Dear Mary: I am keen to marry my amazing girlfriend but she isn't a virgin
I'm a Hindu and have grown up in a conservative family. I want to marry a Christian girl who I love so much.
She is the most amazing soul I have ever met. I want to marry her but knowing her sexual past keeps bothering me.
She is a very good woman and I really don't want to leave her, but a thought keeps on coming in to my mind that she is a non-virgin which really makes me feel low.
I don't want to think about this and want to accept the way she is but thoughts keep hitting my head. I need help. How can I get rid of this problem?
Mary replies: In an era where almost anything goes sexually it is interesting to get a letter such as yours.
It serves to remind me, and readers, that not everybody goes along with premarital sex and for some virginity is of real importance.
The current series of The Bachelor on TV has raised the whole issue of virginity to public awareness as the bachelor himself has admitted to being a virgin.
Surprisingly, most people seem to think that this is a hindrance for him as they feel he will be very anxious when he eventually has sex, whereas he himself maintains that while he is fairly experienced sexually he has been keeping that special intimacy for the person who will be 'The One'.
You are contemplating marrying somebody who is not of your religion. Because of this there will naturally be differences between you, and I presume you have thought about things like in what religion any children you may have will be raised, what school they will attend and how fully your family would accept you having a Christian wife.
Given your preoccupation with your girlfriend's sexual history, it is only fair that I ask about yours.
If you have no sexual experience then could it be that you feel a little intimidated by your own lack of experience?
On the other hand, you may be very judgmental because of your upbringing, of her sexual past.
It might help if you consider that almost everything we do physically with somebody we love is sexual - kissing, caressing, touching, hugging have all got sexual overtones.
You are upset that your girlfriend has had penetrative sex in the past, which is why you describe her as a 'non-virgin'. It may be, however, that you yourself have been sexual in different ways without, perhaps, having penetrative sex. So it might help if you were to think of both of you, in your mind, as sexually experienced or indeed inexperienced rather than virgin and non-virgin.
I am not sufficiently informed about the Hindu religion to go any further but I would advise that you discuss all of this with a trusted elder. It should not however be with somebody that your girlfriend would be likely to meet if your future lies together.
That would be unfair to her as they would then know her sexual history which should just be between you and her.
I wish you happiness in whatever you decide.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.
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