Cold sores are one of the most common viral infections, affecting nearly 90% of the population at some point in their lives. If you’re married to someone who has cold sores, it can be difficult to cope with the physical and emotional implications. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to manage a relationship when one partner has cold sores and what you can do to protect yourself.

Understanding Cold Sores 

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that cold sores are not a sign of unfaithfulness or promiscuity. They are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, which can be transmitted through casual contact. This means that even if your partner has cold sores, it does not necessarily mean that he/she is having an affair.

It’s also important to understand the nature of cold sores and how they can be spread. Cold sores can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, even if the sore is not visible. Additionally, they can be spread through sharing items such as towels or utensils, kissing, and engaging in other intimate activities.

You can also check our article on Does Benadryl Help Cold Sores?

Signs and Symptoms of Cold Sores

The first thing you should be aware of is the signs and symptoms of cold sores. These include an itchy or tingly feeling around the mouth or other affected areas, small bumps or blisters which may leak fluid, pain or burning sensations around the lips, cheeks, nose, and chin, swollen lymph nodes in the neck area, fever, fatigue, and sore throat. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience all these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary from person to person.

Duration of Cold Sore Symptoms

The duration of cold sore symptoms varies from person to person but typically lasts anywhere from 2-14 days, depending on how severe it is and what type of treatment is being used (if any). Some people may find relief after just a few days, while others may need up to two weeks before their symptoms have completely subsided. 

Risk Factors in Marriage

Close Physical Contact

When it comes to cold sores, close physical contact is a major risk factor. Kissing or sharing objects such as toothbrushes, utensils, razors, and towels can spread the virus between partners. To avoid spreading the virus, it’s best to avoid kissing when either partner has an active sore or blister on their mouth or face. Additionally, it is important to use separate items for each partner, if possible. 

Shared Objects and Surfaces

Another risk factor for spreading cold sores is shared objects and surfaces. This includes items such as phones, keyboards/mice, door handles, and other frequently touched surfaces around the home. To reduce the risk of transmission through these items or surfaces, it’s important to disinfect them regularly with an alcohol-based cleaner or other approved products. 

Stressful Situations

Stress is another major risk factor for flare-ups of cold sores among married couples. It’s important to identify any situations that may lead to stress in order to avoid triggering an outbreak of cold sores in either partner. 

Some strategies that can help manage stress include regular exercise and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or yoga/meditation practice. Furthermore, talking openly about any issues that may be causing stress between partners is often beneficial for managing this particular risk factor for cold sores in marriage.  

Managing Outbreaks 

The most important thing you can do if your partner has cold sores is to educate yourself about them, so you know what to expect during an outbreak. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a cold sore outbreak can help you recognize the early warning signs and take action quickly. 

There are several medications available over the counter that can help reduce the duration and severity of outbreaks, so encourage your partner to seek medical advice if they suspect they have a cold sore. 

Additionally, it’s important to avoid kissing or sharing utensils when your partner has active lesions, as these activities will increase the risk of infection for both partners.  

Finally, it’s also important to practice good hygiene at home to reduce the risk of transmission. This includes regularly washing your hands, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and other shared items around the home.  

Maintaining Emotional Health 

Having a spouse who frequently gets cold sores can be emotionally difficult for both partners. It’s important to remember that having cold sores does not make your partner any less attractive or desirable—it’s just something that needs to be managed like any other health condition. 

Talk openly about your feelings surrounding your partner’s condition and how it makes you feel; this will help build trust and understanding between both partners, which is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship despite these difficulties. 

Additionally, offering emotional support during outbreaks can go a long way in helping your partner cope with their situation more effectively. Offer words of encouragement, remind them that cold sores are common and manageable, and make sure they know that you are there to support them through it all. 


Cold sores are an unfortunately common virus, but it doesn’t have to mean that your relationship should suffer because of them. By educating yourself on cold sores, managing outbreaks properly, and providing emotional support during times of difficulty, couples can still maintain strong relationships despite living with this condition together. With patience, communication, and understanding, couples can successfully navigate through this difficult situation together while still enjoying all the benefits of being married.

We hope that this article on “Are you married to someone with cold sores” has been helpful in providing you with the information and tips you need to manage this condition.