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Does Your Spouse Know Your Sexual Past?

145 women and 295 men have answered
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  • Men and women are fairly similar here. Women are slightly lower in most categories, and a third higher on “All of it in a general way”.
  • Forty nine percent of men and 59% of women have told their spouse all of their past. About half have included all the details.
  • Only 6% of men and 4% of women have shared none of their past.
  • Younger men were much more open about their sexual past. Younger women were also more open, but not as much as the men.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Again, men and women are about the same.
  • About a third have little or no sexual past.
  • Ten percent have a lot of sexual past.
  • A quarter has “a fair amount.”
  • Both men and women were more likely to tell all if there was little to tell, and tell less or none if there was a lot to tell. However many with a lot to tell had told all.
  • Men over 55 had less to tell than younger men.
  • Women in the 35-44 age range had more sexual past than any other age group.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Eighty-seven percent of both men and women feel they have shared the right amount about their past.
  • Eight percent of men and 5% of women wish they had said more.
  • Five percent of men and 8% of women think they should have said less.
  • Women who had a lot of past were more likely to wish they had said less, while men with a lot of past were more likely to wish they had said more.

Women’s Comments:

  • My husband doesn’t want to know details of my sexual past, it bothers him to think about me with other men (rightfully so). Which is ironic for a man who was with over 100 women before me & expects me to take it in stride.
  • He’s never asked. He has said from the start that the past is the past and it’s none of his business. He knows I wasn’t completely innocent. He had never even kissed before. We started “dating” when he was 14 and I was 15. I would tell if he ever asked but he did figure out I had never had intercourse.
  • Although I was a physical virgin when I married hubby 30 years ago, I didn’t really qualify as “pure”, especially from an emotional perspective. It was difficult to share my emotional history with hubby until he began to listen to my heart in other areas. Now I can share as things from the past bubble up, in a timely manner so to speak, and not get bogged down with heavy burdens. Time and distance have lessened the impact of most of those bad choices long ago, but sharing them allows us to grow and cherish the redemption we have built for one another.
  • My husband and I were virgins and have only been with each other. It’s priceless to me that we have only have that part of us to each other.
  • I kept it mostly a secret until about 15 years into our marriage. Our sex life was suffering, my guilt about my mistakes was eating me alive. God forgave me but I couldn’t forgive myself. Telling my husband was the best thing I ever did for us. It allowed me to begin the journey to forgive myself and recognize that my husband loves me for who I am today, not who I was when I was 21. I still battle demons from my past but now we (he and I) battle them together.
  • I have not been honest about my past. I’m not sure why I can’t. Afraid that he will see me differently. He has been with 3 women in his 52 years. I was in a band. You do the math.
  • I am okay with full disclosure but my husband told me when we were first married that he didn’t want to know. What happened in the past is in the past and all it would do is upset him to hear about it.
  • Hubby knows everything there is to know with vague details. As I do his. Neither of us needs a mental image of someone else with our spouse but do deserve to know that someone was.
  • Married husband at 19 and before him there was nothing other than some pretty tame kissing!
  • When we married each of us knew the other had a past. It truly didn’t matter. We were starting fresh with each other.
  • I was vague before we were married. I let him know it was very ugly and if that bothered him, he should find a different girl. I didn’t say it because I was proud of my history, but because I knew that I could only bear the guilt of one person. After extensive work, I have moved past those feelings of filth, worthlessness, and being damaged only to find that those feelings still exists but are not coming from me. I believe in full disclosure for the sake of “who am I marrying”, but it does have far reaching consequences, imo. I don’t think my husband wants to feel that way and he tries hard to hide it, but sometimes it creeps out and it is so hurtful.
  • I shared my past with him very early in our relationship. He needed to know, and I needed to not be dragging secrets around with all the other baggage.
  • I have a bad past. And although I don’t believe in keeping secrets from one another, I also don’t think you should share any details about your past sex life. Tell each other how many people you’ve been with and if STDs were ever a thing for you especially if you have an incurable one. Other than that, no details regarding how good or bad those other people were in bed.
  • I honestly don’t know how to answer the last question as he would have freaked out if I’d told him everything up front. Now, after a decade of marriage there’s no point in telling him as it would only hurt him
  • My past has to do with being sexually abused. Thankfully, God healed me before we got married. He even used my husband for some of the healing. It was important to me that he knew about my abuse once marriage became the direction our relationship was going, and before he asked me to marry him. I told him in general terms what happened, but over the years more as things have been triggered and we’ve worked through sensitive areas
  • I should have communicated from the beginning
  • I was a complete virgin when I met my husband at 21, so he actually IS my sexual past. However, he knows about all past relationships, even though there was nothing sexual involved in them.
  • I’ve shared anything he’s asked about or anything that was on my heart, but some things he just doesn’t seem to care about. Praise God for forgiveness!
  • I think there have been times it feels as though I’ve said too much or too little. It’s in a constant swing as we feel close or vulnerable with each other swings too. I think, on the whole, I’m happier he knows, and I will probably share even “the gory details” eventually as they become relevant.
  • I was up front and honest about my past. Found out over 20 years of marriage that I was only told a small fraction of his past. Had I of known about his true past, I would not have continued to date him. Telling the truth up front, is the best way to make sure your partner is making a fully informed decision. Deceiving your partner is not loving or protecting, it is a lie.
  • I would rather he knew the truth from the beginning rather than someone else telling him later. He knew before we married and still chose to love and marry me! 100% complete honesty!
  • Married at 19. Husband has been only one.
  • I should have shared more, but also, when things happen and you’re little and you participated (even knowing it was wrong) the shame is big and it seems so far removed from your adult life. It’s hard to share that you were inappropriate when you were super young.
  • You should be upfront from the beginning. Because if you hold back, this is the likely scenario that will keep you from ever coming clean with everything. “If things are going good, why say something now and risk upsetting that? ” OR “Things are not good between us right now and that would definitely make things worse.” So either you keep silent the rest of your life or it comes out in marriage counseling. Just tell it all upfront!
  • I’m willing to talk about any of it that he wants to talk about.
  • He will NEVER know about my abortion as a teenager. He would probably divorce me.
  • They have a right to know.

Men’s Comments:

  • Wife and I both virgins. No sexual past Did not wait for marriage though. Wish we had.
  • I was VERY sexually active – over 300 partners prior to her. She was very active too, although I don’t know if she ever bothered enough to do a count. Wouldn’t matter either way, we have a great and wonderful love and love life, thanks to Jesus. He CAN heal all and make it right.
  • Even though our current sex life is pretty pathetic, it is definitely not because of withholding information from our pasts. We have been very honest about our pasts from very early in our relationship.
  • I hid it for a long time. But I was forced to confess to her, which turned out to be a great thing. Because now there’s nothing to hide. For men struggling with sexual addiction: Living with no secrets & risking losing her is better than being bound by shame and secrets .
  • Hard to answer question 5. Obviously, I use a different scale than un-churched folks.
  • I should have given her full disclosure right up front as that would have been the correct thing to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t then (and still don’t now) believe that she could handle all of it. Despite us having the same number of previous sexual partners, she thinks I was a terrible person because half of mine were only a once or twice thing. She has said the just makes me a typical “man-whore”. I know I made a lot of mistakes growing up, but can’t we get past that. I have been exclusively her’s since we got together 12 years ago. That should count for something. I wish I could feel more secure in telling her about parts of my past.
  • I have kept my past pornography and compulsive masturbation hidden for many years until I was discovered for the second time and in therapy, have decided to become open and honest about my sexual abuse history as a child and the sexual addict I have become. I am in recovery and a 12 Step program and therapy. It was hard to do but ultimately very freeing and we are working to restore our marriage.
  • Considering I have no sexual past with anyone else there is nothing to hide/not tell.
  • I wish I had never told anything. She was a Virgin when we married. I was not. Since she never asked I wish I’d have never said anything about my past.
  • Neither of us was a Christian during our high school years, and while neither of us had much in the way of experience, we’d both dated. Years later when we met we were believers. We’ve had honest conversations, and have kept nothing hidden from each other, but we don’t want or need ‘all the details’.
  • Both of us came into our marriage as virgins. I had an ex where we’d gone further than we probably should have, though we had not had sex. My wife had not had a serious boyfriend before, so there was not a great deal hiding in our past be honest about.
  • Telling what you described as “gory details” would be unnecessary and painful for both. I never asked her about hers. We are in peace on this matter.
  • She has told me she does not want to know about my past. She has also refused to divulge any information about her past, beyond “very little, in a general way”. I think she does not want to know about me because she would then feel obligated to share more with me about her past. (She knows I was a virgin at marriage, and she wasn’t.) She’s ashamed of her past, and she wants very much to keep it buried. So, she forbids it from coming up. Of course, it also prevents her coming into healing and hinders her sense of being forgiven. We’re a cross-cultural marriage, and her’s is a shame culture. So, culture’s part of the equation.
  • This stuff shouldn’t be hidden. You never know when something, or someone might just appear one day and you or your loved one is at a loss for words. When things like that happen, a piece of trust is lost, maybe not just a piece but the whole thing is lost.
  • She’s never asked and I’ve never asked her.
  • I was married before. She died of Cancer. Only other sex partner.
  • My wife shared only a little of her abuse she went through. Found out about some bad stuff 20 yrs later. That hurt. She doesn’t think it should matter. She is carrying that inside her all these yrs. Our marriage is paying for it every day.
  • It was much easier for me to tell her about myself than it was for her to tell me. She had been abused/raped as a young teen & had been married. I had only experienced a brief late teen affair.
  • We had a conversation, fairly early on in our dating relationship, where we disclosed the details of our pasts. And while it was difficult to hear, and to share at times, the love and forgiveness, that came from that, was wonderful.
  • I feel pretty good about how much I told… but I do wonder if she would have less issues if I hadn’t told her as much.
  • God buried our sins in his shed blood. The past is gone and irrelevant. Love each other Biblically and all those things won’t matter.
  • I am willing to tell her anything and all of it. She doesn’t want to know, saying it doesn’t matter to her. When we married we were starting over. We were both virgins when marrying… but I did have some “other” experiences.
  • I have been honest she has not about before or during the marriage.
  • She knows I had intercourse once and it was a mistake, but she doesn’t know about the dozen + partners and all the oral and manual sex and the starting the night foolishness that was my teenage years. It’s in the past. Ten years into marriage, I don’t want to bring up all that mess unless it resurfaces with me beginning to fantasize about those encounters. Fact it, God had redeemed my past and blessed me with a glorious wife who, 3 years ago, grew to be sex positive (a 5 of 10 on the positive scale). I adore her and know that all the promiscuity of my teens was rubbish compared to my beautiful wife.
  • Neither of us had much sexual history. I’ve been more than willing to be open & forthcoming. Sometimes I suspect she holds a little back. I want the gory details… She’s reluctant to share.
  • I know she was a virgin. She knows some about my porn addiction back then.
  • I don’t really have a past with others, only porn and she knows about it. (I’ve stopped)
  • We are called to be open, I want to be open with my wife and she as well. We know about all our past.
  • She knows all the people, but not the individual acts with each. She knows that each included intercourse.
  • She’s told me nothing & I don’t want to know.
  • She’s never asked details such as number or specific acts. I’ve done the same with her. I love my wife regardless of her past sexual history. I accept all of her & she feels the same toward me. It works for us. Sometimes too many details can take the focus off each other & be more of a distraction than a relief.
  • I have told her what she is comfortable knowing and let her know she can ask me anything and I will answer honestly.
  • Sexless marriage for 4 years now.
  • The “gory details” would only paint images that she doesn’t want (she’s said so). She knows I had sex before her. She knows in general what I did and what I didn’t do. Similarly, I don’t want the mental images of the “gory details” of her sex life before she met me. I know that she was hurt in the past and I’m very aware that I have to be mindful of that, but she also had good memories and I need to be aware that I am not in competition with those memories. It is good that we have disclosed. We know about each other and no nasty surprises will come up.
  • My wife has had more sexual partners than me but I don’t want to or need to know the details.
  • I recently confessed 21 years of homosexual behavior. I am now in counseling & seeking a support group. I am seeking restoration with my wife.
  • My wife and I have had widely divergent ideas on this subject. She has always felt, and even more-so after being born again, that the past is gone and forgiven and that what matters is today. Consequently I got very little info about her past, including when we were first together but not exclusive. This has created a problem in me because she did let-on that she had many lovers and I had heard bits-and-pieces about her past, both from her and others involved. That, without any real clarification from her has not painted a picture I am comfortable with. On the one hand, I wanted to know it all so I can put it away for good. However, I still don’t want to know any of it for ignorance is bliss. Contrast this with how I’ve handled my history and I’ve let it be known that the girls she’s aware of from my past all had a physical relationship with me. The notable exceptions are a couple of girls who entered my life while my wife and I were first dating but not exclusively. I had physical relationships with them but have never openly told my wife so. Part of this is because of the lack of info I received from my wife while we were not exclusive and her admitting to her seeing old boyfriends “one last time” while we were beginning our relationship. There were even a number of times I was asked to leave early, or was stood up, because she was meeting one of these boyfriends. Indeed on at least one occasion she let me out the door as she let one of them in. I unfortunately assumed the worst and played tit-for-tat with the new women who entered my life during that period. This part of my history she has no knowledge of received directly from me. All said, in looking back, I don’t think I’d want to know numbers or details about her past, rather, I’d like to understand why she had them.
  • I think it depends on the relationship. In my marriage, we both decided that we did not want to know about our past and when we were away from God. We both know we made mistakes and we are made new in Christ.





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