I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 10 years (I am 30 yrs old) and been with her for 12. When we got together, she told me that she was a virgin. I was a virgin so I thought that is was great to lose our virginity to each other.After we were married, she revealed to me that she had had sex with another boy when we were dating. I married her knowing this. A few years later, she revealed that she routinely had sex with her uncle for money (whe she was a teen). She further revealed that she had sex with 10 boys/men before we started dating, including a 30- something neighbor.I love her very much; with this exception we have a great marriage, she has been a great wife and mother but I have not come to terms with the fact that she was an awful girlfriend.However, I have looked at her differently since I found out about this. I also feel like a fool because I have never had sex with anyone else-- ever; she is the only one that I have had sex with. I don't even look at other womens' behinds.How do I get over the cheating from 11 years ago? I often ask her about the details but she gets angry and we have an argument. I know that it is stupid for me to keep thinking about this, but I can't help it. Does anyone have advice? Thanks in advance.Colin
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reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2006):You are not alone. My wife is the only girl that I ever had a relationship. My wife had a boy friend, who happened to be a friend of mine, before me. Of course, they were very intimate then. Did this bother me? Not at all! In fact, she had never hid anything. She told me all the details that they had done in the past. I have never been jealous, angry or depressed. After all, she is a great wife, mother, lover and a successful professional. I always thank god for marrying my wife. Our marriage is perfect.
Take a closer look at your wife. Think all her merits not just the dark side in her immature past. Your wife is not your property. Her past behavior is none of your business.
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reader, anonymous, writes (1 March 2006):1. Stop asking for details. Are you mental? Why would you do that? Do you want to torture her? And yourself? And destroy your relationship bit by bit? Just stop. There's no reason for you to hear the detailed story. It's lurid.
2. Stop keeping score. You said you feel like a fool because you never had sex with anyone else. So now it's a contest? And your sexual history has to stack up against hers? Who thinks this way? It's not right - that's not loving.
3. Think for a moment about what all of this really means. She had sex with her uncle (for money) when she was a teen. That's incest. That's degrading. That's statutory rape. The same is true of the 30-something neighbor. The way you describe the events, you make it sound like she was this lewd, promiscuous, calculating woman. I guess that's possible, but my guess is she was a scared, insecure girl who was taken advantage of in all the worst possible ways. Thing about the woman you fell in love with and decide which of those you really think is more likely. I find it hard to believe that someone who's honestly a good wife and mother could really have been such a manipulative, calculating, self-possessed adolescent. It sounds more like she was abused. That doesn't mean she was saying no to all the sex back then, but it very well could mean she was saying yes and hating every minute of it.
4. How long have you known about the cheating? It was early in your relationship, before you were ever married. You say that you want to let it go, but you just can't stop thinking about it. But it doesn't really sound to me like you want to let it go. You're dwelling on it. Every time you talk about it - that's inhibiting your ability to let it go. Every time you sit alone and let your mind mull it over for minutes at a time - that, too, is inhibiting your ability to let it go. You're right that you probably can't just decide never to have these thoughts pop back into your head. But you DO have the ability to decide what it is you will do when that happens. You DO have the choice to change the subject of your thoughts so to speak. You DO have the choice to go do something active so your mind drifts to something else. There's counseling that specifically focuses on helping people address repetitive negative thinking. Look into it; this isn't good for you or your marriate. (or your kids.)
5. FORGIVE. You write your question like you're looking for help, but the tone suggests that you're looking more for support. You say you love your wife. Do you? Do you really? Because love is forgiveness - it keeps no record of wrongs. That's not what you're doing here, which means you're not doing a very good job of loving your wife. Because you're focusing more on how she's wronged you and how you can accept that than on how you've wronged her by refusing to forgive her. In your mind, you have branded her - you've judged her. How loving is that? People aren't perfect. Nobody is - you're not perfect either. I know what you're thinking. "Yeah, but look, I have flaws, but not like this ... hers are so much worse ..." Who are you to be so judgmental? Who are you to think you're so much better than your wife? Because first of all, it's b/s - your flaws are different, not lesser. And second of all, what kind of loving husband sits there judging his wife for all her shortcomings instead of loving her for them?
The problem isn't in your wife's past. It's in your understanding of what love really is and how marriage is supposed to work. It sucks that your wife wasn't honest with you, and it sucks that you have to accept the fact that you're not the only man she's ever slept with. You know what? You married her - sack up and get over it. And then stop trying to blame the problems in the marriage on her past when they are just as fully created by the fact that you are too judgmental and begrudging to forgive the woman you claim to love.
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