General Question

JLeslie's avatar

Would you stay with your spouse if he/she was negatively impacting your health?

Asked by JLeslie (60663points) September 8th, 2010

Let’s say you are allergic to your husband’s semen (rare, but it happens) and so you have to either take medication to have sex, or wear condoms, or sometimes maybe you are willing to suffer with some inflammation just to feel normal for a short time in your sex life.

Or, what if they discovered H.Pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers, is passed back and forth between people, and you have very symptomatic ulcers, and you constantly try antibtiotics again and again, with temporary relief, but then the ulcers reoccur, because you keep getting reinfected, and seemingly your spouse is a silent carrier, with no symptoms, and even after trying antibiotics for him too, you continue to get sick. (that is totally made up, I don’t think medical science has proven the bacteria for ulcers is passed back and forth, I am not sure how people acquire that bacteria, but just for the discussion let’s say it is true).

Or, if your spouse contracted AIDS or Hep C at work, and now you had to be very careful to not get infected.

Or, if you learn your boyfriends deceased wife died from a very aggressive form or cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine does not cover the strain of HPV that led to her cancer. Would you risk staying with him? Knowing possibly he is a carrier?

How do you look at these situations?

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24 Answers

chyna's avatar

My brother’s wife had hep C before it was even a known disease. They said she had rheumatoid arthritis. Four years into it, they finally diagnosed her correctly. He stayed with her until the end and took care of her at home, waiting on a liver transplant. I know he rushed home from work each day and made dinner, shopped, and stayed home all the time with her. He was 35 years old when it was finally diagnosed and she died when he was 44. So with that in mind, I don’t know that I could be that gallant, that supportive. I think I’m too selfish to give of myself like that. But of course, I will never know for certain until I am in that posiiton.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Without a doubt, yes.
I can say that because I have been on the flip side of that situation… and he stayed with me. For me to say that I would leave him if the circumstances were reversed would be… disgusting.

skfinkel's avatar

Staying with a spouse includes things like, are there chlidren, do you love him/her, what is your commitment. For some, as long as a person is living on the earth, you want to be with them, regardless of anything else. For others, the problems you describe might be a good reason to leave. It’s hard to answer a question like this for another person.

Pandora's avatar

My dad had Hepatitis, my mom and all of us lived with him for the 18 years he had it, till he died. None of us caught it off of him. You just have to be careful and we were.
As for if I would stay with my husband, there is no doubt I would. The vows were for in sickness and in health. He took the same vows and I would hope he would stick with me. Not out of pity but because he loves me enough to accept me in any condition.

malldesdoonie2's avatar

I’d leave him on the spot, for example my Husband went and cheated on me and gave me Genital Warts and I haven’t been with him since…had it been something else like syphillis or gonerhea excuse my spellings it would have been a different story altogether.

zen_'s avatar

And welcome to fluther, @malldesdoonie2 – may your future posts, and experiences, be rosier.

I am gonna go with nope. I’d stay and weather the storm.

JLeslie's avatar

I just want to be clear that this is not a question about taking care of the other spouse in their illness, in fact in some of my examples your spouse does not feel sick at all, he is symptomless. It is about you being or getting sick yourself. I should not have used AIDS and Hep C, because I think maybe that led people to turn the question into sticking by someone when they are sick or dying. I should have thought that through better. Still, thanks for all of the responses so far. I appreciate the real life examples.

Blackberry's avatar

Uhm….That’s pretty yucky…I don’t know if I could stay….A condition like high blood pressure or clinical depression maybe…but actually catching something I could not deal with.

chyna's avatar

Ok, so your question is will I stay knowing my S/O has a communicable disease? Probably not.

Seek's avatar

I chose my husband as my spouse because he’s my best friend, my confidant, the one person I know would take care of me, no matter what.

I certainly couldn’t leave him because a disease that may have contributed to another person’s death may be carried by him. (HPV)
As for the allergic to semen thing, that’s pretty easy to work around. So you wear condoms and take a pill, and adopt a baby or use a donor to conceive. No biggie.

The stomach ulcer thing would be a deal breaker. Ulcers can be life-threatening, besides just being horribly uncomfortable.

I’ll leave out the HIV and HepC thing, being mindful of your later post.

Your_Majesty's avatar

As long as we have a commitment about this disease issue there would be no problem (e.g. my bf have AIDS or such contagious disease,he’s still my love,will still have a sex with him but with several exception such as wearing condom,or other medication/protection).

The one who suffers from the disease should have known,and will usually know this. They will understand the issue,and try to fix/prevent anything bad that could affect us if we interact/live with them without we even have to do something about it,unless they’re persistent/careless,of course.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr So if the ulcer was contagious it would be a deal breaker for you. Being in chronic pain, and the possibility of it bleeding and being life threatening. Even if this developed while you were already married? You would consider leaving for your health in that type of situation?

Seek's avatar



I’m no good to anyone if I’m in constant pain. If leaving this one person would make me well, I would have to do so.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I wouldn’t leave. I take my vows very seriously and “in sickness and in health” was part of them. My husband takes them just as seriously as I do. We would be there for each other and we would do what we had to do to get through it.

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Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I would stay. :)

CMaz's avatar

Drink lots of Cranberry Juice. (H.Pylori)

I guess it depends on how much you love that person.

zen_'s avatar

I misread the question or else it was edited so that my post is contradictory (not that anyone cares but me); I said nope, I’d stick by them – because I thought the question was whether you’d leave them in this situation. I think the question requires an “even” after “spouse”: Would you stay with your spouse _even_if he/she was negatively impacting your health? I, too, take my vows seriously.

faye's avatar

I think I’d sure try to work around it. We are still in love, right? After years of me being ill and watching him happily, healthily living, I can see that wearing my love away because I’d be so resentful.

ashsaintsfan's avatar

When you say “For better or for worse, sickness and in health” that means everything. I would stay and find some way to fix things. I’m not married but that’s my opinion.
The only thing I would have a problem with is the HIV/AIDS. Nobody wins in that situation and I’m afraid I would have to leave. That would be a little too much to handle I do believe.

tranquilsea's avatar

I would stay no matter what. Precautions could be taken in nearly every situation.

augustlan's avatar

If we’re still in love, I would absolutely stay. We’d just have to find some way to lower the risks.

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