- This topic has 27 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Kate.
January 6, 2023 at 8:22 am #1117960Dear WendyKeymaster
From a LW:
“I married the love of my life almost 50 years ago. I’ve never loved anyone else. Our courtship and marriage were wonderful. She was everything I wanted my wife and the mother of my children to be, and she has been, except for one detail. She lied to me about her sexual past, during the time we were dating and before. She had implied that, like me, she had no sexual experience. Twelve years and four children into our marriage, she suffered an emotional meltdown caused by a difficult childhood. Counseling produced a whole mess of ghosts and goblins from her youth, and then finally came the big one. She had lied to me about her virginity and sexual past. She created the lies while we were dating because she knew that it was important to me. She knew that I would have never dated or married her If I knew the truth about her past. I suspected something on our wedding night. The next day when I asked a few questions, she told some more lies.
What this did to her was cause a dark two years in her life that took therapy to work through. She has never discussed or wanted to discuss how it has impacted me. She just insists that the past is none of my business and I need to get over it. I told her that she made the past my business by lying to me.
Initially, she told me she lost her virginity by being date raped. Later on, it became evident that was another lie. I think she used that story because she thought that I would accept it more easily. Then she slept around with three more guys after that (who knows how many). Her telling me all this essentially ended our marriage that day and started our second one. I still love her, but it is different. In every other way she has been a stellar wife, as if trying to make up for it. For over 38 years, I’ve been married to my best friend, my partner who I share everything with, our money, our home, our kids. We share our lives. The day she told me the truth, the intimacy we had was gone. Or at least it was never the same.
She has been completely focused on our children and grandkids. She hasn’t got a clue about what her past has done to me. Even in sexless old age, in my mind, I still see visions of her with those other guys, still young; they never age. In my mind, they visit me everyday. Any effort to discuss it results in an explosion. Her two years of counseling fixed her to her satisfaction as long as I keep my troubles buried. After all, she was just getting “IT” out of her system. It’s my problem not hers.
I did some counseling as part of an unrelated medical issue. I re-directed the discussion to go down the road of her past. Counseling helped reassure me about my love for her, her love for me and pointed out that I could have had a miserable life of a different kind had I married someone else. Sometimes life can be like beauty and the beast. You get handed both. I believe it is retroactive jealousy OCD. It is a horrible curse. I’ve had to pay for her sins. Being in a marriage with the person you love and knowing that desire and intimacy were thrown away and handed out to other guys in meaningless relationships has changed everything. My advice to people is to NEVER lie about any sexual history or details when dating. It is so destructive.”January 6, 2023 at 9:41 am #1117971Dear WendyKeymaster
All the letters I received this week have been from men jealous about their partner’s sexual past and I’m curious why. Was my site linked to on some men’s site? I can’t find indication of that in my analytics. Is there just something in the air? I don’t know.
Anyway, LW, your wife is right that her sexual past from literally over FIVE decades ago isn’t your business. And you aren’t “paying for her sins.” What sins? Enjoying her life before she met you? Lying to you about the extent of her enjoyment before she met you? I’m not a Christian (though I was raised as one so have some understanding), so I guess that’s part of our differences here, but I don’t consider having sex before marriage a sin, sorry. If you do and if this is such a big sticking point that it’s eating you up and you can’t function inside your marriage, you probably should pursue some kind of religious counseling.
I’m not an expert in Christianity – and I’m assuming you must be a practicing Christian or why would you consider your wife’s sexual past a “sin”? – but I would imagine that it would be pointed out to you that you are not without sin either, and that the whole point of Jesus dying on a cross was for christians to seek forgiveness and eternal salvation and all that. You can’t rate sins. You can’t say that her “sins” are any worse than all the sins you’ve committed or that your pain is any worse than pain you’ve caused her.
At any rate, since you are the one writing to me and you are the one who says he has retroactive jealousy OCD and who is obsessing about images you’ve created in your head to depict scenes from over 50 years ago and not a day passes that you don’t imagine these scenes – that you were never a part of and had nothing at all to do with – I highly suggest you continue with counseling. Your reaction here is what is really destructive, not your wife’s behavior or even her not being open about her behavior from over 50 years ago.January 6, 2023 at 10:00 am #1117972AnonymousseGuest
Quite honestly, the story she did slowly reveal is that she was date raped and had intensive therapy to deal with all this stuff- which you seem to pass off as her being promiscuous with no other thought of her or how this affected her…and yet you’ve been secretly harboring this hatred for her imagined past.
I disagree completely with your hypothesis. She gave you too much information, she should never had said a thing and your letter is why. She did nothing wrong, FIFTY YEARS AGO. You have taken this to the extreme, you have added the men, the scenes, the colors. I really hate it when people say OCD for describing things they choose to become obsessed by. You may have obsessive thoughts about this, but until you have been diagnosed, it’s insulting to use terms like that.
You’re fixated on your wife’s fleeting sex life before she married you decades ago. The sins have not been hers, my friend.
Forgiveness is divine.
Maybe you should also focus on your children and grandchildren and not figments of your imagination that you didn’t even see firsthand! I cannot imagine skulking my entire life away, secretly despising my wife. Please do as Wendy says and see a counselor continuously who can rip about why you’re spending your life this way.January 6, 2023 at 11:22 am #1117975KateKeymaster
I can’t imagine carrying this burden around of being mentally tortured by the idea of your spouse having a sexual past. Half a century ago, no less. Please continue to get help. This is a you problem. This is the fragile male ego and it’s dangerous.January 6, 2023 at 3:31 pm #1117987AngeGuest
Man that’s nearly word for word like the other letter that attracts random comments to this day. Are these guys made in a factory?!January 6, 2023 at 5:18 pm #1117988KateKeymaster
Yes, in the 1950s. And then they produce more of them so it’s a cycle of toxic masculinity.January 6, 2023 at 11:07 pm #1117991meadowphoenixParticipant
Gonna be honest, I think it’s profoundly disrespectful to lie in order to keep someone. if you think someone’s dealbreakers are unreasonable, don’t try to date or marry them. (I can’t quite tell if I would think this OP’s were, but I’m leaning toward unreasonable. I think it’s okay to want open knowledge about each others experiences in order to gauge how to develop intimacy that is safe for you emotionally and be hurt when you were lied to. I think it’s reasonable to see this as something that destroys intimacy. but a lot of christians I have experience with don’t have what I feel are psychologically reasonable ideas of this. And 50 years ago…I don’t have high hopes that the state of womanhood would have allowed OP’s wife a lot of mainstream options).
And I think its very odd that OP hasn’t focused on that and worked that out with his wife and instead is focusing on the content of the lie itself, which doesn’t have anything to do with him. I get the feeling that this isn’t about OP’s wife being with other guys and more the fact it seems like he’s never had experience with other women so he feels unbalanced.
there’s no respect for himself and no empathy for the consequences of her childhood here. if in 12 years you never developed enough love for your wife that you couldn’t put your hurt aside while she worked out her childhood…that doesn’t sound solid to me. I’m not surprised she wasn’t vulnerable with OP before. if in 12 years, you don’t realize that for people with dealbreakers those are foundational in how they see themselves and their relationships so that you do in fact need to address it with them when you lie about one…doesn’t sound solid to me. Not surprised OP hasn’t let it go.
at the very least he should try therapy again.January 7, 2023 at 5:36 am #1117993WhyDoWeExist?Guest
Dude, you are elevating sexual immorality above all other sim; in a manner very typical of conservative Christianity and that isn’t helpful for you or for your wife. Jesus neither condemned anyone (except the Pharisees, and that was only after they started to openly plot directly against him). Your wife had a past before meeting you, I’m sure you did things before marrying her that she found difficult to deal with, but she hasn’t held them over you.
This whole situation is entirely your problem not hers. Please don’t condemn your wife for her choices, that is God’s role, not yours.
I appreciate that the deception bothered you, but to carry that around for 38 years is not healthy and not fair. You have been married to this woman now probably longer than you have been single and you have grown and changed together over that period. Do you really think it is fair to judge her based on who she used to be rather than who she is now? Before being called to go preach to the Gentiles Paul was a member of the Pharisees and as a member of that moment he spearheaded the persecution of the early Messianic Jews (Jewish Christians) and cJanuary 7, 2023 at 5:38 am #1117994WhyDoWeExist?Guest
and basically committed genocide. Then he had an encounter with Christ and became a Christian himself, spreading the Good News throughout the Roman world. People change.January 8, 2023 at 12:18 pm #1118011AnonymousseGuest
Please, whydoweexist?- there are sites where you can give Christian badpsee, Bible based moral advice. It’s not that I disagree with the message but DW is not a Christian site and I think this is inappropriate.
Happy new year.January 8, 2023 at 12:18 pm #1118012AnonymousseGuest
Advice!January 8, 2023 at 12:20 pm #1118013AnonymousseGuest
I don’t think it’s respectful to lie, but victims of trauma often lie.