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Just before you say I do

They are both deeply in love; he sure knows how much he loves her and he felt the feeling was mutual. He rented an apartment for her about six months ago, so she’s comfortable.

But he started having doubts about her love for him when a particular friend of hers started visiting and sleeping over at her apartment. It happened that whenever this so-called friend visits, his girlfriend is usually cold towards him even while talking on the phone; in fact, she sounds quite casual. This aroused his suspicion; he was left with no choice but to confront her. He asked her if she’s, by any chance, bi-sexual and if her friend is her playmate? She flared up and expressed her disappointment that he could think so lowly of her. 

It marked their first fight, and while they were on its short break, his girlfriend’s friend moved in fully into the house with her. Now that they have reconciled after their fight, everything about their relationship is even more awkward. He feels there is more to her friendship to this other girl than meets the eye. I encouraged him to have an open meeting with the two ladies.

This reality abounds in many relationships today and a lot of marriages are crumbling on the grounds of irreconcilable differences centered on sexual preferences. So? Before you say ‘I do’, who exactly are you? What’s that secret or secrets you are hiding while leading your partner on?

Coming clean about one’s sexual history to a potential lifelong partner is very crucial not only in matters of sexual compatibility but also in understanding the struggles that may rear its ugly head sooner than later.

But how far into a relationship should you disclose your sexual history? This is exactly where the problem lies. Because it may be inappropriate to share details about your sexual (mis)adventures within the first month of dating, it is better to wait until you both are totally comfortable before discussing intimate details of your past.

It is also up to you not to answer questions on your sexual preference until you are totally comfortable to talk about it. After all, people reserves the right to withhold some information until they are comfortable to share such, especially if they don’t trust that their secret is safe with others. It’s your decision and no one has the right to compel you to share it.

Telling may cause an immediate downturn. He or she may leave for a couple of days, weeks or forever. Sometimes the partner comes back and then finds ways around such struggle together. But if there is any way your partner can find out or see red flag, then he or she needs to hear it from you first.

If you think your mate is going to react badly upon learning your secret, be rest assured that the reaction will be worse if he or she finds out from anyone other than you. It is better you tell it yourself rather than waiting in miserable anticipation for the revelation to come from someone else.

If your partner had ever asked and you responded with a lie, you need to get that lie off the table by telling the truth. As long as you feel within yourself that you have deceived your partner, you will never reach the level of trust that makes a great relationship or marriage. You will always be dogged by the guilt that a part of your relationship is based on a lie rather than the truth. Because of that, you will never feel genuine closeness to each other as long as that lie remains un-confessed.

Your secret will cause you to hold back a part of yourself from the relationship because of fear, worry, guilt, or shame, but revealing your secret to your partner can help you do away with these barriers to intimacy.

Intimacy is a lot more than sex. It includes: openness, honesty, closeness, warmth, trust, and vulnerability. We all crave a relationship that has these characteristics. You cannot experience true love if you have a secret that causes you to hold yourself back from being honest, open, and vulnerable. So if your secret keeps you from making yourself transparent to your partner, you should tell them about your struggles.

Coming clean is a difficult task for everyone involved. If you have been deceiving your partner till this moment, it is time to be completely honest. Trust is the most vulnerable aspect of relationship; lying and other forms of deception during confession will result in greater hurt. Even small lies at this point will damage any future healing and reconciliation.

Be complete and sincere in your confession. Don’t just dump it on your partner and run; be honest and tell everything. You must allow your partner to ask any question that may come into his or her mind while you answer honestly.

Honesty and acceptance are two different things. Give them the freedom to decide. Let them grieve. Let them know that you understand why it is difficult and that you are willing to wait while they process and digest your disclosed secret. Be patient and gentle towards them. But know that in the end, they will decide on whether to leave or stay.

One thing is also true: that, some sexual need leaves trails of consequences that are more painful and longer lasting than others. Not everyman or woman will have the strength, desire, or ability to continue or to marry a partner with a deeply rebellious sexual past. Coming clean is difficult but the reward is worth it.

So, before you say, ‘I do,’ tell him/her your deepest secret, they will either stick with you or walk away.


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June 2018
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