a man and a woman stare at each other angrily while sharing a milkshake

A Negative Marriage

I was undiagnosed for many years. Doctors think I possibly had HIV for 7 years by the time I found out due to a hospital trip. At the point that I found out that I was about being HIV positive, I was in the end stages of AIDS. This caused a change in my marriage and caused me a lot of mental grief. Despite my severe viral load, my husband at the time was and is still is negative to this day.

How the relationship started to become toxic

At first, my husband dealt with my condition well. I ended up eventually losing my job due to doctor appointments and the wear on my body. As much as this upset me, my doctors did not want me working because I barely had any T cells. I hated being home all the time, but I was extremely weak after spending an entire month in the hospital. My internal guilt caused me to feel as though I was a burden on those around me.

This is something that my husband picked up on. He frequently made comments about how he stayed after my diagnosis. These comments were meant to be a reminder that most people would have decided to leave after finding out about my status. He would use these comments in a way to guilt-trip me into tolerating his bad behavior.

In a bad place

He would constantly remind me about how he stayed with me when we found out I was positive. It became an endless excuse for everything he did or did not do. I was already battling with myself. I struggled with the thoughts that nobody would ever want to be with me because I was HIV positive. Due to the way he treated me and my own internal demons, I had serious thoughts that I would be better off ending everything.

Seeing my ex-husband for who he really was

Luckily for me, he ended up going out of town for work. Originally, I had planned out how I was going to end my life. I simply could not deal with the mental abuse I was being subjected to in my marriage. My plan was put off because my best friend ended up needing to stay with me for two weeks.

Finding support in family and friends

I decided to try my luck with some therapists. One doctor put me on some antidepressants, while the other helped my work through some issues. She taught me how my husband had a narcissistic personality. She also encouraged me to reconnect with my family and friends that he had isolated me from during the last few years. By reconnecting with my family, I was able to see that I would have a support network without him being involved.

Ending that toxic relationship

The night I decided to tell him I wanted to separate, I was beyond scared. My sister and best friend knew what I was doing. Due to this, my sister was on standby. The plan was that if I called her, she and my brother-in-law would come to my house and alert the sheriff's department. This backup plan was because we had no idea how crazy he would get with me.

Of course, during the conversation, he yet again brought up how he stayed with me after finding out I was HIV positive. Also, that he stayed with me when I had to stop working. I stood my ground and told him that I would prefer to be single forever than to stay in this toxic relationship.

Moving Forward

Today I am doing fine without my ex-husband. I have my family and friends to support me. Amazingly, I have even started dating somebody else who knows about me being positive and still wants to build a future with me. Managing to get away from my toxic marriage with a narcissist was a milestone for me. I hope nobody else finds themselves in the position that I was in during my marriage.

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