Sexual Health

His Cheating, Your Health

By Eve Marx
The news isn’t pretty. Your husband has been having sex with someone else, and you’ve been having sex with your husband. Just as you were congratulating yourself for having a happy, healthy sex life when so many of your married friends are complaining their sex life is over, you discover the downside of your husband’s strong libido: He’s been indulging his erotic desires with another woman.

Unfortunately, you’ve now got something else to worry about besides whether your marriage is going to survive this. And that’s your health. How likely is your husband to have given you a sexually transmitted disease? Should he get tested? Should you get tested?
Regardless of whether your wayward spouse has been cheating with one woman or a dozen (and don’t be surprised if you discover he’s developed an interest in call girls; many cheating married men prefer professionals), at the end of the day, he’s put you at risk.

According to an article published last January in the New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services released a little-noticed report on Medicare with a startling statistic: In 2011 and 2012, 2.2 million beneficiaries received free sexually transmitted disease screenings and counseling sessions. And more than 66,000 received free H.I.V. tests.
Thanks to better health and physical fitness, and a plethora of libido and sexually enhancing drugs available both over the counter and by prescription, more seniors are having sex. Sex has consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting rapid increases in sexually transmitted diseases in Americans age 65 and older, most notably chlamydia and syphilis.

Chances are when you express your concern to your cheating spouse, he’ll dismiss your fears. He may say he’d never put himself at such a risk He may claim he always used a condom. He may insist any partner he had is “clean.” He may insist the only sex that occurred was oral and, to his mind, less of a risk. Not true.

The fact is that human papillomarvirus, also known as HPV, has been linked to infections of the mouth and throat as well as the genitals. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States right now. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some cause minor health problems, like a slight fever and sore throat; other strains can cause genital warts, even cancer.

So disregard any protests your spouse might have to not get tested. The first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your doctor. You can go to a clinic and be tested there if you live in a small town or community where you fear being tested by your regular physician could lead to gossip. The most important thing is to not let feelings of shame about being tested for sexually transmitted diseases discourage you from being tested. Your health is at risk. Take steps to prevent that.

How to deal with the cheating spouse? What to do next? The first thing is to stop having sex with him at least until you sort out your medical concerns. What happens next and if you will or won’t continue as a couple is up to you – and him. Cheating is bad and infidelity is hurtful, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of a long and otherwise happy marriage. Although it’s a long and difficult process, you can both try to regain the trust you once had.

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