How do I handle resentment from getting herpes from my husband?

Dear Dr. Amy:

I am now 28 years old and I contracted herpes 2 years ago from a man I recently got married to. He had a cold sore and it was passed on to me through sexual contact. I am often very depressed about having contracted this disease and having to look at the person who gave it to me everyday of my life. I have seeked professional help for my depression, but it doesn’t seem to be helping me. I cry everyday. I love my husband very much, and I know that he loves me and doesn’t feel any differently about me, but I feel different about myself and my sexuality. My sex drive is 0. I have no interest in having sex with my husband especially since he is the one who gave me this disease. What can I do? Please help!!!!


Dr. Amy’s Response:

Dear Depressed 28 Year Old:
You probably need some help resolving your resentment toward your husband. It wasn’t clear from your letter how recent your wedding was. But the question I would have, is that if you knew your fiancé had herpes prior to marriage, why are the emotions and depression, your changing feelings toward your husband, and your lack of interest in sex surfacing now? I think this is the most important thing for you to be able to understand; why was there such a delayed reaction to this? Because, until you are able to view yourself in a positive and healthy way, neither your lover’s words of affection nor your sex drive are going to be felt.

I think that when you are asking what it is you can do, you’ve got to get in touch with where that resentment is coming from, because if you are angry and you are resentful toward your partner, that is certainly going to be a huge factor in your lack of desire of sex. Again, my recommendation is for you to seek some counseling. Also, when you are talking about depression, what you have to take a look at is other things that are going on that you’re feeling depressed about. Sometimes when we get into that negative frame of mind, everything that has gone bad, now becomes so much more predominant. So that may also be the case. Professional screening would be very helpful.


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