How Much Information About Sexual History?


#1

I was wondering what everyone’s opinion would be on how much information one should know about their future spouse’s sexual history prior to marriage? I ask because the love of my life and I have been dating for two years and are seriously talking about marriage at this point. I feel we know each other very well, but I know that there are also things (on both sides of the fence) that each of us do not know about the other’s sexual history. Obviously this is a touch subject all the way around, but how much do you all think is too much and how much is not enough. I believe strongly there should not be secrets between husbands and wives, but I am also concerned about “too much” honesty. We are btw in a chaste relationship, thanks be to God.

Peter


#2

I’m all for honesty in a relationship. If you and your beloved wish to share that information, then more power to you. I only caution you that if you ask, you had better be prepared to accept and forgive what you might hear. If you doubt your ability to avoid judgement, jealousy and holding her past against her, you would be better off not to ask in the first place. She is with you now (and hopefully forever), and what is in the past is ancient history. I would give her the same advice about you.

Now before I get flamed for that answer - you both obviously need to be responsible if you or she feel that there may be STDs or other issues from your respective pasts that you NEED to share with each other. Only the two of you can determine what amount of responsible sharing should take place in that regard.

What I’m cautioning you about is wading into every nitty gritty detail of your beloved’s (and your) past relationships in the interest of “full disclosure”. It can be cleansing, or it can also be paralyzing. It depends upon the maturity of the individuals. You can read other threads on this forum of people who have had difficulty coping with what they were told about their partner’s past. Sometimes they have worked through it, sometimes it ended the relationship (or threatened to). Like the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared”.

You might want to ask yourself, and pray about, just why you want to know, how you would react, and what you would do with the information. The worst thing that could happen would be for one of you to ask the other to share, then freak out over the information you have asked to hear. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Personally, assuming you each have made suitable repentance before God for whatever you might be less than proud of in your past, I vote to leave the past in the past and look hopefully and joyously to the future.

But then again, I’m a hopeless romantic. :wink:

Blessings.


#3

[quote=OhioBob]Personally, assuming you each have made suitable repentance before God for whatever you might be less than proud of in your past, I vote to leave the past in the past and look hopefully and joyously to the future.

But then again, I’m a hopeless romantic. :wink:
[/quote]

I agree with Bob on this one. Past sins are a matter for confession, not for discussion between spouses or fiancees. And the same is true for past relationships. Why re-do the past?


#4

I would say before telling her each piece of info about your past you should ask yourself "Would it realkly be the loving thing to tell her this? Would it help her to know and understand me better? Would it be good for her (in the fullest sense) to know? Or would the good be outweighed by how much it would hurt her?

In the same way, if she tells you there are some things she judges it is best not to share with you, you should trust her judgment and not her press her.

That said, some things like STDs, the fact of previous marriages or defacto marriages, or previous children, may directly affect the other spouse, and s/he has a right to know about them before marriage.


#5

[quote=peterpiper] I believe strongly there should not be secrets between husbands and wives, but I am also concerned about “too much” honesty. We are btw in a chaste relationship, thanks be to God.

[/quote]

If you are in a trusting and committed relationship, I don’t think there is such a thing as too much honesty, unless you are telling her that her clothes make her look fat :slight_smile: . My husband and I were very open and honest about our prior sexual experiences. There may have been a few things that we didn’t know about each other when we got married but that was only because the opportunity to divulge certain things never arose. In some cases, keeping things secret may set you up for heartache due to unrealistic expectations. It is always best to be honest. If you ask a question, you have to be prepared to hear the truth no matter what the answer is. It is something you both have to agree on. I know my husband and I had conversations where we promised to not get mad before we would even begin to have a conversation about past experiences. Of course, we also had to be in the right place emotionally. What helped us most was marriage prep which included an Engaged Encounter weekend. Although we didn’t know everything, we were given the equipment to handle whatever came our way. It has not always been easy for us but we constantly use the tools given to us during that period. If you are serious about marriage, I would highly recommend Engaged Encounter when the time comes.


#6

[quote=ConcernCatholic]If you are in a trusting and committed relationship, I don’t think there is such a thing as too much honesty, unless you are telling her that her clothes make her look fat :slight_smile: .
[/quote]

Peter, repeat after me: “There is no such thing as clothes that make a woman look fat. All women look thin, beautiful and marvelous no matter what they are wearing.” :smiley:

Learn that well, grasshopper. It will pay dividends later in life.

Trust me, this is 20 years of marital bliss talking. :wink:


#7

[quote=ConcernCatholic]. . . unless you are telling her that her clothes make her look fat :slight_smile: .
[/quote]

Ahh, so there IS such a thing as too much honesty in a relationship!


#8

I would expect my partner to divulge everything including how many, how often, how recent, etc. Reason for this is that I think it’s only fair to allow your partner to evaluate the risks you expose them to.

For example, “I last had sex with someone else two months ago” says to me, we will wait until we can be sure you didn’t contract HIV before making a decision on marriage. How many previous partners … the number increases my risk as a women to certain diseases. I think everyone has the right to info that has a bearing on their health.


#9

It is VERY important to share and disclose all the sexual experiences you have had with someone you plan to marry.
Along with that - you need to allow each other to be free to ask questions that they feel they need answers to.
It will be different for each one.

One of the reasons this is important is not only for honesty and trust sake, but say one has had premarital sex and the other has not. One of the sad consequences of this is that the one who has remained a virgin is going to have that “innocence” and obvious inexperience and the other who is no longer a virgin will have moved beyond that “innocence” and curiosity and awkwardness and it will be OBVIOUS that this is the case.
They will not share that specialness together.
Best it be laid on the table upfront than be obvious on the honeymoon which can produce unexpected feelings in the virgin spouse of inadequacy and even being "compared to."
Just one aspect to think about. But an important one.

Intimacy is far too important to risk by holding back that which might cause it to suffer in the marriage.

Share all. It’s what marriage, true love and acceptance is all about.
Real love casts out all fear.


#10

[quote=OhioBob]I’m all for honesty in a relationship. If you and your beloved wish to share that information, then more power to you. I only caution you that if you ask, you had better be prepared to accept and forgive what you might hear. If you doubt your ability to avoid judgement, jealousy and holding her past against her, you would be better off not to ask in the first place. She is with you now (and hopefully forever), and what is in the past is ancient history. I would give her the same advice about you.

Now before I get flamed for that answer - you both obviously need to be responsible if you or she feel that there may be STDs or other issues from your respective pasts that you NEED to share with each other. Only the two of you can determine what amount of responsible sharing should take place in that regard.

What I’m cautioning you about is wading into every nitty gritty detail of your beloved’s (and your) past relationships in the interest of “full disclosure”. It can be cleansing, or it can also be paralyzing. It depends upon the maturity of the individuals. You can read other threads on this forum of people who have had difficulty coping with what they were told about their partner’s past. Sometimes they have worked through it, sometimes it ended the relationship (or threatened to). Like the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared”.

You might want to ask yourself, and pray about, just why you want to know, how you would react, and what you would do with the information. The worst thing that could happen would be for one of you to ask the other to share, then freak out over the information you have asked to hear. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Personally, assuming you each have made suitable repentance before God for whatever you might be less than proud of in your past, I vote to leave the past in the past and look hopefully and joyously to the future.

But then again, I’m a hopeless romantic. :wink:

Blessings.
[/quote]

I totally agree with OhioBob here.

My husband and I only know that we each were not virgins when we married. The full “details” are not important. Just maybe clear the air with STDs, etc…go get tested, then get on with your life. That’s what my husband and I did. No joke, we had HIV tests and everything.

Let the past be the past.


#11

if you cannot be open and honest and develop intimacy of mind and heart, you cannot hope to succeed in marriage and this failure to communicate on a deep level will always be a barrier to true physical intimacy. If there is damage from past relationships, past sins requiring confession and reconciliation, and baggage in general, if it is not acknowledged and dealt with now it will come out in the future in the most damaging possible circumstances and you will find yourself in a crisis marriage.

There are plenty of sad, sad threads posted by both men and women on these forums who attest to the truth of what I say.


#12

My husband and I both had pretty checkered pasts when we met and married. We were upfront and honest with each other and it has never been an issue. Neither of us are the jealous type and have been married and faithful for 12.5 years. Neither of us believe in divorce and knew that when we got married it was for better or worse and the long haul. I would never had married him if he couldn’t handle my past. We are living proof that people can and do change.


#13

[quote=peterpiper]I was wondering what everyone’s opinion would be on how much information one should know about their future spouse’s sexual history prior to marriage? I ask because the love of my life and I have been dating for two years and are seriously talking about marriage at this point. I feel we know each other very well, but I know that there are also things (on both sides of the fence) that each of us do not know about the other’s sexual history. Obviously this is a touch subject all the way around, but how much do you all think is too much and how much is not enough. I believe strongly there should not be secrets between husbands and wives, but I am also concerned about “too much” honesty. We are btw in a chaste relationship, thanks be to God.

Peter
[/quote]

Get tested for STDs and live the past up to your confessor. You will get hurt if you go down this path.


#14

[quote=peterpiper]I was wondering what everyone’s opinion would be on how much information one should know about their future spouse’s sexual history prior to marriage? I ask because the love of my life and I have been dating for two years and are seriously talking about marriage at this point. I feel we know each other very well, but I know that there are also things (on both sides of the fence) that each of us do not know about the other’s sexual history. Obviously this is a touch subject all the way around, but how much do you all think is too much and how much is not enough. I believe strongly there should not be secrets between husbands and wives, but I am also concerned about “too much” honesty. We are btw in a chaste relationship, thanks be to God.

Peter
[/quote]

Basic facts probably need to be shared. That would be appropriate and honest (and would eventually come out anyway.)

Nitty-gritty details – nope. That could easily lead to unnecessary hurt.


#15

[quote=estesbob]Get tested for STDs and live the past up to your confessor. You will get hurt if you go down this path.
[/quote]

Best advice.


#16

[quote=estesbob]Get tested for STDs and live the past up to your confessor. You will get hurt if you go down this path.
[/quote]

Slightly off topic, but it probably should read get tested for AIDS and confess to your confessor. It may sound trivial, but I can’t tell you how many discussions this has brought up between my fiance and I because I have a sordid past and she doesn’t. You can only get tested for AIDS; all other STD’s you only find out about if there is a physical symptom. There is a huge misconception about this.


#17

[quote=peterpiper]I was wondering what everyone’s opinion would be on how much information one should know about their future spouse’s sexual history prior to marriage? I ask because the love of my life and I have been dating for two years and are seriously talking about marriage at this point. I feel we know each other very well, but I know that there are also things (on both sides of the fence) that each of us do not know about the other’s sexual history. Obviously this is a touch subject all the way around, but how much do you all think is too much and how much is not enough. I believe strongly there should not be secrets between husbands and wives, but I am also concerned about “too much” honesty. We are btw in a chaste relationship, thanks be to God.

Peter
[/quote]

You don’t need or want to know, on either side. Let any past that has been confessed remain in the Sacramental confessional. Unless there is an uncurable social disease involved, revealing a history serves no purpose. It can be damaging.


#18

[quote=1ke]You don’t need or want to know, on either side. Let any past that has been confessed remain in the Sacramental confessional. Unless there is an uncurable social disease involved, revealing a history serves no purpose. It can be damaging.
[/quote]

I agreee. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.


#19

I wonder, however, if the other person in a potential marriage has the right to know at least basic information about past sexual history. If they have the right to know, then it doesn’t matter how much damage the truth may cause to the relationship.


#20

[quote=wabrams]Slightly off topic, but it probably should read get tested for AIDS and confess to your confessor. It may sound trivial, but I can’t tell you how many discussions this has brought up between my fiance and I because I have a sordid past and she doesn’t. You can only get tested for AIDS; all other STD’s you only find out about if there is a physical symptom. There is a huge misconception about this.
[/quote]

This is not true. Most men do not show symptoms of Chlamydia but they can have it and transfer it to their wives and cause infertility.


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