DEAR DEIDRE: DISCOVERING that my girlfriend has been secretly selling her body was enough of a shock but I have since learned that she has given me an STI too.
She has lied and cheated for years, putting my health at risk, but I love her and can’t imagine life without her.
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I’m 47 and she’s 39. We have been in a relationship for two years.
I knew she had a colourful past — she said she worked as a stripper while a student — but I didn’t care.
As far as I was concerned, that was in the past.
But one night last month, she went to bed early and forgot to turn off her tablet.
I wasn’t snooping but when messages kept flashing up, I thought they might be important.
They said things like, “Tomorrow at 4 OK, my place?” and: “Is it £100 for an hour?”
After a sleepless night, I confronted her. She made up some rubbish about guys from her work making stupid jokes.
Otherwise, she would not discuss it.
For the last couple of weeks, I have kept needing to pee and my penis has felt sore.
I thought I might have a urinary infection and made an appointment with my GP. They asked if I was sexually active.
When I said yes, he asked if I’d had unprotected sex.
I said I had but only with my girlfriend, in a monogamous relationship.
He said I needed to go to a sexual health clinic for tests. It was embarrassing and frightening.
I even took an HIV test. The results showed I had gonorrhoea and I was prescribed antibiotics.
I asked my girlfriend about it but she denied having it.
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However, I know she was on antibiotics for something last month — a “women’s problem”, she said.
Where do I go from here? She says she loves me but how can I trust her?
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DEIDRE SAYS: I know you love her but she has lied, cheated and lied again.
She is not the woman you think she is.
Unless she is honest with you – and herself – and agrees to stop this behaviour, which puts you both at risk, there can be no real future for your relationship.
Please talk to her and ask her to tell the truth so you can see if there is a way forward together.
My support packs Cheating, Can You Get Over it? and Looking After Your Relationship should be helpful with this.
You are actually lucky you had symptoms as for many men, there are none – and you would not have known you had this disease.
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Do not have sex with her again until the gonorrhoea has cleared – and then, make sure you always use a condom.
Be aware that gonorrhoea can also be spread through oral sex.
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