My partner's sexual past --- How do I find closure? ADVICE!?


#1

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.

(continued below)


#2

(continued)

Needless to say, our days since this discussion have been filled with grief, shame, embarrassment, crying, guilt, depression, etc… the entire gamut of horrible emotions. But the strangest thing is that after this, I had a rough couple days, but then I had some sort of epiphany that I still love her and we absolutely want to get marry. We had a strange “honeymoon period” of about 5 days where we said everything to each other. We talked about our values, how we want to raise our kids, what we think is right and wrong. We stopped having sex. We started praying together at night. It was like something amazing came out of something horrible. It was like the last piece of the puzzle was revealed and I knew I wanted her forever.

Then the honeymoon ended. I went back to feeling horrible. Jealous. Maybe I know too many of the gory details. I am ashamed for her and of her. I know God wants me to forgive and forget, but it’s so hard. I looked at some of her pictures on facebook before I knew her and lost it. I didn’t know who was who and who did what. It was terrible. We’d stay up to 2am at my place crying, me asking for the details, consoling, arguing crying, repeat.

I’m not scared that this “old version” will come back someday. I know that will never happen. She truly is a different person now that she has welcomed the Lord into her life fully. And it’s not because I forced it on her, asked her to do it, pressured her. She did it on her own. She is full of guilt and her days are just as bad as mine. I feel like a zombie, I can’t eat, and she is going through the same. There’s no doubt in my mind that she regrets what she did and would never do it again. More or less, no one told her growing up that YOU WAIT UNTIL MARRIAGE TO HAVE SEX. Her mom and dad are both very nice people and honestly would never say a mean word about anyone, but WHERE WERE THEY???

She says these sexual encounters were mixed emotions. Sometimes she knew it was wrong. Other times not. She never realized it could hurt somebody so much that she loves so much. She’s ashamed. She’s full of guilt. She is being so nice to me. She tells me to take as much time as I need. If i need space she will give it to me. She’s going to be baptized on Easter. I want to marry her still, but I’m full of so much pain and turmoil I can’t figure it out.

Bottom line: I CANNOT EQUATE OLD LISA WITH NEW LISA. WHY DID SHE DO THAT TO HERSELF? I know she had self-esteem issues, and always wanted to be felt important. But she was never desperate, on illegal drugs, abused as a child, depressed. She is the happiest person you’ll ever meet! I swear! She’s never mean to me or anyone else. The only person she hates is the person that raped her. Think of the nicest girl, your family loves her, she’s nice to everyone, she is NEVER sad or depressed, she is too nice. Then I learn all this…

I CAN’T FIND AN ANSWER AS TO “WHY?” SHE DID ALL OF THESE THINGS. Neither can she. She will never have pre-marital sex again.

How do we find closure? Is it possible? Should I just move on? We talk about God and how He will lead us through this. We know God is here. And we know her sins and mine were evil. But I can’t find the answer for “why?” it happened. If I knew her in college I never would have respected her for doing those things.

If it would help for her to come on here and post, she’d be more than willing I’m sure.

THANK YOU FOR READING. Please give me advice!


#3

Forgiveness is the only answer.

Her sins are between her and the Lord. Allow her to seek forgiveness through the Sacraments. If God can forgive her, so can you.

You also need to seek forgiveness... through the Sacraments. You are no better than she is... go back and read the Gospels about pointing out the spec in your brother's eye without noticing the beam in your own. Meditate on this. Meditate on Christ's love for the sinners. If Christ can forgive YOU... then He can certainly forgive her.

Pray together... pray for each other.


#4

Simply put, if you really like her, ignore it and get over it. I’d date a former stripper if she was someone who had changed and moved on. I’ve dated women who were virgins, and I’ve dated women who’ve had-troubled-sexual pasts. There but for the grace go I, and the same should be said for you.

It’s easy to get hung up on this-we’re guys, we are hung up on sexual issues with our girlfriends. However, it’s doesn’t matter what she did-it matters what she does.

So knock off the neurosis, be good to her, stop the drama, and if she the one for you, she’s the one for you.

Never, ever feel self-righteous or holier than thou

If you stay stuck up on these issues, you might miss a great chance with a great girl. You will regret that for life. I assure you.

This may not be the advice you wanted. Sorry if it isn’t.


#5

You have a sexual history of your own, so are you in a position to judge hers?

And have you been to confession yet?


#6

[quote="Norseman82, post:5, topic:191955"]
You have a sexual history of your own, so are you in a position to judge hers?

And have you been to confession yet?

[/quote]

I didn't even touch on this, Norsemen. Well said.

Rememeber what I said OP. There but for the grace of God, go you and I. Some of the best words ever written.


#7

I would just forget about it and move on. If I got hung up on that issue I would have missed out on 25 wonderful years with my DH.


#8

First things first, I'm sorry you're going through this agony and bearing this cross.

Secondly, and importantly, I have to say this to clear up misconceptions a lot of people have. She's had sex with 6 people. RAPE IS NOT SEX. It is a physical assault; a crime; but not the God-ordered mutual consenting union. Never ever tell a woman or think of a woman that she has "had sex" or is "not a virgin" because she was the victim of an assault just because the weapon was an organ. It is "sexual" only in the sense it involved the sex organs.

As for actual advice, all I can say is we are called to be Christ-like, and what did Jesus do? He forgave. Given your situation, this seems hard. The best I can do is tell you to see a priest and a spiritual director. Individually and together if you still want to get married. He will help you and her (maybe separately) determine the whys or if the whys are even important at this stage.

People make mistakes. It's not for us to judge them. Meditate and pray on the Gospel accounts of Jesus and the men who wanted to throw stones; or the woman at the well. What do you mean by old and new L.? Is it that old her was the sinning one? Or Old her was the one pre-knowledge of her past; the perceived "good" L.? I don't think we're supposed to equate the mistaken persons we once were with the new Christ-driven, forgiveness-seeking, people, anyway.

God bless.


#9

I'll pretend this isn't a troll doing flame-bait. I sometimes wonder about these kind of posts.

But in case anyone out there legitimately is in your shoes I'll keep it sweet.

You're just mad and disappointed because you weren't the FIRST cad who got to this sweet directionless partially neglected girl who grew up marinated in a lack of societal values with parents who didn't teach her right from wrong.

If you had been the first, you would have taken her virginity and that would have been it.

But because she was used by some other guys, some of whom she thought she loved, and some whom she used, or who used her (against her will even), YOU have an issue.

Since you are so distraught about her past, and can't handle her sins and knowing all about her love her unconditionally like a wife deserves, let her go. Someone else will love this woman who has found her own way to the truth.

Now that you have bullied her and pulled the truth out from her and made her regret trusting you with the story of her life before she ever knew you were alive, go away. Stop throwing her shame in her face. Let her recollect some of her dignity. Maybe you will make her abandon Catholicism as a bunch of hypocrites who have premarital sex but condemn others, or maybe she will keep it and someday raise a daughter not to make the mistakes she made.

But a girl this nice and trusting deserves a better guy than you. Had I been her friend I'd have told her never to tell a guy anything she doesn't want thrown in her face in the future in a drunken angry rage.

I'd ask you, what are YOU really grieving? Her sin? Or the blow to YOUR ego that you have "used goods" and she is unworthy of you now? I don't see her ranting about the girl who came before her?

She deserves someone who can love her for the person she is now, not hate her for the misguided teen she was then.

And I"m glad you stopped having sex with her yourself. Maybe the next guy won't be so angry with her at the idea of what YOU did to her even though you admit for a long time you had no intention of marrying her.

If it's too hard for you to forgive, never get married. You'll never make it. People are human and make mistakes.

WHY DID SHE DO IT? Because she was young and stupid and trusted people like YOU.

By the way, get a grip on that drinking. You sound like a mean drunk.

Oh..and not every family had the money for private schools. Those of us who sent our kids to "dirty public schools" can't help it. Sounds like your private school didn't teach much about compassion.

Let her go. She can do better than you.

Now that you've humiliated her, do her a favor and stop calling her. It will help her heal from you quicker. You're just one more guy she needs to heal from.


#10

I agree with some of what you said, but this was way too harsh.


#11

I apologize to everyone for posting alot on this thread, but it's something I feel strongly about.


#12

OK, I’m going to sound like a jerk here, but I genuinely believe you need to hear this: You need to grow up. You’re ashamed of your girlfriend for being honest with you? What do you think marriage is made of? I understand your values growing up were very different; I get it. Here’s the thing, though: She told you the truth because she (clearly) loves you and didn’t want to be dishonest about it. And you’re questioning her morals? There are a LOT of women who would look you in the eye, smile and tell you exactly what you wanted to hear. A lot. So, don’t think that the little girl in the pew next to you reciting her Rosary couldn’t have her own checkered past; she might. And, guess what? Unless she has a disease or a child someplace, she likely isn’t morally obligated to share that information with you – future spouse or no. Why? If it’s forgiven in the Confessional, then it’s no different than any other mortal sin (missing Mass, etc.) Would you really expect a future spouse to tell you every time she missed Mass or took the Eucharist when she wasn’t worthy? How you can sit there and speak of your own morals while judging this girl is beyond me.She didn’t sin against you! She sinned against God and the people she engaged in sexual acts with. The only way your forgiveness would apply is if you two had been married when this happened. It didn’t. The fact is, you too have fallen short of God’s law. It wasn’t just “one time” with you, either, so you need to drop your holier-than-thou routine. And, are you seriously going to go, “well, but I haven’t done it as much as she has and I didn’t go all the way every time like she did…” Honestly! Jesus showed us mercy! If you’re the good Catholic you’re professing yourself to be, then you need to be merciful as well. Unless you can let this go, TRULY forgive it and never bring it up again, you have absolutely no business even considering marriage to this girl. I understand you’re hurting, but you need to stop humiliating her for a past that never had you in it. Good luck and God Bless you both.


#13

RascalKing, HE was way too harsh.

And he was doing it to someone who loves him. Who was honest with him and who trusted him.

I'm just calling it like I see it.


#14

You’ve no one but yourself to blame for all of this, Honestly, and truly, I think she deserves better than you if all you said is true.


#15

Hey, maybe your right. I just called it the way I saw it! :wink:


#16

I don’t take the OP’s post as being ‘holier than thou’, and lumping the OP’s sins in with his girlfriend’s is not helpful. Having sex with people you don’t even care about (the booty calls, using sex to ‘get back’ at someone), is dangerous, self-destructive behavior, and it can be symptomatic of more serious problems than an imperfect moral compass. Even secular psychologists will tell you that.

This is not about whose sins are bigger, it’s about the OP understanding why his girlfriend would engage in such behavior, because he wants to understand her. In his mind, what she did doesn’t make sense. Look at what he’s written: he’s talked to her about it looking to understand, he’s examined her upbringing, her habits, her mental health, etc. This guy obviously is just looking to put the pieces together because they don’t fit to him.


#17

Thank you for all of the responses.

Maybe I should have phrased my chief question more clearly.

I know she will be a wonderful partner. An amazing wife, mother, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law. Our values align and our feelings toward each other are mutual. We want to give ourselves to the Lord and put it in his hands to help us find the answer. If it means giving up the relationship, then so be it, but we trust in the Lord to help us to our solution. We want to live together following Christ and His deeds. This isn’t just a bunch of “give me pity, I’m trying to be good.” THIS IS THE TRUTH. The truth from my end, the truth from her end.

But, how do I get to the point where I achieve ACCEPTANCE? Yes, I am asking for something selfish. I know it is. If I can get acceptance I can move on with her. I’ve read stories online (and my friend has a nasty story himself) of this sort of thing lingering for years, leading to breakups and divorce. If that is inevitable (not that anyone can guarantee anything), should I just leave. I know I don’t want to, I just want closure. Yes, I’m looking for a “how-to” guide that I darn well know doesn’t exist.

One poster mentioned talking to a priest/clergy member. We plan on doing that. The Deacon who teaches her RCIA class has known me since I was a child and he loves my girlfriend, but I know she’d be embarrassed to go to him for counseling. I wouldn’t be comfortable if she wasn’t. Should we talk to someone else who we don’t know?

One poster asked about confession. I have not been in at least a few years. Earlier today I wrote down the times for my local Church.

Am I being immature? Yes. Am I being macho? Yes. One poster tore me apart. Partly deserved. I didn’t sit there and tear her apart for every sin. I have my own sins to contend with and I’m in no position to judge. My question to her was “WHY?” There is no real answer, at least no answer that makes one say “Oh yea, that makes sense. No big deal.” When my parents busted me in high school for smoking marijuana and using alcohol my mother said to me “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” I never had a good answer.

One poster mentioned that I sounded like a snob for my Catholic schooling. You’re right. I do sound snobby and I probably am. It’s a sin and I know it. It’s not Christ-like. Not everyone had the privilege I did.

It all gets back to equating both versions of her. The version I know is perfect and deserves the best. I feel terrible when I don’t give it to her. My life has been a roller-coaster these past 10 days where I’ve experienced dizzying highs and frightening lows. I’m a man who is a pragmatist, who uses logic, reason to solve most problems. When I can’t figure something out it frustrates me. When my emotions get pulled around to this extent I just can’t take it.

Thanks for the responses, all of them. I really mean that. It’s all helping me put the picture together I hope.


#18

NAIL ON THE HEAD. I’m a perfectionist. I’m an analyst. To me, everything has a reason. I like concrete things. I want to get past these emotions. I do forgive her, now I need to forget. But then, what’s that? Oh, I just thought of when she did X with Y, what could she have been thinking? This makes no sense to me!


#19

[quote="domer, post:17, topic:191955"]
Thank you for all of the responses.

Maybe I should have phrased my chief question more clearly.

I know she will be a wonderful partner. An amazing wife, mother, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law. Our values align and our feelings toward each other are mutual. We want to give ourselves to the Lord and put it in his hands to help us find the answer. If it means giving up the relationship, then so be it, but we trust in the Lord to help us to our solution. We want to live together following Christ and His deeds. This isn't just a bunch of "give me pity, I'm trying to be good." THIS IS THE TRUTH. The truth from my end, the truth from her end.

But, how do I get to the point where I achieve ACCEPTANCE? Yes, I am asking for something selfish. I know it is. If I can get acceptance I can move on with her. I've read stories online (and my friend has a nasty story himself) of this sort of thing lingering for years, leading to breakups and divorce. If that is inevitable (not that anyone can guarantee anything), should I just leave. I know I don't want to, I just want closure. Yes, I'm looking for a "how-to" guide that I darn well know doesn't exist.

One poster mentioned talking to a priest/clergy member. We plan on doing that. The Deacon who teaches her RCIA class has known me since I was a child and he loves my girlfriend, but I know she'd be embarrassed to go to him for counseling. I wouldn't be comfortable if she wasn't. Should we talk to someone else who we don't know?

One poster asked about confession. I have not been in at least a few years. Earlier today I wrote down the times for my local Church.

Am I being immature? Yes. Am I being macho? Yes. One poster tore me apart. Partly deserved. I didn't sit there and tear her apart for every sin. I have my own sins to contend with and I'm in no position to judge. My question to her was "WHY?" There is no real answer, at least no answer that makes one say "Oh yea, that makes sense. No big deal." When my parents busted me in high school for smoking marijuana and using alcohol my mother said to me "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?" I never had a good answer.

One poster mentioned that I sounded like a snob for my Catholic schooling. You're right. I do sound snobby and I probably am. It's a sin and I know it. It's not Christ-like. Not everyone had the privilege I did.

It all gets back to equating both versions of her. The version I know is perfect and deserves the best. I feel terrible when I don't give it to her. My life has been a roller-coaster these past 10 days where I've experienced dizzying highs and frightening lows. I'm a man who is a pragmatist, who uses logic, reason to solve most problems. When I can't figure something out it frustrates me. When my emotions get pulled around to this extent I just can't take it.

Thanks for the responses, all of them. I really mean that. It's all helping me put the picture together I hope.

[/quote]

Your a good man for posting this and admitting your faults. Just try to work on them.


#20

[quote="domer, post:2, topic:191955"]
.

I CAN'T FIND AN ANSWER AS TO "WHY?" SHE DID ALL OF THESE THINGS. Neither can she. She will never have pre-marital sex again.

How do we find closure? Is it possible? Should I just move on? We talk about God and how He will lead us through this. We know God is here. And we know her sins and mine were evil. But I can't find the answer for "why?" it happened. If I knew her in college I never would have respected her for doing those things.

If it would help for her to come on here and post, she'd be more than willing I'm sure.

THANK YOU FOR READING. Please give me advice!

[/quote]

I was on the other side of this when I (with a sexual past) dated a man who was a virgin. He took it really hard at first, and demanded to know every detail of everything I ever did (which I told him). He later regretted asking those things, and got over my past.

I think you need to stop asking her questions about it and work to get over it, or else you'll destroy your relationship. She can't change her past. And it's not just about you accepting her, it's about her being able to be with you after what you're putting her through. It's not your place to dwell sins she repented and no longer engages in.

Focus on who she is today, not what she did back then, or try to do so. Maybe get some counselling to help you do this. Most importantly drop it with her.

When I was going through this kind of thing with my ex, I didn't feel safe with him, I even had nightmares about him being violent to me during sex (we hadn't had sex, but I perceived him as viewing me as a dirty slut as a result of his dwelling on my past, and it manifested that way). I am frankly surprised I didn't dump him as a result of that, but then I was quite young then. If a man did that to me today, he'd be out the door the next day.


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