Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer and company director from the UK.
Should The Past Remain In The Past?
Is it a good idea to confess past relationship secrets to your now partner? Is the secret so big and so terrible that it might rock your new relationship? Will it make your new partner feel differently about you?
If any of the above is likely, then what is the point? There really is no purpose in confessing old sins or secrets. Your new relationship is exactly that....new. It's a fresh start, a new beginning. No need to complicate it with tales of the past. It won't serve you and it probably won't serve your other half either.
I have this thing that I say to myself when I'm considering anything. 'Does this serve me?' If the answer is NO then I go no further.
Perhaps you feel the need to get something off your chest. Do that with your friends who won't judge you.
Might Your Past Secrets Come Back To Haunt You?
If it's the case that your secret is likely to come out another way at some point and it's probably going to have a detrimental effect on your current relationship then telling before that happens might have some advantage. If it's playing on your mind all of the time and you are constantly stressing about it coming out then telling your partner and getting it over with might be the best course of action for you.
What Do You Think About Secrets From The Past?
I asked a few people I know what they thought on the subject. Here's what they had to say.
'If it's not affecting this relationship then I wouldn't bother bringing it up'
'I can't see any advantage to that and anyway I have no interest in talking about my ex'
'No way, why would you?'
'I don't have any secrets, I'm way too boring'
What If Your Secret Is A Dark One?
If your secret is so dark and effected other people, if you are still living with the consequences, I'd say that's a whole other sort of secret and one you might need to deal with between you. Perhaps your partner can help you work things out in your head. The chances are (if they are worth a dime) that they will be completely understanding and help you to come to terms with your past situation.
Respecting Your Ex
Irrespective of how you ended things, isn' it worth holding onto this secret because that's what's best for him. What if telling your new partner hurts your ex? We never know how long relationships are going to last. What if you and your current partner split up and he goes on to spread this secret maliciously or just because he can?
The thing is, we keep secrets for a reason and often a very good one. Leaving the past where it belongs is often the right thing to do. Bringing it up and processing what happened all over again may not be the best thing for your mental health. Especially if it was particularly upsetting.
When a Secret Affects Your Plans as a Couple
I have a friend who had an abortion many years ago. She was in her early twenties. It upset her and she didn't really deal with it. She buried it to the point of amnesia. She then met her future husband. Un-be-known to her, the abortion had affected her fertility. She was told that she would be unable to have children naturally. It all came flooding back. Should she tell her fiance why they were unable to conceive? She thought she had successfully put what happened into a box with a very tight lid, never to be brought out into the open again.
She let her husband think it was his issue for some time. If she had carried on in this manner, then it would have probably resulted in the end of the relationship. One day she blurted it out and broke down. Okay so he was a bit hacked off at first. Not at all for the fact that she'd had an abortion, but that she had waited until that point to tell him.
If she'd had no issue with her fertility then there would have been no need to tell him. It affected their future so she was forced to come clean. They went on to have a child naturally a few years later actually, much to everyone's surprise, including theirs!
Evie Sparkes (author) on May 28, 2019:
I have no interest in my partners past to be honest. I'm sure there are things he hasn't told me and I respect that completely.
Evie Sparkes (author) on May 28, 2019:
Yes I agree Lorna. Some things are better left in the past. Thanks for commenting :)
dashingscorpio from Chicago on May 28, 2019:
"If it's the case that your secret is likely to come out another way at some point and it's probably going to have a detrimental effect on your current relationship then telling before that happens might have some advantage. If it's playing on your mind all of the time and you are constantly stressing about it coming out then telling your partner and getting it over with might be the best course of action for you." I totally agree with your statements here.
As with your friend and her fertility issues it weighed on her mind.
Otherwise as Lorna said if your "secret" isn't something you ever give much thought about and isn't likely to be asked about or ever come up without (you) mentioning it there's no reason to share.
Personally speaking having lived as long as I have there are many things which I've done that I actually don't consider them to be so much as being a "secret" as much as being my (personal business). Everyone is entitled to have some privacy.
Also the older we become the less curious we are about certain aspects of our partners past. A young man in his late teens or 20s sees nothing wrong with asking his girlfriend how many men she's had sex with? had sex with a woman? or had a threesome?
However a guy in his 50s probably is not going to aske those questions and there is no reason for the woman to bring it up.
Sometimes these so called secrets have nothing to do with who you are right now or your current value system. However the minute you reveal them the person you're with sees you in a different light.
Oftentimes people who believe their mate is "too good to be true" are actually (looking for character flaws) to put things in perspective. There's a natural resistance to being "all in" with someone. Therefore finding a "red flag" or anything they dislike keeps them on our toes.
Essentially it reaffirms their beliefs that it's wise to hold something back emotionally in order to help protect themselves.
Placing anyone on a pedestal usually leads to disappointment.
Nobody is "perfect". We all have flaws, visible and invisible.
"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."
- Oscar Wilde
Lorna Lamon on May 28, 2019:
Hi Evie, I personally think that if your new relationship is not going to be affected by the 'secret' then what is the point. Sometimes it is better to keep the past in the past.