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My Spouse has an STD, What Now?


Suffering from a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is a difficult thing to handle personally. It is difficult for the person suffering from STD and the partner as well. The struggles are different, but both will have to be strong.

So many questions come to mind in this type of situation. How will this affect marriage? Will this lead to the failure of such and be a ground for divorce? Or will it be possible to see past this and still have a workable relationship? If so, how?

STD as Ground for Divorce

Texas is a no-fault state. It means that one spouse can file for divorce without showing wrongdoing or fault on the part of either spouse. 

A divorce with a cause can also be filed. A spouse may file cruelty and adultery as grounds for the divorce; an example is if the infected spouse, having knowledge of his STD, has infected the other spouse.

Cruelty is an act of a person which causes physical or mental damage to another.

Adultery may also be filed, as STD can be proof that there was sexual contact with someone other than one’s spouse.

Overcoming STD as a Couple

If a couple decides to work on their marriage despite one of them being infected, the first thing to do is for the non-infected spouse to see past how society stigmatized STD and actively educate themselves about this matter.

A lot of misconceptions surround the topic of STD and this is because only a few are educated about this or even if they are aware of STDs, the information most probably came from their own google research without fully understanding what they find. This causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. A professional’s diagnosis must be sought to provide clarification and a better solution to prevent transmission to the non-infected spouse.

Facts on STD

About eighty percent (80%) of people who are sexually active contract some type STD. Some of them are curable or clears on their own after a few years, such as HPV and some do not, but they are manageable when diagnosed early, such as HIV. A number of couples are actually dealing with this type of situation and they are okay. Although it might be difficult in the beginning because of the need to adjust to the situation, they still engage in sexual activities with their partners after a while. Communication is key in this kind of setup, not only between the couple, but also with their doctor.

Next, practicing safe sex is a requirement not only for the unmarried and active ones, but also for married couples especially if one of them has an STD. Using a condom is a must during sex, even oral sex. Beyond this, safety measures depend on the type of STD one has. Reliable information about these safety measures can be given by a couple’s doctor so booking a consultation with the latter is important. Getting tested must also be done in a regular manner.

Lastly, giving emotional support is crucial in this type of relationship. This begins by just being there for their partner who has an STD. The non-infected spouse must be there to listen to their partner’s concerns. It is important to understand how they feel by giving them space and time to be alone, or the time to vent, if needed. Showing them the same support a person with any serious illness receives can really alleviate the situation and would make the partner with STD more open and comfortable.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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