A British agony aunt got an letter about the kind of man she has never met in her life, but a lot of us may have, so here is the letter and the reply.
I have a few thoughts. First, I think the reader was right to tell her fiance, who was himself a virgin, that she wasn't one herself. Second, I think she was wrong to lie about the circumstances. Third, I don't think she should have had to go into details. Her past was her past, between her and God and (one hopes) whichever medic checked her out for STDs before she married.
Fourth, I think her husband is being a toad. Fifth, on the other hand, many men feel really creeped out by the idea of the woman they love having slept around, and these feelings of disgust are sometimes uncontrollable. The men may feel miserable that their feelings are so out of control, but short of therapy, I suspect there's not much they can do about it on their own. (Unless everyone he knows shrieking "Man up! Man up!" really works, which I doubt. I am relatively sure that if I were a man, and anyone told me to man up, I would punch him.*) And I think this guy is having a mid-life or maybe an elderly man crisis. Apparently some men get a bit cranky and power-mad when retirement looms.
Sixth, it was incredibly unwise of this woman to talk about the dead past with her gal pal when her husband was in the house. I've listened to married female friends reminisce about ex-lovers or giggle over current crush objects but, let me tell you, it was not when or where their husbands were around.
Bel's advice sounds pretty good to me (except for the threatening letter). Personally, I've been married such a short time that I don't feel at all qualified to advise married women. I think leaving him alone to stew in a bedsit for six months while she carried on with her life as if he were a sulky child stewing in his room is the best way to go. He's not a total creep, I see, as he is still sending financial support.
*I don't know what I would do if I were a man and the person telling me to man up was a woman, since hopefully I would not punch her. I think perhaps I would leave the room and turn up my precious stereo system to 11.