Dealing with the skeletons
Last updated on 16 Sep 2012 00:00
By Jennifer Karina
“Before I got engaged to my boyfriend, I desired to share with him the shadows of my past but could not. I was afraid to let him know that I was raped when I was a girl.I thought this revelation would make him call off the engagement.
We were doing so well together and the past seemed inconsequential and insignificant. However, I am consumed with guilt and fear in case someone close to me tells him about it as this would adversely affect our relationship”.
Before committing to marriage, there is need to disclose any issues, which could adversely affect your relationship if not dealt with.
The litmus test is: “Would I lose the trust of my partner if he ever found out about it from someone else? If the answer is yes, then it is prudent to consider disclosing. However, there are things that should never be disclosed — details of past lovers or graphics of the relationships.
The guiding principle as to whether to share or not should be; whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, if it is of excellence or praiseworthy will be worthy sharing, if not, keep it to yourself.
If your partner starts questioning you about how many people you’ve been with and the specific people you’ve been with, you have to question their motives. This will not add value to your relationship, it will only promote insecurities, mistrust, and discomfort.
Our past can enslave us, causing us to display certain negative behaviours in our current relationships, which we may not even be aware of. An experience of rape in the past, may affect our levels of affection and subsequently intimacy in our relationships. Sometimes it helps to tell your partner about your past, especially if the issues are serious.
It is important to self-disclose after a level of trust has been established and the dynamics of the relationship concrete. A good partner will help you through your issues and help you heal and not judge you based on your past. Opening up about your past can help to bring a greater bond between the two of you.