I am not sure if this has been discussed in this forum. It is a rather difficult topic for me to bring up because in my pursuit to become a better man, I feel I need to somehow deal with this in a mature manner so I can ultimately have peace of mind. It is also rather embarrasing. I have done research on what I have been struggling with the last 7 months, and it seems to be retroactive jealousy. In short, this is a term that defines jealousy regarding a partner's past. About 7 months ago, I found out that my my wife has had 25 sex partners in her past. The topic came up while we were doing a book called "All About Me." This book was meant to be a life sharing exercise, but has turned out to be one of my biggest nighmares. If I had known how I would react and how much I would suffer from this, I would have never wanted to know about her number. The most challenging part of retroactive jealousy is the random, obsessive, intrusive and racing thoughts about her past. My imagination gets the better of me.
I am not proud about what this has triggered in me but at the same time I don't beat myself up because I did not choose to react this way. It triggered some core insecurities. Now, I am not sure if any man, no matter how secure, would be completely okay with finding out how many men their woman has slept with. The mind can play tricks on you and make you think that what you are imagining is happening now. It has been said that jealousy is basically a fear of abandonment. Well, that fear has been alive and well the past 7 months, irrational has it may seem, even thought there is not clear and present danger that she is cheating on me. I have been going through the same feelings that would be present if in fact she was.
Has anyone here experienced this and what have you done to rectify and ultimately "cure" the problem? I don't want this to become a life sentence because I surely did not deserve to experience this much pain. I noticed that retroactive jealousy reared its ugly head as my feelings for my wife grew. We were married this past June 25th by the way.
"random, obsessive, intrusive and racing thoughts" suggests a mental condition that should be evaluated by a health care professional
As a woman who had 2 serious relationships before my fiance, but who just posted about my virtus being intact, all I can offer you is: You married who your wife is now.* Who she is now you know and love. Who she is now was shaped by those prior experiences. If it shaped her into the person she is now, they shaped her for the better. My failed romances gave me a self-awareness and maturity that's more important to my future husband than the prejudices and unhappy emotional baggage I also carry.
*You also married her with full disclosure. You married her 5, 6 weeks ago. This disclosure was made 7 months ago.
Excellent call on the timeline.
If you were having such serious angst about her past, you should have put the wedding on hold.
With that said, finding out about that is never really an enjoyable experience for anyone. If you didn't want to know about that, why not skip over the question?
The point though is that whether she had 5, 25, or 100 previous partners, she is with you NOW and given that you just got married leads me to believe that she may enjoy being with you juuust a little bit.
Now if you said she CHEATED on 25, heck even 5 would be some cause for concern, but that is not the case.
As I post below, there's men who look for wives with a certain degree of chastity. They may employ a single standard, or a double standard, but they have a standard going into relationships and marriage, and they're honest with themselves and their dates about it.
The OP may not have had that self-knowledge before the disclosure, but he had three months to work at it before the wedding. If he "does not know who [sic] he married," it's 'cause he refused to find out, not because of any willful concealment or fraud. Burden's on him.
Look, we never know who we or our spouses will become. Right now, I like broccoli, and my future husband does not. He likes seaweed salad, I do not. In a few years, those preferences may flip. And about bigger things. We hope for 0, 2, 3, or 4 children, but I may have the first and decide for whatever reason I can't bring myself to desire a second child. No one can know how they'll react to a very different life circumstance until they're in it.
I don't blame the OP for not having the self-knowledge before marriage he has now (My future husband and I have a big theory that one good reason for marrying is to obtain greater self-knowledge.). But this obsession is either something he should have addressed before the wedding, or it's something new. If the former, he's a cad. If the latter, it's part of that "for worse" in the marriage vows. She hasn't changed in the last 7 weeks. He has.
I'm moralizing you.
It sounds like this came up during a thought-out premarital discussion. This was not, "By the way, sweetie, I've had sex with 25 men, but you're the best. Oh! There's my plane to Timbuktu! See you at the wedding in 3 months!" He had that discussion to ask follow-up questions. He had those 3 months to ask follow-up questions. He didn't. He married her anyway.
Now, it's possible he had no follow-up questions at the time. He was so in love he couldn't foresee this being a big deal. I think that's likely and no moral fault of his own. But now he does have these new concerns and new worries and new questions. I think he can go a long way in helping himself by realizing they're new, and in him. His wife is the same person she's always been. All that's changed is his perception of her. He has new moral glasses, or a part of her old veil has slipped off. With his new vision, he should investigate. But he should do so recognizing he's the one who's changed, not her.
[We haven't applied our theory to a situation such as this. I don't think it will help the OP. As it relies on moral intuition, and you have denigrated my character, you are set up to distrust my moral intuition, and so to reject my theory, so I'm not sharing. When we publish our book, you can read it, if you'se so inclined.]
Maybe it's a process of thinking beyond it. You do have to remember that there was time before your marriage and that things were different for her in those times cause all you seem to be doing at the moment is just throwing all these thoughts towards her, instead, maybe you should be looking inside for the reasons behind those thoughts and fears in the first place. It might be based on an earlier experience that you have yet to move on from that may be blocking the path towards the cure.
You cannot change the past, and if you deny it all, your relationship will be worse for it. Aknowledgement of the feelings you have is important, as they are an absolute for you, and ideally you should talk them through with someone who has more expertise in regards to human emotions and their effects, and formulate a proper plan to get through it.
I'm just going to come out and say it, David, because I seriously doubt anybody else will. If you're feeling bad about it, it means something. Men in every corner of the planet at every century in recorded history avoided this problem like the plague. Only recently have we been bombarded with messages from cradle to grave telling us to not trust our gut and if we feel bad the problem is with us and never with what we have a problem with.
She might well be cheating on you, or she might dump you later. You're just 1 of of 25 at this point, what's another one? I'm not just trying to be mean here, David... the results are in: http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2010/08/defining-slut.html More partners for a woman means less stability in relationships, or at least the odds are against it. If it's any consolation, I believe that men are exactly the same way, but there hasn't (to my knowledge at least) been any sort of study on it.
The study showed whether or not they would divorce before 5 years (quite a modest definition of stability, but whatever). I'm looking through the study right now and I'm not seeing any focus on jealous angry men divorcing their wives, I suspect you're pulling that out of your ass.
I believe man-whoring DOES cause instability, but that's not what's being discussed right now.
And as Ludacris wisely said, "You can't turn a ho into a housewife, ho's don't act right." So I guess it's pretty much a draw on that front.
Maybe it's putting the cart before the horse... and it's not having sex with multiple partners that makes instability, it's instability that makes multiple partners. But I really fail to see how that even matters.
"And, I would suggest, multiple partners are made because fucking is fantastic. Eliminate the orgasm and your problems are solved."
Hahahaha. I'm sure the world's greatest thinkers, such as Keyshia and Ludacris, would support that statement as well.