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My Wife's Past...

Question:

As a child, I was brought up very strict. I was taught that pre-marital sex was wrong. I stuck to this rule. Being a male, I’m sure it’s hard to believe. I would never voice my opinion on this subject for concerns of being ridiculed. My problem is that 11 years ago, I met a woman with whom I fell in love and eventually married. She told me about her past (9 guys including a one night stand). While it always upset me, I tried to keep the hurt to myself. In the past month or so, I let loose and have begun to question; WHY? She gets very defensive and the answer is always that she had low self-esteem and didn’t want to be lonely. I feel this is just a bad excuse to try to get me to feel sorry for her and leave the subject alone. She swears she never enjoyed any sexual experience before me. But these aren’t the answers I’m looking for. I’m not even sure what I’m looking to gain by asking “why?”. I just know that it hurts, and the situation is putting a big strain on how I’m feeling about her and our marriage. I was hoping that maybe you had some thoughts on the subject of “pre-marital sex” that might help me understand my pain a little better.

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Answer:

We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of…and it sounds like your wife is no exception. Low self-esteem is one of the reasons most often sited by women who have had multiple partners. She is obviously not proud of her past, so I can understand why she becomes defensive when you question her about it. These nine guys had nothing to do with you, and it seems as if you are personalizing this entire situation. Your wife definitely trusts you…otherwise she would never have told you about these other men. You have to understand that your wife can’t change the past. As you’ve probably come to understand, we all have different views concerning sex. Some of us see sex as an intimate expression of love, while others have sex for recreational purposes. It is possible that these views can, and often do, change over time. Just like any of our other beliefs, our views on sex are influenced by a number of different sources – family, friends, school, etc. You have to stop punishing your wife for her past actions…she has probably already done that for you. Hope that helps, – Anne

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