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My wife lied about her past and I feel like I want to leave her!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Marriage problems, Sex, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (23 October 2009) 7 Answers - (Newest, 15 April 2013)
A male United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

My wife told me she only ever had one boyfriend before me and she only ever slept with him twice. After 23 years together i discover that she was in fact in a sexual relationship with him for 2 years and then with another guy for 6 months. Having only just found out it feels like it has only just happened. I cant get the images out of my head to the point i feel i need to leave her.

View related questions: her past

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A male reader, isuffertoo United States +, writes (15 April 2013):

I feel the pain.

I have been married three times because of this exact topic. My first wife was a virgin, so thinking about her with other men wasn't an issue, but there were other things that I would manipulate and make more out of than it ever really was.

We had children together, and the feeling of being last priority set me on a self destruct mode. I ended up leaving her and the kids for what I thought was a good reason at the time; she didn't need me or love me anymore. I was a ghost.

I later remarried a girl who had said that she only had sex with one guy before me and that they had only had sex two times.

As the years went by, I had asked so many questions about this that I think my memory of it is actually as detailed as hers. I didn't leave her, but I made such a big deal about this that I actually went from a HERO to a ZERO, and she left me instead.

Now, this next part may come as a surprise, I too am surprised, since only I know the true depth to my own jealousy. But here goes.... there is hope!! This CAN be fixed, and it is within you to choose!!!

I have remarried (as I said, I have been married three times) to a woman who has had more sexual partners than anyone I have ever been with.

She was a small town girl and thought that sex was a part of dating.

She regrets the activity, but still, it is what it is. I started my relationship with her on a mutual understanding of BRUTAL HONESTY. I was honest about anything and everything, as was she. The biggest part of my honesty was telling her fron the start about my jealously and explaining it in great detail.

And that, my friends, is where I believe that this is a condition that can be solved. She has told me EVERYTHING that I have ever asked. She has answered immediately and without attitude. I know details that the guys she was with probably dont even remember!!

It has been over two years since I have asked anything about this topic. I have no need to ask because she was honest from the start. I never get the anxiety that I used to get, I dont lose my erection while making love because something has jumped into my thoughts. It is amazing how I can go from jealousy to happiness by simply informing my lover of my issues and allowing her to be a part if the SOLUTION instead of part of the PROBLEM.

Now, with that said, you MUST be honest and tell her the full extent of your issues so that when you start asking she understands what's happening. Nit all women woukd agree to this, but hey, if they refuse, they're not worth the time anyways. If she really loves you and wants a relationship with you, she will do whatever it takes.

I feel like the key to this working out is pure teamwork, and brutal honesty. And I really hope this can help others out there. Once the women understand that this certainly is NOT something we choose to feel, they will help.

Just keep in mind, most women are ashamed of what they did as young girls, so them telling you is just as hard as you hearing it, maybe harder... help her by reassuring her that you are not trying to judge her past, you are only trying to accept her past.

We all did things when we were young that we regret, help her to not be ashamed of it. As she accepts her past, she will be more likely to open up to you about it. Try to make it a casual talk, not a serious one. Don't interrogate her!!! Good luck!

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

Read quiet echo's response.

Not because it helps. But rather to understand why a lot of people (including lots of women) simply won't ever understand what you're going through. You gotta take this in stride and not take it personally when they blame you for the pain that you're trying so badly to get rid of.

SHe said, "you have a choice, either get past it or torment yourself"

And that's the key to the lack of understanding. To them, you are CHOOSING to feel this way. They actually think you are doing this because you like it. They actually think you are motivated by self-rightousness at them and not by pure daily pain yourself.

"Your wife has done nothing wrong in concealing her past"


The point is not whether your wife had any right to her past. It's her past and she has every right to it. And she even had every right not to tell you details of it.

But she had no right to LIE TO YOU! What QuietEcho (chooses not to understand) is that you had no way of avoiding this situation. You should have had the right to marry who you want, and that includes marrying someone whose past does not CAUSE YOU DAILY EMOTIONAL PAIN. But that right was taken from you. Your wife robbed you of the chance to choose for yourself whether or not her past bothered you too much to accept.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 October 2009):

Why do you feel you need to leave her?

She's been with YOU for the last 23 years. Doesn't that say something?

Okay, she lied, but surely you have left out details about your sexual relationships with girls before her?

The fact you've been together for that long should make these details irrelevant.

She's spent more than 2 decades with you. Who cares about these guys.

Ask her why she didn't tell you the truth. Maybe she regretted it, maybe she felt ashamed, maybe she wanted you to think that she wasn't that experienced.

I cant see why it matters. Why throw 23 years down the drain?

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (23 October 2009):

Yos agony auntSorry, I have to comment on this from quiet echo:

"Daresay you'll get some responses from men claiming it's so much harder for men to accept a woman's sexual past than it is for us women because of some genetic hardwiring, but it's pure nonsense."

Sadly it's not nonsense. There are some basic male-specific triggers relating to our biology that do make this difficult. That's not to say that women also don't sometimes have issues with their partners pasts: of course they do. But the triggers, reactions, feelings and emotions for each sex are distinctly different in this area. Which unfortunately makes it difficult to deal with in a relationship: because true empathy is very hard.

For this reason you'll probably find it easier and more helpful to talk to men about it. If you have any close male friends I suggest sharing this with them and asking for support.

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (23 October 2009):

Yos agony auntThis is commonly called retroactive jealousy. And it's a common 'condition', it happens to many men. Since it comes up here so often, I'll point you to a few previous questions, hope they help:

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A female reader, Melys South Africa +, writes (23 October 2009):

Melys agony auntI know this may seem as a bit of a shock to you finding that out ... but it was a very long time ago ... and by now, you should be able to trust your wife and you know her really well ... I really wouldn't worry about it at all ... she'd never do that to you would she ... let those images go and carry on being happy!

Good luck

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A male reader, CaringGuy United Kingdom +, writes (23 October 2009):

No, you don't need to leave her just because of this. that would be a really bad step. Instead, ask her why she didn't tell you. Perhaps she was embarassed or ashamed and thought you wouldn't like her. Also remember that this happened a long time ago, and she has since proved faithful to you. Forgive this little blip and continue with the marriage.

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