Q: My husband recently ended an affair and we’re working toward reconciliation. While I believe he’s truly sorry, the question of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and diseases hasn’t been raised. Is this something he should do?
A: Absolutely! Both of you should get tested as soon as possible. And for many reasons.
The obvious concern is that if an STI has been contracted, this could have huge implications for your health, as well as the sexual dimension of your relationship. This is of special importance to you, since some of these diseases can lie dormant in a woman’s body for a long time before manifesting any symptoms. It’s critical to bring the facts to light as soon as possible to avoid potential further damage.
Also, when marital unfaithfulness has occurred, one of the most important elements of the reconciliation process is willingness on the part of the offending spouse to take responsibility for and accept the consequences of his actions. These consequences can be physical and medical as well as emotional and psychological. You can’t expect to put your marriage wholly back together unless your husband is prepared to deal with all of them.
That said, the physical and sexual repercussions might be the least important aspects of an affair’s aftermath. The emotional and psychological sides of the problem are often of far greater consequence and can be more difficult to resolve. If you haven’t yet, we highly recommend that you and your husband initiate a rigorous course of therapy with a trained and qualified counsellor. Our staff from Family Support Services would be happy to speak with you (call at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org) and put you in touch with a local marriage counsellor who can uncover any unresolved issues in your relationship and guide you through the reconciliation and healing process.
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