Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Because of my spritual beliefs and personal values, I chose to remain a virgin until my wedding night. Because I wanted to marry someone who shared my deep belief that sex was a beautiful gift from God to be used only within marriage, I avoided or ended relationships with women who felt differently. Also, my personality is such that I knew I could never be married to a woman who had engaged in sexual intercourse with another man. The thought of it would be just too much for me to handle. (I'm not saying that you have to agree with the fact that I refused to marry a woman who had engaged in sex with another man; I'm just saying that for me, personally, it is something that I wouldn't be able to deal with. That's part of why I chose to marry a virgin. Also, I'm not saying that you have to agree with my belief that sex is a gift of God to be used only within marriage. So, please don't use this thread to debate that issue.)

At the age of 23, I met the woman of my dreams. She knew how I felt about the issue of pre-marital sex, and she agreed with me that it was something to engage in only within marriage. She clearly knew that I would not marry someone whose beliefs were different from mine, and she told me that she was a virgin. We went out for three years and never had sex. At the age of 26, we got married. Knowing that she and I had "saved each other" for marriage was a very special feeling for me.

Eleven years later, my wife got a call out of the blue from a former boyfriend that she had dated for 6 years. She hadn't heard from him in several years. She spoke with him for nearly an hour and it upset me. She told me that I had no right to be upset because she "just had to know how he was doing." After some heated discussions about that phone call, she "came clean" and admitted to me that she had had a sexual relationship with him during their college years. Needless to say, I was shocked and devastated because during our courtship she told me she was a virgin.

Now in our 25th year of marriage, last month my wife admitted to me that she had also had sex with another boyfriend, too.

My problem is this: I love my wife more than anything in the world, but dealing with her deception, along with the haunting images in my mind of her having intercourse with those men, is very difficult for me. I try to be a loving and forgiving Christian husband, but I find myself feeling negatively towards her. This situation has adversely affected our relationship.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Is it common for a woman to lie about being a virgin? Any suggestions as to how I can learn to better deal with my feelings about her?

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

It's common for people to lie about something if they think they'll be judged, or otherwise suffer, for telling the truth. Virginity, whether they think about other women, what their favorite TV show is. People lie because they're afraid of the person they're lying to.

Your wife shouldn't have lied to you. But something you need to understand is that the person she is, and has been for all these years, is the result of those earlier sex acts. If she had been a virgin, she might not have been as good a wife as she was. Those experiences, and the breakups which followed, helped make her into the woman you wanted to marry. Maybe those experiences helped her mature, and caused her to reject other men like those first two and seek out a man like yourself. Maybe she felt bad about herself afterwards, and has been less quick to judge others these last 25 years because of her awareness of her own shortcomings. Not being without sin, she may have spent the last several decades unwilling to cast the first stone.

Think about this: all that's wrong here, in terms of your experience, is that she lied. You thought she was a virgin, but you've actually spent the last 25 years happily married to someone who wasn't a virgin on her wedding night, and apparently everything was fine and you were happy.

The thing to do here isn't to judge her for her sins, which isn't your job anyway. The thing to do here is to ask yourself whether you would have married her if you'd known the truth. If the answer is "no", doesn't that mean you would have denied yourself these last 25 years of happy marriage? Would that be worth it, in your view?

It seems to me that the real lesson to draw from this is not one of anger at your wife, though her lying to you was wrong. The lesson to draw is that your requirement to have a virgin was inflated in importance, because your marriage seems to have been quite successful. Do not now let that requirement remain so inflated in importance that you put a cold rule ahead of the human being you've shared your life with.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Those haunting images are unhealthy, to say the least. They suggest you are "stuck" on this issue, and this can become an obsession that will destroy your marriage. There are a couple of other men who have written about similar problem.

You are basically torturing yourself with these images--why? Focus on that issue, not your wife's past--she lied, and it could have been about anything; you'd probably forgive her and get on with it. But you are using her sexual past to punish yourself (and her, probably), so getting to the root of that will help you the most. Perhaps you are insecure about your masculinity/sexual performance. Your rigidity about your partner's sexual history suggests as much--maybe you were using your faith to try and guarantee you'd never be "measured" against another man's equipment or performance, and now that the facade has come down, all your insecurity about yourself manifest themselves in fantasies about her having pleasure with another.

So before turning this into a marital issue, figure out why it is such a big deal to you. If you can get beyond the insecurity over comparisons, you may be able to forgive your wife for lying. While you are obsessed with her sexual past, however, you probably won't be able to consider anything else with any clarity. They really are two completely separate issues--her sexual past is hers and it's in the past, should be a non-issue; her lying was a breach of trust at the outset of your relationship. After 25 years, one hopes you have plenty of reasons to forgive her for that, but you won't get near that stage if you can't let go of these haunting images, as I'm sure you well know. Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

You already have some great advise from both of the above posts.

Should she have lied about it? No. However, as artieb stated, people unfortunately will do this when they feel they may be judged poorly by revealing the truth. Hopefully you will be able to understand and forgive these and not sacrifice all the good years that you have had together.

It is understandable to be hurt and upset by it, but remember to ask yourself: 'If I sinned against God, then fessed up and asked forgiveness, what would He do?' I think we know the answer.

My wife also had a partner before me and while this bothered me at first I reminded myself that she left him, and she's with Me.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Maybe she did a mistake when she lied to you, but she did it because she was afraid she was going to lose you. She was young. Virgin, or no virgin is not a guaranty that she will not cheat on you later. You think maybe she is thinking of these former boyfriends. Only she knows the answer, but don't forget even if she was virgin she could had feelings of other men. The curiosity of being with somebody else, since she had only one man in her life.
Stop torturing yourself. She chose you because she found what she was looking for, to you and not them. During these time you have been together, I believe she was faithful to you. You have a happy marriage. What is bothering you now doesn't make sense to me. Are you tired of being happy, and are looking for some trouble?
By the way, you didn't know the difference between a virgin and no virgin, when you had intercourse with her for the first time?

Last edited by marcy*; 03-04-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

First of all, thanks very much for your advice and input. Each of your responses is very insightful, logical and thought-provoking.

Before going any further, I'd like to say that sisters359 comment that I was using my faith as a means of covering up insecurities about my masculinity or sexual prowess. Unfortunately, we are living in a society in which someone with sincere faith, and the values that go along with that faith, are scrutinized. If someone has faith in God or goes against the "grain" of societal values, there must be some underlying psychological reason for it. Example: some will claim that those with strong faith in God are simply weak human beings who must rely on something outside of themselves (i.e. God) to handle their problems rather than handling their problems themselves.

In this case, rather than accepting the fact that my faith and strong belief that sex is a beautiful gift from God only to be used only within marriage was the reason that I remained a virgin until marriage, and consequently chose to marry someone who shared those deep spritual beliefs, sisters359 has concluded that there had to be a deep-seeded underlying psychological (and worldly) reason (being insecure with my masculinity) that caused me to want to marry a virgin.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Not disagreeing with you here DK, but keep in mind that as humans we are not perfect and we are susceptible to temptation. Having deep faith not only includes doing our best to adhere to the teachings of the Bible, but it also involves being able to forgive those that sin against us as we are called to be more like God. Obviously it's not easy and can and will take some time and effort from both parties.

I don't think sisters post was trying to say that was the exact reason, but perhaps that it was an underlying reason as to why you are now finding it difficult to get past the situation.

Seeing a Christian couples counselor may help both of you to get through this.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Sorry, I wasn't done with my previous post....

So, I just want to let sisters know that her theory was incorrect.

Unfortunately, as logical as each of your advice is, it is still a difficult issue for me to deal with. During my college years and beyond, I dated many amazing women. Unfortunately, because of my spritual beliefs and personal values, I could not let those relationships develop into serious ones.

My wife knew how strongly I felt about the virginity issue, and clearly knew that I would not have married her if she were not a virgin. Yet, she intentionally lied about it. Now, this "baggage" has become a part of our marriage. There's an expression that "lies always come back to bite you in the ass." In this situation it has "bitten" both of us.

I often think that, if she were not truthful with me about an issue that she knew was so important to me while we were dating, can I fully trust her now. For example: do you think it's normal for a married woman to talk with a former boyfriend of 6 years, who calls her "out of the blue" after having had no communication with him for 13 years, and talks with him for an hour? And, when I told her that it upset me, she said that I had absolutely no reason to be upset because she "just had to know how he was doing." And, a week later, at a class reunion, she spent the whole time with him while I milled around talking to other people in her class. It was shortly after the reunion that she admitted that she had had a sexual relationship with him when they were dating.

A few months ago, while my friends and I were out at a bar, they began bragging about their sexual conquests while in high school. And, it came out that, while in high school, my wife had had a sexual relationship with a friend of the friend of mine who I was at the bar with. When I asked my wife about it, she acknowledged that it was indeed true.

While everyone's advice is very good and logical, why do I feel so lousy about this?
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeKay1 View Post
While everyone's advice is very good and logical, why do I feel so lousy about this?
Because you think that your wife stole something from you. Although I do not agree with your spiritual beliefs, I respect your right to do so and I will frame my advice within that context.

You will have to come to terms with two things:

Item 1: "I forgive you for lying to me in order to force me into an arrangement that is less than perfect for me."

AND

Item 2: "I accept to give you all of myself in return for less than all of you."

The problem is, it will be easy for you to forgive item 1, but very hard for you to accept item 2.

However, your choice will be made easer by the fact that you do not have one.

You will either torture yourself and your wife for the rest of your life, or you will forgive and accept.

By the way, to help you accept: ask many married men on this board how important their past experiences are to them ... nobody will say it mattered at all.

When it comes to sex, one partner is pretty much the same as all others. You are not missing very much at all.

Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

You likely feel so lousy because it feels like you've been betrayed. You thought you were marrying one person, but found out that there's more to it than that. Sometimes being blissfully unaware can be nice.

While I agree that to get through this it will need Forgiveness and Acceptance, I feel like the way Alex has worded it contains a little bitterness. While this bitterness will be there at first, if you choose to forgive and accept, there can be no bitterness left.

The choice is yours, but it sounds like you have had a happy marriage up until now. Does this new revelation, that your wife made some questionable choices before she was with you, really change all of the good things that you have experienced as a couple? Has she really given you any other reasons to doubt her faithfulness?
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Anyone have any thoughts about the other issues I raised in my previous post:

* My wife talking with her former lover on the phone for an hour, and then spending all of her time with him at the class reunion while leaving me on my own (I wasn't even in that graduating class, so its not like I was part of that group). And, telling me that it was ludicrous for me to be upset about the phone call because she "just had to know how he was doing."

* Finding out from my friends at a bar that she had had a sexual relationship with another guy during her college years.

Based on these things, and the lie she had told me about being a virgin, should I have "trust" issues, or am I just being paranoid?
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

DK, as hard as this may be for you, and trust me I can comprehend insecurities with a loved ones past because it can even get to me. But you have to understand something. This actually has almost nothing to do with her anymore. Yes, she lied and yes she has a past that is different than yours but you got to look at yourself, not her. I can honestly tell you that if this was rewinded back to the beginning of this relationship, a loved ones past is much more fresh and yeah it could give you insecurity but this isn't way back then, this is 25 years later. Maybe those three events of more recently between the bar, reunion, and that phone call is what makes it so much more close to home. I would suggest that you alone talk to a conselor first. Not pointing at you for any reason other than the obvious struggle and feeling of betrayal your dealing with. 25 years of marriage is something that almost no one reaches anymore sadly. So ask yourself, what is that worth to me and can I acknowledge how significant that time period is to me as well as the significance of that accomplishment. You should honestly be extremely proud of yourself and especially her. Also ask yourself this, how well do you know how your wife feels about you and your marriage after 25 years. She could be feeling a multitude of feelings that you could have no clue on. There are a sad quantity of posts on these forums where guys seem to have been oblivious to how their actions and treatment of their wives came back to haunt them. Theres so many issues out there and your picking at what is honestly a minor problem. Maybe to you it is major and I respect your feelings on that, god knows I wish I had that purity with my spouse too but then again I wouldn't want to have her not have been able to experience all the crappy relationships out there either. If she had no past experiences with relationships, was having internal conflict with how your marriage is, she could be extremely vulnerable or desire/wonder if that grass is actually greener theory. Can you look at yourself and say you are confident your wife has had a happy 25 year marriage or might there be things about you yourself that she has had to accept to get to 25 years? Be careful DK, this is a mole hill and not a mountain. You could end up pushing her away from you and regretting your dwelling on something that is so long in the past.

I think you really should talk to a conselor though. I dont want you to think I am judging you or telling you that you have some mental problem but at least a professional therapist can put this into perspective.

Oh and here is something to chew on too. Imagine being a female and dating guys who to be honest are typically more interested in getting a little tail than having a positive relationship at that age that she likely had sex before. I can positively tell you that guys are pushy when it comes to getting some. Do you think she was oh yeah lets get it on with some boy friend or do you think she might have felt pressured and cornered into it. I know my wife now actually had hated having sex because it always sucked prior to me. I'm the first person that she says she has found herself enjoy the act with. Now if that is how your wife had experienced this in her past with maybe being pushed or pressured into it, and then to essentially be judged for her decisions as a young adult, I can bet she will feel belittled, unappreciated for what she has with you and likely you will hurt her worse than this is hurting you.

Another thing that I think you should take into account, did it not ever occur to you how silly it is to think someone had a six year relationship that didn't have sex involved at some point in time?

Okay now I think you should step back and think about this for a second. I honestly believe that your going to cause a lot of damage here with something that after this long, honestly doesn't really matter when you weigh it against a 25 year marriage. I'm afraid if you don't, your going to open yourself up to starting another thread that will be considerably more painful than what this one feels like now. I also would be a lot more concerned with that hour phone call than this. And don't go jump down her throat about any of this. You will end up pushing her into an EA potentially with an old flame. And that result you will only have yourself to blame. So take all this negative engery and put it to a positive use with making sure your connected with her emotionally and get someone for you to talk to to at least help you look at what is hurting for you.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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New Beginnings,

Wow! Your post was absolutely unbelievable and really hit home! I can't thank you enough. I sat here and read it four times before writing this response. It really made me stop and think: especially about how my knit-picking, pettiness and self-centeredness could ultimately result my pushing her away from me!

I also liked the part where you said that perhaps there were things that my wife didn't like about me, yet had to accept, to get to 25 years of marriage. Now that you mention it, she's probably had to endure many more of my negative qualities than the one or two things about her that have bothered me.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your advice. I now have a much different perspective on this whole thing.

I can't thank you enough!!!
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

You may have these beliefs but the vast majority of men don't. In fact most of them will only decide if they are serious about a relationship after they have sex with a woman. Keeping that in mind, is it so odd that women adapt to this world and have sex before married? Knowing that if they don't there's another woman round the corner who'll surely give the man they are interested in whatever he wants?

As for why she lied, it may not have been the right thing to do. But did you ever consider that maybe you were the one nice guy she finally found and wanted to be with and the only thing standing in the way of you being married was the fact that she was not a virgin? Which she had to give up to even stand a chance in forming a meaningful relationship?

Don't take this as a sure thing but as a woman i know this was an issue for many of my friends and it troubled me at times as well.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trouble dealing with wife's sexual past (and lies about being a virgin)

Deekay1:

SOOOO Much excellent advice here!! I couldn't have shared better myself. I do HOPE that , even though you are a Christian, you can see the deep Value & HOPE in these replies, from others who may not share your same beliefs, but DO understand the Human condition & how some can fall - like your wife, even hide things - given our response to them. You do realize MOST women NEVER have to make the hard choice your wife was faced with.

That loosing you WAS indeed her fate IF she has been honest all those years ago, as you made that VERY VERY CLEAR. Do you know how excrutiatingly difficult that would be for a woman who felt she found the LOVE OF HER LIFE - to watch it slip through her fingers? What a tormenting choice.

Ask yourself this hard question: If you could go back in time, which would you have changed >>>> Her Honesty - meaning you would have dumped her & married another?

or YOUR Rigidity on this issue? Meaning you would have fogiven her past, accepted her, delt with this early on & enjoyed these last 25 yrs - probably more so ?

IF these last 25 yrs have been truly Blessed & a gift from God above, I find it rather AMAZING - as she KNEW she could never feel SAFE enough to fully share WHO she was at her core, where she came from, her struggles, her weaknesses -without Judgement from her husband, her closest friend, her Lover, her Protector in life. I would think this alone would cause her much inner turmoil, even silent pain. She loved you SO much, she sacrificed who she was to KEEP you, to be what you wanted in a wife.

Maybe after many many years of feeling she could never ultimately live up to the holy virginous woman you believed she was, but instead just a weak fallable human being needing acceptance, she has found herself almost NEEDING to reach out to others who can accept her in ALL of who she is, with no hiding anymore - Old boyfriend she was on the phone with maybe?

Please, I hope you can see these things do not have to be. Everyone has problems in marraige, Christians and Non-Christians alike.

We all NEED to feel SAFE when we open up to our spouses about anything & everything. Maybe this is ALL she needs from YOU - for you to allow her to be WHAT SHE IS -finally, before you, flaws, mistakes and all and for you to take her in your arms, hold her & tell her "Everything will be OK, I treasure our life together, I love you, I have always loved you" and (maybe even) - I am even very happy you lied to me!

LOVE can get past anything.

Since you are a Christian , maybe you would enjoy this forumThe Marriage Bed • Index page

Last edited by SimplyAmorous; 03-05-2010 at 10:00 AM.
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