate” cheater who uses protection is still risking your health. In my experience (29 million page views here folks, hundreds of thousands of posted stories…) cheaters don’t use protection. Because affairs live in magical reality free of consequences. HEY! Happiness is a barrier method!

I’m going to open the floor to CN about your STD experiences. (Gee THANKS Chump Lady, and a Happy New Year to you too!) But before I do, a shout out to Planned Parenthood. SUPPORT THEM.

Did you know that Planned Parenthood is largest single provider of reproductive health services in the United States? And that many, many women rely on this NON-PROFIT provider for their breast cancer screenings and other women’s health services?

They do essential work — including STD screenings. I send them $10 every month, and if you can afford it, consider that too.

(Do not derail the comments into an abortion discussion, please. Let’s keep it on STDs and raising awareness.)

Thanks NoThankU4U for raising this subject. Everyone start the new year with a swab! Protect your health.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • For anyone who would rather NOT patronize Planned Parenthood, there are also approximately 13K community and county health clinics that provide a wide range of services in the US, including everything PP has to offer, for low income patients. The important thing is your health and there are a number of clinics that can help. There are a number of funds that are also available should you need further testing beyond a pap or a mammogram and you have no insurance. There’s always something to help, but you have to know where to ask.

      • Hey, if this post causes even one reader to seek out his or her county health department and get tested, I say Kintsugi’s post did its job. Would you want even one person to remain ignorant of all resources, if knowing about them might make a really big difference to their health?

        Here’s to good health for all!

      • Thank you for offering alternatives, Kintsugi. There was nothing about “abortion aspect” in what Kintsugi said. Providing an alternative to PP is not making that reference.

      • No, Kintsugi is informing people of alternatives. I’m afraid you’re the one making the reference. Kintsugi isn’t a political person, just extremely helpful. To everyone.

    • As someone from the UK, where people get healthcare based on their needs, it’s a bit mind boggling to imagine living like that.

  • Fully agree with NoThanks …. I got HPV from Xasshat, when detected it had already gone to the next stage and I had to get some tissue removed.

    • I also was diagnosed with HPV. It’s the single most painful thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve had surgery, and suspect next week when I go back, my doctor will tell me I need it again. I am so angry.

      • Can’t believe how timely today’s post is for me. I just received a positive HPV test result. That I’m positive for a high risk strain is all I know. I have not received my PAP results yet, so I’m in limbo for at least another week before I hear whether I will need cervical treatment.

        I’ve read several authoritative sources online and have also read all the comments here, and I have to say I feel bewildered and confused and now scared. No idea whether I was exposed by my cheater X husband or the new partner I’ve had since the divorce. Seems like there is no real way to prevent contracting this or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else other than abstinence.

        This is a blow. A hard one. And I was really just now starting to get back up after the infidelity blows had knocked me out for 4 years.

        • I am so sorry, Me3. I, too, received a high-risk HPV diagnosis. The important thing to remember is that the diagnosis does not mean it will progress to cancer. Apparently most people manage to flush it from their system. In my case, I got the diagnosis one year after DDay, requiring pap smears for my next two annual physicals. Both of those indicate that the virus has cleared, so I won’t need another pap for 3 years. Uh, yay.

          I’m not a doctor. But I wonder if HPV lurks in your system and can cause problems later, even if testing shows you no longer have it. Kind of like if you had chicken pox as a child, you may get shingles later in life. Unfortunately, I can’t find any information about it. I try not to obsess over it.

          What I did find out when I last checked, is that there isn’t an HPV test for men, only women. HPV in men has serious implications, though, including throat cancer (a horrible way to die).

  • Thank you for this topic and thank you for the reminder it doesn’t define me .

    I too have been left with herpes and found out when I went to get checked after he left . I had no out break so I was / still am devastated .

    I won’t be in another relationship but I have read up online ( UK chumps the NHS website is great for advise and what to say ) on how to declare this

    I know my ex never used protection his AP is pregnant but it’s disgusting knowing he was having un protected sex with me knowing what he exposed me too

    • And if he gave it to her, she can pass it on to the fetus/baby.
      Another little fact ignored in the “exuberance” script.

  • OMG, if I had a nickel for every time Cheater #1 insisted his fuck buddies were “clean people”. Yeah, clean people that did drugs, prison time, had multiple (unknown/casual) partners, insert the sleaze here. I was one of the ones with a full battery of tests at my initial prenatal exam. Luckily my OBGYN was a wise, experienced man who counseled me through the heartache and the self blame, after 20 years with only one partner. It is the ultimate mind fuck.

    • “I thought she was clean!” quoth the fuckwit, about a woman everyone knew to be a promiscuous drunken slag.
      Those who are willing to fuck married people are highly likely to be promiscuous, but even if they weren’t, what about their other partners, past and present? The cheater has no idea what the AP has been exposed to.

      Cheaters don’t care a thing about giving us STDs. They don’t even care if they get one themselves. They live for the thrill of the moment and don’t consider the future at all.

      • Mine insisted his long term AP was a “hygiene freak” – because he must have skipped sex ed. You can’t scrub or bleach away HPV or chlamydia, dumbass. Both of which I got. One sexual partner ever, in my 40s, with three teenage kids I constantly rammed home safe sex messages to. A gay Dad outed in the AIDS era 80s meant I talked and talked and talked about safe sex. When I said, “well, phew, at least you would have used condoms every time, right?”

        Silence. “Um, but she’s hygienically clean.” His ex GF. Who fucked around on him a few decades earlier. Face palm.

        Three procedures later, and a lymphectomy last year, with follow up radiotherapy for me, would suggest she wasn’t quite the Virgin Mary.

      • “Cheaters don’t care a thing about giving us STDs. They don’t even care if they get one themselves. They live for the thrill of the moment and don’t consider the future at all.”

        You said it, CUTV. Right there.

  • Ex, had sti, found out though medical notes, he claimed it was cystitis. I had a sneaking suspicion he/she had genital warts as well.
    Are they truly incapable of thinking about anyone but themselves
    My daughter had a verruca I removed it by using a frozen product, it was expensive, kept it in a cupboard it disappeared then months later it came back.
    What happened eh?
    We need Sherlock Holmes

    • Ah yes. Perhaps my top reason for despising cheaters. I don’t know à cheater who uses condoms.
      Mine picked up hsv 2 and passed it on to me while pregnant.
      He was adamant that the women he had slept with were disease free. I laughed at the sheer madness of it all.
      Of course he’s gone on to spread it.

  • I suspect there are a lot of asymptotic people with HSV walking around. If you aren’t having an active outbreak, you have to ask for the blood test, and I don’t think people are tested regularly, so most people have no idea what their status is. I know 2 people who asked for the test and were shocked to find out they were positive for one or both HSV strains. It shouldn’t be a big deal to have HSV2 – anymore than having a cold sore on your lip.

    • Am adding here to reassure people that it’s not the end of the world.

      Before I met exhole I was raped with added bonus herpes. Won’t go into the shame dirty headspace etc at that time, because my point is that I was then married for 22 years and had four babies, my outbreaks are so rare that exhole never contracted herpes, and there were no problems with my births.

      (Of course I do now wish I’d gifted HIM with it!!)

  • There is actually a growing problem with drug resistant HIV that the WHO is very concerned about, and there is really no such thing as completely safe sex when you have an STD that is spread by skin contact. I guess dry humping would be safe, but that’s about it.
    I like your message, but it’s important to note that treatments can and do fail for some people.

    I’m one of the lucky ones who was gifted with the lovely carcinogenic strain of HPV. The fuckwit cared so little that he didn’t bother with condoms despite knowing I already had a compromized immune system. He literally could have killed me and may yet if I get cancer. Luckily, my doctor was giving me antivirals because of my low immunity, so that eventually knocked out the HPV itself. But the damage to the cervical cells was already done.

  • During my annual pap I was told I had an abnormal test result. I didn’t know about HPV at the time, I was 28 and this was 30 years ago. My older doctor ordered an ablation of my cervix. During the procedure I cried, it hurt when he burnt the tissue off my cervix. He slapped my thigh and told me to knock it off, it was my own fault, he could tell I was promiscuous. I wasn’t. I was so ashamed and confused, never told anyone until I got into therapy 10 years ago. That is when I found out I had an STD, 20 years after being treated for it. That was so humiliating, it still makes me feel small.

    • IaC, I am so terribly sorry that happened to you. That doctor was a terrible person for treating you that way. You are not small — you are mighty, sister! (((HUGS)))

      I had the abnormal “precancerous cells” finding many, many years ago and had to undergo a similar procedure where they freeze off or burn off (can’t remember which) some cervical tissue. It hurt A LOT. A decade or two later, I read that the tests were perhaps leading to many unnecessary procedures and that the “precancerous” cells were perhaps not really that dangerous after all. I still feel pretty angry about that because they damaged me (and other women) for probably no good reason.

      • And now, having just read Luziana’s story (below), I feel I must hasten to edit. Sometimes the precancerous cells really do turn out to go cancerous later. My apologies and sympathy to anyone experiencing this outcome.

    • This broke my heart. Shame on that horrible doctor. Shame on a society that would let this patriarchal shit be standard operating procedure. I’m so sorry you experienced that cruel treatment from a human who was charged with your healing.

    • What a fucking horrible doctor. I’m sorry he shamed you and that you have carried around that shame for so many years, and I hope you can put it where it belongs: on that fucking horrible excuse of a doctor.

    • Over four decades of betrayal Cheater used a condom exactly ONE time, with a man that he hooked up with through Craigslist. And that was at the other guy’s insistence.
      Otherwise Cheater would have had a “perfect” record of unprotected sex with various randos and skanks.
      I gave birth to our first child with a terrible outbreak of genital warts (what they called HPV way back then in the mid 70s).
      The entire medical staff treated me so dismissively and disrespectfully during my almost 24 hours of labor. They were callous and cruel.
      At a time when I should have been filled with joy and eager anticipation, instead I felt dirty and ashamed.
      Five additional STDS later (including one immediately following the birth of child number two), as well as too many yeast, bladder and kidney infections to count and surgery to remove scar tissue from PID – I am slowly learning that the shame is not mine to bear.
      I was loyal and faithful. I did not deserve any of that.
      My greatest mistake was to stay married to the creep, and for that I (try to) offer forgiveness and compassion to my younger self.

    • That’s horrendous!! I have NO words for that piece of shit “doctor”!!
      Well I really do have words but too numerous and vile to mention!

      Sadly, we regard our physicians with utmost authority and respect and there’s a good lot of them that don’t deserve it, let alone have the privilege to be called ‘Dr’! I’ve had my own incidents as well.

    • I, too, had a similar situation. Over thirty years ago my pap was “abnormal” and I was one step away from cervical cancer thanks to the HPV virus. I asked my (male) doctor how I got the virus and he stated that women who started having sex at a young age and who had multiple partners were the ones who got this. I did neither of those things but I sure felt guilty! Not once did he mention the possibility that my cheating husband contaminated me–which, after another 25 years of marriage and looking back on the situation I know that was the case. I had to have a hysterectomy at age 33 and there were complications and I ended up staying a week at the hospital. My husband never visited me and wasn’t even there on the day of the surgery. My only satisfaction from all this was that after 33 years of marriage and finally dumping him because of his affair with my “friend” I heard through the grapevine that the OW had contracted an STD from her ex….. no, you skank, it wasn’t from your ex, it was from MY ex….he got you, too.

  • Good discussion today. I sent my boyfriend an email explaining my discomfort over some cheater like behavior i detected like going in my bathroom with his phone and seeing outgoing texts full of hearts and flowers emojis like he sends me. We had already been intimate because I asked him if he was seeing other women and he said no. I also had asked if I was safe and he assured me I was( in my defense he is in his 60’s and we come from an era of not having sex with more than one person—but I feel stupid). Anyway he basically ended things and won’t try to explain—the response is no sex no dating. He flipped the script blaming my suspicions. And now I get to go for testing. What fun..

    • What an asshole. I’m sure you hurt, but you dodged a bullet.

      Yes, 60 year olds supposedly from an era of one partner only, but still lots of exceptions. Lack of integrity is not sequestered to a single generation.

      • The senior sector of the population has some of the highest increase in sexually transmitted diseases. I guess the mentality is “Hey she can’t get pregnant anymore so I don’t need to wear a condom ! Yay for me since I don’t like them !” Hold fast women on taking care of your health.

  • My delightful ex Dr Narc told me I didn’t need an STD test as his patient AP was clean because he had tested her! Try that on for an STD mind fuck!!!!

    • What an asshole!!! Mine also didn’t use a condom with the affair partner because she was recently tested supposedly. Luckily not tested by cheater… cheater STILL gave me every infection under the sun.

      The fact that your cheater tested her himself and that mine discussed STD tests at length proves that all of this is pre-meditated and intentional. My cheater constantly cried that it wasn’t intentional. Fuck off, lying piece of shit. This is all intention right here.

      • Not really appropriate to say thank you Marissa but an excellent insight that I had not considered!

        Dr Narc told me the sex was terrible and that it only happened a few times and he used protection 🙄 I read the report from the Medical Review – the first time was in a Mother’s Room at the University Library without a condom!!!!!

        I really struggle to understand how these people look themselves in the mirror each day 😳

  • Well, this is timely. Two days before Christmas I opened my Pap results and my Cervical Cancer is back. This puts me back in the short stick end of the glowing 92% survival rate.

    It is correct that most STDs have excellent prognoses these days. It is true that most of us have HPV already, although younger generations have the option of a vaccine that could nearly eliminate it. HIV and Cervical and other Cancers are still a HUGE financial and emotional hit and don’t deserve to be minimized. Paying the ongoing costs of a disease that was caused by someone dear’s betrayal emotional abuse is still a Pretty Big Deal.

    Can we talk a minute about the things people say to minimize this shit?

    Most people have HPV. You can’t know for sure he gave it to you. Uhhh, sure I can. Multi year monogamous (for me) relationship. Clean Paps every year. Until the last year. Not having had numerous partners, and this being a particularly aggressive strain, my OBGYN is pretty confident of the math.
    Treatments are advanced. Yeeeessss. A few generations ago this aggressive strain would have been a definitive death sentence. But can we talk a little bit about the ongoing Financial and Emotional Abuse this means for the Chump? And how you actually get a Cervical Cancer Stage 1 Diagnosis? First, you get an abnormal Pap. Cool Beans! That’s covered. Then a colposcopy. That was weird. And expensive. Hitting that big deductible now. Then a Cone Biopsy. Ouch. Literally and Financially. Then they say you’ll need a LEEP procedure, which is having part of your interior lady part burned off by a magic laser wire. This is not some Jedi stuff. this is lying with your ankles up like a breed calf smelling your own burning flesh in a room full of people intently looking at your Hoohah. For this I took 2 grand out of my 401K and drove myself home? We’re not even to Cancer yet. This is still PreCancer!
    I cannot think of one equivalent thing a male Chump would have to face. Paying Alimony to a Cheating wife or splitting your 401K maybe. Now do it with a hand up your bum. Now you understand.
    Six months later (or, maybe a year if your work changes insurance YET AGAIN and your old doctor doesn’t take your new insurance and your specialist copay is now 100.00. * I mean, a type of health care that over half of the population needs is CLEARLY a Weird Specialty that cannot be $15.00 a visit! I dunno. Ask the Man literally named RICH GENTLEMAN who runs Aetna US Healthcare. Vaginas are icky!) you will have a followup Pap. Congratulations your funky fresh incorrigible cells just wanna have fun! You have arrived at Stage 1 Cancer.
    You might be thinking, thank goodness! A hysterectomy is just the ticket. You might also think. Gee. This math is Fuzzy. We had a husband and a wife, three children, one Uterus. A good life. Add a Sluterus. Add an Adultery Baby. Subtract a Marriage. Subtract your son who dies. Subtract your stepdaughter who obeys the Narcissist. Subtract your Uterus. You did nothing wrong, but you have now One Daughter and imminently no Uterus. And be off work for 6 weeks and come up with 5 thousand more dollars at a job where you just barely survived 2 rounds of layoffs. Life is fair. This is all fine.
    And OH. You might also die. We haven’t talked Chemo or Radiation, but that’s an 8% reality. Good Times. You might be destitute alone and on Medicaid by then, but hey. Cold Slab O’Meat was mildly unhappy and that was the Most Important Thing.
    Cool. You didn’t die! But you will repeat this Financial cycle until the day you do. Don’t Mr. and Mrs. Meat have a lovely family? Tell me how you fell in love, Daddy!

    • Oh lordy, I am so sorry it came back. That really, really sucks. The whole story is heartbreaking.

      (And now I feel pretty bad about my earlier response to IamChump, so I might have to can back and edit or add to it.)

      Oh, and I’ve had Aetna, and I think theirs was the worst plan I was ever on. But is that really the CEO’s literal name? (hits up Google) OMG, IT IS!!!

      • This sucks, Luz. Why is all of it so degrading and humiliating on top of scary? And the lack of empathy in this instance is sort of in a weird way maybe slightly “understandable”(for lack of the right word) coming from men. But insult to injury many other women pile on with the blame/shame. Makes one wonder if the rich are getting richer with misinformation. Like chumpdom…..We are here for you.

    • (((Luziana)))
      Terrifying, powerful post!
      Every cheater should have your post tattooed on their ass in tiny print with a very dull needle and their neck twisted permanently so they can read it.
      I keep losing my reply before hitting send so have to make this short.
      I love you and am so sorry for all your suffering.
      ❤️

    • Luz, sending you support and healing thoughts. I am horrified this is happening to you (and many others). 😢😢😢😘😘😘

    • Thank you, Luziana.

      My sister had cervical cancer; I cared for her during her chemo and radiation treatment.

      Now that there is a vaccine for some of the strains of HPV that may result in cervical cancer, parents should have their children vaccinated–both female and male.

      I’m a writer. I wrote this for her.

      She Has Cancer

      She has cancer.
      Cancer! She has cancer!
      She has cancer, cervical cancer.
      There are also lesions
      on the wall of the vagina and
      in the groin a suspicious lymph node.
      They will have to see
      about that. She has cancer.

      She has cancer. She has cancer
      because she has cancer.
      She does not have cancer because
      she is being punished,
      because she has failed
      to learn a lesson, even though
      that’s why she thinks
      she has cancer.

      She has been given a choice.
      Radiation or surgery.
      Those are the choices.
      A choice of sorts,
      the sort of choice
      she has these days.
      Surgery or radiation.
      Each is equally risky.
      She will have to choose.

      If she chooses surgery
      they will take her vagina,
      her cervix, her uterus;
      they will leave her ovaries.
      They will take her lymph nodes;
      she will be left with swollen legs.
      She will be left,
      they say, with impaired mobility.
      If, as they say,
      there is a good chance
      the lymph nodes harbor cancer,
      she will have radiation.

      If she chooses radiation,
      she will go inside
      the lead-lined room
      and lie on the table. They
      will align the laser with the tattoos
      they will give her. They
      will step from the room, they
      will be separated
      from their machine but she
      will lie on the table
      inside the room with their machine
      and she will be radiated.

      If she chooses radiation,
      they will go inside her body.
      The cancer, which has invaded her body,
      will require her further invasion.
      She will go into the hospital,
      she will be immobilized.
      Into her they will force their rods;
      later that day, they will
      inseminate her with cesium.
      She will be awake when they come.
      Afterwards, on the door of her room
      they will hang a sign:
      Danger: Radioactive.

      If she chooses radiation,
      she will also have chemotherapy.
      Once a week, into her veins
      they will drip cisplatin.
      One choice leads to another;
      once a week she can allow them
      to search her arm for a vein,
      or she can ask them
      to place inside her a port-a-cath.
      The port-a-cath will lie
      under her skin, it will thread
      into the vein that leads to her heart.
      The poison will follow this vein;
      her heart will not escape the poison.

      These are her choices.
      Perhaps you think her choice
      is obvious: life over death.
      Perhaps you think for this she should
      be grateful. You do not know:
      after her treatment is over, after
      long weeks she cannot remember
      except in the details of pain,
      the pain still detailed
      in her body,
      one of her doctors
      will tell her
      that neither treatment
      is more than fifty percent successful.

      From now on, she will live
      as if she is going to die.
      Perhaps, you think, she has been given
      a second chance,
      an opportunity. But tell me this:
      What other choice does she have?

      • ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

        I only have Stage 1. I am fine with the hysterectomy and refused to let this sully our holidays. I’m going to a fun party tonight. I am lucky to have everything and everyone I still have.

        I’m so sorry for what your sister has gone through. And I love you for being there for her, and the level of empathy it took for you to write that.

        We will THRIVE in 2020.

        • Luz,
          You are an inspiration, always. In the past, and now. And, I’m sure, will continue to be in the future.
          We WILL thrive.

        • I am so sorry Luz! I am sending good vibes wishes for a speedy recovery your way!! You are one of my faves in CL nation!

    • I am sorry for your troubles, Luziana. A heart rending story.
      You are a trooper to have endured such suffering with dignity. I’ll say a prayer that you’ll continue to have your strength of will and spirit to carry on, for both yourself and your daughter.

    • Awww crap Sweetie, that just sucks donkey balls. I am so sorry. I am sending you great big hugs today. Just know that you are in my prayers, and I am sending you good vibes.

    • Awe Luz I am so sorry to hear. You should know that you have been one of my Heroes in real life. IRL when I am down I think about you, grieving the loss of your son and stepdaughter, building a deck in your backyard with your young daughter. In my mind, the day is sunny and there is glints of a sunlight reflecting off your golden hair as you swing that hammer. Your hammer is pink and your daughter is taking in so much more than woodworking skills. This image has stayed with me and if I were an artist I would draw it.
      Your strength and outlook have been an inspiration. I wish we were neighbors. Or sisters.
      The calculus of your life, as you described, is something that no one should have to bear. Life is not a function or an equation but If it were, yours would be in balance. Did I mention what an inspiration you are?
      Stay strong and know CN Is here for you if you need us.

    • I have loved your posts for years–your wit and energy demonstrate how to live boldly and pragmatically despite experiencing so much injustice and pain. I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and am thinking about you. Please keep us updated in any way that is helpful to you.

    • WoW!! Great way to put in story form for all of us to get! I’m so sorry! Cheaters suck and that’s putting it nicely.

    • OMG, hasn’t life dealt you enough shit for one lifetime? I’m so sorry this is happening. I know you’ll battle it with your usual aplomb, but I wish you peace and good health and every good thing. ((((Luz)))))

      Words seem so pointless at times like this.

      • Tracy,
        Here’s what we do. We just…get by like Mavis Staples says. We went to a party NYE. I had some champagne.Not too much. There were friends bands’ playing there. A guy tried to hug me at midnight and I ran away. LOL.

        Someone fired a miniature cannon and almost set a bush on fire. Unlike what is left of my godforsaken extended family, people were Happy to See Us. We don’t remind them of Bad Shit That Can Happen to You.

        They just like us. They know we’re bringing Those Cookies and That Pie. If we had not lost Henry, the rest would just be minor STUFF.

        We all have to keep going. We just do.

    • Dear Luz,

      I’m so sorry you’re having to face this on top of everything else that has happened to you. Actually, let’s not mince words, been inflicted on you, you’ve had no choice or control over what your ex did. I’ve long been an admirer of the eloquence of your posts, you have a real gift there.

      You’re amazing and I wish you the best with what lies ahead.

      I want to take your post, wrap it in barbed wire and shove it up Esther Perel’s (and any other cheater apologist out there’s) arse. Because I’m definitely not as graceful as you.

    • I am so sorry that you are facing cancer treatment, Luziana. It must be really scary.

      Yes, HPV is common, but that doesn’t mean that your cheater is not at fault for risking your health because he thought his dick was a magic virus repelling wand and he selfishly wanted to screw around He was an a**hole who deliberately risked your health and your anger is completely justified.

      Sending you best wishes and internet hugs if you want them.

    • Hugs. I had a very similar path minus the cancer. I did nothing wrong either. ex dlipord the script. new whorewife has my entire family. ive never seen my grandchildren. pnuemonia 3x last year cost me almost 5k due to zero health insurance. you are in my prayer list

    • Hi Luziana,

      From what I have read and heard from relatives and friends who have HPV, which is extremely common, s woman CAN have many negative PAP tests in spite of having HPV.

      I wish you good luck and good health. You deserve healthy and happiness!

      • I appreciate that. Your relatives and friends did not examine me or take down my detailed health history.

        HPV is extremely common as I’m aware. The aggressive squamous cell strain I that is causing my lesions is not.

        Here’s what I don’t want to have to do just to have me or another Chump believed about their STI after a lifetime of ethical monogamy. I don’t need to tell anyone but my OBGYN I had two decades of clear tests. Or how long I was celibate in between my marriages. Which further narrows things.Or how because I was not a promiscuous person I believed my spouse from 2011-14 when he said the bumps on his groin were from ‘chafing’. He was a large man and I didn’t know what genital warts looked like. Now I do, and he has a raging case of them.

        How the Pap came back abnormal in late 2013. And didn’t develop into a lesion until 2018. The same diagnostic squamous strain that was dormant For five years while I struggled to put that betrayal behind me. I shouldn’t have to lay that detail publicly for you or anyone else to be believed. This is exactly the kind of thing I spoke about. Your friends and neighbors are correct about themselves. This is my truth, and I’ll speak it.

        My doctor and I discussed this in private. The same one who wryly observed when I told her the timeline of the Adultery Pregnancy that ‘Her Uterus is Not an InstaPot’ and that yes, they were not probably’Just Friends Developing FEELINGS’ when I kicked him out.

        When this happened I asked her and she said he was the obvious candidate. Not to doubt myself. When I expressed anger that she had her fertility while mine was in question, that he wasn’t suffering any consequences she said, ‘He will likely pass it to her. He could always get anal cancer! Have hope!’

        My new doctor is a pale facsimile, unfortunately. 😂

        • He could always get anal cancer!! I love it. I know that’s awful, but I LIKE this doctor and her attitude. What I don’t like is how you (and so many other chumps) have to bear the cost and the misery and the fall out of the betrayal. It could be as ”minor” as, oooh… losing your entire life savings, your children’s happiness or to be left facing a deeply unpleasant, scary diagnosis that involves having organs removed.

          This is why when people say ”we must be positive, everything happens for a reason” and other such pap, I want to smack them with a rolled-up newspaper. I’d be righteously outraged and not even slightly forgiving. The only innocent is the baby of course, so I hope he or she is okay in terms of health. Poor thing has those people as its parents, it’s got enough problems.

  • I am also among the ones left with Herpes. While going through the divorce process, I got tested.
    I sent him a copy of the test results. His response? He sent me pages of literature from John Hopkins University on how Herpes is transmitted . Not once did he offer that HE DIDN”T have it. I was “clean” when I got married. Results of 32 years of his serial cheating. I cried when I got the results. Even being more educated on it. I can’t imagine ever being intimate again.

    • I got the “gift” of herpes as well. My ex knew he had it. I asked him about the sores, but he lied and told me it was a mild fungal infection; a lie he used for 5 years, every time he had an outbreak!

      I finally found his antiviral meds and confronted him. He then tried a bunch of weaselling excuses. He told me that it was my fault that I believed his lie, because I should have figured out what the rash was, even though he never let me see it clearly. Since I didn’t realise he was lying, he claimed I must gave wanted him to lie. He also blamed me for the lies, because I would have “unfairly” asked why he had herpes or “unfairly” accused him of cheating. (Poor timid forest creature!). He even tried to gaslight me and insist that I must have cheated and given it to him (and “forgot” or lied!!), even though I was completely faithful for our whole 26 year marriage and had never had any symptoms. (I mean, seriously, pick one excuse and stick to it, stupid!)

      I had my first outbreak just after I left him. I was pretty pissed off about that at the time.

      He’s an emotionally abusive, lying jerk and I am happily rid of him. Every outbreak pisses me off a bit, but reminds me that I made the best possible choice to leave him and go as close to no contact as us possible with older teens. It’s a relief not to deal with a dysfunctional, abusive, cheating alcoholic every day. Life is so much better now.

      • He also knew he tested positive for HPV for 5 years and didn’t mention it. So far, I haven’t shown signs of that or had any positive tests or Pap smears.

  • After D-Day, we were both tested and both clear. We separated, but started our reconciliation shortly after. While separated, my ex-wife started having issues that she finally went to a specialist for. When she moved back, she had some tissue tested. It was genital warts from HPV.

    I was livid, but she explained that we could have both had it for awhile without symptoms. I knew this was true and that it wasn’t proof of any infidelity during our separation, but that’s some crazy-making timing for it to show up.

    What added one more straw to the camel’s back was she asked if I had been with anyone else “while we were separated”. I said no and then asked her the same question. She launched into a referral statement of how she had already told me the last time her and her AP ever were physical during her “confession”. I caught on enough to realize she didn’t answer the question and I pointed it out. She finally said that she hadn’t been with anyone since.

    Only later did I put it together that she let slip some revealing information. She made a big deal of how she caught HPV prior to our separation, but she asked me if I had “been with anyone else” DURING our separation (😔 yes, we had crazy make up sex while still separated). I think she unwittingly reveled her reason for separating was to have easy access to as much cake as she could get during that time. All while keeping me dancing so I’d take her back when she’d had her fill. Otherwise, her question wouldn’t have been specific to that time period. She would have simply asked if I ever cheated on her.

  • When I found out about Skankella. I asked my ex to please get checked for an STI. He said he did not need to because he did not have sex with her. I asked him to please get checked anyway. He refused. So it was up to me to get tested. I was so embarrassed when I told my doctor about his affair and I needed to get checked for an STI. She told me that I had nothing to be embarrassed about. I did not know what he was doing behind my back and he is the one who needs to be embarrassed. Thankfully the tests were negative. When I received the $250.00 bill. I gave it to him. I told him he should pay it because he was the one screwing around. He refused to pay it and told me it was my problem. I did not need to be tested. I am so glad I am no longer married to that slime.

    • My bills for STI testing were $900– not covered by insurance, either. I had to have two rounds because of false reconciliation…. no thanks to RIC and hopeium.

      • The $250.00 was after the insurance. The test actually cost $1300.00. How fair is that? They screw around behind your back. Put you at risk. And the chump has to foot the bill.

        • I’m shocked at the cost for you guys! That’s salt in the wound.

          I’m lucky to have free testing under the Australian health care system. I resent the $10-ish for medication for outbreaks. I would have been furious if I had big health care bills as well. I’m so sorry you have to put up with that.

  • 26 years married and totally faithful. Back at the gynae after the twat left and he tells me I have HPV!!!! So he wants me to have pap smears until I get 3 in a row that are clean. 1 good, 2 good, 3 not good. So rinse and repeat every couple of weeks over the period of a year until I finally get the magic “3 cleans”!! Thank God. But the best? That was when I was still married. The twat had gone to Africa for a month for work. Came home really quiet and eventually spewed out that he had gotten really drunk on the last night and woke up the next morning with a prostitute giving him a blow job. IN AFRICA! He said he was still dressed but she was giving him a blow job. So try explaining that one at the hospital where I went for my HIV test! I did. Told them everything. Thank God it came back negative (as did his) but WTF!!!!! Making unilateral decisions like this – hell, if that isn’t enough to leave ’em I don’t know what is!

    • “He had gotten really drunk on the last night and woke up the next morning with a prostitute giving him a blow job.” OMG …. as if! Her mouth just happened to be near his dick…… the sheer audacity of this lie…. 🤯🤯🤯

  • *****raises hand *****
    Count me in as one who contacted genital herpes from ex . He still denies it but considering before we had sex when we met I got tested for everything and was negative , he gave it to me .
    I haven’t had sex with anyone since the divorce about 32 months ago but my gyno swears it’s nearly impossible to spread unless you have a break out …..regardless , I’m done with men .

  • Years before I knew anything about his secret life, I got a lesion on my leg and the doc tested it and it was Herpes. Because now former hub travels internationally for work, they said it was likely that he had gotten it. I totally denied it to them, but I did ask him and he came up with this…”doctors don’t know what they’re talking about” and I stupidly accepted it. Fast forward to Dday and the coworker/soulmate bomb confession, at which point I did get specifically tested for all STDs. Lo and behold, now I had Hepatitis B to add to the menu which he also denied giving to me and in a roundabout way pointed the finger at me, but since I had been a very faithful wife for 30 years, that would have been a cruel miracle. He still claims he doesn’t have it, but it doesn’t matter now to me. High conflict 2.5 year divorce and it’s over. Except for the hoovering. Apparently the lunatic serial homewrecker grass wasn’t all that green.

    • I’m sorry he passed on two STIs to you. Good point–testing for Hepatitis after chumping is a good idea, too (as I don’t believe it is part of the standard STI panel).

  • CL, thank you for pointing out the nonconsensual nature of sex with a cheating partner. Having sex with someone who didn’t consent to it is the very definition of rape. The crime of “rape by deception” is committed when the consent of your partner is obtained through fraud. I would certainly argue that once another adult has promised me to be monogamous with me ( a standard aspect of marriage vows, pretty easy to establish because there were all those witnesses there when I was standing up there in the white dress), and then has sex with someone else, and then comes back and has sex with me without telling me, I have been raped by deception . I’ve been working on this issue and can connect you with lawmakers who are defining consent and nonconsent in ways to make this clearer in criminal statutes. Is this something that you and CN have an interest in? I think information and testimony from real people who have contracted STDs because of a cheating spouse would be very powerful in this regard – I think people don’t think about this consequence and don’t realize how common it is, particularly with regard to pregnant chumps (so that’s two people being exposed at the same time ). Or if folks don’t want to talk about their personal experiences, perhaps they would be amenable to signing a petition expressing the sentiment that “A married individual who has sexual intercourse with his/her spouse without informing the spouse that the married individual has had sex with another person at any time after marriage vows of exclusivity were exchanged is guilty of rape by deception .” CL, do you want to take leadership on this issue? Or be involved in some way ? Thoughts?#SexualConsentIsABasicCivilRight, #WeDeserveBetter

  • In some ways I got “lucky” and didn’t catch anything. But as a respectable middle-aged man living in a small town, that visit to the lab to get tested certainly was difficult. The only positive thing (other than a clean test) was me describing it to Mme YogaPants sometime later that the lab tech must have been wondering what sort of “crack whore” I had been sleeping with. I believe that stung.

    But I do remember the expression on Mme’s face. She literally had no clue that there were risks including pregnancy for her. Much less that anything could be passed on.

    Since then I’ve only had 2 partners. With each even though we are middle-aged comes “the talk”. A difficult thing to go through especially since the question of “do we need protection” came when there was a naked woman in my arms. Certainly conversations about dating experiences had been had previously – but that talk – while necessary – is certainly awkward.

    I am fortunate. Both of the ladies involved had been celibate for a fairly significant time before me and assured me that there was nothing to worry about. And since they were both post-menopausal and I was snipped 25 years ago there were certainly no pregnancy worries.

    Even in the small rural area that I live in, there is an active drug scene. The son of a former GF was positive for Hepatitis and was still sexually active. HIV is common in certain populations. One thing I kept in mind is that you’re not just sleeping with your partner. You are sleeping with all of their partners etc.

    I certainly think that this is one of the many many reasons why infidelity should be thought of in society as spousal abuse. We do not consent to this. When I got married over 30 years ago, I fully expected to have a safe, albeit very minimal and boring sex life for as long as the various bits and pieces cooperated. I never imagined that I would be knowingly exposed to danger like this. If she’d slipped arsenic into my tea she’d be in jail right now. Passing pathogens during what is supposed to be the most intimate and trusting times is just horrifying if not more so.

    BT

    PS – Let’s all enjoy our cheater free New Years and New Lives.

    • “She literally had no clue that there were risks including pregnancy for her.” What kind of shit-for-brains were you married to?

      • My XW was having unprotected sex with OM and was shocked she got pregnant with one of the MOM’s baby. “I didn’t think I could get pregnant”. I found out my oldest wasn’t mine when I did AncestryDNA tests on my kids. My mom was a sex ed teacher and drummed into my head saying it only takes once to get a woman pregnant.

        • Holy smokes! I am so sorry. Does your kid know too? What an awkward/horrible situation. Plus the significant medical history re-write for the kid.

          She’s horrible. So glad she is the ex now.

    • Thanks BT for a good post. I have recently met someone and have had the pleasure of having sex with someone other than x (as he had been my one and only). We are still using protection (even though no pregnancy concerns as I am menopausal). I plan on asking for both of us to be tested in the near future- such is life these days (people lie and sleep around).

  • I too was infected with type 2 herpes by my ex. He was the only intimate partner I had ever had and we were 32 years together. I was devastated, and felt like damaged goods. I thought no “decent” man would want to be with me. I was wrong! I am getting married to the most wonderful man next year.

    On the subject of access to free or low cost reproductive health services, thank you to the commenters who have listed possible sources of health care. Personally, I was a patient at PP as a young woman. They provide invaluable services to so many woman and families. I think they are an amazing organization. You may not agree with me, and I respect your opinions on this subject.

    • I’m so happy you’ve found someone.
      I also was a faithful partner. I had been tested before I got married and was negative for everything. It really is disappointing that cruel, deceitful people exist, but like you, I’ve seen that good people are still out there. Congratulations!

  • My XW had unprotected sex with many AP’s. I remember going to her prenatal screening. The doctor asked her for a STI screening. She had the gall to tell them. I have only been with my husband for 9 years. The look on her face was that she wasn’t prepared for the question. She stuttered through her answer.

    Anyway, after the first DDay 14 years later. I asked her if she used protection. “No”. I asked her if she thought about giving me an STI. “Nope, they refused to use condoms because the OM were Catholic”.

    I remembered she had some abnormal annual tests. Freaked me out. I got tested. Fortunately all negative. But I wasn’t intimate with anyone unless they showed me a current clean bill of health. Not sexy, but my health comes first. People lie.

    • I am not dirty. No one with an STI is Dirty. I was a faithful wife, and 80% of people have some form of HPV. Please stop the stigmatizing language.

    • If you are “clean,” then does that make me “dirty?”

      Absolutely not! HSV is not some oozing, freaky disorder plaguing my genitals. It’s an antibody in my blood stream. It exists in me because an unscrupulous person set out to harm me, but my immune system was stronger than his intent.

      I’m not looking for people who can prove to me that they are perfect, I want a person who can look past superficiality and live with integrity.

    • Wow, why are we suddenly beating up Sir? Holy shit. It is just a common language colloquialism and it is WE who assign it as stigmatizing it, not Sir. He in no way was attacking any individual on this board. No way. Had he said, “crud free” there would have been offense. Had he said, “diseased” it probably would have caused someone to feel bad about carrying a pathogen. So now what word shall we use to describe an illness? Oopsie, illness suggests being unwell and that is somehow stigmatizing. Anything in the modern world that must be described is going to cause backlash to someone on the other side – purely Latin medical terms would somehow be seen as too clinical, cold, and non-human to some, how dare we forget that there are real people attached to these diseases! And Latin is a language of the patriarchy!

      It is a no win situation.

      You are my hero, Luz. I have cheered you through these pages, quoted you often, and hope all moves forward well in the future.

      Everyone, please don’t attack another Chump for his use of common banal language, this is not akin to a racist slur. I understand your desire to declare yourself as NOT wanting to be labeled somehow defective, but again, Sir never suggested you were. Nor am I, but we can’t start contorting ourselves to decide that your taking offense in the use of a common word is greater than his feeling sorrow in being attacked for innocently using it. He clearly meant no harm to you or anyone but I can’t say the same for your pointed correction of his words.

      Peace.

      • Hmmm.

        I don’t recall asking to be anyone’s hero, inspiration or cautionary tale. I do not believe that asking, with the perfectly polite preface of
        ‘Please don’t’ when someone is repeating a harmful trope, however unintentionally, is unkind or harmful. Speaking about the unintentionally harmful thing is not an attack or a vector of harm. Since you said your piece I’ll say mine. Peacefully.

        The title of the article is ‘STD’s Don’t Define You.’ And yet here we are.

        Here’s the Trope: People are out here lying and running around without their sex papers.

        Here is the Truth: 80% of people, Chump, Cheater and Faithful are carriers of HPV. Around 60% have HSV. Cross those and the chances meeting a person without being a an asymptomatic carrier of any intimacy transmitted pathogen is pretty rare. A ‘clean bill of health’ is something literally issued by camp doctors to prostitutes. Any two people considering intimacy should have full disclosure and do tests if necessary. It would be part of the healthy and honest foundation of a good relationship or a fling.

        But Chumps who were made sick by a Cheater are just not out here lying to people. To do so would take away agency and reenact abuse done to us.

        So a long response to yours. My intention was to ask the conversation be changed with new info in mind. I’m curious how we change the discourse around adultery without changing banal language that treats Chumps like damaged goods.

        That’s pretty much the direct thrust of the article. It’s far from an attack. It’s a plea. Hence the ‘Please.’

        I stand by it.

        • Actual heroes never ask to be considered such, and you will remain mine (and others here). The fact it might feel ill-fitting simply endorses the sentiment. My opinion of you hasn’t changed and that is why I mention it at all.

          I understand the point you are making and will take it for how you are explaining it here. I do stand by mine as well that we should consider intent especially among those we know have had the shit kicked out of them enough and even a ‘please’ still can make a sad heart feel like they have received harsh correction. Not everyone is so resilient. I also used the word “please” and it didn’t change my comment’s impact.

          We will carry on. I do wish you very well and thank you for sharing your difficult story.

          • Indeed, I’m not demonizing SirCAL, either. I just am piping up bc I felt it was needed. Another voice in the chorus.

            • My XW had unprotected sex with multiple partners. That’s why I said I was fortunate to not have STI’s. Also, I don’t trust people to tell the truth about themselves not having STI’s as this topic is all about. Trust, but verify. It depends on the STI whether it was a deal breaker for myself. My mom ended up in the hospital with a severe reaction to Herpes from my step-dad. He contacted it years before he married my mother and didn’t realize he was having a breakout. My consent was taken away by my XW. I was addressing informed consent, not whether someone was damaged goods.

  • I was also given the gift that keeps on giving – HPV. For over 26 years, I had one partner. He, however, had too many to count. Disgusting people on Craigslist, Backpage, and the prostitution/sex trafficking site, ECCIE. It’s almost to much to handle, but we do. We do. I am spending the New Year’s Eve cheater-free. It’s my second one and I am Starting to get some days that feel like meh. Finally. Meh is the best even if it’s just a few days here and there. These people- no words to describe their treachery. I am glad I don’t have to live with that.

  • One thing I can thank my ex for is that she declined to have sex with me after her fling of boinking random dudes in college while pretending to be my girl friend. I was away in the Service at the time and didn’t have a clue, so when she came to visit me with her parents I thought our relationship was intact and we could behave as we normally did. I was disappointed when she turned down my advances (morning sickness?). Much later, I was sooo grateful when it was discovered that she was not only pregnant by another, she was also carrying his STDs. *Whew* that was a close one. I mourned her loss, but was glad I escaped the really poisonous disaster that it could have been.

  • This is a serious topic, so please forgive me for this anecdote . . .

    Part of DDay for me was discovering that KK and the Carrot Singer had “SUCH INTENSE” unprotected sex the first time they met face-to-face . . . in the common bathroom of a hotel across the street from her office.

    A week after the driveway confrontation (ending things), I informed her that I was getting myself tested for an STD, and that she should probably do the same.

    Her: “I don’t have to — I’ve seen his most recent STD test report.”

    Me: “You mean he actually brought his STD papers with him on the day that he met you?”

    Her: “Stop being such an asshole.”

    (I was in the clear, thank god.)

  • Thanks again Tracy, I paid a donation to PP (donations are tripled today!), and I set up a recurring monthly donation.

  • When I found out I instinctively made an STD appointment. It was scary the thought at the possibilities. Protect yourself and your health! I was positive for herpes as well but the cold sore kind that many folks are positive for not the genital one. But still, get checked and rechecked!!!

  • The thing that most incences me about my cheater ex is the fact he willfully did not disclose his herpes status. I shared with him I went to the dr. and got tested and actually showed him my results, inclusive of herpes and HIV tests, before we slept with each other. He said he just had his annual checkup where he is tested for everything and he had a clean bill of health. 7 months later, after discovering this man was a POS on so many levels, I discovered Valtrex bottles. Long story short, he told me he had herpes. I was f*cking beside myself. I can’t understand what kind of POS would willfully try to give me herpes. I will never forgive him for that.

    He can burn in hell and belongs in jail. I will never take him back ever. He doesn’t have any problem sleeping with women without condoms and he fucks multiple women who don’t know the others exist.

    I’m lucky, at least I think I am because I didn’t catch anything at least not according to the last test/exam I took.

  • So the nurse at my local clinic tells me that they can’t test for herpes unless there’s “something to swab,” i.e. a lesion. But I’m reading that it’s often asymptomatic, so a person could be carrying it without ever being able to be tested for it? Do I have that right? Also I read somewhere that you can’t pass it on when you’re symptom-free, but my nurse said, yes you can. Please help, I’m confused! I want to get tested for everything I can.

    • Hi. I hope this helps:
      Herpes can he detected via blood test where they look for antibodies, though it’s easier to test for when there is an active outbreak. Technically when herpes is dormant, it isn’t transmissible. HOWEVER the caveat being that often times women will get outbreaks on their cervix or vaginal wall that they don’t know are there. The virus can shed at any point during an outbreak, even before symptoms are evident. So it’s pretty vital that protection is used at any point during sexual contact. And even still, only antivirals can safeguard from skin to skin transmission. If I’m wrong about any of this, please correct me. I don’t want to misinform anyone.

      • I believe that you can check for antibodies in the blood but this only indicates whether you were exposed, not infected.

  • I went close to 43 years without *H* and then I met the mother fucker. I’ll be damned if not 4 months after meeting him, it showed up! I’m at a loss for words! I stayed with him 10 years because I loved him and because I figured I’m doomed anyway!
    I’m here for a reason, folks. As figured, it did not end in happily ever after. It ended in him cheating with a 25 y.o. stripper (he was 50). Dick head really thought she was the one! Wow! (off point: I spoke with her after and she also was out of his life and said of course she was only with him for the $….duh!).
    Anyway, fast forward 6 years later to now, not one single date for me because I’m not gonna go through the humiliation/embarrassment of the wonderful *H* reveal.
    Oh well, this has made me a bit of a bitter bunny and the IHaveHate for him continues!
    Trying my best to be happy solo.
    Happy 2020! lol

  • A possible problem (that shouldn’t exist!) is that by embracing STD’s don’t define you is that many will infer that they don’t harm you either.

    Admittedly this makes it easier to get rid of assholes in one’s life, but I can all too easily imagine people brushing it off and tossing in a “You played a role in the infidelity occurring too!”

    I don’t know of a way to preventing it, but maybe not spackling over it in Pollyanna yellow mayhelp.

    I don’t know. I probably worded this all wrong and hurt someone’s feelings without intending to do so.

    May 2020 be a much better year for us all.

    • I have a new device and the autospell feature is driving me crazy. I can’t turn it off!

      So please overlook the typos while I work on bending it to my will.

    • I think STDs don’t define you in the same way infidelity doesn’t define you. Yes, it’s a very shitty thing that happened to you — that someone else did to you — but you’re more than that horrible thing.

      Hope that makes sense.

      I’m the Cold Bucket of Water and not terribly Pollyanna-ish. Yes, this shit can be deadly and is totally unjust.

      Resilience defines chumps, not disease or fuckwits.

      • I wasn’t criticizing you or CN, I am criticizing the limits of language. You are the opposite of spackle in ANY hue!

        Yes, resilience define Chumps. It’s just… (fumbles)…it’s like the whole “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” horse shit. Measles, anyone?

        I wish that English had more nuance so the listener would have to be dumb as a stump to brush off the seriousness of the betrayal AND being given an STD.

        But clearly that is impossible as the Esther Perel advocates (cheaters, or soon-to-be-cheaters) roam the world. So I guess the best we can hope is that they make themselves known so they can be broomed out of our lives.

        I will never understand how so many people, including therapists, do not GET how devastating BETRAYAL can be. Maybe if they were told that betrayal is being a traitor and traitors are dealt with very firmly by governments – so why not by Chumps and others?

        *throws up hands*

        Happy New Year!

        • my own child informed me that i was ‘immature’ because I just couldn’t understand that daddy loves someone besides me. then, informed me that at her wedding I would ‘shake the whore’s hand and welcome her to the family’. she just could not understand why i had such an attitude. the conversation went south at that point. my D got married in texas. I was sitting in downtown Chicago that day eating pizza with another chump. the lovely texas phrase…oh HELL NO!!!! was sooo apt.

  • My husband gave me the gift of herpes long before we were married. He said he contracted it before he met me and I believed him. The thing is, in retrospect, he only mentioned it about a year after we had been having sex! No matter how you roll the dice, it was still a strong reveal of his shitty character. Fast forward to 2016, he leaves me while I’m pregnant with our daughter. He swears I’m just a terrible person and he is absolutely not having an affair. (if only I would have trusted the evidence and my screaming intuition rather than an abusive liar). He returned to me about 6 weeks after I gave birth and two weeks later I had a post natal pap/sti testing. My Dr called me the day after my husband’s father died (we were close) to tell me I had a high risk strain of HPV. I have never tested positive for HPV so there was only one explanation. He just looked at me like the idiot he is. As it turned out he was having sex with his co worker months before I got pregnant. In fact when he left me (and our 18 month old son) he moved directly into her house.
    Now I know why he refused to give me his address.
    Fortunately, I’ve since been cleared of HPV. But I’m fortunate. For so many women, it becomes something life changing.

  • Fabulous PSA, Chumplady & NoThankU4U. Such great information.

    However, do NOT ignore annual treatment for any of the potentially silent STDs–

    HPV (annual pap tests save many lives, even though the medical association no longer recommends annuals; if you have had one abnormal pap test, *get an annual test*)

    Herpes–I know several chumps who got this from their cheaters and some have very severe symptoms. Herpes is also a teratogen/clastogen if not treated (most doctors will perform a C-section if a woman is in an active phase close to delivery; it can also cross the placenta before birth to cause structural deformities.

    Herpes virus can, in rare cases, get into the Cerebral Spinal Fluid and cause severe neurological damage. It pays to have regular medical attention to reduce this risk.

    Chlamydia is often silent in women, but can cause infertility. Even if you’re symptomless after a cheater, get the full panel of tests.

    BTW–to reduce stigma, the CDC does not include a test for herpes in the “full” panel of STD testing. You will have to ask for it separately.

  • I told my daughter that anytime you have unprotected sex with a lover, you are having unprotected sex with everyone they had ever been with. Scared the s**t out of her. Good.

    • Excellent parenting.

      It makes me sad too for the Chumps like me that married their one-and-only, their high school sweetheart, only to find they were at risk from a cowardly lying cheater. I would declare that if my X Asshat gets some sort of STI that it does, in fact, define HIM. He squandered having a partner with a 100% known sexual history in favor of strange because he felt like he deserved it.

      Cheaters are the ones who laid their genitals on the craps table and lied to us about it. Hitting snake eyes would serve him right if it were not for the ongoing risk they put on others.

  • I found schmoopie’s XH’s ad on Craigslist and he was a true dog fucker. He stated he would ‘fuck anything’ men included. However he made it known that he was a ‘bottom’…I didn’t even know what that was, I had to look it up. Eeewwww. So the cheater XH was fucking shmoops while she was married to a dog fucker. I hate them all. Cheater XH told me that schmoopie wasn’t having sex with her husband. uh huh, riiiggghhttt. Thankfully I did not test positive for AIDS or even a lesser disease.

  • You know what herpes is ? A rash in the same family as chicken pox and shingles. Some people have cold sores and others have outbreaks on their genitals. A lot of people are asymptomatic and aren’t even aware they’re carriers.

    Best to disclose. And there is no such thing as safe sex, just safer. Establish your own personal sex/health boundaries and stick to them.

    Happy New Year Chump Nation !

    • Back in the day, docs used to differentiate between HS1 and HS2 for oral and genital herpes. Now that oral sex is pretty common, one can get HS1 between the legs and HS2 from kissing. More info to digest.

      On a side note to show how the narcs always circle back, I received a Xmas text from the loser I ghosted over THREE years ago ! “I miss our play times-I know now you liked them too. Let’s do that again soon.” Just no.
      Following the std thread, this man got busted with a hooker when his first wife was pregnant with their first child. He claims his second wife’s vulvar cancer was contracted from her first husband, a cheater. I only had sex a couple of times with him (no oral) before finding this out plus he was claiming sexual sobriety as part of SAA. Nope-getting blowjobs from a poor black woman in his church in exchange for his ferrying her around in his Jeep. White guy who outwardly favors white women. Liar, cheater, p.o.s.

  • This is a little different but the topic “STDs Don’t Define You” brings to mind a very special lady I met a few years ago. I will name her Tara. I cared for Tara when she gave birth to a beautiful newborn child, then a few years later I was on duty when she came in to deliver again.
    Tara and both babies tested negative for HIV, but Tara’s husband was HIV positive. He had contacted AIDS from a blood transfusion he received for hemophilia. I learned that his sperm had been stone washed . ( this was some time ago so even better medical assistance is probably out there).
    Still, I could not help but think of Tara. STDs never defined her or her loving husband. I know that whatever life hands her or him or the children they will face it with love, strength and determination.
    She will never read this post, yet I can’t help but honour her and her strength.
    I send love to all Chumps in today’s posts.
    ❤️

  • Great post. Hugs to all chumps having to deal with the aftermath of cheating abuse to our health & sense of personal safety.

    This year I gave myself the gift of the 3-dose Gardasil 9 vaccine, which in the US was recently FDA approved for people age 45 and under, and helps protect against 9 problematic strains of HPV. I was able to get all 3 doses at CVS (it Walgreens or WalMart pharmacy) without a prescription. Not cheap, as my insurance did not cover, but I’ll consider it an investment in my future self-care.

    Also in the US, I was able to order myself a same-day appointment at my convenience for a (true) full-panel STD blood test including HSV-1 & HSV-2 (excluding HPV testing which is done in conjunction with a Pap smear) for around $200 with same-day testing and results texted or emailed to me within 24-48 hours. No doctor’s office involvement necessary. Testing centers are all over the place including Concentra and LabCorp. Just wanted to add to the many good options mentioned already. Peace!

  • I was happily married to the love of my life, had a good life. Even though I had moved over 7000miles away from my parents to be with my husband, I didn’t feel alone. But then, I found out that I was being cheated on when I tested positive for HPV. When I halfass confronted him, he said “yeah, WHERE did you get it from”. And I’ll never forget those words, even though I have the memory of a gold fish. That too, I think is a self-preservation tactic that the brain uses to protect itself. Forget most bad, and move on!!!

  • Cheaters are a sick bunch. My cheater whom I believe was banging her high school ex 22 years later, had an STD scare. Being the dumb chump I believed her story about how her doctor was crazy for having ordered STD testing related to her issues. Having come up clean, she decided a few months later to have drunken unprotected sex with a 26 year old. And many more hook ups with him on and off for four years. When I asked her, she stated well I talked to him about his life a couple nights before and I knew he was safe!!! They really have no clue nor concern for self or others!!! I am blessed for coming back negative on all test. It is a miracle the more I discovered!

  • Stds are serious.
    I had a teacher years ago. A good woman. She and her husband retired together but she found upon retirement that he was very withdrawn. Concerned she took him to the doctor. The ran all kinds of tests but found nothing. Finally they ran an HIV test. He was positive. The then tested her. She was positive too. He knew his status but refused to inform his wife, just kept sleeping with her.
    Well she died and shortly after so did he.
    A good woman. I cried when I heard how her life ended. All because of à cheating low life shit.
    Sex without condoms is always going to be Russian roulette but being promiscuous adds another layer.

    • Oh Mandie 101,
      I am so sorry for the death of your dear teacher. How very selfish of the husband to knowingly infect his faithful wife. After working all those years, teaching, retiring and to end her days with such suffering, emotionally as well as physically, is so sad. She never deserved this.

      There is so much medical information and teaching available in this year 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣.
      Now,if only some people can have a conscience to go along with this knowledge, the world could be a much better and safer place.

      Sigh

  • FWIW, my ex- gave me anal gonorrhea (I was the receptive partner in anal sex) and I was asymptomatic until I wasn’t. Fast forward to me never regaining normal bowel function and needing to be on a complex, rotating regimen of probiotics, laxatives, and fiber supplements daily. I’ve seen many, many doctors and tried some truly wacky experimental stuff to try to help myself and I still haven’t regained normal health. Could be worse I suppose but the doctors say that this will be my normal for the rest of my life. I also got cancer not too long after being infected and, while there is no conclusive causality proven, my doctors say there is a chance the gonorrhea and my cancer were connected.

    STDs may not define you/me but they sure as hell can have lasting impact and mess your life up royally. Get tested regularly! I had suspicions about my ex-‘s fidelity and it would have been so easy to just go get tested regularly even if I wasn’t willing to stop spackling, etc. at the time. GET. TESTED. REGULARLY.

    Also, happy new year 🙂

  • I am awed, saddened, emboldened, and so many more emotions after reading these replies. Love and hugs to all of you. As Tracy says, “you are mighty”. Happy New Year, Otos

  • HSV1 = a cold sore on your lip
    HSV2 = a cold sore on your groin
    It’s that simple. And it’s that irrelevant – all stigma, no substance.

    I’ve loved and lost. I’ve walked on a cloud, and I’ve rolled in the ditches. I’m a brother, uncle, cousin, father, coworker, volunteer, neighbor and friend. I’ve been married twice..and chumped. I have a daughter…a career…a house, truck and boat…interests, hobbies and goals. And I’ve been HSV2 positive for 30+ years.

    It doesn’t define me nor anyone else.

    • Thanks Captain,
      I discovered I had HSV2 in the worst way. The shit is painful and a horrible memory every time I have a breakout. I was tested after DDAY1 and was clean, after DDAY3 (there is 4) did I have the breakout. He would come home after being with Ho-Worker, and still have sex. GRRR, hysterical sex is what is is…

      Anyhoo, I am 2 years out from separating and hopefully divorced this year and have no interest in being with anyone else. I don’t understand why my friends pressure me to “get out there” again. Everyone on this site gets *it* without HSV2 . Add the HSV2 and its another layer of suck. I saw a comment about sex should not be raised until after 2 months after dating, possibly in another post. Can’t imagine what relief that gave me. I just feel this is such a promiscuous world now with all this online crap.

      I have been married 2x, I look forward to being me and only me for now.

      • I think that’s a sound strategy for now; “you and only you”. Give yourself time to heal, and learn to be by yourself before considering bringing someone into your life again. And when/if that time comes, you’ll be ready and you’ll do it at your pace. Besides, being “positive” has a way of weeding out the bad characters; anyone worth having will understand. Keep your chin up and keep moving forward…on your schedule, at your pace.

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