Hi, I am a student who goes to Texas A and M University and I met the most amazing woman of my dreams about 7 months ago. She is everything that I could want in a wife, but she has a past that I have been struggling with ever since we started dating when she told me everything. I know I was meant to love this woman, but I am tired of her past still bothering me. It is not fair to my girlfriend or myself for her past always bothering me.

Her father left her mother once her mother became pregnant with my girlfriend, so she(my girlfriend) didn’t have a father for the first 9 years of her life until her mother married her current father. Also, she was sexually molested by her grandfather constantly from 4 to 6 years of age. Once she became a teenager, she was in 3 different relationships with guys who she gave oral sex to many times because she wanted to feel loved. She never felt truly loved as a child and I know that some of these later actions may have been caused by her difficult childhood without a father. Finally, she got into a fourth relationship with a guy who was not a very good guy at all. My girlfriend later found out that he had had sex with 32 previous women. Anyways, she gave him oral sex as well, but he kept asking her to have sexual intercourse, so she finally gave in and lost her virginity to him. Once they began having sex, she took plan B on two different occasions because their condom had broken. Consequently, she got on a birth control pill. She finally broke up with him, and I finally met her through church. She never felt loved, but always felt used in these relationships. I know all she wanted was to be loved, so that is why she did all these sexual things with these men. They would ask her for oral sex, and she would give it to them because that is what she thought was expected of her, and she didn’t know she was better than that. She told me everything before we became a couple, but I still can’t help but think about her past sexual relationships with other men. She has told me over and over how sorry she is for what she has done, and we both feel like we will become married one day. I truly do love this woman with all of my heart and soul! It just kills me and hurts my heart knowing that several other men have USED my future wife for their sexual pleasure in a way that I cannot stop visualizing in my head. Her future husband should be the only man who shares such intimate sexual experiences with her, no one else. I truly feel like I have forgiven her, but I can’t stop being bothered by three things:
1:She isn’t a virgin (and I am, so I can’t ever be her first)

2:She will always have those many sexual experiences and memories of other men no matter how much we love one another, and I am worried that it will always bother me that she knows several other men besides me, in such a sexual way.(and those other men will always have the memories of her giving them oral sex) I should be the only one who knows her in that way…

3:I feel like I have loved my future wife (whoever she may be) my entire life by remaining chaste for her, while if we do end up getting married, I will feel like she didn’t love me before meeting me since she did not remain chaste for me. I feel that one of the reasons I have such a tough time with her sexual past is the fact that I do not have a sexual past at all. My girlfriend is the only woman that I have loved. She will be all of my first and last sexual experiences, but I will not be any of her first sexual experiences.

My questions are,
1. What can I do to “get over” my girlfriends past with other men to stop my pain?
2. How can I begin to not think about or imagine what my girlfriend did sexually for those other men?
3. Is there something I can do to help me accept that she will always have those many sexual memories and experiences with those other men?
p.s. I truly do know I was meant to marry this women, so breaking up is not an option. I was meant to give her the love she has never had in her life, and I am sorry this was so long but this has been bottled up inside of me for so long, I need some help. I have talked to her about all of this a few times before, but it always hurts her to know I am hurting because of her sexual past. I am tired of bringing it up to her since it hurts her so much. Anything you can tell me is helpful. Thank you so much!

A: You are missing the most important point. Your girlfriend has never, ever had sex as an expression of mutual love. The sexual experiences she had were merely physical. In many ways, she wasn’t really even there at all. In order to tolerate what was happening to her, she had to emotionally check out. With you, she’s found someone who can love her and cherish her and who she can love and cherish in return. Tender, loving sex is as much a new experience for her as it is for you. In that sense, you are both “virgins.” You can show her something she only dreamed about in the past: that she can trust the man she loves to be as concerned about her needs as his own. So – please. Stop making a past unpleasant physical activity a barrier between you. That’s like holding it against her for being forced to do hard physical labor and pretend she liked it. Love each other. Enjoy each other. And make romantic sexual memories of your own — memories you will both want to remember.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jun 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Trouble with letting go of my girlfriend’s sexual past. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/06/25/trouble-with-letting-go-of-my-girlfriends-sexual-past/