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How can I forget about my wife's past?

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Question - (20 December 2005) 105 Answers - (Newest, 19 April 2013)
A male , anonymous writes:

My wife has had vaginal intercourse (about 48 times with three guys, 6+12+30), anal intercourse (one time each with two guys), and/or oral sex (about twenty five times from four guys) with six men other than me. She has given manual and/or oral sex about ten times each for five of these guys too. She has cheated on two of her boyfriends. She has had sex in public and even taped a video. She is extremely ashamed now, but I continually think about specifics of these acts and it makes me question my love for her. I can't stay happy because my mind's eye manages to conjure an image. I've tried getting my mind on other things, but just can't seem to manage. What should I do?

P.S. I'm not worried about measuring up to past boyfriends, I just want to find a way to let go of these negative feelings.

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A female reader, Liana 999 United Kingdom +, writes (19 April 2013):

I've been horrified by some of the posts here, I can't believe such old-fashioned views still exist. One of the main problems I have identified is the fact that many of you seem to feel having sex with a woman is degrading for her. Women are entitled to indulge their sexual needs just as much as men are. Consensual sex is mutually fulfilling for both partners and you men need to get over the ridiculous idea that a women has been 'used up'. Additionally, a woman is not a 'dish' in which you take turns at, she is a person just like you!

I can sympathise with those who have been lied to, by lying about her sexual past in the first place, it leaves you in a position where you don't know what to believe promoting the paranoia cited by many of you. I can also sympathise with those who have found out their ladies have slept with an extremely high number of men, I think it is hard to think someone is one thing and find out she is another. However, those who entered into the relationship fully knowing your partners sexual past you should be ashamed of yourselves! If you require virginity from a woman then that is fine, I know there are a lot of religious views on that sort of thing however, don't enter into a relationship knowing what your getting into and then continually condemn her for her past. However, please don't expect there to be a high level of sexual chemistry from the word go, give them a chance!

However, I think a lot of you have personal issues on which you reflect onto your wife. For some of you I don't think any woman is going to be good enough because the problem doesn't lie with the woman. If you were confident in yourself as a person, you wouldn't fixate on these irrelevant people in your wife's past. I think many of you need to start analysing yourself and start focusing on the real problem here. So in answer to the question: How can I forget about my wife's past? the answer is you can't, you can either accept it or waste the rest of your life thinking about it.

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A male reader, rysmith United States +, writes (19 August 2011):

I've been in the OP's situation before. I, once, dated this girl. I was 19 and she was 16. I had been with only one other girl besides her and she told me she was only with two other guys besides me. No big deal. I eventually find out that it was actually 9 other guys. All before the age of 16. After I found this out, it ate at me and I wanted to know more and more. But the more I found out, the more I'd get angry. Thankfully her and her family moved away and I was able to finally move on.

I'm not a jealous person at all. My current wife has been with quite a few guys before me. She's 27 and been with 9 other guys. It doesn't bother me because she hasn't lied about it. I think it's the lying that gets everyone. I've been with 23 women and have no shame in hiding it. My wife knows and doesn't care.She knows I love her and will take care of her.

The thing about my wife is that she had all kinds of crazy sex in weird places and whatnot and our sex life is rather boring. She once had sex in a restaurant bathroom and also a port-o-let at the park. With her other boyfriends, they had sex 3-4 times a day, in bathrooms, cars, wherever. With me, I have to beg for it and it's boring when we do it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2011):

I have been married 10 years and I am still haunted by my wifes past. It has brought me to a halt from time to time. Alcohol helps for a while and kills the past, sometimes. I do love my wife, but I have only been with her only. I sometime just do her just because I can and not because I love her. I suspect this feeling to continue for the rest of our relationship. To complicate the situation I have a couple of kids with her and love them dearly. I am going to stay with her for as long as possible, but I have found a little help in occasionally flirting with other girls. I have had 2 one night stands and each of them was awesome, so now I am wanting some more. So now a religious guy has come to the point of WTF is life for. Might just continue looking for cool a cool girl from time to time. WTF just enjoy life

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2011):

It's pretty obvious to me that a lot of people who give their little "2 cents" about this issue don't really have any idea what they are talking about. I'm really shouldn't judge but "the past is in the past" has never helped anyone. And don't give me crap like "all men call me a slut because I had sex with someone." Just makes certain people sound like attention seekers. This is a SERIOUS problem that I, as many men, have to deal with. It's not just an annoyance, it is something that eats at you 24 hours a day, makes you feel everything between homicidal and suicidal.

There are some pretty helpful posts here though, ill admit, about ways to overcome this (well, maybe not overcome, but force the problem down so it doesn't control you).

My wife and I have been married for 2 years today. I'd say we have a pretty decent marriage. I am raising a child from her ex-partner, and we have one of our own as well. Funny thing is, that doesn't bother me. I don't think for me, it's the fact that my wife has a past, or that she has slept with someone else. They were in a serious relationship and were actually engaged before she broke it off.

My problem (keep in mind, I say "my" problem, NEVER cast blame on your partner in these situations)is the "nature" of her past. I was aware of a history being there before we were married, I had known for for a few years before we were together. She told me when we first got together that she has only been with 5 other guys. I was like, yeah I can handle that. We were both 19, and I had only been in one relationship beforehand.

After we were married it started to eat at me. Not at what she had told me, but little contradictions in conversations, especially when she was drinking. Things like "mr X said i was no good in bed" when she had told me that they never slept together. Eventually it all came to a head, and I had to ask her the truth. After some time thinking, she told me she had been with around 25 guys before me. Most of them short flings or one night stands, or "just a blowjob for some guy she met at a club in a back alley" sort of thing. She also told me she had experimented with working at a strip club when she was a teenager and "not had intercourse but everything else" with her high school teacher.

Now me, I was horrified. I was pretty sure that she was still holding things back, and I think the number is a fair bit higher than that, but it hit me like a bus. We had an argument about it, and I ended up feeling guilty (and rightly so) for making her feel like a slut.

That was probably a year ago now, roughly, and it still hurts. I have heard some guys here saying that they feel their wife has been "tainted", and it makes me feel sad that she has been degraded like that. And knowing that you weren't there to stop it, and can do nothing to change it. It has gotten to the point where the feelings of sadness and hurt (and yes it is actually physical pain) sometimes turn into anger. Not at my wife, I would never act that way towards a woman, but aimed at everyone she was ever intimate with, or in fact any man that I think is treating any woman in a "degraging" way.

This anger is the real problem for me. It keeps me awake at night, thinking about all these ******'s touching my wife, when she was a TEENAGER for god's sake, and stewing over it until exhaustion finally claims me and I fall asleep.

What's worse is, like a lot of people have posted, I get the whole "I've already gone there" speech whenever I have what I think is a great idea in the bedroom. That is, if there is any action in the bedroom to begin with. For someone who (this came from her) was "wanting to have sex all the time" it seems she has burned out or something. Apparently she has no sex drive anymore. And it doesn't matter what I do, I've tried every approach there is.

What was the point in trying to be conservative, I only slept with 1 other person and that's because we were in a serious long term relationship that almost ended up in engagement. I waited for... literally, nothing. And then there's more jealousy for those that came before. More hatred and bitterness. It seems to me that it is a very viscous cycle.

But hey, the past is the past, right?

You must be joking.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 February 2011):

I have struggled with this issue for 17 years now. I have analyzed, and over analyzed, and come to these conclusions.

1. It is never going away. You may get to a place mentally where it is no longer an issue, but this is something that begins at the core of your soul. If no your current woman, it will be the next, with the same issue.

2. I wonder sometimes if I would remarry my wife. But what would the odds have been that I found another, with so much to love, who was a virgin? Would that have solved the problem? The odds were stacked. Was I better off marrying this woman I loved, despite the discomfort? Yes.

3. Retroactive Jealousy exists. IT is real. If you are like me you have enough details to envision how you think things went down. For me it might be the h.s. boyfriend pounding away, taking her virginity. Of the older guy, when she was in college, geeked up he scored a 20 y/o college girl, and teaching her new tricks. Or any of the other "douchebags." Fact is, you don't really know how it was. You only imagine it one way. It may as well have been flat, boring, and weak. Sure - another man, or men, made their way inside of your woman. It sucks. But odds are it isn't what you think it is, nor was it enough to win her love.

4. She loves YOU. And you are the best lover she has ever had. Women think about sex differently than men. They make a greater emotional connection. Even if they love sex as much as you, even if they had a guy with Ron Jeremy's "size" the best sex she ever had was with you. You are the man who trumps all other lovers. The king of her bedroom, the king of her heart. Enough that she left those guys in the rearview mirror. In fact, had it not be for those experiences not living up to her hopes, maybe she is still with them. It worked in your favor, though.

5. Life is short. It is. If you found someone you click with - that you love, love being around, maybe even had kids with - then realize you are a LUCKY man. The past sucks, but the present and future are beautiful, and who knows when that ends. If I told you you were to die tomorrow, would the past matter as much, as what you'd lose in the present?

I will always be bothered by her past, and the thought of her being intimate with another man. Or at least as I perceive it. But I remind myself everyday that I am THE MAN. She is in love with me. And those guys should be so lucky. Clearly they don't have the gifts I do, or they'd be where I sit, looking at a beautiful woman, with beautiful kids.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2011):

Well.... its good to see other people out there that have the EXACT same problems as I do. I thought I was so very very alone. :( . I rarely talk to anyone other than my partner about how much of a problem I have with her past because im afraid of looking like a "wuss" or a "sissy" (cant swear on this site lol) . She can only be understanding about it all for so long before she explodes on me when I bring it up for the 1000th time this year that shes sorry and wishes she could take everything back. She wishes we could go back in time and I could be her first but it just isnt gonna happen. She knows she made mistakes and thats all well and good but it does nothing at all for me! nothing! She gave everything special to me away to guys that didnt want her back and were just giving her enough attention to get what they wanted. I have grown up around so very many guys that have multiple sex adventures every weekend and think nothing of it. Very crazy sexual stuff too like orgys or threesomes or all kinds of stuff. My woman grew up basicly down the street from me so shes a part of this area too and I think that makes it worse in my mind knowig she was at parties with ppl doing things from nasty movies and stupid gang movies. Why do girls let this happen? Let themselves give in to who ever gives them attention, and for girls this is usually a lot since every guy knows he has to be the one to approach a girl and keep tryin to be smooth till shes into him. It hurts more than anything. I grew up around all these people but I was raised by a lot of respectable classy women that told me to wait till marriage and be different for once. So thats what I tried to do! I wanted to be that different guy, that knight in shinning armor for some classy reserved girl someday that wanted me and thought i was AMAZING for waiting to have sex. Turns out NO GIRL CARES!!!!!!!! This hurts so much that I missed out on not only years of turning down girls wanting sex from me ( I was in a band it was easy to get that kind of attention) but also I missed out on catching up to her so THIS WOULDNT BE AN ISSUE! Its not like I wanted or ever dreamed of being a man-whore but everything feels different now including my thought process. I have red a lot of these posts and it blows my mind how many guys are out there like me. Its uncanny. One post on here talked about a man watching porn and masturbating and cheating 2 times on his wife. I cannot tell you how many times over the years cheating has come to my mind. A way to make "love-less" sex no big deal. She has even asked me if I would like to leave her for a while and go play catch up thats how little she cares about sex stuff and it eats me alive. I could never leave her!!!! especially to go get off with some strangers :( . Its sucks so much and makes me hate the world we live in. It completely stolen my joy in life. I was that fun loving guy in a band that everyone in the whole school or friend circle or work circle knew and loved cause he could make a joke about anything and make anyone smile. Now I cant even force myself to smile. I wish things were different but they just cant be and wont be.

My story goes... I met the girl I dreamed about having since I was 10. When I met her she was 18 and already had slept with 5 people. I know to most ppl this is not a big number but the numbers get larger as time went on. The numbers of partners never changed just that I finally was told how often some of them were. I almost vomited. We laugh we love we abbandoned almost all our friends to spend every waking minute together and we are intoxicated with each other. We have 100's of inside jokes and we can tell what each other is thinking just by looking at each other. We have a deep connection that makes my insides light up and feel amazing. This is what I always wanted!!! except the one thing. The one thing that every guy on here has a problem with. Im not sharing this to get a response much like most of you havn't im sharing this because I hope someone relates to it and knows they have ppl out there that are the same as them. Or at least can read this and feel a little better. Even though I didnt feel any better after reading every post on this site. Obviously that one thing is my womans past. It eats me up inside, it tears a whole in my soul and puts a knot in my stomach. I am obsessed. Some nights I cant sleep I cant eat the thoughts of her with these guys in VERY NASTY DETAIL run through my head like a looped movie and WILL NOT LEAVE ME. Much like many guys on here said, it was all fine in the begining. She told me pretty much everything just without all the nasty details. It bothered me off and on but only a week here or a week there. We have been together 5 years now and marriage is so close we can taste it and we both are excited. Except I cant be or stay happy. The second im alone with my thoughts they jump to her past and I become a mess. We are only young (25 and 23) and I know there are plenty of fish in the sea blah blah etc etc. But i dont want anyone else I want her!!! I have no clue what to do about this all and im very alone in being able to talk to anyone other than my partner. Not only that but I cant stop thinking about carrying her over the threshold as my first and only wife but never being anything other than number 6 on her list. Everything special has been stolen from me and I therefore feel incredibly un-special. She has tried many times to tell me thats wrong and how amazing i am etc but it doesnt help at all. I feel like just a different face and body to her sex life and it cripples my inside. I was tough that someday a girl would love me more because I waited for her to come along and didnt just give in around every bend but thats almost what she did! I am so worried I am never gonna stop hearing the end of new details that I didnt know before. I lost my virginity to her near the begining and im not insecure. I am a very desirable guy, im attractive, im very on top of my fitness, im classy and respectable, im normal sized endowed but I can easily give her screaming orgasm after orgasm. The only thing that helps a little is knowing that in the 5 guys she had not even 1 gave her an orgasm she had to do it herself. It is my only point of consolement.

Basicly her story is that when she was 14 she lost it to the first guy that gave her attention. Now she was good in the sense that she stayed with him for 2 years and tried to have something with him. At first that made me feel better because the other 4 she had were all one night stands at parties while either drunk or not thinking clearly. IT SUCKS SO MUCH!!!!!!! this isnt the classy reserved girl i know. Why does it seem every girl has more sex more often then guys now a days? cause they can? cause they know a batt of an eyelash or two and they can get any guy on top of them? ugh. anyway. I thought her 1st boy was the only light in that tunnel but over the last 8 - 12 mnths as we get closer to marriage I have been asking details because I cant have surprises once I take the plunge. Divorce doesnt exist to me and isnt an option so I needed to know the person I was gonna marry. BAD CHOICE!! MISTAKE!!! anyone considering asking details walk away! Turns out she used to have sex with him every day after school for 2 years. When i added that up it means before she turned 16 she had sex over 500 times. **barf** room is spinning.. ugh.. ;( ... Not to mention that even the fun married couple stuff thats supposed to be for when we are like 5-10 yrs in and want some spice in our sex life has been taken from me. Toys, wearing costumes, in her house that WE make love in!, anal, oral, every position, EVERYTHING! Theres not even 1 small tiny thing left for me and yesterday I lost my self totaly. Another detail came out by accident that I didnt know. When we first met I knew this girl was everything I wanted so I gave it to her. Not within the first month but still same idea. Anyway, after our first 2-3 times cause i was in-experienced (but apparently still the best shed ever had haha :) ) we took it slow but then some magic happened and we had sex almost 6 times in one day. She was extatic and told me no boy had ever given her an orgasm let alone more than once a day. I was uplifted and glowing for weeks. Yesterday she told me that her and this boy had sex 4 times in a day once and that she didnt lie she never said that to me. I was and still am crushed. Its probobly why I actually went looking on google for help. Im at my witts end. I want a virgin wife but they dont seem to exist where i live. I want that feeling of breaking in the girls sex life and being the only touch shes ever had. It makes me furious.

So anyway. Theres good things to this guess. Its hard to focus on them but they are there. Like before me sex had nothing at all to do with love, which is good and bad. Bad because she liked being used and having rough dirty love-less sex with whoever would give it to her. Good because I came along and taught her how to live better and what she was doing wrong. I put love into it .. and thats great and all but seriously it makes me sick thinking of her past and what shes into and turned on by. I can rough her up and be like an animal like she likes but it makes me sad that that has nothing to do with love. She likes both she says and it cant be one or the other to me the love has to always be there. Ive thought about cheating so SO many times! Anything to make me able to understand her mistakes and catch up. anything. but i cant do it. I cant bring myself to be that guy. Mostly because ive always wanted to be married and happy and if I took love out of it whats the point. Not to mention when were married and everything special has been taken from me whats the damn point? Living my life with someone to be there with? pfft i could do that with a F**# buddy and not have to be restrained to marriage. Anyway I cant bring myself to ever entertain a thought about leaving her shes everything to me and this past stuff SUCKS! its consuming me completly.

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A male reader, Barry White United States +, writes (31 October 2010):

You can't stop it. It's impossible. Cut her loose. I'm 42 years old and am very much in love a beautiful, smart, woman who just happens to have over 100 notches on her head board, and has done everything imaginable, with anyone imaginable. I first came to know about it very early in our relationship, and it's been unfolding as the relationship has developed. At first, I just dismissed it as something that happened before we knew each other. So no problem, I thought. I give a s*it about the past men and women she's been with. Well... So far she's been totally faithful, and she's incredible in bed. She does e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!!! So, I thought it would be cool. It's not. With someone like that, even when you THINK you know everything, something new always comes up. I always ask myself what's next? I give a rip about her past lovers. However, it's her judgment and charachter I've come to question. The bottom line is that there's no way she'll ever be able to stay faithful. I'm a one on one guy. There are no gang bangs in my future. She says she's ok with that... Really? I just don't believe her. She says she's found the perfect man in me - the man of her dreams. I'm cutting her loose.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 October 2010):

So I want to tell all of you how to resolve this horrible feeling. My wife and I went through the same dismay.

Quick story:

I fell in love with my wife. I was 22 she was 23. She had been having sex since she was 13. She could not remember how many. At the time I was in love and didnt care.

13 years later something triggered in my mind and I went CRAZY. I could not deal with it. I realized that we had just become married and there was no sex or anything and we had gone apart.

I have, for those years, been watching porn, masturbating, I cheated twice. And you know what it was all that time? Me competing with her past! Make sense?

The solution:

I spent several nights of crying and upset between my wife and I. We went over everything we ever did. She had thought that she had been with 30-40 guys!!!!! So, we sat down and went year by year and figured out who she had been with. The funny part is that is was 21 total including me. That is 20 guys over 10 years of her life before me! Then we went through and figured out how many times she had slept with them. The number over that 10 years is less than 1/4 of the times we had sex.

So things start to become clearer. Then we went over the details more. She admitted there was a guy that was bigger and it felt good but she didnt orgasm all the time. However she does with me all the time. And she has multiple orgasms with me. That she didnt get before. I also realize that before it was just sex for her. Now it is intimacy!

My point is that the past of your spouse hurts. But if you talk every detail over then there is no room for imagination left. But... she has to be 100% honest with you!! My wife is god bless her.

The result for me:

We are more in love now than we ever were! The weight is lifted. We are even going to start trying different stuff in bed. And we are both on diets to lose weight to have better sex and do more together.

One last thing. The past is not JUST the past. But the past should not control your future!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2010):

I am almost 40 now earning well and feeling settled in life after building my career and struggling to get to this comfortable status. Just when I thought my life begins now...the so called hell broke loose.

Pre- marriage : I met my wife during college days. I was 21 and she was 22. During initial 2 years we were simply talking on daily basis day and night and there was no physicall relation because I had always thought that this wasw post marriage aspect. When I realised that she had started trying to hook my close friend and her other male friends, I proceeded on the physical front. In no time I was under high sexual influence and could not resist her. We started being physical on daily basis but for the intercourse. In about 4 years one day we were physical and she simply had intercourse with me in standing position which cannot recall now (that was our first time). The next day we again had intercourse and this time she tried to explain to me that there was a drop of blood and that she lost her virginity (this she recalls). We subsequently had our ups and downs in our pre-marriage time with long gaps when she would disappear and then re-appear. During this time of 7 years I kept asking her about her previous relationships as I got to know that she had about 2 friends. Her replies were - I have not seen or touched any man, I had one small affair where we were about to get married and he had never seen me nude and in the second affair it was for one and half year and only kissing and he used to finger her to orgasms on daily basis. I believed her and went on with our life. Subsequently after 7 years I went and asked her for marriage with a few conditions (religion being one). She agreed to all the conditions and we got married.

Post Marriage - Within the first year of our marriage problems started and she even went on to do false legal case against me and my parents. She left my house about 3 times within the first 2 years and was away for 3-4 months each time. I became emotionally weak each time and brought her back. By that time I had started getting anxiety and panic attacks. I suffered for more than 3 years after marriage.

Subsequently she decided to have a child and we had a baby girl ( no test done). I started to enjoy life as a family person and struggling to build our life around my child and my wife.

During this time there was only one downside that I could not touch my wife anywhere but just that she could enjoy me in bed and I got a sexual release on when she had sex with me. Till such time I had no more understanding of her except what she made me believe.

Now it is 13 years of our marriage, 10 year old daughter and almost 19 years of so called knowing her - and now the curtain unfolds to an extent I can't believe I was living and dreaming my life with a stranger.

Just a quick reflection on how she had been behaving with me over past 20 years I started to get some doubts. After some exploring I have been able to contact about 4 men who have had long term relations with her. One of the guy had been with her for 7 years giving her daily pleasures. She had actually become sexually active at 12/13 and since then she had been switching men...leading them and throwing them off. There are few more names that she has herself told me when I pstered her into telling me all.

Current status : I am going to be 41 and she is going to be 42 within the next 2 months. I need more children and she cannot conceive. I am very smart to look at and look as young as 32 but she looks older than 44. She is not at all beautiful and neither does she have good skin. I earn 6 times her salary. While having sex she stinks like crazy and now it has started to effect me more. I kind of hate her for what she has done to me. I am an extrovert full of life and fun while she has no interests and has never made me smile. I have started drinking and smoking in the last 8 months since the time I have started to get more and more details. The whole day I am spending contacting her exes and getting more and more details.

I have been going through hell in the last 8 months. Not able to work in office and at home the environment has gone bad to worse. I feel sick. I have been asking her to move out of my house and give me divorce. She is not agreeing to any options that I propose. She is constantly threatening me that she will destroy my life if I leave the house or if I talk about divorce. I told her she can take all my money and the house and the poarents..all...and that let me go. But she is not letting me move on in life

I am not sure if I have emotional weakness for her or it is love or I am scared. For sure I do not want to take my child's mother away from her. But at the sametime I am lost in life as to what do I do. One of the side effects that I feel is - I am starting to have very weak erection. I now see that even my simple statements were always misinterpretted by her because she has been messed up with all her past relationships (this she has agreed also).

I have no idea what way to go - leave her or try living with her. It is almost 8 months of hell now. Please guide me. I have been reading all your experience...but cannot think straight...I do not trust her...I have lost faith ..I sometimes think..what would it be like to have a virgin!...will I get one....will life be different with her

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 August 2010):

I had this same problem. Last year I thought I met the girl of my dreams ( I was 24, she was 25). Before her I had been with a few other women.

I really for the first time fell in love, I mean I loved her so much. We got really serious, however she was divorced, and at first it didn't bother me.

Now in our culture no one really marries non virgin/divorced women, I mean unless the guy is divorced with kids himself, old, (and even these guys can get virgin wives,) or has some other problems, it usually doesn't happen. But I went for it cause I loved her so much, and since I was born and raised in America my thinking was more open.

However her past would bother me at times, esp at night. It wasn't that I felt insecure, Just the thought of that nasty dude touching her, and enjoying her drove me INSANE.

Yet still I went ahead and married her cause I loved her so much. It didn't last long, eventually I divorced her and she returned back home.

I missed her a lot at first, but with time began to heal.

Trust me no matter how hard society tries to make it equal, it just doesn't work that way. Women who have been screwed really have no value anymore, yes its fine for a fling, but for a wife and mother - you should get a virgin girl.

Because during sex women are entered, enjoyed and penetrated, for a man it is absolutely disgusting and complete torture to think his wife has been used like that before by another man.

I just feel bad for all the sissy overly Liberal White guys, forced to marry these nasty whores. I mean when you sleep with a girl whose been fucked so many times, you are putting your thing where so many other men have been, do you really want that for a wife???

I dunno, maybe its just a cultural thing. But now I totally understand why in my culture no one looks twice at a divorced/non virgin girl.

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A male reader, ScottieDoc +, writes (29 August 2010):

I first posted on this subject in 2006. I’ve re-visited this site only recently and have found what’s been posted in the subject in this, and similar threads both familiar and very helpful. What’s been most reassuring is that there are many others out there with the same problem. I’m not alone, and in fact the single most helpful thing I’d was correspond for a while by email with another man who’d been through the same thing. Although there was certainly a small degree of ‘wallowing in mutual self-pity’ with our predicament, he gave excellent some advice. I was sorry to learn last year that he had broken up with his partner. There’s no doubt things do improve, albeit probably only a little, with time.

My wife first told me after several years of marriage that she’d slept around in her teens and twenties, giving a figure in the region of 40 partners. Naturally I was horrified, and it’s totally changed how I think of her. We’re still together however, and I still love her very much. I love numerous other things about her, and remain determined that I will not let this destroy our marriage, which is good in many other respects. We have two children, and I will not let this affect them.

My wife served in the forces, and there’s no doubt this will have had big a part to play. I try to avoid talking about the subject as much as possible. However, she will sometimes inadvertently bring it up, and when she does so, I still feel physically sick. She sometimes, particularly after drinking, comes out with awful statements, like the other day ‘I used to take holidays with my girlfriends just to be fucked’. ‘I started sleeping around at 16’ was another. I usually become moody for a few days and avoid physical contact, but my positive feelings for her eventually take hold again and we get back on track. Silly things like items on TV, even about the forces or holidays, can bring it on. It can eat me up inside at times and make me very depressed. I want a ‘perfect wife’, but she’s been ‘tarnished’ in this way. I still don’t know how she can have been intimate with so many other men. I do wonder at times if she’s exaggerated her ‘number’ at times, but why do this? I do still hang onto this idea at times, hoping she’s making it up, but exaggerating your past is a weird thing to do.

One of the hardest parts have been the occasions I’ve found out that she’s been in touch with some of her old flames via social networking sites. We’ve nearly split over this too. I now have a pathological hatred of these sites and am still concerned that she might communicate with others.

I agree that this ‘past is the past’ idea isn’t very helpful. The other classic is ‘this made her who she is and hence why you love her so much.’ She may no longer do it, but in my mind she has repeatedly behaved in a very cheap way and I will never be able to get it out of my head. I won’t be able to forgive her, although who am I to demand or expect this? This was before she met me. She kissed too many frogs for my liking, even though I may be the prince. I know some of it may be down to ‘retroactive’ jealousy on my part (I can count the number of partners I’ve had on one hand). This is now my problem. Her problem then was lack of self control. She simply couldn’t refuse advances and keep her knickers on.

The solution? Separate? How would this help? I’d still think about this option when I’m very low, but all I’d end up with is no wife, but without a doubt all the bad thoughts would remain. What about counselling? They’d probably want to dig too deep and stir this up even more, and just blame MY inadequacies. Further, I’d probably have the same problem with the next partner. I’d be suspicious that they’d be lying about their ‘numbers’. One of the most helpful things is to try to think about the good points. There’s no doubt my wife is great in bed, but I’d rather she’d had learnt things with me. She’s great at so many other things, including being a mum. I just hold onto that and do my best to block the bad thoughts. This includes avoiding even watching relevant triggers on TV or talking about subjects that may bring the thoughts back. I divert the conversation where possible, but a husband and wife should be able to talk about old partners. I can’t and won’t. I don’t want images of them in my head.

I’m not sure what to do now, and remain worried we’ll split up one day because of this. Sometimes I can’t stop dwelling on it, but occasionally days or weeks go by when I’ve hardly thought about it. However, I know it will come rushing back if a trigger is seen or spoken. I’ll continue to dip into the threads on the subject on this site. I’m so glad I found it in the hot summer of 2006. Just reading other’s predicament can be so reassuring. There are others who’ve clearly had it worse. All I can say is good luck, and I hope you sort it out without having to leave your partner. I don’t see how that will help, particularly if kids are involved. Above all, if your love for her is true, you won’t let this beat you.

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A male reader, imnotbob United States +, writes (16 August 2010):

Speaking from experience it is hard. Everyone saying you are a f**&) idiot has not felt this way. I think this is more close to loosing a child by miscarriage rather than unwarranted jealousy (I have experienced them both). I am married to a woman who has a past and though I knew about it when we first started dating I did not know the full extent. As the original poster did, there is a stage in which you do catalogue the "issue". You may feel the need to do this to overcome the obstacles you are facing. You need to be upfront with your wife and let her know that you need to do this to get over it but are not judging her. Also the assumption that the poster was not a virgin is not proper either. I did not have ANY past when I got married (and other than my wife still don’t). Remember this will be a painful process for you both. It is not about feelings of inadequacy or jealousy (maybe a little jealousy) but it is more about the differences in points of view.

My experience went as follows. A long time to get through anger issues including explaining it is not HER I am offended by or that I do not BLAME her. Even a longer time sorting through MY understanding of her past. A much shorter time discussing HER feelings about HER past (with me not angry) and then a plan to move forward and enjoy the rest of our life...ok the last part was BS!! There is no surefire way to be happy. After going through her insecurities she opened up more to me and we discussed things she has kept secret for her entire life from everyone else. From that we both came to an agreement on OUR sex life. All in all this took the better part of 10 years to accomplish but we now have the ability to be brutally honest in our sexual desires.

KEEP ON TRUCKIN'. Really if you are feeling as crappy as I did and you still want to be with probably really do love her. The true test of love is knowing pain and pushing through it (together).

Do not give up so easily, you may be a person whose past defines you...thus you feel that everyone’s past defines them and you (or you feel that pasts help define a person) and need to come to terms with your significant others past. This is not a fault of yours or your spouse' just is what it is. Most likely if you separate you will run into another similar situation down the road, though maybe less of a difference or it may be reversed but altogether you will have to face this at some point.

Though my experience was 10 years in the making it was not 10 years of hell. The beginning was horrible, but after some understanding between what both of us were feeling there were only occasional painful moments.

Those who feel like this you are not wrong and not alone. Don’t let it bury your relationship. Those of you whose significant others feel like this YOU are not alone and not wrong. Remember it WAS your it is becoming BOTH of your pasts. No your past does not matter (otherwise he would have left you) but you will need to revisit it and YES your past is part of you...don’t be ashamed to share it (but don’t go overboard with details if the other doesn’t want them or is not ready for them). Also when asking about your spouses/significant others past allow for some changing of details (this may be due to reservations previously had or simply they forgot a detail but did not necessarily lie).

There is hope, there will be hard work for both people…but it is not as bad as it seems now and working through it is worth it. Don’t just bury and forget.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 July 2010):

I read the posts here and I feel the need to share my feelings as well. I am in my 30's now and am obsessed with my girlfriend's past. Actually it is to the point where I am breaking up with her and I am not sure it is because she has a past or it is because I truly believe things will not work out. She has had sex with three people before me and I guess what bothers me most is her first and one guy she slept with once.

This is a repeating pattern for me with past girlfriends. If they had sex before me, the past experiences would bother me. The more I liked a girl the more these experiences bothered me. It started with my first girlfriend who had one guy before me. I was convinced that she was obsessed with him when we started dating and though I fell in love with her, a hatred built up inside me for her due to my insecurities.

I am particularly disturbed thinking about my girlfriends' first time. Thinking that her first guy got to experience her, breaking her in and enjoying knowing that he is the first. This thought really burns me that it wasn't me who was first.

I did date and sleep with two girls who were virgins even considering marrying one of them (in the end I realized I didn't love her). Though my obsession decreased at first, it came back years later and now it is very strong.

The girlfriend I dated for about 5 months, I realize I have strong feelings. She is adventurous, fun, smart, artistic, loving, and I really enjoy being with her. She has her flaws which make me doubt the future of the relationship, but I am not sure it is because of these flaws that I am breaking up with her or because of her past.

Where I live now, I can still find (not easily) more sexually conservative women who have not had past experience even in their 20s. However, these girls tend to boring and I think it would be hard to find such a girl that I could fall in love with. So I feel that I will need to compromise - choosing a girl who I am passionate about and have strong feelings with a past that makes me burn, or a girl with no past but I have lukewarm feelings for.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 July 2010):

My wifes keeps filling me in about things she has done in her past as we go along. Each time she hits me with something it is shocking to me and I do not know how to react. She has done so many things that make me wonder about her - and I am hurt.

When we were dating I introduced her to my friends (a man and his fiance'), I worked with the guy. Well to sum it up she started going over to their place without me - and I felt something was off. I asked her about it later on and she admitted to having a threesome with them.

This just goes on and on - and is seeming to become more of a nightmare for me. I wanted to believe she was my soul mate - but I am beginning to wonder if she has tarnished hers so much that I should not be with her??

She told me this after I decided I would be with her. After that situation happened - our dating history was kind of rocky. Well - she ended up sleeping with another man and got pregnant. I work out on the ocean - and she had left me a message to call her. I called her and she told me that she was pregnant. I asked if it was mine. She said it was 50% chance (which in all reality she knew was a lie). There was no chance that baby could have been mine. I came home from working for 3 months straight and was going to take her on a cruise. That is when I asked her about the threesome and she confessed. Then she also confessed that there could be 2 other possibilities for the babies father (she was sleeping with 4 guys at the same time)

Well, to sum that up - I decided to stay with her through the pregnancy. Since then things have become more and more rocky. She keeps finding the strangest times to tell me things from her past. She has been with women. I guess I won't go into too much detail - but she has let women do her with a strap on. I feel like she is still attracted to women. Some of the things she has said point that way. She has been with more than one man at the same time.

She just told me last night that she has been paid for sex.

After she told me that - she flipped out on me saying I was judging her and that she doesn't trust me. That's why she doesn't tell me about her past. I am just wondering what else there could be that she can't tell me?

It has been a couple years the baby is almost 3 now. I have been trying to do my best. I've been supporting her trying to help her get through RN school. I have been raising another mans child for the last 3 years.

To top it off - she now wants to separate because she says I am an alchoholic (the only time I drink is on rare occasion - maybe once a month if that). So she wants to separate until I can show her that I am not an alchoholic.

So I am just wondering if it's even worth it to try and stay with her?? I think she has made me a little crazy - and I kind of feel crazy for staying with her his long.

She seems to have a chemical imbalance and always flips out over the smallest little things. I guess I will use our separation time to decide that. It sucks I will not have rights to the little girl as she is not mine if we separate. Sometimes I feel like love is not enough. I am feeling it is pretty one sided - for she wants to put blame on me with the alchohol for our problems. I think our problems run much deeper. I think she has scarred herself by her past. I really don't want to judge her by her past - but sometimes I feel like she is sucking the life out of me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 July 2010):

The emotional pain that comes and goes with history is beyond description. I found out that my wife... who I knew was no angel, was abused and impregnated by a 21yr old when she was 15...(and ended in abortion).. and was date raped by 2 different men... who she went on to date regularly... all was due to pain and emptiness. Now, after nearly 25 yrs of marriage, I can tell you that she is wonderful... great wife, great mother, well respected in the community... but every once in a while, the pain comes back to haunt me... and it is all due to my insecurity... am I enough? Am I big enough? What other things did she do with them? All that .... I know it is ridiculous adn obsessive... especially after all we have been through... I just don't know what to do about it...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2010):

Some very difficult situations these. I recently met my wife to be. I'm 32 and she is 26.

I aske dher about her past, and in the end she became quite graphic with me. She has been with 2 guys in total, hurts like crazy. I also got to a stage where I was OCD abotu th whole thing...I could not stop thinking abotu it 24/7. I thought we would not make it...I thought that I would not be able to be with someone like that.

I have had 4 partners before...however sexually they have been really difficult due to severla reasons.

We ar einthe process now of making it work.

I came to the following conclusions:

1. Communication is KEY here. You have to talk about it. Feel the is there for a reason. You both lost out on something.

2. It depends on you how specific you need to get. In my case I went fairly grpahic as to how often, and where they did it. Extremely hurtful, but once I had those answers the demons started closing in my head. I had my answers, the rest is just detail.

3. Realise that only with God will you overcome this, together. I have been spiritual, but not religious. Still am the same. But for the first time ever in my whole life, I had to admit to my wife to be, that I could not do this on my own. I could not contorl it anymore, the pain was so intense, so real, so painful, so personal, so persistent, that I finally realsied that I need God and I cannot do this on my own. Once I admitted this to her, and God, it is the first time I feel that God has listened. This doestn mean he doesnt listen, I suppose it has been a way of making me listen to him. Who knows.

4. Talk to your wife/ gf about including God in the process of healing. Honestly, if she is not willing to do so, I don't know...I would not have managed.

5. Admit to eahc other that the past, specifically, if you need to (mention peoples names) were a mistake, and were not in the spirit of what God has given sex to you.

6. Ask eahc other for forgiveness for what you have taken from each other. That exclusive bond that was only meant for the two of you.

7. Pray together often to God, ask for forgiveness for what you have done. Ask that he brings you closer together because of this. Ask for the special bond that was meant only for the 2 of you.

8/ Admit and be very clear in both of your heads that sex, was meant for the two of you only, togetehr. Anything else, was a mistake, and completely insignificant. i found that if my wife to be could not admit to this, I woud have left. Talk about it. It will bring you closer.

9. Know that neither of you can judge each other, and that God will also not judge you. It was a mistake.

10. Have a ceremony for you, your wife, and God. Pray. Admit to the mistakes. Ask God and your partner for forgiveness, for the sexual act was meant only between you 2, and noone else.

11. After the ceremony make tender love, don't aim for orgasms or anything, in fact, don't have any. They detract from the clsoeness you wish to share. Orgasms is for you on your own, they are all good, but they are not the point of sex, at all. Be close, and realise that you have been cleansed, and that you are virgin's for the first time, togetehr again.

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A male reader, Providence United States +, writes (1 July 2010):

Mine started about 3 months ago...even though she had related to me yrs ago that she had runaway from home at 14 and had been raped at the age of 11.

She slept with 2 guys while she ran away to Texas at the age of 14.

It completely devastated me but it did so 34 yrs after the fact. It didn't matter to me that she helped me raise my daughter for the last 14 yrs. I got extremely depressed and FIXATED to the point of crazy.

Time has helped. I slept with a 14 yr old girl when I was in H.S. and several other older girls soon after. I guess what freaked me was her running away at 14 and throwing her fate to the wind.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 June 2010):

I know there are a lot of responses going back to 2005, but I thought I would chime in, since this topic has always hit near and dear to me. I used to be like many of the guys who are insecure about their woman's past. It started with my first girlfriend, which was also my first sex experience. I was always told 'Don’t fall in love with the first girl you lay.' However, as hard as I tried not to, I fell for her anyway. I guess because I lost my virginity with her, I felt it was only fair that she should have done the same with me. But when I found out she had been with other men before me, it sent me into a furious frenzy. I can’t really explain why I became so judgmental of her, like one female responder said, "there is no way she could have known you were out there." As true as that was, I couldn’t helped feeling betrayed. Just the thought of those men touching, kissing, fondling penetrating and eventually reaching orgasm at the expense of my girl incensed me. I imagined the most graphic of details, like her sucking his cock, or her eyes rolling in her head as he was thrusting his manhood into her. I wanted to literally kill every goddamn one of them. Her past eventually led to our breakup, and interestingly, it also created a monster in me. I was now going to be the man-whore that I had accused my former girlfriend of being. I had sex with woman after woman just so I could outnumber any future girlfriend's past by a long shot.

I went through several relationships during this "fuck-fest" period and every one of their pasts bothered me. So, in the end having sex with all those girls didn’t really help things. What did help? I grew the hell up! As funny as that may sound, nothing is more the truth. I would say once I hit my early 30's, I started realizing that women have sex just as much as men, and in fact, that wasn’t such a bad thing. Although I never took a girl's virginity, I have had sex with some "inexperienced" lovers, and I have to tell you, it’s a bore! They just didn’t know what to do in bed. My best sexual experiences were with those who I knew had slept around, because they were damn good at everything they did.

So, I’m 37 now, I have a wife and a daughter, and she has a daughter from a prior marriage. How do I feel about my wife's past? I could care less. I have slept with close to 100 women in my past, and I know there is no way she is near that number. So, I don’t ask her and she doesn’t ask me. I love her and that’s all that matters now.

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A male reader, ro1234 United States +, writes (6 June 2010):

Sorry I guess the language in my previous post was too strong and it was never posted, so I'll try to say it with nicer words.

I really really don't understand how a woman can be so insensitive that she would tell her husband of many years (whom she hasn't had anal sex with) that she had anal sex with other guys and then proceed to tell him that she won't have it with him now that he knows.

It would just really make me question whether the woman really loves me or just enjoys torturing me.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 May 2010):

I'm in the same boat as all of you. I mean we are in the EXACT same spot. I have a very similar situation with my wife's past.

There are some very useful responses here.

IMO, much of this can be addressed just as any other depression or anxiety disorder; by addressing our thoughts. Thoughts dictate how we feel. I would refer those of us facing these very legitimate problems to two books in particular:

Feeling Good by David D. Burns, M.D.

You Can Feel Good Again by Richard Carlson, PhD

Shortcut Through Therapy also by Richard

The Burns book is excellent and very thorough.

The Carlson books are what I would consider almost synopses of Burns' work, BUT JUST AS IF NOT MORE EFFECTIVE. Don't let the cheap title of Carlson's book diminish the content. If you don't believe me, ask a professional and/or read the reviews. These are extremely useful books that apply to myriad particular causes of emotional disorders. The message is SIMPLE. The habits are hard to break but it applies to all of our thought patterns.

This one topic is about how ONE woman's bad decisions, weakness, lack of character, lack of personal integrity, lack of restraint, lack of discipline, naivete makes us FEEL, and what those recurring thoughts/feelings make us feel about ourselves. This is the pain that we're all feeling. We all know exactly what this pain is. The thinking. The imagining of circumstances. The search for justifications to lessen the pain.


We are our own person.

She's her. You're you.

SHE has to live with how SHE has conducted and conducts herself. If she is ok/happy with having been or being (in this case) promiscuous, that's her. Different person.

If her behaviors exceed your thresholds, you need to make the decision. And as has been mentioned, don't revisit and question your decision. You're done with the pain. You're moving on.

With regard to promiscuity and whether these feelings/pains are legitimate: There were times when promiscuity actually had consequences. Why? For these exact reasons. For the pains that we're experiencing. Just because it's the year 2010 or 2126 or 3594 doesn't mean that the human condition, and specifically MEN's very basic emotional needs and preferences (innocence), have changed. Our emotional needs do not progress (or in this case diminish) as fast as society changes. Don't bear the heartache and reward bad behavior. Stop being embarrassed by or ashamed of your feelings. They're real and make you you.

If you can be happy with her without too much pain, that is truly great. It's terrific. Go with it. It starts and stops there. That's it.

If you cannot be happy with her because of the pain, LET HER GO and FIND A BETTER WOMAN, MATE, PARTNER, FRIEND, LOVER FOR YOU.

Water seeks it's own level. There is no way around this. No book, no therapy, no drug can make this not so. If you were duped, mislead, lied to as I was and or held yourself to a higher standard, let her go. I know this sounds harsh but life is too short for both of you. I say this as a person that loves and respects people (man or woman) that earn my respect. As I said, life's too short and there are so many terrific people out there. Should we expect perfection? Of course not. But sordid issues like these CAN be too much to bear. Move on. There are so many good women out there it's not even funny.

Again,I'm faced with the same thing. I have two beautiful children. I am doing this really for me, my precious children AND my wife.

And most importantly: You're not alone!

In fact, we're all in this together.

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A male reader, Mr. Average United States +, writes (21 April 2010):

I can relate to the guys who have been married for 10 plus years without any issues and then this insecurity pops up.My wife was married before me. We hitched and started a family instantly. Work, kids and life kept us busy for 15+ years. We didn't have alot of intimacy but I blamed it on work, kids & life.When we started getting more free time for us I thought we would have more quality time together including sex.It didn't happen. I slowly over time asked questions about her past. Before marriage she told me only 3 sex partners. I was fine with that, I have had more. I never felt insecure or jealous until a couple years ago. She now admits to 7 partners even though I really know about at least 10. I don't really care about the number at this level, but I do care about the lying. The insecurity comes in because she says that she had sex at least 4 times/week with first husband. I have NEVER gotten that. I asked if our sex life was good for her. She said that I was maybe in the top three. She has told me about several guys that were very well endowed and I am average. She won't answer if she liked their size better.She admitted that her biological clock was running and she wanted kids when she met me. She has told me about sexual things done with prior men. She will not do them with me. "Been there, done that, not doing it again." I spare no effort to make her happy, material things, complements, bedroom etc. I get very little back. No affection, infrequent sex with her just lying there. I am insecure and jealous because I can picture the sex, affection, etc she had before me and I am not getting it. She says that she doesn't need that anymore. I still do.If I thought I was number 1 I could probably ignore her past. I don't feel special at all. Thinking about her previous life hurts because I know she used to love like I want to be loved and I can't get there.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 March 2010):

It was nice to hear from some females in this post. I posted a while back because I am going through this problem and I don't understand why I can't stop feeling this way. I love my wife but people on these kinds of posts tell me that maybe I don't because I can't ignore her past. We have been together for about 15-16 years and I have been a great husband to her. I have never had any flings, or one night stands or friends with benefits in my life before or after meeting her. I am in my thirties and so is my wife. She has had all of the above before meeting me. She told me when we first met, but it didn't hurt so bad back then. I think this all stems from our insecurities in life and I always feel bad and never try to project it on my wife. A while back we did have an argument about it, but I promised to not bring it up because she made me feel like a jerk for even thinking about it. I don't do this on purpose.

I was not a part of her life and so she had every right to do whatever she pleased. She had a right to enjoy these things. I understand that. Most of all I just feel sad that I did not get to do the same and never will because I have made a promise to her in marriage.

I admit fully that I feel bad that I did not go through these things even if they ended in hurt. I feel like it is sending me towards an early midlife crisis. I have kids and that is the only thing that I have any joy for anymore. My wife has gotten colder not just sexually but emotionally. I am always the one who cheers her up and tries to hug her, kiss her and tell her she looks beautiful all the time. I am sincere to her. My wife doesn't even sleep with me much anymore for many reasons I understand. (Work, kids, stress.) I do a lot at home. I cook, clean, work hard (overtime) and take care of the kids all the time when she needs a break. I don't even have hobbies anymore because these things came first. I used to be on sports teams and then stopped. I understand that life is not just about sex.

I know she says she loves me. As do you ladies who have let go of your past. To give you some perspective from someone who is going through this:

I love my wife dearly. I can't stop the intrusive thoughts from hurting me. It is so strong that they cause me torment at night and I often lose sleep trying to distract myself with other happy thoughts. They only stop when I am doing something and get so busy that I can't think of them. I have good days and some very bad days. Some factors push me in to this state of mind without me even wanting it. Such as when I see some of the old friends with benefits running around having their fun with other women who they don't care about. It also even hurts to see old places where she used to live or old schools where she used to go to because the first thing my mind does is wonder about her past and the connection to these places. It all happens automatically and I have to fight it. I have done tremendous research on this condition and have heard it called Retroactive jealousy and other names that are still unofficialy recognized. Some even say it's a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, or a form of possessiveness. Who knows? It has changed me from a happy go lucky loving person to a person with a chip on his shoulder, but I hide all of this because no one but me deserves to go through it.

It all started for me when I found some old pictures and love letters to some of these guys that depicted too much detail of their affairs. This was the sword that peirced my heart and thrust me in to a self destructive state of mind. I never wanted to know any of this. I knew she had a past, but no details. For the person who wants to know whether finding out more information about their partner's past is beneficial or not, I give you this advice from personal experience. PLEASE DON'T ASK FOR ANYMORE. IT WILL CONSUME YOU OR COME CLOSE TO DOING SO. IT EVEN CAUSED ME TO THINK ABOUT SUICIDE! But I am still here. I am fighting it. I went to counseling secretly. I am getting some medications for Depression and OCD.

Her past is her business and she had a right to this past, as long as she has told you she has a past and gained no STI's then you should leave it at that. I wish I could erase my memory of the information that I never asked to learn.

Some girls will tell you because they think you will find out from someone else. My wife revealed names to me because these people are still around, but no important to her. I dealt with it at first and then as I said before, found out too much and it has taken away my joy. I am weak and my wife doesn't deserve to have someone like me bringing her down so I treat her like a queen but deep inside suffer because it feels like you are not special anymore. I have kids, and other responsibilities. I real man doesn't run from his problems. I am not going to abandon her but it hurts and I feel depressed all the time. So ladies, many of us don't ask for this. We are weak and can't deal with it easily. I wish my wife would show me more love so that I could have hopes again. But I think that my road is going to be hard and I don't know how long I can stay strong. I don't know if we are going to make it another 1,5, 10 or whatever years if I feel like this. I don't want to quit on my kids and on what I have. But I am losing hope.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 March 2010):

i feel like all my problems always lead to my past.

like when there is a discussion about something, or something that i did wrong / a mistake or not up to his standards, i am called a whore or a slut... i am called out on my past...

he says he loves me so much, but i think he is not trusting me.. i have made mistakes and moved on learning from them to be a better person.

so many ppl look up to me to be who i am.. but my man who has such a time wth my past and its so hard for him to let go..

he knows all the detailsss bc he wanted to know and now i knkow it kills him on the inside, becuase i was his first and and he wasnt my first..

i hope all the guys try to understand how they effect us.. bc its ruining us.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2010):

As a woman, I wish I had been more promiscuous. I feel stupid waiting all of these years for "the one", saving myself for someone special. Although I haven't had many partners, it seems like I can't win anyway because guys think like this. If you're going to judge me anyway and fixate on my sexual history regardless of whether I've had 2 lovers or 20 (because any number more than you is too many), so I may as well go out there and get some pleasure. You're going to call me a whore either way.

What I don't understand is why a woman who has had a few boyfriends--I'm talking actual relationships, not one-nighters--is suddenly a slut who gives it up to anybody. What do you all think women do when they are in relationships with men? WE HAVE SEX, that's what we do. Sometimes we do kinky things with the man we love. We experiment,and oftentimes we think the man we are with is The One. Then it turns out he isn't The One and now we are seen as damaged goods by the rest of you.

I'm sure if all of your wives and girlfriends knew you were out there--that there was someone out there that was perfect for them--they would have made different decisions. But how could they know you even existed? Are we supposed to be psychic, or just hold out for the hope that "someone" is out there (like I'm foolishly doing)?

This whole thread makes me so, so sad. I feel like me and the women in your lives are guilty of a crime that we didn't even know we committed.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2010):

Wow, I'm glad I found this thread. I only know of about 6 guys my wife has been with, and guess what. 1 of them is the father of my 2 step-children, and the others all worked in the same plant that we met. So I would almost see these guys back to back every other day. I didn't handle it well, so she stopped telling me about her past. From the sound of it, it's a lot heavier. She has never given me a number. I only had sex with 1 other person before my wife, received oral sex from 2, and gave oral sex to 2. I just wonder if I should leave it at that, or still wait for her to tell me everything else about our past. We got into an argument after our checkup w/ the doctor. She's pregnant with our first child, and the doctor asked her if she ever had any STDs. She said Chlamydia. When we first dated she told me she had never had any. We got into a big argument and she began crying and said "do I have to tell you about every time I had to go to the clinic because of him" (referring to our girls' biological father). She said it was 14 years ago, and we only just got married last year. I told her nothing she can tell me can change my feelings for her. I guess I'm lucky to not know the rest. Is it better to not know the rest while always wondering, or would it be worse to know? Btw, I just turned 26 and she'll be 33 this year.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 March 2010):

i am a female and i think i am going through this with my husband.. i feel like alot of problems we have always lead to our past, he doesnt have a past and saved himself for one, while i didn't . i know he loves me alot, but he gets really negative alot and is able to stay negative for a long time which in turn effects me emotionally.

this is really hard to deal with. i hope all you guys how much it kills your wives on the inside at the same time how it kills you. ... .........

becasue we leave our past behind and are in a realtionsihp with you forever and want to stay happy... please try to focus on now and not the past bc it is gone over with ... just accept us for who we are... now..

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 March 2010):

Time really does help this situation. Also, I like the poster who mentioned the switching thoughts or thought stopping technique. You have to really want to fight this. I had a hard time when the thoughts came to my head. I can't even look at her exes and I see them occasionally. My mind would torment me with the worst possible scenarios and being naive is better than knowing too much but for many of us, our wives have told us too much or we have found out from others too much. So when you have real facts your brain really tortures you and every possible insecurity gangs up on you to destroy you. You feel worthless, less special and you feel like you missed out on having more fun despite what you did in your past. It may be chemical, biological, psychological or all of these things. I am not a Dr. but I know that time has helped me. I still get the images but they don't hurt as bad and now I replace them with happy thoughts. I tell myself that I have been with my wife longer than any of her exes. I have had more sex with her in more places than any of them. I fathered her children. They did not get that far. I may not have been her first but I am her best lover. Tell yourself that. You may not be the biggest she has had, but it doesn't matter. You are the best. She loves the whole package you have to offer. Like a new car that may not have the coolest tires, but it is overall a better quality car and nicer car than the other cars she has driven.

Then proceed to do more things to make your life and hers better.

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A male reader, StrongandSilent United Kingdom +, writes (20 March 2010):

I think that it is great that you have been able to cope as well as you say you are doing. I still have more bad days than good days. The only difference is that I try to keep it all inside now. The hardest time is the night for me. I have noticed that I am getting more sick because the stress is eating me up. I have been able to desensitize myself to the images that come up. However for me, these images were real, concrete images that I found in pictures and intimate letters. I knew about her past, but never had real affirmations of what she did or they did together. Before I just figured that I wasn't the first to see her beauty and that it was okay, but then my destiny threw me a test. Do I really love her enough to fight these feelings and the knowledge of her past? I am fighting my demons. The worst feeling for me is the feeling that I had a lame past compared to hers. No one really loved me before her, like the way she loved her ex boyfriend that she was set to marry until he cheated on her. The worst feeling is that I felt less special and that everything that she said to me she had already said to them before me. Nothing I could do with her was special anymore.

Now I am trying to focus on my kids. I also try to tell myself that I am special to her. I have been with her for many years now and she does love me. Maybe I have given her something that she never got from them. Not in a sexual sense but in a spiritual and emotional sense. I have given her children and I personally put aside my goals so she could achieve hers. (I paid for her higher education so she could get one.) I need to go back and finish mine.

For some reason, that helps me a bit. But whenever I see old friends of hers or even run in to her exes, it undoes any good thinking that I have battled to replace the negative thoughts with. Sometimes I feel like leaving this country and going to a place where no one knows me and starting over again with someone that is not experienced. That is just a daydream though. I have too many responsibilities and I don't want my kids to suffer for my actions and my Retroactive jeoulosy.

I am happy for you that you are coping. May God be with you if he is really out there.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2010):

I am the Dec 14 poster. I will say that over the last few months it has become a lot less significant for me. I still check this thread a few times per month. As someone else said, look how long ago this thread was started so we know this is more common than one thinks. Imagine all the guys out there that dont access the internet related to this. At the very least, I quit torturing both myself and her for the things in our past. I still say it is silly to hold on to the "what is in her past is none of my business. BS!" Just as my past IS her business.

I stopped thinking about it for the most part and when the feelings would come up I would channel that time to thinking elsewhere. I stopped filming the movie as you called it (excellent analogy!) and it all started to become insignificant to me. Now, these visions do nothing for me in contrast to the way that they were consuming me back a few months ago. I think it helped me to realize that the past was just that. I must have been satisfied with my past times when I was living them in real time as I did not try to change it back then and so must she. Looking back as a comparison just is not relevant and I have come to terms with that. That is the same as wishing I had bought a stock that became hot, saved more money, went on a trip somewhere, etc. You cant change it so "wishing it was" has no real affect other than jealousy. You did what seemed right at the time and so did she. Before she met you (me) she was after that someone else that seemed right to her at the time and did what felt natural then just as she did when she met you (me).

I suspect the ones of us that dont return have either come to terms with it themselves or sought out professional help. At least that is my hope.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 March 2010):

I just posted on this about a week ago and I wanted to say that I go through roller coasters of emotions. I have days when this really eats me up and the anger and jeaolosy is crippling that I almost feel like crying like a baby. Then I have nights like tonight when I can seem to occupy my mind with other things. It has really helped me to read all of the posts and it would be interesting to hear from some of you guys that posted a few weeks back to know how you are doing. I don't know if I will ever beat this, I don't want to lose my wife over something so self centered but I can't help these thoughts. If I could stop I would. I think it makes it worse like I mentioned in my first post that I sometimes hear about some of her ex boyfriends not from her but from other mutual friends of ours. They don't know that when I hear these guys' names I want to go to my garage and hit my punching bag as hard as I can for a good while. (It's therapuetic) They think I am secure in my relationship and don't intentionally bring these guys up. But I mentioned that in small towns word gets around easy.

I encourage you guys who posted last week to keep posting. It helped me to post on the internet and read about all of you. We are in similair boats. Some worse off than others. Some people will say that it's pathetic to post to complete strangers on the internet but I found it helpful since there isn't anyone for me to talk to about this. It's too personal and embarrassing.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 February 2010):

For me it has been hard knowing too much about my wife's past. She used to be a party girl up until I met her. She had a few bad relationships with abusive jerks. She told me because she trusted me and for many years I must have buried it inside, but I still remember that dreadful day 16 years ago that she told me her number which of course was higher than mine. Yet I liked her and my love was growing and new. But then she told me she had been date raped by a couple of guys and I wanted to kill those guys but she wouldn't tell me thier names which is a good thing even though I am not violent I was just floored that someone would hurt my sweet wife like that.

Years went by and all I knew was the number and no names but my wife was born and raised in a small town where her family still lives and we occasionally run in to some of her old ex boyfriends which prompted her to give me names of the ones she thought I would run in to or find out about from her friends or her family. I appreciated this but still was uncomfortable thinking about these guys. But we didn't really see them very often at all and then eventually moved further away due to our jobs and things got better.

Years went by, we became established in life, with a job, a nice home, new cars and 4 kids. This was great for a while and then financial difficulties came along, etc... We had it tough for a while but then got back on track paying things off etc...

She doesn't want to ever do anything in the bedroom anymore and I have been as good of a husband as I can. I always cook and clean every single day. I work full time and even put in lots of overtime. I let her have her lady time, she buys whatever she wants and needs within reason and I always support her decisions about her job and her family problems. She has a rough family.

My self esteem has never been strong but suddenly I think all the years of problems hit me hard and I suddenly found myself obsessing over her past and how much fun she had compared to my boring past. No real relationships. Only 1 drunken night stand. I can't even remember it much anymore.

I have gone back and fourth battling my mind because it betrays me. Anything triggers the feelings of sadness and It's like I don't feel special anymore. I tried seeking god, counseling and even meditation and they seemed to help me cope. I was unable to even eat or sleep for a long time until recently I am able to eat and enjoy some things again. The saddest part was the depression and how it affected my kids. I loved taking them hiking, biking and fishing and then all of a sudden it stopped for a while and my oldest child seemed to sense something was wrong with me. I never let on to anyone what my problem was.

Then one night I couldn't take it anymore and I had my wife sit down with me and talk about it. I was ashamed of how I felt but could not control it. My wife did not understand my problem. She got pissed off and said she didn't even want to talk about it. That I did not love her if I couldn't get past her past. I didn't even have a right to know about any of it she told me but that she trusted me and loved me the most so she wanted me to know of how tough things were for her.

It was not a good talk because she then told me more explicit details in order to try to explain to me how she was mistreated and this made my visualizations go nuts because now I was filming a movie in my head and had some real details to add to the mix.

I wish I could erase that part of my brain to unlearn what I have learned. I became almost suicidal and lost regard for my own life, but the love for my kids kept me from doing anything bad and I do love my wife so much which is why this all was so painful. Insecurities really suck. I am a good looking guy but have been shy in the past. I don't doubt it's my problem and that I am insecure but I am trying to get over this and hopefully time will help. I have been like this now for a year and time is helping me, but I am thinking about seeing a specialist and maybe getting medication. Yet how do I get past it? The worst is feeling like you missed out on something and then feeling guilty like you don't love your wife or something because you feel that way. I don't even know if I could be with someone else but my mind feels resentful that I had a lame past and everyone else seems to have had more experiences either bad or good than me. I feel like less of a man. How do you fix that without hurting your wife?

I will keep fighting my mind and looking at what I have with her. It's not just about sex. I won her heart and have taken care of her for many years now. I guess you can say that I won the game. Those others are insignificant now compared to my marriage they were just short term flings. Too bad we couldn't go back in time. Good luck to all of you who are suffering this condition. (Retroactive Jeolousy) The one thing that I fear more than my wife's past is the thought of a lonely future without her. Nothing is perfect but some things suck more than others.

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A male reader, Maceo United States +, writes (18 February 2010):

I would argue that this most often is about how guys measure up to previous guys. At least this is part of it. While the idea of it iself - some d-bag banging away on your wife, is not pleasant, at least some of it goes back to how you measure up? Was he better? Did he do things to her she won't let you do? I think the proof is if you have looked an ex up on facebook, or seen a pic, and I KNOW you wanted to know how they looked. Which is a lose-lose. If they are ugly, you might be better looking, but then wonder "what the hell was she thinking?" If they are handsome, maybe they are more handsome then you.

Perhaps some of it, as well, relates back to her experiences being more significant than your own. Did you make better decisions? Were your experiences mostly drunk flings, where she had intense, sexual intimacy? Did she just have more sex than you?

Personally, I have a hard time with "well, she chose me though" arguments. There is deeper psychology for your discomfort, it is very warranted, and I think the only solution, ultimately, is cutting her loose.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2010):

Amazing how many guys are going through the same thing.

Been married nearly 20 years with kids and leading a happy life. One day I happen to run into one of my wifes previous lovers at a business meeting (didn't know it at the time). Over the course of the day, we're talking about college and he just happened to go to the same place as my wife. I called my wife to see if she knew him - talk about shock when I find out from her that she slept with him. I felt rather raped just talking to this guy.

Well, that progressed into asking for all the names of people she had slept with so I could avoid being in a similar situation in the future. Not good.

Before we were married, I was told she had sex with 13 boy friends over the 5 years she was sexually active prior to marriage... and ONE one night stand. Well, now after almost 20 years of marriage, the truth finally comes out. She had over 25 one night stands - some really sick wham-bam-thank-you-maam type ones at parties, construction sights, etc. Turns out she had less than 10 boyfriends. Then there are the 10 or so others she made out with but didn't actually have intercourse with. Oh yah, and the guy that days before we met she spent the night with and just "forgot" to tell me about (I thought she was "pure" for several months before we met).

I had 4 long-term (1 year or more) girlfriends I had had sex with prior to marriage so I wasn't totally pure but the idea of a one-night-stand to me just turned my stomach. To me sex was special and not to be just given away. So before being married, her having what I thought were all boyfriends was something I could understand. The one one-night-stand was clearly wrong and she knew it said she really wished she hadn't done it.

So now after this bomb she dropped on me, I know she's had 25+ one night stands. I also know she took a bunch of alcohol & drugs and was at times so out of it she doesn't really know what happened - now there's a good image in my head. Many of these one night stands were the "typical" college drunk girl routine... go to party, get drunk, find a guy who looks suitable, take him someone, and let him do whatever he wants with your body. That's now the image I have of my wife in my head that I cannot get out. Unfortunately this list of people she gave me includes many that live very near us, many that work in our area, and this one guy who I have a business relationship with.

I've now known about these things for about 3 weeks and am REALLY struggling with what to do with the feelings I have. Everything from feeling sick to sad to no energy and back to feeling sick. My precious wife who I never had any problem getting over her previous boyfriends has now taken off her veil and it turns out she was the college campus slut 20 years ago.

She claims she wasn't trying to hide anything before we were married but I find that hard to believe. Those things just didn't come up - guess I didn't read her mind like I was supposed to or something.

We are certainly committed to getting through this but it's going to be a huge struggle I think. Now that she knows the images I have in my head, she doesn't want to be seen naked because she knows I just think about all the other guys she's been with. Last night we were kissing and I had this thought about all the dicks that have been in that mouth - SICK!

I love her very much but I'm very mad this info was withheld from me long ago. Any advice on how to get past this would be greatly appreciated.

I wish everyone the best in their similar struggles.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 February 2010):

I won't try to justify how I feel. I can't. It is absolutely indefensible. I'm not looking for pity. I should be despised for what I am going to say, yet somehow in just saying it I find is therapeutic. It seems what this persons question addresses is much more common that many men are willing to admit, give the fact he asked it over 4 years ago and it is still being answered on a regular basis.

Seems this is a common problem. We all know the answer of what we should do - leave the past in the past - but actually doing what is best for our own sanity, emotional well being, and our marriage seems impossible. It is like being a drug addict. knowing the drugs are harmful, but we just can't stop taking them, even if it kills us. Only in our case our drug is dwelling on something we just can't do anything about - the past - yet we dwell on it anyway. We even seem to somehow enjoy dwelling on it.

In some ways, I know this sounds crazy, I do believe it seems almost comforting to dwell on it, as if somehow if we think it through long and hard enough, we will come up with some way to deal with it and finally let it go. Only we never do. We never feel we know everything we want to know and that is where the problem lies. If only we knew every single detail, all the bad feelings would all go away, but we know this is a lie we tell ourselves. Why am I so pathetic that I cannot let go of something that my wife sincerely regrets, cannot do anything to change, and wishes she had never done. And to top it off, she truly loves me and wishes only to please me and be accepted by me. It makes me feel like a total loser for hurting her and even wanting to know the details.

In my case, my wife started having sex when she was only 13 years old with a guy who was 19! I know she foolishly thought that they were in love and would get married someday, but I still can't imagine any girl having intercourse willingly at that age. In reality he was little more than a pedophile who probably had a real girlfriend his age and was banging my wife as a side dish. She says she didn't really put up any resistance to his advances that she can recall. That really bothers me. She says she probably had sex less than 10 times with him over an 8 month period when he was killed in a car accident. This was of course, devastating to her since no one even knew of their relationship. She was only in 7th grade when they started having sex.

Her next lover was a boy 17 when she was 14 and they were together around a year and a half. I'm sure they had sex 50 or 60 times, but she always says she can't remember. She always downplays what she did, how often she did it, how enjoyable it was, etc, etc. This only serves to make me more crazy knowing she is probably lying. After he cheated on her they broke up. Four or five months later, she had a one night stand with a guy who took her out to dinner and she figured he expected it. Sex for a $10 meal. She never saw heard from him again or had any desire to or illusion that he would ever call. It was truly sex for the sake of sex at only 14 years of age, no hope for anything more. That just drives me crazy.

Then she got hooked up with a total loser pothead who she was with off and on for over 2 and half years. He got her pregnant at 16, got her an abortion and then got her on the pill. No doubt they had sex a few hundred times. During this time, she cheated on him four times, but she says only once actually had intercourse with one of the guys, the other two couldn't get it up due to being too drunk, although she says they had every intention of having sex. Two of the four times she cheated was with the same guy on two separate occasions, hence only 3 guys for four affairs. The guy she was with twice never did get it up and was even married by the second time they hooked up. All the guys she was ever with were much older than her. I am the youngest guy she has been with and I am 2 years her senior.

One of the one-night stand guys she actually did screw was a guy she met while with her boyfriend at a party. After her boyfriend dropped her off at home, she walked back to his house and had sex with him because he had asked her to. Again, sex strictly for the sake of sex with someone new with no hope for anything more, not even more sex. She really didn't even like the guy and was regularly getting banged by her boyfriend at the time.

If you count me, she cheated on him a fifth time as she went out with me while still with him. We had sex 3 times on our first date. I had been with probably 10 girls before her, but I never had a girl give it up so easy. She was rubbing my cock within a minute of our first kiss and we were totally naked within 5 minutes, all outside on a bluff overlooking a beach.

Thinking I may just use her as a sex buddy that summer I didn't think much about her and this other guy, although it was clear to me she was a very promiscuous girl. She went back to her boyfriend two or three times over the next two weeks while we continued to bang each other as well. I didn't know she was doing this, but I hadn't thought to tell her not to either, or really thought I had a right to since I hadn't asked her to be exclusively with me. When I found out what she was doing, it kinda creeped me out and I told her it was him or me, I wasn't into her double dipping, even though I didn't expect us to stay together forever either.

Now I didn't think about us ever being anything more than what we were at that point and always thought I would find me a nice innocent virgin to marry, or at least someone not so experienced from such an early age. But she really is a sweet girl and we slowly fell in love. At first I tried to overlook her past because I was in love, she was so sweet and I excused a lot of her past due to the fact she had been adopted and traumatically found this out from her drunk alcoholic mother at 8 years old. Her adopted father also was a raging alcoholic and, although neither abused her, they didn't exactly make her feel loved either although I'm sure they did love her. They also fought all the time.

I figured the fact her first love got killed when she was only 13 really messed her up too, so I felt she was looking for a father figure, so to speak due to her dads alcoholism and indifference. She has a terrible time communicating and opening herself up emotionally to this day, so I always figured sex was her way to show and receive love.

Finally after two years together we got married. She found God and totally turned her life around and is no way the same girl she was. While she never really seemed remorseful of her past at first, now she says she is and wishes there was some way to ease my troubled mind. We have been married almost 28 years, we have an unbelievable sex life (since I'm not working right now, we have great sex virtually everyday for the past 5 months after almost 30 years of having sex!! Even when I was working we almost always have had sex 4 or 5 times a week). We have had 3 kids together, 2 grandkids, and have had a wonderful life and go to church every sunday.

And yet.....I STILL think about her past almost everyday!!! How pathetic is that?!?! I have sought counseling, talked with my wife about it in excruciating detail, prayed about it, tried to distract my mind from it (and have been successful in the past for a few months, even years at a time), I have said unbelievably hurtful things to her, and yet, it always eventually comes back. It doesn't help that she grew up in a really tiny town of about 600 people, so I always feel when we go visit that everyone there knows about her past, (some do, I am sure), that every guy I see my age is one of her old boyfriends (I know one - the married guy - still lives 3 houses down the street from her parents house), that all her cousins and old friends are still friends with at least one of her old boyfriends since they all grew up together (the one she was with a year and a half is friends with a lot of my wife's friends on facebook) and that everyone is looking at me and snickering at what a sap I am.

I grew up in a huge city, so none of my friends or family know where any of my old girlfriends are, and the chances of me running into any of them are a million to one. My wife has run into at least two of her old flings since we got married and she only told me because I bugged her about it so much. When we go visit my parents, it isn't in the same house I grew up in, we don't see reminders of my past on every corner, etc. Plus my wife doesn't have any problem with my past and I don't think most girls do. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with this, but I think there is some subconscious psychological hang up guys have about the idea of another guy having left a part of himself - his seed - inside our wife's body, even if it has been 3 decades ago. I really do believe that, because a girl leaves nothing within a guy, but a girl takes a part of that guy back with her. I know that sounds crazy, but I bet Freud would agree with that theory.

Like I said, at times I have learned to ignore these feeling and have even forgotten them for a time. Over the years I have asked my wife dozens of times if she ever had sex anymore with the pothead loser after those first two weeks she was double dipping. I knew about those times, but I had caught her with him 3 times later that summer. She said he just wanted to still be friends with her since it was such a small town and few friends to choose from and he bugged her so much to go smoke pot. Twice a friend of mine had seen her with him in the same day and then a week later I saw her with him.

That is when I told her I didn't want her seeing him at all, even as a friend, especially if they were going to smoke pot. I asked her then, and many times over the years, if they had fooled around during those times and she always said no. But when I asked her about it again a year and a half ago, she said she couldn't remember. Now I know what everyone is thinking because I would be think it too. OF COURSE she had sex with him! Why else would she say now she doesn't remember! I actually think it is possible she can't remember - it has been 30 years after all - even though I have brought it up dozens of times over the years, but even if she did, what does it change today? It is the NOT knowing that drives me crazy.

When I am really agonizing over these things I just keep asking myself, why? Why did she do it so young, why did she give herself away so freely, why did she have sex with me so easily, why did she have an abortion, why couldn't she have been a virgin, why, why, why??? I know how hypocritical that is given my sexual past and the fact I was obviously wanting to have sex with her the first time as well and how pathetic I am. You don't have to tell me, I know. Yet what can I do? I just can't seem to get relief. She is a wonderful wife, who puts me first in everything, sweet, kind, attractive, etc. Her only flaws are she still can't communicate intimately no matter how hard I try to draw her out (I think that is a huge part of why I couldn't overcome this early on), she has a hard time showing affection outside of sex, she avoids confrontation to the point of where it causes way more problems than the original conflict, and she has gained 50 pounds since we first met.

Now I know many people who read this will think what a selfish loser I am, and I should count my blessing such a wonderful girl would even want to be with someone as pathetic as me and I know you are absolutely right. I am just saying what I unjustifiably feel. I don't like it anymore than anyone reading this, but I am being honest. So what can I do? What is the reason? I guess this is just my burden in life that if I never learn to overcome, I'll just have to live with. I know the only answer is going to be through God helping me to accept this, put it into perspective and be grateful for my own acceptance that I can't seem to truly give her. Sometimes I do feel like just killing myself to give her the chance to find someone who wouldn't hold these things against her that God has forgiven her for and who will accept her for the beautiful person she is. What a miserable loser I am indeed.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2010):

Hi Dude

I can understand how you feel. Unfortunately most people will tell you nice things like "past is in the past" or "her past made her the person she is today" and others will simply acknowledge to you that you won't be able to solve this problem and will always feel in pain. The problem with all these advices is that they do not give you anything you can DO ABOUT IT and they dont tell you what you can do to get over it or feel better.

Let me tell you I have a LOT of experience with this feeling and I found something that works.

The girl I am with for the last 3.5 years is now 26, when we met she told me a bit about her past that she had 3 boyfriends for about a year each and other than this was involved with quite a few as one night stands. When I asked how many she initially said like 10 then with time the number grew to be like 20, and I was quite shocked, it hurted me to think about this as she is so beautiful and seems so innocent. But she was so good and experienced with sex that I started to wonder if that was the whole story. Let me tell you dude what I have discovered... Over time as our relationship grew and we became madly in love she slowly started to open up and reveal more and more about her past. Then one day I understood from her that she used to work as an escort for 2 years, as she needed money to live. I have been asking about how much money she needed per month and slowly figured out that in order to live she needed to have sex with 3-4 men per week or like 12-15 per month. Overall, in the course of 2 years this is like 300 men...Now imagine being in that situation my friend. You see - THIS is really hard... Over time I have heard more and more details about it. Because I have asked and not because she gave this information to me. She does not seem to have an issue with it and she does not seem to carry any open wounds in her soul, she just views it as something that happend to her in her life due to very bad choices and bad influence of friends and she is extremely sorry that it happend but it did. Now I want to tell you about being jealouse and how to deal with it. As you can understand I was in a bit more serious situation with this than you are Dude. Can you imagine the woman you love with 300 men, can you imagine what men ask a women to do for money and she has to do it, these are the rules of the game when they are alone and take the cloth off...Now I want to tell you what I found that works. But first you have to know that you love her and really want her. If you do - read on.

I can tell you that the pain is real and that there is not a day that I am not thinking about it. She even told me some of the worst moments of her life in this business, what men asked to do and sometimes situations that have torn my heart when I imagined them, I will give you an example Dude so you will understand the level of pain that you CAN DEAL WITH if you follow my advice - she told me once that when she entered the room she always explained to men what she does and what are the limits. Her limits were no anal, and oral sex with protection. However this is a dangerous life and when a women is a lone with a man in the room engaged in sex things can happen. So one time she tells me that a mexican guy forced her to do oral without protection and came in her mouth and on her face while holding her hair and she chocked and vomitted. I am giving you this graphic example so that you will understand that even after hearing something like this, YOU CAN STILL WIN IF YOU WONT and you can still love your woman and you CAN AND WILL BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH IT but you have to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT and not just trap yourself into these thoughts.

I wont to give you a specific technique to practice. But I wont to start by telling you that the key word to remember all the time is COMPASSION. This is the sentiment you need to develop my friend, turn yourself from a mode of judging her and thinking that you own her or have the right to own her, to see her as a human being that it now with you and that is beautiful and worth your love.

Now here is what I did and what will work - whenever these images come to your mind, you need to practice a SWITHCHING technique which is like this - you EXCHANGE a bad thought for a good one. Throw the bad imaginations and bring up something good - do this as a mental task right at that moment, when the painful memory comes up. Yopu need to swithc it to something good about her and about you two, something thAT YOU really like about her, but focus on feelings not on sexual acts between you as this will only hurt more, focus on why you love her, the kind of person she is, and think about this word : think : I have COMPASSION. She is now with you and trusted you enough to tell you about what she did, and now think that her heart is in your hands, with no defenses, you can chose what to do.

You will see soemthing interesting happening, in the beginning it will be difficult, the switch won't work easily and you will get trapped in that thought or memory and it will hurt a lot, but whenever you WILL make the switch work, the pain will go away and more importatly, you WILL FEEL GOOD about YOURSELF every time that you do this "switch", successfully turning a bad thought into a good one, transforming a moment of pain into a moment of hope.

The good thing about this technique is that it gives you something TO DO ABOUT IT and almost a specific task to practice and improve with time. I don't remember when and how this came to me, but since I started to practice it I felt stronger. It is in fact a simple concept - whenever you think about the bad and painful thing, immediateluy in a deliberate act - change to think about the good thing, and tell yourself literally in your head you have to say it - "I feel compassion for this woman, I love her, I wont think about this now, I will think about how beautiful she is and how much she loves me and trusts me" and you bring up a metal image of the best moments and things that you like in her. Simply do it. This makes you stronger my friend. You will see that with time and practice, this will help you overcome these moments and shorten them and have less and less of them. There will always be situations and moments when this can come back but with this technique you have SOMETHING TO DO ABOUT IT. The power of positive thinking - is that it can actually change things, and you will feel really better about YOURSELF that you can do it, every time that you do it and succeed you will feel good. Worth a try Dude, believe me was amd still am dealing with this in a much tougher situation than you are. It make it better.

Good luck and don't give up, this should not ruin your life. Have compassion and think good and good things will happen !!!

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A male reader, repto United States +, writes (25 December 2009):

To the original poster,

I'm in a similar situation as you. Been with my gf for 8 months now. This being a problem we both have, I'd appreciate it if you'd tell me how your relationship has been going with this issue. Are you guys still together? Are your feelings under control? Are you happy in the relationship?

Appreciate it very much!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 December 2009):

I am also living with similar feelings. My wife had past full of lust and sex. After marriage within a week she disclosed many of those secrets herself. She was not ashamed instead she proudly said all that. Her list of boyfriends was very long. But most of them were short encounters. But she had 3 year long relations with one man who was almost 10 years elder than her. She did almost everything with him. She did all possible things in sex including oral, in public, in car etc.

At my worst moments I fought with images that seemed to appear suddenly in my mind — images of her with that old boyfriend doing the things they must have done. Sometimes i felt that i have seen them doing everything in front of me. It made my mind recoil and my heart sink. At times I would feel almost sick, disheartened with the thought of what had gone on in her past.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2009):

To those of you that insist that "what my spouse did in their life previous to me" or "what I did previous to them" is none of my business, I say "bologna!" You mean I have no right to know what my spouse did? What if he/she was a child molester and did not disclose this I should just live in ignorant bliss? Sure, the depth of the details of the deed may not need to be disclosed but provided both are mature enough to deal with it- why not? To say that pasts should never be discussed is, in my opinion. I would more question why someone is asking before I would be telling them that it is none of their business. Dishonesty, which nondisclosure would fall under in my opinion, is never the right answer either.

My spouse contracted an STD from one of her previous relationships which did not appear on her till after we were long engaged. Not uncommon for that STD to lay dormant for extended periods of time. I knew it yet made MY CHOICE to marry her after I knew more. I am still negative for this today - many years later so I know for sure that it was not me that infected her. We just have to abstain when there is outbreaks. So I have no right to know more about it? I disagree with that!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 December 2009):

Hello ! My English skills are not so good lately but I will try to describe my situation which is somehow similar to yours. I know well how you feel. I almost became maniac with my wife's sexual past. The more she would tell me the more I wanted to know the details. Everything started with a lie. She did not tell me that she had a 7 years affair with a man 25 years older than her. The guy was ugly, divorced, and had three children from his previous marriage. The relationship was very unstable; sometimes they would stay apart from each other for months and then come back. During these gap periods, both had other sexual partners. So my hell started from there. When I asked why she did not tell me about that older guy she said the she felt ashamed because the guy was much older, with poor education, and physically not attractive. Well, I asked why she had that relationship and for so long. She said she was too young, 21 years old and she was having so many problems, including financial hardship. She went ahead and mentioned he was nice person and that she would see him more like a father. Gosh! I said "you had sex with this man for almost 7 years, without any commitment, just because he was nice to you ?" The nightmare just began. I asked how was her sex life with him. She said it was horrible, that despite his age he managed to have sex at least 3 times a day ! Not rarely up to 5 times a day. She noticed how I was hurt by what she just said. Then she said he was too quick, that although I would do sex with her just once or sometimes twice a day, what counts is quality, not quantity... Oh well... yes. So in my mind she liked the older man because he was a sex machine. In addition perhaps he was better endowed than me... So I had to find out for my own sake. I asked details and more details, what they did in bed, how often oral sex, condom or without condom, what level of intimacy they had, etc and etc. Every single aspect of their sex life I had to know. I was getting paranoid, we would talk for hours. I wanted to know why he was so special, why she would go back to him after months and having sex with other guys. Then I decided to know more about the other guys too. It was so hard to accept that she had sex with so many other guys. In total, as far as she allowed to know, she had 14 guys. The average sex with them was about 12 times each. With the old man, by my calculation, she had sex at least 1100 times. I can tell you that I became obsessive, I developed my own computer software to keep track of my investigations. I even tried to pay prostitute to seduce the old man in order to tell me how in fact he was in bed. I spent lots of money with telephone calls, reports, travel, etc. I collected personal data, photographs, cross checking data and dates, and even pretended to be a woman on chat sites on the internet just to find more information from my wife's ex boyfriends. It is not easy to leave all this behind. She reassured me that I am better than they all, but what else she can say ? I am more quiet now but I know that I will live with this for the rest of my life.


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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 November 2009):

Ya, this is a common problem, unfortunately. My experience will be a long post - sorry.

I married the woman of my dreams over 20 years ago. I had a sexual past and so did she. The difference here was that most of my previous intimate relationships were just that whereas hers were each from the pursuit of finding love (although were driven by lust at first). She only had three sex partners (one was a one-time event in a 6 month relationship, one was an older man 12+ years, one was a lasting relationship) - I can not count mine. Yet she still chose me!

Early on, I asked a few details and she shared bits of them. Bad move on my part. And silly her for thinking I was going to act like an adult :)

I dealt with jealousy myself and she knew it. She was more willing to have sex with them right away yet I was held off for a lot longer to start and that was eating at me. After about 10 years of a great marriage with plentiful sex, the sex part started tapering off. By 20 years, it went from a couple times daily to a couple times yearly event. She would not join me in bed when I went there and when she was there sleeping, she would not let me play too often. Now I admit, I am still very driven at near 50 compared to what I think most guys my age are - not sure.

So in a final desperation, I went back delving again. Got all the details even though she said right up front that she knew this would go badly, but really loved me and would work me through. So I got a lot of details that I now have a burden to carry on the rest of my life. It also brought up that little green monster - why would she have sex so easily twice before but she held me off? But I kept an open mind and told her the truth that I was dealing with the jealousy issues but needed to get closure.

She finally opened up and told me that she really thought she had love with these first two men. But when it failed - twice - she needed to re-think her plan. She wanted to know that the man in her life was real and not just using her. I will say that when we finally started, the sex was excellent and plentiful but she needed to work that out in her mind before she was able to participate with me. Made sense.

After talking a bit and without her saying it, I think that the taper off on our relationship was not her loss of need, but rather my lack of keeping it fun for her. We had become comfortable and what should have been ongoing exploration became her servicing me. I can see where that was no fun.

I have once again added in lots of new experiences - wont detail here but use your imagination. That imagination I used has sparked our relationship to a new level - probably hotter than what we had when we first got married. Oh, and I also did the "comparing" and I measure up much less than her other two guys that she was very active and willing with - both overall body and yes - length. Yet - she chose me! I measure up the same to her one-time encounter.

I kept honest with her about my feelings - and she remained committed to helping me through and kept reminding me that she loved ME. I have dealt with the jealousy and she helped me through when I told her that I was having a struggle. Today we both feel like kids again and the relationship feels like we are dating at lot more. Oh, those visions of her with her previous boyfriends, today I find them highly erotic rather than negatives.

I can see where guys drifting off on this and torturing themselves may be related to something else missing in their relationship. Make it about her and you as a couple - focus on the facts and dont make it about her. She dont deserve the torture because it is probably because YOU dont feel that you measure up. Certainly it was my issue. And while I am always told "size dont matter," I know it helps but I have found other ways to offer her the pleasure I think she wants (yet she probably dont care) and I feel better in my own mind for taking care of that.

Divorce is not your answer - cause then you will be torturing yourself with the thought that she has moved on and found yet another man that will be sleeping with her. She has ever right. You need to work this through for yourself and keep that special woman in your arms. Get creative - bring home some flowers for no reason, take a long drive, give her that sensual massage you never gave her and see what happens. Make it about her and you as a couple and you will stop your personal pity party that she has no reason to have to deal with. I worked for me.

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A male reader, stac2006 United States +, writes (28 October 2009):

I know a little how you feel. My wife had one lover before we met. She told me she did not love him and the sex was terrible but being a teen she fell to peer pressure and did it with him 13 times over the course of a year. She tells me the sex was terrible and the guy lasted only about five minutes but the pain that someone else was with my wife prior to us meeting makes me sick.

I know I am her true love and she is mine. I am also the only man to ever make her have an orgasm because the other guy did not last too long. Having sex with a guy she did not love used to make me feel less than special. Still she was 16 at the times and being called a virgin meant you were too ugly for anyone to want you or everyone still saw you as a child.

In truth its better to wait for ones true love and marry them before walking torwards a soft bed.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 October 2009):

I'm in similar situation. My mind goes on dark trips of visualizing them together. She was 14 and he was 19 (I think), they did not have sex, but he tried. He would take her cloth off, but she would not allow her panties to come off. I know in general what happen, I asked for the details, but she would not give to me. I asked how it started, but she said she forgot.

We've been married for 20 years, we both married as a virgin. but late I'm getting crazy with the desire to know everything.

I'm actually trying to find the guy and ask him for the details.

I share your pain. I thought about killing myself so I would not have to deal with these thoughts any longer. Maybe one day when I have more courage.

I don't know if leaving her would help.

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A male reader, therainking5150 United States +, writes (28 September 2009):

You know I have been here as well, and for 13 years it has eaten at me like a cancer. The hate the anger, and what feels like betrayal. Guess what? I was only hurting myself. I wrote a long e-mail to my wife, sounds stupid I know and let it all out. Every feeling, every thought, everything I felt. My wife looked me in the face and said, I have made some bad decisions, but you make me feel safe. I blew it off for a day or so when the rational part of my brain finally said, How do you argue with that? How much longer are you going to WORK at making this bad? She dumped the guy, but I stayed attached to him. How messed up is that? I'm doing great now and learning to smile again and seeing my wife for what she really is, a beautiful woman and a great wife and mom. Its ok that she had a past, because her past made her the woman that I fell in love with and made her choose me. Otherwise who knows? Get over it man, talk yourself through this and realize your the one dragging this into the relationship, she got well, now you need to.

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A male reader, See it another way United States +, writes (26 August 2009):

Reality check, my friend. You can't forget about her past, now that you know. It's sort of like trying not to picture a pink elephant. You just can't do it! So, what's left? You have to either change your perspective or change your wife. Oh, by the way, if you change your wife, you probably won't be marrying a virgin in that case, either. So, to the business; to your question-- Your wife didn't choose you because of sex. Sex is an expression, but sex doesn't qualify as a reason why women choose men. Now, that has absolutely nothing to do with how men choose. We choose based on sex rather frequently. Heck, your whole commentary/interruption is about sex and contemplating changing your choice/love/life based solely on sex! Please don't think I'm trying to castigate you. I mean that to say that all things are now equal between you. For you [and some of the other persons who made entries] to move forward, it becomes necessary to have open, non-threatening dialogue about your concerns with your wife. Secondly, it's necessary recognize that women choose husbands out of a deep sense of love and connection and that sex [for them] is NEVER why they choose husbands. Think about it! Is there an average woman who would have a hard time finding a sexual partner? Men choose to connect sexually with women who are way, way below average all the time. Women don't have the same droughts we suffer. We suffer droughts because women usually need more than just a warm body. They need connection. Find out where your wife connects with you. Find out what bonds you can nurture and strengthen. Build a more mature, more far-reaching perspective of where your relationship has and can grow to. Be a trailblazer on your relationship's behalf and thereby supercede the jokers who couldn't hang on to her. Don't fall by the wayside, like they did. Remain her choice and by connecting with her, nurturing her and building her from within, she'll in turn choose you irrevocably.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2009):

It's not easy being in this situation, too many lies too many sex ,.. i don't anymore... she can't even tell me the real number .. and we have a baby together so i don't know .. we just got married too..i had reservations but i went through with it thinking i can forget her past and concentrate on my baby.. but i can't now what should i do? I'm sick of feeling this way.. how can sex be so casual

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A male reader, fdelapena United States +, writes (28 March 2009):

This would be a problem, and letting it go is easier said then done. If you are going to leave her, leave her, but letting these feelings get in the way will only ruin your relationship with her. Your marriage at this point is the priority, not your past, and not her past. You too are together now, so it is up to you two to build your unknown future, then you can look back at the past and see how much obstacles you have overcame mentally, physically, and emotionally. Then you will say to yourself was it really worth getting upset about the past. You will learn later that it is not worth holding a grudge, jealousy, insecurity, or anger towards her past experiences. Both of your past relationship should not matter at this point.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 March 2009):

This is way too much. Dump her. Period.

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A male reader, eonporter Brazil +, writes (23 March 2009):

I've been trying to warn everyone I can about this.

It's very likely that you have some degree of obcessive-compulsive disorder. I've been to several doctors and all gave me the same diagnosis, and my symptoms are EXACTLY like yours. Treatment consists of psychotherapy and mild anti-depressants, basically. Go look after treatment, you probably need help.

I am so sorry for both of us, wish I was a normal person to love my wife as she deserves.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 January 2009):

As the "A reader, anonymous, writes (25 September 2008)" wrote, my honest advice is not to let yourself suffer and endure pain because of a promiscuous woman. You deserve better in life, and mostly importantly, YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS. Living with her will NEVER bring happiness, and you should just move on. All best wishes!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 January 2009):

I have a similar problem. I have been with my girlfriend for the past 6 months and her sexual past consumes my being. When I think about it, my heart hurts so much. I get so upset and cant get over it for a while. She said she wanted to have sex early on so she wouldnt die a virgin. All of her friends had sex and she felt that this was the elephant in the room when she was hanging out with them.

Right now, I havent gotten over it but a couple things have helped.

1. Dont blame her, blame society.

Its the society that we live that has influenced her and told her that it was okay to have premarital sex.

2. Think about the kids

I would never want any other human being to feel the pain that I have felt. I want to raise my kids in a way where this isnt a problem for them.

3. Think about your past

Even if you dont have an extensive sexual past, think about how you wouldnt want to be judged for your past. I know its so hard to think about your lover having sex with someone else, but try to let the past be the past.

4. TRY TO FORGET THE PAST. This hasnt worked for me but this is the only way I think I can move on with my life. My gf tells me she regrets her past and wishes that I was the first guy that I ever met. If I marry her, she cant change the past but will need to try not to bring it up. I think I would not want pictures with other guys in my house, etc. I only hope that one day God gives me the strength to overcome this problem.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 January 2009):

This entire string was helpful to me, sort of. So I am adding my experience hoping it may help other men.

Hearing other men's bad feelings about their love's extensive sexual history helped by showing me it was normal. My love, who is otherwise wonderful, suggested slightly that it was a hang up of mine. It helped to know better. Thanks.

On the other hand, finding this post was part of a near obsession that went on really bad for week, hardly sleeping, and was strong for most of a month.

Now, a few months later, it is not bad. Something I hear or see that connects to that period of her life or to something I know about one or the other of the men (I know a few details about some) still makes me think about all the men who had her. It may even happen most days. But it does not make me crazy like it did during the obsession and usually passes in a few minutes. And I do not think about it when I am with her.

I do not want to know any more details. No names or numbers or what they did or how she felt or why she did it. This is because, as I said, any concrete details makes it more real in my mind and enlarges the possibility that some random thing will remind me of a detail of her promiscuity and then I will feel bad. Not that I am not curious. But it is not a healthy curiosity. I guess I am glad that I know the details I do, since I have a rough sketch of her past, which is simply reality. But they are disturbing; it is enough.

I am going to marry her. We are both in early 50s, second marriage for both. Her sleeping around was in her teens, beginning at 14 (clearly statutory rape by a 25 year old, though she does not feel that way) and she got married at 21.

How am I past being so upset by her past? Three things.

The main thing is that our sexual activity (even though we are saving intercourse for our wedding night) is wonderful. She says she never felt like this, nor have I, even in either of our long marriages. Great sex requires great love. But the main thing is, that even our limited sexual connection now is UNIQUE. I would have a terrible time if I thought our sexual love were "just one more," like any one of the many others.

The other thing that has helped is that her being screwed by many men was 30 years ago. She was a teen-ager, a little girl really, and it was stupid. I don't think sex at that age can be all that good. No, she is not another person now, but that was long ago. I love how she is now, whatever path it took to get here.

She is sorry. She wishes she hadn't. That more than time, puts it away from her.

So, we hardly talk about it any more. We know it is there. It is mentioned some times, briefly. We are very open about our feelings about all things--not much of a relationship if a couple is not open--but we do not dwell on this, as it will not help.

One question. She still thinks I am unusual in feeling bad about so many men having her. And, she says, if most men feel that way, then they should not be screwing women who will some day be someone else's wife. I am curious what you all think about that.

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A male reader, whattodowithmarriage United States +, writes (1 October 2008):

Just curious as to how you've been doing original poster? Ive read this entire post and I was a little late chiming in, but that almost exactly my situation with my wife of now 8 years, except we have 2 kids which has made my decision very very difficult. Here goes with my story (in short):

Im in the same situation as you only probably worse off. Last year after 7 years of marriage I overheard my wife saying that she lost count after 100!!! And this was between the ages of 12-18. While I knew she had been with alot, I had asked her when we had gotten serious dating and said 30? her response was "I dont know", I then said 40? 50? and she said no! So I assumed some where between 30 and 40. I was not comfortable with that at all, but my love overcame the hurt I was feeling at that point. So we married and she had a previous child and we then had a son of our own. We had problems in our 1st 5 years of marriage she was still talking to an ex of hers (her 1st) and I caught her emailing another guy from her past whom she swore she had no relations, or even kissed, but then why would she deny talking to this person? So I have developed trust issues with my wife and its very hard regaining that trust because I feel our marriage was based on a lie from the start now and yes I feel that this is something I needed to know about before we married especially since I had asked and she didnt tell the truth about her number. Had I known the truth I as well do not think I could have gone through with the marriage and knowing what I do now makes me feel as though I was suckered into marriage and now that we have kids I feel locked/trapt in. I hate feeling that way but I just cant seem to look at my wife the same way any more and I lost so much respect for her, because I just cant imagine how some one could do that to their body. Sex has almost no meaning anymore because I dont feel like Im special to her, or like she see's herself as a gift to me when its been "given" to so, so many.

I know its rough, but I pray daily for God to heal my wounded heart and help me forgive my wife and it helps to know that Im far from perfect and have my own sins, but I know God put us together for a reason and again had she told me the truth I probably would not have married her.

I had thought I was getting better, but the past few weeks I'm really thinking I'll never get over this and be able to be In Love with my wife again even though I'll always love her. And to me thats not fair to her, nor to me, but I just dont know how to, or how I would explain divorce to my kids and I wouldnt tell them exactly why, but I just dont want anyone to suffer, but again its not fair for me to suffer either. However I dont feel this is my fault if I cant get over it, because she lied to me when I specifically asked her the # question (I remember the night very specifically), so I didnt have the opportunity to choose to be with her, or not based on the truth. Im very confused and am really happy with the way she's turned out, but our marriage was all based on lies!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 September 2008):

I know this question is old but I want to add my 2 cents... Our society has worked very hard to make this problem, something men have agonized over for thousands of years, something to be ashamed of. Ladies it does not go away. When we love you the thought of someone else being inside you and you casually or romatically giving it up to somebody else is worse than any physical pain imaginable. This doesn't make us evil, it doesn't make us wrong, or bad, or stupid, it makes us men. And men, good men, have always had trouble dealing with this and we always will. Yes you can find men who don't care, to them sex is just a physical release and you are their woman of the hour. The thought of others inside you really doesn't phase them because to them sex is just a shallow transfer of fluids and a way to feel good for 22 minutes. They don't care who is under them.

Not that long ago it was understood that love and sex were intertwined. Prostitutes were *never* sought after as mates despite their willingness to do everything because as a necessary fact of survival they severed the link between sex and love. To a *good* man, the kind who'll stay with you, this link is very strong. He puts his lady on a pedestal and wants with all his heart to hold her aloft, proud and pleased. How does this man feel when the lady on his arm has been with the guy across the table? What thoughts go through any man of quality? The consequences (can't speak of those can we ladies?) is he deadens his emotions, grows cold to the trollop on his hand, he has too because to do otherwise is to minimize and shame himself. Women may never understand this but they will suffer the consequences regardless of what feminism has taught.

I was in a marriage for almost 10 years. I had never been intimate with anyone before my wife but my wife had slept with a friend of mine. I honestly thought I could suppress the dark thoughts and keep the images at bay but they *NEVER* subside. Understand this ladies THOSE INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS DO NOT GO AWAY. It is akin to PTSD and the male version of being raped. The fact that there are no support groups and only shame and guilt as we told repeatedly that it shouldn't matter makes it all that much worse. Modern feminism demands we take it and like it and it makes us cold and unfeeling. And there is something else for those who think that they can get over this even though it really bothers you now...

Do not expect that your lady love will be understanding about any of it over the long term. The fact that it still bothers you will not matter as it will not bother her and you will be made to feel less a man for your feelings. If you fight about it, defend your right to feel a certain way or try to withdraw (this is a mans natural response to this), she might choose to rub your face in it and graphically describe her past experiences just to get back at you for not getting over it quick enough. Can you deal with that? Is your self esteem such a tower of iron that you can listen to your wife laugh and openly compare you to her past lovers? No? Then cut your losses. I didn't it and I regretted it. My only defense was to back off when the chilling thoughts entered my mind - and I was badgered constantly over this. Things got steadily worse and we grew apart. Eventually I got the evening surprise of locks changed, false charges filed, divorce, etc.

Being compared in the most intimate ways with other men was too much yet that is exactly what women who sleep around ask of their future husbands. Woe be unto the man who earnestly believes that his future mate should consider him when it interferes with Saturday night fun. As long as the disease is curable or there was an abortion so no kids - we aren't supposed to care. They will not understand this and will argue that we should feel nothing about it.

Some men don't feel this way, some simply do not care. If you are not them then you must look out for yourself. You will do your lady no favors by marrying her and housing these thoughts - they will diminish your kindness, caring, understanding, and affection. You can not take an aspirin to get rid of them and unlike 97% of the people in the world I will tell you that your feelings are NATURAL and you are not evil for feeling them. You will have to deal with them and the best way (honestly) is to move on and find a woman you can feel free to love without inhibition (which is what we are really talking about - you are NOT free right not to love her completely). It is recipe for disaster. Good luck.

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A male reader, LV United States +, writes (17 July 2008):

I can totally understand your feelings. I have been married 23 years to my wife. Through an email message that I mistakenly received, I found out after 23 years that my wife had a sexual relationship with a man that resulted in an abortion. She never told me anything about this relationship. When I confronted her about the contents of the email, I shared that I was both shocked and hurt. I told her that she should have told me while I was dating her and before I asked her to marry me. Now after 23 years, I have to fight the thoughts and emotions that are associated with this secret relationship. When I share with my wife how I feel, I get the following answer - that was in the past and over. I have no feelings about it. When I ask her why did she not tell me, she says that she did not think that she had to. When I share my feelings, she only says that all of this is in the past.

I can't shake the thought of another man sleeping with my wife. I can't shake the thought that there would have been a child who would now be over 24 who never made it.

My advice to you is this...realize that the thoughts will always come to you about the other men. When someone loves another person, they desire that no one else would share that love. The other guys have been there already (they have made love to her). You will never have the privilage of being the only one. Now, if you really love her, then swallow hard and make the most of it. Again, with the understanding that the 'package' includes more than you. That is a hard thing but a true thing.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 July 2008):

Hi all,

I am currently in this posion,

I met my fantastic wife 25 years ago, she was 17 me 19 and we hit it off and love blossomed. I eventualy tried it on for sex around 2 months in but she told that she was a virgin and dont rush it.I waited a while longer and eventualy got my prize. For 25 yaers I have been so happy and proud that my wife is all mine and 2 children in and life is great.

Then 3 weeks ago I was asking her if was she ever curious about not having another man, well a bomb dropped on my head when she told me that she had sexual relationships with 2 guys before me. After 25 years of this not being in my thoughts it is now ripping me apart that my pure bride ( apart from me) is not pure at all.

I feel that I don't know her and that the women I had been with all those years has gone and this one is an imposter.

she said she told me that she was a virgin to get some time as the other relatiomships were abusive and that I would get what I wanted and then dump her, then when she fell in love with me she couldn't tell me the truth incase I dumped her for lying. we are both very upset with it all but I think that had she told me at the begining things would have been ok. 25 years of what I see as betrayal is hard to swallow.

I am confident of her faithfulness in marriage and while we were courting but after getting some details out of her all I do is dwell on poitions and locations and that this just cant be true.

I love her deaply and need to find away thru this but the road seems long and full off obsticals. good luck to all those in this position ,I have found some comfort finding other people in this position on this site.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 May 2008):

I sympathise with you - I have suffered this way for many years. My wife told me her history (LOTS of casual sex, one night stands etc) when we were seeing each other before we were married. I actually told her not to say the number as I didn't want to know - but for some reason (she later said she thought I'd think she was more exciting & sophisticated!!) she did, and it has hurt and tormented me ever since (BIG number!). I was in love with her and I married her. We have a child and I could never leave my child, but although my wife loves me, I do not believe that sex can mean anything for her other than physical release - because after sleeping around so much it has little meaning for her (she does like sex, but there is no love involvement in it for her), and I feel that we thus lose out on that deep intimacy. Also, I know that on at least one occasion we've run into one of the men -even though we live a long way from where she used to. If it were a proper ex-boyfriend then this would not be so bad, but it was a "one night stand" guy, and I find that humiliating....

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 May 2008):

I found this question whilst searching for an answer to the same question. I've been married 11 years now and am tormented by the same things - numerous one night stands she had in the past and so on. If we did not have a lovely child I guess I'd have had to leave before now over it. Oddly, I love, her, but the truth is I hate her for telling me this and it has soured our relationship. Although it goes into the background at times, our relationship would be many times better if she had not told me.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 May 2008):

I am curious if in other cases, like those posted here, the wife can say at one time "not my proudest moment" but at the next, defend the other person when called out. My wife once slept with a man who was older, and sometimes she would claim embarrassment, yet when I joke how this guy is now an old man, she tries to defend. She does herself no favors in doing this. More so, if any women come to this post, I am curious about this from a female perspective.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2008):

I don't know if this post will ever find a pair of eyes, but truth is, when you sleep with someone, you are making a promise with your body. And the decision to do so says a lot about a person. I have been dealing with discomfort in regards to this for a LONG time. My girlfriend chose to sleep with an older man, about 12 years her senior, when she was 20. The guy claimed he was divorced, but you know how that goes. Anyway, despite the discomfort she claimed she felt the first time, she let it happen again, including oral. That was it. Much like her other lovers, she will claim memory lapse when its convenient, and sometimes says its none of my business. Perhaps. However, in this day and age, don't you want to know where your lover has been? It is my business. I have discovered there are just a certain group of guys and girls who hold themselves, life, and life decisions to a higher standard. I have swept it under the rug, and tried to move on, but decisions say a lot about a person. My advice to all of you who struggle with the past of a lover - get out. In this one life, you get what you ask for. Put yourself on a pedistal, and only settle for what you deserve. Decide what you can accept and live with and settle for nothing less.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2008):

You have asked too many questions already. And I hate to say it, but you've created your own demons.

I know where your coming from because, having been married 14 years to my first wife, I made the mistake when we first met (as a young, naive and stupid 19 year old) of assuming that because I was a virgin, my ex was also. And when that wasn't the case, I asked, in detail, every little thing about her past liaisons. And the disclosure of such intimate experiences made the first few years of our relationship, and well into our marriage, a problem that I secretly struggled with.

That marriage failed for many reasons. But after my divorce, I "made up for lost time" and began dating again. Ten short months as a single parent in my early thirties, I met "Sara". The women who after exclusively dating for two years asked me to marry her (Yes. She asked me.)

I knew when we met that Sara had been very promiscuous during her college years. Her reputation for being an ex party girl was well founded. So much so that she makes my first wife seem like a nun. But what could I have expected from a stunningly beautiful, fiercely independent career women who had spent her entire adult life as a single mother? It bothers me. But I did not ask for any details nor have I pryed into her past anymore than to understand the road she traveled to become the women I had met and fell in love with. The details of her sexual exploits are left there. In the past.

I hate to say this, but, having broached the subject so in depth with your own wife is a problem you've made for yourself. Im speaking from experience. It took me years in my first marriage to forget the gory details of those images running through my mind. I guarantee you I didn't make that same mistake twice when I met Sara.

Time will help. But they will haunt you, my friend. Those images never really go away. They may get more fuzzy as time goes on. But they wont stop coming around from time to time....

Whether your marriage can sustain this little roadblock or not.....keep in mind that the best philosophy to adhere to when it comes to this subject now...or in the future.

Dont ask. Dont tell.

Good luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2008):

Hello, its currently 2:45am... well.. i understand how you feel.. imagine the one u love actually slept with a very famous person and u have to see his face all the time on the billboards.. the tv.. the radio.. it drives me crazy.. sometimes i just sleep outside the room because i cant even look at her.. i just think why did she gave herself to a married famous man.. if she knows she's not gonna marry him why did she do it... she talks about people sleeping with other people and i get very angry because its her too.. if you know what i mean.. i really love her dearly but sometimes breaking up with her would give my mental image mind a rest... i really dont know what to do.. dismay oh dismay.. anyways... should try hypnotherapy.. take care...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 January 2008):

Well I'm in the same boat as the other one timers here. It's more common that you think it is. I have four other friends that are also in the boat with us.

People have sex. Period. Whether you were too paranoid to take advantage of situations (like me) or just plain never had the opportunity to have sex before, there is nothing wrong with you. Every person's life is different. Different obstacles in life create different behaviors in people. Situations in my life caused me to never have sex until recently. Situations in my girlfriend's life caused her to have sex with other people.

When I found out about her past, I was devastated. It's a natural response to be upset when the perfect picture you painted of a person is randomly scribbled on. You want that feeling of bliss back and reality won't let you go back to that foolish day dream.

I honestly thought she was a virgin when we met due to misunderstandings. When I found out she wasn't it took me awhile to process my emotions and when I decided I loved her and wanted this to last forever I went ahead and had intercourse with her. It was great.

Then I got curious and asked about specifics and that is where the devastation happened. I thought it was only a couple people, but it was actually quite of few before me. I of course freaked out and didn't know what to think.

I think I did something that some of you have not though. I asked why she did it. Not the specifics of the act, the reasoning behind the acts. You see, if I didn't ask why I would be stuck dwelling over why she would do such a thing. Her reasons were understandable, but this doesn't clear out the emotions I have over the subject, it only helps.

One day I'm going to realize that she did those things because she thought she would be happier, but I'm the only one that can make her truly happy. So the past actually doesn't matter, it was just trial and error. We've all done things we dislike, sometimes really dumb things, or really hurtful things. That too was trial and error. The day I stop placing her sexual organs on a pedestal only because she was my only experience is the day I can truly she her as a person, not an object.

I'm doing okay now, I only really dwell on this stuff when we're apart. When we're together I'm constantly reminded of who she is as a person, not just a sex object. I suggest you people do the same.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 December 2007):

I find it ridiculous that some of you say, "everyone has a sexual past". No, not EVERYONE. Maybe this society promotes that but not everyone buys into that and one doesn't have to bow down to the people who do choose to treat sex so non-chalantly.

Anyway, I'd say that you need to stop with the details, find out NO MORE. The man I hope to marry had sexual intercourse with one partner and oral with two others. And myself...none. At some point I started asking questions, like if they'd ever taken showers together and that alone killed me. If I knew every position, the total amount of times (the girl he had intercourse with were on and off for all 4 years of college, so it must be a huge number), or any more details I think it would kill me. So even when I think I want to ask something, I don't. You seem to have the same personality. So deal with the big issue of her having had sex with anyone before you and don't add more to it.

This STILL devistates me like many of you have mentioned. We've been together for close to 2 years but the hurt of him having experienced sex with someone else for the first time is overwhelming. Sometimes he suggests that I go out and have sex with someone else to even out the stakes but obviously that wouldn't change the past.

I want to marry this man but I know he fears that I will always chastize him for the past. Is it so wrong to be hurt? I don't know if I can ever make it go away but does it even have to? It only hurts me because I care about him and I don't feel I sit around bullying him about it. When I bring it up it's only because the pain is so great that I can't keep it inside and since he's my best friend it's natural to look to him for comfort but the mention of the subject makes him upset. Oh the unfairness of life.

Best of luck to you all with similar situations.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 November 2007):

I have known my girlfriend for only three months, but I still cry and feel deep anguish whenever I think of her being intimate with other guys in the past. She and I will have a great day together, and then at night I will ruin it for myself by letting these hideous images consume my mind.

I realize that I need to make a choice. Either accept that she is not perfect and love her for who she is, or resent her for her past mistakes.

She is wonderful. We truly love each other. We do so much for each other and have spent countless beautiful days together. I fell in love with her, and I choose to love her and build something special with her. I choose to be a responsible boyfriend with respect, honor and love for her.

If I cannot accept that she is not perfect, she deserves a better man.

But today she chooses to be with me. She has saved the last dance for me.

Love extinguishes hate. All I have to do is think about how much we love each other, and all of those nasty gremlins go away.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 October 2007):

"let bygones be bygones"..sleeping with someone or many is not a crime till u have the right resons for it.its ur flesh not ur soul u offer,untill u want.pasts must be buried for the evolution of a dawning present or forthcoming future..even u must have done things in ur past u regret or simply want to forget thinking them as mishaps...judge ur wife fairly from her NOW,her love ,her care,her honesty n the will to offer..not by her its all over.u have the beauty to today in ur hands dont trample it with irratinal questions n meagre is beautiful enjoy it to the fullest... god bless u

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 September 2007):

My advice to you is to think about the happiness she brings to your life. I too have this problem thinking about the woman that is now my wife, past. I know a lot of it but not all and I do not ask. She doesn't ask about mine and she knows that I have had a past myself. I just learned to let go and think that she picked me to be her husband and I picked her to be my wife. We both have past that we do regret but the happiness and joy we bring each other blocks all of that out. Just think about those times and learn to let go so you can have a lifetime of happiness.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 September 2007):

I often surf the net and wind up in all kinds of places, today I'm here.

The one thing that sticks out about this post is the exact details, which are obsessive.

Obsessive behaviour is destructive in any form let alone in the delicate realms of a relationship.

I urge this person to cease this obsession with what was and focus on the what will be.

For to continue with such an obsession will surely lead to only one thing... seperation.

Focus on your relationship as you would like it to be and it shall come to pass, focus on the past and that's what you will get... a past relationship.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 September 2007):

People come into relationships with a past. She has one and you have one. Also her shame shows that she is not the same person today as she was then. She's learned from her mistakes.

Are you perfect?? Are you the same person you were 5 years ago? Have you grown as a human being and a man??

She chose you for a life's partner.. that's all that matters.. let the past go and focus on building a future together..

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 September 2007):

Guys stop dwelling on this bullshit. it only digs you deep. i had issues with all my girlfriends but you eventually get over it. Just look into your past and you'll see your no angel either. My girlfriend is great and has excepted my past partners and drugs issues. and respects me for overcoming these issues. she is one partner ahead of me and this was an issue, but when you realize that you love this person all that bullshit will be put behind. Jealousy or resentment is not love. and if yuo took vows about you love for this person maybe you should rethink your thoughts. the past is the past. and if it is true love you wont let dumb shit bother you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 August 2007):

I had the same problem. I was a virgin when I met my wife 14 years ago. She told me she had only done it once and when pressed told me it was actually twice but he never got it in. Only recently did she come clean and told me it was a sexual relationship that lasted for 6 months. I was crushed that she lied to me. She told me that she lied because she knew I would be insecure. What the hell does insecurity have to do with it? My own wife who I trust lied to me about sex. I even gave my virginity to her. I decided that the only way to deal with the pain is to stop having sex with her and hope that one day she leaves. She can no longer be trusted.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 July 2007):

For all the females whu responded above to this topic, saying that its insanity to ask ones wife abt her past life....I must say, that they themselves are insane or hv had many sexual pleasures with their respective mates over number of times before marriage. A married couple shud know everything about each other which includes sexual past. and SEX isnt just anything which can be considered normally, its giving up ones privacy and trust to someone else. Not telling abt ur sexual past be marriage is as good as hiding AIDS at the time of marriage. According to me..Divorce is the solution..sooner the better

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 July 2007):

Does it really matter? I have had one sex partner in life my wife of 16 years, we married at 25. She has had between 51-56 sex partners, most more than once. It doesn't make me feel less of a man, nor does it make me think less of her. The past is the past. Stop wishing you were her first, and set out to be her last.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 July 2007):

The hurt never ends. Believe me. After 50 years of marriage the pain is still there. I did not enter the marriage by choice, she was pregnant and while she had an extensive background with many partners and I had none, I was shamed into the marriage and lived with the pain all these years. Only recently did I realize how she had manipulated me.

I did have some satisfaction out side the marriage and found this to be a partial solution to my pain but it is still incomplete and hurts everyday.

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A male reader, Marcellas United States +, writes (11 July 2007):

it's not about judging or any of that. It's that someone you love, did all that with someone else, and there's nothing you can do to undo it. And it is a big deal. The lie thing is a big thing with men. We need to get over it all, but first we need to be able to face it. All the guys who did you wife know all the details. If the "loving hubby" is kept out, and not alowed to know, what's that? Makes a man feel like a fool, when he finds out. Of course some obsess. I like the sober minded folks here who have expressed it's about honesty. I was surprised to find other have to deal with resentment about being either lied to, or kept in the dark about thinks that other guys can certainly remember, how she felt, what she did, how much fun it all was..... and i'm not supposed to know? anyway, i appreciate this forum.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 June 2007):

About the time we were to get engaged my wife to be made a point of telling me of her past sex partners. I'd known she wasn't a virgin when we met but, at 24, I hadn't expected her to be. She'd had sex with eight different guys before me. Her history included romances, affairs and some one night stands.

It blew my mind at the time. She said she'd had to pluck up courage for her confession and had agonised over whether or not to tell all. Once I'd calmed down I appreciated her honesty. I knew then that this was a woman for the long haul and we celebrated our 40th anniversary earlier this year.

My advice to girls is to come clean before the wedding. Then he has time to get used to it and over it. After all losing a boy friend is a lot less painful than getting divorced. From the other submissions on this topic it is easy to see that men are very upset if they have been deceived about their wife's past. And the truth does have a way of coming out. So girls, tell all beforehand and let him get over it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 June 2007):

I have been in this position with girls before but thankfully my wife was a virgin. Let's face it , you can't just forget about it , it's always there. There is that gremlin at the back of your head , keeps raising the alarm bells , "look what she's done" ,the anger in yourself starts to eat away at you , it spoils something that would have been so beautiful , it's not your fault at all. It will be with you for the rest of your life and will probably not fade with time as , I suspect some people might advise you. It is perfectly normal for you to feel this way. You are not insecure or jealous as some may suggest.Her past activities are disgusting theres no doubt about that , let's call a spade a spade.

So , what can be done?

What alternatives are there?

Well , you could divorce her , but this is not a good option either is it , if you are happy in all other ways. The only advice I can give is to try and not resist or fight these feelings , just let them run their course and accept that we dont live in a perfect world , youre not the only one. The only way forward is to just get on with things the best you can. I can only add that you are going to have to try and take the "dont care" attitude ,although it is not a solution in it's own right , there is no solution for this. You cant cure this problem in full. But you have to try

best of luck

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 June 2007):

I don't think you should worry about your wife's past. For many girls low self esteem in their teens is an issue for them and having sex is an attempt to raise it. Almost all girls after marriage put their past life behind them and forget about it. It is no longer important for them. Their focus is now on their husbands, their home and in due course their kids.

I would say that if your wife's sexual past bothers you the problem is within you and not your wife. If she is loving, faithful and true to you and the marriage then you have solid gold on your hands. Appreciate it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 May 2007):

I am dealing with the same issues. I found out my wife was NOT who she made herself out to be. I knew she wasn't a virgin, but I didn't know she was with as many as she finally admitted. I got physically ill, followed by extreme anger that she had lied to me for so long (I never lied about my past). I still can't get the images out of my head. Don't let any whore on this site tell you to "just get over it" or "you have the problem." Women love to play both sides. They want respect but whore themselves out and expect to be treated like a lady.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 May 2007):

I tried last time to include my email, but unfortunately it was blocked (as per policy I assume). I would like to invite those who visit this site to join my new yahoo! group called "spousal sexual secrets" where these issues can be discussed openly and anonymously. If we don't talk about it amongst ourselves the pain is never alleviated.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (23 April 2007):

Hi everybody,

I too am struggling with my current partner. We're both divorced, however it's not her ex-husband that bothers me. You get married, you're in love, you have a sexual relationship - no problems here.

I just can't over the fact that at age 24, she decided her first partner would be the drummer from Oasis, in a hotel room in Tokyo (she's Japanese). Admittedly it was a long time ago, but it feels like yesterday.

The fact that it is all so VISUAL (I know what he looks like, sounds like) not to mention how I feel and react when a damn Oasis song comes on.

I just can't get over the fact that she gave herself to a guy, for free, her first time, simply because she liked the music and that he was famous. When I imagine the adoration she would've shown to this guy, and what happened in that hotel room - I'm just a regular guy, this is all a bit too much for me to handle.

This whole thing has been with me for 18 months now, and is not getting any better.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 April 2007):

I can relate to your experience, and the experiences of the men who have also posted here. After years of being married, and having thought I knew about my wife, it turned out she had been hiding the fact of her sexual history from me. I knew only a tiny portion of it. It is devastating and don't let anyone tell you you can't be devastated. It is a form of betrayal; she was pretending to let me know her. Yes, you can feel hurt, betrayed and regret the fact that you married someone who was less than honest with you. I have had enough of people just saying "get over it" as if it is that easy. We need to work through this, just as anyone has to work through any emotionally damaging experience. Don't deny the pain, it has to be there. I wish I had seen this post a year and a half ago, when you wrote it. It has been just over two years since my wife told me about her sexual past. I also wish there was some way we, who have suffered this fate, may get together and talk about our pain in a safe place. If, somehow, any males would be interested in forming a virtual group to get together and try to find healing from this, email me. I do have hope we can work through this, stay married and love our wives in the process. My email is [email address blocked].

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 March 2007):

I have been with my girlfriend for 3 years. I think about her "taking it in the ass" - from the last guy she was with - every day. I know because that's exactly what he told me on the day it happened. It tortures me inside.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2007):

You know what, I'm tired of women having all the fun and then duping a virgin guy into marriage. This simply is not fair to the man that will NEVER experience a vagina other than the one he is locked in to by marriage.

Women, this is bullshit and you know it! You were able to experience plenty of cock simply because you were not married, and then go lock some poor dude down and deny him the pleasures of playing the field that you have already had. I think this is one of the most selfish things a woman can do to a man.

I might sound bitter because I'm in this scenario as well. My wife is the only woman that I have been with but she has had one previous partner. We have been married for 10 years and her past has not bothered me until recently.

We have talked about some solutions but most have to do with divorce so that I can have my "fun" too. To me, this is a lose-lose situation. If I divorce her to have my fun, then I have lost everything that I have worked for these past 10 years. If I stay married, then I am doomed to constantly battling the urge for variety of vagina.

How are we expected to remain faithful for the rest of our lives to one vagina when the "modern" society constantly promotes sex? As men, we are made to feel like failures if we have not had much variety of vagina or worse, if we remain virgins too long.

The only thing that separates the past from the present is that one confusing idea of marriage where men are constantly forced to deny their instinct while women hunker down and grow old.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 September 2006):

Where are the numbers coming from? Did you press her for those numbers? Did she volunteer them of her own accord?

It sounds like she wanted to come clean and confess so that you knew what you were getting into and she, herself overlooked that she is no longer that woman and no longer lives her life like that. It sounds like she hasn't forgiven herself for her past. She obviously has learnt from it as she doesn't want to continue living that lifestyle.

You need to write down the good qualities about her and all the kind things she has done for you. When you get these thougts, take out your list and list them out loud. Carry a picture of you and her in your wallet. Have her write a letter as to why she adores you and read that as well.

Focus on the good of her and all that she brings you and forgive her and help her forgive herself.

Best of Wishes.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 September 2006):

The number of times she has had sex with other guys, really isn't important. Probably what bothers you is the number of guys, whether she had sex with 3 guys 48 times or with 48 guys I'm sure that would bother you more. My wife and I were friends, so she told me about at least 12 guys and even admitted to having sex in public. What hurts is that it has altered the way I look at her. It's hard not to look at her as a whore, especially when I know the guys who she had sex with, so the visual is all to easy. I go through many times of depression, anger and despair. Our problem is two fold one, I wonder if I'm satisfying her two sometimes she wonders if I'm attracted to her, I guess because she had so many others who were. I realize the past is the past and nothing can be done about the past and yes she says she's ashamed of the things she has done, but I don't think it's so much about an insecurity as it as about a change of perception of the one you care so much about. Almost like a feeling of betrayal. I've noticed how it's mostly women who say to let it go, and it's probably those who have a similar past and want it forgotten. If you found out later in life that your husband was a serial rapist would your opinion of him be the same?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 June 2006):


"Dont be unevenly yoked"

"what does the darkness have in common with the light"

but i dont want to use the bible as a weapon. But thats the words just read them and ask if you really understand them.

You know the reason thoses things are said are for our benefit.

Life is very subtle. Things never seem that bad. But they corrupt your soul.

Face it women have an unfair hand when it comes to sex. they say who where and when.

I think its unfair to say that a bad girl and a good girl should be judged if they are wearing a smile on their face.

actions speak louder then words.

I dont understand this double think. You are saying lust is ok but jealousy is not.

Face it most of you guys dont have a clue.

Funny how all these whore like women end up with inexperienced men. Do they know something.

If someone rented a room from you and told you they were a murderer after 6 months would be pissed off

So if you discover that your whole relationship is based on a lie (never exsited) then what do you do.

If these women were so open minded in the first place why not tell the truth and let you make up your own mind.

I think it just proves again that they are selfish and only care for them selfs.

You can have big fun and sex or you can be boring and get married.

but you can't have your cake and eat it.

and who wants to be with a 35+ woman who was a bitch when she had looks?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 May 2006):

Be it 10, 20, 30 or even just once... it make no diff. The haunting just goes on and on and on. In my case, my wife, whom I so dearly love have had one relationship. That alone I cant handle. Been married for almost 15 years having 3 kids. Did not have any problems then until a year ago the images of she and him being in "one flesh". It just kills me. It easy to say to forget it, think of other stuffs about her, or the kids, or work, or other SHIT!!! I CANT DO IT!!!! Why must this happens to me. Why must ppl have sex before marriage. Why the one I love have to have such experience. Why!What is this world coming to??? Are we gonna tell our kids its ok to do such things!! I thought I could handle it. Boy was I wrong. Definitely wrong.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 February 2006):

I have had the same issue with my wife of 10 yrs. I was a virgin when we met; she took my virginity, as a matter of fact i have never had sex with anyone else.

She told me that i took her virginity.I found out two years into our marriage that that was not true. I found out that she cheated on me when we were kids (were 30). I have forgiver her; God mandates that, but i have not forgotten. it still haunts me.

About two yrs into our marriage she admitted that she had sex with 10 partners (including her uncle who abused her), and and adult neighbor who paid her because he new that she was needy.

I feel guilty about asking her about her partners and why she lied to me. But i need to know details for closure. Sometimes I think that I am going nuts about it. Dont get me wrong, we have a wonderful marriage this is the only argment that we have consistantly.

I tell her that i feel cheated;i went through college and did not think of anyone else.

The only reason she told me about me not being her only partner is because her child-molesting uncle gave her an STD, so then it was obveous to me that she had had sex before. i don't blame her for being abused; i blame her for lying to me when i asked about her history.

I know now that it is normal to think about her past.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 February 2006):

Hey, I hear ya! I think it's a bit odd that you know so many details that part would kill me. I'm 33 been married for 10 years and before that had 3 long relationships and I was faithful so I have had a grand total of four sexual partners. My wife has never told me her "number" even when I have fished for it. I can only assume it's up there. I know for a fact she has had seven boyfriends plus me, other than that who knows. I sure would like to know but leave the details out.

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (28 January 2006):

willywombat agony auntIrish ahs said it all for me and for that I applaud her. I don't understand why you would discuss the specifics of you wife's actions before your relationship. I think you both need to leave the past behind you and look toward the future. Get counselling or look at other means of communication and stop discussing the past it is destroying your relationship.x

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2006):

You are not "insecure" for feeling this way and don't let anyone here lay that one on you. There are very few men who would be happy with their significant other having had 48 sexual partners (and those that were, would often be voyeurs). This is absolutely normal. You know that sex with you isn't a special, cherished act, because she "gave it out" so cheaply and readily. How can you love and cherish a woman, body and soul, when her body was considered by her to be virtually public property? (rather than her own, precious and reserved, and given with great discrimination to only those that she cares for). How can sex with her mean anything to you? Of course it can't. There's those you'll sleep with, and those you marry. Double standard, yep, but women have their own double standards (e.g., wealth, physical height, personal confidence), and you shouldn't feel ashamed or insecure about having standards that you apply to women when choosing whether to commit to her or not.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 January 2006):

I have the same problem. I cannot stop thinking about my wife's past relationships. When we met, she was with someone else, and it just hurts and constantly invades my mind.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 January 2006):

Forget about most of these peoples answers - everyone thinks and reacts differently to certain issues. I, myself, am in the same situation, but its my boyfriend's, hes had approx. 15 different sexual partners, and this hurts. I always imagine it, and I am seeking counseling. That is the best option for you to do.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 January 2006):

Who the hell can even remember how many times you've had sex with past partners. I have had three boyfriends which all lasted beyond 6 months and asking me to recall exactly what i did and how many times I did it with each of them is insane. Does your wife keep a log of how many times she went down on her boyfriends? And if she does, as disturbing as that is, why the F**K did she tell you?

Who on earth says to their partner "well with Tom I did it 6 times, he went down on me twice etc etc" Really.

The two of you need to GET A LIFE.

Have you explained to her all your calculations of the times you have had sex? Honestly, Grow up

BTW - does she know

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 December 2005):

Everyone has a sexual past. The key word is that it is the 'PAST'! If you wanted a virgin when you got married, you should have expressed this. You have two choices, accept it, or leave her. I think it's really odd to be thinking of your wife's sexual past so often, and in such detail. If this really bothers you and you want to accept it, I'm sure some councelling would help. If you judge her because of her past, it's not fair to either of you. I don't think your wife's past is that bad, and a person's sexual history isn't nearly as important as qualities such as respect, honesty, love, and intellegence. Does your wife have these qualities? Does she treat you with respect? Is she honest with you? Does she show you love? Would you rather be with someone who doesn't have these qualities but had a clean sexual past? What is more important to you? This is a very personal decision, and you need to figure out what your priorities in a relationship are.

Best of luck.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 December 2005):

And I am to assume you were a virgin when you met her common ....get over it

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A female reader, Virginiaac +, writes (21 December 2005):

There is only one option: Divorce.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 December 2005):

It's creepy that you've kept a record of the precise number of times she did different things. The first step to resolving your unhappiness is to learn this lesson well: When you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear. Somethings just shouldn't be asked. Learn that. It's true, on a whole lot of levels.

The second thing you should do is start some active thought re-direction techniques. You need to stop obsessing over this stuff. That's hard to do. These thoughts come into your mind, and it's like it happens without your being able to control it. Pick a different thought to replace them (like, My wife loves me, or a religious quote, or anything else that's comforting and true for you) and whenever one of these thoughts or images comes into your mind, IMMEDIATELY shove it out by focusing all your attention on the mantra you've chosen. It'll take a while for you to get good at this, but eventually, you'll find that as you think about these things less, they will matter to you less.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 December 2005):

Wow! That is freaky that you know all of that! Who cares!!! Even as far as knowing sexual history for std's, etc . . .you should know that she has been active. Even being active once, in any capacity, puts a person at risk for std's. So get tested if that's a concern. Why would you ever ask or ever care? I think you are very controlling, and if I were your wife, I would LEAVE! How humiliating and degrading you are in your own power issues. And to turn it around and make it look like she's a whore you just can't trust . . . how dare you! You are way out of line and need some serious therapy!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 December 2005):

Both of you made critical mistakes in your marriage. She's given way too many details and your insecurities are not allowing you to get past this. Get into marriage counselling and find out why you can't really let this go. I'm not going to put forward that old myth... 'that the past need not affect the present' because I believe with many people 'the past not only affects it, but in some cases can dictate it'. You're wounded over this and it going to create a huge emotional wedge in your marriage. Your deeply emotional response, is perfectly human, and exactly the sort of thing that we all deal with, in our relationships. But most of us, move on-we let it go. You are a very insecure person, and you dread the idea that your sexually experienced wife might not be satisfied with you or maybe you believe that a sexually experienced woman is not to be trusted? Whatever it is, it's at the core of your relationship problems. This issue seems deeply painful for you, so you need to find ways to deal with it, in a healthy way. Having you ruminate on it endlessly, is not going to solve the problem because it will just continue to brings you further torment and resentment toward your wife. And you aren't able to resolve this on your own. If you could've solved it by yourself, you would've done so by now. If you want to save your marriage, get into marriage counseling..pronto and take your wife with you.

I do concur with Eddie, it does appear weird that you have documented her past sex life. Who the heck cares how many times and whom she did it with? For the sake of 'sexual health' (std's) I do feel it's crucial to be honest about one's past sexual history, but the who, what and where details are not necessary. But the big question-how much information is too much? Is ignorance truly bliss? With some likely is. This is a clear example of how being too 'detailed' can harm a couple's relationship. So many people make this mistake of being far too detail-orientated. And I have to wonder why they feel the need to do this? Too much-only serves to create anxieties. Honesty should build intimacy and trust, not anger and resentment. Hopefully, with support from an outside source, you will find that counseling can be an effective way to strengthen and deepen your relationship. Take care and I wish you both the best.

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A female reader, Peasle United Kingdom +, writes (20 December 2005):

I'm sorry - but I have to say that I find it really bizarre that you listed each sexual act along with the number of times your wife had done them. Have you actually made her sit down and catalogue them for you? If so - why?

There is no reason for your wife to be 'ashamed' of what she has done in the past. Everybody has a history. Are you encouraging her to feel 'ashamed'? Do you feel ashamed of her? If so, why?

The issue here seems to be more about your attitudes towards women and sex. I think you need to examine that more closely - maybe within a sex therapy context. Your wife doesn't sound like she has been especially promiscuous.

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (20 December 2005):

eddie agony auntHi there. I agree with the others. You need to find a way of letting the past go. After all, it is the past and we can't be held responsible for decisions we made and how they might bother a future mate, meaning you. At that point in time, you were nobody to her and the other guy was. How would you like your wife to limit what she does with you, based on the possibility that some day she might have to answer to another guy for her actions. We don't live that way.

It sounds like she has an open mind. Enjoy that benefit and move on. More importantly, it sounds strange that you have documented her sex life down to the exact number of times she performed certain acts. It sounded like I was reading a medical study. You need to discover why you focus on this. The issue is probably with you.


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A male reader, Mr.Ed +, writes (20 December 2005):

Mr.Ed agony auntThis actually happened to me and I had a hard time getting over it until I finally relized one day that I was no saint either. Specifics can haunt you but only if you let them. First don't dwell on those things they were all done before you entered her life. I mean biblically speaking if we were to see how we measure up in GOD's eyes I would probably be going to hell if past deeds were the focus. Thank GOD he doesn't look at them when I asked for forgiveness. Secondly This is a game where you are the one thinking about them. Just let it go. What happens when you are together now is your memories not the past. Look at your wife for all she's done for you and how supportive she's been while with you. I'm sure your there too for her. If you look at your past then I'm sure you have done some crazy stuff too. I equate my past as child like even when I was in my 20's. Two kids exploring possibilities and learning what things are like. She still had to learn what you like and vice-versus and you did the same with her. There is no magical cleansing that takes away those images but, there is you controlling your mind and respecting what you have in front of you. She married you for a reason and you have a responsibility to honor her by not conjuring up her past and hanging it over her head; nor your head for that matter. If you cannot get over this then seriously she deserves better than you dwelling on this. Besides compared to allot of women and men I know her past actually is a saint. Stop thinking and just love her for who she is now. Good Luck. Ed

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A male reader, harshbutfair United Kingdom +, writes (20 December 2005):

harshbutfair agony auntMake a decision either to leave or stay and never think about these things again. Then never go back on that decision.

Quite seriously, you may find this is the kind of problem that responds well to hypnosis or techniques you can learn yourself.

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A reader, Angel-lee +, writes (20 December 2005):

Everyone has a past, either let go if it, or let go of her, if you dont let go of HER past then your relationship wont work anyway. I think its time you decide. I know its not nice, knowing about what she got up to but thats why the past should stay in the past. She is with you now so its time for you to let go or move on.

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