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.
He talked about it in an interview. And I'm not overly impressed with his writing to attribute anything deeper than surface meanings.
I think, it speaks so well, because it is life. There's a bunch of bullshit that happens, and some good advice which our protagonist can't put to use because he gets in his own way. When, if he had just gotten over his own shit, he could have had a decent run with a woman he loved. Instead he spun everyone into therapy. And then in the end, we're back where we started. The sum of our experiences, both good and bad.
Maybe all this angst is really summed up by Jay, "Bitch tasted life, yo, now she's settlin' for your boring, funny-book-makin' ass." Is that where the insecurity lies?
I agree, there is no character arch. But then, such is life. Which makes for poor story, but powerful example. We either learn, or not, from our experiences. Yet it is our experiences which make us who we are. Even if we are left incapable or unwilling to understand them.
Alyssa, as Banky pointed out, did things Holden had only read about. This had an interesting impact on me. It forced me to examine a line from a different story, "Quit reading about life, and start living it."
Alyssa is Holden's inadequacies. His fears. Again, Banky, "You're way to conservative for that girl." Holden, when he discovers Alyssa's past, is looking straight into his self and seeing what he can never be. And that, is what angers and frightens him. And from which he ultimately recoils.
Certainly there is a lot of whining, but what I think you dislike more, is Holden's shirking of adventure. He was faced with a challenge. And ran away.
Conservatism is not used here in the political sense, but rather the vanilla flavored ice cream sense, do we need mint chocolate chip to live a flavor filled life? Nope. But, I like it.
That Alyssa does not try to persuade Holden to live her kind of life, is because it is no longer her kind of life, "That is until we, that's you and I, got together and suddenly I was sated!" "I love you Holden. But, I'm not your fucking whore."
Promiscuity and chastity are neither good, nor bad things, in my estimation. They are simply different paths individuals follow along their journey through life. I've had my adventures and my fun. I begrudge no one of theirs. And I certainly do not pity those who have chosen a chaste life. But one's adherence to a particular path should not be born of fear. Or worse, misinformation.
To return to the OP. He's been such a bitch, he has not discovered the root of his issues. Is it his own inadequate comparisons to her other men? Is it his lack of adventure, which she has had and he will never get a chance to experience? Is it worry she'll want to return to her former life? Simple disgust that she's had so much cock?
I don't know. Nor does he. Whatever it is, I see no basis for this hand wringing. And further, it's an issue he should have worked out for himself before the wedding. He had plenty of time.
"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.