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Getting Past His Sexual Past

Getting Past His Sexual Past

What to do with your husband's promiscuity
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I once came across a wedding party while walking on the beach in Australia. The bridesmaids had their dress hems lifted high and were making an elaborate design in the sand with their bare feet by walking around in a huge spiral.

The following day I walked past the same area and looked for evidence of their sand art, but it had been erased by the high tide. No traces of it remained—only memories.

At that point, I wished every wife who struggles with something from her husband's past could be there with me—women like Kelly, whose husband was president of his college fraternity and hosted many a wild party before accepting Christ . . . Laura, who married a man that had previously turned to the single bar scene for comfort after his father died unexpectedly . . . or Maryann, whose husband had asked his high school girlfriend to abort the baby they accidentally conceived. Oh, if I had a dime for every man in the world with a past sexual mistake, and a nickel for every woman who'd fallen in love with such a man, I'd be a very wealthy woman!

If you can relate, let me say the same thing to you that I wanted to say that day on the beach:

"Whatever we've done in the past—whatever our spouse has done in the past—it's been washed away! The tides of time and God's forgiveness have erased the past, so why do we pretend it's still following us around like our own shadow?"

When Jesus died on the cross, he did not say, "Forgive them for their sins—except for the sexual ones. Those are too big, so I'm not dying for those today!" It sounds ridiculous to even consider Jesus saying such a thing. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the blood Jesus shed is more than sufficient to cleanse me of every sin I've ever committed—and every sin you or your husband have committed as well!

If you're still obsessing over your husband's sexual experiences prior to marriage, do yourself a favor and remember that by God's grace and mercy, it's gone!

If you're still obsessing over your husband's sexual experiences prior to marriage, do yourself a favor and remember that by God's grace and mercy, it's gone! His past sin has been washed away, just as yours has, so don't let memories of the past haunt you like a ghost. Don't let yesterday's regrets rob you of today's relational connection.

Regardless of what kind of colorful past your husband may have had prior to marriage, I urge you, buck up and be the rock he needs you to be! Don't take your spouse's sexual mistakes personally. It was likely never about you, especially if you weren't even in his life at the time. Be "Jesus with skin on" to him. Let your commitment paint a vivid picture of God's unconditional love and mercy, revealing that self-worth is not based on a sexual scorecard, but on who we are in Christ.

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Displaying 1–3 of 6 comments


January 24, 2014  1:29pm

This shallow spirituality doesn't cut it mentally or emotionally. Forgiveness by God means the guilt of what we (men AND women) have done in the past is washed away, but the baggage and the consequences haven't, the healing process might not be complete (nor the process of changing what lead to the behaviour), and the spouse will need to go through their own grieving process, and will take time to forgive even though God has long since forgiven. They can't and shouldn't just pretend like it has been washed away and never happened (nor feel guilty for not being able to do so).

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Barry MaCaukiner

January 23, 2014  6:27pm

So, women don't have a "sexual past"? This article is misogynist, at best.

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January 23, 2014  12:04am

Hi Shannon Thank you for your insightful article. I benefited greatly from it as it has confirmed everything which the Holy Spirit has prodded me with in 35 years of marriage to a WOMAN with a sexual past. Yes in this day and age it's no longer just men who by default are the ones with the baggage. Strangely enough (or maybe not so) your article confirms that that both women and men experience the same pain, anxieties and insecurity in these situations. You are welcome to share my comment on condition that I remain anonymous. Shalom

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