Telling my dad my mom has herpes
February 1, 2006 9:49 AM Subscribe
My mother has asked me to tell my father that she has been diagnosed with genital herpes.
posted by Crushinator to health & fitness (41 answers total)
My parents have been divorced for about 10 years and while they act civilly toward one another on the rare occasions that they are forced to interact (the most recent example of this was a brief encounter at my sister's college graduation 3 years ago), they are not "over" the divorce in any sense and still harbor a lot of hostility and resentment. I get along fine with both of my parents, though I am probably a bit closer to my mom.
My mom doesn't feel comfortable talking to my dad about it, so she has asked me to tell him in case this will have an effect on his health. My mother is baffled as to how she contracted this virus, which is part of the reason she thinks my father needs to know about it (in other words, it may be possible that she got it from him or gave it to him unknowingly). She doesn't know how long she's had it, but she just had her first outbreak this year (she is 52). She will not be going on Valtrex because she says it's only used to treat outbreaks and her doctor told her that it is unlikely she will have another outbreak. My questions:
1) How important is it that I tell my dad about this? In other words, how likely is it that my dad has something to worry about and what can he do even if he should be worried? If it were you, would you want to know? I've heard that you are very likely to test negative for the virus even if you have it if you're not experiencing an outbeak when you are tested. I'm not trying to back out of doing this, but I am trying to "gear up" for it I guess.
2) How do I tell him? I am 22 and female and my dad is 55. We just don't talk about this kind of thing. He was very shy about his vasectomy last year and he would get very uncomfortable when his wife mentioned it. What's the best way to break the news without totally freaking him out? Am I the best source to hear it from? We don't live in the same town, I'd have to tell him over the phone. He doesn't have any sons.
3) Would it be better if I told his wife and asked her to tell him? It would be more comfortable for both me and my father, but perhaps he would view it as a violation of privacy?
4) And, as a side note, should I personally be worried about herpes?