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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Anxiety causing friend problems

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Author Topic: Anxiety causing friend problems
Gweneviere
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I had sex with a friend over the weekend then yesterday I momentarily freaked about about pregnancy and I expected him to be okay talking with me about it because he is normally good about understanding that I have anxiety about a lot of things and that that is one of them. Instead he said he's "not playing that game" which hurt because it isn't a game to me. Since then he has been giving me the silent treatment. I really want to clear the air but now I think he thinks everything is part of this game and he doesn't want to deal with me. I don't know what to do because I'm afraid that if I keep trying to talk to him that will push him away more. I really feel like I need him to be a friend right now more than usual because he has HSV type 2 and when we woke up the morning after having sex he had a cold sore starting to show so I know there is a reasonable chance that I got herpes and I know that if I do get symptoms I will need his support. On a related note he tends to draw away from me for a few moths everytime we have sex and I would assume it was because he doesn't really care about me but the rest of the time he is a good friend and when we hang out together I can tell he genuinely cares about me but it bothers me when he does this stuff and I don't understand why and right now I want to know why but he won't talk to me at all. Anyone have any advice?
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Heather
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Well, I think one big takeaway here is that it sounds like you've had a pattern of knowing that any expectation that this person will be good with aftercare -- or even basic common courtesy -- after sex isn't a realistic one. In other words, it sounds like the way he's being now is how he has been before and that that isn't likely to change. So, after you get through this, I'd say you probably want to strongly reevaluate choosing to have sex with this person again, okay?

It's clear you need some support right now, but I don't think this person is going to give it to you. If he won't even talk to you, you can't even try and open a conversation about any of this.

So, how about we figure out where you CAN get the support you need?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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Yeah that'a why I came here because this was the only place I felt like I could get support.
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Heather
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We can certainly help out as we can. Want to give me an idea of what you need right now that we can give you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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I guess part of me is worried about how future guys will react if I do have herpes. While I personally feel that it is just a virus that causes a rash but a lot of people don't feel that way. When he woke up with a cold sore I was more scared of that than I expected because the chance of getting herpes suddenly increased because there was no possiblity that the virus wasn't active at the time. I asked him questions about his experience with it which mostly made me feel better except that he said his first break out was a close second for the most painful thing that he ever experienced. The waiting to see if anything happens is probably the worst part because it increases my anxiety and stress. Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with the stress of waiting?
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Heather
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Have you read this piece here yet: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/this_is_about_genital_herpes

If not, I think it might be a goodie for you right now.

This one is also great: Me & HSV

You're right, some people absolutely put a lot of stigma on Herpes. And while I know that when it's personal, it's different, at the same time, I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd really want to sleep with anyone who stigmatized illness, you know? Just that attitude would make them pretty unappealing in my eyes: and that's not how I feel about potential partners with herpes.

So, per waiting, when did this all happen? And since you've been sexual with this person before, have you ever had STI tests?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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Yes, a year ago I got test for everything including both types of herpes and everything was negative. I've had sex since then though so it is possible to have gotten something in that time. I was tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia a few weeks ago as part of a routine pap test. This incident happened this weekend. We had sex on Saturday and on Sunday he had a cold sore show up.

And I have read both of those articles and they are helpful. I especially liked the Me&HSV one.

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Heather
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Okay, so you'll want to go ahead and wait another few months, at least. There would just be no point in testing so soon.

While I think it's okay to have Herpes, in other words, that that doesn't sully a person or make them untouchable, etc., him having gotten a sore the next day really doesn't mean you'll get Herpes. But whether you do or you don't, at this point, with past choices, it's out of your hands, you know?

So, rather than stressing about that, I think a better use of your energy would be to focus on what you're going to do moving forward to a) be physically safer with sexual choices, and b) to be emotionally safer, which certainly includes choosing partners you don't already know will...well, be total jerks to you after having sex with you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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As far as sexual safety I always use a condom. Knowing that he had herpes and that condoms aren't completely protective against herpes was a risk I decided I was okay with taking but we were always as careful as we could be. The cold sore on his mouth was a suprise to both of us as he had never gotten a blister on his lip before. Since there was no oral-genital contact my understanding of that is that if i were to have an active infection it would be unlikely to be in my genital region but I'm not sure if that is correct.

Emotionally he has been better to me than just about all of the other males I have been intimate with in any way. I used to think that was my fault. I keep going back to this particular guy because he is not emotionally damaging before or during sex and is a good friend when we are not having sexual relations.

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Heather
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If someone who blew you off like this has been as good as it gets, and other partners have been even less considerate, then I think what we can know is that you've had some rotten luck, all around. I think what we can also know is that you can probably make some different choices that can result in you being very unlikely to have another partner again where before, during AND after sex, it's all a LOT better than this. I'd be happy to talk that through with you and help you in that regard.

But that also makes more sense of some of your worries here: if, so far, your sexual partners have tended to treat you like crap, I get why you're worried that something like winding up with HSV could mean being treated even worse. But the good news is that you really can probably change some things with your choices and patterns so that HSV or no HSV, you're only with partners who treat you with care, okay?

Condoms aren't complete protection against any STIs, but they are very GOOD protection, same goes for other latex barriers and using barriers with more than just intercourse. They are good protection from HSV, too, just not as good as with fluid-borne infections.

But I agree, it sounds to me like, if anything, you likely were only at risk of orally-contracted HSV. Ad if you've had this person as a partner often, and they've always had oral herpes, chances are good that if you haven't picked it up by now, you probably won't.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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I've only had vaginal intercourse with three people in the past 4 years even though I've dated and had varying degrees of relationships with a lot more people. That fact alone causes problems because guys have trouble with the fact that I have had sex but don't want it at that time with them. I try to explain that because i've had some bad experiences but they seem to lack patience with that which just makes me want them less and I end up breaking off whatever kind of relationship we had because that lack of understanding is a dealbreaker for me. The other thing that tends to happen is that they don't even ask what is okay and what isn't and just try to force what they want when I'm clearly saying I'm not okay with it which is even more unhealthy and after some very bad relationships I've learned that as soon as that starts to happen i make them leave and never be alone with them again.
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Heather
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Well, something else to know, similar to folks who stigmatize STIs, is that not everyone, or all guys, have the attitude that it's not okay for you to not have sex with them because you have had sex with another guy or guys. I'd say that kind of attitude is one of those cues we can get that we're probably not exactly dealing with someone with a lot of emotional maturity or with good attitudes about women or sex.

So, when we run into something like that, we see that cue and we walk away. Trying to engage is something we can do, but it's likely a real waste of time. Choosing to get involved with someone acting like that is usually going to be a choice to enter into something that is pretty likely to be crappy.

Even bigger than that, anyone who tries to sexually abuse or assault someone or who does -- if you mean forcing sex, when you talk about "trying to force what they want" -- is absolutely someone to get the heck away from, and fast. Seems like you're on that one already, though, which is good news.

But it sounds like maybe something that could help you choose healthier partners who treat you better is to walk away way sooner, rather than later with the kinds of people you're talking about here. Know what I mean?

[ 01-25-2012, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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Yeah I've been learning through experience which signs are indicative of the relationship becoming abusive.
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Heather
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Which, you know, is how some of us have to learn. And it can be a longer learning curve if we didn't grow up with healthy relationship models, and/or if the way we learned to start relating was in abusive relationships.

But I also think a really important part of that process is walking away and NOT returning when we've been mistreated. You know this friend treats you like crud after sex. So, the only way for that to change, clearly, is for you to stop giving him that opportunity. It's not your fault he does that, but it is also in your control right now to assure he doesn't again.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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I definitely have a pattern of going back to him after something bad happens with a different guy. At those times I remember him as the guy who would take care of me when I'm sick and comfort me when I'm upset, and as the person that would never do whatever the other guy did. I forget that for whatever reason he lacks the ability or maturity to be there for me for a while after sex.
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Heather
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So, howsabout deciding to end that pattern right now? That strikes me as one strong step away from being treated poorly and in support of choosing partners who treat you better.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gweneviere
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Yeah I think I can do that.
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Robin Lee
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[Smile]

So, what is your plan now?

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Robin

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