Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

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mfree6464
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by mfree6464 » 08 Apr 2020, 12:21

Cnsl1 wrote:
05 Apr 2020, 18:54
I have lots of thoughts and a fair amount of experience on this topic.. I don't know if I can distill them into anything useful for you, but I'll try. First, groundhog, it would probably be best to start a new thread..
Cnsl1, as the OP I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Seeing as this thread seems to get resurrected every couple years by people seeking out help with this issue I'm sure there are others who would welcome and benefit from your input as well.

Groundhog
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Groundhog » 21 Apr 2020, 07:35

nibbler wrote:
02 Apr 2020, 20:29
Groundhog wrote:
02 Apr 2020, 06:58
I've heard all the advice. I know the scriptures. I know the doctrine. I know its a DUMB thing to get hung up on. I feel so stupid for having it circle my head so much.
Don't be too hard on yourself, it's not dumb, it's normal. Many people feel the same way. It's not an easy thing to process and it's okay when things take time.

I've thought about it some, not nearly enough. I'll give some comments, feel free to correct me and help me gain perspective.

I think one contributing factor is that people want to feel like they are special in the eyes of someone that is special to them. Maybe us biological creatures have become hardwired to view sex as something that solidifies that specialness.

Watching a movie with your significant other. They watch movies with other people, how are we special?
Going out to a restaurant. They go out to eat with other people, how are we special?
Texting and touching base throughout the day. They do that with all their friends, how are we special?
A kiss. Many people have kissed other people, how are we special?

And eventually we land on sex. Something very intimate between two people, especially for a species evolved to be monogamous. If a partner has a sexual history it could leave one asking, how are we special? Back to the drawing board.

Maybe it helps strengthen relationships to have unique shared experiences?

If I'm way off base it wouldn't be the first time. Feel free to correct or ignore. :P
oops, I didn't realize my post actually went through.

Yeah, the last part you mentioned is probably a big contributing factor. A lot of other things are mundane, but sex and things reserved for marriage aren't. I wouldn't say I feel less special, but it's a disruption of expectations. And that's probably a product of upbringing. I really think the expectations set by the church has a lot to do with it, not that I believe that's wrong. It's just a jolt of reality that I didn't expect and am now struggling with.

Groundhog
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Groundhog » 21 Apr 2020, 07:42

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
04 Apr 2020, 15:56
Groundhog wrote:
02 Apr 2020, 06:58

My gf has been completely open, forthcoming, and honest and I appreciate that. It must have been extremely difficult for her. We're in love, compatible, and believe we can share a future together so I can say I'd marry her.
It sounds like you have a good communication established with your gf. I would recommend letting that open and talk with her about this too. It can be incredibly difficult and raw.
Groundhog wrote:
02 Apr 2020, 06:58

I'm not sure why writing this. It's been years since the last post on this thread. I guess its cathartic to read exactly someone else who felt the same way, who has struggled with it the same way, and thus, scary at the same time.
I'm glad you commented, otherwise I probably wouldn't have read it.

I'm in the same boat, and can say I've worked through it.
I don't have a magic formula to give you, wish I did, but everyone is different. I have to admit a big part of it was my own maturity, but all those 'reasons' came down to jealousy, insecurity, and a whole host of other emotions all wrapped up into one big ball of crap.

I can say that it does get better with time, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It doesn't have to be a long and difficult path. The big part for me was not only realizing that I had my own past that she had to deal with but whatever feelings she may have felt for anyone else in the past I knew how she felt and feels about me now. Life has been full of ups and downs and our relationship has had its Ebbs and flows. during the ebbs, we wish for more flow. And during the flow we don't realize the coming ebb.

I don't know if my explanation has been much of a comfort in the path true getting back to a healthy balance Within yourself regarding a partner's heart and mind. but all I can say is it does get better and you just get to a point where it doesn't matter anymore. And then you can just love the person in the moment you are in.
I really do think you're right about the insecurity part. And perhaps jealousy. I'm not jealous of previous men and I have no desire to change my gf's past. It made her what she is today and she has moved past it. In fact, she says she doesn't even think about it, which I am glad because I don't want that as a burden for her. That makes this topic tricky because bringing it up to her means dragging her past back up. It's just a discomforting thought to know my gf will be linked to other men for eternity because of the nature of the sin? No matter what, that cannot be erased. Even the atonement doesn't change that, though who knows what happens. I know this sounds silly in my head lol and perhaps the mental images are doing more damage than anything else.

I do thank you for your words. It's good to know that there is that light. And I believe you. In that eventually, life will overwhelm this. Or that I just mature and "get over it".

Groundhog
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Groundhog » 21 Apr 2020, 07:51

mfree6464 wrote:
05 Apr 2020, 15:07
Hi Groundhog,

Sorry to hear you are struggling with this difficult issue. A couple thoughts came to mind after reading your post. First, I am glad I married my wife and would do it all over again given the opportunity. She is the one for me and this issue has never changed my feelings in that regard, not in the least. As you consider marriage with your girlfriend, I would personally advise that you not let issues like this get in the way. I understand each situation is different, but my experience tells me it would be a mistake to let a potential marriage partner get away over something like this.

Second (and I think this is a major distinction between my situation and yours), my wife's issues came to light AFTER nearly 15 years of marriage. Additionally, I was lied to before getting married and led to believe that I was her first when I really wasn't. As I think I have said before, I don't think I would have even written this post if she had been upfront with me from the get-go. I spent 15 years believing we had saved certain things for each other sexually and then not only did I lose that, but I learned that it was never true from the beginning. I think this compounded my suffering immensely.

If you are still looking for more help I would google the term "Retroactive Jealousy." I have learned that this is not a Mormon issue or even a religious issue necessarily. Many people suffer as you find yourself suffering now and you are not alone. I personally hate the term "jealousy" as it relates to this issue but this seems to be the term most people apply to it.

As for me, I continue to improve. As I said a couple years back, life has provided distractions (however challenging they may be) and it continues to do so. When life finally settles down these issues may very well bubble back up but for now I have been able to go a few days without those thoughts coming to mind when before they were nearly incessant. When the thoughts do arise they are manageable. I don't enjoy them, but I am able to suppress and manage them to a large extent. It has also been a couple years since the issue has brought me to tears so there is progress!

Hang in there and feel free to send me a private message if you have any questions.

Best
Yeah, I recognize that yours was a betrayal and that is a much deeper impact, which leads me to believe that your love is much deeper than mine (well, after you have years of experience haha).

For me, I'm not jealous. I don't wish I did things differently as a youth because I did them for myself and for God. Sure, maybe I wish I did a little more experimentation, but I know myself to know that anything more wouldn't have been me or been right for me. So no, I'm not jealous. It's more of what you said when you talked to your counselor, the idea that my gf could be forever bonded to other people in a sacred way when it shouldn't be that way. I just find it disturbing to dwell on that thought, that even in the eternities there would be other people who know my wife intimately. I feel like most things could be done away with or corrected, but this thing that's supposed to be perfect will never be. Something that's the biggest deal for an lds kid is imperfect, and knowing my nature, its a struggle haha.

As for your other quote, my gf regrets her actions, but at the same time she is at peace with it. They do not come up in her mind at all. It is something that happened, and may actually have been necessary to be where she is at today or who she is today. But yeah, we will have to talk more about sex and our expectations before marriage.

Groundhog
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Groundhog » 21 Apr 2020, 07:52

Cnsl1 wrote:
05 Apr 2020, 18:54
I have lots of thoughts and a fair amount of experience on this topic.. I don't know if I can distill them into anything useful for you, but I'll try. First, groundhog, it would probably be best to start a new thread..
Yeah, I debated about starting a new thread, but this topic doesn't seem common enough for me to feel like it warranted a new thread. But I'd love to hear all your thoughts!

Roy
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Roy » 21 Apr 2020, 21:19

Groundhog wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 07:51
It's more of what you said when you talked to your counselor, the idea that my gf could be forever bonded to other people in a sacred way when it shouldn't be that way. I just find it disturbing to dwell on that thought, that even in the eternities there would be other people who know my wife intimately.
I know that it is easier said than done but I can't help but think that it doesn't have to be that way. The idea that someone that had an intimate moment with your gf/wife would be forever bonded to her is not doctrinal. You could also say that anyone that a person has kissed romantically is forever bonded in the eternities. Yes, sexual intimacy is not the same as a kiss. I am just saying that the idea that there is a linking between such individuals is not necessary. Perhaps your gf has the right attitude. Those other experiences could have been stepping stones that made her to person that she is and that brought her to you. John Bytheway shared a quote in one of her talks, "the wrong one is the right one to lead you to the best one." I read this quote to mean that all of our relationship experiences can be helpful in helping us decide on the "best" one. Once that best one is selected then you get to move from the "best" one category to the "forever" one category.
Groundhog wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 07:51
I feel like most things could be done away with or corrected, but this thing that's supposed to be perfect will never be. Something that's the biggest deal for an lds kid is imperfect, and knowing my nature, its a struggle haha.
"Perfection is the enemy of goodness" I honestly cannot claim much of anything in life as perfection. I have let go of it as an expectation. But there is still much goodness to be celebrated. Love, respect, compassion, and kindness are all out there to be found.

Your mileage may vary...
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Gomezaddams51
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Gomezaddams51 » 04 May 2020, 19:26

As a teenager I never had sex but boy I sure wanted to but my mother had me so scared of sex that I waited until I got married. As far as I know she was a virgin. All I can say, not having sex before marriage was the biggest mistake of my life. Neither one of us knew what we were doing and our sex life totally sucked. But that is a whole different topic.

To post something related to your post, my second wife has one heck of a history. She told me she started having sex at 14 and by 18 had somewhere around 50 or 60 sexual partners. By the time I met her, (age 52 she was 48,) she said she had lost track at somewhere around 120 or so. It doesn't bother me. In fact the only thing I feel is jealousy and wish I could have been so lucky. So what your wife did in the past is the past. My second wife joined the church 4 years ago and loves it. I on the other hand am basically an agnostic and have been since I was baptized at the age of 9. I go to church for her.
Last edited by Gomezaddams51 on 06 May 2020, 19:01, edited 1 time in total.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by DarkJedi » 05 May 2020, 04:01

Gomezaddams51 wrote:
04 May 2020, 19:26
Get over it and get on with your life or if you keep acting like an idiot, you may lose her.
That's much easier said than done for some. We're all different and have different points of view. Telling someone to get over something and forget about it is rarely helpful.

With my moderator hat on, please refrain from insinuating someone is stupid, idiotic, etc., or acting as if they are so. The OP's feelings are his and no one else can possibly understand how or what anyone else feels. We try to be respectful of other points of view and make this a place where everyone can be welcome and comfortable. It's OK to have your point of view and to disagree with someone else's point of view - respectfully.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Gomezaddams51
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Gomezaddams51 » 06 May 2020, 18:58

DarkJedi wrote:
05 May 2020, 04:01
Gomezaddams51 wrote:
04 May 2020, 19:26
Get over it and get on with your life or if you keep acting like an idiot, you may lose her.
That's much easier said than done for some. We're all different and have different points of view. Telling someone to get over something and forget about it is rarely helpful.

With my moderator hat on, please refrain from insinuating someone is stupid, idiotic, etc., or acting as if they are so. The OP's feelings are his and no one else can possibly understand how or what anyone else feels. We try to be respectful of other points of view and make this a place where everyone can be welcome and comfortable. It's OK to have your point of view and to disagree with someone else's point of view - respectfully.
OK sorry about that... I will try to refrain from making the same mistake..

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Heber13
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Re: Coping With Previous Sexual History of a Spouse

Post by Heber13 » 12 May 2020, 15:51

Roy wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 21:19
Groundhog wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 07:51
It's more of what you said when you talked to your counselor, the idea that my gf could be forever bonded to other people in a sacred way when it shouldn't be that way. I just find it disturbing to dwell on that thought, that even in the eternities there would be other people who know my wife intimately.
I know that it is easier said than done but I can't help but think that it doesn't have to be that way. The idea that someone that had an intimate moment with your gf/wife would be forever bonded to her is not doctrinal.
I agree with Roy on this. It does seem from your posts that you are placing a certain meaning on the sacred nature of things, understandably from the teachings we receive in the church and in our families.

But as Roy said...it doesn't mean it has to be that way or that is all that matters.

It is either something from the past you cling to and let it bother you, or it is not and you let it go. There may have been other things that were sacred to you once, but in learning new things, you let it go and it doesn't bother you anymore. We often do that. Especially when they are no big deal to us. This one, however, keeps coming back and is a hard one for you. That doesn't mean there is something wrong with you, simply that this one sticks...it is there to be wrestled with...and it is difficult. We all discard stuff that is no big deal easily...but it is the ones that stick that cause us to struggle and grow by working through them. They are the ones we learn the most from.

Don't look at it as something is wrong with you because it is difficult. Just embrace it as something difficult for you. It just is. Now what will you choose to do about it?

If you can let it go, you would be good to do so.

If you can't, you might consider that now before you move to marry her, so that if you do marry her, you know if you can give her your whole heart and move forward and not keep bringing it up, or if you just can't and better to end things now.

There is no right or wrong, no black or white. There simply is your choice.

I know situations are all very different, and I don't intend to dismiss your thoughts or struggles with it. Just simply want to point out it doesn't have to be that way about it being so sacred that there are no options ever, it is what you choose to do with it. YOU are placing that definition on it and that meaning on the sacred nature, and it stays with you until you wrestle with that and let it go or put it in perspective with everything else to rationally process it.

I am divorced and remarried. My wife was divorced and remarried to me. If your logic holds true as a universal eternal truth about the nature of sacred things, we are condemned to never have our sacred marriage together. You might say "that is different" ...but it is not any more different than your situation from cnsl1 or any other. All are different. But what is the same? The idea that we create what is sacred in our hearts...and individual circumstances vary and we adapt to them. There are no absolutes.

Do you stay committed to ideas from past actions, or do you choose to move ahead and truly love going forward? That can determine what is sacred to you or not.
“But the human spirit is resilient. God made us so. He gave us the ability to forgive. To leave our past behind. To look forward instead of back.”
“Ultimately, to get better, I simply made a choice.”
― Elizabeth Smart, My Story
Situations are different, but principles are the same. Is Elizabeth Smart forever damaged as a person and never to have anything sacred in her life? There are too many examples out there to refute such thinking. We are all different. We are all damaged. We are all sinners. We are all sacred sons and daughters of God.

Your thoughts on the meaning of the past does not need to be more powerful than actions moving forward to love and let go. Faith and love and the Atonement overcome anything in the past.

It sounds to me from your posts, groundhog, you know these things and have read it and heard it all before. So how do you let it go? How do you keep it from bothering you? How do you stop thinking and worrying?

I think you simply start today doing it. You can't always think about how you will start to not let it bother you, you can't always think it through. You sometimes just have faith and do it, and then the thoughts fall into perspective.

Realize the thoughts that come to you can be entertained or dismissed. They may keep coming back, but you can ignore them if you want. In time, the more often we dismiss the things that hold us back...the more we are focusing on the now and the future to make things as we want them to be. Many times, once we get our mind on the good things looking head, the past becomes less worrisome to us, and like other things that are no big deal to you, this becomes another one of those.

The Maori Proverb states:
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
That is sacred. Love is sacred. Sex is just an earthly bodily thing...but love is what is sacred and eternal. Love can overcome the past thoughts that hold us back. So start today, and just keep moving forward with love in your heart.

Choose your love, and love your choice.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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