Distressed and worried about STD’s after mentally ill partner cheated

I just found out my husband is a homosexual or bisexual and was using casual encounter dating sites as well as paying for sex. He admitted he slept with a guy. He’s bipolar and so I thought it was just because he was not on his meds but he told me he got checked and he was fine. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, then last week he had a nervous breakdown and admitted he was a bisexual. He is in the hospital and I’m in the process of getting a divorce. But why would he do this to me? I feel used and hurt, and mostly scared. I’m worried I might have gotten AIDS. Can you give me any comforting thoughts?

2 people with hands clasped in comfortI am so sorry! Being cheated on is a major consent violation and it hurts. It sounds like you are clear that this is something that was done to you and in no way reflects on you, which is important to remember. I went through a similar experience with my first husband, although not quite as bad. I knew when we got together that he had had problems with PTSD, but he told me that he was better after treatment and knew how to get help if it started coming back again. Of course it did, and he wouldn’t get treatment. (The good news is that after I left he went to the Vet Center and he is doing well now.) The problem with mental illnesses is that you can’t just take a pill or go to counseling for a while and they go away forever. They are like any other chronic disease and you need to keep an eye on them and sometimes change treatment. Often we think we are fine or coping when in fact, we aren’t. We can be in so much pain that we don’t think we are hurting others. My ex used sex as a way to push his problems aside and it sounds like that may be a factor here as well.
You said you are concerned that you may have gotten a sexually transmitted infection, such as AIDS from him. I can tell you from experience that you will feel much better once you get yourself tested for STD’s. I recommend Planned Parenthood or the city or county STD clinic. When I went I didn’t even need to have an internal exam, just give blood and take a vaginal swab (which they let me do myself.) Depending on how long it has been since you last had sex with him some of the tests may need to be repeated in a few months. It might also be comforting to find out if he used safer sex when he was with these people – he may well have which would greatly reduce your risk! But even if you have HIV, it isn’t the end of the world anymore, people live long healthy lives with HIV. Again, you will feel better once you know for sure you are clear of STDs (or getting treated); but I found even talking to the clinic people comforting.
You will get through this and you will be okay! I’m rooting for you! Good luck and best wishes! It does get better!

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