My fiancé made it very clear that he cannot live with lying in a relationship after he discovered a lie I told him early on in the relationship. I promised I would never lie to him again. I had some circumstances regarding past sexual sins that I felt I could not reveal so I lied to him repeatedly and convincingly. He thought some things I said didn’t add up so he questioned me over and over and I lied again and again. I realized as we became closer to the sacrament that I could not enter into a covenant with these lies between us so I slowly throughout a week confessed everything. He does not know what to do. He’s struggling with a different image of who he thought I was along with feelings of betrayal over the lies. He said he’ll marry me because he’s confused, and he feels obligated to since we’ve come so far. He feels like he proposed under false pretenses though. I do want to be his wife, but should I let him marry me? Are there too many outside constraints?
I think that if he is really sincere when he says that: “he feels obligated to since we’ve come so far. He feels like he proposed under false pretenses though” then probably your marriage would not be valid. It looks like there is no real consent on his side to this marriage. You should get together and talk to a priest and keep talking, issues can be overcome but it must be done before the wedding. Do not despair, problems like these can be solved.
When is the wedding?
I’d get both of you to a counselor to talk this out.He may need to go alone to really get things off his chest. It’s good you came clean. You will see there are some here who went through getting the truth years and years after being married. And the devastation was overwhelming.
I think it’s crazy to marry someone under “obligation”. And easily something that will be held for an annulment process later. Whether it carries any water later who knows. I can understand not wanting to “lose” him. However, when the honeymoon wears off, you need to know this isn’t going to be thrown in your face every time he’s upset about something.
If this marriage is to move forward it will need to be more important to him who you ARE now, and not who you WERE then. It’s probably also concerning to him that you’re a rather creative and convincing liar. (sorry to be so blunt) Only he knows if he can get there.
“My fiancé made it very clear that he cannot live with lying in a relationship after he discovered a lie I told him early on in the relationship. I promised I would never lie to him again. I had some circumstances regarding past sexual sins that I felt I could not reveal so I lied to him repeatedly and convincingly. He thought some things I said didn’t add up so he questioned me over and over and I lied again and again. I realized as we became closer to the sacrament that I could not enter into a covenant with these lies between us so I slowly throughout a week confessed everything. He does not know what to do. He’s struggling with a different image of who he thought I was along with feelings of betrayal over the lies. He said he’ll marry me because he’s confused, and he feels obligated to since we’ve come so far. He feels like he proposed under false pretenses though. I do want to be his wife, but should I let him marry me? Are there too many outside constraints?”
Okay, if you hadn’t told him the truth and you did marry, the marriage wouldn’t be valid (Canon 1098, and so on, etc). You would be in a state of mortal sin, and if, I don’t know, your plane crashed on the way to your honeymoon… ahem you see my point.
Anyway, basing a relationship on a lie was very, very unwise. He should not be marrying you because he feels “obligated to”, but instead because he loves you. You should not let him marry you just because he feels obligated to. You may have to start over from the ground up. What’s probably going through his mind (besides imagery) is the question: “what else is she withholding?.”
In general: if you lie to someone in order for them to marry you, you don’t really love them, and you don’t really think they can love you. Lying about your sexual past is a great way to have a miserable marriage.
I do not recommend marrying someone because they feel obligated to. That is a very poor reason to marry someone, and likely isn’t going to lead to anything good. You should work this issue out before proceeding to get married.
IMHO, people shouldn’t lie about their sexual past. There may be things that would not be appropriate to reveal early in the relationship, and if pressed, one can just state that it is not appropriate to discuss at them time. Once the couple gets serious about marriage, they should put all their cards on the table, both good and bad.
If they’re deal-breakers, it’s better to deal with them earlier than later (first few weeks for me). I personally have a list of deal-breakers and I’ll just let the person say whether any apply or not. If at least one applies, then it’s ‘farewell’. Wasting time wondering whether the person is right for them is silly. No wonder people marry later.
IMHO, people shouldn’t lie about their sexual past.
Well, yeah, because if someone is explicitly marrying another person based on information provided, the marriage isn’t valid. Nothing says “I love you” more than “I tricked you into marrying me”… (!)
I have my list of deal-breakers (my short list of two), plus a few major causes for concern. Problem is, the deal-breakers aren’t exactly first-date conversions, and are not likely to be revealed to a person that they are very comfortable with. Once I got the the point where I would consider marriage, I would bring up these issues.
Exactly! And most dealbreakers are not things that can just be answered. Racism would be an instant dealbreaker for me. But even if I lacked basic manners and asked point blank at the beginning “Are you racist?” an answer, even an honest one, would mean very little. That’s something that I would have to observe over a period of time.
And whether I had a sexual history or not any man who would lack the respect and manners to ask upfront early in the relationship would be dropped. That is just so invasive, creepy, and rude I might think that he had issues when it came to sex. (And, you know, manners.)
I have a longer list of things so a guy won’t really have to feel uncomfortable. I just ask “do any of these apply?”. I’ve also gotten really good a detecting lies. I should become a private detective if I don’t marry. LOL.
But, yeah, you shouldn’t really be asking on the first date, but the last thing I want to do is fall in love and then find out.
Do you think a person should fall in love before asking, thereby making a potential breakup harder? Or someone withhold something they know will affect the other person’s decision?
How early is “early”?
You should explain that he is not obligated until you exchange vows. Insist on releasing him and part for some time, so that you are sure he is not marrying you under pressure. That is to say, give his ring back and if you have a date set, cancel it. You two don’t have to give a reason to anyone else, save that you reconsidered and you aren’t ready to marry each other yet. OTOH, you have no reason to expect that anyone will keep any secrets, except by mutual agreement.
This act of integrity will clear things up so you can lay a new foundation. You do not want to attempt to build a marriage on the foundation you have, which is one on which he doesn’t trust as being sound. If you get back together, re-build the relationship on a new foundation, one based on total honesty. If there are going to be things you keep private, make sure you both agree on what may be kept private, what may not be kept private, and what means of keeping tabs on each other are mutually acceptable.
Oh, and next time, realize that it is OK to say, “I’m not ready to talk about my sexual past yet” or “There are things in that area of my past that I would find intensely embarrassing to admit. I can answer any questions you’d like about temporal consequences that might come in the present or the future, but I’d really rather forget it ever happened”…or the like. In other words, honesty can’t mean that no detail has been left unsaid. You don’t have time for that.
He’s going to be one with you to deal with any future fall-out from that past, so he has the right to decide what he needs to know about you past, if he wants to. You may mutually agree to spare each other the gory details of your past sins, if you want, but it must absolutely be in the open that this privacy agreement was made, and that it was made not under duress, but because you both agree it would be better not to disclose.
Nobody is here to stone you, though. Go, and sin no more. We’ve all been there, but by the grace and mercy of God, we hope to always do better thereafter.
I feel like the thread sort of wandered off the point. At this juncture, no I would not suggest you marry him. To begin a marriage simply because you’ve already hired the florist and the caterer is silly. And all this guff about having proposed under “false pretenses,” is he saying that now that you’ve come clean, he doesn’t love you anymore, or never really did in the first place? That’s what it sounds like. And if that’s the case, then the two of you really need to pray about whether this is really what God is calling you to do.
Most importantly, though, the two of you are the ones who will know that.
He did propose to you out of a false pretense. You lied to him about a very important part of your past that he should know about. If he asked you about it then it’s your duty to tell him the truth because he deserves to marry the real person you are and not some idea you’ve created for him.
When I was much younger and starting out in the world of dating I got into trouble with a boyfriend about lying. I lied to him about work and my financial history. I was working but I didn’t like my job and was getting into trouble with my supervisor at work. I also had debt he didn’t know about.
He found out about everything and broke up with me right away. It was small fries but I learned that lying is one of the worst things you could do with someone you’re decerning to marry.
I made sure I was completely truthful with my husband when we were dating. This included everything…financial, sexual, family issues and any other personal things that may pop up. He did the same for me.
We both had sexual pasts. Mine was a bit more alarming then his but he accepted it and we moved on.
The ball is in his court now. I know it’s rough to read this but you’ll have to accept the fact that he may call off the engagement and break up with you. If he does, accept this decision and vow not to lie again. If he does want to marry you then you need to be honest and open with him from now on and forever.
That decision is going to be up to the person with the issue to reveal.
I’ll give an example that demonstrates the problem: child-abuse victim. Many times that child-abuse victim has told nobody about what has happened to them, and isn’t going to reveal that information unless their spouse to be is the person they trust more than anyone else they’ve ever met in their lives. Revealing that information to anyone else could potentially result in that information being released, and causing havoc for that person and others. Information like this requested too early in the relationship is likely to cause the person to lie, even if they are otherwise the most honest person in the world.
There has to be a balance between the comfort level with the potential spouse in order to start discussing very personal things.
Florist and caterer? Oh goodness, if those two are worried about that, they may as well say they’d go down with the Titanic because they can’t stand to waste all that champagne and sterling silver or the heirloom jewelry in their luggage, or because of what someone might think if they were to find a life boat.
Forget money and forget what anybody is going to think or find out. Do everything to make sure you’re embarking upon a valid attempt at marriage. Get rid of this concern, or do not say “I do”.
That’s why I don’t actually ask. I have a long list (some of it stupidly benign to others but still important to me) so there’s no way for me to find out which deal-breaker(s) apply.
Postpone the wedding.
I would agree based on what you say about him seeming to be reluctant. Have you talked about starting over maybe.
If you truly love him, postpone the wedding. And if you love him so much, which I think you do, you can tell him it doesn’t matter when you marry, just that you marry for the right reasons and because he wants to create a sacramental life with you.
Just my thoughts.
I don’t think he’s saying he doesn’t love her anymore. I think he’s hurt and confused. I suspect that he’s more upset with the secrecy and lying than the actual sexual past. He’s more concerned about whether she can be upfront and honest with him going forward. I thik they may stil be able to get past this and move on, but it is going to take some time. I would indefinitely postpone the wedding. When (If) the two of them reach a better place, then they can set a new date.