how to get over husbands past

How do I get over my husband’s past? I recently, after about a year of marriage, came to know that he has been to bath houses etc. and has had countless sex partners including countless gangbangs and orgasms. We talked about past relationships earlier in the relationship and I knew he had more partners than me. But I didn’t feel anything like that. I am very old fashioned and prudent when it comes to sex and I cannot help but feel extremely uncomfortable. It’s all up to the point where knowing this makes me uncomfortable around him especially sexually and I find it hard to know what I do. I know that the past is the past, and I have no doubt that everything is behind that. how do i let it go // I probably should have mentioned that I’m a guy too, we’re gay.

48 thoughts on “how to get over husbands past

  1. My feelings on the past are, “our past is what made us who we are. If you love who he is, don’t stress it.”

    Because of his past, he’s prob very good in bed. So enjoy it 😉

  2. He’s the same guy he always was. The same guy you love. He hasn’t changed.

    You have to logically decide to set those emotions aside. And saying things like “I’m old fashioned and prudish” just excuses you judging him and harboring these bad emotions. Cut that out, right now.

    Odds are, you may need to talk to a therapist to help.

  3. When we’re confronted with new information about a loved one, it can take us *time to process*.

    Ideally, the two of you should be able to have open and honest (and ideally, *non-judgemental* conversations) about each other’s pasts. That way, it may help you get some questions answered and the level of honesty might also build greater trust and understanding between you.

    To be clear, he has nothing to apologize for nor should he be subject to an interrogation. This is about learning more about each other, not an opportunity for either of you to judge the other.

    As you know, you can’t just “turn off” an emotion. But we still have some control over ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings and most importantly, *our actions*.

    There are ways to practice mindfulness — including during sex — to prevent errant/intrusive thoughts from interrupting/interfering our enjoyment, for example. But I also feel like, if you need time to process, that’s reasonable too as long as you’re not using a break as a form of punishment against his past.

  4. I’ve read plenty of posts around the subject of knowing or understand your partner’s sexual history (body count, etc) and I’ve seen plenty of folks say that it should be a non-issue because your partner is with you. First, I’m like you and I’m fairly old fashioned in the same sense. Had my husband had the past that yours had – we wouldn’t be married. Second, just as someone can say to you that it shouldn’t matter and he’s with you, etc., etc., some of us can just as easily say it does matter and you have every right to know what you want to know and to feel a certain way. It’s important that you are comfortable with his past and how you see him. Third, if you had asked and discussed this and he didn’t share some of the more salacious details until after you were married, then I personally feels that’s wrong. How do you let this go? I’m afraid that’s really hard to answer. My only suggestion is to really dig deep on how you feel about him overall and maybe get him to share more about why he did what he did and try to understand where he was in the time in his life. To be more optimistic, maybe it’s something you can leverage and have fun with if you ever develop a comfort level with what he’s done in the past. It’s a tough situation – no easy answers.

  5. A bit of non-standard advice here, but I would take some steps to address your “old fashioned and prudish” ideas about sex. It’s fine to be that way, but if you’re with a partner who is completely at the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve seen a lot of cases where it starts to cause friction. Ie: Has he ever encouraged you to initiate more, be more outgoing, be less shy / more confident, etc..? If so, I can see this causing problems in the future.

    WRT the question at hand; Past is past, get some therapy if you’re having an issue getting past it.

  6. You’re old fashioned and prudish which could very well mean he’s one of the many men on here posting about his prude wife and how to improve the marital sex life. IMO you need to update your way of thinking around sex and sexuality. He had a life, he did some cool stuff and now he’s stuck with you.

  7. ask this question on r/askmen and r/askwomen, without mentioning your or spouse’s gender. You’ll probably get fair and balanced responses that’ll help you sort things out internally

  8. If you want to get over your discomfort you need to interrogate it and tease it apart into its constituent elements.

    You say you have trouble getting turned on by him because you know what he did. What kinds of things are you imagining, and what kinds of thoughts are you having in response to those imagined things? What kinds of feelings? Just offhand I can think of several different areas that might be tough to wrap your head around, but I’m more interested in what YOU have to say on the subject.

  9. If your husband is so sexually adventurous, how did he end up with someone so “old fashioned and prudish” (your words)? I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that, it just feels like a mismatch that could lead to real trouble down the road. Did he have some sort of awakening or conversion?

  10. Yes our past is what molded us as to who we are now presently. People often get too caught up in the past.

    Like when I say my wife gives the best head ummm I’d simply enjoy said head and not question why 😉??

    I know I look stupid and am but I’m really not that stupid 🤣

  11. If it is truly difficult, consider visiting /r/retroactivejealousy and/or seeing a therapist/counsellor

  12. Is he happy with your sexual life or does he crave the “good old times”?
    Is he tested against all STDs?
    Do you have a big sexual history?
    Why didnt he tell you earlier? Did he hide it on purpose from you?

    Depending on the answer you have to decide if you can live with his past or not.

  13. Hmm if this were him being monogamous but had 1000 partners in all, would this change your perspective? Gang bangs or not, he’s had many partners befor3 no matter how you put it. Now if he said he’s a virgin or your his first love ever, you may have a valid point to worry. In the end, what’s important is how faithful he is to you and how well of a husband he is.

  14. Do you think part of it is that you worry you won’t be enough for him longterm, and/or that you can’t give him the same experience as multiple partners at once? For me that would play on my mind, even if my partner told me that he was over all of that & it was just a phase he went through. Personally Id not be comfortable with it and it would play on my own insecurities which wouldn’t help our sex life.

  15. I’m super curious as to the why? Don’t get me wrong, your feelings are 100% valid, but understanding what about his past is making you uncomfortable will go a long way into understanding how to sooth your anxieties over his sexual history. Highly recommend therapy if it’s accessible to you both. Good luck friend!

  16. Clearly you already know that this isn’t his fault and you almost certainly would have been better off never knowing.

    But now you do and the trolls saying it’s nothing to do with you have clearly never come across this kind of insecurity and should therefore be keeping quiet!

    There another set of trolls that I didn’t notice here slamming you because you have a past but they don’t understand that relationships never have coincidental sets of insecurities.

    You have some choices that depend how important this relationship I’d to you.

    See a therapist, see if you can deal with it or leave.

    There are levels to this of course, particularly to do with letting him down gently if jou are going. If he believes this is permanent he’s probably gonna feel really shitty that his past has brought it to an end. The harsh version is that a past like this is likely a deal breaker for many average people and he should have told you at the start but If you respect him as much as it sounds like you do, find a way to do it gently.

  17. This is a classic example of “don’t ask questions you don’t wanna know the answer too”

  18. This isn’t a cause to see a therapist everyone is seriously over-reacting here wth

  19. I’m probably wrong for this, but it would take serious couples counseling for me to be able to move past this so I understand. I would not judge him as a person and I’d still love him, I’d make that clear, but the sexual and romantic attraction would probably disappear (mostly the sexual). I would be pretty turned off and it would be hard for me to feel turned on knowing about gangbangs and orgies. Lots of sex partners and way more than me? Oh I don’t care about that, but for whatever reason, a bunch of sex partners at once yes I do mind. Very much so. Same way with prostitutes and stuff. Maybe I am too conservative sexually. It is what it is. My point is you’re not alone.

    Anyways, I don’t think you’re wrong for this. I agree. I advise couples counseling. At the end of the day his past is his past and you guys are where you are now for a reason. I’m sure you still love him. See if you can overcome it as a unit. Good luck to you both! I hope you can work it out.

  20. Just think of it as getting with someone who knows shat they are doing. Sex is an act, the emotions involved are what bring you two closer to each other.

  21. Why are you thinking about his past rather than the future you two can build??? If anything worry about your own past and what you could have done differently

  22. The past is… the past.

    The really shitty thing is when they overshare and repeat the stories that should be reserved for their friends.

  23. I want to say this gently: could your “prudishness” and feelings about his past be a bit of residual internalized homophobia? Because while you obviously knew your husband as a gay man, you didn’t know he was “that kind” of gay man. It seems possible that this info triggered some latent fears and stereotypes you may be holding onto about the kind of men who engage in group sex and cruise bathhouses— perhaps as unclean or sexually deviant. Given the important historical and cultural significance of these activities within gay culture, and given that they are more normalized within gay culture (at least in my part of the country), I think it’s worth at least exploring where your negative feelings are coming from.

    Therapy is obviously an ideal venue for exploration and reflection. I recommend individual counseling rather than couples as you’ve correctly identified the person with a problem here is you, and your partner should not be subjected to you airing hurtful opinions about past experiences he can’t control. You also might want to spend time with the memoirs, histories, blogs, life writing, and poetry of men, past and present, who have experienced sexual joy or growth through the kinds of activities your husband engaged in; doing so may help to chip away at internal bias, to understand why many gay and bisexual men have engaged in cruising or group sex and what they get/ got out of it. I believe it is possible to cultivate an attitude of open curiosity about even things that may initially repulse us, and I hope you will one day get to the point where you actually appreciate all the different life experiences that went into making your husband the man that you love today.

  24. I don’t understand the comments on this post, if this is a big deal to you and you are uncomfortable that is okay. It can be shocking to find out you have vastly different views on sex than your partner and your reaction is normal.

    It would be worth talking to a therapist about how this has affected you, a session with your partner present would probably help.

  25. tbh thats disgusting and you’re reaction makes sense.

    maybe dont think of it as “getting over his past”- patiently work through your feelings and try to be as understanding as possible to him and yourself especially.

    his behaviour may not line up with your values, but ensure that your behaviour does. at the end of the day, we only have our character.

    it would help if he changed his values (on his own) and regrets his past, but thats his business

    if you like living life with him and are generally happy in the relationship, I dont see any reason to leave. nobody is perfect.

  26. I mean… you have two choices: leave him or get over it. Both choices have challenges so you’ll have to decide what will make you happier. One thing I’ll say tho is that whatever he did is not a reflection of you or your character. And if you do stay, don’t hold it against him. That will only bring on resentment from both parties. Good luck

  27. You should get Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It is especially useful to get over irrational fears and beliefs.

  28. I think it’s understandable that you feel this way. Maybe that sort of thing doesn’t align with your morals and values. And in that case, you shouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t have the same morals and values as you. Because you need that, at the very least, for a realtionship to work and survive.

  29. Wow. People are mean just because they don’t understand or realize people’s brains are different. You are not wrong and he is not wrong.

    Was this new information followed up with something like yes, it happened, I’m not interested in that anymore. I have you and you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me, hottest husband ever, I love you so much…etc etc?

    I am ocd about my bf’s past and crap that happened in our relationship the first few years. Lot’s of other details of course, just like you, but medication is what helps me not obsess. Without it, it’s torture and I hate doing it. Bad cycle.

    But, we went to a couples counselor we really liked and he helped sooo much. He specializes in attachment styles.

    I’m sorry you are going through this, I know it sucks!!

  30. You can’t hold him against something that happened before you two knew eachother. That’s not fair

  31. Just as we’ve said to women and men on this page, our partners are not their sexual past. Their sexual past creates the sexual person that they have become and you have enjoyed the sexual fruits of their past. The way to get past that is to either get some therapy and find a way to move past it and realize that you are putting your partners worth on how many partners they’ve had which is demeaning and gross

    Or

    Walk away

  32. I’m going to make assumptions here, some of which may come off as a personal attack. This is not the intention whatsoever, it’s just that this pattern of thought is deeply rooted in the ego and the solution that keeps you with your husband requires killing that raw reaction that you’re experiencing. I’ve been in your position and I made the choice to leave but if you want to stay you really need to think about it.

    Firstly, the surface answer is that you think it’s gross. Not very fun to picture huh, unless your into cuckhold stuff. Have you been intimate since? Have visions of other men turned you off in the moment? Congrats, it’s not a psychological defect, you just feel that this new info disrupts the sense of security that you have in your relationship.

    Peeling back the layers, the most common things are going to be:

    1. You feel inferior to you husband’s past partners. Men want to be desired and there’s nothing more exemplary of pure desire than screwing a stranger in a bath house. So when your husband is tired and says “not tonight,” it starts a mental spiral of “would he say that to Chad with the [insert desirable trait]? Is he settling for me now that he’s down with his wild sexual past? Will I never have access to that untamed sexuality that he shared with a bunch of randos? Am I lesser now that he’s used up and I get the sloppy seconds? If he gets bored, will he go find that with someone else and I’m be the faithful chump who’s none the wiser? Now this may sound mean but it’s a form of projection that usually accompanies low-self esteem. More often than not, you don’t actually believe any of these things, it’s just what society tells you about male sexuality and your role in that (even if you’re gay!). It all goes inward

    2. Envy. You feel like you missed out on crazy sex and that’s taken out on your husband. You want to feel special and on even ground, but the focus on the gap in your sexual experiences creates distance.

    You’re well within his right to do what you wants, i.e. leaving and finding a more prudish partner, but that also entails divorcing someone you shared vows with, which you may end up regretting. Or maybe you won’t. Regardless, your husband can’t unfuck people so it’s all on you. Leave or don’t, but don’t hold it over your husband’s head

  33. It sounds to me like you have built up residual anger inside that is going to destroy your relationship if it has not already done so. You almost seem to be slut shaming him the way many men do when they find out their girlfriends or wives had x amount of lovers. I suggest you might want to seek the help of a therapist to work out what it is that is really bothering you and then deciding if this is the man for you…Sorry I do not mean to be cruel but somebody needs to say it.

  34. Well, you might have married someone on the other end of the spectrum. There are men who were sexually repressed their whole lives until marriage. Usually because they were brought up in religion. Once they hit a middle age crisis they might want to go off and experience the freedom they didn’t have on their 20s. It might be hard for them not to cheat. I think if you’re not worried about your husband cheating on you because he’s sexually depressed, that’s at least a good thing.

    So count your blessings, I guess. But that’s not all.

    The only way to get over your current predicament for real is to talk to him about it. Tell him you wish he had told you while you were dating and you’re going to need his help to find a way to emotionally put it away.

  35. I make sure to tell my gfs I don’t want to know about past sexual history, it’s history and it may cause friction. My guide to a relationship 🙂 the cats out of the bag now, so you really just need to find out if you can get past it. Maybe talk with a registered councillor or therapist, even just one session to get your feelings out.

  36. Aaand this is probably why he didn’t give the specifics before and I can’t say that I blame him, given your reaction. His past conflicts with your current biases and that’s very hard for someone to overcome. Ignorance would have been bliss.

  37. A better way to look at it is he’s had many sexual partners and experiences but he’s given it all up (I assume) for a monogamous relationship with you

  38. The only thing that has changed is that now you know. He is still the same person he was before you found out.

    It’s tricky to get past preconceived moral ideas sometimes (I have a similar issue with my wife that pops into my head every now and the too) but if you fell in love with him before you knew, then you should still love him now.

    Unless the issue is he lied to you about his past, you have found out and the issue is trust related. In that case I would put it in a similar box to cheating, which is a dealbreaker for me. Trust is everything in a relationship.

  39. I have experience with an ex gf who had a much more “wild” sexual history than myself at the time and I was unable to let it go for the longest time which is one of the reasons that she ended things with me and that I’m now an ex. My advice is to let it go any way possible or it absolutely WILL ruin your relationship and after it’s over you’ll wonder why it was such a big deal to you.

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