Oh, no doubt, I would have ended my engagement if some chick showed me evidence that my fiancé had been boinking her — and others! — while he was dating me. I just couldn’t marry someone I no longer trusted — someone who had been so blatantly disrespectful. But that’s me, and it’s not even your situation anyway since you weren’t afforded the luxury — if you can call it that — of knowing the truth about your husband before you married him.
But, maybe that’s actually a good thing. You have a child together, after all, and it seems things have been good for the last two years. Although, if your husband’s one-time mistress confronted you only a month after the wedding, which was this past summer, have things really been “amazing” since then? If so, great! Good for you for forgiving your husband and doing your best to move on. But if you’re finding that forgiveness and trust are a challenge now, you’re allowed to be angry. Just because you have reason to believe your husband has been faithful for two years doesn’t mean you can’t get mad that he once lived a secret life in which he cheated and lied. And if you’re feeling angry and hurt, don’t push those emotions away. You need to deal with them or they’re going to come up again and again, poisoning your relationship a little at a time. Talk to your husband about how you’re feeling. Better yet, find a marriage counselor you can speak to together to help process your hurt feelings and develop tools for effectively handling anger and trust issues in your relationship in the future. If you deal with all this in a healthy manner, it may actually bring you closer together rather than pull you apart.
My boyfriend’s younger years were wild, and he has a pretty extensive criminal record to show for it, including prison time. Although some of the consequences of his past irresponsibility will follow him forever (e.g., limited career opportunities), he’s been an honorable, hardworking, and law-abiding citizen for as long as I’ve known him. My mom and sister, whom I talk to all the time, were very skeptical when I first told them about his past, but after months of hearing about our relationship and his character, and meeting him a few times, they seem to respect and genuinely like him. But they both warned me from the beginning not to tell my conservative dad and stepmom about the skeletons in his closet.
It’s been two years now, he and I live together, and I still haven’t told my dad and stepmom about his past. They seem to have a favorable impression of him so far, but they live far away and have only met him once during these two years. I feel guilty about keeping such a big secret from them for so long, it’s awkward having to tiptoe around their questions about his history, and it’s hard to do so without lying or looking like I don’t know anything about the person I share my life with. I want to tell them and just deal with however they react, but my mom and sister still insist that they never need to know because it’s in the past and it will only become less important as time goes on. What do you think? — Keeping His Secret
I agree with your mom and sister. The past will become less important as time goes on, and there’s no reason your dad and stepmom need to know your boyfriend’s private business — especially if they are judgmental types. So what if there are things about his history that seem mysterious to them? It doesn’t affect their relationship or their lives. All they need to know is that their daughter is happy and with a man who loves her and treats her well. That your other family members have accepted your boyfriend, even with the knowledge of his “extensive criminal record,” and have such a favorable impression of him, should be enough validation for you that you’ve made a decent choice. Beyond that, it’s probably time you realized you don’t need your parent’s blessing on everything and there are some things that should probably be kept private, for the good and protection of everyone.