Some advice on talking about HIV with your partner.
Want to get something off your chest with your partner? Instead of attacking or withdrawing, when you talk to them, fill in the gaps to this three-part formula:
Say what it is they do that you don’t like. Be direct - but not accusing. Avoid just saying 'you do this', 'you make me feel this.' That makes them feel attacked; chances are they will become defensive (by attacking back or withdrawing). So part two is important.
Tell them the effect of what they do. Use 'I' statements e.g. 'I feel hurt/angry/frustrated etc. when you do this.' Keep the focus on how you feel, not what you may be thinking about them. This explains to them why their actions bother you, hopefully without them feeling personally attacked.
Be constructive. Bringing a problem out in the open is good. Saying what you’d like to happen instead is better.
For example: 'When you talk about how you fancy other people, I feel insecure and angry, so I’d like you to try and not tell me who you fancy.'
Tips on listening:
Couples often have different ways of dealing with life - this can be part of
the attraction – and part of the problem.
In a relationship there's often:
Maybe you recognise yourself and your partner in this or can think of other
ways in which you both are different. One of the secrets of a happy relationship
is learning how to deal with these differences - especially if being in love
makes you want to be the same, not different. The trick is to find a balance
both of you can live with and to share any stress. Later you’ll see examples of
how different ways of handling things can cause problems - and how to get over
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Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
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