- 7 years ago
- Wedding: November 2013
I felt the same way as you when I was first dating my now-husband. We didn’t have as big of a difference in number (me=5, him=15), but it still bothered me. The first time we talked about it, we were drunk – bad idea. We had a big fight about it. I think what upset me the most is that mine were all guys that I was in a relationship with, and a lot of his were 1-night things. To me, sex is a serious thing, that you should only do with people you have strong feelings for. It really hurt me that he could so easily share his entire body like that, to some random person. I know this is a very traditional, maybe “old fashioned” way of thinking, but it’s something I feel very strongly about it.
Anyway, after this initial fight, I brought it up only one other time, a couple months later. Of course, I was drinking again, and we got in a fight about it. The next day, we finally had a rational conversation about it, and that’s when I made my decision. I either had to figure out a way to deal with this, or break up with him. I decided to stay, and I promised him that I would not hold it over his head anymore – that was not fair to him. And I told myself that I just had to stop thinking about it. I compare it to a smoker that decides to quit cold-turkey. Yeah, for a while you might think about it constantly, but that feeling will go away more and more every day.
One big thing for me (and this won’t help you at all, sorry), is that I never asked him who these girls were, and he has never shared. I know who 2 of his exes are (but have never met them), and I know one other one, because she was a former roommate of mine, but I don’t know who the other 11 before me were. I think if I knew and had to see these people on a regular basis, it would be a lot harder. The one that used to be my roommate – I still see her and occasionally will have a mean thought about her, but it has mostly gone away.
One other thing that has helped me is that my husband almost NEVER talks about these girls. An old girlfriend has come up in conversation maybe a handful of times in the 4.5 years we’ve been together, but he has never once talked about any of the flings. When I read about your situation, that’s a red flag to me. If you’re supposed to get over this, your husband better be trying his damndest to not shove it in your face either. Maybe bring that up to him as something that can help you get through it. I don’t really think it’s fair that this is all on you to get over. I hope he’s patient and understanding with you. That’s what a good husband should do.
@clarej: I’m on the other side of this, as I had a lot of sexual partners before my Fiance (I went through a bit of a wild phase in university…). Honestly, whilst I appreciate having had those experiences because I learnt a lot from them, none of those guys even come close to my Fiance in any way. I’m so in love with him it’s ridiculous, and a result, our sex life is much better than anything I ever had in the past. I cringe a little bit when I think about some of the guy I slept with.
I don’t think you need to worry about anything. Those previous encounters he had were all about sex, and (like me) he’s probably someone who distinguishes between love and sex. Even if he remembers his previous encounters, I doubt that he attaches much significance to them, and it’s quite unlikely that he reminisces about them fondly (I certainly don’t, if anything I feel relieved that that chapter of my life is closed).
@clarej: I see that PPs keep telling you that the past is the past and that your man’s past is none of your business, etc. PPs are making it sound like it’s all in your head. I, on the other hand, don’t think your anxiety is entirely your fault. My guess is that your fiance has probably said and done some immature and insensitive things to you. Focus on working on your relationship with him. If he is really treating you as well as you say he is, your insecurities will go away. I think your insecurity stems less from his past and more from things that are missing in your relationship today.
Sadly, I can relate. My fiance very immaturely bragged about his sexcapades when we first got together. He did this because he didn’t take me seriously when we started dating. To his surprise (and mine), he fell in love with me, but everything he said is still out there. I’ve been jealous, not so much because his past bothers me, but because now that he loves me, he doesn’t view me as sexually as he did when we first met (started off as a one night stand). It’s the classic Madonna/whore complex, I fear. Anyway, I can go on and on about how I should forget his past, but I know that the real problem isn’t his past, it’s my present dissatisfaction in our relationship.
maybe it’s different for you, but cut yourself some slack. Maybe he isn’t meeting all of your needs.
Everything everyone is saying makes sense to me, but I think this might be the most helpful so far. He has basically said as much to me, but it is hard not to feel like it is some kind of spiel. It is comforting to hear that this can actually be the case.
There is definitely some degree of this, since before we were serious, and before we were dating at all, he totally acted immaturely and bragged about his sexcapades – some in truly painful detail. He would never do such a thing now and he really regrets his past behavior because of how it has contributed to my insecurity, but once those thoughts and images are out there they can’t ever be taken away… Ugh. 🙁
This is totally what I try to do! It does help but I think it is also nice to hear it from you (and everyone else here) since it helps validate those thoughts. So thank you.
OMG I can relate! I already wrote about a few exes and guys I was jealous of, including my child’s father. I am always saying he has a Madonna wh.ore complex too! He stopped having sex with me after I got pregnant (planned) and literally told me he wanted to “take things slow” WTF! Turns out that during a relationship break we had, while I stupidly waited in celibacy for him (hoping we’d get back together eventually), he got with other girls. After much prodding from me over a year later (while I was STILL not getting sex!), he admitted to hooking up with one only two days later WTF! One of his good friends finally eventually admitted long after the final breakup that he’d met my ex’s new girl within weeks of us taking the first break (it really took some arm pulling for me to get this friend to tell me info). My ex lied to me by claiming that besides one hookup 2 days after our first break, that he wasn’t with anyone and was focusing on improving himself and getting his life together. Bullcrap! As I suspected, later his guy friends confessed to me that he’d dated a LOT. What’s worse is the expectations my ex put on me. After all my incessant complaining about how stupid and torturous it’d been for me being celibate during our first break and the rest of the relationship after that break ended, my ex actually told me post-final breakup that he wanted me to WAIT for him!! WOW. I think it’s questionable enough to wait for a proposal when you’re in an actual committed relationship with someone, but to wait when you’re not getting ANYTHING from that person?…not a relationship, not sex, not even non-mandated child support? I felt angry that he even suggested such a thing because it showed that he was taking advantage of how overly nice and loyal I’d been by staying celibate during our first breakup, and staying celibate the whole “relationship” that he wasn’t having sex with me. I think people on another thread were right when they said perhaps people mistreat me because I’m too nice or forgiving, and this scenario exemplifies it.
I’ve unfortunately learned to run like the plague from guys who exhibit Madonna who.re complex. In fact, I even have that complex listed in my deal breaker list on my dating site profile and my ex is the reason why. If a guy can’t even commit to giving me sex, then how can I expect anything more, such as a commitment to monogamy or to getting married? That’s my take on it.
Have you asked him to go to the therapy sessions with you? I’d say you may get some of your questions answered and you can work through this TOGETHER if he is there and you can discuss.
My husband and I went through this about 6 months ago where he “discovered” that I had a colorful past. It was awful, the absolute worst time in our relationship and I have never been made to feel like such a slut. If he was continuing to harrass me about it and bring it up, I don’t know if I’d be able to stick around and continue to live in that house. Each of us made different decisions in our past, that doesn’t make either one of us right or wrong. We went to therapy, at that point even though I had asked him to go before for other things, therapy was a non option if he wanted to stay together. It has helped immensely to discuss things, and for us to REALLY understand how each feels about the situation. Trust me, your husband has plenty of his own feelings about his decisions and how you are reacting to them. He may be acting cool calm and collected but if you ask me, hes the victim here.
@clarej: It all boils down to this: value yourself, and forget the rest.
You were the only one he deemed worthy of marrying. I doubt he looks back on those one-night-stands fondly. For some people sex and intimacy are not the same thing, and they can separate the two. This is common in men, but also in women now that we are a little more liberated (Woohoo!).
However, this is why he feels the sex is better with you, because it is connected and intimate.
“As time goes on and the past is farther and farther away it really does matter less, until it’s distant and not-relevant enough that it really doesn’t matter at all.”
Agreed. It took me many YEARS to finally get over my SO’s promiscuous past. I find its always so easy, too easy, for someone else (whether it be an unknown person on this forum or your own family and friends) to tell you “just get over it”, “stop thinking about it”, “don’t talk about it”, “seek help” etc. I have tried all the above and nothing worked. Ultimately it was his dedication to our relationship, patience, and TIME that helped me overcome my own insecurities.
Thank you so much for posting this!!
I have a similar problem with my hubby. He’s slept with a LOT of women and I’ve been with 3. It still hurts after being together for a while now. But it is his past and we can’t change it. it made him who he is and the man I married so I try and be thankful for the women he didn’t choose because it lead him to me 🙂
@clarej: I can relate. My fiancé had slept with a few people before we got together and I’m a virgin. It REALLY scares me when I think about how i compare, were those relationships better etc. I know that he loves me and i think at the end of the day what helps me is all the things he does for me. He loves me so much and I know if he could change things he would. It’s hard I agree though!
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