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Have you considered that when you were dating, that she considered you to be “the one?” That she knew your feelings regarding sexual, and didn’t want to lose you over that? If you’ve been together for 30 years, I’d say you are quite compatible.

Yes, she lied. But, maybe she took a calculated risk to spend the rest of her life with the one she loved?

let’s also assume for a moment that you have also not always been honest about everything when it comes to your relationship. It could be something as simple as saying an outfit looks “great” when she asked you, even when you don’t think that.

So the real question: are you truly disappointed that she lied about her previous sexual experiences, OR, are you more angry that her ideology was not the same as yours?
 

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My wife and I have been married for more than 30 years. When we first met, we were attracted to each other for a variety of reasons, one of which was that we both shared a common value: remaining virgins until we were married.

Before I go any further, I respectfully ask that you not hijack this thread to interject your thoughts and opinions regarding why we valued virginity, whether it's normal or abnormal, whether it's good or bad, or right or wrong. Above all, please don't tell me "the past is past; just let it go." That's not the point of this thread - I'm not seeking advice on how to get over it.

Eleven years into our marriage, my wife received a telephone call out of the blue, from a guy she dated for 7 years and hadn't heard from in 15 years. (For more detailed information on this, please see my post from 8/20/2020). He wanted to find out whether she would be attending their upcoming class reunion that was to take place a few days later.

After speaking with her former boyfriend for 45 minutes, my jealousy got the best of me and I began to ask her questions about her past relationship with him. Much to my dismay, she informed me that she had indeed had a sexual relationship with him, even though she told me while we were going out that she was a virgin. It later came out that she had also had sexual relations with two other guys prior to meeting me.

Having lived under the belief that she and I were each other's "only ones," I was absolutely shocked and deeply disappointed to find out after 11 years of marriage that such was not the case.

From that point, which was decades ago, through the present, and more than 30 years into our marriage, I am affected by my inability to get over my wife's past. After having gone through this for decades, I just found out that it is something called retroactive jealousy, which has ties to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To find out more about retroactive jealousy, research it online and watch YouTube videos which feature stories from individuals who experience it.

My question is this: Do any of you suffer from retroactive jealousy? If so, I would like you to share what it is like for you. In other words, what are your symptoms, how often does it affect you, etc.? Also, are you optimistic that it will go away, or do you see it as a permanent condition?

Lastly, if you can't seem to get over your spouse's past, has it affected your relationship with your spouse? If so, how?
Regardless of your OCD, retro-jealousy, or whatever ails you, if you’re unable to live with her disappointing you and her deceptions, you’ll need to decide to stay or leave. If you choose to stay, you can’t expect her to be sorry forever. It’s not fair to either of you. I, too, had a similar experience with my high school sweetheart. Sadly, we divorced after 33 years. I just couldn’t live with the lies and inability to trust him. Our adult child still is struggling 7+ years with the dismantling of our family. We lost friends, our home, our way of living. There are many things to consider...
I say if your spouse loves you, try to work together for the common good for everyone. Love changes thru the years, you can’t recreate the past, but you can effect your future. Good luck 👍 My ex did not want a future with me...
I remarried a man with a similar moral compass as me. My life is better now.
 

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I think the underlying beliefs here are part of the problem he's experiencing. I find them a bit irrational tbh. The idea that a person lies so can be forever more labelled as "dishonest", as if it defines a person entirely. The idea that having had sex with more than one person makes a person "promiscuous" (with all it's negative connotations). As if having had sex means she can't have the same values as he did, which I find to be an irrational assumption as well. After all, she didn't have sex with him before marriage. She found a partner she wanted to spend her life with, and she had the same values about that relationship as he did (based on the fact he hasn't reported any other difficulties/problems/differences).

You might steal something in your lifetime, it doesn't mean you should be labelled a "thief".
You might have lied, it doesn't mean you should be labelled a "liar".
You might have been mean to someone, it doesn't mean you should be labelled a "nasty" person.
You might've had sex with more than one person, it doesn't mean you should be labelled a "****" or "promiscuous".
You might've yelled at your partner, it doesn't mean you should be labelled as an "abuser".

Edited to add: if the lie makes her "dishonest", doesn't telling the truth make her "honest"? If we're all about labeling and defining a person based on each and every action/behaviour, technically she has been honest longer than she was dishonest... :unsure:

There seems to be this thought of her doing something to him, rather than her doing something to protect herself or pursue a relationship with him.
 

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The concept of born-again virgin or reborn virgin wasn't around when you started dating. If it had been, that would have been an easy explanation for her to use when discussing your values and mores.

Currently you can only change your attitude regarding the subject such as counting your blessings versus nurturing and harboring ill feelings or get a divorce. There really is a point when enough is enough. You were wronged, move on.
 

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Eleven years into our marriage, my wife received a telephone call out of the blue, from a guy she dated for 7 years and hadn't heard from in 15 years. (For more detailed information on this, please see my post from 8/20/2020). He wanted to find out whether she would be attending their upcoming class reunion that was to take place a few days later.
As an additional thought, it seems rather naive to think that a seven year relationship did not become sexual.

And by that I'm not saying "you're dumb lol", but it suggests you grew up in an environment that encouraged and praised a rather idealized viewpoint on sexuality as being normal/possible. So I doubt it's really a case that just your wife lied to you, but that a rather large number of people in your life made that lie believable.

For example, I'd be 99.9% certain that multiple people at your wedding explicitly knew of her previous sexual history.

There's lots more going on here than your feelings about her, she's just the obvious choice for being a lightning rod about everything.
 

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As an additional thought, it seems rather naive to think that a seven year relationship did not become sexual.

Not at all, since she told him she was also waiting for marriage. If she was not married then the correct inference was that she had not had sex prior. He mistakenly believed she was a truthful and honorable young lady
 

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Discussion Starter #148
As an additional thought, it seems rather naive to think that a seven year relationship did not become sexual.

And by that I'm not saying "you're dumb lol", but it suggests you grew up in an environment that encouraged and praised a rather idealized viewpoint on sexuality as being normal/possible. So I doubt it's really a case that just your wife lied to you, but that a rather large number of people in your life made that lie believable.

For example, I'd be 99.9% certain that multiple people at your wedding explicitly knew of her previous sexual history.

There's lots more going on here than your feelings about her, she's just the obvious choice for being a lightning rod about everything.

Quite frankly, I believe that virtually no one at our wedding knew of her previous sexual history. Also, your statement that "a rather large number of people in your life made that lie believable" is totally incorrect. I'm not sure where your assumptions are coming from.
 

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No. Just go with no. Any other problems will surface, if any.

Just no, it doesn't bother an SO, after so many years. That ship has loooonnggg sailed for you to bring it up now as an individual problem.
 

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No. Just go with no. Any other problems will surface, if any.

Just no, it doesn't bother an SO, after so many years. That ship has loooonnggg sailed for you to bring it up now as an individual problem.
So have there been any issues in your marriage that you could attribute to dishonesty about her past? Intimacy issues? Odd notions of privacy?

I think the biggest threat to your marriage are missing or misunderstood discussions of privacy and boundaries. The main thing you need to get from this revelation, so you can feel comfortable and move on, is a belief that she's not going to hold secrets from you in the future. Such secrets would include unhappiness with issues in your relationship; she doesn't get to store things up. And why would she want to? It should be liberating to her to get things off her chest if she feels there's no reason to keep secrets. Does she have any more secrets? Now would be the time to get things out in the open. While it's not really the same, I think this needs to be treated similarly to if a spouse had cheated, due to the deception involving what were core values for you at the time you married.

Once you get through all this, the hard part comes. You need to drop it and move on. You need to love your wife for who she is. Best possible scenario is to come to the conclusion that, had she told you back then, you still would have married her. Believing that will help you a great deal. The years you've had together, good years you have said, should help to retroactively paint that picture (that you still would have married her, had you known).

You're in a much better place than me; you had this come out 11 years into your marriage, not 39. And you don't have obvious damage from what had gone on, while in my case it accounts for 42 years of intimacy issues because she decided to reinvent herself (as your wife did) and basically swear off sex (which your wife did not) as soon as we hit a trigger (sex itself was/is the trigger).

Your marriage can come out of this fully intact and in a better place. But the privacy and boundary stuff... she has GOT to realize just how wrong it was to have that lengthy conversation with her ex. If she wants to pretend she never had a sexual relationship with that guy, it was incumbent upon her to also cut off ALL contact, forever. But she did a half-way thing, and started reintegrating her past life again. That was a path that could have gone in a really terrible direction. It still could.
 

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As previous posters have stated; the issue isn't jealousy or getting over a thing, the issue is she deliberately and directly lied to you. That is the thing I would have a problem with, and I'm a guy with admitted jealousy and insecurity issues.
 

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Thank you, Divinely Favored -- What you said is an absolutely perfect description of what I'm feeling. I couldn't have said it better myself!

By now, my wife is sick and tired of discussing this. Each time we discuss it, it's very painful to her, seeing the degree to which she has hurt me. In a recent discussion, she described herself as feeling helpless and hopeless when it comes to helping me get through this.

As painful as it is for her to be a part of helping me get through this, I would like her to be immersed in this right along with me, as I feel as though I'm in this alone because the topic is difficult for her to deal with. I need her to support me, but I don't know exactly what that might entail.

A FAVOR TO ASK OF YOU: If you were in my wife's position, what would you do (be specific) that might be a good means of helping me and supporting me through this ordeal?
Hi. I'm sorry for what you are going through. It seems DF's post rang true for you but one thing you said stuck out for me, that you need her to support you, even if you don't know how... Now DF's post referred to being more hurt than jealous, almost as if you were cheated on, so can anyone point this gentleman to the link which deals with the fallout after an affair (it's quite a lengthy one) and see what might be relevent to your situation? It's not an affair but maybe you are experiencing the same emotions as those cheated on? The post also advises great ways for the 'offending' spouse to provide support... Only thing is if this does help, will your wife be prepared and willing to see herself in the role of the WS? Praying for you guys.
 

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Frankly brother, I think you need to return to being a positive, strong man and never discuss, ponder, and especially NOT harass your wife over this again. She lied but per your words has been an incredible wife and mother.

Although, you SHOULD get angry and confront your wife if she ever dares talk at length with an old boyfriend (unless you’re next to her at a high school reunion or something). I think it’s very fair to be angry about that.

I know lots of GOOD women who in youth sort of fell into sexual relationships... maybe you don’t know this but young men can be relentless, pressuring, and (evil) bastards. Just because it was easy for you, doesn’t mean it is for beautiful young women. I mean, it’s a slippery slope for young women and every dude out there was pushing..

If she’s as good a catch as you say- take this to prayer and leave it with our Lord and move on and NEVER ponder or discuss it again.
Agree. Esp. the last bit.
 

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i think, even though this has bugged you for 30 years....as you age more, your jealousy of what happened 35 years ago will die out. just hang in there. If it is really bothering you, do not take it out on your faithful wife....they are hard to find nowadays....instead go get some help from a shrink. they might be able to teach you some ways to cope with those bad memories when they start to come, before they become a big deal.
 
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