When your spouse is not your "first"


#1

Hello.
This is a personal and touchy subject, but I hope to get a little therapy by gleaning points of view, and hopefully keep some younger folks from learning a painful lesson.

The subject is “marrying a non virgin”.
I’ve been married for 25 years. My wife and myself both lost our virginity before we met.
Problem; I was told years ago that as a marriage matures, you have the memories of your early love, (assuming that is of your spouse), to see you by.

Unfortuneately, I’m finding that there is a lot of truth to that statement.
How powerful is that first time? You can’t forget it. You bring it with you when you are married, now matter how much you love your spouse. Willfully or un-willfully, it is always there. You are married to your spouse until death, but you are connected to your “first” forever. It cannot be undone.

I would like some candid views of married people on the subject, especially the women.
Thanks, art


#2

So true! I do think about my first from time to time. I don’t bring it up to my husband, just as I would hope he wouldn’t bring his up to me.

Mostly I think about how my ideas toward sex have changed. How much happier I am now and how I wish I knew then what I know now.

I look back on it with a mixture of humor and embarrasment. But I keep the details to myself.


#3

My husband and I were both non-virgins when we met. We have been married for almost 8 years. I often think about my first time and compare it to what I have with my husband. There is absolutely no comparison. I thought it was “special” at the time but in hindsight it was completely devoid of meaning and enjoyment. At the time, I was pretty swept up in the moment and thought it was great. I had no idea what great was until I married my husband. It is difficult for me to express the difference between sex outside of marriage versus sex within a sacramental marriage. When you are married, sex is so much more than just a physical act. It is the uniting of souls. I look back on my first time with regret more than anything else.

I wish I could have given that to my husband instead of someone else. The sad thing is that I really loved the guy that I lost my virginity to and I thought that we were going to get married and grow old together. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose something that you can never get back. For all of those that think it is ok to “do it” because you think you are going to get married anyway, you are sadly mistaken. There are no guarantees until you walk down that isle and say “I do”. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely wait.


#4

IF and when I indulge in memories of the past it serves only to confirm how lucky, blessed, protected by my guardian angel, etc. I was to have been led to marry my husband.

I am a little confused by all the threads/posts by those who regurgitate, ponder, discuss and remain pained by their past relationships. They are what they are–a part of the past. Do I spend energy wracked with guilt or regret? No. They are the events and experiences that led me to my husband and had a part to play in making me the person I am today. I frankly don’t regret the insight they provided–knowing that as a young adult I was headstrong and probably needed to learn my lessons first hand and would not have been satisfied with hearing someone else’s conclusions about the wisdom, or lack thereof, in undertaking intense pre-marital relationships. I also don’t waste any energy pondering my husband’s romantic life prior to me or the current state of his fantasy life. The fact is–no matter how many relationships your spouse may have had before you–he/she picked you to spend the rest of their life with. I can’t imagine a bigger waste of time than undermining that decision with worries over long-dead relationships.


#5

I think what you are saying that even though you try not to, the memories are still there. It is easy for some people to hide their feelings, but I think you are being very honest and open. Not to say that you fantisize about your first, but it is still there. First, have you confessed this past sin? If not, then do. If you still have those feelings realize it is the devil using your past sins to disrupt your holy union with your wife. Ask Jesus to answer the door when the devil knocks!!


#6

[quote=Rebecca New]I think what you are saying that even though you try not to, the memories are still there. It is easy for some people to hide their feelings, but I think you are being very honest and open. Not to say that you fantisize about your first, but it is still there. First, have you confessed this past sin? If not, then do. If you still have those feelings realize it is the devil using your past sins to disrupt your holy union with your wife. Ask Jesus to answer the door when the devil knocks!!
[/quote]

Not so much me, as my wife. I know because she has told me.
She would hear an old song and have a pleasent look on her face, see a certain model of car with “nostalgia”,etc. Come to find out, those things reminded her of intimate times with her old boy friends.
When reminders pass before me, I just put it back in the drawer, so to speak. I don’t sit there, in the company of my wife and reminisce.
art


#7

This is something that I was concerned about when my DH (boyfriend at the time) told me about having been with others. I was worried that his experiences with others would overshadow our experiences together…especially because I was still a virgin. But what we have noticed is that what we have together far overshadows his past experiences. Honestly, I don’t think he even thinks about it anymore…and I know that I don’t worry about it anymore…

My husband is not known for being a super senstitve poetic type, but one time when I talked to him about my concerns he said something along the lines of, knowing that what we had was more special and wonderful than anything he’d experienced before because we loved each other and that when he had looked back on prior experiences they were nothing compared to our experiences together because of the love we share.

I don’t know if that’s helpful at all, or if it even makes sense, but that’s how my brain is processing it today…

Jamie


#8

White, Barry - My first, my last, my everything

♫♫

He ( my husband ) is my first, my last my everything.

♫♫

I can only imagine how a first love…unwed and parted would haunt me.


#9

[quote=ConcernCatholic]My husband and I were both non-virgins when we met. We have been married for almost 8 years. I often think about my first time and compare it to what I have with my husband. There is absolutely no comparison. I thought it was “special” at the time but in hindsight it was completely devoid of meaning and enjoyment. At the time, I was pretty swept up in the moment and thought it was great. I had no idea what great was until I married my husband. It is difficult for me to express the difference between sex outside of marriage versus sex within a sacramental marriage. When you are married, sex is so much more than just a physical act. It is the uniting of souls.** I look back on my first time with regret more than anything else. **

I wish I could have given that to my husband instead of someone else. The sad thing is that I really loved the guy that I lost my virginity to and I thought that we were going to get married and grow old together. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose something that you can never get back. For all of those that think it is ok to “do it” because you think you are going to get married anyway, you are sadly mistaken. There are no guarantees until you walk down that isle and say “I do”.** If I had it to do over again, I would definitely wait**.
[/quote]

**Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth! Especially the parts I highlighted. I never look back on those times with fond memories or longing…just regret and shame. **


#10

Here’s a question:
Can you have a first love who you never slept with?

I believe my “first true love” was a guy who I never slept with. Boy did I love him though!!


#11

I guess I have been somewhat fortunate in this regard. My husband was not my first. But we met when I was 18. I had several partners before then, but since I was a teenager . . . well, as I’ve grown it’s been fairly easy to rid myself of most of the garbage that I did in those days. I actually find myself more bothered by the differences between our sex life now and what it was before we were married (neither of us was involved in any church at that point). We dated long distance and married right after graduating, so our sex life was about every other weekend and insane summers that we spent together (nothing near what our marriage is like, especially now that there is a child in the picture). We had so much more time and energy to be “creative” and passionate. That’s where my daydreaming gets me, I guess. But I suppose we all struggle with these things.


#12

The Huz wasn’t my first (or second or third…); I wasn’t his. It’s never been an issue.

Have I been faithful to him? Absolutely. Do I still think about my previous lovers? Yes, I certainly do. I look back on them (as well as other old friends whom I did not sleep with) with a mixture of fondness and exasperation. They were sweet and gentle and good, and the memories are all good.

I loved my first guy, and he loved me. I haven’t heard from him in (counts on fingers, removes shoes…) a long time, but I still think of him fondly, and I hope he does the same for me.
I have been very, very lucky in my lovers and my friends, but never luckier than when I hooked the Huz.


#13

Ugh! Can’t relate to these feelings at all. No, I wasn’t a virgin when I married. And I’m on my second marriage. So I had a first-wife, pre-marital “relations”, and between-marriage “relations”. Then I married a wonderful woman PROPERLY in the Catholic Church, and experienced the sacred and Christ-filled Sacrament of Matrimony. I believe in that, and I trust in that…and the reality of that makes what I have now something truly special and meaningful and substantial. What I have now has a depth to it that everything I had before never even came close to. No, I didn’t have one-night-stands in previous “relations”. I truly believed at the time I was in love with those people. I now know, by comparison with what God has now given me, that these were only cardboard-cutouts, ie. poor impressions of what God-given love is. To those married couples who reminisce over schoolyard crushes and backseat fumblings, I think if you take off the rose-coloured glasses you’ll see the same. If not, then pray to God that He helps you to see the full wonders of the gift He gave you in Matrimony.


#14

I have to somewhat agree with Penny Plain–I think about the past sometimes fondly–sometimes not as fondly–but do not fantasize about it! I also don’t regret what has taken place. What happened happened–


#15

I’m happily married for 20+ years and hardly ever think about what’s past.

If you’re happy, why would you?


#16

I totally agree with this posting. I don’t spend time thinking of my “first”… partly because it was so horrible that I do everything I can to NOT remember it. I do wonder had that one incident not happened, would my life be different due to the fall out of that incident. However, 10 years later, I learned to finally forgive myself and move on. My husband knew of my past before we got serious enough for marriage. And he didn’t dwell on it and he proposed to me, not my past.

So through the grace of the holy spirit is what will help to get through difficult times in a marriage. Pray, pray and pray some more when thoughts of your past come up and you think you’re either dwelling or even fantasizing about it.


#17

My husband had a past and I did not. Let me tell you that it STILL hurts and haunts me after 20+ years of marriage! :frowning:
When one spouse brings “experience” into the relationship and marriage and the other spouse has none - that “experience” is ALWAYS somehow there. In the background or faint whispers - but it’s there.
I was robbed of what should have been rightfully MINE.
To give - and to have received.

Someone else shared with him that first “wonder” and excitment and even awkwardness of sexual union.
I had to experience that ALONE - even if it was with my husband who loved me immeasurably and does to this day - and I him.

It’s something that can never be “undone” or taken back.

If only young people KNEW the full ramifications of pre-marital sex.


#18

this is an interesting post. for me, there was only one before my husband. I did not love him, he did not love me. I had an odd obsession with him and did what I did to prove to myself that I was like all the other people out there and could sleep with someone and not get attached. (yeah…whatever!) It was heardwrenching when I was replaced several months later. my husband and I got together a couple of months after that and we didn’t do the right thing for the first copule months of our relationship. I was trying to get close to God at this time and so was he, and we made a mutual decision to stop sleeping together. it was so hard because neither one of us really knew how to behave properly and there were a feiw slip ups. I can remember my obsession being a fear of pregnancy and needing “protection”. when I leanred the truth about all that from Christopher West and Kimberly Hahn, I was so releaved. and when we married and I shared my body with him in the proper way, it was like the first time. it was open and free. no wories about anyone finding out, didn’t care if I got pregnant. it was so free and beautiful. I cried afterwords. when I look back on my first time, it makes me sick to my stomach. I thank God for confession because I don’t feel so dirty with it anymore.

about the naustalgia thing though. there are two guys who I really cared about in high school and college. if I smell their calogn or hear “our song” I get a littl naustalgic. it’s not about the physical part of our relationship (I was a vergin, but was not doing what Mary would do if you know what I’m saying) but I would think about a school dance or a special date or something funny he said. it would be nothing more than a fond memory though. no pangs of missing him or wishing he was still in my life. it just makes me smile and appriciate the good parts of a relationship I had. I’m sure that’s all your wife is doing as well. your discription of her in your second post sounds like stuff that I do. it makes my hubby jealous sometimes, but he know’s who I’m comming home to every night. He also knows that while a thought about a past love might float into my head once in a while, thoughts of him are in my head almost as much as thoughts about God. He’s number one and the only number for that matter. I"m sure it’s the same with you and your wife.


#19

I am going to jump in also on this one,

first thing i will say is what is in the past is in the past,
some of you esspecially women usually dont have a very fond memory of thier first time, and its a shame.

I can say with all honesty that if going back in a time machine,But still knowing what i know today would i change anything, and I have to honestly answer NO I wouldnt.everything we do in our lives good or bad contribute to whom we are, Like stepping stones, getting us prepared for what God has in store for us,I have made many mistakes and bad decisions in my life,and most I wouldnt change at all, simply because I would be afraid somehow it would change who i am becoming.
Who I am becoming is a person who will still do stupid things now and then, make bad decisions, and mistakes as well,but a wiser one.and one with Faith.
do i feel my fiance has cheated me out of anything? NO not at all
I totally feel God Put us together,I live 270+ miles from where i grew up, so does my fiance,we met on the internet where we currently live,she grew up 4 streets from me, and her brother used to hang out with my Brother.yet we didnt know each other existed until we met on the internet.there is much more to the story for both of us, but this in itself is what proved God did indeed exist to me and turned my life around.
I feel that had we done anything differently and not made mistakes we made,etc we still wouldnt have met,everything that happened in my life previous was prepareing me for her, she also feels the same way about me.
may sound stupid but I truely believe we are destined for certain things,and until certain other things are completed what we were destined for wont happen…

So I take full responsibility for my shortcomings,wont dwell on them except to thank God for letting me make them so i could become a better person, and instead of wishing things could be different, be thankful and happy that they did.
remember we have to forgive ourselves if we expect to be forgiven
by our creator.

so yes I look back on my past once in a while with a great big ole smile. I do admit sometimes i wonder on some things how i could be so stupid, but I also wonder when and where i grew my dads finger,
or one of his favorite sayings " when i was your age" YIKES

anyways peace to all

you have a short time in this wonderful world, dont dwell on things you cannot change,instead look at how its formed you into the person you are…

what would you be without all those mistakes?
or should I say Where would you be?

God Bless

      John

#20

Thanks for all the responses. Interesting posts so far.

I guess what it all boils down to, (for me), is the little part in the vows that mentions “forsaking all others”. Innocent nostalgia aside, I think if you and your spouse are properly married, meaning right for each other, you don’t need those old memories and if you indulge in them, then there is something very wrong some were.

"…I was robbed of what should have been rightfully MINE.
To give - and to have received.

Someone else shared with him that first “wonder” and excitment and even awkwardness of sexual union…"

We seem to be “hard wired”, if I can borrow a modern catch phrase, both men and women, to be deeply united/bonded, with your “first”. This is a good thing in the proper context/manner.
As I mentioned earlier, this helps couples, (if each other is the first), through the doldrums, or hard times in a marriage. Especially in the later years when the fire, (eros) dies down. With a couple who have had others, the temptation is to look back at the “greener grass” in lulls. Not a good thing. I think you are robbing your spouse what is rightly is theirs. Also it can be a hindrance to fixing any problems between spouses. In other words, why work on the problem when I can wallow in in my past where I had so much fun?

“If only young people KNEW the full ramifications of pre-marital sex.”

I’m hoping younger folks contemplating life choices will read this thread. It was not enough for adults to say to me when I was young, “pre marital sex is sinful. Yada, yada”. It’s an act that can , and probably will, significantly effect the rest of your life.


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