My boyfriend of three years just told me he’s HIV positive. He wouldn’t tell me whether he had gotten it before we were together, or after.
Things have been going on well between us, but this news came to us as a blow. I still love him dearly, and I am willing to embrace him for who he is, but I feel alienated when he does not want to tell him details about it – which I think I have the right to know.
I want to be there for him and help him, but his actions are pushing me away, and this is making us drift apart as a couple. I’m lost as to whether to continue being in a relationship with him, but I’m afraid that he might think I’m ending the relationship because of his status. What should I do?
Lost and Not Found
Dear Lost and Not Found,
The male ego is a strange thing.
In positions of vulnerability, many of us find it difficult to let our guard down. Even among partners, there would be certain things that neither of you would speak about to each other, often leading to your shared detriment. Like me and my daddy – but let’s not go there.
Ideally, the two of you would be having an open discussion. Each person voices out their grievances, sorts them out amicably, and eventually comes to a resolution where everyone’s happy.
But we live in the real world. Fat chance, lah!
We all have chemistry… until something blows in your faces. Boom!
Understand that for your boyfriend, the act of revealing this information is no walk in the park. There is a lot of layers to the matter, and he needs to shed them at his own pace – macam potong bawang, like that.
He might have already reached a level of trust with you to reveal his HIV status, but he may not reach that same level about other details of his diagnosis. If you tried to force your way in when he’s not ready, there will be resistance.
Your boyfriend may be keeping the other details from you because of the fear that he could lose you if the truth comes out. He needs the reassurance from you that you will be there for him, no matter what. You seem to be more than committed in staying with him, despite his HIV status. That’s something that takes a lot of courage, so tabik, man!
If emotional strength could be worked on at the gym, we’d be a bunch of very, very happy people.
But in order to give this promise to him, you need to make sure that you have the capacity to be there for him, no matter what. To do this will require some deep soul-searching. I don’t want to assume anything, but you need to promise yourself that you are willing to forgive him and move past it, whatever the circumstances may be.
People like us need to stick around for each other. Nobody else quite understands our struggles but each and every single one of us. He probably needs your support more than anything else right this moment, but again – he also needs to peel it back, slowly and sikit-sikit, and also know that you will be there through thick and thin.
What the two of you have is special. Three years – that’s practically ten gay years. If you feel that this is something not worth losing him about, then turn it into a promise. Make it worth it, for you and for him.
Nothing soothes the soul like some tea… and #TakeChargeToday’s resident Macha is here to serve! It! Up! Honey! Have something you’d like to share with Macha? Mention Macha in your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.