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Before marriage: To confess or not to confess?

4 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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To confess or not to confessIn the past, there was an indulgent saying: you can tell a hundred lies to get a marriage done. This saying might not hold well in today’s world, where people don’t take it lightly if they feel cheated. But, as our lives get more complex and marriages are built on more precarious ground, the question to ask is: does it work for a girl to bare her soul about a past love affair or an ugly truth about her family to her husband-to-be before marriage?

Counsellors will caution you to first understand the person you are about to wed, to know and learn his personality and nature, before trying to be Ms Honesty Blaise. Is he the understanding kind or is he a volatile person who might fly off the handle and lash out at you? Or, does he fall somewhere in between and you are unsure about his reaction? Frankly, the situation varies with each person. 

According to Aravind M, a relationship counselor in Chennai, “It really depends on the case. If her earlier affair with a boy broke due to a practical reason and if this relationship may never intrude in her future life again, then it makes no sense to confess about it to her husband.” But, Aravind believes that it might be best to tell the truth to avoid problems in the future if she has even a shade of doubt that the earlier affair might intrude into her life later on. If things had ended messily for example and if the boy might reappear in her married life then it might be the best route to tell her husband-to-be.

How her husband-to-be, who is going to be her partner in life’s ups and downs, is going to react to her confession might also help her to gauge and understand his reactions to situations. He should realistically shrug it off as “past is past and let bygones be bygones” and work towards building a relationship on mutual trust with you. But, if he tends to get edgy and suspicious about her past, and keeps pestering her with questions, it might be the time to rethink on whether he is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Most counselors are more concerned that the couple should understand each other’s nature, their backgrounds, how their partners react to stress situations, their views on finances, their saving methods, children and their schooling, and how to handle one’s religious beliefs rather than exchange notes on previous love affairs.

Says psychologist Dr Sundaram, who does pre-marital and post-marital counseling and runs a website called, “Most couples are in a romantic mood and fail to realize and understand who they are marrying. They don’t have any idea of the person’s personality and don’t realize they are marrying a system, a partner comes with the baggage of family and environmental influences etc.” He also feels a girl should weigh what she reveals to her spouse-to-be only after gauging the kind of person he is.

“If he is able to absorb different kinds of truths, honesty might be the best route. But, if he is the kind who will later manipulate the information then don’t,” he advises.

Most men throw information girls had bared during a romantic moment back during a marital fight. It may amaze the girl to realize how much of the details her spouse remembers even ten years after marriage. It is undeniable;  few men can resist the temptation of taunting their wives about their past lives. And, if the husband turns out to be an insecure or an aggressive person later, (his nature may change due to circumstances like losing a job ) this innocent honest confession at the beginning of their marriage when everything looked rosy might well turn into a recipe for a nightmare.

Really, at the end of the day, it does not serve the purpose to confess about an earlier affair that is dead or reveal secrets about the family to her future husband. After all, she is poised to start a new life and why stain it with unpleasant memories? It might be practical to discuss more relevant matters like physical or health issues, age, financial matters and most important, whether they fit into each other’s social strata, says Aravind. It is the best to stick to your own kind. You are just welcoming unhappiness by stepping out of your comfort zone and entering into alien territory. 

Dr Sundaram cites the example of a girl from an IT company who married a boy from a lower-income group. “After three years, the husband left her and his three-year-old son because his wife cannot get along with his uneducated mother,” says Dr Sundaram.

Counsellors also advise girls to stick to bare essentials even if they feel they want to confess. If her partner starts to get really nosey and sarcastic about it –this might be her chance to get a reality check on the person she is marrying. It is for a lifetime, remember?

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