Leave the Past in the Past?

Dear Lisa,

I am engaged and the wedding is tentatively set for October.  My fiancé and I get along very well with similar values, likes/dislikes and we dated for almost two years before making it official.  We are both 27.

What's bothering me a great deal is that I've not told him about one period of my life and I don't know if it's true that all things don't have to be revealed or if I should tell him.  I don't think it would make a difference but then I can't be sure.  When I was 16, I became pregnant by my boyfriend and our families didn't condemn us but made the decision to give the baby up for adoption.  The baby was a healthy boy and I was told a bit of the adoptive parents' background, etc. so I know he was placed with a good family.  I remind myself that it was best for him but I'll never forget him.  I've had no contact with him or the adoptive parents and I don't want to have any.

My family doesn't speak of that time and they very much approve of my fiancé.  My mother and sisters strongly recommend that I not tell him because it was a long time ago and I was a kid.  They say it really has no bearing on my present or future life.

What is your opinion?  I could use some objective input.


Dear Meghan,

First off, congratulations on your engagement!  Secondly, kudos to you for bringing the baby to term and having the strength to give the little guy a new beginning with a different family.  It takes a lot of courage to go through that experience.

I honestly don’t feel that there is a right or wrong in this situation.  It’s entirely up to you whether or not you tell your fiancé what happened.  My gut says that it’s probably best to tell him because it was such a huge event that occurred in your life, and I think he has a right to know about it.  This experience has changed and shaped who you are today.  True, you may have been just a kid, but there are many things that happen to us as children that have a very strong bearing on who we are.

I’m going to go out on a limb here for a second, and make an assumption about your family.  The way you speak of them makes me wonder if they generally prefer to keep “improper” behavior and occurrences quiet.  Are they making the decision for you, or do you truly agree with them?

If you find that putting the past aside is what you think is right, then so be it.  You do whatever makes you able to heal from the experience.  But if you’re keeping it to yourself because you’re ashamed, then I do hope you change your mind.  There is nothing to be ashamed of.  You are going to marry this man, and he is going to eventually know you inside and out.  I’d recommend telling him, because love is all about sharing yourself with someone else and receiving love and respect in return.

I understand what a delicate situation this is, and I don’t want to steer you wrong.  I want you to love yourself, including your past decisions.  If your fiancé loves you, which I’m sure he does, he will understand.  He may have even more respect for you after hearing what you’ve been through.

Best wishes for your future nuptials!


Anyone else out there getting married?  Tell me all about it: lisa@relationshipper.com


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