(Name withheld) I have been dating for a few months now. I thought he was perfect until last week when he told me a few things about his past that he’d lied to me about over the past 8 months. [These things] are about his past relationship and now that I know I don’t know what to do with the information and I don’t know if I can trust him. I thought he was perfect! I can’t believe it! I spent all week avoiding him because I don’t know what to do and I am FREAKING OUT.
Editorial Note: I have withheld the “things” referred to above because they are not anyone’s business but theirs. All you need to know, dear Reader, is that he did not rape, commit pedophilia or bestiality. He also didn’t beat his ex-partner. So the things to which our Writer refers are in fact manageable.
It’s the little things. It’s also the present things, my love.
Here’s the reality of life: When we meet someone we like, we put our best foot forward. Often times, that means that we also misrepresent – hopefully to the littlest degree possible – who we really are and what our past holds. It’s natural that when we’re trying to impress someone, we don’t throw up all over them.
We all have a past. We have all had our very shameful moments of which only the best of our friends are aware because we too can blackmail them with their secrets.
We all have them because we exist in a world where human actions and reactions are not maths, but rather unpredictable. Very often, due to past hurts, vulnerabilities and an inability to be honest (because it has often resulted in our punishment), we tread extremely carefully. We white-lie through the beginnings of a relationship, both platonic and otherwise. Granted, your man’s lies weren’t “white” and his truths are not light in nature. But reality is that we don’t share things immediately because we are scared that this new shiny and amazing person will leave us were they to know us. So we protect who we are until we look at our new piece and see that they love us, and so less likely to punish/leave us.
Do you feel an honest connection with this man? What does your intuition tell you about how he treats you?
Because if it is good, then you need to give him the room to be himself. He did not commit these wrongs against you, and everyone is entitled to have both secrets and a past because none of us are angels and, you know, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone…”. Through these past experiences, your new boyfriend has become the man that he is today and it is highly likely that without these experiences of ago, he and you would not be compatible today.
It is not in the good times that we grow, but rather it is in the trauma; real growth happens when the trauma is of our own doing, because this is when the Universe gives us the opportunity to choose change.
If you care for this man on any level, you must stop avoiding him immediately. He opened his chest and said ‘hey, look…’ and you ran. Not fair. Painful and damaging to his heart, and we must always lead with kindness and care for those who approach with integrity.
I understand that you are “FREAKING OUT” and I am happy that you wrote because it means you are trying to find a way to salvage the situation. In this, is your implicit recognition that your relationship is not un-salvageable.
You have the opportunity to ensure that this relationship now moves forward on an excellent footing. Very specifically, do not punish him for being honest. Right now is where you get to set the stage on which the rest of your relationship will reside. If you punish him today for telling you the truth, do you think that he will tell you the truth tomorrow.
If you can’t seriously and very honestly engage in this situation, then do yourself a favour and him too: leave him alone to find someone who will love him, warts and all. You too. If you are dishonest about your ability to actually let these things go, then the only other alternative here is that you will become an insecure wreck, only increasing with time. If you delude yourself into believing that you can trust him ‘despite…’ then you are headed for heartbreak and pain. Again, and always: Where there is no trust, there is no longevity. And unless you are a glutton for punishment…
He deserves to be loved along with his past, not in spite of his past.
As do we all.
And you, you have absolutely every right to completely disagree with the above and instead land on I can’t be with someone who has committed this thing in particular in his past. Just don’t prolong your situation more than is necessary and remember that every love is a lesson and that every lesson is one step closer to taking you to your Great True Love because the sooner you stop focusing on his past, the quicker you’ll get around to your present.
In your corner, always.
I don’t know. Maybe they were, in fact, little white lies. And yes, we’ve all lied from time to time. Kudos that the BF thought he should admit his lie and come clean. But to me, lying is lying. There was no good reason for him to lie (I don’t consider impressing someone a good reason). I’d much rather have a man that will be brutal in his honesty or not talk about a subject if he can’t give me the truth. I think it’s more than fair for GF to go to her Sig. Other and say, hey, you lied, that makes me really uncomfortable. I need you to understand that I place a high value on the truth and that you telling me the truth means that you respect me. Maybe it’s ok for her to continue along the way for now, but if lying is a routine habit for him, she should keep her eyes open. If he’ll lie about something small, she needs to make sure he won’t like about big things too. I’d keep my wits about me, love or not.
omg! I forgot the most important thing Jen — thank you for reminding me!!
YES. YES. YES. I was just talking to a friend about this on Friday to never ever ever tell a lie because (1) they are always found out; and (2) it fucks, entirely, the future of trust between the two people.
Which is why, and only ever in this instance of a new budding relationship, that someone gets to WHITE-LIE. Blur the truth a little, address the issue in a round about way and then come back and say: I need to tell you something.
From then on, it should be absolutely zero tolerance.
Thank you for reminding me of the missing puzzle. I just updated and added a bolded note (and thanked you!) 🙂
Yes. Thanks for the reminder!
Maha! I have knon you forEVER. You would not let a lie pass!!
Depends. It has to be full disclosure from Day Numero Uno. Or, at least, within the first month.
It depends on the lie I guess. Starting a new relationship means you have the ability to start fresh and step away from old habits. I would give someone a month or two because its by then that you are having heavy conversations about past behaviors in relationships.
Hit Send too fast. A month or two if its someone completely fresh that you did not know before. Day one someone who is a friend and who you are taking it to the next level with.
Maha, Will you marry me?
“He deserves to be loved along with his past, not in spite of his past.” Yeah! A thousand times YES!
Let me say this too: omission is NOT the same as lying. Not all the time. Not if it’s no longer relevant. Not if it won’t rear its head tomorrow and create distortions or dissension. And NOT if you haven’t made it clear, as the other party, what your terms are. For me anyway, there are some things better off buried in our chests than exhumed for others to pass judgment upon.
I have been in enough relationships (both magical and/or toxic) to know that not everything from the past matters in the present or projects onto the future. We have to decide what our non-negotiable terms are and be clear about them with our potential-pieces from hello. For example: I don’t care who you’ve been with; I care if I’m going to be a stepmom of 3 (SURPRISE! oh….not surprise??) or if my cervix will have to be cut out in 10yrs because your package ain’t clean (there will be blood…tests).
This couldn’t have come at a better time… I’ve been thinking deeply about the nature of proximity and who we let curl up inside our worlds. I’ve decided that above all, we have to manage our distortions, no matter how long it takes or how much suffering it creates for us. If we’re carrying around too much unresolved tension, if our chests are heavy and there’s still grime & residue from our former (naughty)selves on our skin, we can’t possibly hold anyone else’s pasts against them. Sudoor al-a7raar, quboor al-a7raar. If we’re weightless, if our hearts are cracked wide open and free, through repentance or retribution, then our secrets can be laid to rest, and so can someone else’s.
Also… the word “Perfect” freaks the hell out of me… when we think someone’s perfect, we’ve already set them up for failure.
Perhaps my favorite post in this history of Maha posts. I love you sis. Thank you for always forcing me to renew or remodel my convictions.
This created so much for me…thanks sis. Comment to follow.