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I think it’s great your saw a red flag and bailed. My stbx told me when we were dating that she slept with a married man before (she was never married before me). Big red flag I missed. A decade later guess who was her AP? Yep, a married man.
 

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I never understood why this was a problem to begin with. It seems to me it's only a problem if one person regrets their actions (lots of sex or not a lot of sex) or they don't like the idea that whatever their actions are those actions may limit their choices, but you could say that about a lot of stuff not just sexual history.
Why does regret have to enter the equation?

Sometimes the only way to know if something is not for you is to try it. Casual sex isn't like heroin - it's not (usually) fatal to give it a whirl and discover "yeah, not my thing". Perhaps at 21 you don't realize that you're doing something that will limit your future relationship choices. You may even be wise enough to understand that learning something important about yourself this important will have positive effects in your future relationships. No regrets, but lesson learned.

Hindsight might be 20/20, but foresight is more macular degeneration.
 

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The only problem I have with this is that it puts a person in relationship jail for life.

If you were ever promiscuous, I want nothing to do with you. If you are not honest with me about your past promiscuity, I want nothing to do with you.

I look at this from the behavioral economics perspective - what incentives have you created with this position? You have certainly created an incentive to "not be promiscuous", but this is not actionable because it's in the past. You have also created an incentive to lie, as your partner (who may no longer desire promiscuity) has no way to have a relationship with you and be honest at the same time.

Your past gf tried to be honest, and was punished for the effort for something over which the present her has no control to change. I would say she was quite courageous in at least trying.

All of which you are allowed to do. You're not wrong - but your position does have consequences and incentives that you should be well aware of.
First off I have issue with the word punish, that implies she was entitled to a continued relationship with him, which she wasn't. He didn't punish her, he simply decided he didn't want to pursue anything with her when he got to know her better. Again that's dating. The only reason why there is any controversy about this is because it's about sex. People decided not to date others from much less trivial reasons.

The problem is there are people advocating for not asking on the one hand advocating for being able to tell even if your dating partner says they don't want to know.

Again this whole discussion just proves the point. People have different opinions about sex and this should be discussed (A LOT) before moving forward in a relationship.
 

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Why does regret have to enter the equation?
Regret enters the equation because more then one person on here and other boards has argued that you should keep it a secret. I am of the opinion that anything you keep a secret from a potential partner at least implies that there is a regret there.

I suspect if you don't regret it you won't want to hide it and would not want a relationship with someone who thinks differently.
 

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Regret enters the equation because more then one person on here and other boards has argued that you should keep it a secret. I am of the opinion that anything you keep a secret from a potential partner at least implies that there is a regret there.

I suspect if you don't regret it you won't want to hide it and would not want a relationship with someone who thinks differently.
Well then we'll have to disagree. I've seen so many retroactive jealousy threads here that I think people can be forgiven for at least worrying what their partner will think and do based on something they do not personally regret but cannot change.
 

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Personally the only issue I'd have at all with a woman who had had lots of ONSs or any other sexual history, would just be potential disease risk. If we both get tested, then great. Or, we play very safe (but that is less fun).
I agree with this but I have also come to the belief that both men and women are sometimes very sexual active because they use sex as kind of a currency. As a way of evaluating their worth. I would be very weary of someone who thinks that way and thinks that way about sex. I do not believe that is a healthy way to think. That would be my fear.

I think it is unrealistic to believe if you are dating at middle age that the person you are dating won't have a sexual history. It's more the feelings about sex and the motives.
 

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Well then we'll have to disagree. I've seen so many retroactive jealousy threads here that I think people can be forgiven for at least worrying what their partner will think and do based on something they do not personally regret but cannot change.
Which is why I always advocate for living your life whatever it is openly. The good and the bad. Take me as I am is a much better strategy when you are dating.
 

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Right! But instead of saying "promiscuous" maybe we could just say those who have very different ideas about sex and relationships. This is a personal thing, not a value judgement for humanity at large.
Why should we sugar coat the very definition of promiscuous?
 

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If I was single, and dating from 35 to 45 yo women, it would seem normal they'd have a good bit of sexual history.
Sexual history certainly. Why type of history? ONS and casual? Maybe committed for some months or years but did not work out?
 

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I have tons of regrets in my life - my sexual behavior being one of them.

Having said that, a person can be honest without having any discussions about the details, which are completely unnecessary.

Speaking only for myself, if someone told me they preferred a woman with only x amount of partners, and I didn't fit that criteria, I'd simply say we weren't compatible.

A long, drawn out explanation isn't required.

Regret enters the equation because more then one person on here and other boards has argued that you should keep it a secret. I am of the opinion that anything you keep a secret from a potential partner at least implies that there is a regret there.

I suspect if you don't regret it you won't want to hide it and would not want a relationship with someone who thinks differently.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
As a general response to the way this conversation is going:

In my particular case the number of partners my ex had was not the real issue, what was bothering me was that she had made an arrangement with someone she only found sexually attractive to have sex and nothing else, and i could not stomach that. She pretty much believed that it was ok to have a sexual partner and then think of her romantic life in the meanwhile and i found that quite shocking.
 

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First off I have issue with the word punish, that implies she was entitled to a continued relationship with him, which she wasn't. He didn't punish her, he simply decided he didn't want to pursue anything with her when he got to know her better. Again that's dating. The only reason why there is any controversy about this is because it's about sex. People decided not to date others from much less trivial reasons.

The problem is there are people advocating for not asking on the one hand advocating for being able to tell even if your dating partner says they don't want to know.

Again this whole discussion just proves the point. People have different opinions about sex and this should be discussed (A LOT) before moving forward in a relationship.
How many times do we have to deal with compatibility issues in long-term marriages that wouldn't have happened if people had thought a bit more about vetting their partner going in, and being open enough about themselves to admit to their own vulnerabilities? How many threads do we see about dysfunctional relationships due to privacy, secrets and boundary issues that were ignored or glossed over?

I don't get it. For most of us, our marriage will be the single biggest thing in our entire life. Why would we go into it without taking into account our own limitations? This isn't just to protect yourself, but your partner as well. This is as much about judging yourself as your potential life partner.

If you have a situation that's troublesome yet you think maybe you can get past it, then seek help with counseling. Consider it an investment in your future. But don't pretend that you'll magically change your tune because he or she is "the one" and love conquers all.

The OP got it right. The only reasonable alternative I can think of would be to go through IC to see if he can work through the issue and change how he sees things. And hope that he views the process realistically and not deceive himself into thinking he's changed, when he hasn't, because that's what he wants.
 

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So it doesn't bother you that she slept with x amount of people in the past, it bothers you that these were meaningless encounters? Are you sure that you weren't worried that her time with you was also meaningless to her?

I know a woman who had many one night stands after her divorce. "People have biological needs and I'm just fulfilling mine" and then one day she met someone she had a real connection with and had no reason for ONS's anymore. The fact that she'd had those ONS did not in anyway mean that she didn't truly care about and love her new partner. They have gone on to live together and last I heard they are engaged and have a great relationship.

I've never been with someone that was meaningless to me but I've known plenty of people who have had those types of encounters and gone on to find real, true love. If I'm at all close to the mark, it's a real shame you're giving up someone you could have a real relationship with over the fact that earlier in her life she was not able to find someone with which to have a meaningful encounter.

If it just grosses you out that her beliefs include meaningless sex than carry on. There are plenty of women out there who just buy a vibrator to get them from one relationship to another or even abstain from any type of sex at all. It's not at all unheard of...you'll find someone whose belief's line up better with your own.
 

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As a general response to the way this conversation is going:

In my particular case the number of partners my ex had was not the real issue, what was bothering me was that she had made an arrangement with someone she only found sexually attractive to have sex and nothing else, and i could not stomach that. She pretty much believed that it was ok to have a sexual partner and then think of her romantic life in the meanwhile and i found that quite shocking.
And that is ok.
 

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I've never been with someone that was meaningless to me but I've known plenty of people who have had those types of encounters and gone on to find real, true love. If I'm at all close to the mark, it's a real shame you're giving up someone you could have a real relationship with over the fact that earlier in her life she was not able to find someone with which to have a meaningful encounter.

If it just grosses you out that her beliefs include meaningless sex than carry on. There are plenty of women out there who just buy a vibrator to get them from one relationship to another or even abstain from any type of sex at all. It's not at all unheard of...you'll find someone whose belief's line up better with your own.
It may be a shame that it can't work out for OP, but it would be an even greater loss for his partner if he ignored what bothers him and things exploded later. She will likely find someone for whom her particular narrative isn't an issue. He will hopefully find someone as well. And it could even be that, a few years down the road, he learned from this encounter how to change and be more accepting of such things. And maybe they might reconnect. Who knows.

Above all, I don't think OP is suggesting that it's wrong to be like her. He sincerely wishes he could be more accepting. He's taking ownership of where the issue is.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
So it doesn't bother you that she slept with x amount of people in the past, it bothers you that these were meaningless encounters? Are you sure that you weren't worried that her time with you was also meaningless to her?

I know a woman who had many one night stands after her divorce. "People have biological needs and I'm just fulfilling mine" and then one day she met someone she had a real connection with and had no reason for ONS's anymore. The fact that she'd had those ONS did not in anyway mean that she didn't truly care about and love her new partner. They have gone on to live together and last I heard they are engaged and have a great relationship.

I've never been with someone that was meaningless to me but I've known plenty of people who have had those types of encounters and gone on to find real, true love. If I'm at all close to the mark, it's a real shame you're giving up someone you could have a real relationship with over the fact that earlier in her life she was not able to find someone with which to have a meaningful encounter.

If it just grosses you out that her beliefs include meaningless sex than carry on. There are plenty of women out there who just buy a vibrator to get them from one relationship to another or even abstain from any type of sex at all. It's not at all unheard of...you'll find someone whose belief's line up better with your own.
I do not believe that our encounters were meaningless because we did do a lot more than sex during our brief relationship.

You might be right about there still being the possibility of a succesful relationship and I wonder sometimes about the what ifs if i had stayed with my ex because it felt like she geniuinely wanted to me to stay. I also mentioned it to her on the day we broke up. Its a case of forces of repulsion being stronger than those of attraction.
 

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Sexual history certainly. Why type of history? ONS and casual? Maybe committed for some months or years but did not work out?
It could be either / or. Much more likely a combination I'd think.

Perhaps she was married a number of years, divorced, and slept around a bit after her freedom. Likely.

Could be never married, traveled quite a bit, yes some ons either a little or a lot, and that interpretation can vary.

Or just divorced, no other men, who knows.

Playing the what if game; any of these variations is not unexpected and if she had a clean bill of health physically and mentally, it wouldn't matter to me.

I just never was one to even think about comparisons, or jealous of a past, or horrified of a past.

Everyone has a past.
 

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I do not believe that our encounters were meaningless because we did do a lot more than sex during our brief relationship.

You might be right about there still being the possibility of a succesful relationship and I wonder sometimes about the what ifs if i had stayed with my ex because it felt like she geniuinely wanted to me to stay. I also mentioned it to her on the day we broke up. Its a case of forces of repulsion being stronger than those of attraction.
Did you explain to your ex the honest truth about why you were breaking up with her?
Because she had some meaningless one night stands and for whatever reason you couldn’t accept it.
This despite originally telling her that you were okay with her past.
Would you have preferred that she’d had three five year relationships which included daily sex?
 

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As a general response to the way this conversation is going:

In my particular case the number of partners my ex had was not the real issue, what was bothering me was that she had made an arrangement with someone she only found sexually attractive to have sex and nothing else, and i could not stomach that. She pretty much believed that it was ok to have a sexual partner and then think of her romantic life in the meanwhile and i found that quite shocking.
Really.

Why would that matter? She wanted to have sex with someone and found a willing, attractive, not-psycho partner, disease free.

Haven't we all had those? Sometimes those were exactly what that evening or weekend warranted. No mind games. No what if stressors.
 
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