Problem with reconciling past relationships


hey everyone, im posting on the board for the first time for the sole purpose of asking you all this question…im really lost

ive abstained from sex all my life, in order to save it for marriage…ive always wanted to have a big catholic family and a wife who i can love completely

recently i met the perfect woman who i think i have fallen in love with…shes compassionate, smart, beautiful, and Catholic.

however, i have found out (from her) that in her past relationships she has had sex numerous times witha few different people.

i am completely crushed…i dont want to judge her because i am hardly perfect but i feel betrayed…i feel like if we ever got married i wouldnt be able to think aboutanything during sex but her other partners

she says she wishes she had never had sex and that she wants to start over, but other than that doesnt seem overly concerned.

i dont know what to do. my questions are

  1. how do i get over it?
  2. how do i get her to understand how much it hurts me?
  3. how do i have a healthy marriage/sex life once we are past this (e.g. confession etc.)

thanks so much for your help. i dont know if this is the way things are usually done but like i said, im really, really hurting right now.


I don’t understand you. She has confessed her sins to you and is sorry and wants to change and commit herself to you (in marriage) and you don’t know if that would be acceptable.

Where would you be if God took such an attitude when you go to Confession. Wake up! Start praying that God forgives you for your unforgiving attitude to this repentent woman.


In response to #2:Why do you think she doesn’t know this hurts you?

You say she doesn’t seem overly concerned. If she’s been to confession she’s been absolved and hopefully she’s healed from this. If she hasn’t been to confession yet OR she hasn’t realized how this has affected her, first invite her to go confession (and not (just) for her past-most of us benefit from regular confession) and then leave it alone.

As far as #3- getting ahold of Theology of the Body materials may help you understand where she’s coming from and see the big picture. Saving oneself for marriage isn’t about you; it’s about God and what he made us for. She didn’t do this to you, she did it to herself and to God.

You may have abstained from sex but continence alone is not a virtue.

And for 1 & 3 -
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous,
(love) is not pompous, it is not boastful, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.



There is a sex problem here, but its yours. To have a healthy marrage you need to get pastoral help. By virtue of your feelings, I dont think you are ready to get married yet.

Get over it. That’s how you get over it. I don’t mean to get down on you for any reason whatsoever.

How do you tell her how much it hurts you? You don’t tell her. That’s your problem. not hers. Why would you dump it in her lap? She has turned for her sin. Its your job to turn from your own sin, and leave her alone to make her own piece. You are lucky to find a Catholic girl.

Mind your business and get help from your pastor.

You have found a Catholic girl. Dont blow it.


If the shoe were on the other foot, would you want to be dumped for your PAST indiscretions??



I think the problem here is, would he think that she’s comparing him to one of her past lovers? What if she had gotten something like genital worts or, worse yet, HIV from one of them?

Sure, it’s one thing to forgive past relationships, but sometimes it takes an extra effort to get past that. For example, before I married my ex, I, unfortunately, had one relationship that turned sexual. When my ex and I were still dating, he had asked me about prior relationships, and I told him the truth. He later tried to hold that over my head. At the same tim, he hadn’t been honest about his prior relationships.

If a person has trouble getting over another’s past relationship, maybe it’s time to take another looke at the current one.


Don’t let ANYBODY tell you that your feelings aren’t justified and don’t let anybody tell you that you need psychological help. Your feelings are perfectly natural. This pain you feel is a result of sexual sins you both have committed in the past. You may be a virgin, but certainly you have sinned, like everyone else in some other sexual way. Sin never goes unpunished. No sir, you are not crazy!

Consider this pain as a heavy cross to carry as an act of love in reparation for not only her sins but for yours as well as the sins of the world. Offer that pain to God as penance and you will receive much grace from God! Carrying these crosses is a privilege and a blessing. Acknowledge your pain and realize that it will fade as time goes by. Offer your pain as a sacrifice to God and consider yourself blessed to have met a Catholic girl who seems to be a good match for you.

Here is the key: Forgive her in your heart everytime you have a thought about her sins just as God forgives you for your transgressions.

God offers the gift of intimacy and in many cases we don’t know how to handle that gift. Your girl was not seeking to hurt you. She didn’t even know you existed yet. She, like you just wanted to be loved and fell short of God’s direction. Now you are in her life and here’s YOUR chance to give her the true love, she was seeking in the way GOD intended. You are a true blessing to her. The gift may have been dropped, but it is not broken! :thumbsup:

It sounds like you have found a good girl to spend the rest of your life with. The main question is this: Can you trust now? If you can, then you get on your knees and thank God every day for sending her into your life and you two will have a beautiful life together. I wish you peace and happiness:)


[quote=tloc] ive abstained from sex all my life, in order to save it for marriage…recently i met the perfect woman … however, i have found out (from her) that in her past relationships she has had sex numerous times with a few different people … i feel like if we ever got married i wouldnt be able to think about anything during sex but her other partners. I dont know what to do.

1. how do i get over it?

First, maybe it would be better would be to say “how do I come to terms with it.”

It might help if you were able to were to consider that:
*]it isn’t the woman you now know and love who had those past sexual relationships
*]she did not betray you - she didn’t know you then
*]knowing your views on premartial sex and how you feel about it she was honest with you - that cannot have been easy
2. how do i get her to understand how much it hurts me?

I suspect she probably knows much you feel hurt by her admission. It is likely your behaviour to her has changed.

Also keep in mind that the more we think about something the larger it looms. If you cannot put what her earlier self did behind you, then does the relationship have a future? How would you feel if she now did something that was unwise, unworthy of her? How do you think she would act if the boot was on the other foot and you were telling her about ways you have let yourself down?

3. how do i have a healthy marriage/sex life once we are past this

Openness and honesty with each other. Not bringing up the past - things are so easy to say but so difficult to do.

You may find it useful to talk with a priest or a counsellor about dealing with this situation and your hurt. Remember its not what you feel that is right or wrong but how you deal with it.


Welcome to the forum.

This can be a very blunt place, though you have posted quite the problem so buckle in - you may not like the answers you will get, but it’s the nature of the forum.

You have done well in living a chaste life. That is commendable. Your girlfriend has not, but has confessed and moved on free now from that sin.

I am betting, because you are human, there are other transgressions you have made and she has not. There are other areas that you struggle and she does not. Some of them may be equally serious - who is to say.

God is merciful, so should you be. If you really think this woman is God’s will for you, then you either decide to be merciful and let her be or you let her go and seek out someone that is a better fit for you.

BUT if you decide that you are going to have mercy on her, then you also cannot keep bringing her past sins into discussion. How they hurt you…how they impact you…this is not about YOU if you decide to have mercy on her and stay with her.
She does not need to have it ground into her head how much it hurts you because there is nothing she can do to change this.

Also, she does not need your forgiveness. She has not sinned against you. She has sinned against herself and against God.

You decide. You have the gift of grace and love. How will you use it? Set her free or love her, but the issues are yours to deal with in God’s grace.


I don’t see how you can feel hurt by something committed before she even knew you. You are taking HER sexual relationships personally. That’s kinda weird.

You would only think of her other partners during sex? Well, that’s on you. That’s not her fault.

You are jealous and judgmental. Get over it. Pray that you see this woman as God sees her.


:coffeeread: Judging from your extreme concern over this, I would question if this is really the girl for you.

While I can understand that you would love to have had someone lily white, the reality of it is, in this day and age you’d have a really tough time finding this kind of perfection in anyone.

It sounds to me from your very serious concern here, that maybe you’d better give this relationship lots of thought before proceeding. True love should conquer all, but it doesn’t seem to be the case here since this problem seems to be at the forefront.

If you don’t completely come to terms with this, plus put it completely out of your mind, I can’t see how this relationship can ever work out.

As to any possible diseases that could be present due to her past relationships, that’s easy enough to determine by her simply going to get checked by a physician.

Either way, I ask God to guide you in one of the most serious decisions of your life and I’m praying that you will be able to put this behind you and move forward into what seems like a wonderful relationship. This girl doesn’t deserve to be punished for the rest of her life for past indescretions. If this will be the case, then you would do her an injustice by marrying her.

May God bless you and help you sort this problem out and put you on the correct path for your future.



I must also add this to my previous post:

You are right. Women often do not understand a man’s feelings regarding this. Jealousy gets a bad rap these days. Jealousy must be kept in check, but is often a warning sign that something is wrong. Women experience jealousy differently than we do.

ALso, do not keep bringing this up to her. If you do, it will only poison your relationship. Out of all the available men in this world, she chooses to be with you. :slight_smile:

You have got to realize that finding a virgin to marry who would be compatible for you might be nearly impossible these days. As wrong as it was, the fact that she has had these experiences might also keep her from wondering what “others” might be like and thus help keep her from temptation to stray … five… ten… twenty years into your marriage!

FORGET secular councelling… It is usually nothing but garbage that will either pollute your mind or convince you to compromise your values.

Developing a healthy prayer life and forgive her as Christ forgives you. :thumbsup:


That is a fabulous point.


This poor guy is hurting and you come on here and give him a beat down for expressing feelings that are perfectly justified? You obviously fail to see that there are consequences for sin. Typical liberal 1960s pop psychology tripe!


“Forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us…”

You need to forgive her. Others may disagree saying, “what did she do to YOU? All of this happened prior to her meeting you.” I say you have every right to feel betrayed - presuming you became her husband, she gave away what was rightfully yours and yours alone. How sad for both of you.

But, what’s done is done and there isn’t a thing either of you can do about it now. If you love this woman, you’ll have to let it go. Forgive her as God has and move on. If you don’t think you can do that, by all means, for her sake - let her go to find someone who is able to love her despite her previous sins.


Excellent post! We all can learn from your words… :slight_smile: However, past sexual sins by a single person wounds the future marriage and spouse thereof. His pain is justified and is a cross that he must carry in reparation for HIS sins and the sins of the world. We all carry these crosses in imitation of Christ. :thumbsup:


See, it does not have to would the future marriage. Him dwelling and not accepting her confession is what is going to hurt the marriage.

We cannot live in regret. We cannot change the past. We can only accept and deal, or find circumstance that favor what we can live with. That is the part of love that will come into play here.

He really needs to chose to put it in the past, where God has put it or let her go.


Of all the things I have been accused of, being a sandelista is one of the funniest!

Nope, I am conservative. There are absolutely consequences of sin, both eternal and temporal. But, my sin is my sin and your sin is your sin. There are consequences along the seams, where we relate to each other, but, you can not forgive my sins nor I yours. Only God forgives sins.

My point, put rather bluntly, was that the Original Poster was jealous of past lovers and hurt that his pledge of virginity wasn’t also held by this woman.

He feels he has been cheated by not receiving her gift of virginity.

So, in this case, the consequence of her sin is that someone believes she is not worthy of him?

That is all on him.


“with stones in hand, asked Jesus what He says about the Law. After Jesus tried to ignore their repeated questioning, He told them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” One by one each man dropped his stone and walked away”.

The Book of John


You said it well how do “I” get over it. First do not proceed until you get over it. Second you need to evolve past this feeling of inadequacy which is really a likely core issue. If you have inadequacy issues outside this issue you may be years away from any marriage. Please look at the next issue

  1. how do i get her to understand how much it hurts me?

She will never understand your hurt. It is likely she sees these people (other mean) as people who used her unfairly. She probably intended much more than happened in each incident.

  1. how do i have a healthy marriage/sex life once we are past this (e.g. confession etc.)

When you come to see her as someone who was used then you and her share something, which is probably the key to moving forward?.

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