Hi Everyone - I need some serious advice! (this is long, but please, help me.)
I'm going through the worst emotional turmoil of my life.
I started this account on here because of a problem I've been having with my girlfriend of about 1.5 years. Please give your advice...
I am a 25 year old male who was raised in a very strong Catholic home. I attended Catholic school from pre-school-college and even in my graduate school. I've had wonderful experiences and always knew what values I looked for in a partner. I always said that I would wait to have sex until I was married. In college I would fool around with some girls, but I did turn down sex from a few girls. Then, after I graduated from college I kinda lost my way and decided I wanted to have sex. I didn't want it to be with a stranger, but with a girl I was dating.
When I was 24 I met a young girl who was 22 and just graduated from state college. We dated and probably 3-6 (?) months after we started dating we had sex. It was great, it was fun. I'll admit I wasn't full-fledge IN LOVE with her, but she was great, everyone of my friends and family approved, and I was happy. I took the relationship serious, but I never really was truly smitten. It always bothered me that she wasn't as conservative as my political views (yes I was a hypocrite for having pre-marital sex), but she was one of the most loving, giving, caring people I've ever known. She'd do anything for me or her family. If you were to ask any of her closest or oldest friends, they would say, without flinching, that the girl does not have a mean bone in her body. She is "too nice" and I always tried to "toughen" her up, perhaps because I'm a bit of a tough, but nice guy.
Both of her parents were raised in Catholic families, but they never baptized her. Very strange, I know, but she said it they chose that so she could decide on her own. She went to church for different periods growing up, but her mother felt somewhat alienated from the Church after her divorce (when my girlfriend was 6). So... As the relationship progresses I start taking her to Church with me. My family really loves this and so does she. My grandpa is a very religious man, as well as very powerful in our local diocese, and gets her the option to join the RCIA class. She had wanted to do this for a while, and now was the perfect opportunity. I told her to not do it, partially because the class already started, and possibly because I didn't know if I wanted to marry her, and if I didn't it'd be very awkward with her going through RCIA and my family involved. In the end she talked with her mother and decided to do the class. I knew it was a good thing, but didn't really think too much of it at the time.
While she was doing RCIA, and about 1.5 years into our relationship, I began to think she might be the one for me. Sure, we've had our ups and downs, but I think she'd be a wonderful partner for my life. I asked a few friends and the general consensus was "you'd be an idiot NOT to marry her." This eventually blossomed into us talking about our future together and similar conversations. Things that were not as important in the past became very important as I got more serious about the relationship. Such as: politics, abortion, values, how to raise children, right and wrong, and finally: our sexual pasts.
After making mean comments after I had been drinking about how I went to Catholic school and she went to a dirty public school, she eventually had enough, knew what I was getting at, and put it all on the table. She told me her entire sexual history. This was approximately 10 days ago. Since then has been a roller coaster of emotions. It mimics the 5 stages of grieving: anger, denial, bargaining, and depression. Acceptance has yet to come. My sexual past included fooling around with girls and pre-martial sex 5 times with an ex-girlfriend (I knew what I was doing was wrong, and that's why it only happened 5 times in the 3 years I dated this ex. It wasn't right. We knew it wasn't and we felt guilty for it).
(This might be too much detail, I don't know, but it's anonymous:) My girlfriend's sexual past was more storied than mine: I was her 7th person she has had sex with. The 1st was her high school boyfriend, the 2nd was a random guy after her boyfriend, the 3rd was a regular "booty call" situation that lasted on and off for over a year. The 4th was a friend of the booty call guy (she wanted to get back at him, so she had sex with his friend once). The 5th was a RAPE (this rapist is friends with #3 and 4 She never reported it as rape. She blamed herself for being drunk and I honestly don't think she's ever received closure. Being the nice guy, she blamed herself and somewhat successfully blocked it out. Even after the rape, she went back to having sex with #3 on and off again. #3, 4, 5 all lived together too in a fraternity house.) The 6th was a guy she was interested in near the end of college. The 7th was me.