Hi Dr. Love, First of all I thank you for your valuable time and advice.I am really concerned about this problem which I will be facing in a near future. I have been in U. S last since 6 years. Basically I am from a country where there are many bars for sex.I mean losing virginity for a girl before getting married is considered a sin. But unfortunately I did that sin. And sooner or later I will be engaged to this guy from my country.He is very nice and a decent guy. I respect him alot and I like him too. But he will be shocked when he will find out all this.Indeed, I really want to tell him about my ‘Past’ which was very very bad. I don’t know how to tell him. I don’t know how will he react. But I gotta take this off my heart because I believe in not starting a relationship with a lie. I want him to trust me and forgive me for all that.Please help me!
You come from a culture that frowns on premarital sex, and the man you intend to marry comes from the same culture. So, you know that he is not going to be happy when you tell him the down and dirty of your past.Let me say a few general words about revealing one’s sexual past. First of all, there are no hard and fast rules about what is a correct level of disclosure. Some couples like to tell all, other don’t.The personal preferences of the partners will determine how much is revealed. What we want is a good fit between the partners, so that they both agree on the level of disclosure that will prevail in the relationship.Obviously, if one partner is a Chatty Kathy and the other is a mum’s the word type, there will be problems. Some partners want to know all, others don’t want to know or don’t need to know.So, we are back to what I have said before. The more homogamous or similar partners are in terms of their level of openness and their wish for disclosure, the more compatible they will be.Let’s get back to your problem. Under ordinary circumstances, I would say to a woman, if he hasn’t asked, then button it. Certainly you don’t want to offer information that he isn’t requesting.In your case, it is very likely that he isn’t asking because he simply assumes that there is nothing to tell. You come from a culture that frowns on premarital sex, and he simply figures you haven’t gone there. So, in essence, there is an unspoken understanding that you are a virgin.I can see why you wouldn’t want to mislead him or have him enter into a union with you under a false assumption. So, basically, your case is the exception. You do owe him the truth.You realize that your previous actions may cost you the relationship, but this is the risk you take in dating a man from your culture. If you were with a man from a culture in which premarital sex is not frowned upon, then you would have no issue. You could handle your past the way I discussed above.I think the real issue is that you are overcome with guilt, and that you believe that saying all will purge you of this internal pressure. Maybe you will feel better, but it doubtful that your fiance will.I can’t help but notice that you live like a woman from a culture other than your own, yet you choose to marry a man from your culture. Clearly he will disapprove of you. This makes me wonder if the real issue is your immense level of guilt.Choosing a man who will condemn you, as we can guess he will, is a sure way to punish yourself for what you feel was bad behavior.So, I think the real issue here is that you need to work on making peace with your past and on softening your sense of shame. You may need to modify your own values, since clearly you don’t buy into the sexual values of your culture. If you can make peace with your past, he will be less inclined to slam you.If, God forbid, your lose him, perhaps you will find it easier to marry a man from a culture that is more liberal regarding sexual mores. This is a tough problem.Let me know how it plays out.