I have been dating a wonderful Catholic woman for some time now, and we love each other deeply. I have been very seriously pondering the possibility of requesting her hand in marriage. We are both in our 30’s and are marriage minded at this point in our lives. She is a beautiful person both inside and out, and I have many good reasons to believe that she would be a wonderful Mother and Wife. We enjoy one another immensely and I know that she has had similar thoughts of marriage as well.
I have one nagging problem that I cannot seem to get off of my mind, and it is frankly the only thing that has kept me from “popping the question”. The problem is that she has a rather prolific sexual history. I don’t mean that she is just not a virgin, I mean that she has slept with a lot of men. Most of this occurred at a time in her life when she was not active in the Church, but she has had sexual relationships with men since becoming Catholic as well. She has sought forgiveness for these acts through Confession and seems to be sorry for her previous behavior. On the other hand, she is also stil friends with some of these previous sex partners. I just cannot seem to get past her long sexual history…it bothers me. She has not been exceptionally forthcoming with me about a lot of this, but over the course of our relationship it has become quite obvious that she has quite a past.
Please don’t get me wrong, I realize that we all make mistakes (myself very much included). I also do not necessarily think it is realistic to expect my wife to be a virgin. I would be hypocritical to hold my wife (or future wife) to a higher standard than I have behaved myself. At the same time, my own personal ideal would be to have a wife that did not have such an extensive sexual history. It is hurtful to me when I think about the sexual relationships she has had in the past. On several occassions we have found ourselves in situations where we around a former partner of hers, and it is very difficult for me to deal with. It is just driving me crazy because I love her so much, yet this hurts me as well.
I would very much like some Catholic/Christian feedback on this issue. Am I making too much over nothing? Should I let the past stay in the past and just “get over it”? Should I simply attempt to forgive her as Christ has forgiven her? Or would I be better off moving on and waiting for a woman that fits my “criteria”? Other than this issue she is a wonderful person…What should I do? What would be the Catholic Church’s position on this issue?
Thanks in advance for your help and God Bless!