Do you ever forgive yourself for exposing yourself to HIV knowing that you will get from your behavior? Do you ever forgive the one who gives it to you?

I have been with my Husband since I was 16. We married when I was 19 and he was my first and only man. I knew he was having multiple affairs and knew that it was unprotected . We live in Africa and I knew the danger that I was being exposed to I cried evtey night from fear that he would leave me if I insisted on using a condom. I feel that deep down I was maybe hopping that if he got it he would stop his affairs. Well a few years later in 1997 he started getting sick , I suspect he knew he was HIV but did not tell me. I made a decision and went to have the test done I found out that I was HIV. Confronted him, he denied and so on, I wanted to leave him but he got so sick immediately after that I couldn't . I nursed him to health forgave him and told him I would never leave him. He almost died but I fought for his health our business our life and supported the family , him and finances on my own. We made a silent agreement that he would never cheat again. This year I found out that he had never stopped cheating that he had continued having multiple affairs through out and I suspect unprotected sex. My whole world has been turned upside down again I am now facing the reality that he may have deliberately infected me knowing he had it, he is doing that now. I am also now having to face my disease and my emotions which I had barried at that time. How do I forgive myself as it is I who gave it to myself. How do I forgive him as he is not even remorseful . Please help

Wow...I really do not know how to help you forgive. Reading this alone brings up hatred feelings. I cannot believe that someone can be so selfish and so cruel. I am reaching a point where I am losing hope in men.

You are such a good person. Really...I cant believe how you could've stayed and helped him. I really hope you can leave him now. Please. Find a way, any healthy way to be happy. If you have money...move..go on people that suffer from the disease as never know who you might end up with.

I truly hope, you will be happy one day. I will pray for you.

Dear Judy0, thank you for your encouragement, hope for being happy, hope for better keeps me going, but sometimes I feel so down and it becomes really hard to just go on. The one positive thing that I can take away from mjy experience is that if I could overcome this and stay positive in my life I can do anything, I am strong and I can cope with anything. Right now I just tell myself that I should put the same amount of energy that I did into getting him better, into sorting my life out and making my life better. I am not on medication as I don't need it I hope I will never need it , I keep staying positive in my attitude till my next check up, but believe me I look at him and I can't help but feel anger, hatered and pity. Without me he would have died, he lost hope and we lost all our money at the time, but I encouraged him I loved him and told him love will concur all. The doctors admired my strength and determination to get him better and it worked, today it's all forgotten, how can he repay me in such a way. I could go on knowing that he had changed, knowing he wanted to become a better person, but today I realize that it was never true, he never changed, he just became worse, because now he was aware he was HIV positive and still went about with girls. What is he thinking. I emailed my doctor yesterday, as someone on the other posting said I could get reinfected or infected with acdifferent strain, my doctor emailed to say I now need a syphilis and other STI tests, what am I a ***** , how can I be getting all this and yet I only know one man. How can my life be so messed up, I guess it was my choices that got ne where I am today and it's my choice that can get me elsewhere. Please keep posting your comments are much appreciated.

hey evdoxia

Why haven't you left him yet? Please seem like a strong woman, leave him. Even if you will regret it...even if you can't afford to...enough is enough, its time for you to be there for yourself.

You have to love yourself more that you love others. Learn to put your self first. You need to be in a healthy environment.

I am really proud of you, for staying strong through all of it. You should give me some pointers as to how you do it.

I know that some people may say you are stupid for staying all along, but people make mistakes, and your mistake is more altruistic and loving than selfish.

We can keep private messaging if you want to.



Hi Judy0, it has taken not just strength to stay but my whole being, you see the truth is that he is not a bad man, he doesn't mistreat me, he comes home and tells me he loves me, he does so many nice things for me, he makes me doubt whether I am right that he is having affairs. In a way I wonder if that is even more cruel than just being cold and indifferent to me. I feel that it's his way of ensuring that I don't leave him, I know he doesn't want to loose me, after all I do a lot for him and our business. When I found out I was HIV positive I was more determined than anything to finish my law degree and I did, then I was more determined than anything to get a job and eventually I now have my own law firm. I am not making that much money but it is what I have achieved on my own and I did it myself. If I leave him I can't remain in the same country, it is too small for both of us there are not enough hanging out places for both of us we will be meeting too often, and I could not bear the thought of seeing him with another woman. Plus men would fear to date me, he is very powerful and very well known. I would have to move to another country leave everything behind, requalify in the country I go to so I can work, and start from scratch. Can I really do that? I don't know. Then there is the issue of medicals I don't have insurance, it's not possible in our country I won't be able to afford right away all my bills, I don't know how long it would take to get a divorce settlement our courts take forever it could be 7 years before we even conclude. Especially if he wants it to drag, he can do that and so I will have no income for a while. I don't fear that I can get a job and do anything but what if I get sick what I stay in fear. All along I really thought that if I showed him unconditional love and showed him how much I loved him he would change, that s not possible, he will never change, th brutal reality is that once a cheater always a cheater, very few people have the courage to change, he is not one of them. Every one thinks I am so strong, I am not I am but just a cowered, I so doubt my ability to leave him I truly hope getting the evidence I need will make me wake up hurt me more than anything and make me face reality.

Yes, I see your situation is very very complicated. Its very hard financially to leave him. I would say stop taking care of him, stop talking to him, I don't know just can't accept all that...its not fair..and you deserve much much much better. You can't waste your life in that horrible situation forever. It kills the soul. And with HIV, you don't know how much time you have left, you must enjoy what you have.

I know it may seem naive or impossible to move. But I believe in perseverance. If you TRULY want it...and fight for it, as you fought for your degree and company...I really believe you can. It will take time and effort...but you will succeed, I just know you will.

At least start gathering information on moving. Start making plans, see the costs, what you have to do to move. Where it cheaper to move etc. If only I was a millionaire so I can help you.

This is your life, don't let your husband get the best of it, he is getting everything he wants on your expense. at least separate to avoid divorce costs.

I know you just sent me a lot of reason of not being able to move, and I am saying the opposite. But I have hopi that you will believe your strong enough as I believe. Because you only have 2 choices now: 1) stay and keep taking care of your cruel selfish husband until you die emotionally and eventually of HIV. Or 2) Leave him, take a risk.

Hey Judy0, reading your words and seeing the reality of my life is making me think hard as to why I am staying and you know what comes to mind first, because I love this man, more than I love myself and anything else in my life, so yes that is the real ugly truth. I have not left and I don't know if I will because I can't bear the thought of being without him, not being able to share my day with him, not waking up next to him, I am an angry with what he has done and doing, but it's so difficult to detach, hate or stop loving and move on. He is my life, has been so far and I can't see a future without him. I know you would probably wonder how could I love such a man, but yes I do he is a good man, he does not deny me anything, he is a good friend, he is very gentle and considerate in other ways. I am probably beyond help. I am stuck so very stuck and so very emotionally attached to him and my life. Please help.

I am so down I can't bear to get up and breath I just want to die it so hard. It would be so easy to just let go an end it all.

Forgiveness does not mean that you condone his actions. Forgiveness is a gift you give order to be able to move on.


Karla I have no problem with forgiveness for him it is forgiving myself that I can't do I keep hating myself for staying I keep hating mysel for letting him walk all over me I hate the way I am recting to the situation. I can't seem to make decision to stay or go I can't do anything I am paralyzed with indecision help me please please help me icant go on I don't know what to do I am at the edge f breaking down. Help

Evdoxia: You have the classic behavior of a battered woman. You mentioned in a previous post that you have access to psych services. Please consider pursuing this. You are blaming yourself for his actions, and excusing his behaviors. "He's not a bad man, he doesn't mistreat me, he does so many nice things for me". Your words. He has slept with multiples of women, and he infected you with HIV. You are afraid he'll leave you if you ask him to use a condom. Again, your words. Please pursue the counseling. You have convinced yourself that this is as good as it gets, and this is all you deserve. Neither are true.

When I was in the same situation as you I found ways of detaching myself emotionally at first, then physically. I stopped excusing his behavior and owned up to my own actions. I realized in my meditation that I could be independent of him and feel worthy of living without the negative emotions. It is good you are asking for help, but I also see that you are saying no to leaving him. He may be someone you love but something is keeping you together in the situation that you are not safe being in. Sometimes we need professional therapy to break the cycle. These people do know what they are doing and offer the help you need.

Evdoxia, from what you have written here you are not only one of the strongest people I have ever heard speak, but also one of the most loving. Don't give up hope, I really hope for you that you find a way to do what is right for you now and that this is a watershed in your life, whatever you decide to do. Of all the people I would say you really don't need to forgive yourself, you're not the one who has done wrong here, Please don't hate yourself, get help from a professional if help is there.