Having issues getting over girlfriend’s sexual past

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I read a question that was similar to the one I have, but I did not believe it could fully be used for my situation. Both my girlfriend and me are 20 years of age. We have been together since July 2nd 2010, and it is March 28th 2011. We were friends for many years before we started dating but due to both of us moving around we were not able to have a relationship. She is everything I ever wanted in a woman and I am so happy to have her in my life. I had no sexual interactions what so ever before I was with her, she is my first in everything. Unfortunately, I am not her first in many things, if anything at all, and that is very hurtful and distressing to me. When she was growing up her parents neglected and even abused her. She was molested on several occasions, but never by a family member. Her life has not been one of happiness and is full of past pains that plague her to this day. She never felt loved or cared about by anyone, and sought out relationships to fill this void. Her first sexual experience was with a female, they were friends and one night during a sleep over her friend put her hand down my girlfriends pants and began feeling around down there. My girlfriend said she did it back to her friend. She was bisexual for a while and dated a few girls, but never did anything for that kiss them. Though not often she claims. Her first sexual experience with a boyfriend was when she was 14 and the guy she was dating asked her to “touch him”, and so she did. She says she didn’t want to but did it to make him happy. In her next relationship she let him suck on her breasts and finger her, she touched him but while he had pants on so there was no contact with his penis. In her third relationship she also let him finger her and she gave him a hand job as well. In her last relationship she went out with this guy for 2.5 years and she really loved him. He was the first she gave oral sex to, and they did everything together. He fingered her; she gave him many hand jobs and lots of oral sex. She wanted to have sex and so did he, but she brought it up to him. They agreed and she claims that he only penetrated her a little bit before finishing, so she doesn’t believe she lost her virginity. He claims that every time they tried, which both him and her say was 3 times, that they had full intercourse but she swears that after that first time having failed, and the other two times they never got past being naked, none of the times they ever had full intercourse. I don’t know if she’s trying to protect me because she knows how bad it would hurt me if they actually did, or if she really didn’t have full on sex with him. I know her was able to penetrate her at least somewhat so I also have issues with whether she was still a virgin the first time we had sex.

I’ve told her many times that I just don’t know if I can ever get over all her past sexual activities. It bothers me greatly that she ever touched another woman, which happened more than once, and that she has kissed multiple girls. I have only kissed 3, including her, and I just feel inadequate knowing that she has kissed more than I have. Also all the sexual things she has done and have had done to her with other guys. I cant get the images out of my mind and it sometimes gets in the way of our sex life, if I start seeing or feeling things I can’t help but show it. One of the biggest problems I have is knowing that the woman I love and loves me back, the woman who I want to marry and make my wife one day, has loved other men. It feels like I am just one of three (she loved her last boyfriend and one other that I did not mention due to them not being sexual).

My questions are:

1) What can I do to get past her past bisexual activities?

2) Is there anything I can work on so as to not be so hurt by my girlfriend’s sexual encounters?

3) What must I do to get the images out of my head so that I can just focus on her and myself?

4) How can I get over her loving others before me?

5) I don’t know whether or not her last boyfriend took her virginity or not and while it would devastate me if he had, I feel like I have a right to know. Does what they did constitute losing ones virginity or not?

Any help at all would be immensely appreciated. Thank you so very much!

A: One of the things you love about your woman is she is the total sum of her life experiences. Everything about her background—including her experiments — are factors that drew you into the relationship at some level.

I would learn to meditate. Mindfulness meditation will help you bring you into the moment — which has the potential to liberate you from the self-torture that comes from rethinking the past. Here is a link to more information about mindfulness.

What I can offer you is what I know has worked for some, and that is to cognitively restructure—change your thoughts about your experience.

Your girlfriend’s experiments in relationships ultimately led her to move past them to you.

This means that the relationship she has with you has been informed by her past. Those relationships were not what she wanted. She wanted something more and better, and found that with you.

When you are thinking about the images—it actually takes you away from the intimacy you are having with your girlfriend. Try to bring your focus on her when you are with her rather than on her past which cannot change.

If the struggle continues you may want to talk to a counselor to help with some techniques. The find help tab at the top of the page will help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Having issues getting over girlfriend’s sexual past. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/16/having-issues-getting-over-girlfriends-sexual-past/