Should you tell your partner about your past?

I was watching the movie called “What’s Your Number” starting Anna Faris. It‘s a movie about a woman who looks back at her past relationships in her life. It is just your standard chick-flick. At one point she wanted to lie about her past even to her close friends as she realised that she had too many relationships in comparision to her friends. 

While watching the movie it made me wonder how honest we are with our partners. 

Did you tell everything about your past to him/her?  

Did you leave something out just because it didn’t sound right? 

Do you think not telling is not the same as lying? 

While driving home yesterday, they were asking similar questions on the radio and I was surprised by the number of callers who called in to say that they have hidden many things from their partners even though they are in a long term relationship. Their excuse was that if things had happened in the past and they are not effecting the present, why should they talk about it. Some of them even went  and said that if they do tell their partners about their past, their partners may leave them. Others said sometimes it is best to keep your mouth shut. 

I was really surprised to hear that because I thought everyone talks about their past with their partner especially if they are in a long term relationship. Relationships are built on trust so not telling or hiding doesn’t seem to be an option to me. Openness is what I believe is the foundation of a good relationship along with willingness to show themselves to each other. Many people have skeletons in the closet which they rather keep under wraps but didn’t your past shape and mold you to be the person that you are today? 

For me, I believe that when you start a new relationship, you should start with honestly and it includes telling each other everything including things you are not proud of. Things you don’t know won’t harm you is not an excuse for hiding the truth. And yes not telling is the same as lying if it involves your partner. 

When I first hooked up with my husband, I did tell him everything about my past including things I was not proud of and things I know he won’t be pleased with. As he was leaving his familiar surrounding to be with me where he will be hanging out with my family and friends, I thought he needed to learn the truth about me before he can make a decision that he will not regret in the future. Once I told him everything, my heart was lighter because I knew in the future no matter what comes up from anyone, he can say “Yes I know”. That is what I wanted and I am glad he felt the same. 

He also told me everything (according to him)  🙂  . Somethings were not easy to listen to but I know in my heart it was necessary if we were planning to live the rest of our life together. 

Imagine a situation; you are happily married for 5 years. Then you meet your friend who is married as well. So four of you becomes buddies again and start hanging out. If you had left things out from your past while telling your partner about it, don’t you think there is a big possibility that it may come out at any time in the conversation and haunt the two of you? Imagine your partner’s horror if he was not informed about it. It may not happen but it can happen so why do we need to take that chance. Especially in this age of social networking where you don’t know when, how or where you will come face to face with your past? 

So I believe honesty is the best policy when it comes to your partner especially if you are going to spend the rest of your life with him. Starting with an open book will lead you to the happiness that you deserve, than not telling him the truth and praying for it to stay in the closest for the rest of your life.

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12 responses to “Should you tell your partner about your past?

  1. I am really sad to read what honestly has done to your current relationship but I support you 100% and I am sure you did the right thing. Everyone has past and their present is result of their past so people need to accept what we had in past to have a clean and honest future.

    I am sure things will work out well for you. It may take time but your partner will realise one day that you love him and you being honest was your way of telling him that you trust him more.

    Gud luck girl!!!
    Lots of hugs
    xoxo

  2. I used to keep my past pretty secret. I only allowed the parts of myself I wasn’t ashamed of to show. Well, over time it didn’t work out very well. I made a commitment to myself when I set out on my own from an abusive marriage that I would be honest with the next person I chose to trust.

    I thought it would be a lot longer before I trusted anyone than it actually was. I can’t say I was 100% forthcoming about everything, but when it came to my past relationships I was honest about how many and to what extent. I don’t know that it was the best decision. The person I was seeing is still hurt by my past. He feels like it damaged our relationship.

    I suppose when you meet someone you are sure you spent your last life with and then feel that they sinned against you in this life that its hard not to be upset. Maybe time will tell that honesty was the best policy. For now, it just seems to be painful.

  3. Hey,

    If there is no trust there is no love…:)

  4. My heart would just be too heavy if I didn’t tell my husband everything. Even the embarrassing stuff. 🙂 But some people feel differently. I had one person tell me that her present and future belong to her and her husband, together, but that her past is her own.

    • The funny think is if I hide something from my husband, he kind of know coz I will be lost and agitated.
      I am not sure about past being as our own as I believe past has shaped us into what we are today but then everyone has rights to do what they like. 🙂

  5. Yes you are completely right, truth is the pillar of every relationship. There is no point in hiding anything in a relationship. Nice post.

  6. The truth always comes out in the end, so I agree with you just be honest in the beginning.

  7. I totally agree M. Dishonesty is as good as lying. Every relationship is based on trust and there should be nothing that an outsider should know about you that your partner doesn’t. Even 10 years down the lane, if you really love the person, that issue will matter. And coming out clean would only prove how important one is to the other and even if it is not pleasant, they would still accept and move on.

    • That’s exactly right Tash. But if you were listening to the radio show, you would have been surprised on how many people lie to their partners. I know there are white lies but definitely to your partners.

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