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a space between us


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every day i feel a bigger space between us and i'm scared to death of it. my boyfriend and i got together in a verynon-conventional way. we had to move in together at the beginning of our relationship, this was mid june. about a

month after we were together he confessed he believed he was falling in love with me. i was hesitant. it was sosoon. true, different people have different relationships and a month for two people dating might seem quick to

fall in love, but a month of two people living together is a different circumstance. i was both ecstatic and terrified of this potential 'love,' and i'll explain why.


three years prior to this relationship i was sexually assaulted, and because of that i was diagnosed with hpv, and

now that he said he was falling in love with me, i knew i had to see a doctor to get my own answers and information

about the disease before i could begin to tell him and answer his questions about it.


when i told him he was quiet. i explained that i was a victim and that the body normally fights the disease off.

we had already decided to wait to have sex because i didn't feel i was ready yet, so there was no worry of me having

already transferred it to him. he told me he can wait until my body passes the disease and my tests start to come

back normal before we can have sex. i was so happy he didn't decide to leave me, and that he understood this

wasn't something that my own irresponsibility caused.


i decided to schedule a consultation with my doctor for him to attend, so the doctor can explain everything he needed

to know from a medical standpoint. the doctor told us that using a condom would be 90% effective against transferring

the disease and we could practice safe sex without him having to worry of catching the disease since most men who've

had unprotected sex are most likely carrying the hpv virus in their urethra, and although men can get genital warts,

the chance wasn't likely. all in all he said that we could have safe sex without any serious repercussions.


he explained that if you love a person and decide to make them a life partner, then having something as common as hpv

won't be an issue because you're not planning on having another partner.


i felt good. i felt, finally, we can make love because what i have isn't serious and doesn't matter. finally we can

share some intimacy. finally. finally. i've waited years to find the right one. he is the right one. we talk openly about marriage.

he's the one.


since then the discussion of sex hasn't been brought up. there was one time he scooped me up and i told him jokingly,

"i thought you were going to wisk me away to the bedroom." he laughed and said, "maybe under different circumstances."

my heart just about broke.


now when we lay in bed together, he lays as far away from me as possible. we never cuddle. we never lay in bed and kiss.

i feel like i'm laying next to a stranger, and i'm afraid to say anything because i don't want to cross any personal boundaries.

i understand why he may feel the need for distance. i understand that having an std is a big issue and that he doesn't want to

potentially get it, and i don't want him to feel like i'm pressuring him into sex.


but at the same time, i feel disgusting. i feel repulsive. he doesn't say 'i love you' to me anymore, only to say it back

when i say it. he doesn't want to hold my hand, or to cuddle on the couch. i don't feel like we're close, i feel like i barely

know him, i feel like he's shutting me out and i'm going to be in a one-sided relationship where he's guarded himself behind a

safety wall and i'm still standing with my heart on my sleeve.


i don't know if my body will ever repress the hpv virus. i'm scared that he sees me as 'damaged goods' and won't ever really love me.

he doesn't talk to me much so.. i just don't know.


there is such a seperation between us, and i feel like if we were just able to share some intimacy, to make love and create that

connection, that we would grow closer. i know there are alternative ways to share intimacy, but i honestly have no desire. i feel

broken and disgusting and frustrated. now i feel terrible that i can't even keep him happy. in the beginning, i was happy and giddy

to fool around. now i just feel sad and upset, that even if we do start to get a little close, i'm just going to be frustrated at the

end because we can't do what i want. it's like a tease, and it's never satisfying. just upsetting.


so here i am, looking for relationship advice. should i just try to forget about my non-desires and make him happy until i know

longer test positive for hpv, even though that isn't making me happy?

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Here's an idea...talk to him. Ask him what he's thinking. Ask him what he's feeling. Open the discussion on hpv again. Make sure you both heard the same thing. He may have been a bit rattled sitting in the doctor's office and wasn't able to "hear" everything that was being explained.


Tell him what you've been sensing from him lately. Tell him how you feel. Tell him what you want. Tell him why you want it. He might need you to jar this relationship back into gear.


You both sound like good people, and neither of you have done anything wrong here. He just sounds taken back by the news to me. I'm sure he wasn't expecting anything like this. I'm sure that's why he's withdrawing a bit. I'm sure that's why he doesn't want to cuddle. What if that would lead to something. Maybe he's thinking that YOU don't want to have sex because of the assault. Wouldn't that be ironic?


This whole thing isn't fair to you either. You were the one that was assaulted, and now you are being hurt by it again. He may need some time to process this, but not too much time. Relationships can only flounder for so long. I don't know how long hpv can take to go away, but I have a feeling that will be too late.


You said he is the one, and you talk openly about marriage. You need to be able to talk openly about this issue first.

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Does he know how commom HPV is? And that he himself might have it already if he has been with sexually active? There are thousands of different HPV viruses, gential warts is just ONE of them. You seriously need to talk to him and his fears. He should educate himself about it as well. If he can't overcome this fear & you guys never have sex, it might be time to move on. But I do agree, maybe he just needs some more time to let it all sink it.


Here is a quote from an HPV website


How common is HPV?

In the United States, HPV is considered to be the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some studies estimate that the majority of the sexually active population is exposed to at least one or more types of HPV - although most do not develop symptoms. Because HPV is so common and prevalent, a person does not need have to have a lot of sexual partners to come into contact with this virus.

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