a gay male couple lie together closely but there is a cloud floating in between them

Being in a Serostatus Relationship

Last updated: January 2023

It can be so uncomfortable at times.

I know that I am holding something in me that wants to kill me, to kill my spouse.  I also know that my spouse has accepted this about me, and that use of PrEP and condoms make our lives as safe as possible.  But I still feel it.  Not always, not even most the time.  But sometimes, there it is, like a cloud.

Worries in a serostatus relationship

It isn't just the fear of contagion, or I could likely make room for that cloud with more ease.  It's worries about how long I will live, the meds, and the effects they have upon my already weakened body.  It's the concern for "Will I leave my spouse behind with my debts, our pets, (maybe someday) our kids?"

These are normal thoughts to have.

How do we manage these worries?

So what can we, as Poz Peepz, do about these worries? How do we deal with the idea that we have a virus inside, for which the meds also act as a poison and the fear that we will either give our partners this virus or our burdens?

There is no single answer.

Address anxieties about life and death

We can look at things objectively, I suppose. We have this moment, and in it, we are alive.  In the next moment, any of many things could happen and any one of us could be dead.  Thus, fearing what may come in years when we don't know if we will be alive tomorrow is somewhat futile, though normal for us humans to do.

This isn't even about being Poz; anxiety is literally about worrying that something will go wrong in the future, and all humans have anxiety.  So, we could accept that in this moment, we are alive and try and let that be enough.

But what about when the future does come?

Make the most of every moment

This is why making the most of moments is so important.  If we value each moment or at least any, we are mindful enough to recognize as a moment to be valued, we stand a better chance at seizing that moment.

In so doing, we are more likely to choose actions based on our values and on who we want to be.  Then, if and when the future moments do come, we are already on a valuable path and there is more likely to be a future that is aligned with our goals.

In simple terms, Nicholas?

HIV, my relationship, and my partner

If I want to enjoy my partner and the life we have together, I have to remember that life is fleeting, and not just my own. In reality, the virus does not increase the likelihood I will die before my partner; it just impacts the likelihood of how, but even then, not much.  So many things can happen.  Every moment is precious.

Focus on loving my partner in the moment

When I worry, which I still do, I acknowledge that worrying is normal. But I also choose to accept the reality that my worries aren't helping me in this instance, to instead focus on simply loving my partner in the present, being grateful we are together in this moment.

It doesn't make these worries go away completely or forever. But it does take away their power so I can try and be the spouse my partner believes is worthy of facing their own challenges of a serostatus relationship.

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