Dear Angela: I was hoping we could talk about a relationship problem that I’m having. I’m about to get married, and I’m excited about it but my fiancé (who recently returned from his mission) doesn’t know that I had a pretty serious boyfriend while he was gone. I haven’t told him because we agreed that I wouldn’t date, and I told him that I kept that promise. I feel terrible keeping this secret, and honestly there is nothing going on with my ex, so this shouldn’t be a big deal, but I fear if I tell him now he’ll do something drastic like call off the wedding, when really it doesn’t have to be that big of a deal. Do you think it’s so bad not to tell him?
Odds are the efficiency of the rumor mill will ensure that he finds out in a few months anyway, and it wouldn’t be good to hear it from someone else, so tell him. Right now, you have an opportunity to come clean of your own choosing, show him how you feel about him by doing the hard thing. He probably won’t be like, “Wow, thanks for telling me, I’m sure that was hard, everything is just fine,” but showing him the respect of being honest may soften the blow.
Another thing, which may be hard to hear, is that even though there is nothing going on with your ex and so it feels like this “shouldn’t be a big deal,” he (your fiancé) may feel like the lie is a big deal, because it’s an indicator of how you’ll treat him as a wife. That may not be true, but that’s just something he might say, so prepare yourself for that type of response from him.
You may be getting some opposing advice to what’s written here, saying that telling him is not worth the risk, but take courage from the Easter holiday. It’s the day that all of Christianity celebrates one of the greatest moments in religious history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Take some time to read about that, see how he showed you and all of us that it is possible to be triumphant even in the most difficult of circumstances.
WWJD? Or rather, what has Jesus proven can be done?
Doing good things can be very hard sometimes, we can all attest to that, but you want to enter a marriage with excitement and hope, not secrets and fear.
Tell him, and let us know how it goes!
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Advice columnist Angela Trusty answers questions about a variety of topics, including the Mormon young single adult experience. Published weekly in the Deseret News and Washington Times.