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Stuck dwelling on partner’s sexual past

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Stuck dwelling on partner’s sexual past

Postby Counterproductive88 » Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:51 pm

I’m aware that there’s countless threads out there similar to this but none the less, it would be nice to share what I’m experiencing and get thoughts / advice.
I will start off by saying I know this is an issue within myself as it happens in EVERY relationship I’ve been in.

I’m a 29 year old male who gets severely hung up on my partner’s sexual past. It originated with my first “real” relationship at the age of 18. At that time, the woman I was dating was a virgin (as was myself) but she had oral sex with someone prior and once I found out, it felt crushing and really ate at me. Immature.. I know.

Fast forward through my 20’s… I dated a handful of women and the first few months would be great and then once I gained serious feelings, I would start to focus on their past… regardless of what it was. One woman had been with 4 people, one had been with 12, one had been with 15, and one had been with 20. It was NEVER any easier, regardless of their partner count.

My current partner and I have been close friends for the last 15 years (since 10th grade in HS) and we’ve always felt that we were the one for eachother - however, college took us separate ways. For the last 10 years or so, we have remained close friends, visiting eachother a few times a year, often discussing how we still felt we should be together… we just knew.

After about 6 months of dating, the casual conversation of our “pasts” occurred - this was without me asking. She had confided when we were strictly friends, that she has never really had a sex drive and also never craved anyone sexual. That she would look forward to being single at times because she knew there would be no pressure of sex with the person she was dating. She had gone to the doctors and also looked into different things and determined that perhaps she was demisexual - someone who is not typically sexually attracted to someone based on physical appearance. Further along, she mentions that she has been with 7 people, all of which she was dating.

Originally I felt relieved thinking “7 people at 28 - 29 years old isn’t too much” considering we live in a hook up culture. But slowly over a few weeks it started to eat away at my mind. Seven started seeming like SEVEN and I started dwelling on it 24/7. It was extreme rumination and OCD like. I looked online to see what others have experienced which was not a good move. I saw many stating 7 is not many and then I saw others saying “7 is enough to have experience”.

The thing is, she’s not very experienced. She had explained to me that 3 of the 7 were people she dated for 5-8 months and that sex only happened 2-3 times. In her long term relationships, she stated her lack of desire for sex was always a huge issue with her partners as they would accuse her of not physically being attractive towards them. So she said with those relationships it would happen once a month or so… just enough to resolve the issue when they expressed frustration regarding the topic.

For some reason I’m unable to really shake these thoughts. I have gone to (2) therapists over the last 5-6 months and I also paid for Accelerated Resolution Therapy. I acknowledge this is an issue within myself, yet I can’t seem to make it any better. This is not an issue of comparison or insecurity. It’s simply that I feel 7 partners is alot. Then again I acknowledge at the age of 30 it may not be considered high for someone who has lived at university the last 6-8 years. Since I’ve experienced this in EVERY relationship, I worry I will ruin this. She and I have desired to be together for 13-14 years and she’s the only woman I’ve ever truly loved or desired. To make things worse, I feel hypocritical because I have MUCH more experience and she knows that. When I was in relationships I would have sex 2-3 times a day. Research states that this is an OCD issue called retroactive jealousy where you are plagued with hyper focus on your partners sexual past.

Please provide guidance & insight
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Re: Stuck dwelling on partner’s sexual past

Postby Snaga » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:55 am

Hello and welcome!

If this is OCD like, then you have to break the loop, by making yourself not care. Otherwise you'll continue ruminating on it.

My partner... seven is not much. No, not by a long shot. And I had a problem. And they noticed. And we had a little sit down about it. And it was pointed out to me that it was unfair of me, and hurtful because those were things from before we were lovers.

So, to be blunt, I pulled on my big boy undies and sucked it up. I had to make myself not care about it- and in time, I genuinely did not care. I'm OCD and I find I have to cop an attitude of not caring about something, to make any headway against it.
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Re: Stuck dwelling on partner’s sexual past

Postby Counterproductive88 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:23 am

Thank you for sharing. I feel that it is Ocd related because the amount it is on my mind is not healthy, nor normal. I try to rationalize it or justify it but to no avail. I’ll tell myself, 7 at nearly 30 years old is not “a lot” but I guess it still bothers me because I feel blind sided. She is so conservative and modest, so I don’t know how 7 would even happen. When I asked, she stated that she felt “obligated” since they were had been dating for quite some time or that she “could only say no for so long” to appease them. Because sex is expected once dating for so long.. Which obviously in itself is not a good reason but to each their own.

Once again, a lot of this was discussed between us as 2 good friends… who did not think we would ever end up together. Now I have this on repeat in my mind.
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Re: Stuck dwelling on partner’s sexual past

Postby Snaga » Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:56 pm

Counterproductive88 wrote: I don’t know how 7 would even happen. When I asked, she stated that she felt “obligated” since they were had been dating for quite some time or that she “could only say no for so long” to appease them.


Women get pressured for sex. A lot. Choose a female avatar in a virtual world sometime. You'll see. I'm genderfluid so I have and I came away with a new appreciation for what girls put up with. They put up with a lot. And that's not even the real world.

So... I'm not too surprised. And that's a girl who doesn't really care for it. My partner was a bit of a wild child. I don't think I got too OCD over it- I am OCD but not about everything. I just mostly was feeling a bit resentful, with no good reason or logic behind it. And I had to suck it the heck up and deal with it.

I'm not sure I'd even try to reason it away. Numbers.. mean nothing to OCD. Logic and reason don't mean anything to OCD. I have to outstubborn my OCD. I'd have to cop an attitude of not caring. Not try to fight the thoughts, but just let them pass me by and not ruminate on them. I think. In my case I mostly just got a bad attitude about it and I gave myself an attitude adjustment.

Remind yourself how hurtful it would be to her, for you to be hung up over this- no one has retroactive obligation to be 'pure' for their partner and it's unreasonable, as you know.
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Tell someone today you love them, for Life is short. But scream it at them in Klingon, for Life is also confusing and terrifying.

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