Herpes an impediment for marriage?


(I also posted this question on the ask an apologist part of the forum to get expert advice, but I figures maybe many of you would already know about this…)

I have a question. If you dont think it is appropriate to put on the forum please let me know. I am friends with a girl who I hope one day to marry. She lives in Russia. I am working on helping her to the States, which will be a big job in itself and a miracle if I could she could even get in the door.

We are in a chaste relationship right now as friends but I would like to start a courting relationship.

Here is the deal, I have either gential warts or gential herpes…either way some kind of skin problem…

I still have not gone to a doctor for it. I am not sure how I got it as I have never had sex, but I think I might have got it some other way.

Anyway, is this an impediment to marriage?

Secondly, how should I bring this up and when is the best time to bring it up to her?

For example, if I wait until the last minute after she comes to America and all, leaving her home, wouldn’t that be dishonest.

But at the same time is it something to bring up now because I am not 100 percent sure I will marry her?

If I end up not marrying her and pursue another relationship with a woman with marriage in mind (which are what I want all of my future relationships to be) what is the right time to bring this up?


You should probably go to the doctor for a diagnosis. But if you have herpes, it is an STD that does not ever leave your blood stream so a potential spouse would need to know. From my understanding, you can take daily medication to control it to prevent spreading, but there is no guarantee that you wouldn’t give it to your wife even if you didn’t have an outbreak. From what I understand, you could have it for years and never even know.

But, since you’ve never had sex, I’d say the first step would be to go to the doctor for a diagnosis.

Also I should say, I know people who have herpes (1 in 6 American adults have it) and it doesn’t usually stop someone from wanting a future with them. But you should never hide that from someone.


has anyone heard of any other skin problems that are not genital herpes that could be causing this. whatever I have is not quite as severe as the descriptions I have read on medical websites, but still there are similarities. Is there a blood test available for this?

are there any doctors on this forum? I mean I am planning on going to a doctor but it is almost a month until my medical plan from my new job will start…


I am going to jump this thread for a few reasons one of My brother brought in a russian gal and is now married to her.has been a few years now
your right with your current attitude it will be next to impossible to get her into the states, if you were serious about marriage it would help, secondly get you rear to a dr and find out what the problem is, dont be so afraid if its viral warts they are treatable,they tend to be itchy, and grow, herpes are basically a cold sore they tend to come and go warts wont go away,
also the herpes will “open up” if that makes sense also they have a treatment for it, I suggest you find out what the problem is asap warts can make you sterile,then decide AFTER you know what the problem is,


local health Dept will perform a screening many times for little to no cost there are lots of things it could be without going into everything or asking what they appear to be like etc and i am not a DR, there are many ways you could have gotten either without having sex.


Just as a reminder, please do not solicit medical advice or offer medical information on CAF. Contact a health care professional ASAP to determine what your medical needs are.

If the thread remains on topic–discussing the OP’s decision to tell or not tell of his undiagnosed condition to his friend, then it will stay open.

Thanks for your cooperation!

  1. Get to a doctor. I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose over the internet. You should not google-diagnose yourself either. There are plenty of conditions, both std and non-std related, that produce std like symptoms. Some can easily be eliminated with antibiotics, some can’t. Get thee to a doctor.

  2. Think: Wouldn’t you want her to tell you if she had such a condition? I don’t think you should mention it until you know what it is, but still, if you’re not emotionally intimate enough to let her know of potentially transmittable diseases, how can you be emotionally intimate enough for marriage?


I didn’t think it was even legal to get married if one partner has a sexually transmitted disease - nevermind what the Church might think of it. :confused:


I think it’s legal in the U.S. Heck, my state doesn’t even require a basic blood test (I don’t think many do, nowadays). When DH and I went to get our marriage license, the girl never even asked us for any kind of ID. We simply raised our right hands and promised we were actually who we said we were. :whacky:


Yikes. :eek:

My husband and I both had to get a certificate of clean health before we could get our marriage license.


So, if I’m guessing right, this is a mail order bride kind of deal?

And you’re wondering about telling her because you think you’re buying the right to have sex with her? Rationalizing it, even without having sought diagnosis, because she’ll be totally dependent on you once she reaches the states? This is reaching beyond pathetic into utter evil. Get your head straight, get a diagnosis, and tell her now.

This is what comes from having scrupulosity without ethics or morals.


Boy you must be a mind reader or something to have made so may assumptions about the OP without actually knowing him. That was completely rude.


I think sound ethical conscience demands two things in this situation:

  1. You immediately seek treatment for your condition

  2. You inform your possible bride to be you have this condition openly and honestly, as soon as possible.

Delaying both of these is in my view not good for yourself or for your relationship. I don’t know your situation in particular or your religious beliefs, but I believe your possible wife deserves to know you have this condition, as soon as possible, rather than very soon to the marriage. If you are Catholic you are not allowed to consumate the marriage and use contraception, and this will put her at risk of getting this disease, which is implicated in nasty things such as female infertility, cervical cancer and other conditions. If you are not Catholic, then all the same she has a fundamental right to know this.

In telling her you may risk losing her, but that is far better from an ethical standpoint than not telling her anything and then infecting her after having sexual relations, and the result is she gets the infection and also possibly even worse things like cervical cancer. Listen to your moral conscience on this one.


Oh, there’s one assumption here, but it really isn’t much of a stretch at all. Consider: the bride-to-be is in Russia, rather famed for exporting ‘brides’ over the internet; the OP is helping her get her visa, also a sign of the mail-order arrangement; the OP lives on the other side of the planet, also a sign of that setup; and they are ‘in a chaste relationship’ – ie, likely he has not even met her in person (and I will bet money on this).

And it doesn’t even matter if he’s met her or not. If he’s planning to marry her, it shouldn’t even be a question to let her know if he may have herpes. The only reasons I can conceive of that he might consider not telling her or waiting to do so is that he hasn’t come to grips with the fact that he’s involving an actual human being in this, or doesn’t care; or that he does not consider the relationship as a loving, romantic thing so much as a transaction in which he is the customer, and therefore always right. There’s a word for this: john – and there are far uglier.


Listen I lived in Europe for 8 years, two of which I spent in Russia doing volunteer work for a non-denominational organization that helps street children in Moscow. I met her because we both volunteered for this organization.

We are both Catholic and go to daily Mass. I had a conversion right before hooking up with this volunteer organization. This woman is really the first relationship I have had since before my conversion, therefore I can be considered kind of new to this whole Catholic approach to dating. I mean I never had sex before but that was more just because I didnt want to be in an unwanted pregnancy or abortion situation, just for purely practical reasons, not because of any religious or moral beliefs

I have known this girl for 3 years now, i didnt pursue a more than a friend relationship before because I thought I might have a vocation to the priesthood. Now it is clear to me that I do not.
There is NO mailorder bride business going on here.

Unfortunatley, a few months ago I needed to return to the States because I plan on working, saving money and studying so that one day I can get married. I had no work permit for Russia.

Really, I WASNT planning on not telling her…I was just kind of thinking out loud on the first post…This whole situation is all quite a shock to me. I WILL tell her after I go to the doctor to make sure, it is just a question of how I will break the news if this is what I have. This is a really difficult situation

Does Canon Law say anything about this situation?


While you do need to tell her, I think you should see a doctor first. I am not sure how you would get warts or herpes if you have always been chaste. I’m not an expert on it at all, but there may be a diagnosis you aren’t aware of so find that out first.


Hmm…how much money do I get?:wink: You know what they say about assumptions. Guess you owe the OP an apology.


that’s okay, i have been getting mail-order bride jokes and comments from family and friends for a few years now. It is frustrating sometimes though, but now I know what to expect from the US immigration people. Personally I think that mailorder bride stuff if a set up for a divorce once they get a US passport I would never do that.

Actually, she is quite content with being in Russia, she is not itching to get to the States like many Russians, as I said we both go to daily Mass so she realizes that material wealth cant bring you happiness… If she came it would be to visit me and her other American friends.

Naturally, since I came back here from Russia it has been a long distance friendship, through email, skype, and the phone etc. It is really through this geographical seperation that I realized that we had really become best friends and that she is probably “the one”.


It seems I do, and OP, I offer my sincerest apologies for reading you the riot act over it.

Now go get checked and tell her – wrong as I was about the nature of the relationship, this is still something that should come out up front. Good luck! :slight_smile:


You might want to ask if your medical condition might constitute an impediment to the marriage under Canon Law. I think a valid sacramental marriage requires one to consumate the marriage sexually, and this might be a problem with your condition. You should discuss this with your priest as soon as possible.

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