Of course a husband should tell his wife about his romantic past. Why wouldn’t he, unless of course he doesn’t trust his wife is strong enough to hear the truth. Could fear be the reason why some men and women choose not to tell their spouses?
Can’t you just hear the choir now rejoicing, “Yes! Yes! That’s why I never told him/her!”
I’ve been with my husband nine years and am never surprised to hear him recant a lost memory of some old love he had long ago but had since forgotten. It’s not that my husband is clever or withholding, though sometimes he is. But sometimes he honestly forgets.
Keeping secrets is more about protecting ourselves than it is about not wanting to hurt others. Perhaps once upon a time we did or said something in the past for which we now feel shameful, embarrassed or suffer from a wounded pride. Or maybe a past romance was purely physical or fleeting and so unimportant it never registered high on the priority list of things to tell.
Or maybe we never truly understood what happened that caused a past romance to drift apart and thus stored it in an inaccessible zip file memory. Truthfully, what does it matter when your husband tells you so long as the romance never occurred while the two of you were married, because then of course that would be an extramarital affair and not just a romance from the past. And even then, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you hope he’d have courtesy to tell you – at least sometime before you die?
But, sadly enough, some people carry great secrets to the grave without ever telling a soul. And some, who never felt strong enough to deal with the truth, are glad they never told. I’ve always told my husband I can handle the truth, because I can. It’s the lies that hurt me most because lies rob me of choice. And choice is power.
I think honesty is unwelcome by people afraid of shattering their own illusions. I think honesty is unwelcome by people afraid of change. I think honesty is unwelcome by people unwilling to take accountability and responsibility for themselves and who pass that accountability onto others. You know them, the , “You are responsible for my happiness ” people.
My husband is the center of my world because I allow him to be. That’s the choice I made. And if he ever withheld information, and he has, about his past romances, then it is up to me to accept how any news he shares with me impacts me, when and if it ever does, because I am responsible for myself and my own happiness. My happiness is my choice. I have direct control over whom and what I allow to make me happy.
The fact that I’ve chosen to place my husband at the center of my world is my doing, not his. My husband never forced me to place him at the center of my world. It was my choice to place him there; therefore it is my responsibility to myself to secure my happiness within myself should he ever chose to impact my world with unwelcome news about past or present romances or anything else he might care to share.
Furthermore, if my world as I know it all comes crashing down on me, I’m the one responsible for picking up the pieces of my shattered delusional world, not him. My husband contributes, yes, especially if he chooses to indulge himself as the center of my world. But contribution does not equal full responsibility. I cannot walk across a busy street and be struck by a car only to turn around and blame the driver of the car for hitting me. I contributed. Therefore, I must take my share of accountability. Marriage is the same.
With or without my husband, I am responsible for me, myself and I. I am the constant steady that follows me through life. If I have a problem in one relationship, I carry it to another, and another, until I choose to let it go. Problems don’t disappear just because I’ve met someone, fallen in love and gotten married. Problems sit quietly, like flies on the wall, waiting for the next available ripe opportunity to rear its ugly head so that it can be seen, heard, and understood, and released once and for all. And yes, you’ll most likely will have to work through your problems with someone you love. Either that or find some addiction in which you can seek yet never fully find escape, or spend years in therapy – it’s your choice. It’s still your choice.
So what problem is there in a husband forgetting to tell his wife about some romance from his past? I mean seriously, even if it involves a previous child, so what. Or worst case scenario, your husband contracted HIV as a result of a past romance and now has AIDS. So what? What can you do about the past?
The past is in the past and no matter what you do the past cannot be revisited and undone. It can only be dealt with in the moment. The choice is yours in how you decide to deal with it. That’s your only choice. You can get mad, jealous, bitter, vengeful, forgiving, or whatever you want. These are only some examples of how you choose to deal with it. But the fact remains, you have to deal with it. And sometimes you’re going to deal with certain issues with greater love, forgiveness, maturity, wisdom and understanding than you are with other things because some things you’re just going to deal with poorly no matter how hard you try.
Marriage is fraught with challenges and opportunities, and every problem is a challenging opportunity. And no matter how hard either one of you tries to get around the issue, you both have to get through it, sooner or later. You may not have to get through it together right now, and you may never have to get through it together if that is your choice, but you do have to get through it one way or another at some point in time in your life. You do. And that’s a fact will never change. Suck it up my dear; never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be because that’s life.
You can get through life kicking and screaming and being mad at the world for all your angst and pains or you can take accountability for your own happiness and deal with whatever secrets your husband does or doesn’t share about his romantic past. Because either way, whether he tells you or not, it’s going to have an impact on your happiness. Don’t force it out of him. Instead, be prepared so you’re strong enough to deal with whatever he or life throws your way. And just remember that even though you may be strong doesn’t mean some things in life still won’t bowl you over because they will, no matter how strong you are. Just be sure to be as strong as you can be because that’s the best you can do for yourself.
Most importantly, be honest with yourself even when others cannot for it is in your self honesty that you will find your greatest strengths. Honesty is a gift you give yourself. So instead of wondering what he has or hasn’t shared about his romantic past, look to your inner closet and examine your own past.
A wise man once said, “The truth will set you free.” And surprisingly, if you’ve ever allowed yourself the privilege of being truthful with yourself, you’ll know the wise man was honest in what he said. The truth you share with yourself is the greatest truth you’ll ever know and will serve as your armor for any truth you may not want to hear but need to know. Don’t let your weakness of not wanting to hear the truth be the reason your husband does not tell you the truth. If, after all this, you can handle the truth and your husband still doesn’t tell you the truth, then let the lie lay on his soul and pray for strength for yourself to either quit or endure. The choice is yours.