By · @askdrwendy  ·  · 110 Shares

You’re in the honeymoon phase. You’re excited, butterflies in your tummy and then you get A BAD FEELING in the pit of your stomach. You have just realized you are getting more intimate with your partner which is exciting and yet… you have been diagnosed with an STD.

STD: Oh No! How Can I Tell My Partner?It feels like the end of the world at first. Embarrassing, shameful, humiliating even. How do I know put into words this new part of my life? How do I ever share I have an STD and will I ever be able to have sex, fool around, be physically intimate with anyone again? What would they say? How would they react?

I already feel awful. So now I met a wonderful partner, lots of chemistry and it’s going to be over once I share my secret. Well, not necessarily!

Once you have gotten over the guilt, shock and or embarrassment of the situation focus on gratitude. Yes, I said it. Be Grateful. There are a lot of diseases in the world that people struggle with that are life threatening. That is not to dismiss your condition but there are ways you can become empowered, knowledgeable and increase self-care in this adjustment phase.

You would be surprised how many people are diagnosed with STD’s yearly. According to the American Sexual Health Association, more than half of all people will be diagnosed with some form of an STD during their lifetime. Regardless of the stats, it always goes back to you and your new life story of what to do with the new information.

Regardless if you had unsafe sex in the past or if a loved one gave you an STD, it can be extremely traumatic. The good news is there are things you can do to move past the shame and build loving relationships, sexual intimate relationships, yes even with an STD.

The first step is always to seek good healthcare.

Make sure you work with a doctor, internist or gynecologist who can provide education on your specific STD. You may also want documentation to remember what was said in the appointment as it can be very emotional in the moment.

Secondly, gain some support, weather it is a group, a friend or a professional.

Find a trusted person to debrief with and then move forward with a plan to get back to life, love and happiness.

Lastly, begin to think about ways to verbalize your situation to a partner.

Casual sexual relations or a committed couple you need to be able to share with your partner that you have been diagnosed and that you are responsible and treating it. Focus on health, self-care and ways to stick with your moral compass. Values, morals, ethics, character. Even though this can be tough growing pains this is the time to hold on to what I call your full cooked adult self. We may not always love things in life but an adult always handles business.

If someone is judgmental, hurtful or avoidant after you share your condition, MOVE ON! There are many people diagnosed with STD’s and go on to have loving, intimate close sexual relationships. During many years in private practice I have worked with many people who have learned to shift the energy to focus on the positives of big life, big relationship and to see negative things as “little medical condition.”

Often loved ones will also be ok with catching the same STD because they are not going anywhere, not scared and plan on staying in the committed relationship. It all goes back to trust and love for yourself. Once that happens, you will be relieved to learn who will really be your trusted, caring partner in life. It takes more than an STD to keep a loving true relationship away!

Dr. Wendy M. O’Connor

Dr. Wendy M. O’Connor is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Relationship Coach, Media Consultant, Social Media Influencer, with a successful private practice in Brentwood & Encino California. She specializes in teaching secure attachment & technology IRL (in real life)& Cyberspace to Teens & Couples.

 

She has worked in various settings with over twenty years of experience in the community. She also provides Global Life Coaching around the world via Technology, Skype & FaceTime.

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