It's been a long time since I was first diagnosed with Herpes. I found out about 2 years ago. Since then, things have gotten a lot better. The girl I was with at the time when I found out isn't in my life anymore, but not because of my Herpes. Things just didn't work out (in fact, I was the one that broke it off). I have also met (and married) someone new.
My wife is amazing. I told her about my Herpes, and her reaction wasn't disgust. In fact, it didn't decrease her desire for me in the least. I think that I was the one that had a harder time dealing with it. I had numerous bouts with impotence and self-esteem, out of fear of infecting her and out of feeling like I was some kind of leper. Yet she was patient with me, and has been a cornerstone in rebuilding my confidence and love for myself.
Despite my wife's healthy, loving attitude and all that she's done for me, she still couldn't help being hurt when she found out that she contracted Herpes. She and I both knew that there was always a risk. If she wanted to have sex with me, even protected sex, there was still a risk of her getting my disease.
She found out when she came to me with a rash on her thigh. "Look at this... I have some kind of weird rash."
"I don't think that's a rash..."
(I unzipped my pants and pulled them down, to expose my own thigh, where I had a similar rash.)
"I haven't had a doctor confirm it, but I'm pretty sure that is the Herpes."
I had never had any of the big, gross blistered outbreaks on my penis, like the photos you see. Herpes can effect you anywhere "that boxer shorts cover", so you could have an outbreak on your thigh, nowhere directly on your genitals. I'm pretty sure that's why I never knew I had it until I got tested. It just looked like a "weird rash" or jock itch.
As often as she and I had talked about this, and as aware we both were that this could (and probably would) happen, it still hit her hard. Even though she knew the risk involved and accepted it, she was still furious with me. A lot of insults and accusations came out. She wouldn't talk to me for days. I had to fight my own anger. I was hurt that although she knew exactly what she was signing up for, that she reacted this way. Within a week's time, she apologized, and we were able to put it behind us.
I am very lucky to have found someone like her. I know most people aren't as understanding or civil. So if you've found someone that loves and accepts you despite the Herpes, wonderful. But if they aren't already infected themselves, you need to be prepared: They will be one day. No matter how careful you are, if you are regularly having sex, the statistics are against you. It's only a matter of time. You both need to come to terms with that NOW. Don't move forward thinking "if we're careful, maybe he/she won't get infected." That is living in fantasy. Move forward thinking "he/she WILL get it eventually, if he/she doesn't have it already." Your uninfected partner will be able to come to grips with it much sooner, and if you never infect him/her, then it's a total bonus.