speaking of honesty

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
speaking of honesty
11
Mon, 05-24-2010 - 7:16pm

have you ever had something in your past that you didn't want others to know. something very personal and private that you feel should stay personal and private... even to your SO?


next question: or have you told your SO something that you told no one else. something

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 05-24-2010 - 8:45pm
Well, I never had anything that exciting or controversial in my past that I was worried about anyone finding out about. I do know my 2nd DH was very nervous to tell me that he had been molested by his uncle -- he thought I might leave him, when of course I thought it was not his fault. He really had so many skeletons in his closet that I wonder if I still know everything about him. IN fact at Christmas, I found out something from his friends (which of course they didn't know that I didn't know--it wasn't something you would think of as a secret) and this is after we knew each other 10 yrs. So it just makes me continue to wonder what else he was hiding, which is kind of irrelevant now since we're divorced. I do think there are certain things (like # of sexual partners) that don't really need to be shared.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 8:38am

First husband, I wanted to to, but he ignored all my dirty laundry as if it never happened.

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2006
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 11:26am

Yes to all of the above. BTDT, it's not fun. I'll address each thing separately.

I have a lot of skeletons. I would say none of it is major, however, they are things people judge me by, and it's also really no one's business but mine (and maybe an SO). Would I keep things from an SO, only if I thought it wouldn't affect him nor our r'ship. Would I hide or lie about it? No. If he asked me straight out or wanted to discuss our very darkest secrets, I would tell him.

HOWEVER, with that being said, moving onto your second part. I am always wary now. My 2xh wanted to know everything about me. I was willing to open up. He also wanted to share his past with me, which I thought I was strong enough to handle. He held one piece of my past against me big time. I cried when I read love letters from him to his x's and from his x's to me. Both were very damaging to the r'ship. It took us a long time to get past it and yes, I think it had it's part in ending our marriage. At the time, I would've told you we both got past it, but our jealousy streaks would tell us otherwise.

With that, I am so wary to tell men my past. Afraid they won't accept me for who I am today (not 20 years ago). IMHO, there are 3 types of people. People who don't care and don't show you any empathy or support. People who do care and hold it against you even though it's in your past. And people who tell you they love you regardless of what has happened, and that the past made you who you are today, so they'd never change your past. The first may feel good, but then, it's also like they don't get that you are who you are because of that. The second, has a ton of repercussions, the last, is the most healthiest. I've dealt with all 3 types regarding my past. The last makes you feel the best about your past.

So how do you move on? You talk about it. You ask SO why it bothers him. What about it bothers him. How can you help to get past it? Does he understand it's what made you you?

Lastly, I hate to say it, but even for me, I have dealbreakers. My 2xh smoked a LOT, I was turned off immediately. He didn't when we met, but it really bothered me. I seriously had to decide if it was something I could live with. One xbf hid his xw/and child from me. That was inexcusable IMHO. He said he hid them because I didn't want/like kids and he knew I wasn't into dating divorced me (I was 20 at the time). So, I left him. He lied and misled me. Another xbf once told me his xgf got an abortion and he really wanted her to keep the baby. I chalked it up to them being 18. Another did drugs (left him, only because I could see the drugs had an effect on his brain, long-term, and I didn't care for his personality). Another did drugs and dropped out of HS. I wasn't concerned for 2 reasons. 1. he had a great job and 2. was still ambitious (so much that he got a 4.0 in his engineering degree at college when he went back - he told me this later, to see my reaction, don't blame him). And lastly, me and 2xh discussed our cheating pasts. We really discussed it in depth, why we did it, why we think we did it, etc. We moved on.

All in all though, everyone has dealbreakers, even ones from the past. Most I think though, can be moved on from if you are able to disassociate yourself from the past (meaning, don't take it like its happening today), understand why it bothers you, and talk.

Good luck. It's not easy helping a person move beyond something they don't like, past or not.

 





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Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 12:07pm

I do not see the point of revealing everything about my past. To what purpose? If asked then yes I will tell my SO. Who I am now is the product of a bunch of things, one of which is my past experience. I am all about being honest and transparent but I also don't go around revealing everything because it really serves no purpose IMHO.

Insofar as my SO not being able to let go of whatever I tell them, I see that as an issue for them. Hopefully the SO would recognize it is THEIR issue not yours. If it affects our relationship then I would request that they won't bring it up for it is their issue.

I have made decisions the best I knew how, at the time whether they turned out to be good decisions or not, it is what it is and it's over. Hopefully I have learned and grew from those experiences. I live my life working on compassion, for myself and for others. Judging people is something I would rather not do and would want the same from my partner.

Mark

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 2:00pm

I use to feel like

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.


Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 3:50pm

I agree.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 6:29pm
wow. thanks to all for such words of wisdom. and thank you for sharing.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 05-27-2010 - 2:22pm

I read the thread and I think there is a difference between not sharing, and hiding.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2010
Wed, 06-02-2010 - 1:42am
There is a lot of "need to know" information in a relationship and only you know what is really important to tell your partner. (No you can't put your hand around my neck 'cause it gives me bad flashbacks - that sort of thing)
On the flip side - if you or your partner are disclosing need to know information the other person should not say "I don't want to hear this". That is a rejection of your Self. The need to know stuff is the stuff that underlays your personal concept of self. It matters, it needs to be treated respectfully and it helps the other person know you. (Yes, I can speak confidently about mental health because I was committed once and I think your mother/brother/sister would love a visit from you while they are in the psyche ward)
My BF errs on the side of "I don't want to hear this" but he himself was terrified of opening up to me and having me reject him. We've worked through that slowly and now he uses the phrase "why are you telling me this". Which is good, because then I stop and think, Why AM I telling him this - oh yeah, because then he will understand why I do x, y, z.
I err on the side of full disclosure because I figure he will know it all eventually and I would rather have him reject me now instead of 5 years from now when I love him that much more completely. Band-aid off slow, or band-aid off fast?
Perhaps the best road is to say - hey, I've got this big old band-aid - as they come up. Then let the discussion and trust you have in each other dictate just what is shared. Making it clear that there is stuff to share is honest, but provides you a choice as a couple. (Ex - my older sister was diagnosed with PTSD from dealing with my mom, it was pretty bad... then you either change the subject or start pulling off the band aid.)
And no, you did not need to have all those emotional scars and all that pain, but it did shape you and make you who you are today. And who you are today is pretty wonderful. I believe a loving partner will make a serious attempt to work through all the mud and the muck if respect, honesty and tenderness are integral parts of the relationship. I also believe your soul is your own and some things are not any one else's business.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Wed, 06-02-2010 - 8:44am

After reading your post, I was trying to think if there is ANYTHING I could not

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.


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