A sexually healthy couple is comprised of two sexually healthy individuals, so I encourage you both to be honest about any sexual and emotional baggage that may surface during your lifetime together, and be committed to working through it together as a team. By cultivating the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), couples can forge a rich, vibrant marital relationship in the present and future, regardless of what’s in their past.
Although I feel it’s important for a couple to be honest with one another about their sexual history to a degree (particularly a history that involves sexual abuse, addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies, and/or abortions-simply because they need to understand the emotional fallout you may experience as a result of these things), I also wholeheartedly believe that certain boundary lines need to be drawn so that “new trauma” isn’t created during these conversations.
For example, a friend’s husband recently confessed his pre-marital escapades to her, and he was almost cruel with the amount of details he included. In particular, he waxed eloquent about what hotel chain he and his girlfriends typically frequented, and where he preferred to eat breakfast with them the next morning. “Do you have any idea how many Hilton Hotels and IHOP restaurants there are in Seattle?” she bitterly inquired of me. I had no idea, but my guess is that she knew exactly how many because that scab was ripped off her wound every time she drove by one of those establishments.
I know there will be times when these memories will come up, both for you and for your spouse. Simply let those past memories serve as spiritual markers of how far your spouse has come in the journey toward sexual integrity, and celebrate every ounce of progress. Become each other’s biggest cheerleader! Discern what you both can learn from those past mistakes, then let those lessons serve your marriage well as you seek to become the sexually and spiritually healthy individuals you both deserve to be!
by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.