Sometimes Fornication Can Impact Another Relationship Later – One Example
A lot of times, I see apologists for sexual sin – those who rant against “slut shaming,” who insist pre-marital sex is no big deal and so on – like to argue that the idea that a person having sex before marriage cannot or should not impact later relationships.
But sometimes, it does.
I remarked in an earlier post that after my ex fiance and I had been dating for several months, the topic turned to sex. He confided in me he had sex previously, with one or two women.
Finding out that he had given himself away to another woman / women bothered me on several different levels. I had to work through negative feelings about his sexual history, and it took several months or a year.
At the end of the day, my ex fiance’s virginity belonged to him, but in one sense, he did “give it away” to the other woman he slept with, when he should have been waiting for me. I had to come to grips with that.
Be aware that just because society is telling you that everyone is fine and accepting of your sexual history or “should” be – they say most people aren’t going to care that you’re not a virgin when you end up with them – is not going to be true in every case.
Here’s an example. (Letter to Ask Amy, September 2014.)
- Dear Amy: I married my girlfriend when we were 17. She was pregnant. We have been married for over 25 years. Our marriage has been happy and successful.
- The issue is that she cheated on me before we got married. I spent the summer with family out of town, and when I got back she was dating someone else. She didn’t tell me about him. She pretended everything was fine between us.
- So she and I continued our relationship. She got pregnant. I found out about the cheating. Even though I hated her, I married her because she was pregnant. She married me because she was pregnant.
- Other than the initial reaction when I found out, we never discussed her cheating. She never really acknowledged it and she never apologized. I never brought it up again. It was as if it never happened. We fought a lot but never directly about her cheating. I felt a sense of obligation. I decided to put it all behind me and enjoy my beautiful wife.
- I buried all the anger and resentment and thought I would be married forever. Now, more than 25 years later, the anger and the resentment are back. I brought it up for the first time with my wife a year ago, and we have been arguing about it off and on ever since.
- She has apologized a thousand times, saying that it was a stupid mistake in the past. That she never meant to hurt me. That she didn’t know it hurt me so much. And that I needed to get over it.
- Is it too late for me to divorce her over her teenage cheating? Do I just bury those feelings again? We have both invested a lifetime in this marriage, and she doesn’t want a divorce. I don’t want to hurt her or the kids, but I am not happy with our situation. I have suggested counseling, but she refuses. — Too Late
So, here you have a guy whose wife had sex with some other guy when she was a teen, and now that the guy is in his late 30s or early 40s, he’s disturbed by it.
Maybe there are other factors as to why this guy is having issues with his marriage, but the interesting part is that he repeatedly focuses on the wife’s fornication with some other guy as being the crux of the matter.
You can sit there and argue that this guy should not feel this way, that it’s sexist or wrong, or whatever for him to feel negatively about it, but it is what it is. The guy does in fact feel robbed, cheated, or wronged that his wife had sex with some other guy before they were married.
As much as preacher Mark Driscoll is a douche canoe (link – summary of Driscoll saga on NY Times site – and this other link), I recall reading comments he made, excerpted from one of his books, that he was upset when he found out that his wife had sex prior to marriage with someone other than him. In his case, it’s a bit more hypocritical, since he admitted he was not a virgin when he married his wife (link).
The take away from all this is that some people do have a difficult time coming to grips that their partner has a sexual history – and it’s not necessarily because they are prudes, or sexist, or have hang ups about sex.
Not everyone you meet has this laissez faire attitude towards sex, and they tend to value sex more than the rest of culture, who consider having sex as no more meaningful, consequential, or no more important than tying one’s shoes or ordering a pizza.
(Link): “My boyfriend was intimidated by my sexual history. So I dumped him.” by T. Hornung