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Thread: Full Disclosure - Is honesty the best policy?

  1. #21
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Let sleeping dogs lie.

    You weren't exclusive.

    If you decide to tell your boyfriend, you risk losing him. If your friends stir the pot by broaching this topic, again, you weren't exclusive at the time.

    You can't keep beating yourself up over this. Just enjoy your life with your boyfriend and have a bright future with him!

  2. #22
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    Hooking up with a felon is ...


    You weren't exclusive so that's not a big deal.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    How important is this wedding in the first place? It seems like a whole lot of nosy and disrespectful people. I'm going by the way you've framed it in post #1 regarding stirring the pot. If it's in bad company, you might want to rethink your decision to go or any idea about introducing or bringing your boyfriend to it. Going to an event full of people you don't get along with and asking if it's a risk is a bit like putting your hand in the fire and asking whether you'll feel the heat.

    Any issue that you feel is bothering you should be between your boyfriend and you. If it helps you move forward with your future, I'd encourage being open about your past. It seems like you are feeling uncertain about what happened back then and may be using this wedding event and the likelihood of seeing your fling there as a reason to come clean.

    I'll also come at this from a different angle: living authentically and without fear. You cannot lose someone who inherently and completely is in love with you. If you are fearful of being judged, fearful of appearing as you really are and unable to feel understood or feel a kinship with your boyfriend or a closeness between the both of you, you should ask yourself how important is it that you tell him more about yourself. I think he deserves to know you and your whole you and you should live fearlessly without worrying about your own boyfriend thinks of you. If it seems a bit TMI, so be it, but let him be the one to judge you for it. I'm sensing a whole lot of fear here and I don't think it's healthy or living very genuinely especially considering how perturbed you are.

  4. #24
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    How important is this wedding in the first place? It seems like a whole lot of nosy and disrespectful people. I'm going by the way you've framed it in post #1 regarding stirring the pot. If it's in bad company, you might want to rethink your decision to go or any idea about introducing or bringing your boyfriend to it. Going to an event full of people you don't get along with and asking if it's a risk is a bit like putting your hand in the fire and asking whether you'll feel the heat.

    Any issue that you feel is bothering you should be between your boyfriend and you. If it helps you move forward with your future, I'd encourage being open about your past. It seems like you are feeling uncertain about what happened back then and may be using this wedding event and the likelihood of seeing your fling there as a reason to come clean.

    I'll also come at this from a different angle: living authentically and without fear. You cannot lose someone who inherently and completely is in love with you. If you are fearful of being judged, fearful of appearing as you really are and unable to feel understood or feel a kinship with your boyfriend or a closeness between the both of you, you should ask yourself how important is it that you tell him more about yourself. I think he deserves to know you and your whole you and you should live fearlessly without worrying about your own boyfriend thinks of you. If it seems a bit TMI, so be it, but let him be the one to judge you for it. I'm sensing a whole lot of fear here and I don't think it's healthy or living very genuinely especially considering how perturbed you are.
    I think that all couples should have their private spaces - like the Carly Simon song "we have no secrets"

    Yes I think you can lose someone who loves you if you abuse that love and trust by oversharing especially if it's mostly "so I feel better/so I can unburden my guilt". Unburdening guilt as a main reason means it typically is not fair to the person you love to burden them with it. If she feels she cannot move forward with him without telling him this experience she should question herself as to why - a one night stand with a sex offender is part of her authentic self? If so then yes he deserves to know that if she feels she may be tempted to have sex with him or another sex offender or felon again -if that's what floats her boat. But if it's a past experience and he wasn't exposed to STI it needs to stay in the past and if it's so important that he know that about her she needs to ask herself if this past experience will affect her choices in the future. I'd want to know if my partner was genuinely more attracted to dangerous people who've abused and hurt others such that she would put our lives in some sort of danger or harm's way. It doesn't sound like she feels that way.

    I do agree she could skip the wedding -great idea!!

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  6. #25
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Hmmm........... so you dated another guy the same time as your boyfriend and you have drama queens coming to the wedding?

    I guess since everybody knows your history, you'll just have to let the drama unfold. Hope you'll make better choices in the future.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    I think that all couples should have their private spaces - like the Carly Simon song "we have no secrets"

    Yes I think you can lose someone who loves you if you abuse that love and trust by oversharing especially if it's mostly "so I feel better/so I can unburden my guilt". Unburdening guilt as a main reason means it typically is not fair to the person you love to burden them with it. If she feels she cannot move forward with him without telling him this experience she should question herself as to why - a one night stand with a sex offender is part of her authentic self? If so then yes he deserves to know that if she feels she may be tempted to have sex with him or another sex offender or felon again -if that's what floats her boat. But if it's a past experience and he wasn't exposed to STI it needs to stay in the past and if it's so important that he know that about her she needs to ask herself if this past experience will affect her choices in the future. I'd want to know if my partner was genuinely more attracted to dangerous people who've abused and hurt others such that she would put our lives in some sort of danger or harm's way. It doesn't sound like she feels that way.

    I do agree she could skip the wedding -great idea!!
    The main reason is because it IS his business, in my eyes, if he's rubbing shoulders with known sex offender at a wedding or if they have mutual friends at a wedding they're attending. It's a bit clandestine to keep that information to herself and it almost seems like she's living in shame because of her past. This doesn't jive with me. I don't consider this unburdening of guilt unnecessarily. I see it more directly as allowing your significant other to get to know more of you and living fearlessly and authentically as you are.

    I think this goes both ways. He should feel free to not to be with someone with whom he has a problem with. If he's going to take offense or get upset about her past and she risks "losing" him, so be it. I don't believe he'd be a keeper. The point isn't to keep someone and it certainly isn't to abuse anyone's trust. It's to be entirely and truly you, taking into consideration that the other person has a right to choose not to want to be with you. I think this is a form of respect, not abuse: to be open and authentic especially where the past blurs with the present/future. Why else be in a relationship in the first place if a person is so guarded and unsettled about him/herself around others?

  8. #27
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    The main reason is because it IS his business, in my eyes, if he's rubbing shoulders with known sex offender at a wedding or if they have mutual friends at a wedding they're attending. It's a bit clandestine to keep that information to herself and it almost seems like she's living in shame because of her past. This doesn't jive with me. I don't consider this unburdening of guilt unnecessarily. I see it more directly as allowing your significant other to get to know more of you and living fearlessly and authentically as you are.

    I think this goes both ways. He should feel free to not to be with someone with whom he has a problem with. If he's going to take offense or get upset about her past and she risks "losing" him, so be it. I don't believe he'd be a keeper. The point isn't to keep someone and it certainly isn't to abuse anyone's trust. It's to be entirely and truly you, taking into consideration that the other person has a right to choose not to want to be with you. I think this is a form of respect, not abuse: to be open and authentic especially where the past blurs with the present/future. Why else be in a relationship in the first place if a person is so guarded and unsettled about him/herself around others?
    I wrote above under what circumstances I would advise her to share this part of her past with him. I don't agree that she needs to let him know more of her by sharing about a one night stand with a sex offender unless there's a separate reason -such as they have to attend this wedding and there's a high risk he'll find out about this from someone else there.

    We just disagree with the extent of openness that is required here or in general (like the Carly Simon song I referenced). Certainly if a person is going to be that guarded and unsettled about a one night stand and cannot resolve that feeling through therapy or talking with others-not her partner - then sure in some cases she or he will have to share that information. You and I just disagree on extent and how broad a brush to apply to "authentic."

  9. #28
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    No worries, Batya. I see what you're saying. We can agree to disagree. I only think I wouldn't want to live as she is right now. That's all.

  10. #29
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    No worries, Batya. I see what you're saying. We can agree to disagree. I only think I wouldn't want to live as she is right now. That's all.
    I don't think we disagree in that manner. I agree with the general premise. I wouldn't want to live as she is right now and I would take steps to seek counseling or therapy to resolve why she made those choices and why she would go to an event where he would be (unless absolutely necessary -it might be!) and why she feels so compelled to share this with her partner - the why would tell me what her motives are and more importantly she needs to be more honest about her motives so she gets clarity. Certainly if because of her choices he has been exposed to an STI or to being harassed by this person etc she should tell him.

    I'll give an example from this morning. My husband messed up and forgot to tell me something which resulted in my son having a meltdown right before going to camp (had he told me I would have explained things a lot differently). I genuinely felt like sharing with him and venting how my husband's forgetting really screwed up my morning. A small part of me still feels genuinely that way because feelings are feelings. But when I examined my feelings I realized that (1) my motive in bringing it up was basically to be "right" and complain/vent; and (2) he already suffered the consequences of his mistake by being awakened by my son's loud complaints; and (3) he did text he was sorry (had he not I still believed he was sorry); and (4) this happens a wee bit too often but not ridiculously often. So I've made the choice to say nothing more. Even though a part of me genuinely would feel better by venting/complaining, etc (and since my husband is sorry he likely would absorb it and feel like he "deserved" it). I am prioritizing my relationship with my husband, the long term, over expressing a tired/cranky part of my "genuine self."

    That's what I mean -it's a balance - it's not a slam dunk "well my genuine self slept with a sex offender and I feel awful about it and am anxious about this wedding where he will attend so I want to be honest with my husband" - to me it requires a more nuanced analysis, an exploration of alternatives, a self-honest approach to why you really want to share the info, and all of this to take into account balancing "genuine self" against the why of sharing the info, the potential impact on your partner (yes he might know more of your genuine self and yes he might be genuinely hurt - and is that worth it, in the balance), etc.

    Also sometimes it's a great opportunity to question whether that part of your genuine self is a desirable part or one you'd like to reevaluate and potentially change. Perhaps the OP can explore why she feels like her husband should know about this one night stand with a sex offender. It's not a given that just because you want to share something that feels genuine it's healthy to share just because it's "genuine" and you feel like letting it all hang out. She can choose not to live as she is right now by getting help and advice as an alternative to subjecting her partner to this information.

    I'm not trying to convince, just to explain that you and I agree for the most part on the basic premise.

  11. #30
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm of the mindset that couples should advocate for honesty and working things out together and being their authentic selves without the use of therapy or the consistent use of therapy. I'm not addressing serious mental health issues. I'm speaking more about minor issues like this one and yes, I do regard this as a very minor issue: they are in the dating phase, it's only been one year, it's regarding an old fling and we're talking about a wedding event that may be of no importance in the first place.

    Second, if you don't mind me saying, the issue with your husband this morning (thanks for sharing this) is in an established relationship not a new relationship as with the OP. Again, minor issue weighed against a shorter relationship vs minor issue weighed against an established relationship. The contexts are different. In your situation, I would have done the same thing. I don't believe in making someone feel even worse when that person is able to self-regulate (as your husband seems to do). I don't think it's helpful to make anyone feel bad but sometimes as we all know emotions do come out especially where there are kids and they're affected in some way.

    I don't mind chit chatting. I think we agree on a lot of points. I'm just not willing to keep this kind of information to myself that early in a relationship and I do treat it as a form of respect to keep my partner informed (I prefer to think of this as the getting to know you stages). There's a possibility that things may go poorly if he finds out from someone else but I haven't addressed that because it shouldn't get to that point. Anyway, we could go on. Thanks for chatting though.

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