Troubled by My Boyfriend's Past

Troubled by My Boyfriend's Past

Dealing with a troubled past and other love advice
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Q: I recently found out my boyfriend of nine weeks slept with his last girlfriend. He never told me about this, and I want to ask him about it. I feel like I have the right to know. He knows I want to remain a virgin until I marry, and he respects me for that. I just want to know how he feels about what he did. I care a lot about him and wouldn't let this affect our relationship, because everyone makes mistakes. Do you think I should bring it up or wait until he says something? When this topic does come up, what should I say?

A: Very few people, when they get sexually involved, think about how they're going to like telling someone about it months or years later—someone whom they really love. Sexual experiences don't ever go away totally. They live on, like ghosts, in all future relationships, and can do real damage there.

Since you've only been together for nine weeks, your boyfriend may feel this subject is too personal to share with you. In most cases I would tend to agree. I don't think people should share their sexual histories until they are very, very serious. But since you already know what happened in his last relationship (or think you do), you should ask him. Otherwise it's bound to affect your feelings for him. You need to clear the air. You should talk face to face, at a time when you won't be interrupted. I wouldn't do it on a date, because the emotions of such a conversation can be overwhelming. Arrange a time when you can meet together at a restaurant or coffee shop to talk about something important. Then when you get together, just say, "I need to talk to you about your relationship with your ex-girlfriend. I hate to bring this up to you, but it's really bothering me. I've heard that you had sex with her. I want to know if that's true, and how you feel about it now."

You say you'll continue your relationship no matter how he responds, but I wouldn't be so sure. If he blows you off, if he acts insensitive, if he lacks any regret, then I think you will inevitably lose respect for him. Once that happens your relationship is all but over. I say this because I want to prepare you: this is a serious talk. And he should treat it as a serious talk, too. His attitude toward sex, relationships and God's Word is extremely critical. If you can't agree about sex, your relationship doesn't have a promising future.

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