My husband gave me an STD

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been married for almost two years in June of this year. I am currently seperated and waiting to file for divorce because my husband was unfaithful and gave me an STD. He has a history of lying to my face impulsively until finally I ask over and over again until he eventually tells me the truth. We were seperated for 7 months until we recently tried to work it out when I again asked him if he had any sexual relationships with any women during our seperation.I asked him this before we had unprotected sex, he said I did not. The reason we had unprotected sex was because we were going to try for another child…which we already have a 2 year old daughter. He informed me that NO I DIDNT HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT…a week later I sat down and asked him point blank if I had anything to worry about and for him to tell me if he cared about my health, that I wouldn’t get mad, and that I needed to know so I could get screen for STDS. It was then that he admitted to having sex with a woman…more than once..and unprotected. I need to know if I should give him time to work out his inner demons? I need to know if it’s worth keeping this family together if all he does is lie to my face? I just feel like he can never be trusted. We are seperated again and I do plan on filing for divorce because I feel like our marriage vows have already been broken.

A: It sounds like you’ve already made your decision but want to double-check your own thinking. I’m reluctant to make a judgment because I don’t have enough information about the whole of your relationship. Yes, your husband lies and cheats. But you didn’t say if there is anything positive about this marriage or if he is doing anything to take charge of himself to be a better man.

I do know two things: First: You can’t make a marriage on your own. It takes two people who are willing to be worthy of each other’s love and trust. If you have to constantly monitor him, you don’t have a partner, you have a fellow who doesn’t want to grow up and be a responsible husband and father. Nothing you can do will change that unless he sincerely wants to change himself. Second: You two shouldn’t even be thinking about another child until you have a solid marriage. Another child won’t bring you closer. It will put more stress on an already stressed relationship. Another child won’t give you the love you need from an adult partner. Children need us to love them without expectations that they fill a hole left by a grownup.

I’m very, very sorry that at only 20 you are having to face even the possibility of a divorce. I’m sure this situation is disappointing and heartbreaking and frightening. If you need someone to help you think things through, I hope you will seek out a counselor to help you feel good about whatever decision you make and to help you figure out how to take care of yourself and your little daughter. You are fortunate to live in a city where there are many qualified therapists. Ask your pediatrician for a referral. If you have the kind of family that can be there for you during this difficult time, I hope you will let them love you and help you. You deserve to have some support and practical advice.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). My husband gave me an STD. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/26/my-husband-gave-me-an-std/