How if and when to open up to the one I love about things in my past I'am ashamed of


#1

Hello Fellow Christians,

In my past I have done many shameful things. I have had two abortions both under the age of 17. I have also been on birth control. I can list millions of excuses of why I was having pre-marital sex in the first place, and why I cowardly chose abortion over life. But I will not make any. I regreat all acts ever day of my life. I have been to confession for those sins, and yet the shame lives on. I know god has forgiven me, but what about my fellow man.

My life has changed now, god is my focus. I no longer live for myself, but for him. I’am not perfect, but try to do what he wants now. I have been in a relationship for 11 months now. At the begining of the relationship the topic of abortion came up, and we began discussing why people do it, extra, extra… and he asked me if I had ever done that or would I ever consider it. I lied and said no. I did not want to decieve him, but I did not want to open up about something so deep and painful to someone I did not know that well. We are growing closer, and we have both expressed that we loved each other. I have not told very many people about my past, mainly just close relatives, who helped me commit the sin. I feel deeply ashamed of my past. He is a very devout catholic, and is totally anti abortion, which I’am now as well. I feel we are getting to the point where I’m starting to see him as one day becomming my husband, and vice versa… I do not want to keep secrets from him, but at the same time I do not want to dimish his view of me, of who I’am and what values/morales I wish to live. When is the right time to tell someone about my past, should it be when we become engaged, dating, or after the marriage has taken place. Please help!


#2

Hi :wave: and Welcome.

First of all, you need to tell your boyfriend about your past. If this is the man you want to someday marry, it means you are prepared to give yourselves over to each other. To do this you can’t keep things from him. Think how worse it will be when you are married for a year or so and then tell him? He’ll feel so decieved. I think you should sit down and have a calm, rational discussion. Tell him about who you were then, why you did the things you did, and why you kept it from him. Tell him you regret what you’ve done and have been to confession. If he really is a devout Catholic, he will know that Jesus has forgiven you, and you can’t change your past. What’s important is you know now about the mistakes you’ve made, are sorry, and have sought the Lord’s forgiveness. Find the courage to tell him.
I’ve only been married for a year but I so cannot keep things from my husband. My conscience would eat at me too much. If I’m thinking something I bust out with it as soon as possible. :slight_smile: So I feel for you in your situation. It must be very difficult. Pray as much as you can about this.
God Bless
-Celia


#3

I pray that you find peace in the knowledge that God has forgiven you. You need to forgive yourself. I will pray for you.

Everyone has mistakes and sins in their past that they are not proud of and that should be kept between themselves and God. I don’t think there is any productive reason to share every past sin with a prospective spouse. However, I think your experiences with abortion are the exception. I think that is a discussion that you should have with your prospective fiance’ and would suggest having it before you get to the point of engagement. As Catholics, abortion is such an emotional issue that to not discuss that aspect of your past could pose problems later on.

It is also something that you will need to disclose in the future if you start having your own family (doctors, hospitals, etc. need to know that information to care for you properly during pregnancy) and if he doesn’t know before, he could very well find out then. At that point it could seem like you were less than honest with him.

Having been in a similar situation (from the other side) I think it is something that should be discussed when you think the time is right. And being able to discuss such an issue honestly, realize the mercy of God that comes from forgiveness and share such deeply emotional issues could give you a good indication as to whether this fellow is truly intended by God to be your spouse. It won’t be an easy conversation to have, but I think it will help ease your feelings of guilt.

Trust in the infinite mercy of God and know that many will be praying for you.

Blessings.


#4

Hello and welcome:) Celia is right you need to tell him.You are not justifying it,you have been forgiven by God,if he is a devout Catholic he will not hold it against you.You are remorsefull and sorry,I honestly can’t imagine him thinking bad about you.When you tell him explain how bad you feel about what happened.God Bless you


#5

[quote=FollowerofJC]Hello Fellow Christians,

In my past I have done many shameful things. I have had two abortions both under the age of 17. I have also been on birth control. I can list millions of excuses of why I was having pre-marital sex in the first place, and why I cowardly chose abortion over life. But I will not make any. I regreat all acts ever day of my life. I have been to confession for those sins, and yet the shame lives on. I know god has forgiven me, but what about my fellow man.

My life has changed now, god is my focus. I no longer live for myself, but for him. I’am not perfect, but try to do what he wants now. I have been in a relationship for 11 months now. At the begining of the relationship the topic of abortion came up, and we began discussing why people do it, extra, extra… and he asked me if I had ever done that or would I ever consider it. I lied and said no. I did not want to decieve him, but I did not want to open up about something so deep and painful to someone I did not know that well. We are growing closer, and we have both expressed that we loved each other. I have not told very many people about my past, mainly just close relatives, who helped me commit the sin. I feel deeply ashamed of my past. He is a very devout catholic, and is totally anti abortion, which I’am now as well. I feel we are getting to the point where I’m starting to see him as one day becomming my husband, and vice versa… I do not want to keep secrets from him, but at the same time I do not want to dimish his view of me, of who I’am and what values/morales I wish to live. When is the right time to tell someone about my past, should it be when we become engaged, dating, or after the marriage has taken place. Please help!
[/quote]

I think you should definitely tell him before you decide to become engaged and here’s why:

  1. I think that if you don’t tell him about your past you will always wonder whether he would have stayed with you if you had. Think of how secure you would feel if he knew everything about you and still wanted to spend the rest of his life with you. Think of how destructive it would be to doubt whether he would have chosen you if he knew.

  2. I think if you don’t tell him these things you can never hope to have true emotional closeness. It’s obvious from your post that the past is having a considerable effect on your thoughts and emotions right now. How can you be emotionally close if you don’t share these experiences with the person you’re in a relationship with?

  3. I don’t think it’s fair to him to deceive him. I think the longer you wait to tell him, the worse it will be because he’ll be all the more attached to you. He could end up feeling that you aren’t who you said you were.

I also want to tell you not to be afraid. All of us sin, many of us sin gravely. I was brought up as an atheist in this culture and led a very sinful life. Right now I’m engaged to someone who has been raised Catholic and led a relatively pure life… he knows about the worst of my sins and it has not lessened his love for me. Initially my past was an issue in our relationship, but as my fiance and I both grew closer to God it became less and less of an issue.

After you tell the person you’re with, I think both of you should spend a lot of time praying about it TOGETHER. My fiance and I asked Mary to help us and she did. Maybe you should pray now and ask God what He would have you do.


#6

You do need to disclose the abortion, especially, to someone who you intend to marry and begin a family with as abortion procedures have been known to present complications in post- abortion pregnancies. (Do NOT let that worry you). I would talk to your parish priest, or a priest who is involved in marriage preparation. The guilt will not go away, but if you have repented and sought God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, then the mercy of God has been extended to you despite these feelings you have. If you are dating someone now who is a potential husband and you both go to the same parish. Perhaps some discussions with that priest together may be in order after you tell him. If you are marrying a devout Catholic man, he will understand that you have been forgiven and not hold it all against you. God bless.


#7

Follower, you are not engaged or anything serious except for saying you love each other. I would opt NOT to inform your boyfriend until you get more serious.
Life is funny, you maybe serious with that person and the other ends up losing interest.


#8

when he asks you to marry him you must disclose anything in your past that could impact your future health or your marriage. abortion is one of those things, so is having other sex partners. both open you up to risk of several diseases and problems later. to be less than honest will severely damage your marriage. Naturally this assumes, as you say, that you have embraced virtue and the moral life in Christ and would not dream of sleeping with him before marriage. For anyone here in a similar situation who might be considering sleeping with the one they are dating, you are obligated to inform them about past sex partners due to the cruel reality of STD.

about the shame you are still feeling even after sacramental confession. The Eucharist is healing, receive often and during the consecration and communion ask Jesus to heal you. Project Rachel retreats are a wonderful means of healing for post-abortion women, and of reconciling and healing the attitudes and circumstances that led to the abortion in the first place. Please check it out. National Catholic Registers publishes Project Rachel retreat locations nationwide.


#9

I think it would be a very bad idea to wait until this man proposes to you. “By the way, honey, now that you proposed I just need to tell you something important that I’ve been concealing from you…”

If the relationship is getting serious, please pray about it and tell him now. If he loves you, you’ll both be able to work through your past together, and you’ll probably feel much better when he’s able to protect and comfort you about this issue. You’ll feel like he’s “on your side” and like he accepts everything about you!


#10

You don’t say you are Catholic, and here I present the Catholic view. However, morally you can ask for God’s guidance and for sure since your remorseful it is obvious he is working in you to better yourself. You are the figtree that has not born fruit yet, which is good, as you know you are worth it in the eyes of Jesus who staked all to bargain for your life.

Reflect on the sins you have committed then go to confession and communion and wipe the slate. You have to be sincere and repentant. Do the penance the priest tells you to do and have a resolve to follow and obligated to the Church.

 You need not divulge your past, unless the past has an effect on the person. For instance if you have herpes, you would have to admit that. If you have a living child, you would have to admit that if your getting married as the family finances may be affected,etc.

 Your absolution in the confessional and communion cleaned the slate,  so when you say you no longer share the views of your sinful life, ie: you now disagree with abortion, that is nothing to be shameful for and your not being a hypocrite. You have seen the light and God *expects *you to change, that is something to be proud of. Your focus should be on improvement and resolve to be a better person.     

 I would suggest you* learn* from the past, don't drag it around with you as satan would like you to to cause all sorts of problems and worries.

 Andy

#11

You don’t say you are Catholic, and here I present the Catholic view. However, morally you can ask for God’s guidance and for sure since your remorseful it is obvious he is working in you to better yourself. You are the figtree that has not born fruit yet, which is good, as you know you are worth it in the eyes of Jesus who staked all to bargain for your life.

Reflect on the sins you have committed then go to confession and communion and wipe the slate. You have to be sincere and repentant. Do the penance the priest tells you to do and have a resolve to follow and obligated to the Church.

 You need not divulge your past, unless the past has an effect on the person. For instance if you have herpes, you would have to admit that. If you have a living child, you would have to admit that if your getting married as the family finances may be affected,etc.

 Your absolution in the confessional and communion cleaned the slate,  so when you say you no longer share the views of your sinful life, ie: you now disagree with abortion, that is nothing to be shameful for and your not being a hypocrite. You have seen the light and God *expects *you to change, that is something to be proud of. Your focus should be on improvement and resolve to be a better person.     

 I would suggest you* learn* from the past, don't drag it around with you as satan would like you to to cause all sorts of problems and worries.;)

 Andy

#12

[quote=Lilyofthevalley]Follower, you are not engaged or anything serious except for saying you love each other. I would opt NOT to inform your boyfriend until you get more serious.
Life is funny, you maybe serious with that person and the other ends up losing interest.
[/quote]

I agree. I would wait about disclosing such info until you are engaged. Then you absolutely need to tell him. Who ever the LUCKY man may be!


#13

I am very sorry for the hurt that your abortions has caused you. If you have not already done so, please seek professional help through either Project Rachel or Rachel’s Vineyard. You can look up both on the internet, and Project Rachel is a program sponsored by many Catholic diocese. Do not suffer alone.

Perhaps your boyfriend would go with you to a post abortion healing retreat to help you in the healing process.


#14

Hugs I have not been in your exact situation, but I have been in a similar before. You will be in my prayers, sweetie!

Before I met my current husband, I was seriously dating a very good-hearted, devout Catholic man. I knew that he had saved himself for marriage and had led a very good life. I was terrified to tell him that I had once been a topless dancer and had been, well, less than chaste. I knew I had to do it, though, and when I did, he saw my heartfelt sorrow and was so gentle and loving. He even confided in me that his sister was a topless dancer, and that he hoped I could be a good example for her of how to get out of that life.

(We did eventually break up – I realized that he was just not The One – but that had nothing to do with what I had told him.)


#15

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