Wife Lied About Sexual Past

Because of my strong belief that sex is a gift of God that is meant to be experienced only within marriage, I made it clear to all the women I dated that I would not marry someone who believed in having premarital sex. Because of my strong religious convictions regarding sex outside of marriage, I was unable to develop deep relationships with those women who were not on the “same page” as me in regard to that particular issue.

At the age of 23, I met the woman of my dreams. I made it clear to her that I would not marry someone who had had premarital sex. This wonderful woman agreed with me completely, and indicated that she too planned to “save herself” for marriage.

After eleven years of marriage, and enjoying the daily euphoria of that extra-special bond of having “given ourselves” only to each other, I found out that my wife had been involved in a sexual relationship prior to the time the two of us met. Needless to say, I was devastated by that unexpected news. But, she gave me 100 percent assurance that he was the only other one with whom she had had a sexual relationship.

Approximately eight months ago, 18 years after finding out about the first partner she had had premarital sex with, I happened to find out that she had had sex with another boyfriend prior to the time we met. Finding out about this second “partner” was a devastating blow. Because of her lies and deception, I began to wonder if there were other things that my wife was hiding from me. My trust in her was diminished and I began to wonder how many sexual partners she really had before she met me.

Even though it has been difficult, I have tried my best to forgive her just as Christ forgives us, and to abide by Christ’s command to “love your wife as I love the Church.”

As a stong believer in the Sacrament of Marriage, I began to think about the wedding vows that my wife and I had exchanged before God. In those vows, she said, “I promise to be TRUE to you in good times and in bad…I will love you and HONOR you all the days of my life.”

When my wife recited those vows, she knew that she was not being TRUE to me nor HONORING me, as she was hiding that secret from me. Also, when one enters into the Sacrament of Marriage, they pledge their FIDELITY to their partner. Fidelity is defined as follows: “A principle that forbids misleading any creature capable of being mislead or deceived.” Obviously, she mislead me.

I love my wife with all my heart and love being married to her and plan to grow old with her. But my concern is this:

In light of the fact that she recited the aforementioned vows and pledged her fidelity to me, despite hiding a secret that might have prevented me from marrying her in the first place, is our marriage valid in the eyes of God and the Catholic Church?

What’s your opinion?


Now go give your wife a big hug, tell her you love her and thank her for loving you back. Then get on with your life.



Canon 1098 A person contracts invalidly who enters marriage inveigled by deceit, perpetrated in order to secure consent, concerning some quality of the other party, which of its very nature can seriously disrupt the partnership of conjugal life.

She lied to you to get your consent, which is a really underhanded thing to do, but I can see she might have only done it because she was afraid of losing you.

Ummm…not to be mean, but how could you not tell?

Well, this is just a personal opinion but you…no wait…forget it. I don’t want to be banned…


I agree, forgive and forget about it, but it sounds like you may need help to forgive and forget. I would seek that help right away.

What can a person do after the fact? She saw you as a good catch, and she wanted someone that SHE could trust, so she lied. I’m sorry that you found out, but you must get over it now. You love her with all your heart, you say, so don’t ever again make her feel like a used dishrag. You know, it’s possible that these more casual sexual affairs made her realize that there must be something more to life, and to herself. I’d say that after 11 years of marriage, you made a GREAT deal, as a game show host might say!! :smiley: Rob


I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read about someone who has such strong convictions with regard to premarital sexuality. Truely it’s great to see someone so greatly esteem the gift of sexuality, and to try so hard to put it into proper context.

With regard to your current situation, you say you’ve been living 11 years with your wife now? More over, given your convictions I must believe that you have been living a sacramental marriage? So are their childeren in the equation? I must wonder, are your convictions regarding sexuality so important, that you would punish your wife (and possibly childeren) after 11 wonderful years of marriage for something which no doubt, Jesus has already forgiven her of?

I have to believe that if you want a true Christian example of Marriage, then look no further than the Beginning… I’d recommend reading the first few books of Genesis, and contemplate how Adam handled his Marriage with Eve, even through the fall. Did he pack it in after the fall? What about Christ’s discourse on Marriage, I realize that you’re very emotionally impacted right now… But truely, would packing it in now truely constitue living in the spirit of that teaching?

I agree, go home give your wife a hug and tell her you love her. Reaffirm your absolute commitment to her, but yes also have an honest discussion about how this revelation impacted you.

May God bless you, your wife, your family and most especially your marraige.

Actually, if you re-read the post, it sounds like they have been married at least 29 years.



Wow, yeah ok I missed that…

He says he found out about the first boyfriend after 11 years of marriage, then the second boyfriend 18 years later. And that was 8 months ago, which means this is about 30 years of marriage, correct?

This woman clearly made mistakes well over 30 years ago that she regrets and was embarrassed enough not to admit.
Forgive her. Love her. Cherish your marriage.

Well, if you have no idea what to expect and dont understand… things… then you wouldnt know.

X2 (3?)

Yes, your marriage is valid.

Maybe she was ashamed. Maybe she tried to tell you, and couldn’t, thinking that you were so strong in that conviction that you would look down on her. There are a lot of possibilities.

Has she been true to you since you married? Has she honored you since you married? If so, she is abiding by her promises.

Please don’t throw away your marriage over mistakes made decades ago.


I think you were wrong to only look for someone who didn’t have a past and sticking to that as a requirement in a spouse. That’s the same as saying you were looking for someone perfect. I think in this day an age it’s almost impossible to find that. Christ said judge not lest you be judged. I can understand why she lied. She found a good christian man and didn’t want to lose him. Probably in her mind too (especially if she confessed her sin to a priest) that part of her life was in the past and between her and God having nothing at all to do with you. While I try to live a good life I certain don’t expect to ever find Mr. Perfect myself. Guys need to be more open with their hearts…geesh. :shrug:

I’ve been in a similar situation. My husband said he lied about sexual things he did in the past because he said he didn’t want to get in a fight about it, and boy did it hurt deeply when I found out. I totally understand your feelings of absolute betrayal and feeling like you could never trust them again, especially when it’s not the first lie. It is also frustrating knowing that so many other people, like some posters here, think that is it something that you can just brush off, get over with, and get on with your life. It’s not. When you are lied to by some you love it shakes you to your core, espcially if it was about something important to you.
But, after many months and tears, I started to trust my husband again. Maybe you can learn to trust your wife again too. I do not think it has an impact on the validity of your marriage, but you should take whatever steps you need to make sure it does not impact it going forward. This isn’t something that should be left to fester. Obvsiously if you are posting about it, you are still hurting. :frowning:

Wow, you guys are forgiving! Honestly, if it were me, I would be LIVID. Not that I think my reaction is the right way (just for the record)!

To the OP, sorry to hear you were hurt so badly. Did your wife come to you and confess or did you stumble upon the truth? I think if she admitted to you she lied, then it would be much easier to forgive and trust her again.

I disagree, I think it is perfectly reasonable for a person to seek this quality in a spouse if they so desire. Believe me, I am far from perfect, but my husband and I were both seeking this quality and we found each other (he’s almost perfect :D).

I, too, would be devastated to hear this news from my other half, the one person I have given myself to completely and am united to through the sacrament of matrimony, one that knew what my thoughts on the subject were.
With that said, I totally agree with the other posters. Here is a chance to show your wife how much you love her and how you will forgive her for not being honest with you about something that meant so much to you. I do not believe her having hidden this information means she did not mean it when she said her vows. Be thankful for your 29 years of marriage. Use this as something to grow closer to your wife.

I fully understand your disappointment and anger. You are not in the wrong here, she is.

However, it is time to let go and enjoy a continued loving, long standing marriage.

Remember, what ever happened all those MANY years ago did not mean much to her. She wanted to be with you. She was young and clearly made some mistakes, but don’t we all?

I believe your marriage is valid, fully…but speak to a Priest if you have concerns.


So True. My husband has told lies in our marriage and it really does shake you to the core…and for me, lose faith in the whole relationship.

Of course, I agree to forgive but I think it is unrealistic to just go and hug the wife and carry on like all is well…when obviously it is still very raw for the OP.

Oh please. If we want to be blunt about it my wife was a virgin when we first had sex and there was no proof via the act itself. On the other hand, I was with women before her that were definitely not virgins but one would have thought so looking at the bed afterward.

As for the OP, be glad you’re “the one” instead of “another one.”