My husband went into therapy to deal with some longstanding issues and rapidly became severely depressed. He stuck with therapy but refused medication. I felt alone, isolated, and helpless. Of course, our sex life vanished. He encouraged me to follow my own hobbies, as he wasn’t really up to social engagement. So I did. And in one group, I ran into “Max,” who I also work with. We ended up spending time together, and then one weekend when my husband was away on business, I slept with him. It happened again a few weeks later, again when my husband was away. I appreciated the intimacy, but I have no desire to be with Max.
Fast forward to now, a month later. Max has just told me he has herpes. I went to the doctor and got tested, and I have it too. Max is the only person I’ve ever slept with other than my husband, so I definitely got it from him. I was devastated and broke down at the doctor’s office. I felt I had to tell my husband about the STI. The doctor said I didn’t have to, as many people have it, and it is frequently symptomless, so he might never know. I don’t know what to do. Should I tell him and risk a divorce? Can I keep it to myself?
—Friends With Consequences