Hi. It’s been a while. I’ve been a little busier than usual. A dear friend asked me last night why I had not published anything for a long time so I dug around some stuff I was saving for such a time and found this.
My wife and I are part of a lovely vibrant WhatsApp group where we discuss lots of stuff. This is one of such discussions from a while back. I retained the original “pidgin English” to facilitate the flow in which it was original created.
Do, please enjoy.
Lee: Good evening brethren.
PD: Lee, the invisible. How far?
Lee: Good evening PD. I’m good. Just chilling
PL: Hello Our able minister of welfare?
Lee: 😳When was I appointed?
Good evening PL.
Lee: Ehen, I have a question 😊 How much is too much? To what extent should Intending couples talk about their past life? ‘past life’ being previous abortions, ex-es, sexual escapades etal.
PL: Now, Lee is around 😁😁😁
Waka pass no fit you.
PL: This question carry bele o.
Lee: Yes oh! No be small bele. I have someone faced with this challenge.
PL: I think as much as possible but timing is important; At what stage you should tell is the issue.
I believe in full disclosure but if the intending spouse can’t handle your past, then I wonder if the person can handle your future cos something from the past may just creep up and an explosion Will be inevitable.
Lee: Is this always the case? Aren’t something’s better unsaid?
If a ladty didn’t suffer damage to her womb while aborting and before she got born again, irrespective of the number of times. Isn’t there now no condemnation for her?
Na question I dey ask oh!
PL: I think the guy has a right to know what he is getting into
If said too early, wouldn’t it be a bit awkward, and if left for much later, wouldn’t it be manipulative?
PL: If too early, you may risk telling an unserious person your secrets which may end up badly and too late is not good either.
I think as you go into a relationship, you will notice that the level of commitment deepens so choose when to tell the person your past and do it in such a way that the person is given the choice to continue or not. I don’t agree with telling the person after official introduction that 10 abortions have been done😁
Lee: Assuming it’s one guy that got her preggers 10 times, shay?
PL: Whether one guy or five.
Sim: 1 guy can’t. Lets say 20 guys!
Lee: 😂💦😂💦Be careful my friend.
Lee: If you tell am just before introduction e no go say why you come tell am when you know say e don serious? Like you waited for him to love you pieces before you talk.
PL: That is why I said as the relationship is getting serious please talk. This world is a small place o. What if the guy responsible shows up in future and just decides to make her life miserable. I think the guy has a right to know what he is getting into.
Lee: What he is getting into abi what she was up against in the past?
PL: Getting into in the sense that she chooses to marry a lady who has done abortions and may suffer consequences of her actions.
Sim: Anything that is messy talk oo… DSS still dey work.
Lee: I remember one time in school back then, a guest preacher said “some things are better left unsaid” he was referring to issues of the past.
PL: I know people believe different things but I think full disclosure is better. If the guy backs out then I think he is not ready to handle your life. If he is the one that says he doesn’t want to know, fine.
Lee: Full disclosure, is it for the fear that some things might come back to “haunt” her, or is it that it is scriptural?
PL: My dear,some things can come o. You no go believe.
Sim: Like wiliwili.
Lee: Na im I dey talk so.
After all, a man that didn’t marry a virgin should know someone else had been there before.
So, why should she tell him she had 10 men there before. Is it that the 10 men would show up and worry her life someday?
PL: When I say full disclosure, it is not as if she will write a list of every guy that has done something but tell him this is the kind of life I lived and so on.
Now to what extent again?
Eg, I had boyfriends in the past and I have had to abort before?
PL: I believe it is about trust.
Lee: I know of someone whose “intending husband” referred to her womb as a graveyard. It hurt back then, but they eventually married sha.
PL: And she married him? She try.
Sim: It is❤ Like Jacob
Lee: Sim be careful. 😡
I may just send you to the naughty corner.
PL: He he he.
Lee: She regretted ever mentioning it to him. Funny enough he never mentioned or raised the issue again after that incident. They have been married for about several years now. The man claimed he was “upset”.
PL: Ok, they made up … which is good. The man will not have any reason to not trust her cos she was truthful.
Lee: You may be right. She fit don forgive, but she never forgot.
PL: But at least, he apologized, forgave her and was willing to move forward. She too should forgive him for his reaction. He could have called her that and still walked away.
Lee: Is it just a woman sef? Why is it that it is always a woman that has something to say? No be man give the woman bele?
Ehen, shouldn’t men confess previous assisted abortions?
Abi are we always doing this to ourselves?
PL: It is not just woman o. It applies to both. You sef ,cool down. You and women liberation.
Lee: Women liberation 😂💦😂💦😂💦
I just feel women have been cheated for too long jare.
PL: .so now , we should pound men? It goes both ways.
Lee: Nope, we should empower women.
Mee: Which women? Hebrew women🏃🏻♀🏃🏻♀🏃🏻♀🏃🏻♀
Lee: Come back oh!😂
PL: Empower them to fight men😬😬😬
Sim: With guns?
Lee: Empowering doesn’t necessarily mean fighting men Na. Fight man ke? You fit? Who e epp?
PL: Lolzzzz … Nobody jo.
Lee: Anyway, it’s just that men expect to here a story if she’s not a virgin, and think it’s perfectly normal and excusable when they are not.
PL: It goes both ways. It is about building trust, not just for women. How about sexually transmitted infections? Hepatitis is there. HIV and so on.
Lee: Chai!!!!!! I really didn’t /don’t mean health related issues oh! It would be wicked not to tell an intending one had HIV or the like. What I was referring to was more of “non-health” related issues that may not have any direct effect to the couple.
PL: Abortion get effect o. It’s all about trust. No be only bele. If he has a child, he should also declare.
Some things no dey hide
Ehen, that reminds me.
I heard of someone that called off her wedding 2days to. It was her bridal shower. Omo, babes don buy gifts prepare for shower parry, only for one babe to show up with a baby she claimed her fiance fathered.
On inspection, baby looked like family, with further investigation, it was true. Sharply she called off the wedding. She was brave, I commended her.👍🏼
Lee: Why shineth thou thine eyes?
Wingman: I’m practicing eye shining.
If the guy had opened up earlier, maybe she could have decided to continue cos it is a lot to take in and accept. The other woman and her child will always be a part of their lives. She has to be able to make that choice
Amy: In this matter, I think it should be on a “Need to know basis”- start by sticking to the summary and depending on the depth of relationship. You must however not lie or refuse to disclose answers the partner seeks to make their choice….. some people find graphic details hindering than helpful, others like to know everything (just like some like to know baby’s sex before birth while others like to be surprised).
Jesus simply said “you have had five husbands”.
PD: Picking up the thread… Please, I use the male pronoun as the universal pronoun. I do not by it indicate one gender versus the other. It’s just easier to express your thoughts without having to dance around the “he or she” lines.
The issue at hand is not the details of escapades. In the process of full disclosure, you might breakdown the proposed person’s capacity to remain committed even if his initial commitment was genuine.
As PL said, it’s about trust not just prophylaxis against possible future explosions. We are not what we used to be or do but the records are there, sometimes the scars as well.
There are some people you meet and you know there is nothing you tell them will shake their commitment, even if it initially breaks them emotionally, they will eventually rally and continue unfazed. But then there are others who do not fit this description. It’s just the fact of life.
As you get involved, watch for the signs that might point you to what category this person belongs to. How do you know? I guarantee you would know it when you see a difficult to please and unforgiving person. Plus, you have the Holy Spirit with you.
Quite sadly, too many Christians go through their relationships without involving the one person who is out for their utmost good at all costs and at all times – The Holy Spirit. Please, be open to the Spirit of God. Let Him raise alarm or breathe peace as the case may be.
Anyway, once you determine that your spouse is not the type who lets go, please let him go. There are things worse than being single for another year or two. Sadly, also, too many of us live in fear like the world do. “Guys are hard to come by o, if I lose this one, who knows when I’ll get another one?” or the converse “I’ve invested so much into this girl, I can’t lose all that”. If you want your relationship to work and result in a marriage that brings you peace, you better look well before you cross. It’s better to have 50 years of blissful marriage than 60 years of tension from sitting on a keg of explosives every time someone walks past with a naked flame. Let go, let God.
Now, if you find that the guy is forgiving, don’t take it for granted and just dump on him. Assess the relationship, before you expose your skeletons. If he’s just hanging out and saying nothing, you also keep shut. You don’t need to be telling your story to every nice guy who shows interest even if they won’t spread it.
If you think he’s getting serious, then sit him down and talk seriously. But again, don’t dump on him like “boom”!
If you light a fire and put all your wood at once, the flame will burn so high and so hot it might burn your whole house down. Instead, put the wood into the fire in bits. Let the environment adjust to the new information. When it stabilises, bring in the next information. It’s called *systematic desensitisation*. It’s sometimes used to manage some clinical conditions.
How it goes is that you gradually expose a person to increasing levels of the distressing factor till he adjusts to it and functions in spite of it like any other person would. It is a difficult, traumatic and time taking process but you do it because the distressing factor is unavoidable in life especially after exhausting other avenues but if managed carefully, trust is built and the patient follows you through the process. It is the same in our context.
Say, for example, brother has a string of previous sexual partners and a child already by one of them. He shouldn’t just drop it on the proposed spouse like that. When he judges it necessary, he can start by letting her know that he has a sexually active past. Let her adjust to that first. Of course, she will press for more information right away, don’t give it; let her chew on it. “I’ll give you whatever information there is to know about me but I want you to think about this one first and decide if you wish to continue or not. If you do, I’ll be most fortunate because, I do want to be with you but if you don’t, I’ll understand and won’t hold it against you”. Prayerfully try such a line.
It is ungodly, in my opinion, to make her swear not to walk away before you tell her what is right for her to know. That’s manipulation and guilt tripping; it’s evil. Be mature enough to know that your past life has consequences which you might have scaled over but would still be difficult for others to swallow. When Paul initially got saved, Holy Ghost filled and hunted by other persecutors, the Apostles in Jerusalem had a hard time believing and accepting him and it wasn’t because they were not filled with the Spirit themselves.
Let’s get back to our brother. So, say Sister took it well and decided to stay, then you can let her know you had a string of girls. Again, let her chew on it. If she swallows it and seems to be doing well, then you can inform her of the complication of a son. If she takes it well and maintains her love for you, I believe you too will see the trust between you has grown, your relationship is past the stage of infatuations, obsessions and emotions and then you have the makings of a great future with her.
Most likely, she will feel obliged to open up to you at that level but please, ensure she is not doing so because she now feels she owes you and wants accounts to be balanced but because she too wants to earn your trust like you have earned hers and put everything on her plate on the table, including the burnt toast.
Please, please, pleeeeeeeease, there is no need to detail all the locations and sexual styles you engaged with those women; that will only amount to torment as potentially everywhere you go with her and everything you do with her will bring those records to the surface each time.
But there is still one more bridge to cross. At some point, she has to realise that you cannot abandon that child. It’s not the child’s decisions that put him in that situation but yours, so it’s not fair to make the child suffer for a wrong he didn’t commit. If she commits to caring for the child with you, then sometime before you start running family binding things like introduction, let the two of them meet, your child and intended wife, I mean; let them bond. When that’s done, you may wish to let the two women meet. That removes the threat of blackmail and such from the equation.
Of course, it’ll be stupid to now allow the Ex, who’s the mother to your child, to become part of your family and determine what happens as regards anything that does not concern her son. It’s one thing to be part of your life, it’s quite another to be part of your family. And, remember, Sarah brought up what she once considered a good way to help her husband but later it became a source of pain for her so always be on the watch for such occasions with your wife because they will come. It doesn’t mean she has lost trust or faith in you, it just means life throws curveballs once in a while and you might miss some. It also means, the devil is still around. In the perfect Eden, the snake was there.
If this is done successfully, you have done two things: you have defused all bombs, and you have bought yourself the right to be trusted.
Trust is not just a two way street. In this scenario, it’s a single rope bridge connecting two high cliffs across a river of molten lava (too much Indiana Jones… 😁). It takes some level of commitment to want to come across such a bridge when life altering risks are involved. Do your best to make that choice easy for the other person; There is no need to keep the phone numbers of all your Exes… if you want to be trusted, provide evidence of trustworthiness.
The same thing applies to medical conditions that you might be dealing with, whether acquired as bad consequences of a bad lifestyle or inherited with the rest of your body makeup from your parents.
So, as to whether it’s a matter of preventing future debacles or whether it’s the right thing to do, I thinks it’s both. You have a right to know but you don’t need to wave that over her head like a hammer waiting for the slightest reason to drop. Some bits of our past may be difficult for us to remember without some measure of shame or guilt and might thus be difficult to talk about, not because we are hiding it. So give her the chance to build the trust bridge to the point where it can bear the weight of this particular stuff in addition to the two of you. After all, you have decided to love her unconditionally, so why demand her pay for it.
Of course, it becomes a whole different ball game if you think deceit is involved. I counsel this, walk in trust, not *suspicion*, until she or the Holy Spirit gives you reason not to.
Sorry for such a long post, guys.