Is Digging Into Your Spouse’s Past Necessary?

by Pele Odiase

Honesty is the best policy in any relationship and should be its bedrock; there shouldn’t be any form of deception or plan to deceive especially in marriage. Sometimes things happen to us that are beyond our control and sometimes we ask God ‘Why Me?’ Other events occur in our lives as a direct or indirect result of our decisions or foolishness.

In as much as God forgives our sins and remembers them not, they still linger in our minds and affect our current circumstances, how we view ourselves, our confidence and how we trust other people. In the event that you now live a renewed lifestyle and a God sent relationship beckons at your doorstep, you may begin to wonder if, how and when should you tell you intended spouse or husband about the past that haunts you which you would rather forget.

In some case it may be necessary to share the events of the past with your spouse especially if it is affecting your marriage adversely and your future together. Bear in mind that circumstances may occur in the future whereby your spouse finds out from other sources. He or she may feel betrayed finding things out by accident rather than from you. He who finds equity must come with clean hands.

But how do you go about telling you spouse that you were

  • a product of a rape, raped or abused as a child
  • promiscuous and partook in orgies
  • a drug addict and lived a rebellious life
  • an ex-convict convicted for burglary, theft, rape or murder
  • abused in a previous relationship or marriage
  • had an abortion or abandoned a child on the streets
  • involved in pornography, homosexuality or bestiality

But you may have to if

  • childbearing become elusive because of abortion or an absent womb
  • one of the porn movies you starred in is about to be released in your neighbourhood
  • the kid you claim to be your sibling is actually your child
  • you are deep in debt from a wasteful past
  • the neighbour was on your hit list or a one night stand victim
  • your medical condition is a result of you past addiction
  • resources available to run the home is insufficient because you to pay child support or alimony

The list is endless and circumstance differs. But the issue is still the same. How do you tell the one you love the dark side of your past without feeling inferior, rejected or vulnerable? It takes a great deal of courage and trust to share the past with your spouse. Many people never develop that trust throughout marriage. If your spouse is able to do that, it is an indication of trust, the value placed on the relationship and belief in the other party.

However it is crucial that you evaluate the information you intend to share with your spouse and the amount of detail you give especially if it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Men and women handle things differently. Guys tend to paint pictures in the mind from information given, so be careful with the amount of detail you give when sharing details that are sexual in nature. He may have a hard time trying to get rid of those thoughts and scenes from his mind. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Timing is of utmost importance especially when speaking to the man. You must get the timing right. This would determine whether it would be world war III or cloud 9 after that discussion. The spouse must earn the other parties trust to share such details. You don’t have or need to demand for information. It must come from the heart and the narrator must have full confidence, trust and belief in you.

As defined Intimacy is ‘into-me-see’. To be intimate with each other you need to know each other and not be ashamed. It requires wisdom and the truth must be told in love at the right time. You can use your past to encourage others. There are a lot of charities and ministries whose founders and leaders have gone through horrible past. Rather than give the devil the glory, they have used it to the glory of God to help others and prevent people from going through the same ordeal. One notable speaker is Joyce Meyer, what an inspiration she is. God can heal every situation and restore all that the canker worm have eaten. Trust him and rest in his love.

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ADI A August 31, 2008 - 4:45 pm

good article but why do you it is only women who has secrets! Dr phil says, “if telling the truth will ruin your marriage or relationship, just keep it to yourself” especially when you do not do that kindda stuff anymore. and for people that are dating, why do I want to tell my new hubby that I was promiscuity. I bet you that even you (Pele Odiase) may not want to further that relationship. my advise, make changes within you. what he or she does not know, does not kill him or her.

posh posh January 3, 2008 - 2:41 am

my sister I agree.

Reply January 2, 2008 - 11:38 am

The question is not how we want to tell our spouses but if they want to know. Many of us may say we want the whole truth so that we can avoid surprises, but by my experience, most spouses and significant others would prefer to be in the dark. I mean why break up an ideal situation? Just like the woman who finds out her husband is cheating, and wishes she was left in the dark and sill be happy with her married life no matter how untrue, the same goes for other “truthiness.”

Some things are best left unsaid, but if you must say them (e.g. financial messes, diseases, and things that will directly affect your spouse), dear God please do it before you get married. Confession after marriage will only destroy any chance of happiness you might have.

Other things like orgies you had ten years ago, or one night stands whose names you don’t even remember should stay in your past. Give yourself a chance to be happy with your spouse and don’t go pissing in the soup pot.


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