- Dr. Love's Appearances
Feeling Like I'm Doing Something Wrong
August 12, 2002 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Dear Dr Love, I really hope you pick my question cause I really do need help.
My wife and I have been married for almost 6 months now, and the only problem is that something that happened with her ex-boyfriend is ruining my view of her. This guy tried to force her to have sex, and in the process she got pregnant. Other than that my wife never had sex with anyone, not even this guy, this is like a first/one time thing.
The reason this is ruining my view/image of my wife is because of the thought of another guy's penis (excuse the explicit language) trying to go into my wife's vagina, even though this happened five months before I met her for the first time (she was 5 months pregnant when I met her). Now, the guy's penis never went in, I'm trusting my wife in this, in other words there was no penetration. No one intended for this happen, I'm aware of that, but how do I keep this from ruining our relationship?
I've brought it up to her a few times and she says to not let something as stupid like this ruin something beautiful, and I agree with her, that 's why I'm asking you for help. It makes her desperate and she's gone to extremes as to lie by saying she wanted to have sex with this guy but the she backed out at the last minute, when the real truth is that this guy froced her from start to finish (but nothing happened though, except for contact between the two 'parts').
But how do I keep this from spoiling the image of my wife, whom I think of as a saint otherwise. Thank you. Sincerely, Feeling like I'm doing something wrong.
You do have a big problem! When I read your question, I thought that I was reading a letter written centuries ago. In earlier times a man would never marrry a 'tainted' woman, meaning a woman who wasn't a virgin. The requirement that a woman be a virgin before marriage arose out of property law.
In previous eras, women were viewed as nothing more than property to be sold; and since no one wants to 'buy' used property, virgins were unsaleable. We are in the twenty first century now and you need to get with the program.
Start by figuring out why you are holding on to an such an old fashioned view of women. You say that your wife is a saint in all other ways, but you need to figure out why you want her to be a saint in the first place. No earthly being is a saint. Life ravages and scars us and when you love someone you love her flaws and all. If the woman you love needs to be a saint, having had no'sins' in her past, then there will be no woman who can suit you--well maybe you could find one or two from a very traditional religious sect.
What's so sad is the fact that you view your wife like an object (a mass of flesh that 's been sullied) and don't see her for who and what she is. Yes, the property may have been violated, but she as a person didn't choose to be violated. You are judging her for something she had no control over.
In order to resolve this problem, you need to understand why you need to see your wife as a saint who is pure and untainted. You need to find out where this need comes from. Were you raised in a very traditional or religious family that stressed the distinction between saints and sinners? Did you view your mother as a saint? Are you trying to have your wife live up to some ideal of perfection that you saw embodied in your mom? Find out where your need to see her as saint comes from and then work to let this go.
If you can't see your wife as a living and breathing person, then your view of her is going to be shattered each and every time she deviates from the ideal of perfection in your head. It won't be long before she comes to hate you for the unreasonable expectations you place on her; and soon she will lie in order to hide her real self from you. Is this what you want?
If you still feel stuck after reading my letter, then private therapy is in order.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book provides a down-to-earth, easy to apply, proven method for creating relationship harmony. This book should be mandatory reading for every couple that wants to head-off or resolve the inevitable relationship conflicts and build lasting love. Buy this book and put it to use!”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show