DEAR ABBY: I have been married 45 years. It may not be the most loving or agreeable marriage, but it has always been steady, nonviolent and monogamous. Last year I had COVID, and I now have long-term symptoms with compromised immunity.
I recently had a bad outbreak of genital herpes. My doctor told me it can lay dormant for many years -- but 45? My husband swears he has been faithful, and part of me believes him. I want to believe him -- but I know I have never cheated. Neither of us ever had problems with breakouts, other than one many years ago we thought was probably heat rash when he worked outside in the summer. This has caused me to lose trust in him and wonder if he's lying. Our sex life, which had always been healthy, has stopped.
Have you ever heard of herpes being dormant for this long? I'm so embarrassed and angry. I haven't told anyone. I have never heard of this. -- PERPLEXED IN MISSOURI
DEAR PERPLEXED: Genital herpes is a common ailment for which there are treatments. My research tells me herpes can lie dormant for years without a flare-up. If your doctor isn't aware of what's going on, this is the person you should consult for the answer to that question. If your husband has given you no other reason to distrust his faithfulness, please give him the benefit of the doubt.
P.S. You stated that your sex life has now ceased. Was this your idea or your husband's? This is another conversation you should have with your doctor, and I hope you will do it soon.