10 Ways to Deal With Your Partner’s Sexual Past (Because You Have To)

There’s no way around it—the person you’re dating probably had sex with someone else before he or she had sex with you.

Maybe a lot of people. Maybe in wild, kinky ways that you thought only happened in the most secret clubs in Bangkok. Maybe they lived in Bangkok. In any case, if you want to be involved with this person, it’s your responsibility to get over it.

No one’s going to say that it’s easy to deal with your partner’s sexual past, especially if it’s more colorful than your own. If you’re finding it difficult to get past the jealousy, you’re not alone. The Frisky recently published a piece about a boyfriend who made his girlfriend feel ashamed of her sexual history. The Gloss had a post in which a variety of women explored whether or not they could be with a man who had slept with a prostitute. Though not everyone experiences debilitating rage when they think of a partner’s past, it would be safe to say that jealousy is something that most people have to deal with at one point or another.

The good news is, you can. We may be hard-wired to rid the world of sexual competitors, but it is an impulse that can be controlled and even used to our advantage in relationships. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

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1. The fact that they’re telling you about it at all says something

STDs aside, your partner’s sexual past is really their business. If they’re telling you about it, it’s probably because they care enough about you to be upfront. Remember that. They’re being honest, which gives you license to be honest about your feelings about it. Just try to be aware of when you’re sharing your feelings and when you’re irrationally blaming your partner for hurting you with their past behavior.

2. Experience = better sex

Dating someone who’s had lots of sex could mean they’re better at sex. Consider yourself lucky that someone else got the brunt of their awkward phase.

3. There’s nothing they can do about it now

What would you actually have your partner do about their sexual past? Go back in time and erase it? First of all, changing the past could do irreparable damage to the space/time continuum. Second, it’s impossible. If you need time to deal with it, take it. But make sure you’re not punishing someone for that happened before you met and can’t be undone.

4. They didn’t know you when it happened

Whoever else they had sex with, however many of them there were, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

5. They may have gotten it out of their system

Just because someone has a promiscuous past doesn’t necessarily mean you have to worry about their insatiable sexual appetite. They may have been sowing their wild oats. And now they’re all “sown” up. You don’t have to worry so much about them leaving you at 45 to go on a motorcycle tour of the nation’s brothels. Or seducing the pool boy, depending.

6. It’s how they treat you now that’s important, right?

Right. If everything else about them works for you, that’s what matters. Of course, if they’re not treating you how you think you deserve to be treated, that might be what you’re really upset about.

7. Their past has made them who they are

That sincere confidence? That may have come in part by having their attractiveness confirmed in the past. It may have also come from getting screwed over and healing. Remember that, if you like this person, it’s every experience they’ve ever had that made them into the person you like.

8. Remember, this is your issue

While your partner should be as sensitive as he can to your insecurities (we’re all human), he shouldn’t be made to feel guilty. Your jealousy is your own responsibility. Maybe you need to take a break and go have sex with a bunch of people. Maybe you just need to talk to a friend. But do something. Don’t just stew.

9. Jealousy can be your friend

Just because you’re jealous doesn’t mean you’re a psycho. Jealousy can be kind of hot. Feeling like someone wants you all to themselves can be a huge turn-on. Go ahead and tell the person you’re dating all about how you feel. Don’t whine, don’t apologize. You want to murder everyone she’s ever had sex with? Own that feeling. Just don’t actually do it.

10. Be the best they ever had

The best sex is not necessarily the kinkiest sex. It’s not necessarily with a “perfect 10.” The best sex is with the person who understands you the best. It’s with the person who is the most turned on by you. Pay attention, stay open, and rock that person’s world. You’ll be amazed at how little the past matters when you’re both having the best sex of your lives.

 

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Reposted from howaboutwe.com.

—Photo mini true/Flickr

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Comments

  1. I think that applies to a minority, the majority of men understand that their partners history really matter. Its not as if anyone dating doesn’t have a sexual history.

    I think that bad feeling about it is justified or at least understandable in a number of situations.

    He is trying to find a partner that he can invest in and not worry too much about being cuckolded or her taking his assets after a few years because she is not suited to monogamy.
    He experience is vastly greater than his and he is feeling inadequacy.
    He is below average size/has ed/premature ejaculation.

    Men have the same right to screen out players that women do.

  2. Feral Girl says:

    I believe that if you ask a question, you should be trully prepared for the answer. And most men are not prepared when they ask a woman about her sexual past. They expect to hear what they want to hear.

    I have a past, while i was married – my husband and I indulge in the swinger lifestyle. I experimented a lot… made a lot of my fantasies come true. Also, I explored – I always wondered if I was bisexual.. so, I tried women and discovered I wasnt! etc. etc.

    But, this is in my past. I tried, value the experience, but is not something I want to do again. And this is where the problem arrives with men, I have told few men about this – because I know, the moment I share this with them – they will feel like they arrived to the candy store. Yes! she will make my 3some fantasy come true! They think, I will now renact those things with them.

    I did not experience this reaction with all of them, but it has been 2 out of 3. The first one.. played with the idea, but I knew it was something that he would never dare to do – but he liked to fantasize about. The second one.. I had to have couple of conversations to tell him to stop talking to me about lesbian sex.. that I was not interested, finally, I had to tell him that the next time he mentioned it would be the last time he would see me.

    So no.. I dont feel comfortable telling men about my past. I have to lie. Specially at the beginning, if he is unwise enough to ask about it.

    • What you are saying to those men is that the man you were with in the past was worth it but they are not. A man does not want to be told you were willing to engage in sexual activities in someone else but when they care about you and want to take care of you, you have at the same time decided they are not as worthy as the previous men who obviously did not care for you as much or you would be with them. If you don’t see this point of how another human being would feel you are placating your own ideals and interests to just be right. I know how the new man would feel because this happened to me with my wife and blow jobs with swallowing. She did it for him and not for me. JUST WRONG!

      • Man, you are right about this one.

        • “She did it for him and not for me. JUST WRONG!”

          No, she did it for HERSELF, in an experimental phase. She didn’t try lesbian sex to please her partner, she did it out of her own curiosity. Not everything sexual a woman does, wears, or says is FOR MEN. Eeesh.

          • OK who cares who she did it for she was willing with someone else but not with the person she is suppose to love?

            I am sorry if you did things you are not keen of in your past but when I want to try those things with you and you reject me that tells me something knowing you have done them before.

            VERY TELLING!

            • Yeah, it says she tried those things and hated them, you should respect that not all people enjoy exactly everything in bed.

            • Kabdog, you sound like an entitled creep, tbh. If a man EVER *demanded* that I do certain things just because I revealed I had done them before in a different time/place/circumstance he’d be gone by the count of 3. You aren’t entitled to anything, and if you can’t handle that maybe *you* need to move on.

            • Don’t listen to them kabdog. You have every right to express your sexual desires. It’s healthy to express them. I think something would be wrong if you didn’t feel the way you did. Personally if I wasn’t willing to do something anymore, I never would have willingly revealed I had done them in the first place.

  3. My advice to someone who cares about the current partner having a sexual past? You probably need therapy.

    • Terence Manuel says:

      If you think it does not matter, then you are in denial. Therefore, perhaps you are the one in need of therapy.

      • I have to agree with you. Of cause it matters otherwise we would not discuss this topic in the first place. Everything matters. Truth is never wrong, so if we feel pain by truth its likely because there is lies/denial in the actions which cause the pain. To have sex with someone you don’t stay with will cause pain, for what healthy mind doesn’t want love or a relationship to last? This is why I think the wise people would think carefully about who they jump in bed with before doing so, and who they invest emotion in. For if you love someone who can not love you back the way you hope then you will not just hurt yourself but your future partners too.

  4. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I can’t believe that any mature person cares about this. I do admit to being very curious about my wives’ (I’m on marriage 2) and partners’ sexual pasts, but probably out of curiosity (and admittedly a bit of stimulation.) My current wife and I have probably had over a hundred partners each, but we went through the 60s.

    • Good for you, Henry! I ask sometimes, just out of curiosity (and will occasionally get turned on). When I was newer to sex, I would get BUTTHURT when my man said he did something with a previous partner, or told me his number and it ended up to be higher than I thought. Now I realize that it has nothing to do with me and our sex life together. If we mesh, we mesh. Just because he’s had sex before, doesn’t mean that our sex lives can’t be great. Doesn’t mean that I’m doing anything wrong. If he were to go around telling me or others that I wasn’t as ‘good’ as one of his ex lovers, then yeah, there’d be a problem. But otherwise, who cares? As long as he takes our sex life seriously, communicates his desires, listens to mine, and doesn’t dwell in the past.

  5. This article really has helped me a great deal with something that has torn me apart this past year. About a year into my current relationship, I found out about how many men (my wife) had slept with before we met. I have been very obsessed about this and the jealousy has been profound. Rather than run from the jealousy and anxiety that it has created, I have have leaned into it and learned a great deal about myself. I like number 9, Make Jealousy Your Friend, because I have seen it as an enemy to be conquered and fighting it has made it persist. I love my wife dearly and it isn’t easy thinking about her with other men, a natural reaction, but she wasn’t sitting around waiting for me to come along. To punish her about what happened before me is truly unfair.

    • I have the same problem you have, I have been married long enough it should not bother me but it does when I get stressed. the worst part that bothers me he was 15 and she was 16 from what she told me he forced himself on her, my wife was the first person I ever had sex with I was 19 going on 20 she was 17. I even cheated on her once before are marriage thought that would help it has not mad her mad when she found out. Before we were married I was looking fro reasons to stay togehter thats when she became pregnant. I still lover but not the way I should what makes thing’s worse she has several health problems which makes are marriage little more tough.

    • Man, i feel the same way you do. And this jealousy has destroyed relationships of mine before. I am not married luckily. But what i do now, is ask the proper questions right at the beggining, so that if i can’t take the answers, i finish it. I rather ask the questions at the beggining, because if i don’t ask anything and we get married, who knows… Maybe 5 years into the marriage we take a couple of wines, she tells me things i don’t want to know, and then it will be much worse.

  6. These are all of the usual arguments people bring when it comes to this subject. But none of them ever helped me, or any of my friends, in dealing with this issue. The only thing that ever helped me was a guide I bought over at http://www.SheWasASlut.com — the author was the first I’ve ever seen that gave a complete overview of this subject and gave me the tools to make the right decision.

  7. The Wet One says:

    Really?

    Some fools actually think that whomever they’re with has no sexual history? Are you for real? Who are these people?

    Do they think the sun rises in the north too?

    That is hardcore weird thinking…

    Unless you’re in junior high, your partner has a history.

    Get real!

    The Wet One

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      @the wet one, I agree, for me it sound rather strange that someone is so naive to really belive that she never had a sexual past. Personally I feel perfectly confortable to know that my gf had a sexual past, and even more confortable, when we can talk about it. Actually for me is a enjoyment, because so I can better understand what she likes and it is easier to meet half way through.
      The virgin hype? not for me. I want a woman who has tryed things, who know stuff, because I know I do. Imagine all the fun we can have together rather than just get upset when something of the past is mentioned.
      No, I only look after women who has a active sex drive, and actually in my opinion they can be even more loyal than the ones who never dared to try anything (I know, we all have our personal story, and not everybody had the same chances) because, she wont get curious since she already tryed. But a person who has been in chastity for most of its life? hmm as soon they discover the enjoyment of sex, there is a good chance they want more. In my experience. But the experience is mine, and not universal.

      When I speak to my female friends, who are single, I always advice them to use their single time to discover things. Go out, have fun, learn yourself to know better. When you know yourself, it would be much easier to find a good guy/girl. Trust me :-)

      • Maybe you can say all this because you have a sexual past of your own, to boast about as well.
        What if you never got to experiment? What if you never had opportunities to have your fun, gain experience etc. Would your thoughts be same as now?

        • You took the words out my mouth. Let’s see if he’ll mouth off the same braggadoccio if he never got any action due to unfortunate incidents in his life. It’s one thing to get constructive opinions, but to get condescending comments from those who have had many? Well, that’s a whole new and different ball game. Thanks a lot for the help, anyway.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            Bragadoccio? are you talking about me Alan?

            Keith, yeah I had a sexual past, yes im active sexually with my gf so whats your problem? All im saying I feel more confortable with someone who also tryed stuff. If you didnt try in the past, for your own reasons its not my problem, and I have to take care of my life not other people feelings.
            She has a super sexual past? (gang bangs, lesbian sex, multiple partners etc) im cool, cuz it just mean we are compatible. It doesent mean we should do everything but it means we have a more relax attitude on the subject. Beside if you are lucky to find a girl who did some action, are you going to say no? If yes the reason you never got any experience, probably its not a coma or being a castaway on a island far far away for many many years. the reason its YOU.

    • Great comment, The Wet One. Nowadays, even if you have no partners, you still have a sexual past. Umm…p0rn? I’m in my 20s, and going for virgins seems silly since I know they’ve spent the last 10-15 years just watching stuff and masturbating anyways, regardless of if they’ve had physical partners.

  8. Every website dealing with this issue shows the exact same pattern. The ladies tend to get a bit defensive but avoid answering WHY it is a common problem for men to deal with. They already know the answer but, it makes a better-sounding case to blame whoever asks the question. Truth is, women average WAY more sexual partners than men ever will. Why? Because they can. This is why so many men see female promiscuity as “cheap”. Girls, if you spent 2 years of your life doing things in other mens beds you wouldn’t do with someone who treats you with respect or could potentially care for you long term, why blame them for not wanting to take you serious? Would YOU feel okay knowing your hubby used to knock over prostitutes like dominoes and performed circus acts in bed with dozens of easy women just to savor the secret and picked you for retirement?
    No.

    I’m not going to be told by anyone who subconsciously picks men over their income or what kind of car they drive that I shouldn’t be allowed to choose based on my own priorities just because you think it’s okay to lie and advise others to.

    My advise to other men who grew up treating women like we were taught…. if you don’t want to get engaged to a promiscuous girl, then you have EVERY RIGHT to ask. If they start playing the gender card about how “men can do it but we can’t”, then don’t even bother waiting for the number. Just walk away and leave her the dinner tab for an extra bonus.

    • Why is it ‘retirement’? You can’t go through an experimental phase and still continue to experiment with your partner? If you want your wife to do something, ask respectfully. Whether or not she’ll do it likely has very little to do with whether or not she did it in the past. Even if she did something in the past that she didn’t enjoy, she’s likely to try it with you—you could be better or she could be more relaxed.

      • Aya

        Women are not affected by this ‘dynamic’ so you will never be able to empathize with men in this situation.

        For the umpteenth time, most men dont get to go thru the ‘experimental phase’ you talk about. It doesnt matter whether you disagree with this reality.. It doesnt matter if you know 3 ordinary looking guys who had more than 10 partners in their college days.

        Kyle is right, the average woman has way more sexual partners and experience than the average male. The funny thing is this is despite the risks that women face – regarding rape, slut-shaming (or whatever remains of it), pregnancy and STD’s – there are way more male college age virgins than female and given the risks, one would logically assume the situation to be reverse. Anyways.

        I’ve only had 2 gf’s in my 28 yr life, with whom I shared some awkward sexual moments. I dont want to settle down with a woman who has ridden the carousel. Dont get me wrong. There is nothing immoral about a woman having 100 partners. I have no disrespect for a woman with a promiscuous past. I would just never emotionally invest in such a woman. I just want to marry a woman with a similar level of sexual history. I only want someone who is my equal in that respect. Why is that wrong?

        I also agree with Kyle’s use of the word RETIREMENT. Infact I answered your question on the other thread regarding this, as well… Womens options for casual sex / flings are much much greater in both, number and quality. An average woman might easily be able to have casual sex and flings with dozens of relatively attractive, charming, popular and successful men, BUT for marriage, she will most likely end up with someone who is her EQUAL. Someone who does’nt measure up to the men she had casual sex and flings with, someone who never got to have his fun, let alone with women way more attractive than the one he is marrying. Please dont pretend to be naive and ask “why would she marry you if she didnt find you attractive” Its not rocket science.

    • nanners86 says:

      So what if the situation is reversed Kyle?

      What if I’m the one who has only ever had 2 partners (both of them husbands, yes I’m on 2nd marriage) and I find out months after being married to #2 that he’s done all sorts of sordid things with over 60 women, 4 of which were prostitutes (while he was “on a break” from a long-term, sexless relationship…the break conveniently coincided with the trip to the Caribbean where the prostitutes were)?? He told me about his past voluntarily, I had no idea it was coming. The prostitute thing I had a hunch about when he kept making comments about various things. I was finally like, okay do you need to tell me something? You keep insinuating things… And sure enough.

      Not only has all this not made him better at sex, he’s outright boring in bed. I, not having ever tried anything with anybody ever (since ex-husband was a porn freak, also didn’t find that out til 1.5 yrs into that marriage. I think I detect a pattern here, ugh.) expressed my eagerness to try new things and was slapped in the face with the cold, hard fish of truth: “Sex is boring, no matter how many times you do it, it’s always going to get boring.” Always excuses. Always getting rejected, and I was the initiator over 90% of the time. I tried increasing BJ’s, suggesting new things, buying lingerie, dragging him to a sex shop…

      I’ve given up. He has no sex drive now. I have no promiscuous tendencies, surprising since I have a very high sex drive, but I have SO MUCH RESENTMENT. I still love him, but the sex part of this relationship has died and I’m over it. Why can he do all those things with them (a mix of f***-buddies, friends with benefits and one-night-stands with only 3 dating relationships to show for all of that) and then nothing with me? For 2 years I’ve tried to get over his past, and I was succeeding but with his callous attitude I’ve involuntarily reverted to resentment mode.

      Aside from a minor hiccup (a false glimmer of hope) we’ve been sexless for 3 months. Before that it was 2. It just keeps getting longer and more unbearable. And if I’d known about his past before we tied the knot, I would have thought twice. Not to say I wouldn’t have married him at all, but I certainly would have given it more thought. I feel betrayed.

      • Nanners, sorry to hear about all of this. It sounds like you don’t deserve any of it. And if it’s really how you feel like, just let him go. Nobody deserves to feel like that. You should be happy with your husband, not feeling miserable. Cheers.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        @Nanner, maybe he is going through some kind of depression? did you talk to him to take a visit to the doctor?

      • Nanners86

        There is nothing about having 60 partners, FWB’s, flings, one night stands that you, being a woman, couldn’t do in your past if only YOU wanted.

        I am not belittling your situation. I’m only saying atleast you can console yourself by knowing that having a wild and promiscuous past was something you simply opted not to have, rather than being something beyond your abilities. Atleast you can walk away and do all the things your husbands did or still does. Men in your situation cant do either.

        Btw, you must have married a very attractive guy. Not many men have so many opportunities.

    • My girlfriend has had many partners many of which i know and even used to be friends with. I asked about her pAst when we first started dating. I then asked her not to tell me about it anymore. When she drinks it all comes out though. She has explained in detail what she has done and with who.she not only explained it to me but also all my friends and people i work with. I see these men from her past on a reagular basis and i cant seem to get over it. I think about it everyday and because i know them and she has explained it so well that i picture it. I love her very much and we have a child together. The last thing i could or would want to do is leave but im going out of my mind. If someone could please help me with this!!!! I dont wish to be attacked for this. I just want help…….

      • I’d feel the same way you do.

      • Shut up about it already says:

        Tyson I feel exactly the same way you do! Except I’m a girl and my fiance randomly throws out explicit details about his sexual past. I had to ask him to stop talking last night and then spent an hour in the bathroom putting myself together so he wouldn’t see me upset. That shit gets in my head and stays. He knows almost nothing about my sexual past because I don’t talk about it. There are running jokes with him and all his friends about how many women (married women, 18 yr olds, virgins, etc) he’s been with. I feel like it’s always being thrown in my face. We were friends before we started dating so I knew a lot going in, but the specific details I have learned from his loose lips are difficult for me to handle. I don’t need to know your buddy’s wife whipped out your cock in the kitchen and started blowing you while you were making a drink, therefore you had to have sex with her. Why not just say “she came onto me”??? I don’t need to know details about other women’s vaginas. Or details about your threesomes. I didn’t ask. I don’t need to imagine some woman riding you reverse cowgirl (this was part of last night’s string of reminiscing stories before I said “babe that’s too much detail”). It’s hard for me to tell if he’s just brutally honest or bragging. If I bring it up we’ll get in an argument and the blame for whatever will be placed on me so I start googling stuff to help cope. It just surfaces a ton of insecurity questions for me.

    • According to the CDC, men have almost twice the sexual partners in their lifetime than women. Those stats are taken from surveys of heterosexual men and women from 2006-2010. They can be found in document NHSR No. 36 , Tables 3 & 4. Then again, I guess the men could be inflating their numbers and women deflating them, which the law of averages would put their partner numbers about even.

  9. I appreciate all the comments here. But I have to agree with another poster–if you suffer with this–have an overactive imagination, to the point where you’re playing scenes in your head, none of this helps.
    I’m willing to accept this is a disorder and not rational–but that’s the problem with these posts–rational arguments don’t matter–they don’t help.
    This is a form of OCD for many like me. When I get a question or worry in my head it’s like pressure that builds and builds until you feel like you’re going to pop.
    I talk myself into “this will be the last question”–but it never is and hasn’t been since i was in college.
    I have been in therapy, taken medication–nothing has ever helped long term.

    I go through periods where i’m free of it but then it creeps back.

    So, rationally, I know this is mean, unfair, hurtful and ultimately destructive. But it’s agony
    .
    I wish to God I knew the root so I could work on it.

    It’s easy to say–what an asshole, get real, you’re deluded, grow up–but if you look at it as a disease or disorder, do you have any real ideas on how to help?
    Ironically, I want to put this to bed

    • Wow…thank you. You put it EXACTLY right. No one understands why the old “it’s all in the past, he’s with you now” doesn’t work, and it makes me so upset. If the “rational thought” and “steps to get over jealousy” actually worked, I wouldn’t still have an issue with jealousy and sure as hell wouldnt be on this website!
      Maybe those things work for some people, but I am Obsessive. We’re talking to the point where I spin into a week-(sadly)month long psychotic depression just from hearing a detail of his sexual history, or him saying so&so is “fuckin hot”… It not only makes me resent him/ignore him/lose sexual interest, but I am also devaluing myself in the process. I FEEL like it is a sickness, my level of jealousy makes me unable to eat or sleep and all I want is peace. I know that it stems from my low self esteem, & I’m honestly so embarrassed by how hurt i am that he’s been with others. I take it personally! I just want to be normal, be able to be “accepting” of it and move on…but I cannot. I’m young, 21, I don’t want this disorder plaguing me for the rest of my life. I too go through periods where it’s better, but it Always comes back.. makes me feel like shit..this isn’t a maturity thing, this is a deep rooted problem that I have yet to find a solution for. It’s wearing me out…I’d almost rather be alone than have to do deal with this in a relationship..

  10. Jennifer J. says:

    My husband and I were close friends for two years during college before we started dating. I knew about most of his dating history because I was there to witness it. He was the first person I told when I lost my virginity with my then-boyfriend. When we finally realized that we wanted to be with each other as more than just friends, we already knew a lot of intimate details. Since then, we’ve had an agreement that if you want to know something, you ask. If you don’t like the answer, we can talk about why, but the underlying truth is that we chose each other, and what came before is just history.
    Having these things out in the open can help to lessen their power. Because he’s revealed to me what he did and felt with Girlfriend X, he no longer has secrets with Girlfriend X, he has secrets with me. And we can both learn from our own and each other’s past experiences.

  11. I think its totally understandable if a man wants to settle down with a woman with a similar sexual history.

    If a guy has only had 2 gf’s, there is nothing wrong if he wants a woman who hasnt had more than 2 bf’s. Its not hypocrisy. It says nothing about lack of respect for promiscuous women. Its just his preference and a valid one given he only wants an EQUAL.

  12. Providing Clues says:

    @Painful and Nanners86 (Little late but want to chime in)
    You are very much right. I have the same issue. No therapy or counseling will help. I know nothing can be done. I know that these are irrational and destructive emotions. You are only destroying yourself and your partner. You also do not want this, deal with it and move on. If you found a love of your life, it becomes not just your issue but both of you. You need to accept his or her sexual past, but your partner also need to accept that you have these emotions and help you cope with this. This comes up even after you thought you moved past the issue. Otherwise, your relationship will be miserable and will have resentment. This may be a life long commitment. (Gosh, I hope not.)

    Here is my story. I am married a wonderful wife. I will not trade her with anyone else. She is also the first and the only person I ever made love to. I had a few GFs in the past but always restrained from becoming intimate. Some of these relationships were as long as 4 years. My wife had multiple partners in the past. I knew she was not a virgin when we met. I fell in love with her and thought that my love was strong enough to overcome my reservation. After we got engaged, we ended up making love and decided to share sexual history. I was hurt and she realized she hurted me deeply. She tried very hard to amend this after that. There were times she deeply hurted me after that unknowingly. She thought she lost me once because she realized how deeply she hurted me about her past. I told her that I will not leave because how much she meant to me and willing to try to move on from this. It took me long time to bury this issue. It probably took about 5 years. I never brought this up during arguments and fights ever. After 5 years, I thought I moved on. I have not even thought about this for a long, long time. We got married and have 2 wonderful kids. I am happily married and proud that she pick me as her husband. She is a kind, loving lady who I would still marry her.

    About a week ago, I was having a casual conversation with a friend of mine. This really had nothing to do with my wife’s sexual history. Something triggered in my memory that brought the emotions. It brought everything back AFTER 18 YEARS! Some of the vivid details of conversations my wife and I had and how she hurted me so badly. I am dismayed and disappointed in myself that I still feel this way. This blindsided me and unprepared because I thought I was over this. It least I was somewhat prepared after engagement. It was an agony and started to have irrational thoughts such as ” Why did she not save herself me me?”, “I need to cheat on her to make myself feel better”, or ” would I have been better off if I had sexual experiences in the past?” I had to discuss this with my wife. Without it, this was going to end up quite badly. I knew this was going to hurt her deeply and it did. It blindsided her as well. She know there is nothing she can do to fix this but is supporting me go through with this. I know now that I did not come to terms with this even after all these years. It was just suppressed and ready to come out at a smallest trigger. I will need to accept this and move on. I just do not want to lose what my wife and I have built for 20 years. I am thankful that I have a caring wife who loves me so much that she is willing to help me with this even though this will be difficult for both of us.

    For all of you who is dealing with this, make sure you are open with your partners. Share your feelings so that they can understand why and how it make you feel. Without that your relationship or marriages will break apart or worse, your resentment will grow so deeply that you end up having miserable relationships that will only get worse. (Sorry for the long post)

  13. I completely disagree, I know where you come from because my girlfriend did the exact same thing. She had had Intercourse with multiple people at the same time and separately and tried bisexual intercourse in her past but instead of being out right when I asked her, she lied to me several times. her friends, and messages on various online social media contradicted her and revealed many thing in which I believed to be non-existent. It then led me to distrust her. I would have understood if she had told me foremost, but by deceiving me she broke my trust and it made/makes me question her intentions to this very day. If she lied to me once, she could very well lie to me again. I think the best thing to do in any relationship is to be completely honest If they don’t accept you for who you are the they aren’t worth being with, but if you don’t accept yourself or trust the other person enough to reveal who you are, then how are they supposed to? — If the person is really jealous about it then he isn’t the right man and you should continue looking, but if you don’t reveal the “real you” then you will never know if he is the right man.

  14. Speaking_Softly says:

    This is complete BS (sorry about that). What you can do about is to be more selective in choosing your spouse. If she deceived you, well that’s a clear message that should take you back to square one. If, however, you believe “ignorance is bliss” – welcome to fool’s paradise.

  15. greasemonkey83 says:

    The reason I came here was try to get input about what to do about my girlfriend of 2 years. She asked about if I had nay bad dating experiences and so I yes and we talked about bad dates that we had. She told me about how she dated a guy in 50 and she was mid 20′s at the time. But they never had any sexual relations it was short lived when she found out how old he really was she left him. And then another story about her friend form school and they dated for bit then she broke it it off with him and so forth with a few other guys before me.
    We were hanging out at a friend of her’s birthday party and they began to tell about how she and the 50 year old got in trouble for having sex in park, he was also married and she knew about it. And the guy that was just a friend who she briefly dated she in fact a 3 way with this other girl at the party. Then another story about how she was sleeping with a coworker’s husband and the coworker asked her to help figure who he was cheating with.
    When I confronted her about her lies she said they don’t count. I remembered how she said I better never lie to her or she would leave me.
    I think I’m not only jealous but mad at all the lies. I was honest about my sexual past but I had to hear it form her friends no less who laughed at when they realized that she never told me.

    • I know what it’s like to hear things from friends and be lied to. They told me how she really felt about me, and she got upset when I went to her friend to find the truth when she kept tip toeing around the situation when I confronted her about it. If it was something like what your girlfriend lied about, I would have left at the party and never said a word. Be completely done with her. Your silence would be more difficult for her than her deception towards you. Then again when I know I’m being lied to about something serious, I feel like they think I’m not worthy of the truth and I have no problem making someone feel guilty for it.

  16. I didn’t even know this was a issue. I don’t understand it at all. Weird. I’m so glad I have never experienced it.

  17. silent_scope says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with the way these articles are presented to me on Facebook. Love the fact that older items get reposted so I can read things that I may have missed. Hate that I can’t really have an active conversation with the participants because it’s over a year old or more and people’s situations may have changed. I still want throw in my two cents, but does anybody really care anymore?

    I hope greasemonkey83 ditched that lying girlfriend of his. After he confronted her about the lies she told about her sexual past she told him, “They don’t count.” Since this is over a year old and the point is probably moot I shouldn’t ask but I wanted to know, what didn’t count? The fact that she lied about it or the actual occurrences of the sex. I’ve seen/read about a lot of women justifying their promiscuous behavior by saying whomever they did whatever with didn’t count for some silly reason, and I still have trouble wrapping my head around that. Either way, lying is my deal breaker, and I’d have walked away from that situation because I couldn’t trust that person anymore.

    Nanners86 is an anomaly. There are many men who would love to be in her husband’s position. I haven’t met ANY women who have initiated sex more than me, or were willing to try new things in bed. Most of them were appalled by the idea of giving blowjobs and tried to convince me that it was something they’ve NEVER done before. Leaving me to wonder, if you’ve never done it, why is your reaction to me asking so vehement? I’m sorry for your situation Nanners86 and I hope it improved over the last year.

    Nobody here is so foolish to think that their partner has ZERO sexual history when they meet them unless they’re a virgin. Even still that virgin may have done OTHER things and kept her virginity intact. I prefer that a woman has had a decent sexual history and I do not care about how many partners she’s had to an extent. A woman in her late 30s with a body count of over 100 different partners couldn’t possibly have been in committed monogamous relationships with all of them. She’s not marriage material for ME off the bat.

    Kabdog said “A man does not want to be told you were willing to engage in sexual activities in someone else but when they care about you and want to take care of you, you have at the same time decided they are not as worthy as the previous men who obviously did not care for you as much or you would be with them.” I agree with that. I can’t help but feel cheated out of something or less worthy; especially if she’s silly enough to brag about how good she was at whatever it is she stopped doing/had her fill of. Anyone who says, “go find someone who WILL do XYZ and get it out of your system” is missing the point. I will respect her choice in that as long as she respects my choice not to continue the relationship with her afterwards.

  18. Ridiculous that someone even needed to write this article. I guess there are so many stupid people in the world, so it has to be done. Thanks for doing it so politely though… Here’s my take:

    Whoever you’re with now, regardless of who they’ve been with… You’ve got them. You won the prize. Congratulations!! You’re not losing them to someone in their past, those people have lost them to you. And if you can’t see that as a really great thing (harbouring some resentment and jealousy over what they did and with who) then you’re a lame fuck that doesn’t deserve them. Do yourself and them a favour – go live by yourself in a cave somewhere. Idiot.

    Jealousy is for fools. If you love the person enough to get ‘jealous’ then instead try treating them EXACTLY how they would like to be treated. They will hold onto you forever. Just treat them with the usual anger/suspicion or any other bullshit that comes with jealousy, and you’re guaranteed to push them away. Smooth move X-lax.

    Scenario: she swallowed with a previous lover, but won’t now! Oh no! How awful. (I hear you cry in a whiny voice “somebody suck my dick!!”) Would you rather she swallowed and then dumped you, or didn’t swallow and stuck around? Kind of a no-brainer don’t you think. If a blowjob is more important than your relationship, you definitely need to be single.

    My wife has had way more partners than me. I think I was just eating for her to come along… Fantastic! Out of all those guys she chose me to be ‘the one’ – how’s that for an ego boost??

    And don’t get me started on all that religious rubbish about virginity and purity…

  19. What can be gained from knowing details of each other’s sexual history? Nothing. That is what I told my gf when I told her that I don’t want to know. She’s 36. I’m 40. Both of us have been married. We’ve been dating for 20+ years. Of course, both of us have a past. I want to know what she wants in the present. The back story is not relevant to our life together today.

  20. I feel like this is alright for some people, but others see sexuality in a way that is beyond the simple satisfaction and pleasure of intimacy. But you can’t be hypocritical. If you have a sexual history that is questionable, you are in no place to question that of your partner. I would have an issue if my partner had any sexual history, just because of how I view sex. But because of that I want someone that will expect me to save myself as well.

  21. The man in my life has less experience than i do, although we are smart enough to not get numbers or details. There is very little point to talking about previous sex experiences at all IMHO. Everyone is entitled to their privacy and every relationship is different.We are together because we want to be and it’s great. Guys who’ve bedded tons of women are absolutely no better in bed than a sensual open minded man who wants his partner to have just as much fun as he’s having. And the only thing you *might* be able to tell about a woman by her “number” is how high her sex drive is. I can’t actually imagine telling a partner something that you did that you aren’t interested in doing with them. What would be the point of that?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] writing is jealousy of a partner’s past. At the Good Men Project this week, we had 10 Ways to Deal With Your Partner’s Sexual Past (Because You Have To). It’s not the most detailed discussion of the subject you’ll see, and I have some [...]

  2. [...] if you haven't already looked it up– hope the information will help. Retroactive-jealousy.com 10 Ways to Deal With Your Partner’s Sexual Past (Because You Have To) Guidelines for dealing with (retroactive) jealousy – Conscious Loving Relationship Advice Forum [...]

  3. [...] your partner suffers from retroactive jealousy, you may recommend him/her to read this article “10 Ways to Deal With Your Partner’s Sexual Past (Because You Have To)”. I found it captivating and make you go, dang, that’s so [...]

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