What if your spouse had a sexual partner before marriage?


jjsmith99
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OK, this may be selfish, but as our children have grown up and we have had the why stay morally clean talks I have regressed to be really upset, hurt by my spouses sexual activity before our marriage and before I knew her. Yes, she told me. Yes I believe she repented. It hurt up front (I was able to abstain before marriage) but I didn't want to judge or be one of those shallow people who would break up because of past sins. I do love her. It just constantly hurts. Now every time I read a General Conf talk on being chaste I feel a sting and a pain. We have briefly discussed it but you can imagine this is a difficult, painful, akward talk. I don't want to judge but can't help my feelings. I don't want to relive it either. Conflicted. I realize the repentence process can make you clean, I'm struggling with the seeming unfairness of someone who abstains vs someone who didn't. Maybe I should not have proceeded with the engagement and marriage. I wish I would have known how hurtful this would be over the years.

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Guest mormonmusic

First off, I can partly understand your pain with this. I too managed to get the altar after abstaining, and so did my wife. But it would've bothered me if she'd had experience. It was one thing that I knew would bother me; fortunately, all th girls I dated were free of sex experience.

However, as she's repented, you have to forgive her for what she did. The atonement is real, and you need to avail yourself of the peace that comes from knowing she's been forgiven. In case you've mentioned your hurt to her, I think you need spare her of the pain it will cause her -- as she has in fact repented, and the Lord has forgotten her sin -- so should you.

I think one thing that would help you is thought-control. The ability to control one's thoughts is critical to happiness in this life. When you read a conference talk about sexual purity, the ability to direct your thoughts away from hurt and the past behavior of your wife will help you stay at peace.

I've recommended this in other forums, but I've made use of a "script" to help me control my own thoughts. I read it over when things disturb me or I start dwelling on things that disturb my peace -- in your case, your wife's sexual behavior before marriage.

It might go something like this:

1. I should be thankful I have a wife who is faithful to me. That's what matters -- her character now, not her character of the past.

2. I have to forgive her, or God will not forgive my own mistakes.

3. God has forgotten about this - so if God has forgotten it, so should I.

4. I could've married someone else, but there lies an uncertain path -- that could've led to even more hurt than I'm overcoming now.

5. [keep on writing, add more reasons]

Pull out the script when you have trouble controlling your thoughts or feel hurt by this. Read it over until you eject the thought from your mind, or feel at peace again. Make sure the script is full of ideas that resonate with you, and which help you feel at peace.

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I personally value chastity for this reason - however to hold something over someone that you knew about at the time of your marriage, that she had repented of, your sin is just as bad its the one of unforgiveness, she has moved on from hers, you haven't from yours - not sure what to say but I find it sad that you do not truly love your wife and for me what you are doing is worse as its a form of adultery you are allowing the other party into your marriage.

Forgiveness is only a prayer away and you have a lot of repenting to do you are not being a good priesthood holder and head of the home, in many ways what you are doing is abusive and unkind. She has done hers, maybe you need to go to your Bishop with it.

Something President Hinckley's father said to him comes to mind, 'forget yourself and go to work' - start loving your wife and do what you can to make up for the destruction you are causing in your marriage, remember what you love about her = and start being faithful to her instead of allowing another man into your marriage - because what you are doing now is self pity you need to forget yourself and work for your spouse no marriage is sucessful without that

-Charley

Edited by Elgama
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If she has repented, it's no longer her problem. If this still bothers you, then perhaps the problem is that you haven't forgiven her. If God has forgiven her, why can't you?

possibly a nicer way of saying what I wanted to say not sure if my above post is too much but if my husband was behaving that way I'd have kicked him out the door until he had repented because I am blooming sure I would not want him holding something I did before I knew him in mortality for the whole of eternity after all can you imagine being tortured by this youself for eternity? let alone someone else doing it to you which you can do nothing about?

-Charley

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I'm struggling with the seeming unfairness of someone who abstains vs someone who didn't.

That is a common thought for people about a bunch of different sins. However the thing is people tend to look at it as:

They got to have the 'fun' of sining and now they are clean, it's not fair!

They overlook the pain that accompanies sin. To put it into perspective it is like lamenting that you didn't get a cold, I mean they had all the fun of having a cold and now they are healthy, it just isn't fair! If we are looking at the sin they got to 'enjoy' (a fairly common sentiment) I think it says a lot about our (generic) state of mind about the commandments. A bunch of rules keeping us from having fun as opposed to guides for avoiding pain.

But yes it is unfair. Of course do you really want fair? Just remember if things were really fair Jesus would have told you to handle your own sins and go rot. It isn't fair that you can repent for your sins, that anyone can, that the Savior can pay for them. Quite frankly I thank the Lord that things aren't fair, damnation doesn't appeal to me.

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It sounds as if whatever problem there is concerning this matter is completely owned by you. The problem here is yours and you own it. If you weren't completely perfect and never, ever did anything wrong, you might have more of a case to be upset. Since you haven't been translated, I assume you too are not perfect. Holding on to this and allowing it to control your thoughts and life just isn't healthy. Perhaps it is time for you two to go to some marriage counceling or person counceling so that you can figure out why you are so obbsessed with this. FC

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My wife knew of my past mistakes before we were married in the temple. She also knew of my repentance. I thought all was well and good until one night she said, “I’m so glad I waited for you”. Something didn’t feel right. The tone of her voice, her speech pattern told me there was a “but” that would follow. Then she said, “I wish I could have been your first and only”. She will never know how much that tore my heart.

I had been a fool and made more than my share of mistakes. I am so ashamed of how I wasted years of my life. Over the past 25 plus years I have tried to make up to her and my children for things I did before I ever knew any of them. I have tried to be the best husband, father, worthy priesthood holder since my repentance which was before I met my wife.

I still feel the sting of her words from that night. My mistakes were made before I met her and as I have said, I am so ashamed of what I did. I kept no secret from her. Why would you want the one you love, who has given herself to you and only you for so long, feel this sting? When you love someone more than yourself you will never think of her mistakes again.

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OK, this may be selfish, but as our children have grown up and we have had the why stay morally clean talks I have regressed to be really upset, hurt by my spouses sexual activity before our marriage and before I knew her. Yes, she told me. Yes I believe she repented. It hurt up front (I was able to abstain before marriage) but I didn't want to judge or be one of those shallow people who would break up because of past sins. I do love her. It just constantly hurts. Now every time I read a General Conf talk on being chaste I feel a sting and a pain. We have briefly discussed it but you can imagine this is a difficult, painful, akward talk. I don't want to judge but can't help my feelings. I don't want to relive it either. Conflicted. I realize the repentence process can make you clean, I'm struggling with the seeming unfairness of someone who abstains vs someone who didn't. Maybe I should not have proceeded with the engagement and marriage. I wish I would have known how hurtful this would be over the years.

Was she baptized prior to your marriage or after your marriage? Are you templed endowed? Either of these is yes, what is the past is the past. Didn’t the Lord’s atonement cover any gross sins and are forgiven for the repentant? Now, if you feel you should investigate her past, perhaps the Lord should look upon any of your own sins and place them before your beloved companion…have faith in the atonement. Don’t be led away by the devil or his thugs. Do not pay heed to them or listen to them.

I want you to remember about a woman who was possessed by seven devils. Being filled with these seven devils, she may have committed many gross sins that shouldn't be listed in any book. It was the Lord that found compassion on this woman and saw her beauty within and casted out the devils. She was also forgiven of her sins that may not be in her control but never-or-less, the Lord loved her. Not only as a sister but as a close friend He may have confided in. She was Mary Magdalene.

Be of good cheer and make your marriage a pinnacle for others to emulate. :D

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I do know what this is like. My husband had a sexual partner before we were married. It was during a time where we had broken up for the summer to see how we felt at the end of it. During that summer we still communicated, but we just dated other people. He had been dating a girl and ended up having sex with her. I still remember the night he called me and told me about it. It was devastating. And yet I still wanted to be with him. He repented of it and was forgiven for it, but it took me much longer to forgive him for it. It was difficult to let go of the hurt and pain that came from that choice of his, however eventually I did.

I would suggest trying to let go of your pain, and trying to focus on the good things in your marriage. And if you have difficulty letting go then take it to the Lord. Ask him to help take away your feelings about this. Forgive your wife for her past mistakes, the Lord has and you should too. Use it as a learning experience, something that you probably will not share with your children but something where you can testify to them of the pain and sorrow that comes when we break the law of chastity. It is difficult to let it go, I know this, but letting it go is the only way you will be able to keep your marriage strong.

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OK, this may be selfish, but as our children have grown up and we have had the why stay morally clean talks I have regressed to be really upset, hurt by my spouses sexual activity before our marriage and before I knew her. Yes, she told me. Yes I believe she repented. It hurt up front (I was able to abstain before marriage) but I didn't want to judge or be one of those shallow people who would break up because of past sins. I do love her. It just constantly hurts. Now every time I read a General Conf talk on being chaste I feel a sting and a pain. We have briefly discussed it but you can imagine this is a difficult, painful, akward talk. I don't want to judge but can't help my feelings. I don't want to relive it either. Conflicted. I realize the repentence process can make you clean, I'm struggling with the seeming unfairness of someone who abstains vs someone who didn't. Maybe I should not have proceeded with the engagement and marriage. I wish I would have known how hurtful this would be over the years.

You don't want to judge....but you are!

You didn't want to be that guy that couldn't forgive past transgressions.....yet that is exactly the guy you are now.

You don't want to relive it ......but you do obsessively and sanctimoniously.

Why are you doing all this? What great purpose does it serve to stay in this thought pattern? I mean your wife is the best sort of evidence that the Atonement is real and the miracle sits testifying to you everyday but you refuse to see. Why is that? Are you blind? Or are you saying the Atonement really doesn't work?

Sorry, but you are the problem. YOU are the one who is continuing the torment year after year.

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My wife was previously married, and she was not a member until July of this year (Woo Hoo). I had NO problem with her prior expirence, and on top of it I have the blessing (somedays) of 3 stepchildren. Had she not had her expirence, I would not have my step kids.

That said, If she has repented, then it is an issue you need to address with yourself. If you feel pain or hurt, then you need to look to the scriptures. See Ether 12:27

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I am not suggesting that you have not prayed or sought Heavenly Father's help in this, but I do know that if He can forgive, then you can as well.

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What did you do to show your wife yesterday that you love her? Or what did you do to show her that you appreciate all that she does? What did you do today? What will you do tomorrow?

Perhaps you could write her a love note and leave it where she could find it unexpectedly. Perhaps put it in the freezer or on her pillow. Write a list of the things that you love about her and give it to her and put a copy of it in your wallet. Give her some of her favorite candy to show her how sweet she really is or use it to express how sweet you are on her. Perhaps you could buy her just one of her favorite flowers and surprise her with it when you walk in the door. It doesn't need to be expensive. Just something loving, caring or tender from your heart would do just perfectly fine.

I think the more you focus on how much you love this wonderful daughter of the most loving and caring Heavenly Father will help you grow and become a better husband, father, friend, lover and person. It is easier to focus on you and the thoughts that run through your head. It takes work and courage to change, to improve yourself as well as your marriage. The more you love her and the more you show her that she is indeed a valuable, wonderful and amazing woman, the more you will forget what bothers you.

Focus on what is truly important here. Your wife, your marriage, your family and finally then yourself. The more you will do for another human being, the less you will focus on what bothers you in your own life. Let us know how you are doing. You are important too.

If you can't forget and forgive, then please, seek qualified emotional help for what you can't let go of. What you are holding onto is a dangerous posion you are sipping from frequently and it only harms while doing you no good.

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I don't think the people that haven't been in the situation before really know what they're saying or just how hard this is.

Hence why I love WMLee's post. This kind of thing is heartbreaking, and it tends to keep the heart broken for decades afterwards. We can say "it's YOU" as much as we want, but if you haven't been in that situation, I don't feel like you can understand.

Chastity is a big thing with the Lord. So obviously, it would be a big thing with the spouse. An enormous thing. You cannot help but feel the complete injustice when you find out your partner lost their virginity before they met you or before you got together while YOU stayed faithful. One ponders in how they could have had fun and messed around in their youth like their spouse did, and then apparently so easily receive forgiveness from the Lord.

As my bishop once said: There are some sins that have serious repercussions for the rest of your life. If you have pre-marital sex, you can become forgiven, but your virginity doesn't come back. If you kill someone, in certain circumstances you can be forgiven but the person doesn't come back to life. Some sins bring long-lasting and unavoidable consequences, and for the person that commits them, they should be prepared for them. Hence the life long "sting" that WMLee was talking about, and probably should have been expecting.

You can't honestly have pre-marital sex and then expect your future spouse to be totally down with that. I'd not be a happy camper if I married someone and 5 other guys could see our wedding announcement and say they had "tapped that". Definitely not.

Is it so wrong to wish your spouse had waited for you? It's got that romantic ring to it, like it's what would really happen in all the real love stories. It's what God's original plan was, anyway.

Edited by Taldarin
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I personally value chastity for this reason - however to hold something over someone that you knew about at the time of your marriage, that she had repented of, your sin is just as bad its the one of unforgiveness, she has moved on from hers, you haven't from yours - not sure what to say but I find it sad that you do not truly love your wife and for me what you are doing is worse as its a form of adultery you are allowing the other party into your marriage.

Forgiveness is only a prayer away and you have a lot of repenting to do you are not being a good priesthood holder and head of the home, in many ways what you are doing is abusive and unkind. She has done hers, maybe you need to go to your Bishop with it.

Something President Hinckley's father said to him comes to mind, 'forget yourself and go to work' - start loving your wife and do what you can to make up for the destruction you are causing in your marriage, remember what you love about her = and start being faithful to her instead of allowing another man into your marriage - because what you are doing now is self pity you need to forget yourself and work for your spouse no marriage is sucessful without that

possibly a nicer way of saying what I wanted to say not sure if my above post is too much but if my husband was behaving that way I'd have kicked him out the door until he had repented because I am blooming sure I would not want him holding something I did before I knew him in mortality for the whole of eternity after all can you imagine being tortured by this youself for eternity? let alone someone else doing it to you which you can do nothing about?

This is amazingly harsh. The guy is feeling terrible. He comes onto the board acknowledging that the problem is his and asking for advice in overcoming his problem. Elgama's (and others') helpful feedback? "You're a jerk! You loser! Get over yourself!"

Yeah, that probably really put things in perspective for him. He probably never even thought about that, other than when HE WROTE IT.

"Hey, jjsmith99! The solution to your problem is to GET OVER IT! Duh! What a moron! If it bothers you, just DON'T LET IT BOTHER YOU! See how easy it is?"

And who wants to bet that a woman who had kept herself pure for her husband and, years later, was being tormented by his premarital sexual involvement, would have been received with more compassion and dignity?

Keep up the great, great work, folks.

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I don't think the people that haven't been in the situation before really know what they're saying or just how hard this is.

Hence why I love WMLee's post. This kind of thing is heartbreaking, and it tends to keep the heart broken for decades afterwards. We can say "it's YOU" as much as we want, but if you haven't been in that situation, I don't feel like you can understand.

Chastity is a big thing with the Lord. So obviously, it would be a big thing with the spouse. An enormous thing. You cannot help but feel the complete injustice when you find out your partner lost their virginity before they met you or before you got together while YOU stayed faithful. One ponders in how they could have had fun and messed around in their youth like their spouse did, and then apparently so easily receive forgiveness from the Lord.

As my bishop once said: There are some sins that have serious repercussions for the rest of your life. If you have pre-marital sex, you can become forgiven, but your virginity doesn't come back. If you kill someone, in certain circumstances you can be forgiven but the person doesn't come back to life. Some sins bring long-lasting and unavoidable consequences, and for the person that commits them, they should be prepared for them. Hence the life long "sting" that WMLee was talking about, and probably should have been expecting.

You can't honestly have pre-marital sex and then expect your future spouse to be totally down with that. I'd not be a happy camper if I married someone and 5 other guys could see our wedding announcement and say they had "tapped that". Definitely not.

Is it so wrong to wish your spouse had waited for you? It's got that romantic ring to it, like it's what would really happen in all the real love stories. It's what God's original plan was, anyway.

So since this happened to me, can I comment on it? Or does the fact that it didn't bother me disqualify me from offering advice? The short answer is simple. If she completed her repentance process, then you must forgive her D&C 64:10;

10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

However, the process of forgiving someone can often times be very hard, even if they have repented. Of course we have the best support system available. Consider Matt 11:28-30

28 ¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Yet how do we give our burdens over to the Lord? consider the story of Enos;

Enos 1:4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

I can testify to you that Alma's words regarding comfort are true;

Alma 7:12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

I know (or rather suspect) it will not be easy, but if you put your faith in Heavenly Father, you will be able to overcome these feelings.

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OK, this may be selfish, but as our children have grown up and we have had the why stay morally clean talks I have regressed to be really upset, hurt by my spouses sexual activity before our marriage and before I knew her. Yes, she told me. Yes I believe she repented. It hurt up front (I was able to abstain before marriage) but I didn't want to judge or be one of those shallow people who would break up because of past sins. I do love her. It just constantly hurts. Now every time I read a General Conf talk on being chaste I feel a sting and a pain. We have briefly discussed it but you can imagine this is a difficult, painful, akward talk. I don't want to judge but can't help my feelings. I don't want to relive it either. Conflicted. I realize the repentence process can make you clean, I'm struggling with the seeming unfairness of someone who abstains vs someone who didn't. Maybe I should not have proceeded with the engagement and marriage. I wish I would have known how hurtful this would be over the years.

I'm going to be bold here and do tell me if I'm out of the line as I'm not LDS but our people struggles with similar issues. I have seen many cases like yours and usually it's one of two things: either it is jealoucy over the past or it is the feeling that your abstaining was done in vain since you're both now on the same level. Could it be that it's one of the two things that is bothering you? I think you need to find out exactly what is bothering you so that you can focus on the cause of your feelings. I think that before acting upon it you need to understand exactly what you are feeling.

b'shalom!

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You have lived with and loved this woman all these years. You had a family and made a home with this woman. Where do those negative thoughts come from? If it is not bringing you closer to your spouse, family and/or Heavenly Father, it must be coming from Satan. Do you really want to let Satan's thoughts, evil intentions, hurt and harm come into your mind? Are you allowing him to dig in and have a piece of your family? Why does Satan have the chance to taint your soul without you struggling to stop him or make his influence go away? Perhaps you need to know we all have "what if's". What if "I had waited to marry another virgin?" What if "I never knew there had been another man before me?" What if "I had slept with someone so the sexual scorecard would be even?" No one's life is perfect. I hope you are able to control your thoughts and emotions on this subject and not using them to punish or hurt your wife. If you are, then you are the one that needs to repent.

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i have found that on my spiritual path, there have been many lessons that i thought i was past, only to have them thrown in my face again in such a way that i understood that i was certainly not past them.

then it was starting at the beginning again, just as if i never learned or had that experience before.

i would forget what you think you know and start at the beginning....i beleive that you will be led to the right beginning for you....start from scratch.

that would be, of course, asking HF for guidance and having the lessons you need to get past this problem be presented to you.

and then whatever else you feel you need to deal with it as a priesthood holder.

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I'm going to throw in a different angle to think about :]

Maybe you're going through a mid-life crisis? The kids are grown or almost grown and you're looking at the time that now lies ahead of you. Perhaps you feel cheated after all that work of being committed and raising a family? After all, when did you get to have "fun"? Could you possibly be digging up the past in some sense or form to justify your own feelings of wanting to have fun now?

I wish you peace of mind and that you don't allow this to chip away at your heart and love for your wife and family. These kinds of hard feelings will definitely tear-up a good marriage.

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Thanks to all the positive advice given. It is good to hear speciifcs and good scriptures. Focusing on strengths and realizing Satan does want to destroy families has refocused me. I believe we can forgive but in this mortal life we don't forget. That is to help prevent it from happening again. As was mentioned in a thread, now I can solidy testify as to the total impact of decisions. I wish youth could see that more as they face difficult situations and temptations. Your choices affect you, AND your future spouse / family. I wanted an area to share these feelings. It is helpful.

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Bini, I was thinking exactly that as I was reading the other posts.

JJ, I feel for you. But you really have no idea how hard it is to become temple worthy after a sexual sin. Your wife worked very hard to get to where she was when you met her. It's not really possible for you to understand just how hard it was, and I hope you never know how hard it is. If I were in your shoes I would count myself lucky to not have to partake of that aspect of the Atonement, and maybe pick up a pizza and a really good movie tonight.

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