Fornication or Previous Marriages Can Negatively Impact Other Relationships Later – Another Example or Two (via Ask Amy, Hax)
As I have noted on a previous occasion:
Some Christians – the ones who water-down the importance of staying a virgin until marriage – really feel that anyone who is a virgin past the age of 30 needs to give all the fornicators a break, and never hold their fornicatin’ pasts against them.
We virgins are supposed to just get over it already!, and just deal with the fact that most people we date have a sexual past. We’re supposed to be instantly forgiving, accepting, and cool with it.
Well, virgins past the age of 30 are not robots.
Some of us do in fact struggle to accept the fact that a current partner was married before, or had sex before meeting us. We can’t always flick our feelings on and off like a light switch.
Here is another example of a woman who is struggling to accept that her partner was with someone else prior to her (this is just a fact of life – shaming this woman for holding this against her man is not going to magically make her feelings vanish).
I also saw a letter to an advice columnist a few days ago from a woman who married a guy. It was her first marriage, but the man’s second. This woman felt very hurt or upset that her husband had been married before. I don’t remember where I saw that letter, but if I can find it again, I will paste it in this post.
June 2015 letter to advice columnist Ask Amy:
- I have been dating someone for a few months now.
- We have one major sticking point.
- He keeps in touch with every female he has ever had any kind of sexual contact with; and there are close to 20 (from exes to one-night stands).
- Mostly he is connected through social media: Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. I don’t do this with exes.
- How can you have a present and a future when you are constantly looking in the rearview mirror? He claims it’s no big deal. It really bothers me. What do you think?
- signed, Social Media Drama
- If your guy is seriously and exclusively committed to a future with you, then he will naturally want to adjust his behavior somewhat to make sure you are more comfortable. He won’t do this.
- I agree that many people would find this frequent (if glancing) contact threatening, but he was this way when you met him and his transparency about and justification of his behavior means that you will either have to accept it, persuade him to change or become one of the many “exes” in his life.
June 2015 letter to Carolyn Hax:
- I am in a serious relationship with a divorced man, no children. I am having trouble getting over the fact that he’s done everything before — proposed, watched his bride walk down the aisle, bought a house, etc.
- I know it’s ridiculous. It’s soooo ridiculous. But why do I keep being bothered by it? I am in my mid-30s so I have many divorced friends and I think they all deserve a second chance at love. Can you please talk some sense into me?
- Getting Over Someone’s PastI’ll try, by picking apart your use of “second chance.” I think that and your “He’s done this all before!” lament imply that you see marital love as a uniform path to a singular Holy Grail.
While that makes a lovely thought . . . gosh, it’s hard to dismantle this without sounding cynical. Okay: It’s not as if all other loves are regular, and marital love is the deluxe. Often what launches a love from “Let’s have dinner together Saturday” to “Let’s have dinner together for the rest of our lives” isn’t the awesomeness of the conversation at dinner, but instead the ages of the people having it.
- If marriage were just about finding the ultimate love, then a graph of the age of first marriage would show points distributed evenly across all adult ages. It’s not that way, though: There’s a trickle around 20, then a wave in the mid-20s that drops to a trickle again after 35. It’s pretty damning evidence of some musical-chairs thinking: Many such couples are less soul mates than each other’s closest chairs when the music stopped.
- Some married loves of course are the real and enduring deal, but marriage doesn’t make them so; there can be enduring, life-changing loves that never result in marriage.
- Plus, all loves — between madly crushing 16-year-olds or checking-a-box 27-year-olds or why-the-heck-not mid-lifers — are unique to the people in them. Successive loves aren’t just successive attempts to find that one thing, that Grail — they’re a thing unto themselves.
- And so, yes, this man has proposed to someone before, but not to you before. If he does, he will feel different because you are different and your love will be different.
June 2015 letter to Ask Amy:
- I have been living with a man for four months. We have had a tumultuous six-year relationship. I told him I only wanted to do this if he could be exclusive and I could trust him.
- He continues to be on an online dating site and tried arranging times to meet these ladies. He has met with old girlfriends. We love each other, but I don’t trust him and now I am starting to believe trust might be more important than love.
- When confronted, he says he is just keeping his options open in case I decide to leave him. He has a reputation for being a player. I really believed he was willing to change to be with me, but I’m not sure he’s capable. We have a great time together, but I am worried about my future at 54 years old. He is 61.
- — Trust vs. Love
- You should let this player know that his instincts were right to keep his options open, because now he will be completely available. It’s time for you to move out and move on.
And there you have it. Your past relationship and sexual history (assuming you have a sexual history) can in fact create hurt, pain, and other problems with future partners and future relationships.