“You’re well on your way to an excellent marriage,” congratulated Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House in the popular prime time television show after he’s convinced a woman to lie to her husband about his being her baby’s father. Lies create walls. Once you’ve lied, you need to remember the lie.
Likewise, a husband should tell his wife about his romantic past – and the wife should tell her husband. In fact, I believe this is the type of discussion that needs to take place before they get married. Even before they plan the wedding. A couple should tell one another about their pasts, including both dating and sexual relationships, if there are any.
A friend’s family life was turned upside-down when she found out she had a brother from before her parents were married. Ironically, the father hadn’t been aware of the child, either, and he’d never told his wife about the other woman. He didn’t tell her he’d had sex with her, he didn’t even tell her her name. Then, one day, the child appeared on their doorstep, wanting to know about his father. A DNA test confirmed he was the father.
In many families, this could have ruined the marriage. It introduced stress and trust issues to the relationship and the wife wondered if she might have more children show up somewhere down the road, and the kids were hurt. A few quick words could have saved a lot of heartache. And while it certainly wouldn’t have eradicated most of the surprise, it certainly would have made it a lot easier to swallow. Instead of dealing with multiple issues, they would have been dealing with one.
Another friend’s boyfriend made it a point to tell her about all of his prior relationships: he lived with one girl for a short time, went to strip clubs, and had sex with several other women. He even had sex with a prostitute (in a foreign country with a condom). Since she knew about his past, she was able to make a sound decision about their future.
A former roommate’s boyfriend got tested for STDs before he started dating her. He didn’t want to pass anything to her if he had it, and since she was a virgin and he sexually experienced, it was his way of taking care of her.
In both of those situations, learning something about the person’s past later could have drastically changed their relationship. they wouldn’t have had one. A marriage relationship is based on a commitment and a promise. Presumably, it won’t end as easily as a dating relationship, but today that’s not necessarily the case. Openness is an important part of a relationship, especially in a marriage.