If you cheat on your soon to be spouse, do you have to come clean?

“If I cheated on my boyfriend in the past, several times, should I tell him now. It has been three years since I last cheated on him and well I did not sleep with the other guys. We are planning to get married soon but the remorse haunts me. As well, at one point in our relationship he decided to leave the past in the past and go forward.”

If you cheat on your soon to be spouse, do you have to come clean?

This is a comment a reader just submitted and I thought it would be a great discussion to have on this blog. I’ve always said I am NOT A LICENSED THERAPIST- I’m just a girl who has been in the marriage trenches for 17 years  and am utterly fascinated by the ability to sustain monogamy. I also created this blog as a space where we could all come together and hash out what was really going on behind the closed doors of a relationship with no sugar coating and brutal honesty- warts and all.

All this being said what I’ve gleaned from marriage and the daily work of being in a relationship is: You cannot live in the past. You cannot allow grudges, guilt and resentment to sit in the pit of your stomach. They will eventually turn into a raging hostility that your partner will never be able to overcome. If you are feeling something you need to say it; you need to come clean about your internal life with your partner as hard as that might be. And yes, in my opinion, I do think this woman needs to come clean to this man she is about to marry. Do I think doing so will create friction- YES. But I don’t think a relationship that is not honest can go the distance. It will have cracks in its foundation that will eventually lead to its ultimate demise.  This woman’s guilt over her past indiscretions- FULL ON SEX OR NOT- will haunt her and will insidiously creep into their union. I think a couple needs to be clean- honest and able to work on whatever one of them needs help with. In this case I would advise this reader to tell her fiancee about her past. And hopefully they can move forward from there.

Of course I also believe that in unloading her indiscretions she is unburdening herself and some might say- leave the past in the past- what good will dredging this up do for their present state? All I know is if it were me- and I was about to marry a man- I would want to know all the facts- and be able to make an informed decison on this next stage of my life. Would I forgive him and go ahead with the marriage? I guess it depends on his remorse and his willingness to work on himself and commit himself to a monogamous union. All I do know for sure is a relationship cannot withstand  a partner who is HAUNTED….

So I’m putting it out there to you: If you cheat on your soon to be spouse, do you have to come clean?


  1. Andrea Darst says

    I agree with you – full and complete honesty is the only way for a relationship to last. I’ve been with my husband for almost 15 years, married 11. We tell each other everything; I wouldn’t be happy any other way.

  2. Kara Sumner says

    I think there is a vulnerability which must be addressed or it leaves the relationship doomed. The infidelity of the cheater leaves the other partner open to doubts, worries and fears. “Why did this happen? Was it something I did? What if with time and age the effects of raising a family, having a mortgage and the death of your 20 something metabolism will make the one I love stray?” Those are all natural responses and reactions.
    Then there is bravery of the confession. The risk taken by sharing a very dark mistake which weighs on the unfaithful’s heart. “What if I tell them and they leave? What if they stop loving me?”

    My grandmother once told me marriage was like a garden. The bloom of new love is romantic and sweet like a rose….. beautiful to behold but not always practical for the entire garden. So you have to plant the hearty vegetation to feed your marriage. The herbs, fruits and vegetables in your garden you need to sustain your love and life. The weeds are the deep secrets and fears as well as the irritations and annoying habits you will both notice about one another of time. Dedicate yourselfs to weeding out the unwanted growth because they can steal the nourishment from more important plants. And the nourishment comes from tears like water, laughter like wind and love like sunshine but don’t forget the manure. Marriage needs a healthy amount of bullshit!

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