Life with HIV: A positive person’s take on HIV and relationships

Marriage is hard work that requires two hands to clap. Right now one hand is paralysed. The one-sided relationship is not what I term as a “relationship”. It’s more like a person labouring hard, hoping and waiting, draining out all the energy just like watering too much on the plant. Result? Depression, lower self-esteem, insecurity (similar to that of a plant which get wrinkled and die by over-caring).

Staying in a one-sided marriage needs a lot of effort. It requires you to be strong both emotionally as well as mentally because there are times one will break down. You need to be aware of the negative energy around you and all the time in alert mode so that you can protect and safeguard yourself. Try to surround yourself with positivity and keep yourself busy with activities which rarely would give you a time to think. And most importantly, just OBSERVE the happenings around you, don’t overreact (or even try defending yourself or correct the person). Just observe – because sometimes it may not be you who is at fault or having a problem.

Also, having a stable job is a MUST. Forget “stable”, at least have a job. You need to be independent – so that when things go wrong, at least you have something saved for the rainy day. Also, remember that being independent will unburden your partner with additional pressures. You are able to take care of yourself and meet your own demands – yes, it is a responsibility of a spouse to contribute to the household income too but when you are independent and working, the demand for more or extra money won’t arise unless necessary.

Know that it is not easy to stay within the marriage – be it a mixed status couple or two couple living with HIV. It takes very, very hard work, understanding the respective partner’s struggle and coping with HIV. Here, I am pointing not just at HIV but at any TERMINAL ILLNESS, be it HIV, Cancer, Diabetes, etc.

I speak from my experience. I thought I had the best of everything until the reality set in and it hit hard – which I regret – that I resigned from my job, believing that my husband would always be there for me, come rain or sunshine. All that is an illusion – reality is quite different. In the beginning, everything looks beautiful. But as time passes by, things change. There is no “why me”, it just happens. Very few are lucky to have a supportive husband/wife who can sincerely be at your side till death do us apart. But if you really want to work in your marriage, you need to love yourself first, get a job, get drowned in activities that you can kill time with, meet other people, do things you love that make you happy.

And if all else fails and you still suffer from emotional abuse then leave the house, knowing that it is not just a phase and you have given yourself hundred percent!! Mental health is also important.

Warmest Regards,
Jyoti Dhawale

About the writer:

Jyoti Dhawale is an HIV activist, writer, blogger and a front runner campaign into breaking the myth, stigma and discrimination that surrounds HIV being HIV positive herself and telling her story, her experience and sharing knowledge. Also Community Advisor Board for The Well Project (USA), International Steering Member for Prevention Access Campaign (USA), Brand Ambassador for Being Positive (Bangalore), she has worked with countless number of NGOs, holding talk shows and blogging. Her interest is vast though travelling, motorsports and photography top the list.

Editor’s note: This blog post has been published with permission from the writer. The original blog post was published on The Well Project

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