I got engaged a while back to a wonderful man. He was gentle and respectful and did everything right. Except one thing. He neglected to tell me that he had AIDS.
When he finally told me, I felt betrayed. I couldn't believe that he had risked my health like that. If he had told me BEFORE we had sex, it's not like I would have left him!!! We always used protection, but still, I need to KNOW when I'm taking such a serious risk like that.
Anyway... and I regret this... soon after we broke up. Later, after I hadn't seen him for a while, he got an infection. Complicated by the AIDS, he didn't have a chance. He died. I have been grieving ever since. He was the love of my life, and I'm worried I will never have that again.
I have tried to date since then, but I usually end up going out on one date with a guy, sometimes having sex, and then never seeing him again. I'm not sure whose fault that is -- I know I'm not the "ideal woman" for most guys, so that could be part of it, but also, I'm afraid that I'm pushing guys away because I'm still in love with my dead fiance.
Lately, things have gotten worse. The thought of being in a relationship repulses me. I don't think I could handle the exchanging of intimate emotions, and the idea of even another person's finger on my hand creeps me out -- let alone kissing or taking my clothes off. And dating just takes so much EFFORT. I think about going out with someone and it makes me think about how much I hate the small talk, the tension, the "does he like me or not? Do I like him or not?" thing.
My therapist says it's because I feel like I'm betraying my fiance when I go out with another guy. But I honestly don't know. I don't think to myself that I'm betraying my fiance, nor do I compare guys to him -- at least, not consciously.
What I want to know is, does anybody else feel the same way? Or at least understand how I'm feeling? Or am I crazy? I used to be a very sexual person so not wanting to be touched by anyone worries me.
I'm so sorry to hear what you have been through. These are really major events and it is completely understandable that you are grieving. I haven't been in a similar situation but can say that you certainly are not crazy. All of us deal with grief and tragedy in different ways. You haven't mentioned how long it has been since your fiance died, but it may be that you're not ready for dating and intimate touch yet? Probably not what you want to hear, but it can take time to process those feelings and be ready to let someone into your life again. Have you found therapy helpful in discussing these issues?
Also, what makes you think you're not the "ideal woman"? Don't those qualities vary a great deal for different people?
Ummmmmmmmmmm. I honestly don't remember when he died -- I know, it's horrible, and I feel guilty about it, but it was such a turbulent time for me. I have a hard time remembering exact details. I want to say it was about a year ago... maybe a little less.
I consider myself not to be an ideal woman because I'm not very attractive physically, and I have a lot of emotional baggage. I've been out on a lot of dates and most of them usually end after the first one, and while a lot of the time that's my fault because I don't like THEM, some of the time I'm thinking things are going okay but I still get rejected. One guy actually said he thought I was too fat... but he was the only one to actually say that, so I don't know if that's the opinion of all of them. Nevertheless it was a blow to my self esteem.
I miss my fiance so much. I try not to think about him a lot... but he was the kindest, most gentle man you've ever met. We started out thinking we were going to have a one night stand and never see each other again, but to my surprise I really enjoyed our time together, and apparently he did too because he asked to see me again. Next thing I knew I was seeing him every day. When he asked me to marry him, I was hesitant at first, and instead of being upset, he totally understood and didn't pressure me. I think that really helped me realize how wonderful he was and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
I beat myself up over breaking up with him all the time. I shouldn't have. Now I understand that he didn't tell me about the AIDS because he was afraid that I would run away from him. But at the time, when he first told me, all I could think about was how betrayed I felt.
But if I had known that he would be taken from me so soon -- if I had known I'd never see him again -- I never would have walked away. This is going to sound incredibly selfish, but when I left him, I always expected he would follow me. I thought he would try to get me back. What I should have realized was that he always, always respected my decisions, and he respected that one too.
I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rambling on about my fiance. I guess I'm grieving more than I thought I was. I haven't talked about him in a long time... I guess maybe I need to start again.
Posts: 68 | From: United States | Registered: Sep 2011
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Sorry for my delayed reply, I hoped that some of the others at Scarleteen might have more to offer.
It sounds like you're going through a really tough time and I'm sorry about that. I think it can be very difficult dealing with regrets around someone who has passed away. Sometimes it can be helpful to remember that you made the best decision you could, with the knowledge you had at the time. I'm sure you needed to take care of your own feelings first following such a big shock. That's completely understandable. There is no way you could have known that he would die suddenly.
I'm wondering what kind of supports you have at the moment? Are you still seeing the therapist?
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
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