Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Candid Discussion to Partners of Sex Addicts about STDs

If you are like me, once you got married one of the very last things you thought you would ever have to worry about is being infected with an STD.


Whether I am still married to my wife or not, it has become a huge issue.


When my wife went inpatient, I insisted that she get an STD panel at the facility she was in based on the suspicion that I had..(She had shared with me that a guy she met in a bar admitted to having herpes--what she didn't share with me was that it was at his place before they were about to have unprotected intercourse and that she had unprotected sex with seven other partners.)  There was push back from her, probably due to the shame.  She agreed only AFTER finding that the hospital had run all the tests upon her admittance so they were available already.


Then I found out upon my discovery of her sexual history document that all her sex acts were performed  without protection on from her partners.   Can you believe that, not one used a condom? Two started with it (during their first tryst) but later took it off before finishing and never put one on again. I know I'm not an addict, but for these men out there - what if she got pregnant or had a disease herself?  Does the fact that they knew she was married make her safe to her partners who don't know she was sex addict?  I just can't figure out what my wife and her affair partners were thinking. Obviously my wife was in a mania but how naive could they all be.


Nonetheless, during family week, the treatment facility reviewed her labs with me and her and I felt she was disease free and not pregnant.


More forward seven months and I'm about to get an annual physical and I start to worry again. What happens if her last hookups were too close to when the blood work was run for them to manifest. What happened if she picked up something and it stayed latent in her system, yet she passed it on to me.


I told her that I wanted a copy of her labs.  I told her I was very concerned for my health and that I would need them to discuss with my doctor.  If she did not want to provide me them, I would be forced to have a complete (and expensive) STD panel on myself.   She agreed to get the blood work as a start and then after having further discussion with me about latent diseases agreed to consult her OB-GYN and have follow-up tests.


So about two weeks before my appointment, she called her OB-GYN and sent the labs to them via fax. She told them that it had been recommended that she get follow-up work about six months later. The doctor's nurse told her upon receipt of the labs, that she had to come in an see the doctor. Mind you, my wife thought she was clean but you never know.  She had gone to see the OB-GYN for her annual exam at the end of summer but did not disclosure her sex addiction to the doctor ("She told me at the time that they didn't need to know." [I disagreed but it was her choice.])


She met with her regular male doctor and it was not a good experience for her.  He is a good family man and my wife said she felt his disappointment and disapproval of her actions  He asked her not once, not twice but a third time after he left to examining room if she wanted to go on birth control (I'm fixed) because her behavior was so reckless.  She was swabbed and gave blood. After my wife said she went to her car and cried.  It made her feel so bad about what she had done to me and to herself, which is maybe a sign that she is really in recovery.


She got the results a week later and the good news for us is that everything came back negative.  Which is good for her and good for us. 


With the blood work and the negative test results, I was able to bring the lab results for my doctor to review and advise me.


The doctor came into the examining room for my physical and the very first thing he said before sitting down was "Is there anything bothering you, any questions that you have or things you want to talk about?"


I told him that I did not know where to begin [long silence] and this is very difficult to talk about [longer silence]  In the last two years, my wife had at least seven affairs and had unprotected sex with all of her partners.  She went into inpatient treatment for sex addiction and that I was concerned that I may have contracted a STD."  I presented him with her blood work and told him that it was all negative.


He looked it over and do you want to guess his first question?.......


Are you still together?


So once we got past that, he spent a lot of time discussing with me the purpose of each individual tests and their meaning..  He agreed with the OB-GYN that they were all negative and the really good news that he felt that I should have nothing to worry about after looking over her labs and my regular labs, he believes that I am STD free. He did not see the need for more testing.


Wow, what a relief. Never did I have even think that I would have worry again about STDs.  It was like I was single all over.  Now that is behind us as hopefully is my wife's sexual acting out behaviors.


At the end of my physical, the doctor went on to commend me for having the strength to bring this up with him.  He said many people would have been too embarrassed about it and/or just ignored it. He said it was refreshing to see me take ownership of how my wife actions may have affected me from a health standpoint.

I'm proud of myself that I finally made my needs a priority and in this situation making it perfectly clear to my wife and insisting she do something for me.


So male or female, spouse, friend or an addict yourself, if you are intimate with a sex addict or a recovering sex addict, practice safe sex, use protection and get tested for your own well being.  What I've learned is that sex addicts are so consumed with themselves and getting their hit (while also not being caught); they take risks that put their own lives in jeopardy as well as those of their loved ones.


I know, as does my wife, that we are lucky that she did not contract an STD through her unprotected hookups with men.  And, if you are curious, I would have divorced her had I learned she that "accidentally" had gotten pregnant with another man's child.


Did my story ring true with any of your experiences?