Question: Dear Luise: My current boyfriend and I have a long history together. We were split up for about a year because I had been unfaithful to him. A year later we decided to try and make it work, and things are going well, however now he wants full details on who I was intimate with. I don’t have a problem being open and honest with him, but it seems that as soon as I get the nerve to tell him, I become nervous and intimidated by him. I have expressed this to him, but he does not see it as a valid feeling. If I leave out one minor detail, he will get angry and call me a liar. I love him so much, and I want to express the truth to him, but I cant seem to get it out without saying ummm every 5 seconds. What is a way that I can talk about this with him, and be more relaxed? Please help me!!! “T”
Answer: Dear “T”: You will probably want to get a second opinion on this because I do not recommend honesty in your situation. I think that you are wise beyond your years on some level and know that it isn’t smart to let your boyfriend in on the details of your indiscretions. Also, beware of anyone who does not see your feelings as valid. They’re your feelings…it’s not his call.
I have known of situations not unlike yours where, once the information was shared, it was all over. Or at least the person making the confessions sure wished it was. It is true that no two situations are the same and no two people handle such dynamics alike, but your boyfriend is already evidencing warning signs. His curiosity isn’t going to be satisfied…and his imagination, already not supportive, is going to go wild. He may not know it, yet…but that’s still my take on the situation.
Trust is a very touchy thing. Initially it is taken for granted and then when it is broken, it is often not repairable. You did what you did. It caused a break-up and now it’s still influencing your attempts to rebuild a relationship. This isn’t going to go away with “true confessions”. It may never go away.
Tell your guy that you have put it behind you and that there is no way to go forward unless he is able to do the same thing. No matter how he rationalizes the need for disclosure, let him know that you are not going there…ever. I predict that to do so would prove unhealthy and inflammatory and do you both in. You’re already skating on thin ice.
Offer to turn over a new leaf and approach life in a more responsible way. And then let him know that’s as good as it’s going to get. Blessings, Luise