Worried about Lying to Boyfriend

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years and 7 months. Since we are getting close to our next 3 year anniversary, he told me he wanted to talk to my family because he wants to ask me to marry him. I love him so much and of course i want to marry him, but before that i want to confess him something. I was planning not to but it’s making me feel uneasy and terribly bad. I do want to tell him but i want to be sure if am doing the right thing and how should i tell him.

My boyfriend hates liars, if he finds out i lied about 2 things, am so petrified i just don’t know how he’s going to take this. Before my boyfriend and i got intimate, i told him that i wanted to use condom. I can’t remember how we end up asking each other if he ever had a child with someone else but he said no and asked the same thing and of course i said NO. Which, i lied. I was in a 2 year relationship before i dated my boyfriend and i got pregnant, I confess i wanted to have an abortion because my ex didn’t know what to do, i was 25 that time. I felt confused, alone, just devastated. I told my mother and my youngest brother only, is our secret. Since i was going thru a lot psychological problems, I had a miscarriage, I was only 8 weeks pregnant. That changed me and i broke up with the ex because i ended up hating him.

At that time, i was a starving student college. I didn’t have a job back then and i got indebted with this credit card and now am in collection but now am fixing this problem. I’m paying them back so my record could be cleaned before i get married because i don’t want him to be involved in this at all. It’s my fault, i pay for it myself.

I want to tell him that as possible but i just don’t know how. I just want to be honest as possible because we have a great communication and communication is our main key to everything.
Please help me, this is killing me.en

A: It speaks to your maturity and character that you want to start your marriage with a clean slate. I would hope that your boyfriend understand that there’s a difference between lying and keeping personal things private. Lies are meant to manipulate and deceive. Privacy is about self-protection and preserving some personal boundaries. I think the stories you’ve shared fall into the latter category.

Let’s start with the easy one first: You ran up debt when you wee younger. You have been doing the honorable thing and are paying it off before you marry. You aren’t asking him to be burdened by it. It seems to me that this is your own business. If you choose to share it, I would hope that your boyfriend would see that not only did you learn your lesson about debt but that you have learned how to handle money so it won’t be a problem between you.

The miscarriage does require a conversation. You didn’t lie. You don’t have children. But you didn’t tell the whole truth either and medical history could affect things in the future. It’s understandable that in the early stages of your relationship you wanted to keep such a personal thing private. As your intimacy with your boyfriend has increased, the boundaries between what is personal and what affects both of you has changed. I imagine you and your boyfriend will want children someday. Your doctor will want to know about prior pregnancies in order to give you the best care. In general, family members shouldn’t know things that your husband doesn’t.

You are 30. I imagine both of you have done things in the past that you wish you hadn’t. People who have lived life and had experiences generally also have some regrets. Regardless, all of our experiences shape us into who we are as adults. We don’t get to pick and choose. I hope that you and your boyfriend will be able to talk about your histories with a focus on who you’ve become and your hopes for the future.

I worry about your level of worry about such a conversation. If your boyfriend is so judgmental that he can’t be understanding and sympathetic when you talk about such issues, maybe you should rethink marrying him. Life is far too complicated to hold it against someone for being private about private matters.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Worried about Lying to Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/03/worried-about-lying-to-boyfriend/