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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Dear Rozanna: 'I don't know who gave me an STD'

Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison

Question: I got a letter from an STD clinic two weeks ago to say that someone I had slept with had been diagnosed with an STD and that I must go in and get tested, and to contact them for an appointment.

I did and got tested and they found something, very treatable, so I am all sorted but they won't tell me who was the source. Surely I have a right to know? I've only slept with six men so it's not like the list is very long and I really do feel like asking all of them who is responsible.

Instead I now have to give all those six names to the clinic and they can then send those lads horrible letters like I got in the post. If they told me who the idiot was then at least I could spare whoever came before him this kind of stress.

This is the most awful thing that has ever happened to me and I just feel filthy.

 

Rosanna Answers: As much of a shock that it was to discover that one of the few men you've been intimate with has passed on an STD to you, it's really not the end of the world. It's great for your own peace of mind to know that it's been treated and taken care of.

I understand how embarrassing it could be for your past lovers to receive the phone call, but this is the best scenario. It would be worse to say nothing and allow them to pass it on to their sexual partners. STDs are a big problem, and people need to be honest and mature about the consequences of unprotected sex. It's not like the information isn't available.

As for the man who passed it to you, he has the right to remain anonymous and the clinic is just doing their job. My advice is to accept the situation, appreciate that it's not worse than it is and move on.

 

 

Question: My best mate has lost the run of herself on social media and has become a walking ego - sucking all the energy and practically the will to live out of the rest of her mates each time we get together with constant updates on who's following her etc.

She is obsessed with herself, with selfies with tweeting total crap. If it's not online she's not interested. How can I shock her into returning to the nice, thoughtful, interesting person she was before this mania took over her body about two years ago? Her ultimate ambition is to star in a reality TV show. Is there any hope or should I ditch the friendship?

 

Rosanna Answers: Your friend seems to have become addicted to social media, and the ego boost it gives her. Like many others of her generation, she relies on her followers, likes and retweets for acceptance and self-esteem. She has built up her online world to the point that losing it would probably terrify her.

But as we all know, there is nothing healthy or normal about depending on strangers for approval. This isn't real life, and it steals from the time and energy she could be putting into the important people in her life. Before you seriously consider walking away from the friendship, it would be good to speak to her.

Just explain that while it's great that she enjoys social media as a hobby, she shouldn't let it take over her life and her real relationships.

 

Question: My husband doesn't like any of my friends and he gets very huffy if I try to arrange to do anything with them.

It wouldn't be an issue but I do have to think of who minds the children should I want to go to dinner or a film with my girlfriends.

He wasn't always like this but over the years he has become more and more obsessed with 'the family'.

I love my family, and that includes my husband, but I think it's healthy to have relationships outside of our clan, why can't he understand and accept this and what's causing his controlling behaviour? He works, goes for pints with pals and plays football - what's the issue with me having the same freedoms?

 

Rosanna Answers: As good a husband and father as he may be, it sounds to me that he has become increasingly controlling of you. Double standards seem to apply here, where he's allowed to go out with his friends but you're not. Perhaps he holds the very outdated view that a woman's place should be in the home looking after the family.

This is not remotely healthy and of course you're entitled to your own social life. It seems that he feels threatened by your independence and perhaps he worries that he'll lose you if you stray too far into the world. It's definitely time to have an honest conversation with him. Reassure him that you're not going anywhere, but it's healthy for both of you to have your own lives away from family life.

You need to firmly explain to him that you're equal partners in this marriage, and neither of you has the right to control the other. That's what will cause you to pull away eventually.

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