DEAR DEIDRE: I CAME face-to-face with my wife’s first boyfriend, the guy she lost her virginity to, when my niece invited him and his wife to her wedding.
I have been struggling to come to terms with my wife’s past recently so it was such a cruel coincidence.
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I am 47 and she is 44. She was only 16 when she first had sex and, before she met me, when she was 20, she had a lot more sexual experience than I did.
I didn’t have sex until I was 22. I was a slow starter.
I don’t hold it against my wife that she had an active sex life but I regret missing out on those teenage experiences.
Her past was difficult for me to accept when we first met but I did accept it.
After more than 20 years of marriage it seemed to have faded to be just a distant memory — until now.
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My niece’s wedding was small due to the coronavirus restrictions, though this was when you could still have 30 there. My sister works with this guy’s wife and she’d made the wedding cake so I had to spend the day with this man.
It was nobody’s fault but I was devastated. It was an agonising day because I had to keep my feelings hidden.
Now I can’t stop thinking about my wife with these other guys, especially when we have sex.
She insists the sex happens at night, in bed, in the dark and under the duvet, whereas it was any time and any place when she was a teenager with those other men. I realise I have jealousy issues but I’ve become stressed and anxious. I love my wife so much but I have also become very clingy and can hardly bear to be parted from her.
I can’t sleep and sometimes I burst into tears because it is all making me so depressed, yet I know my wife loves me and I have so much to be thankful for.
DEIDRE SAYS: I can imagine it was a shock for you to see this guy in the flesh but please don’t ruin a long and happy marriage over your wife’s teenage experiences. That was then and she is with you now, enjoying a faithful, loving relationship.
We can never own our partner’s past. Your wife loves you and it is you she married. Try to keep hold of that when you think of her with other guys.
She can’t change her sexual history and, in any case, her past has made her the person you love today.
Pack it away in the past where it belongs. If thoughts of her continue to come into your mind, have a mental picture ready of one of your best moments together and focus on that.
My e-leaflet Dealing With Jealousy will help you too.
But if you continue to feel depressed do talk to your doctor.
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