Should matters of one’s pasts be left behind or should you come clean with with your spouse about your past?
When it comes to issues pertaining to relationships, particularly on openness about one’s amorous past, people hold diverse opinions. Some think total honesty is ideal, some others think partial honesty is the way to go, yet others hold the school of thought that one should let bygone be bygone- no need digging graves to pull out and expose a buried past.
Recently, Saturday PUNCH asked some Nigerians if they think that someone in a relationship should tell their partner about their past, before marriage.
Below are some of the feed backs they got:
Partners should discuss their pasts before marriage- Owate Racheal
“Yes, I am of the opinion that a partner should discuss their past before marriage. Discussing past experiences with a future life partner will help settle any misconception or problems that may come up later in marriage. Also, a relationship that is not built on truth and trust can never work, that is, the foundation should start with truth – which is telling each other about their past. If they happen to find out about something controversial in their partner’s past from an outsider, it won’t be funny. This may make the partner feel that he or she was deceived into the marriage because of the secrets.”
It builds trust and confidence in couples – Anuoluwapo Osinubi
“Yes, it is important to talk about the past because it helps to highlight previous relationship problems and the partners can actually work on them to prevent the same thing from happening again. Also, keeping a partner in the dark is never a good thing. If something ugly from your past resurfaces, your partner’s reaction to it will be positive if you had told them about it before. Take for example, if a man has a child by another woman and he has told his fiancée about it, if the baby mama comes looking for him, she will not be bothered because he already told her about it. So it builds trust and confidence between couples and helps in knowing if they are sexually compatible. It also helps in knowing where the partners went wrong in their past relationships, learn from their past relationships and improve.”
There should be no secret between partners – Precious Fred
“Partners should discuss everything about their past before marriage because it’s a lifetime institution and it should be devoid of secrets to avoid issues later in life. Anyone that truly loves their partner will stay irrespective of any awkward past the other partner has shared with them. Love conquers all.”
Good relationships are based on trust, not history – Olubajo Emmanuel
“Well, I think partners should not tell each other about their past before marriage because in truth, most successful long-term relationships are based on strong emotional, physical connections and trust, and not history. When two persons meet and really love each other and are both willing to be together, the past shouldn’t stand in their way. Aside that, that is why it is called past, so both partners are supposed to look into the future. So there is no point in talking about your past as long as there is perfect trust between partners and that is all that matters.”
Talking about the past will prevent surprises – Sarah Omale
“Yes, I believe that partners should tell each other about their past. This will make their relationship to be more transparent than it might already be and also prepare them for the future in case something comes up from the past that they would have to deal with. It will help them to prevent unexpected surprises in marriage.”
Everybody has a past – Kunle Ogundiran
“If partners don’t discuss their past before marriage, it may cause confusion later in the marriage; also, it helps partners to understand each other better to avoid the repetition of mistakes they have made in the past. Maturity also plays a huge role in partners accepting their past. If a man is very mature, no matter what past his woman has, he will overlook it because past is past and nobody is perfect.”
It helps partners understand each other – Odenike Oresanya
“Thorough knowledge can never be overrated in a relationship as it enables both parties to understand each other better; they will know their mistakes, weaknesses, strengths and breakthroughs. It enables them to understand their individual stories properly; it also makes it easier for them not to repeat past mistakes. It prevents future surprises for both parties as they already know each other’s past story. Marriage is a union between two individuals; hence they both need to be one with each other in every sense, past, present and future. Marriage should be between two friends. So I believe they should tell each other their past stories because one thing about the past is that when you think it’s gone, it can come back to haunt you So to avoid awful stories, it is better to come clean with your partner before marriage.”
It depends on the partners – Omolewa Olagoke
“It is advisable in some scenarios, while in others, it is not advisable. Partners need to study the type of information their partner can tolerate. For example, if a lady opens up to her man that she had several sexual partners in the past; the man may see her as a wayward person. Also, if a man should tell his woman that he had a lot of sexual partners in the past, she may start feeling insecure in the relationship. Another example is if a lady spent a lot on her ex-boyfriend, and she tells her current partner about it, the man may expect to be treated the same way and this may cause conflict. So when it comes to opening up, partners need to be careful of the kind of information they tell each other.”
In marriage, there should be no secrets – Oladipo Oluwadamilola
“In a marriage, there should be no secrets so I believe partners should discuss all the events that happened in their past to avoid future drama.
Some marriages fail because of past events that come back to haunt them. This is why it is important for partners to come clean with one another in order to protect their home. For example, if a man who has a history of being promiscuous in the past has a baby out of wedlock and hides it from his wife and in future, the child comes to look for his father, the marriage is most likely to hit a dead end due to the betrayal and lack of honesty. So it is necessary for partners to discuss their pasts before marriage so that they can decide if they can handle these pasts together and move on to have a better future.”
Effective communication is key to a successful relationship – Adetayo Oyalami
“I will start with a quote by Ed Catmull that says, ‘A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candour, if unchecked, ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.’ Communicating fully and openly, without withholding information, is the key to having a successful relationship. But many people, especially ladies, prefer to conceal their past because of the fear that it might be used against them.”