Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘My Late Husband Gave Me Herpes, Now I'm Afraid to Date Again’

A reader whose late husband cheated on her during their 36-year marriage and gave her herpes, asks Dr. Sherry how she can go about finding love again.

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

Dr. Sherry,

My husband passed away three and a half years ago after 36 years of marriage. During our marriage he cheated on me. I contracted herpes during this period. I stayed with him because I felt no one else would want me. Now that he's passed away, I still feel the same way. I would like to find love again one day, but I'm afraid of rejection. Please help. I feel my life is over. Thank you.

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Signed,

Anonymous

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Dear Sis,

How long are you willing to allow your deceased husband to control you from the grave? I am sure your husband knew that you did not leave the marriage in spite of his cheating because you felt no one wanted you or would love you with herpes. That was a nice way to keep you with him and in check. It is likely that you felt really trapped and angry in your marriage. It has been over three years since your husband's death and it is time to free yourself. You may have herpes, but you are not herpes. You are so much more than your diagnosis. Herpes is treatable and you can live a full life with it. It is unfortunate that you contracted herpes as a result of your husband’s cheating.

As bad as you may feel emotionally about having herpes, you are not alone. Herpes are more common than you think. Having herpes does not make you less attractive or less desirable. It would be important to become more educated about herpes by reading about it and speaking with your physician. The idea that others will not want to be with you is untrue and more related to low self-esteem. It is recommended that you seek individual psychotherapy to address unresolved issues from your marriage. This would also help you adjust to being single after years of being married.  You cannot move forward and remain in the past. It is time to move on with your life! – Dr. Sherry

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Filed under: Love & Sex