When a reader in Charlotte recently wrote to me asking what she should do because she thought her husband had given her an STD, it really made me think.
What do you do if you suspect your spouse could possibly have an STD? First of all, you have to take into account what a serious issue this is. If your spouse has an STD, there is a very good chance that you either have one too or will have one if the problem is not addressed.
There is so much to consider. If your spouse has cheated on you or has a history of cheating, the problem of a possible STD is very real.
According to sexual health expert, Michelle Sobel , co-founder of STD Test Express: “Many STDs can be asymptomatic for years. That means, you can have an infection and not know it. For years. Like before you were even dating or even married. It’s possible you or your partner may have contracted an infection – and did not know about it – so a positive test does not necessarily mean that someone has been unfaithful……Genital herpes symptoms, for example, can be a “no show” for quite a while. Most cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea can be present with no symptoms as well. So, even if you request that your partner take an STD test and it comes back positive, it’s completely possible that one of you may have contracted the infection before dating and didn’t know it.”
Something else to consider is the status of your spouse before you got married. Were there other sexual partners? Were you both tested prior to getting married? If you were tested and the results were negative, that’s great. What if you tested negative at the beginning of your marriage and later tests reveal a positive result in one or both of you? Communication is vital. It is not a subject to be ignored, even if the discussion may be uncomfortable and bring out issues that you had rather not face. Asking a partner to get tested can be difficult, but is very important.
According to Sobel, “Simply posing the suggestion to get tested can be very telling based on your partner’s reaction. If you and your partner are truly in a trusting relationship, this shouldn’t be a problem for either party. But if he or she is hesitant or questions the idea at all, it might be time to sit down and talk about the reasons why. And if he or she refuses to get tested, how much do they really care for you?”
If you suspect a spouse has an STD or if you suspect a spouse has been cheating on you, to not ignore your suspicions. Doing so can be a matter of life or death.
For more information on STD’s, check out Michelle Sobel’s sexual health blog, Unzipped.