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CAN'T HANDLE HER SHAME My lover’s secret past of swinging, dogging and S&M has tainted us

DEAR DEIDRE: MY girlfriend confessed that she went swinging and dogging before she met me and had kinky sex with strangers. I don’t think I can handle it.

She is an amazing person. I know that sounds like a cliche but it is true.

My girlfriend admitted to a kinky past with strangers and it has knocked me for six

We are both parents and our children get on well.

I am 32 and have a daughter of seven. My girlfriend is 29 and has a son of four with another guy.

After we had been seeing each other for about three months, she said she needed to tell me some things.

Her husband was ten years older than her and had been very controlling.

He pressured her into having threesomes with him and another man.

There were lots of things wrong with the marriage and in the end they got divorced.

I just can't get over her past and what little respect she gave herself

She then met another older man online who turned out to be a swinger, though she didn’t know that when she first got involved with him.

He introduced her to sexual things like dogging and BDSM. I asked her all about it and she answered my questions honestly. Now I wish I never asked.

I have only ever been into vanilla sex with previous partners so I began looking at BDSM websites to see what it is all about. I was shocked at what I saw.

Now I know the things strangers have done to her and how she was treated as a submissive by them.

I am angry at her for letting herself be used like that and am struggling to move on from it.

Although I love her deeply and we plan to move in together, I cannot see beyond what she let these strangers do to her. It is destroying me.

I know she is not proud of it and I feel terrible for not being able to help her.

But I can’t stop picturing her going to some strange old man’s house and being used like that. I feel the intimacy we have is tainted.

DEIDRE SAYS: Well done you for realising the problem lies with your own horror at these revelations.

Given the ages you were when you met, it was inevitable you both had a past – and that past went to make you the people you are today.

She can’t undo her past and nor can you.