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Jealousy FAQ: How to Get Over Your Partner’s Past

December 30th, 2012 by

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Table of Contents

  1. Quick Introduction from Jennifer (the Author)
  2. General Obeservations
  3. Why do I feel jealous of their past in the first place?
  4. Is it possible to ever get rid of these jealous feelings?
  5. Why am I obsessing over this?
  6. Should I tell my partner that I feel jealous?
  7. What should I say to my partner about it?
  8. Why do I feel like I’ve been cheated on?
  9. How do I know that the jealousy feelings have truly gone away?
  10. How long did it take you get over your jealousy?
  11. What do you do when the jealousy feelings come back?
  12. What if I can’t get over my jealousy feelings?
  13. Everything about my partner is perfect, except their sexual past. What can I do to get past this one problem?
  14. Am I being compared to their past sexual partners?
  15. How much detail should I ask my partner?
  16. Is it better to know more detail, or less?
  17. Does my partner think about their past sex with other people, even when they’re with me?
  18. What do I do if my partner is jealous of my past?
  19. What have I learned from my experience with jealousy?

Quick Introduction from Jennifer (the Author)

A few months ago I wrote article about my past struggles with jealousy problems in my relationship. My motive was to share my story in an effort to spare other people the pain that is associated with jealousy.

My last article received an overwhelming response from readers who sought my advice for their individual situations. More than happy to comply, I have attempted to help many people deal with their individual jealousy problems. Over time, I noticed there were several common questions that I was being asked.

I have compiled the most commonly asked questions about how to deal with jealousy based on my experience. It’s important to note that these questions do not only apply to those who wait until marriage to have sex, but to non-waiters as well. I invite anyone with further questions to leave a comment and those questions will be addressed in a future article (or as an update to this page).

General Observations:

Very simply, from what I have seen, jealousy stems from a type of greed and insecurity. The greed comes from wanting your partner to be “yours” and only yours. It is almost a territorial instinct. The insecurity stems from fear of being compared, fear of losing your partner, fear of not being good enough for your partner, and more.

Why do I feel jealous of their past in the first place?

Jealousy is a complex human feeling that draws upon your emotions. The jealousy that you feel in a relationship is different than the envy of everyday life, such as your friend getting a good mark on an exam or your sibling getting a new car. This jealousy can consume you and leaves you with an extremely uncomfortable feeling inside that doesn’t seem to go away, despite your best efforts. It is much harder to deal with and can end relationships.

It is influenced by an animal instinct: the act of sexual intercourse itself. If you take away all of the emotions, love, feelings and friendship from sex, you are left with just the act of sex. What you need to identify is whether you are jealous of the act of sex itself, or the emotions tied in with it, or both. Are you jealous of past relationships, casual hookups, or both?

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Is it possible to ever get rid of these jealous feelings?

Yes. It is possible, but not guaranteed. I am a living testament to it being possible. However, it is not easy. It takes a lot of work on your part to understand your partner and accept their past. The greatest healer of jealousy is time. Once you are over your jealousy feelings, it takes a lot of time to heal the wounds that were caused by the jealousy in the first place.

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Why am I obsessing over this?

There are numerous reasons why people become jealous in relationships. The top factors I have encountered are influences from virginity, religion, upbringing (how you were raised), cultural view of sex and societal view of sex.

A virgin may become very jealous over a partner’s past because they feel that if they are a virgin, their partner should be one too, and anything less is unacceptable. Or, other virgins feel insecure about their lack of experience and their partner’s abundance of it.

Some religions do not allow sex before marriage, and as a result, a religious individual will have problems with their partner if they are religious and have not waited for marriage.

Your upbringing can highly influence your view on sex. The way you were taught about sex by your parents, siblings, extended family, teachers and friends influences how you view sex as an adult. Based on what I have seen, people who can talk about sex freely with their parents (or an equivalent authority figure in their life) generally do not have as serious jealousy problems. It is those that feel embarrassed to speak about sex, or those that feel that they cannot openly ask questions or hold open discussions that have the worst jealousy problems.

Your cultural view of sex is highly influential. Some cultures will openly embrace sexuality, while others do not mention it at all.

Societal view of sex is important too. Depending on where you live, sex can be seen as “no big deal” or something that needs to be controlled. Some societies (e.g. North America) seem to accept casual sex as the norm today. Meaning, there is nothing odd about casual sexual relationships. Some societies do not embrace this view at all.

Once you figure out what is influencing your jealousy, you can figure out how to deal with it.

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Should I tell my partner that I feel jealous?

Absolutely. Communication is going to save your relationship. Take a time when you are both calm and not upset, and tell your partner that you are having difficulties dealing with their past. Do not accuse them of anything, and be sure to use personal pronouns (such as ‘I’ or ‘me’) to explain how you feel rather then pointing the finger at them (using words such as ‘you’).

Your partner may decide that dealing with your jealousy is not worth it, and leave. Be prepared for this. However, if your partner wants to work it out, talk about your feelings. Try to explain to them what exactly is bothering you. Do not keep these feelings to yourself. If you bottle them up, eventually they’ll come out in a much more negative way.

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What should I say to my partner about it?

Determine what exactly is bothering you. Is it just the act of sex? Their past relationships? Figure out what is bothering you, and why. Once you know these two key influential things, explain them to your partner. Give them a chance to understand you, and then you must give them a chance to explain themselves. It is now their turn to make you understand what the context of the situation was, what happened, and how it made them feel. If you are able to understand their perspective, it can help the jealousy go away.

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Why do I feel like I’ve been cheated on?

Your imagination is your worst enemy. I can guarantee you that whatever you are imagining as what happened is not what happened. Most people tend to take their own experiences and project them onto their partner. This means that the jealous person takes their experience (or lack of it) and tries to apply it to every situation that their partner has been in. This does not work because you are not your partner. You were not there during the situation, therefore the decision you would have made is different than the decision they made at the time.

The worst thing you can do is tell your partner that they’ve cheated on you because they’ve been with other people. If you were not together when it happened, then your partner did not cheat on you.

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How do I know that the jealousy feelings have truly gone away?

If you can look at your partner and tell them you love them unconditionally and accept them 100%. This means that you love every single part of them, even the parts that used to make you jealous.

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How long did it take you get over your jealousy?

In total, my jealousy lasted one year, and took an additional six months of hard work to finally eradicate it.

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What do you do when the jealousy feelings come back?

If you feel like you conquered jealousy, but then feel it slowly coming back, then that means you have not dealt with all of your jealousy issues. You may have made a temporary solution, but there is clearly at least one more issue. Take whatever you have learned, and apply it to whatever is still making you feel jealous. Then remember what made you feel like you had gotten over the jealousy the first time, and apply it to the situation. Give yourself some time to let it pass. The realization moments are quick, then let them sink in to fully absorb the lesson.

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What if I can’t get over my jealousy feelings?

You either lose your partner or spend a lifetime being very miserable.

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Everything about my partner is perfect, except their sexual past. What can I do to get past this one problem?

If you feel that your partner is what you have been looking for, you need to fix your jealousy fast. Focus very hard on their good qualities and whatever it was that attracted you to them in the first place. Keep in the mind that some of their best traits (e.g. honest, caring, loving, etc.) may be very hard to find in another person.

Are you willing to give up the person of your dreams because of their sexual past? If you lose them, will you be able to accept your loss and be happy to move on? Or will you lament about ‘the one that got away?’

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Am I being compared to their past sexual partners?

This really depends on your partner. If you are concerned or insecure about being compared, you need to communicate that to your partner. Unless your partner is still in love with another person, chances are they are not thinking of anyone but you.

Once you are out of a relationship that involved any physical contact, you usually tend to bury those memories or you don’t think of them, especially if they are painful memories. When you are in a new relationship, you focus on making new memories with them. Sex that happened months or years ago is usually forgotten, and if they really think about it, they might be able to remember some details. Do you remember your first kiss in immense detail? You probably remember who it was with, and maybe where you were. Now imagine if someone was asking you a lot of detailed questions about it. You wouldn’t remember all of the details. It’s the same with sex. Even though we place so much more emphasis on it, you are less likely to remember it if you don’t want to, which is usually what most people do about past relationships.

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How much detail should I ask my partner?

Whatever you feel comfortable with. Ask details that will help you to get over their past. Do not pry for the sake of prying, or because you were simply curious. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the honest answer to. Don’t snoop through their Facebook, old emails or go searching for information from years ago. If your partner is trustworthy, then you should be able to trust the information they are telling you is true.

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Is it better to know more detail, or less?

This depends on you. In my personal situation, I knew way too much detail, and I found that it bothered me and even created visions in my head, which made the jealousy worse. Try to limit the amount of detail you know, unless there is something specific that is bothering you. Don’t ask them to compare you to their past partners.

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Does my partner think about their past sex with other people, even when they’re with me?

Chances are, they are focused 100% on you. They are not living in the past like you are, and wish you wouldn’t bring up the past. In fact, the more you are jealous and the more you talk about their past partners, the more they are reminded of them on a daily basis. Don’t bring a third person into your relationship because you talk about them so much.

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What do I do if my partner is jealous of my past?

If you are on the receiving end of the jealousy, you need to assess your situation very carefully. It depends on: (1) how much you want to deal with the jealousy problems, (2) what the extent of their jealousy problems are, and (3) how much you want to be with that person.

Dealing with jealousy problems are very difficult for both sides. It requires a lot of patience and strength on your part to deal with what is sure to be a difficult time. You may be hit with accusations and name-calling in times of anger. You may get very hurt by what is said to you and there is the potential for a lot of fights. Determine whether you will be able to deal with this.

You need to be able to understand the jealous person’s point of view as well as trying to make them understand yours. Try to find out where they are coming from. If you can understand what makes them jealous, or what exactly they are jealous of, it may help you to both deal with the problem. Talk to them, communicate a lot, and try to figure this out together.

Ask yourself how much you want to be with this person. If you want to be with them, try to stick it through the jealousy. If you feel that you would rather be accepted by someone rather than deal with jealousy problems, don’t drag out the relationship if you feel it is not worth it. However, it’s important to give them a chance and don’t judge the person before making any big decisions.

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What have I learned from my experience with jealousy?

To sum it up very simply: there is no point to it. Do not waste your time being jealous. You will look back on it one day, wishing that you could take back all of the mistakes you made. While it may seem like the biggest deal in the world right now, I can assure you it’s not worth all of the pain and hurt you will inflict on both yourself and your partner.

I realize that there are people who will simply dismiss what I write because they have their own beliefs and standards. I have been criticized for “lowering my standards” while I have also been praised for my strength to overcome my jealousy. I have helped some people save their relationship with this advice. I have experienced jealousy in the worst way possible and I was able to overcome it completely, learn from my mistakes, and am now able to help others do the same.

The point I am trying to make is that despite whatever your own personal views on sex are, do not judge other people. Try to accept them, even if they have made decisions you would not. Life is too short to focus on unimportant details. Instead, live your life to the fullest and be happy with your own life and choices.

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Author: Jennifer

Jennifer is one of the first happily married successful waiters on the site! When she's not writing articles about her own experiences, she is finishing up two degrees. She's also a girl gamer that specializes in RTS and Halo.

120 Responses to “Jealousy FAQ: How to Get Over Your Partner’s Past”

  1. LookingForTheOne says:

    I haven’t even finished reading this article, but I already see that it’s excellent!

    Like I said elsewhere, it does not apply to me. But there are many others out there who do indeed have this problem, and I’m sure this article will be helpful to them.

    So, again, 5 stars.

  2. Pure says:

    Thank you for this article :) It was so thorough! Although I am not in a relationship now, I want to prepare my self should I date a guy in the future who does have a sexual past.

  3. Kate 19 says:

    This article has helped me a lot to understand what my partner is goin through and has showed me how to deal with it myself x my relationship is absolutely worth keeping he’s the one I want to be with forever I just hope he can overcome this x
    The article has given me hope for us again
    Thank you x

  4. Jennifer says:

    @LookingForTheOne – Thank you. Kind words, as always.

    @Pure – Thank you. I hope that it helps to prepare you, should you need it.

    @ Kate 19 – You’re welcome, and thank you for your kind words. I sincerely hope that your relationship works out.

  5. Micheal says:

    Jennifer,
    Your article was very well thought… and your experience helpful. I have been married to a wonderful woman for many years. In all those years, my wife has conducted herself in a godly and loving manner in every way. She holds no bittnerness, anger or unforgiveness towards anyone… in spite of the multiple date rapes, statutory rape and abuse by those close, but outside her family. Nevertheless, it has been a difficult and painfully private journey for me. At times, I have been “homidcidally” jealous of her past. Angry at the way in which she was abused and used… and angry at her for allowing it and forgiving those people in what I would say “a way too easy manner”. (which I know is really ridiculous). What helped me, was to remember that she is married to me. She has been faithful to me. She is a wonderful mother… and perhaps her confidence in the Lord. She says without reservation… “I know who God is and I beleive he does what he says he will do.”… “I am forgiven and that means I must forgive. I will not be defined by a short period in my young life.”
    Anyway… thanks for collating all this information in a single article….

  6. Marc says:

    Thank you Jennifer. I want more than anything to last with the person I am with now. I adore her so much and I am so scared of jeopardising what we have us, because of my jealousy. Your experience and article has helped me so much, it will be a long journey, but I am so happy and I will not give up on her.

  7. Lauralie says:

    Is it possible for a non-waiter to feel these same feelings of jealousy and sadness towards someone who is also a non-waiter, but has had more partners than they have? My fiance considered me the “perfect woman” until he asked me about my past and I told him. I have come to terms with my past relations but he has made me feel ashamed of them all over again. He feels that my past was led amorally, even though I possess all the other good wholesome qualities he was looking for. He saw how hurt he made me and dropped the subject for a year, proposed, and now 3 weeks before our wedding he has brought it up again and says he can’t stop thinking about my past. He feels that I fooled him by making him believe that I was an all good person, but I am a good person. He says he still loves me and still wants to marry me, but he can’t get through these feelings. I don’t know how to help him but he is hurting me in a way he promised never to. Is there anything else that can be done to help him get through this, and be as wonderful as he always used to be towards me? Thank you Jennifer!

  8. wny says:

    At the end you say, “Life is too short to focus on unimportant details.” I have to diasagree that a partner having already had sex is an unimportant detail. A virgin can marry a non-virgin if they wish. I believe they can have a happy marriage. But, that is not for everyone. Some virgins, myself included, want only a virgin and I disagree I should “try to accept” a non-virgin. It’s just not what I’m looking for.

  9. FR says:

    For real? This is my biggest issue ever. Dump the person you’re suffering, go find someone else – do whatever you ever felt jealous about. Be free, be happy – life is a short trip.

  10. les1961 says:

    Great advice,made take a look at myself.Hate the jealous feelings I had.
    Thank you.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Lauralie – I didn’t see these comments until now! Is there any way you can private message me on the site? I can try to help you in the best way I can. Has your wedding happened yet?

    wny – The point I’m trying to make with my article is that virgins shouldn’t judge non-virgins for their life choices just because they are different. For some people, they want a virgin, and that’s fine because it’s their preference. I’m not saying that sex is an unimportant detail in a relationship (that includes past sex) but at the same time, I’m saying that you shouldn’t treat someone badly in a relationship because of their past sex. No one deserves judgement. Also, life IS short. I’d rather be as happy as I could possibly be with a non-virgin who has all the qualities I wanted in another person as opposed to being with a virgin just because they’re a virgin. If you find someone that you know you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with, you really don’t want to just let them go because they’re not “all yours.”

    FR – The problem with jealousy in relationships is that it’s apparently now such a common problem that most people experience it at some point in one of their relationships. I completely agree with your statements, people should not have to go through that. My article is merely an attempt to try to help people avoid making those mistakes in the first place.

    les1961 – Glad I could help.

  12. LookingForTheOne says:

    wny — I, too, intend on only marrying a virgin, so I get where you’re coming from. But this article was intended for those people who are in relationships with people who are not virgins and who intend to stay in the relationship. It’s one thing to say “I need a virgin, so this relationship isn’t right for me” (which is fine). But there are those people for whom it’s not a dealbreaker, but who still need help overcoming the problem.

    So, I understand you, but I do think Jennifer is offering good advice, too.

  13. wny says:

    Jennifer-This article is about accepting non-virgins and you conclude by saying not to “focus on unimportant details.” You’re writing it like that implies that you think it is an unimportant detail. I don’t object to your article as a whole, I object to that statement. Also, I don’t judge people for having had sex. I just know they’re not for me, regardless of their other qualities. Their lack of virginity in and of itself means they would not be the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. No, I would not be with a virgin JUST because she is a virgin, but virginity is one of the traits I require in a future spouse.

    LookingForThe One-I know the intention of the article. I never said she did not offer good advice. I just object to her calling not being a virgin an “unimortant detail.”

  14. wny says:

    unimportant*

  15. GS says:

    I think this article can apply to those persons who have very limited sexual experience (one sexual partner) then divorced – widowed and dating when in middle age or older. It is not for me or my limited mind to understand what leads certain individuals to have multiple sexual partners in life, other than understanding the truth about their past as described by them in which they really did not have to do.
    Mistakes in the past in a person’s life is just that…. their mistakes, not yours.

    It is not for you or I to judge them. If they are open and honest enough to bare their very soul in front of you…risking the very real possibility of you ditching the relationship (because you cannot take the truth) so they can come clean to you, what more can you ask? Open dialogue, and a willingness to be loving, trustful, truthful, honest, open and have faith in the relationship moving forward is all anyone can ask of another person. If that person whole heartily gives their heart to you in love and the above mentioned, then grab it, hold and cherish it….it’s very possible a relationship like the one you have…won’t come your way again. Do you want to throw that chance away?

  16. Happy when sailing says:

    Hello chaps,
    Well I think Jennifer’s article is very good. It would take an age and a lot of print to cover every twist and turn that a person suffering from retroactive jealousy may encounter. Instead she has done a great broad brush,personal attempt at helping folk who suffer. I know the article has helped quite a few so all in all a great tool for someone to work on the forgiveness process.
    The way that I read the “unimportant” comment is that when the sufferer has come to terms with the situation, things are improving and its all being put away in the past Then it is indeed “unimportant”
    I’m not so sure this article is written for virgins accepting non virgins ! I think it’s written to help any person suffering from “past partner” jealousy perhaps I’m wrong? Great article Jennifer.

    Best regards. Col.

  17. andrea says:

    Im having an awful time with jealousy issues. My boyfriend ive had for over a year had a one night stand with a girl two days after we went out as friends. I think i get the most upset because hes not that kind of person. He had a crush on the girl for over a year and he finally went out with her. Hes not proud of the fact of what he did. I just get upset because i feel like im second choice. Because things didnt work out between the two. So he ended up with me. Instead of being grateful that it didnt work out between them i get jealous :( i think im over it then it comes back! If anyone has any advice id love it! Xalee12@hotmail.com

  18. Jennifer says:

    There’s multiple comments I want to respond to, so I will split up my answers so that there isn’t one long comment.

    First off, I’d like to clear up exactly what I meant when I said, “Life is too short to focus on unimportant details.”
    I am not saying that a person’s past sex is unimportant. It’s just a general statement referring to life in general. I actually think that a person being a virgin is a VERY important detail in a relationship. I hope that this now clarifies the confusion.

    LookingForTheOne hit the nail on the head. This article is meant to help people who do not see non-virginity as a deal breaker and require a little bit of help to get over their jealousy issues. This article was specifically written for ANYONE (including non-virgins) with jealousy problems, because ANYONE can have them, not only virgins. This article is in no way meant to try to convince virgins to marry non-virgins. My goal in writing this article was to aid the countless amount of people who privately wrote to me seeking advice on how to get over their jealousy. This article is a summation of the most frequently asked questions.

  19. Jennifer says:

    GS – GREAT comment! Everybody read it! This is exactly what I am trying to communicate in my articles.

    Happy When Sailing: Thanks for the great comment! You are exactly right as well. It was written for anyone struggling with jealousy problems, and you also understand the “unimportant detail” bit as well.

    Andrea – Feel free to email me if you need any advice. My email is in the comments above.

  20. laura says:

    Jennifer – did you ever have the feeling of disgust? My boyfriend
    Has had numerous one night stands and contracted an std. While he says
    He’s changed I still cannot get over how someone has sexual contact
    With a stranger.

  21. wny says:

    @Jennifer-I suppose everything is cleared up now. Maybe I partially missed the point of the article at one point (I can’t remember now if I did or not). If what you mean is that someone having had sex is an unimportant detail for someone who does not view it as a dealbreaker, then I sort of see where you’re going with that. Still, I’m not sure that it was the best way to put it. Anyway, if this article will help people who do not view it as a dealbreaker, then great.

    Out of curiosity, though, do you think it is strange for people to have it as a dealbreaker? I know you’re not mad at anyone who does or anything, but do you think it is strange?

  22. Paul says:

    This is quite a wonderful article and I wish that there were more out there like this.

  23. c. mane says:

    well thought out article. i esp like the question, ‘why do i feel cheated on’ . being someone who admittedly can be chronically jealous of a partner’s sexual past i can tell u that this description is very accurate. ‘insecurity’ always seems to be stressed in this topic and although this is a valid and frequent cause of jealousy lets not forget its’ polar opposite, ‘ego’. our partner’s sexual past can be arrogantly seen as a threat or even blow to our pride and ego. often we are unconciously being so selfish and egotistical that we harbor resentment for our partner for having the audacity to have any sexual activity before us, despite how many we may or may not have had ourselves. sounds silly i know, but trust me, these things are at work in our mind and they all have an important biological function at their root which is basically a primitive ingrained program to to be territorial, fight if need be, and pass on our own genes. see it for what it is, a biological program causing anger and aggression against a threat that does not even exist anymore. there is no one in front of us trying to make advances on our partner. they are in the past. they are ghosts. he or she is with u now. enjoy them and your relationship.

  24. Angela says:

    Nice to know I am not alone in my thoughts. Love my bf to pieces but struggle with his very wild life before me…..

  25. karki says:

    such a nice suggestion…words are less to express my thanx to u…really helped me…god bless u dear…

  26. Jennifer says:

    @laura – In my situation, my husband did not contract an STD, nor did he ever have a one night stand with someone he did not know. However, when my jealousy was at it’s worst, I did find myself disgusted with his past once. If you have sex with your boyfriend, be sure to make sure he is tested for STDs and use protection to keep yourself safe.

  27. Jennifer says:

    @wny – No, I do not find it strange that virginity is a dealbreaker for some people because I used to be somewhat similar. I used to only consider other virgins or people who had only had sex in relationships when it came to my dating pool, and they were few and far between with all people I knew and were very familiar with. I never wanted to date someone who was a “womanizer” or someone who had slept with more people than they knew of. So I can definitely understand the mindset of someone who wants something similar.

    My only concern is when people judge non-virgins and assume that they are all whores or something. While some of them might exhibit whore-like behavior, not all non-virgins are bad. If you don’t want a non-virgin that’s totally fine, just don’t judge them.

  28. Jennifer says:

    @Paul, @Angela, @Karki :

    Thank you for your comments and your kind words!

    @c.mane :

    That’s a great way to phrase it as well. The insecurities are what cause the majority of the jealousy and I think your point about egos is very good, and is definitely a contributing factor.

  29. Dan says:

    Retroactive jealouy has recently taken over my life. My girlfriend of four years knew I never wanted to hear anything about her past because I had told her many, many times not to say anything. She liked talking about past experiences when we first met and I had to constantly remind her not to say that stuff.
    Then one day four years into the relationship she felt so guilty for keeping her past from me that she told me every detail about every guy she had ever been with and I stupidly sat there and listened even though I knew once what she had told me sunk in it would destroy me.

    Now I constanly blame her for hurting me so badly by telling me something I told her never to talk to me about. I have visions of my girlfriend naked having sex with other guys one guy in paticular hurts to think about because I know him and its painfully easy to think about him having sex with her. My stomach is in knots and sometimes I go days without eating.
    She gets angry with me for being sad and angry even though she caused these sad feelings.

    We broke up for three days and the second I left her place I felt free and like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I was finally able to forget about the jealousy and be happy about finding a future partner but she begged me to get back with her and I stupidly did and now I’m right back to the jealous feelings of anger, pain and resentment.

  30. Angela says:

    I can understand how it takes over a persons life. I am taking steps to ensure it doesn’t take over mine, by trying to think positively and do a lot more physical exercise to feel better about me’ and to look better too. . My partner is abroad currently – only for a week – and I would be lying if I said that there hadn’t been a few negative thoughts running around my head, as he lived where he is now for 3 years as a single guy. I have promised myself that on his return I won’t ask him hundreds of questions, as that will show jealousy and insecurity. I do trust him and he will tell me what he wants me’ to know. I think our minds can be our very worst enemies – sometimes. Wish me luck!

  31. Happy when sailing says:

    I wish you lots and lots of luck. Col.

  32. VB says:

    I was never jealous like I am now until I met the guy I’m with today. When something comes up about his past, like it did last night, or he says another woman is “hot”, I feel on the verge of homicidal/suicidal. Of course I would never act on those feelings, but I was up all night thinking about this situation and I have lost so many nights sleep over things like this. I can’t eat, sleep or be social, all I do when something like that comes up is obsess… I know this isnt normal. Ive had multiple partners and so has he. I’m young, 21, but this is ruining my life…I wish I was 16 again, safe in rehab before I knew what it was like to be emotionally invested in someone–& therefore not knowing the jealousy and outrage that can come regarding the past. I feel so unstable, years of therapy have not helped, self help programs, church, things to boost my self esteem. Nothing. I’ve tried to cool myself down & remind myself that he’s with me now, but it gives me little peace. Maybe I’m not meant for relationships. I just want to be normal, and not feel so out of control.

  33. Peacock says:

    Very, very good! Nearly, if not dead on to how I have been feeling. It is the toughest part to get past it, but once you do… It makes life so much better and happier.

    But… For me it did come back because my partner works with that person. Daily, in a close role. Sometimes in office with others, sometimes not. Any suggestions?

  34. Angela says:

    What I can’t understand, is that when I feel even slightly upset or inferior, my heart beat increases dramatically, almost like I am having a panic attack – this part I hate the most because I don’t seem to be able to control it :-( Angela

  35. Clare says:

    Today is my 6 month anniversary with a man I absolutely adore. We are both ‘non-waiters’ and since we were friends for almost a year before we got together, we both knew a lot about each other’s pasts and were comfortable with them. However, he once had a drunk casual sexual experience with someone he had known for a while, and who was a virgin. This never bothered me because it happened when we were just friends and at the time I was just curious to know what had happened.
    But two days ago an intense bout of jealousy overcame me very suddenly and I couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened, why it had happened and imagining the situation and what the feelings were surrounding the experience.
    I decided to be honest to him about what I was thinking about it, although I knew it would be unfair to him since he’d done nothing wrong and had himself admitted regretting his actions. I didn’t feel immediately better about it because in my heart I wanted him to say it was a stupid thing to do, but he was honest and said that it wasn’t the worst thing he could have done at the time (which in my head I agree with). I knew all my feelings were completely irrational and I had such a battle between my logical thoughts and my jealous feelings.
    I feel like I have mostly overcome these feelings, even though I know it will take time for me to stop thinking about it at random times of the day. It helped for me to write a letter to myself explaining what I felt about him, how he would feel if I kept letting this bother me, and admitting that I would probably do the same sort of thing if I had ever been single for an extended period of time. I know it didn’t mean anything special to him without even having to ask and I also know he should not have to feel bad about doing nothing wrong.
    The feelings of jealousy were/are most abundant when I’m not around him, which is also when I feel most insecure. Thanks to facebook and texting, people expect constant communication and read into text so much, which complicates everything. And I think in this age where plenty of people are having sex before marriage, and are having more frequent and acceptable casual sex, our expectations of our partners and their past are confusing, especially because our experience is often very different to our parent’s so we don’t have examples to learn from.
    Mostly I think I just want him to be only /mine/, and it might be a possessiveness thing that runs in my family. My sister has had plenty of casual sex, but is now with a man who was a virgin before he met her. She says she doesn’t want to admit it because it’s hypocritical, but she likes the feeling that he’s all hers.
    I just have to know that despite his past, he is all mine because he loves me very much.
    Don’t let irrational feelings overtake your logical mind – try to tease out the situation in a systematic way and especially think about their own feelings and how it’s unfair to be judgmental when they’ve done nothing wrong.

  36. Clare says:

    (And I know this is ‘waiting till marriage.org’ – which obviously doesn’t apply to me, but I just wanted to show that jealousy can happen in any relationship, even one where the two partner’s sexual past isn’t all that different)

  37. Cenizas says:

    Ther are lots of positive things said here in this article and in the comments. I married a non waiter who grew up in the same religious culture as I did where we are supposed to wait. Not waiting is, in our beliefs, a pretty serious offense.

    Her past includes 6 partners in a two year period, and then a self realization that she was not happy. We met about 6 months after that. I know everything about her experiences, motives, and sorrow for what she did. Of course this hurt, but we married and have been so for 14 years. During this time, she has been an incredible wife and partner. There is absolutely no insecurity about her feelings for me and how different they are from anything from past. She says all the right things, done all the right things, and has been more than patient about my challenges about her past.

    I can truly say I forgive her and know that it should be irrelevant to our current relationship. But, for the last 4 years not.a day has passed that I haven’t envisioned her with someone else. The images are graphic and constant. I have them as soon as my alarm clock goes off. They are torturous in everyway. I have been on depression mess for a while but I don’t think is the right thing for me. I’m ok with the fasct that all that happened, I just want to stop thinking about it. I really do think I have some mental health issues. Gotta get this under control formher, the kids, and me.

  38. J.UA says:

    Thank you. That’s all I gotta say. Thank you.

  39. Code says:

    I thought I was the only one feeling this way! I have been with my wife for 20 years, we got together when we were in our early 20′s. She has had a few partners and I have only been with her. Even now after all this time I have jealous thoughts when we are together in bed. I wonder how I compare to her other partners which is crazy I know but I cannot help the thoughts running through my head!

    I try to deal with it and it goes away for a while but then comes back causing me to get down and angry with my wife. I have tried to discuss it with her but she does not like talking about it. I guess I will need to find a way of wiping these from my mind once and for all! Maybe one day I will be free from this thing that eats me inside?

  40. Nay says:

    @ Jennifer and all who willing to give me advice

    After reading the article and comments , I realize that the problem is me , not my newly wedded and amazing wife nor her past .I am 23. Plz try to read my problem and judge me and give me some advice. My problem is that I live in an environment that says I am too dumb to marry her. She was in love with this guy who would destroy women’s virginities and left these women . It’s not like I am jealous of him or anything . If compare myself to him , my environment and my wife believe that I am better at anything , I mean by the looks, personality, education , anything you name it except his parents are rich people . I can guarantee that she loves me so much and she is totally over this guy . But everytime I make love to her , I picture her being pleasured by that guy in my head . But I am sure that she have never had the pleasures with anyone which she had with me .but I sometimes think I am too good to be with her. I hate the fact she was with him before she met me. I really hate him and the environment . I even think of torturing and killing him in my basement to make myself feel better or myself committing suicide . I have been in pain because of this for two years since I fell in love with her . Before I am married to her , I tried to break up with her many times for this reason. But I couldn’t do it knowing the fact she loves me so much and I feel the same way.
    Now I am embarrassed to go out and face the environment . I wish my awful thoughts and pain go away already and spent the rest of my life with her happily .I don’t want the stupid environment and my stupid ruin our relationship .
    Please HELP!

  41. Nay says:

    Please read my comment above . I live in a small town , in Myanmar @ Burma where the religion and cultures are really strict .

  42. Nay says:

    Please HELP ! I am really miserable and in pain now . I don’t wanna spend the rest of my life in this way . She is carrying my baby and I really do love her . why can’t I still let go of these feelings ? I know it’s no one’s fault but my own. Please HELP !

  43. Alison says:

    Nay, go to retroactivejealousy.com, I hope you will find guidance there.

  44. The Man Without A Past says:

    How to get over your partner’s past?

    Here is a great way:

    Don’t marry somebody with a past.

    Stay virgin until marriage and marry only a virgin.

    Never divorce except in extreme cases.

    If it’s too late for you… teach your children these values, so they won’t make your mistakes.

    Until people worldwide live by these rules… enjoy palliative remedies.

  45. The Man Without A Past says:

    I almost forgot. My advice was aimed at a worldwide audience, and not to someone in particular.

    To all who can apply my said advice… Excellent. Very well done.

    To all who can’t, I say… Good luck to you anyway.

  46. Carlos says:

    hey jennifer i truly need your help. I tried looking for your email or how to pm you but i failed. Is it possible you could email me c_maro@hotmail.com

  47. cassie says:

    Thankyou. This made a lot of sense. But in my situation I’m more jealous if the person they simply hung out with. Movies , dinner etc. Nothing sexual. And I see this person on occasion. Why does that bother me? Bothers me more then the sexual ones .

  48. Advice needed says:

    What if there was never a sexual relationship but your partner is still upset and very much dislikes the ex?? Im completely over the ex but seems to always get brought up or one mention of it and the whole day is ruined. Im engaged and very excited to marry who im with but feel this repetitive argument about my past will ruin our future

  49. Sarah says:

    What if his past crush is one of my best friends? How to get rid the negative thoughts that come up when we hang out together? With my boyfriend along. I really need your opinion. Thank you Jennifer :)

  50. Jen says:

    My jealousy issue is compounded…I was in a 20+ year marriage that I emerged from at 39. My now partner, 50 at the time we met, had been single for almost 25 years. I am thr first woman he has lived with since the demise of his 7 year marriage at the age of 27.
    He did not understand the necessity of eradicating certain items from the household (his) before cohabitatng…the result is I have inadvertantly been exposed to photos of ex-girlfiends unclothed, scores of photos of ex-girlfriends when they were together, had opportunity to read love letter and emails from the past (not snoooping-shared computer).
    In addition, for the first year if our now 3 year relationship he made several tasteless comments to me about his past: examples are about how he visited a lingerie store while on business and, although he did not enjoy the experience, “it was worth it”…how, although he prefers breasts larger than mine, he’s glad I at least have “large n!pples”…etc,further to follow.
    Then he began suffering from erectile dysfuntion issues-I was told not to worry, it had occurred in the past, but the woman he was seeing was patient and instead taught her how the handle her needs and, as a result of that patience & atention, his erections returned.
    We have not had intercourse in almost two years, and I am forever feeling like I am a failure as I am unable to “solve” the problem, whereas “she” did.
    We have talked openly about the mistakes he has made with me in the past & he is genuinely sorry but I simply do not know how to “forget” the callous statements of “unsee” the nude photos. I am now terribly insecure.

  51. Paul says:

    For me the issues start when I begin to ‘intellectualize’ the jealousy, as in, accept that i SHOULD be jealous, that her past is abnormal.. which is nonsense.

    But then I remember that she chose me, she enjoys sex with me, and cares for me.

    But even so, she sometimes drops some clangers on me.. once she told me she was thinking of writing a book about her sexual experiences! This haunts me to this day! What a line…. In her defense, I never told her about my ‘mental illness’, but she knows now, and I think she understood vividly when she told me about how her and a friend used to randomly ‘fuck dudes in threesomes’.. and I had to sit in the bathroom alone for a while and absorb that nursing a large bottle of whiskey. I then reappeared and told her I had got over it, and lets continue the night.

    But the funny thing is, I have had a lot of sexual partners, been in threesomes, and had plenty of one nighters. I know I satisfy her in bed very easily (never experienced a girl who cums from penetration so quickly before), so in my case, it is not ‘envy’. I feel no envy to the other men, because I’m the one she’s in bed with at the end of the day. I feel a sense of pride that I’m the one taking her home, because I know a lot of men want to be with her. I think this is also a part of the problem. I feel a male pride about her being ‘mine’ so the thought of her being other mens, even in the past… grates on me.

    I’ve tried to understand what it is, and I think a part of it is I find men’s bodies disgusting, especially penises. Just the thought of a penis going near her (thats not mine) makes me physically nauseous… It feels ‘dirty’ to me… it’s horrible. I suppose it is like how homophobic people feel about homosexual male sex? They are just disgusted by it…

    And also strangely, if she got with another girl, thats totally fine. I told her she can do that whenever she wants (shes bi) as long as I get to watch or join in.

    I accept I have a problem. i know it’s irrational, and ridiculous. I think accepting it is stupid will help. Whilst it is normal to feel jealousy, it is a ‘handicap’ in the same way getting a twitch on your arm… it’s a strange evolutionary mix up that has confused protecting your genome by being territorial with your ‘mate,s’ sexual monogamy in the present, but applied the feeling into the past, probably based on your imagination. Being jealous of your sexual partner’s past is obviously a evolutionary mix up, if we’re going to get technical. Just like having a tail bone, or an appendix, or being frightened of the dark.

    once you accept it is not of any benefit to you, i think you can start to move on. She’s a lovely chick, caring, sexy, and I’m convinced I can trust her… ok.. I did once get suspicious and look into her messages to one particular guy, and all she talked about was me.. how we met etc.. He was bummed because he wasn’t getting anymore dirty pics, although he still tried bless him.

    not really well structured, but I was presenting one thought at a time.

  52. Jen says:

    I really am hoping someone here will read my post & offer me some advice-I fear I am verging on obsession now & desperately want to stop it :(

  53. Still_hurting says:

    I’ve been married for more than 30 years, and still jealous of the boyfriend that got her virginity. I grew up thinking girls had to be a virgin to marry a good man. I had opportunities to take my friends virginities, but talked them into waiting until marriage. I found out later she was not a virgin, and I loved her so much, I thought I just get over it. Well it’s been more than 30 years and I still torture myself, all of a sudden the thoughts get in my head; when I’m driving home from work, when I wake up in the morning, I never know when the thought will come over me and make me feel like crap. I wish I didn’t love her so I could walk away from her, but she is the nicest wife in the world, she is kind, never flirts, or does anything to provoke my jealousy, it’s all deep inside me. I buy her flowers, perfumes, cars, anything she wants, I’m always trying to make her happy, and she does the same for me, but sometimes when I’m alone, the weird feeling just takes me over. I guess is my curse, I will live the rest of my life having miserable moments, the price I’ll have to pay for being jealous.
    This is the first time I tell or write anything about this

  54. 50FirstDates says:

    It scares me to read that many people here have been married for 20 to 30+ years and have yet to overcome this issue. As I sit here alone reading these comments i’m starting to think if it would be worth being miserable for the rest of my life. I met my wife while in high school, and after knowing she had a previous boyfriend who took her virginity and was sexually active with for over a year before meeting me, I still decided to move forward with our relationship. She was my first and has been my only for about nine years now. Now more than ever and for the last two years it has been eating away at me like never before. There isn’t one day that goes by that i don’t think of her with that POS loser that means nothing to her. I love her more than anything, we even have three beautiful babies, i swear i have the greatest life, except this one thing that eats away at my soul. its gotten to the point of depression that I’ve become antisocial and I’ve really shut myself away from family and friends. My depression has to be stemming from this, as every other aspect of my life is perfect. I’ve told her several times about my feelings and have even degraded her for it, immediately after I feel absolutely horrible, which just adds to my misery. I know for many who have never experienced this feeling would simply suggest move on or its none of your business, but I am truly hurting inside and there have been times that I have thought about leaving, but would good would it do, especially for my babies. I love her, but as hard as it would be should I leave if its killing me? Would it be unfair to her if I stayed? Am i wasting her time, or mine? I don’t know what to do, how do you deal with these feelings for over 30 years?

  55. Andra Leigh says:

    I have continuing to struggle with him having oral sex with his ex. He didn’t tell me for almost a year. Some days I don’t think of it at all, other days it’s all I can think of. I am still a virgin, and waited for that special someone. I felt like something that had been stolen from me. I do not think that I will ever be completely healed, because he can not take it back. But I love him, and want to be with him forever. That’s enough for me

  56. Still_hurting says:

    Andra, Andra, he cheated for a year, he looked at you in the evening, like nothing happen, and carry out himself like he was doing the right thing, once a cheater always a cheater, find someone that deserves you. I know I’m not supposed to interfere with other people business, but you save yourself for marriage and he doesn’t value that, he will never be fair to you, show some pride, you will never forget what he has done, you will be a 70 year old still thinking about it and not knowing if he got oral sex before he got home. You will always remember, I do.

    Back to me now, writing about it here did help, knowing that others go
    through what i’m going makes me sad, I wish nobody else would have this desease. I don’t know if there’s a cure. I don’t know who you have to marry so you would be happy and not have jealous feelings. A jealous person can always find something to be jealous about, we are good at it, we can find something to be jealous on every single partner.
    Sometimes when I start having the jealous moments, I pray, and ask God to help me cope, I don’t want to be ugly and say mean things, mean things about the past, that can’t be changed, I just have this feelings that she gave away something that should have been mine, something sacred, that will never be mine and she share with another man. I hate her right now, just thinking about it makes me not ever want to see her again, now I pause, I feel sad and betray, I just want to quit writing and go through the sorrow, the pain and anger, the jealous moment I’m having now, is like a depression, like crawling into a dark hole…

  57. Steve says:

    My wife has slept with 20 guys and is only 26 years old. I have only been with one other girl and it makes me feel so insecure and pathetic sometimes. The sex we have is amazing, I can’t get enough! And she is a perfect wife.. I just wish she had not made these mistakes as she regrets them too….

  58. Reel Man, Saltwater says:

    Be a man and love your woman or find someone else, but stop talking about her, she didn’t do anything wrong, you are the one that needs the help.

  59. Qwerty says:

    My girlfriend who I am very soon going to make my fiancé is a virgin an I believe that 100% she has had other relationships with guys that cheated on her and made her feel like crap. It bothers me that she has loved other guys before me that she claimed to be “true love” which I believe they might have been but sometimes she says that they were only crushes. These guys forced her to do other a couple of things she says she didn’t want to do and the fact these guys are that low to force her against her will to do things so that can get come pleasure makes me scared for them about what I would do to them if they ever crossed mine and my partners paths.
    I have depression which for years when I was younger was moderately suicidal as I use to cut and burn my arms. It’s started to get better but when I started to get jealous that my girlfriend has loved other people it was come back and I feel it has been the worst it’s been since I use to cut myself.
    Our storie is that I asked her if there was anything she would regret if the world would end and she told me being a virgin is one thing she would regret not loosing it. at the moment she said that I instantly fell in live with this woman more so than I already was. Because all her life guys and her friends have told
    Her that girls are worthless to guys not having any sexual experiance she apparently made up some things that she did, I was disgusted by all these things she said she did that I found out never happend and I find it hard to believe things she says now since her past is getting more and more innocent to the point that there is two incidents where she was forced to do things for all up a shorter time it takes me to have a cigarette. So all up they took less than a minute between them both from what she says. These things that I’m soo jealous about is the smallest things and I know that she felt uncomfortable and she didn’t at all want them to happen ( she has wanted to save her body and herself for the future guy that she marries which I am almost certain will be me) she tells me she wasn’t sexually attracted to her past crushes but I can’t be sure that she is entirely truthful since our whole relationship has been riddled with lies.
    I have never had a girlfriend since I was so depressed through school girls
    Found out about my “illness” and saw my scars and didn’t want anything to do with me. When she told me the apparently stories that never happened I felt worthless enough to randomly have sex with a girl before me
    And my partner started our relationship so now my partner has given me her vaginity and her entire body ( no one has ever seen her fully naked body or has ever touched her body in any sexual way as she has told me which makes me very honoured) and I couldn’t do the same by giving hery vaginity because I was in the verge of killing myself ever being alone my whole life. I feel even more pathetic now than when I was a virgin.
    This woman is the most amazing woman I have ever know and that is hard for me to find since iv shut my self away from women because they have treated me like sh*t my whole life.
    I know this website is for people in relationships with non virgins but I can’t get the jealous feeling away even though she has not willing had any sexual experiances and I would not even call the things she was forced to do as sexual experiances just uncomfortable situations she was put in by the POS guys that tricked her into
    Loving them before cheating on her for not giving them her virginity
    After hearing everyone’s stories I realise that I can actually get over my jealousy that she has loved other guys since I actually have her virginity I feel it will be a lot easier but with the help of this community o think we can all get through this.
    Thank you for making this website, maybe one day I will stop cutting my body and get rid of this depression and me and my partner can have a happy marriage.

  60. brandon kautz says:

    Very good article. Wish I had it years ago. There r times I feel sad that I let my gf go because of her not being a virgin. Very sad. Because she was great in every other way. But I still have the hope and thought of new love where this won’t b an issue for me. Hard enough to b married without going in with this baggage in my opinion. I know now that for me to give myself completely and to love completely she must b a virgin. Hopefully it will happen someday but if not,things could b worse:)

  61. Hannah says:

    We are expecting a child in 2 weeks. I usually don’t care about his past. But with all the weights I gained, I feel extremely insecure. Then today he was talking on the phone with his friend and bragging about his sexual history, about all the extremely hot girl he dated and had sex with while I was right behind him. He acts like I’m not even there or my feeling doesn’t exsist. He even said tha he is talking to this girl at work about her sex life with her bf and they really go into details about it. I tried to satisfied his need whenever I could, but I’m just tired from the pregnancy and I’m not as good looking as I used to be 9 months ago. This is killing me inside that he can say stuff like that straight into my face without a second thought. I know he would never cheat on me, but it still hurts so bad.

  62. Mike says:

    My girlfriend was my first kiss. but i wasn’t near her first sexual partner. I can’t help these feelings of jealousy. I know I’m better than any of her old partners. I’m the first guy she’s ever said I love you to and 3 months into the relationship she said she can’t imagine a future without me. I even gave her her first orgasm when she thought that it was impossible for her to have one. Even though i think we’re perfect I can’t help these feelings from coming up. i keep feeling jealous. even sometimes when she goes out to hang out with new friends that i don’t know. even if they’re not guys. This was a briliant article but I still feel like i need something in order to truly believe what i already know

  63. wife says:

    I came across this article when I tried to Google if anybody is jealous of their partners ex. I feel so weird sometimes for being jealous. But sometimes the feelings just come at me. He was my first. But I was not his. For the past 18 years I have been struggling with the jealousy. I sometimes think that if were in the same playing field I would know what having an ex feels like and would not be so jealous myself. But I do not know. He had a sexual relations and nothing deep with a girl before me. We were each others first emotional and serious relationships. But I sometimes do not completely believe what he tells me and have my doubts.

    I thought I was over it because I struggled with it when we were younger. Now it came back. I wonder if it is the devil talking in my ear so that I wont be happy. I thought I was weird but it seems other people struggle the same.

  64. Jennifer says:

    I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments regarding the article and I hope that it has been able to help those struggling with jealousy.

    I see there are people who struggle with jealousy for years. To be blunt, the best way to help yourself get over it is to imagine your life without that person. Imagine if they died tomorrow. Would you not regret all the needless time that you WASTED being jealous?

    I knew I would. That stopped the jealousy cold in it’s tracks. If you TRULY love them, and I mean unconditional love, then the jealousy will go away. If you hate them for it, I don’t know how you can combat that. Letting the relationship go is a possible option.

  65. Angela says:

    Well said Jennifer and words that I apply to my thoughts when jealousy strikes me! Thank you for summarising it!

  66. Luke says:

    Hello Jennifer,

    Is it possible to talk to you? I’m struggling very much with jealousy about my partners past. Since you have gone through the same, your advice would help greatly.

    Thanks
    Luke

  67. scarlet says:

    This is a great article. I came across is via search engine; I was trying to find ways to further forgive my spouse for his vast sexual past, before we met. When we met, I was 17 and he was 21. I was a virgin and he had 5 years and 26 girls worth of experience. Because I was very physically confident and head over heels in love with him, his past did not bother me much and when it did I used it as motivation to strive to be better than any girl he had ever been with. I was successful in this, as he told me numerous times and in different ways how much more I meant to him and how much better I was than anyone he had ever met, both in and out of the bedroom. Now, flash forward 9 solid years and a baby later… We are happily married with a continually great sex life but I’m not in the shape I was when we were first together (which makes me feel insecure) and I’ve heard many details that’s he’s been kind enough to share with me when I have asked about his past. I know more than I should, which leaves me with a lot of jealousy. It has given me feelings of wanting to know what it’s like to have a one night stand or multiple partners just so I can understand why he was the way he was. Alas, we are different people and likely wouldn’t see those the same way, plus I am committed and happy enough to never dare act on such feelings. I do agree with this article and I find it very helpful. But the fact remains, I love my husband more than words could ever begin to describe but I honestly feel like it will always be an uphill battle that I will have within myself, getting over his past. Have I accepted it? Absolutely. Is it possible to get over it? I honestly don’t think so but hope I’m wrong.

  68. CJ says:

    My husband has baggage. He slept with a LOT of women before meeting me and somewhere along the way contracted an non-life threatening STD. I was a virgin before him. We are happily married and have been together for over 8 years. But I have since contracted the STD that is a constant reminder of his sexual past. He is the most amazing lover, most supportive best friend, most committed spouse and most dedicated father; he is the most amazing man I have ever met and there is no doubt in my mind that there is anyone else in existence a better fit for me. Thus, I take the baggage and deal with it myself. No one is perfect and the only thing keeping him from being perfect in my eyes is his sexual history. I think it’s worth it in the long run because our gains are stronger than his past. But, I will admit wholeheartedly that I still remain jealous of his past, insecure because of it and emotionally torn up at times because those choices he made before he knew me still affect me today. It was before he knew me though. And I just keep reminding myself of that.

  69. Angela says:

    Yes that’s exactly right. Does anyone on here struggle with Facebook? That is one of my anxieties, even though I trust my partner!

  70. Vicky says:

    What if he still has pictures of ALL his ex? Should my jealousy get rid of them, even if the steam back to his high school years??? I would hate to be compared!!! And even more so… Have him remember of what he had verses what he has?

  71. Vicky says:

    After reading all the feedback I feel like I should explain a bit more to get a quicker response. I starteded a realaship in my late teen, had two kids with this person. After 14 together realized I was a different person age 18-32. Meet someone else in a gym, wanted to pursue that……….. The father of my kids then took his life….. As I dealt with that…. The guy I pursued, 2 months later moved someone else in(the new girlfriend) a year later, we realized we wanted to be with each other…. But I feel my jealousy comes from the woman he moved in while I was in mourning for The father of my kids and my kids & taking care of them. I feel she was more important then what I was going through….. Years later… We are now engaged and I can’t let it go????

  72. Maria says:

    THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE!
    I was veery unhappy because of my jealousy, and the worst part-I felt like a victim,like he was making fun of me and using me! For everyone who thinks that,especially if EVERYONE tells you that it is not real,that it’s in your head-they are most probably right. In my case both my and his friends were telling me that I have to stop with it.
    Once again,thank you so much for saving my relationship!

  73. nicolene says:

    hi Jen.thanks for sharing with us to help each other.I agree with all that you said..but I wish you could’ve went further in exploring your partner’s feelings during the time you were struggling with jealous emotions. my husband is still struggling even after talks and reassurance from me.we both have pasts that we don’t like about each other..and for me I got over the jealous feelings by accepting his past in that I was not in his life by that time.I understand his hurt but I can’t live my present life with my past, I get tired of always explaining my past experiences.for example he says he imagines all we are doing together in our marriage with what I might have done with my previous partner, how can I explain things like that everytime when he is jealous.I want to support him but I get tired, judged and not worthy anymore.

  74. Maria says:

    Jennifer,

    Thanks for writing this. It was really helpful in thinking through my feelings of jealousy. I know that it is irrational to feel jealous of a partner’s past but I don’t know how to stop these feelings of jealousy. There are completely random times when I start thinking of him with other people and extremely sad– it’s almost crippling. What were some ways that you were able work through your feelings in addition to appreciating the relationship you guys had? I really want to get over this and put these thoughts out of my head but can’t seem to.

  75. lilly says:

    in my case my ex is dead he found me a widow but he askes me of my sexual experiance with him . he knew everything before we got married. wats wrong now

  76. Jennifer says:

    Hey everyone, thanks for the positive feedback. I appreciate it and I’m very glad that I was able to help some of you!

    To those that ask for some more advice, I know this may sound cliche, but honestly time heals all wounds. You will find yourself in six months from now, feeling much better about the issue then you do now. If you’re worried about not having time left in the relationship, then I suggest communicating with your partner. It WILL help a lot if you both agree not to get upset at each other and to just listen to the other person.

  77. Elena says:

    guys, I have been dealing with the same problem and I came up with the idea of writing down some positive sides of your partner having a good time in past relationships sexually. It helped me. maybe it will help you too:

    1. If your partner is more experienced, try to look at it in a way that he/she knows well what to do, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. he can make you feel secure with his experience, BUT also try new, unique things with you, because we all know, every single experience IS unique!

    2. Progress is what matters. If your relationship is evolving over time and you feel progress, than no sense in worrying over his/her past. Even if you think that his/her past experiences are better than with you, with a little bit of communication and practice you will get there in no time! I assure you and you just have to believe me

    3. If you’re less experienced and your partner is “teaching” you stuff, it might create additional intimacy between you two. Because nothing feels better than seeing that you can be beneficial for your partner and you can bring some added value to her/his life. So, they might feel more attached to you once they know they’ve introduced you to whole new life. Also, of course you will feel attached to them and in total, more intimacy, as I said before.

    4. If your partner already had some crazy sexual stories, it means they feel fulfilled in that regard. They think they are mature enough to settle down with you because they had their share of craziness and irresponsible, thoughtless actions. You don’t have to worry anymore that they will be tempted for new, unknown experiences.

    5. If you already asked excessive questions about their past and they’ve been answering to the most of them, it already means they care a lot to bear your excessive jealousy and they are understanding, which is a rare thing.

    In conclusion, I think we should focus more on making our partners happier and focus on progress rather than clinging on past. What’s the best solution for the past that seems too good in your mind? Just try to be great for your partner, spoil them with surprises, midnight “wake ups” with some sexual tricks, try to play a bit and look at things with humor sense and look to the future. I hope, we can all manage this and not let our insecurities ruin our happy relationships.

    Fingers crossed! ;)

  78. MM says:

    Hi Jeniffer,

    I’m struggling with some similar issues. I’m married to the love of my life. We have been friends since we were four years old. However, the road to our relationship was a bit rocky. We both were in several relationships before making ours work. We have been married for just over a year.

    My wife has always been friends with her multiple exes. In my past relationships, exes were not something I dealt with well. I know that she no longer has feelings for her exes, but I still struggle to accept their friendship. I get crazy jealous when she talks with them on Facebook or through text messages. Again, I KNOW I have nothing to worry about. She has always been faithful and loyal, caring, loving, and completely devoted. I’ve talked to her about my feelings. That when we spend time with her exes or she is speaking with them, all I can think about the sex they have had together.

    One ex, the first person she was ever with romantically and sexually, and who she has been friends with longer than she dated, cut her out of their life when she married me because they were still hoping to have a romantic relationship with my wife. Recently, this ex has started drunk messaging her on Facebook about how he’s “broken” and such so that my wife feels bad for not choosing him. My wife has described to me the hurt and confusion she felt when this ex cut her out of his life because she didn’t realize the ex was hoping for more, when she didn’t want more anyway. She says she misses her ex as a friend and doesn’t want anything more, but the drunk messages still hurt her because they were friends longer than they were lovers.

    This is what is making me crazy insecure and jealous.

    When I talked to her about my feelings, she told me that she doesn’t even remember what the sex was like with them. That it no longer even crosses her mind and all that’s left there is just the friendship that comes from shared life experiences and closure. I understand that. I genuinely want her to have these friendships in her life. I know that my jealousy issues will push her away from me, if I can’t get over this.

    Your article has given me hope that I can overcome these feelings and be the supportive spouse that she needs. I already feel a bit better after talking with her about my fixation on her and her exes having sex. I hope that I can hold on to that feeling of peace when I feel myself start to slip slowly back into jealousy.

    MM

  79. Ellie says:

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for nearly a year now and we’ve been living together for over 6 months. Everything is perfect except for the fact that he is so judgmental, harsh and even rude at times about my past. He comes from a very strict christian background that viewed sex before marriage as sin. (even though he isn’t practicing christian himself) He is a few years younger than me and I feel his views are very childish at times considering he wouldn’t want to give up having sex with me, and he has had 2 previous partners and feel that he would have been with just as many people has I had been by the time he was my age. He agrees with this, but still resorts to the argument “well I didn’t have sex with that many so it doesn’t matter, I only made 2 mistakes and I regret them.”

    He doesn’t have anyone in his family to talk about this issue with because all his older brothers are practicing christians, waited until marriage, and been with only one person. He recognizes that he wouldn’t want to be a husband to any of his sister in-laws regardless of their purity, but can’t handle the emotional concept that I once “belonged” to someone else. He loves me, and doesn’t want to be with anyone else, but sometimes its like a switch in his head and he is disgusted by my previous actions.

    He says it makes him sick to think of my last two relationships but he always brings it up. He even forces me to give him details that I feel are none of his business incase I’m hiding something. He found emails in my deleted box from ex boyfriends and reads them. He’s even read them out loud to me (to mock me) and then questions me on how I could possibly love him if I said these things to an ex. I don’t know how to tell him that I loved the last person I dated, but there are reasons why he is an ex. I try to be considerate of his feelings but when I put my foot down and say enough is enough and you are being inappropriate he gets angry. Afterwords, he always apologizes to me and says he was way out of line and knows he can’t change anything, but he can’t help how these feelings come over him. I’ve tried talking to him, and listening and being considerate of his feelings, but nothing seems to help.

    I feel he doesn’t trust me, which hurts, and I don’t want to be reminded about how shitty I SHOULD feel for having a bf before I dated him. But I honestly DON’T feel shitty because I feel I never would have met him if my past relationships never happened. I think he knows that I don’t feel bad, which doesn’t help either. I know he loves me and he says he wants to marry me, but I can’t unless he is able to love all of me, not by pretending I’ve only been his. I’m going to see if I can get him to read this article and I hope it helps him. If you have any further advice for me please feel free to give it.

  80. helpless girl says:

    Thank you for your article.
    It all makes sense but it’s aways hard to put into action.
    I have been with my boyfriend for about 2 years and he’s completely in love with me also his first love. He’s 24 and I’m almost 25.
    Before him, i hav never dated, kissed, held hands with any guys. Although I’m Catholic, my religious values had nothing to do with my lack of relationship experience. It just happened that nothing ever happened between me and the guys i had crush on and I rejected the guys who asked me out because they weren’t my type.

    My boyfriend is still a Christian and he says he regrets what he did but his sexual past bothers me so much as well as his past in general.
    I’m showing symtoms of anxiey and depression and constantly thinking of ending the relationship

  81. lost :/ says:

    For two years now I have been harassing my man and questioning him exessively he sits and answers all my questions then asks of i feel lil better. He tells me we are done for the day asking questions. And continue tomorrow if i need a piece of mind. This man loves me . I have kids from previous relationship he adores me kids. Treats me like a queen and we are trying for a baby now. He also has my name tattood on his face on his cheeck in script letters makes me feel like he does love me cause no one elses name is on him. I never loved like this I just feel so obsessed with his past it makes me physically sick i have to question him all the time if it pops in my mind. He says they wasnt nothing they were trash compared to me ghat none of them could equal a quarter of me. He even answers questions while working if i txt him…… god hes so good to me. He says i need help and he will go through this with me to me that means alot. But for some reason i cant stop i feel so crazy and insane. But its because i love him. I hate knowing he pleased anyone or even got turned on by a lady. Ughh please help :(

  82. victoria says:

    wow amazing article….. made me think a great deal and definitely helped me :) thank you so much jennifer!

  83. Jessica says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this. I’ve felt so alone, hopeless, and ashamed of myself. Other advice columns I’ve read just criticize the jealous partner, and your words bring me so much comfort and make me feel like I’m taking the first real step to overcoming my jealousy issues. I will be returning to this whenever I need something that will uplift me. Thanks so much.

  84. Maria says:

    @Jessica> Yeah, me too. Every time I feel bad about my jelousy issue I come back here ,read this article,including the comments and I feel better :) GOOD LUCK everyone,I know how hard and paintful it is this actually,even if its not based on something realistic and it is just in our heads.

  85. Dimi says:

    Do you have some more practical advices on how to get over it besides talking and time? I am a virgin and my girl friend lived with a man for 1.5 year. And they had a lot of sex and since I have a very good imagination it is destroying me sometimes. I always compare myself to him and think I will never be as good as he was. And because he was the champ the had so much sex etc… But besides that she has everything I ever wanted so it would be the most horrible thing to loose her because of that. I am really willing to do anything to work that through. And thank you so much for this article!

  86. PieceOfMind says:

    Thank you for writing about your struggles. I have struggled with this for 18 years. Off and on, throughout relationships. My retroactive jealously has caused the end to more than one of my relationships. It has now become an issue once again. I have finally met the man of my dreams. He is without question, my match. I feel threatened by his ex for no real reason. He was not truthful and upfront about his situation when he met. This has, is, and continues to hinder our relationship. Events replay in my mind over and over again. It’s maddening. It’s constant and it’s debilitating. I simply have not been able to move past this. We have been together for a year and things just continue to worsen, due to my problem. I know if I do not overcome this I will lose the man I love. I just do not know how.

  87. Alejandro Sosa says:

    Piece of Mind sounds like my ex girlfriend

  88. ConfusedF says:

    Hello Jennifer,

    So my boyfriend and I broke up about a week ago. When we met he had never dated anyone before, but didn’t seem to mind that I had several past relationships. I told him about my past at the beginning of the relationship, then I screwed up and changed it, but only because I added in people I had dated as well, and then realizing my mistake I told him the absolute truth about my past and was completely honest. He said he’d forgive me. But as time went by, he started becoming really judgemental, throwing out terrible accusations about how I might cheat, or that I’m somehow diseased. It drove me crazy because there was nothing to indicate that was true. He was starting to use my past against me. Then in order to try and clear up the accusations, he manipulated me into telling him even more details about my past. The judgement continued, and he found this article and another one on this site and showed it to me and I started to understand where he was coming from. But instead of trying to understand where I was coming from, and what I had gone through to get where I am, he would continue to ask questions that were hurtful, and he’d tell me that how I lived my life was just wrong. He would re-phrase question differently, but ask the same things, but I would answer them a little differently because they weren’t the exact same. Then all of a sudden I am labelled a liar. He again said he was trying really hard to get past this all and that it wasn’t my problem but something he had to deal with. But then he’d make it my problem everyday. I wanted to make it work, I wanted to move past it all but he eventually decided that he didn’t think he could get past it. I personally don’t think anyone has the right to tell you how many sexual partners is the right amount. He wasn’t religious, but told me that I have no respect for myself. I just don’t understand. He was honestly exactly what I was looking for, so sweet and kind, but became this jealous guy that judged me and hurt me. He couldn’t stop picturing me with other guys and told me I screwed with his head. I know I should move on because any guy that really loves you won’t treat you that way, they’ll accept your faults and realize your worth. I just hate that he says he regrets us and me. He said I was everything he was looking for, I was perfect but he didn’t like my past and it all made him not trust me. If you have any words of advice I’d love to hear it.

  89. Maria says:

    Hello :) First of all this is one of the best articles ever! congratulations, you really made your point and it helped at least for a few days(which is HUGE for me and my jealousy!). My problem is little bit different. I am with my bf for almost a year now.He’s been married for 8 years and had a son with this women,they have been divorced for more than 4 years. They talk only about their son,once a week, he sees his son on Sundays,for 3,4 hours and that is it. He was very honest and told me everything about his past,that was a mistake,he was young ect.But I am still having pics in my head of them as a family,and I hate when she calls(before she was terrible and anoying,in a few 2,3 months she stoped so she doesnt even call,he calls when he wants to know smth about his son).
    To sum up: We are really really in love,planning a futre together but i am sooo obsessing about his past life,and comparing EVERYTHING to it,and ofc his ex wife. Do you have some advice how to get it out of my sistem on a daily bases? cause even if im ok for a few days,it comes back always.
    I would really appreciate if you answer. Have a nice day :)
    p.s. sorry for my grammar,I am not american, I’m polish.

  90. Angelina says:

    I wish my husband read this article so bad, because im to the point of getting a divorce. His jelousy are driving me to be like him. I am very depressed for all of this, and sometimes i dont know what to do.

  91. Mike says:

    @Angelina – You’ve tried talking to him about this, right? Like, to the point of saying “Maybe you’re never going to get over this. Maybe I should just leave.” Have you done that? I think the silver bullet to severe jealousy problems is to force them to compare their jealousy against a more powerful worry (losing you entirely), and then the jealousy often shrinks (permanently) in that broader perspective. Tragically, if you actually divorce him I’ll bet he’ll get over his jealousy in an instant.

    If talking doesn’t work, try initiating an ambiguous break/separation. The ambiguity is key. Frame it in your mind as temporary, but don’t communicate that to him. Leave it open to interpretation so the same neurosis that drives him to jealousy starts obsessing on all the things he might have done wrong, and about all the future jealousy-inducing events that might occur if you divorce. Put off the “I’m leaving vibe” long enough for him to squirm and picture life without you. Then come back, under the condition that he stop harassing you about whatever he harasses you about. And then be back; work to forgive him so you can get on with they (hopefully happier) relationship.

    Again, the idea is to forcibly broaden his perspective. The above solution might be too severe and manipulative, but it might be worth trying before full-on divorce.

    And hey, why not link him to this article? It’s less effort than filing for divorce. Jenn might have more to add as well.

    P.S. – I don’t know if it’s sexual jealousy you’re dealing with, but for what it’s worth: Guys tend to more jealous about good sex, while girls tend to be more jealous about good love. You might think that “It was just sex. I didn’t love him/them.” is comforting (as it would be to you), but to him, that might sound worse.

  92. Esther says:

    I like your article, and congratulate you on being able to overcome this jealousy issue. I too, cannot accept being with someone who lost their virginity while mine was still intact, and still cannot accept today. It definitely involves jealousy, but I believe it is also a very natural response to all humans.

    We are born with the need for unconditional love and fidelity from our “other half” and thus in this messed up world many of those essential things we need for a healthy and productive long term relationship are tainted.

    It’s very unfortunate that many people nowadays fail to use their rationality to think through how their actions today will affect others in the future. That is what happens when a girl or a guy sleeps with someone whom you will eventually marry.

    They are robbing you of what ought to be a meaningful and perfect marriage and leaving you to work on the mess that they have done. Very irresponsible, very nasty and something that I disdain very much. That is why waiting till marriage is so important, it makes you a responsible person both towards yourself, your partner and towards others.

    The reason I cannot accept marrying someone who is not a virgin is not a mere issue of jealousy, it is due to a large number of researched and recorded issues that needs to be dealt with if your partner had an unpleasant and promiscuous past. Emotional baggage, trauma, tendency to infidelity are just some of the issues that can arise.

    I don’t want to enter into a relationship and marriage that is so problematic that I can’t go by a day without having to struggle in my thoughts and emotions about the issues my partner has because of his past. Neither do I want to live every day trying to fight thoughts of jealousy/anger/bitterness. This just isn’t what I want or look for. I have had difficult times since childhood, and I want to have a marriage that is at least near perfection.

    I know this sounds kind of harsh, and I’m not saying everyone should follow my decision. But I do want to highlight that there are going to be issues that may ruin a relationship or at least affect the quality of your marriage due to sexual history of the other party. Therefore, we need to exercise control on our part that we do not become those who “rob people of what their partner could give” by sleeping casually around and decide what kind of relationship/marriage we want.

    People will have different standards and different requirements for their ideal spouse, the virgin shouldn’t hold onto a relationship and keep blaming the other party of their past, but neither should the non-virgin blame the virgin for not being accepting of his/her past. If you made the decision to give up your virginity knowing you will not marry that person, why can’t someone else make the decision not to be with you?

  93. IN PA says:

    my wife was a slut in the past that was her life then. live for now I was no angel growing up I banged my share of girls .we have been married for 20yrs and life is good. dont throw stones when u lived in a glass house also. the past is the past.let it go guys . use it to your good u might uncage an animal””

  94. Stelmara says:

    Impressed with how thoughtfully written your article is.
    So much one can relate to though as we know the feelings one has when jealousy gets a grip are all in the head and often not logical and maybe it’s only time that makes makes those dark feelings fade and hopefully vanish for good.
    I think for those that value sex and all that come with it will always suffer to some extent if their partner has been about and given themselves to many others, probably those that have a casual attitude towards sex don’t experience the horrid feelings that jealousy emits……….

  95. Anna says:

    My fiance has a history of casual relationships with multiple women and it’s something that I have really struggled with.

    When we were dating I convinced myself that I didn’t care.

    Now that we are engaged I feel an intense sense of being robbed. I feel like any intimacy we share is less special because it has been shared with other people.

    He has said that he didn’t care for those people and I just assume it was part of a male need to be with different women to try to gain self-esteem/ prove masculinity.

    I don’t know why I feel such resentment and anger about it. To me sex is and relationships are so special and meaningful I cannot contemplate how these things could be shared with just ‘anybody’.

    Although he tells me that he’s only ever loved me I feel like just one of many.

    Am I being overly insecure or is it natural for me to feel somewhat cheated?

  96. Flora says:

    This comment is for Anna…
    Anna, I am in exactly the same situation as you. I too am engaged to a wonderful man who has a shady past. Now that I know about his past, it really bothers me and I don’t really know how to get past these feelings.
    Maybe we can share stories. Let me know if you want my e-mail

    Jennifer, I loved your post as it was so enlightening for me to see that others share my feelings and point of view. Thank you and I wish you all the best

    Hugs

  97. Another Anna says:

    My name isn’t Anna however she has written my situation and sentiments to a T.

    Anna I think what we feel is natural. When God designed sex, It came with a blueprint bearing specific perameters because He knew how powerful sex is on every level, and how beautiful And rich and fulfilling He meant for it to be — between a man and woman who are in a covenant committed relationship with each other — inside of those boundaries is where that power and beauty and fulfillment can be safely expressed, exchanged, released, received, and contained. He wired us specifically to be able to handle the power if it in this setting only – monogamous relationship, where the two are committed, and have a proven love, and trust in ine another – no fear of the other leaving, or seeking another. Anywhere outside these bounds causes a mid-wiring in ones nobody and psyche and emotions. So as our fiances’ were at one time living a lifestyle which brought about a Mis-wiring, because WE are wired to only be able to handle and ultimately spark well with a partner whose wiring has been kept intact for us – not programmed or tampered with through experiences with others, now you and I are struggling with our wiring, and their wiring, trying to connect . Though they may have changed , coming away from that , realizing that was sin and lies, and been healed and ready for what is real and completely different , I believe we still suffer consequences. A clear example is if pregnancy occurs – you might change your ways after having had sex outside if marriage.. But you certainly still have a very real consequence of a baby on the way.

    I have struggled with resentment, worry, ruminating thoughts, immobilization (paralysis by anslysis if you will), anger and upset, bitterness, depression, frequent inner battles about moving forward in the relationship often feeling how is this supposed to work!, lots of tears, sadness , feeling miserable, finished self image and self esteem, isolation and seclusion because it feels like who can I confide in about this?, fears, difficulty feeling free to express myself in feminine or sexual-related ways even like painting my nails or having long hair (wondering what of painted nails or make up others already turned him on with, or that they had long hair too)… Running the gamut of thoughts wondering what and where and who and everything and it’s justca horrible torturous cycle. It hurts. It is degrading. It is utterly exhausting. Though my fiance is the most wonderful thoughtful sensitive caring loving attentive patient and forgiving Now-Christian man, I have struggled so much with this. I have particularly been feeling just empty, really empty. Cold and crusty. I have forgiven him and them. But I’m not experiencing freedom yet. Also the number of partners (girlfriends, one-night stands, including strangers) staggers me. I get ‘lost’ when I get to #2 let alone all the others. #2 because that was someone he chose to be with and it sounded like he had feelings . Never mind the trauma and anger in my mind about #1 who was an older teen who set things up so have sex with him ( he was Early teens). Man people haven’t a CLUE what they are doing . That was 27 years ago and look at the consequence. I, my fiance’s future wife, am suffering for some young chick’s schematic idea of casually using him for a sexual encounter. I know- she was probably a mixed up, broken girl, full of pains from a difficult upbringing of her own. For that I have compassion. But I’m still human and left here thinking of all these other women who are walking around and they have at least one memory of a sexual exchange with my fiance. How am I supposed to feel!!!!!!?!?

    This should be a time on my life I should be feeling joyful with warm fuzzies and expectations and anticipations of spending my life with my wonderful fiance. Someone said you have to stop looking through the small rearview window that is the past, because the view through the windshield to the future is wide open. True it is! Great analogy. So I tried that . But then guess what’s in my future, a wedding night and lifetime of wanting to enjoy sex with my husband…. And having waited 36 years for this to be all the special experience I have hoped for it to be…. But I’m fearing my feelings and excitement are diminished and my anticipation sunk, as I imagine when he will be in me, my mind is only going to be thinking how he was in this place with others and others felt this with him. Will I not feel like I’m just another one. My rightful pleasures are robbed. I won’t even go into it. It feels like these other people had all their fingers swirl and mess around in the icing on my cake. How good is the cake when the icing is already eaten.

    I am not saying my fiance hasn’t been forgiven, cleansed and restored because he has been. He is it the person he used to be. He is a new creation in Christ. He has experienced healing for the wounds of his childhood and relationship past.

    But I believe many of the difficult things he went though, became fresh wounds for me. I am hurting. The above are only a glimpse of thd troubling thoughts I have dealt with. I’ve been utterly tired so often. We have talked sbout it sometimes. But in general I know I need to not be bringing it up do much, and be careful not to reopen wounds for him that are already bound up and dealt with. So I Land up feeling stuck. I’m pretty sure I or we should get Counseling on this. I’m not good at relationships to begin with and do not carry many close relationships with other women and struggle with trusting to open up with them.

    I have wasted countless hours searching the internet for solace , others who understand, others who have successfully gotten through this, I’ve been back to the same articles at different times of struggle, probably 20 times in the last 3 years. Also lost tons of sleep. And my relationship with The Lord has not been where i’d like it to be. I find myself saying I don’t like myself. I feel my business has taking a hit through the course of my mental and emotional struggles over this. My housekeeping has regrettably taken a nosedive. I feel like I’ve really aged… Though thankfully I am frequently told by people who don’t knme I look way younger than i am.

    We otherwise have a great relationship, share many wonderful similar interests, enjoy each other’s company, spending time together, supporting one another in our vocational endeavours, and look forward to taking possession of our house soon, and preparing for our wedding just a few months away.

  98. My god says:

    Some of you people should see a pschiatrist. You are nuts!

  99. robert says:

    thank you I still have a long way to go I’m on my first step .

  100. S. says:

    My situation is a little different to those written here, but issues are the same.
    My long distance partner is from North America, a place as you write Angela, where casual sex isn’t really thought of as a big deal.
    I’m from a European country and as a Catholic girl, I believe in self respect and being in loving relationship to share sex. I don’t necessarily agree with no sex before marriage in this age (regardless of my Christian faith)

    I have had two long term relationships before meeting my current partner and had sex with both these men.
    My partner has had 26 sexual partners…I don’t know if he’s had three-somes, or anything, I don’t want to ask for fear of the answer and me not liking it, but I do know that he has had sex while other people have watched, a thought which makes me feel ill.

    When we see each other every four months or so, these feelings dissolve,I am happy and when we make love I never think of anything else but him and I, not about other girls or what he’s thinking or anything else. It’s great.

    Back home, I am a different person…not all the time, but sometimes. He has all these female ‘friends’ and to be honest, I don’t know if that’s all they are / were. On the phone once, he admitted that this daughter of a family friend and him were always thought by their parents, that they would end up together, and told me they had history…he also said he would still call her a friend. A lot of the people he follows on Instagram are pretty girls and I’ve seen him liking their pictures. I don’t know whether he’s had sex with them, but I feel sick when I see he’s liked them. It is weighing me down. When he goes out drinking he would text me the whole night, and being innocent tells me stories about what is happening. For example he text me last week “One of the girls think you look like such’n’such (a celeb look-a-like”). I felt a pang of real jealousy surge through me. Who is this girl?
    It is an insecure terrible and all-consuming feeling and it’s heightened by the fact that I’m not there with him, even on the same continent and I don’t know who he’s hanging out with. I trust him, but these are feelings I don’t know how to manage while we’re a part.

    I hate his past, I never thought in a million years I would find myself with someone who slept with so many people. I find it a huge turn off. But I love him deeply, and as mentioned before, this is the only part of him I do not love. And I cannot change that, but instead I have to accept it. I recently told him that I feel jealous of people he is in contact with, because I wish I could do the simple things like watch TV, go out with friends and cook a meal with him.
    Even his house mates gf, who practically lives with them is starting to annoy me. He talks about her quite a lot. I have never mentioned it to him because I don’t want him to think I’m crazy, but the other night he must have mentioned her name to me about 6 times and how great a cook she was…that shouldn’t bother me but it does.

    His ex gf is beautiful and has large breasts which I know he loves, he said something dumb and hurtful to me once over Skype (I have a small chest) and I have seen that he liked photos of her, from a long time ago, maybe when they were together, of her in bikinis and I just think ‘I can never look like that.’

    He loves me very much and wants a future with me. He told my parents that he is willing, once the time is right to emigrate to my country for me. He tells me I’m genuinely the most woman inside and out that he’s ever met, and yet still, I have these awful feelings. I feel physically sick, the world around me almost stops and I can’t eat.

    I have been hurt very badly in the past and I’m trying to give this man all my trust because he really wants it and is trying to earn it, but the distance and his past are huge obstacles in this for me.

    I’m glad I read most/all of the comments here, it helped me feel like I wasn’t alone in this….Good luck to everyone overcoming this. One step at a time I guess. Our imagination can be beautiful friend, but also an ugly enemy. xx

  101. Walt says:

    Hello, that is such a great article that you have written and I am trying to soak it all in. My problem is that I am recently married to a woman who i have known for most of my life, but we hadn’t talked for a very long period of time before we started dating via internet because I was overseas. Long story short. I spent the last 10months at home in between contracts, and that was the most time we have really spent together at one period of time even though we Skype everyday. I am very inexperienced with sex prior to her due to being overweight my whole life. She had always dated very thin guys and ended up dating/marrying a guy who is extremely FIT with sick pack and the whole works. I know details about their relationship and sex, only because i asked questions i probably shouldn’t have due to my own physical insecurities with all that. we had sex a lot while I was at home, but she never really seemed to have much of a sex drive and doesn’t think about it as much as I do. She pulled the I’m too tired from work card a lot or I’m not feeling good card etc…. it made me feel that she is not attracted to me and doesn’t want to rip my clothes off like i want to do to her. i have serious jealousy and insecurities with all this now. I want to know how she was before, she had multiple partners before and was going through some very hard times which I can’t explain on here. Beside the multiple extremely thin guys and the muscle guy she married, I did find out that she had anal sex with him, but she will not do it with me because she said it hurt so bad. whether it did or not, i don’t know if that is the real reason she doesn’t want to do it with me or not, or why she went through the pain of it with him and not me? I don’t know how to move on from all this. I love her with all my heart, and don’t want to lose her, but at the same time, I can’t being going on like this with all the images and stuff that go through my head. Keep in mind I’m 7,000miles away from her right now and she is coming out here in a month and a half. Thank you for any advice you can give.

  102. Chad says:

    I have read this article several times. I have needed to come back and read the encouraging words several times in my current relationship. I have had a very limited amount of partners and from a conversation very early on in iur dating I know my partner has had many more than I. I have struggled internally with irrational and unfair jealousy. She is an amazing woman and she would talk to me about what I’m struggling with. I don’t want to put her on the spot about anything because I love her and it really doesn’t matter. It’s really hard sometimes though. I can really feel so many of the commenters pain. It’s not fair to her that I would have an opinion about her sexual experiences before me. I tend to go back to Jennifer’s comment about how would I feel if she wasn’t around anymore. Crushed. She is amazing. That is how I need to think whenever I am feeling insecure and jealous. To me it is both the physical and emotional aspect of the sex too. I see how she responds to my body and my touch and I hate thinking that I am not special. That she felt these same or similar sexual feelings with others. Beyond the sexual feelings are the little inside jokes we share. They make me feel special and I know she must have shared those same type of things with other guys. It helps me to type this out and get it off my chest and to read it and see how immature and insecure I sound. Like Jennifer said it comes down to needing to feel special. That’s me. She makes me feel that way, but in weak moments I think about everyone else she had made feel that way. I should go. I will probably be back because I need some encouraging words on this front sometimes. Thank you for the open comments forum.

  103. Martin says:

    I just read through your FAQ and I must say I am very glad I did.
    Thank you!

  104. Mr Brightside says:

    Thank you for this.

    I have found the love of my life after so many years of pain and struggle and disappointment. Sometimes she mentions her ex-boyfriends casually and I immediately get these pictures in my head of them having sex with her and she enjoying it. Even though it was the past.

    I am extremely cynical and mostly a misanthrope. I have no love for the majority of the world or the people and their everyday bullshit. I have been cast out, either by them or of my own will, and in isolation I have festered in a growing hatred and hollowness.

    I’ve had a few sexual experiences in the past that all went horribly wrong in a downward spiral effect. So I have never had full on intercourse, only a series of mishaps and almost moments that ruined my relationships.

    The worst thing is I know I am wrong and I need to change. I fight a battle with myself every day, and it just never ends. I could be so much more. To be the man my love deserves, because she is such a beautiful soul.

    When I spend time with my her, I am the man I want to be. But her sexual past keeps bringing back the monster in me and my hate for the kind of superficial society that fucked me up in the first place. It feels like the only pure thing in my world is bearing their disease. I have never met or seen any of her exes, but I hate them for no reason. I feel like a psychopath.

    I just don’t want her to be anything like the women from my past, because they were all cruel and careless and ignorant of the fact. And I am down to my last. My love for her is the strongest thing I have ever felt and if I lose her, I won’t survive the aftermath.

    In any case, I discussed it with my partner on a few occasions. She hates talking about it, for all of the reasons mentioned in the article above and because her sanity is in better shape than mine. But somehow she understands my feelings. She even told me that she wishes I had been her first and only. The sentiment in itself means a lot to me. I also think I don’t want to know any more. I’m so unsure about it though. The situations in my mind are pretty bad, but would the details of the reality be better? Or just worse? I just need to stop thinking about it as soon as possible.

    I still believe that the part of me that is so terrified of my partner’s past is the same part of me that loves her so much for being the only one to ever reach into my secluded little world and pulling me out.

    We’ve been together for about a year now and I can really see us spending the rest of our lives together. I’m a much stronger and healthier person because of her. I know I still have some struggles ahead with the jealousy and all the other things in my head, but I know now I can never let it come between us, because I would just be sabotaging our relationship in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I don’t know why I’m writing this comment. Maybe it helps me process some extra thoughts. Maybe there’s someone out there who needs to read this.

    I refuse to destroy my last best hope at happiness and love because of past events that I can never ever change.

  105. hollz says:

    Wow guys. I had no idea other people felt this way. I was feeling like such a bad person for resenting my boyfriend. Here’s the short version:
    We have been friends/ known each other for about 5 years. I know he has had sexual partners in the past (one for sure) but other than that I haven’t asked and he hasn’t revealed any details. We’ve been together almost a year now. This wasn’t even an issue for me and it feels like overnight I have been overcome with hurt and sadness. I am a virgin and I’ve dreamt of the day when I could say to my future husband “I’ve waited for you”. I just crazily never thought I wouldn’t get the same in return. I didn’t expect necessarily to end up with a virgin but what I didn’t realize is all the feelings that come with it. He has completely turned his life around and I want to see him for the person he is NOW. And yes most of the time I do and it’s wonderful. But mostly at night when I have nothing but time to think is when so many thoughts creep in. After reading the article I think what bothers me the most is feeling like I was robbed of something I wanted and valued so much. Even forgiving doesn’t take the pain away because you know there’s a part of them that will forever be with those people. It doesn’t seem fair to me to be able to give all of myself when he isn’t. All these things are so completely irrational because I know talking about it, dwelling on it, etc. does nothing to feed into the jealousy. Should I tell him any of this? Would it do any good? I know he would feel guilty and horrible about it but a small part of me wants him too. Is this awful or what. Jealousy is really a horrible disease I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but it really is not easy to move past. These stories of people going YEARS with it scares the living crap out of me. Me and my boyfriend talk about marriage and our life together all the time but I’m just soooo bothered by the fact that I wouldn’t be his first. I have so many emotions like anger, resentment, hurt, confusion, I don’t know how to deal with it I feel so alone. Knowing there’s other people out there does help. I want to move past it but how can your mind erase something? Not sure if it’s possible

    Any and all advice or stories similar helps!
    God bless

  106. Ms. Abercrombie says:

    It is so much helpful especially for me because I’m in a situation right now that I always get jealous every time we talk about our past experience and it burns my nerve, feeling, heart, mind and etc because he does have lots of sexual experience (complicated and married)before than me. He is my dream guy he loves me cares me respect me understand me and I don’t want to lose him. Thank you so much Jennifer and wish i can get over and move on soonest!

  107. Jealous Amy says:

    I recently found this article when having a surge of intense jealousy that often rears it’s ugly head at inopportune moments. I have never related more to a comments section in my life. I was brought to even more tears while reading some of the stories because they reflect my exact feelings. I also was extremely saddened by those 10+ years in a relationship still struggling with these feelings. It makes me think that I too will always feel extreme hurt and jealousy whenever I think about my boyfriend’s past.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year now. He is my first in almost everything. I was a virgin before our relationship and I knew that he had prior sexual experience we first had sex and he took my virginity, but I wasn’t aware of how extensive his experiences were until later on. He used to be, excuse the lewd term, a complete manwhore. He cannot even remember the number of women that he has slept with, and that bothers me so much. He has also had prior marriages. Before he knew how much I was bothered by his past, he used to tell me “funny” stories of his wild escapades with multiple women, one night stands, etc. He has an STD from one of these experiences.

    However, these experiences were far in his past. He is completely reformed and loves me with all his heart and does everything for me. I love him so much and I feel like he’s perfect for me, except for his past. Like others, when we have sex, sometimes I can’t help but think about him doing the same with so many other girls. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing that he gave himself so freely to pretty much anyone who asked. Sex to me, who has only had sex with him, is such an incredibly emotional and special experience, and yet I think that he must not value it or me in the same way. It could be anyone underneath him and it would not matter. I think about how all these other women have had this same experience with him, have this memory of being with him, and it makes me feel like garbage. Like I’ve been robbed. This is supposed to be a special, one of a kind thing, and yet I feel like I’m just getting the leftovers. What value does it have when so many others have had the same thing?

    These thoughts are poisoning our relationship. It makes me feel disgusted by him and his past. Sometimes I have told him this but I feel bad about guilting him about things he cannot change. He reassures me and tells me that he loves me but I don’t feel like he really gets it. I also don’t feel like he truly regrets having these experiences, and it makes me feel awful that he doesn’t, and then bad for feeling that he SHOULD feel guilty about it. But I can’t help feeling that he should. I feel terrible all the time. I feel like if I wasn’t a virgin before him, I would be able to calm these feelings because I too would have had a past, but that is not the case. Like maybe if I had sex with as many men as he has women, he would be able to understand the jealousy that I feel. But then again, I know I wouldn’t feel right doing that because that’s just not the way I am, and that again makes me question whether we really share the same values deep down. I feel this part of our relationship is unfair, unbalanced, and nothing is able to quell these feelings, but at the same time I can’t picture life without him. If anyone has any advice for my particular situation, please share!

  108. Life student says:

    Wow! So many posts with a wide spectrum of life experiences, regrets, remorse, denial, rationalizing and cooping. For me, I waited but, my wife did not. She had a serious boyfriend in college leading to a very painful break-up. When we started getting serious, this prior relationship came up. Probably one of the most painful experiences in my life. I had to decide whether she was to be Mrs. Right or not. Over the years, there were several times were jealousy really took a very ugly turn where I was asked, “then why did you marry me?” There were time when I thought it would have been much easier to have someone else. After over 30+ years, I can still have passing regrets and jealousy; and, I know that she also has remorse from that first relationship. Despite that painful mistake, she is the very best person in my life and best woman I ever dated. Her qualities, faith and character are a beacon to our family and to those who work with her. You have to let go of the past and forgive. If you are unable to do that, it may be better for you to stand firm in your personal conviction to only marry a virgin. The life lesson I learned is that the wounds of the past can also have a profound effect on your perspective of forgiveness and grace. Surprisingly, I do not think I would have learned this lesson any other way. Instead, I would have been arrogant and judgmental. All of our past histories and relationships have some form of regrets and disappointments. We need a means to step past our unfortunate mistakes. It also begs a very interesting question: do you think that virgins have an easier, stronger, less entangled love and marriage than non-virgins? I don’t think so. While it may have a positive advantage and foundation as a starting point, there are so many other things that play into a rich, loving marriage over a life time. I welcome your thoughts and insights.

  109. Jack says:

    Hello i need some advice from people. I have been with my partner a while now we are due our first child in december this year, which we both are extremely happy about. I love this girl very much but iam finding it hard to get over her sexual past. The reason i think im finding it very hard is because we live in a small town everybody pretty much knows everyone. So some of the people she has slept with i know which is difficult as i keep getting mental pictures in my head and its driving me crazy any ideas on how to get past it ?? As it comes and goes

  110. Kflo says:

    When I was dating my husband I asked what is a very important question to me before we got serious is how many women has he been with. He lied to me and told me 4. I was somewhat ok with it he was 21 at the time. After we was together a year and in love with each other we was talking and he brought up some stuff and had forgotten how many he told me well all the sudden im number 9. This upset me bad. I was crazy about him but he lied to me about something that is not just a number to me. I didn’t want someone who had slept around. It has bothered me greatly. But I thought id get over it because I was head over heels for him. Well we have been together for 8yrs married for 6 and it still upsets me. I was looking at some lingerie and was thinking on getting a school girl outfit to try and spice things up and keep it interesting and when I was telling him he made a mistake in thinking I already had a school girls outfit which I have never had. When we was dating I had an maids costume but that was it. He brought that up and tried to make it like it was that one he was talking about then he admitted he got me confused with an ex girlfriend. I was fine and dealing with everything good until he said that and it has bothered me bad. I wish a lot of times I made it a deal breaker and left the liar.

  111. laelamommy says:

    Jennifer how do i private message you? I have a few personal issues I need advice on.

  112. S. says:

    Worst fears confirmed, bf had a threesome in the past. I straight out asked and he told me, he was very honest and I appreciate him doing that. Although he says he isn’t proud of it, I remembered something he said to me a few months ago. We were talking over text about if we had children, how they would play hockey. He said ‘you’d be a hockey mom’ and put a little emojicon of hearts and faces with heart eyes, symbolising how hot that would be…well, turns out this threesome was with a ‘hockey mom’, a married woman with children. I honestly feel sick.
    I love this man and I love his honesty when I ask him things. I’m glad I asked in a way because I know for sure, but it truly makes me feel sick. This is all in his past, but it annoys me how different we are about sex. I feel hurt, surely he was thinking of her what he said i would be a hockey mom. I don’t know how to feel better.

  113. John says:

    My girlfriend has been having issues with my past and it seems like I cant get her to accept me for who I am now. First off I will say that I am a little over 10 years older than her and she has limited partners where as I have been with numerous women throughout the years but mainly in my college days which were 10 years ago. She says that she has trouble being comfortable with me because she pictures me with other women and isnt comfortable with who I was. I love her to death and want to make her realize that just because I was someone years ago, it does not mean it is who I am today. Any advice on how to reassure her on my loyalty and love for her while making her realize that I feel that she is the only one for me?

  114. Nathan says:

    Jennifer Please Please Please email me
    surf2497@gmail.com i really need help , i would so anything at this point.

  115. kenny says:

    I am 29. Waiting to get married in 3months time, but I feel like I should cancel the wedding because of the continual feeling of jealousy of my girl’s past patners. She’s had five, I’ve had only one. I’ve never disvirgin any girl before and now I think I’ll miss that opportunity forever if we get married. Very confused! Pls help

  116. Shilpi says:

    I felt the same way and have been dealing with it for quite a long time….

    It looks like as if I have written my own story……..my own views…my own pain..

    http://to-live-at-best.blogspot.in/2014_06_01_archive.html

  117. Natalie says:

    Great job on the article! I’ve been with my fiancé for two years. As a virgin, i struggled a lot to get over his past. The thought of him being intimate with other people really made me feel miserable.
    Now I’ve realized the things you’ve described in your article. At the end of the day, time will allow you to get over it as long as you’re both willing to work through it . And like you said, I use to obsess over details only to find that he has probably forgotten most of them. And what’s truly important is the moment you’re sharing together in the present.

  118. Marty M says:

    Great article. I am just now struggling with this. Enjoy these articles and forums. Found a book yesterday that helped too.
    http://www.amazon.com/Get-Over-Overcoming-Retroactive-Jealousy-ebook/dp/B00LIIVGYW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1404919561&sr=1-1
    It helped me see more about me then just putting it on my girlfriend.

  119. Marty M says:

    I am with you guys. The thought of the past keeps me up at night. I can’t help but google these guys, and wish the worst for them. Are they the bad guys? Is my GF? I think about them when we are intimate too. SUCKS!!!!!

  120. Louj says:

    I felt a little relieved after reading,,, I think this will help me on my situation :) thank you for sharing your experience

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