Catholic with an STD- will I ever marry?


I have been to confession. This ways heavily on my mind every day. I have not dated in a long time because I fear the moment I would have to tell someone. I really want to get married, but I also don’t want to burden a potential future husband. I have given my life to God and told Him that if He wants me to become a nun, I will. No one knows I have an STD except my OBGYN and previous boyfriend who wanted to marry me. I didn’t want to marry him because he is divorced with two kids. I do not want the responsibility of a relationship with his ex-wife, the mother of his children, and I would rather have children of my own. Will anyone ever want to marry me? Is it fair to burden someone else with this? I have already possibly burdened one person and was burdened myself with this before him. No one would ever imagine I have this, especially not my family. It would devistate them to know. I am the least likely person. I was the one most likely not to fall. I fell and it shocks me to this day. What should I do? I pray about it. I am now a conservative, devout Catholic. There is someone I am interested in dating. He is the kind of person I want to marry. I just would never wish this upon him or anyone. At the same time I feel I deserve to be happy, marry and have a child. Please help me. And may God bless you for your loving, Catholic wisdom and guidance.


Whatever happens, brightlight, God is watching over you and has a direction for your life. I do think some men would pass you by for marriage on account of an STD. It may depend on the particular STD. Some of them are less annoying, some are like AIDS. With AIDS, oh dear, well, God will direct you!

Having told God that your life is his is a good step! Pray every day, maybe make the effort to do it before the Blessed Sacrament. My experience with my life is that I have not known where I was going to be until I got there. Have you ever visited the motherhouse of a group of women religious? Maybe you could try that. It is a great experience, and does not require that you know your mind yet at all. Or you could see about this gentleman you know. Even if God had blessed you with a natural love of children, he can use that either in marriage or as a nun or sister. Also, there are vocations for people who stay single, in Opus Dei and similar places.

Do *you *feel a direction that God is calling you?


Brightlight, you made an excellent choice in not marrying a man who is divorced. You will never know how much unhappiness you have just saved yourself. God is truly with you!! :slight_smile:

I will pray for your situation; it is an extremely difficult one.


Maybe you are called to go public with what you have done. The positive impact that it could have on countless young girls, if you warned them of the seriousness of the consequences of premarital sex. Explain to them that the disease goes one step further in that it hinders your chances of getting married. That might really make some young girls who are considering premarital sex think twice. It would take a lot of courage to go forward like that, but you could potentially save lives and marriages. Perhaps you could start an entire ministry of other women who are experiencing the same thing that you are. Or, perhaps even a co-ed ministry. There is a good chance that a man who has the same condition as you would be willing to marry you, since you are both in the same predicament, and may not be able to catch (any worse) what you already have.

I know that there is a ministry of a bunch of women who were brave enough to be photographed together, with a caption, “We regret our abortions.” They did this to warn other women of the emotional impact that it has on the woman, too.

Well, obviously this is just a suggestion I am making. Put your full trust in the Lord, and remember, He still loves you, and if you have Him in your heart, you still have more than anyone who lacks Him does. May God be with you in all that you do.


Don’t give up hope! I have read that approximately 20% of the adult population here in the U.S. has genital herpes and even more people have HPV, and I personally know several people who have admitted that they have chronic STDs – and who knows how many others have them and aren’t talking? Most of those people I know haven’t let their condition stop them from dating or getting married, but if/when you do start dating, it is essential that you tell any potential partners about your condition when you feel the time is right (and that’s another story). It is entirely possible that you might meet a man who has the same condition and is just as apprehensive about dating as you are. Have you considered online dating? There is at least one dating website for people with herpes and/or HPV, if you do a google search you’ll find it. I would think that it would be easier to go on a website such as this and to tell them that you are now a devout Catholic, than to go on a Catholic website and eventually have to tell someone that you have an STD. But I don’t know, I haven’t done either. Most of what I’m telling you is based upon my observations of a close friend of mine who has HPV.

Remember, **all **of us are sinners, just some folks get a permanent “souvenir” of their sins. No man out there is so much better than you simply because he hasn’t caught an STD. You are not a “leper” and you are not your disease, you are a beloved child of God!

Whether you choose religious life or give dating a go with the goal of marriage, God will guide you on the path you are meant to take. Best of luck to you, and God bless.


As was said earlier, giving yourself to God was a vital, vital step. Be open to whatever God has for you; I know that can be easier said than done, but stay truly open to what God has for your vocation and don’t expect anything to happen; or as a friend of mine puts it, expect everything and expect nothing.

That being said, there are plenty of good Catholic men out there that have the heart to understand your situation and love you wholeheartedly regardless of the STD.

But, above all, as seems to be the common idea in this thread, keep God first, love Him above all desires, and pray, pray, pray for your vocation; I will be praying for you too. God will not let you down! He knows your deepest desires and knows what are your true desires even if you don’t realize them yet. Just like Pug said about not knowing where you are going until you get there.

I wish you the best.


so I assume you feel that someone whom is divorced is trash?
or that a divorced person cannot make you happy?

did you ever think some people get divorced simply because there was no other way to fix or cure the problems?

its real easy to sit back in a chair and label a given group of people whol you know nothing about except what you hear from a few.not all people whom get divorced are trash you know…
not all people whom are divorced cause unhappiness or misery on others.
I hope that you wont find out what its like someday,

also keep in mind many people whom are divorced didnt want the divorce in the first place but the other spouse did.

whle on this subject if a divorced person recieves an anullment do you rejudge that person to being above trash, I mean the marriage never took place sacramentally therefore no divorce was technically needed?
sorry to hijack the thread that response just struck a nerve

as far as a STD goes and marriage, I believe there is someone for everyone out there, I also believe that if we blow it with that someone that was meant for us we basically screwed ourselves into permanent loneliness ( i am an example of that)
anyways be honest and up front with someone you may get serious with if its meant to be a STD shouldnt be a deterant

just for the record as well and to show you that there is always possibilities there is a dating website where others in your circumstances go to meet others with potentially same things
which in turn wold remove one of your seemingly major concerns
last I knew it was called (std singles) so being as there are places such as this to meet others in similar situations I would say your outlook should be good.plau as stated before if its meant to be I dont feel it would be much of a deterant anyways.

Good luck to you



Whoa, hold on a minute there – as a divorced person myself, I did not take jmcrae’s post to mean that at all! The OP herself stated that she did not want the responsibility of having to deal with the ex-wife and the kids. Let me tell you from experience, this can be a huge hassle. For four years, I dated a divorced man who had two kids. Dealing with the child support thing, the visitation hassles, conflicts in parenting-styles between the two parents, and hearing, “You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my Mom” gets old real fast. One of the major reasons I broke up with this man was that I couldn’t deal with having their mother as my “ex-wife-in-law.” When you marry a divorced person with kids, you marry the whole family, and many times the new spouse doesn’t “get it” how burdensome that can be until it’s too late. It’s a double-edged sword: you don’t want someone who would bail on their kids, but the ones who hang in there as active parents often have a real mess to deal with, esp. if their ex is demanding and manipulative, and uses the kids as pawns as my ex-bf’s wife did. The OP was lucky to avoid this, and I would tell anyone who was considering marriage to a divorced person with kids to proceed with extreme caution.

BTW, I’m a convert who wasn’t very well-catechized, and I didn’t realize until the last few years that as a divorced person without an annulment (yet), I’m not free to date. Now I know better and I don’t date anymore.

And now back to STDs, another online support group with a dating site is There are Yahoo support groups out there, too, if you do a search. Brightlight, it might be good for you to join one of these and talk to others who have the same condition, so you won’t feel so alone and so you can maybe get some suggestions on how to cope. And welcome to CAF!



Whatever ails you, perhaps it can be cured with fasting and prayer? But then maybe not. I am about to start prayer time, I will pray for you. You have turned yourself over to God, that is what matters, and of course it’s important that you feel you want to get married and have a family, you deserve that as much as anyone, whether or not you have a STD, it maybe harder to get someone though.

I’m a guy, and there is this girl that I really like, I am physically attracted to her, but I thought to myself, would I still like her if she wasn’t physically attractive anymore, by anything that could happen (GOD FORBID :eek: ). And I decided I would, even if she happened to get an STD or something, which she won’t, I know, but it was just a what if-scenario, so do realize there will be a man out there for you, keep praying.


It depends on what you have and how contagious it is.

Why would I say I love someone and then put them at risk?



This is a key question, imo. If what you have is life-threatening, you really shouldn’t get married, unless the person you are marrying has the same disease.

There is no way to protect your spouse from your disease, because you cannot use a condom. And having a celebate marriage is not an option because it would be invalid.

OTOH, if what you have is not life threatening, then you could very well get married. I do know of women personally who had an STD, got a bf, told him about the STD, and he married them anyway. It’s not impossible.

If I were you, I would put the matter in God’s hands. If he has a special someone in mind, I’m sure He’ll bring that person into your life.


I cannot tell you how much ALL of your comments mean to me. They have been so helpful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It feels so good to know I am not alone. This is the first time I have sought feedback and discussion. I have held it in for a year and a half and no priest knows this. My confession was more general in nature.

Pug- thank you. I know God is with me because I had a mystical experience two years ago and was filled with the Holy Spirit. I didn’t even know these were possible or that they existed, but I had no doubt at the time what had happened. I have share that experience with anyone who would care to listen because it is witness to Our Lord, the living Christ. I don’t know about ‘the motherhouse of a group of women religious’ - any direction here? I really feel God wants me to speak, but I don’t think speaking publicly about ME having an STD (Herpes) is in my best interest. I do feel God wants me to speak to teens. I’ve had a strong desire to do this, but haven’t found a forum.

jmcrae- thanks for your prayers

FrankLawrence- About going public, see my comment above. I feel going public would have a social and economic impact on my family members (and myself). However, the statistics of Herpes are 1 in 5 and teens (and adults) need to be aware. I asked my OBGYN what percentage of patients in her practice have Herpes. She said 30 - 40%. I live in an affluent community. Money has nothing to do with getting it- it crosses all socio-economic strata. I believe I got it from receiving oral sex from someone who had an open Herpes infection on their mouth. It NEVER occurred to me that I could get it this way. I asked my OBGYN if she warns teens and she said ‘No’. Someone MUST admonish our youth because we are in a culture that is saturated with sex, violence and parental neglect. Immoral behavior has been normalized by our culture. I would speak and write anonymously, but again, going public would negatively impact my family. Although, I do recall a woman from Greenwich, CT, another affluent community, who went public about having AIDS. Her family supported her. Mine would NEVER be able to handle it. The stigma associated with it in our society is too great.

CarrieH- thank you for your encouragement and for telling me not to feel like a leper because I really do. People say, “You’re so great, why aren’t you married?” and I think to myself, “If you only knew…”

FraterInChristo- Love the homage to your wife and your marriage and love your handle, ‘FraterInChristo’. I appreciate your thoughts.

johntkd- my heart goes out to you. I don’t believe you blew it. I believe you made mistakes you were supposed to make to learn what you needed to learn and that it’s meant to be.

I struggle with this idea myself. If God knows my heart and knows that I was going to do this, I guess He knows the choices of our free-willl even before we exercise them. So, in that sense, maybe I was meant to get Herpes and talk about it so others may learn. But then, aren’t they also pre-ordained into the choices of their life that God already knows they are going to make? I often wonder: if God knows what we’ll choose, is it as simple as following Him and showing Him that we are with Him and not Satan? We choose to do good with whatever he has allowed to happen or ordained happen. We do not choose evil. We want to live with God eternally because we love Him above all else and all others. (Good theological feedback would be appreciated here.)


KCT- maybe for someone else to truly love another person (me) they might have sympathy and compassion for them (me) and show that the loving thing to do is to love someone and not abandon or shun them because they have a disease they never wanted in the first place.

In Christo,


Honestly? I wonder how many ***married ***people even know this. They too, can transmit the virus to each other’s intimate parts in this same manner.

I would say you are definitely marriage material, by the way. :thumbsup:

Don’t lose hope!


I apologize, I never meant someone couldn’t or shouldn’t love you!

I meant, if you have someting contageous and/ or dangerous, can you love someone enough not to put them at risk? —KCT


KCT- thank you, no offense taken. In all sincerity, I wan’t to understand: How could I NOT put them at risk? If I marry them, condems are forbidden by the Church, and frankly not desirable by married people, so are you saying I shouldn’t have intercourse with them if I love them because that would be putting them at risk, eventhough we may be married? So, essentially we would be married friends, but not procreate? God wants us to procreate and give ourselves to one another completely.


While this is an unfortunate occurance, you should not plunge into despair. Marriage is not the only vocation possible for the Catholic; single life or calling to a religious order are other possibilities as well.

If you do plan marriage, the best thing is to be open to your prospective husband about your condition and to seek good pastoral help and medical help which can (if possible) mitigate your condition. I think it is always best to try and see what good can be salvaged from any situation, and a lot of us who are converts have come from shipwrecked situations in life to something much better in our new faith. It can take some time to discern what that might be, but it is not always marriage.


Condoms are forbidden by the church if used as artificial birth control. It is possible to use condoms with the tips removed. This makes you open to the possiblity of life as the sperm is not contained…it also decreases the risk of the spread of infection since most (although not all) of the husband’s skin is protected. (This was told to me by a priest). In addition there are medications that you can take to help supress your herpes infections. This will not give your husband 100% protection but it will decrease his risk considerably.

This does not mean that you should not prayerfully consider your calling of course. I am just suggesting that being called to marriage and children is still a possibility for you if you are open and honest with your prospective boyfriend/spouse.

I also am not certain of sharing this information with family and friends. Some sins are better off left between you, your priest and God. I will pray for you, hope this helps.


See a doctor and see how contagious it is. Then talk to a priest specifically about this concern and the doctor’s answer either in confession or spiritual direction. If it turns out that you would be putting your future husband at risk, you at the very least owe it to him to be upfront and honest about it and if they say, “Sorry, no thanks”, well, you’re just going to have to accept that as a consequence of your prior action (please keep in mind that while confession restores sanctifying grace, it does not erase other tempoal consequences).


All true - meaning that if you truly seek the best outcome for that person’s life (which is what true love is) then you would not marry him, because not marrying him would be the most loving possible thing that you could do for him, to protect his future health - unless there were some way to be married to him that would not be dangerous for him (like, if he already has the disease, for example).

The thing about cutting open a condom sounds like an urban myth, to me. I’d want to double check with a physician about whether that would actually protect anybody from an STD.


Not at all.

Divorced people do have a lot of issues, though. First, the ex-spouse. Even with an annulment, the ex-spouse is still part of the person’s life. Even with an annulment, the children don’t just poof into thin air, either. Even with an annulment, the ex-inlaws, nieces, nephews, and other ex-relatives are all still around.

I hope that you wont find out what its like someday.

Too late; I found out all about it when my parents divorced - I was the first “latch-key kid” on my block; I didn’t get a lot of homework done because I was doing all the housework and stuff, and other kids were dropping over to watch TV and do other kinds of stuff that they weren’t allowed to do at home, because I had no parents home to say “no” to anything.

I also got into trouble a lot when my parents were out dating other people, and thinking I was at the other one’s house - that’s just the kind of thing that happens when you are left out with no supervision and no house to go home to because they are both saying, “It’s my first date with this person, so please just go disappear somewhere; sleep over at the other parent’s house tonight.” So, with no place to go, you just go out walking, and you get tired of walking, so you sit down, and someone comes along and invites you somewhere, and it’s not like you have anything else to do, so you go along, and it turns out to be trouble.

while on this subject if a divorced person recieves an anullment do you rejudge that person to being above trash, I mean the marriage never took place sacramentally therefore no divorce was technically needed?

Again, the annulment doesn’t make the past go away, or the problems. It’s still there, and all those needy people are all still there, along with everyone who wants to take advantage of your kids.

In summary - yeah, I know what divorce is like. It’s not very nice, and it’s not a situation you want to get involved with, if you can possibly avoid it.

I’m sorry about your divorce. I sincerely hope you are doing better than I did with my parents’ divorce.

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