When Should I Tell Him?


#1

Hi, all. First-time poster, lifelong Catholic.

I've been with my boyfriend for two weeks (we actually became an item on Easter, which I find really special), before which we dated more-or-less casually for around a month and a half. We've discussed marriage in a vague sort of way, not so much that he and I definitely intend to marry each other but that it's what we're both seeking in a relationship (a husband/wife). God has been at the center of our whole relationship, the beginning of our friendship through now--we've been attending mass together since November--and I'm confident that not only is this something that God is in favor of but that my boyfriend is a gift from God to me (and vice versa, although it feels self-important to call myself a gift from God to someone else, even if it's true). We have discussed a marriage timeline, though: he figures that he'd want to get married around a year after he graduates college, which would be around a year and a semester after I graduate, and I'm on the same page.

But I have a problem: until early October, for just short of four years, I struggled with masturbation. I'm terrified of what he's going to say when I tell him. I'm terrified that it's going to be a deal-breaker. Of course, if it is, I'll understand; I messed up, and I have to suffer the consequences. I've been to confession since I stopped, and God's grace and continued assistance have allowed me to permanently break the habit--it's been more than six months now. I have, for the most part, forgiven myself, although I've never felt more sorry for anything in my life.

So my question: when do I tell him? I don't want him to spend months with me just to find this out and then feel like he's wasted time on a relationship that he doesn't want. But I also don't want to bring it up too soon, before the relationship is ready for that kind of a blow. I don't expect a time really, perhaps an idea for things to watch for in the relationship. I want to be honest with him about this, but not until it's appropriate. Although I have only known him since September, I truly want to marry him, someday in the future once our relationship has had sufficient time to grow, at which point I'd make the definite decision to marry him. But I only want to marry him if he wants to marry me, the whole me and not just the pretty parts, even though I would prefer more than I can express that the ugly parts weren't there.

Thanks for any help you can offer. God bless you.


#2

[quote="thecakeisalie, post:1, topic:195441"]
Hi, all. First-time poster, lifelong Catholic.

I've been with my boyfriend for two weeks (we actually became an item on Easter, which I find really special), before which we dated more-or-less casually for around a month and a half. We've discussed marriage in a vague sort of way, not so much that he and I definitely intend to marry each other but that it's what we're both seeking in a relationship (a husband/wife). God has been at the center of our whole relationship, the beginning of our friendship through now--we've been attending mass together since November--and I'm confident that not only is this something that God is in favor of but that my boyfriend is a gift from God to me (and vice versa, although it feels self-important to call myself a gift from God to someone else, even if it's true). We have discussed a marriage timeline, though: he figures that he'd want to get married around a year after he graduates college, which would be around a year and a semester after I graduate, and I'm on the same page.

But I have a problem: until early October, for just short of four years, I struggled with masturbation. I'm terrified of what he's going to say when I tell him. I'm terrified that it's going to be a deal-breaker. Of course, if it is, I'll understand; I messed up, and I have to suffer the consequences. I've been to confession since I stopped, and God's grace and continued assistance have allowed me to permanently break the habit--it's been more than six months now. I have, for the most part, forgiven myself, although I've never felt more sorry for anything in my life.

So my question: when do I tell him? I don't want him to spend months with me just to find this out and then feel like he's wasted time on a relationship that he doesn't want. But I also don't want to bring it up too soon, before the relationship is ready for that kind of a blow. I don't expect a time really, perhaps an idea for things to watch for in the relationship. I want to be honest with him about this, but not until it's appropriate. Although I have only known him since September, I truly want to marry him, someday in the future once our relationship has had sufficient time to grow, at which point I'd make the definite decision to marry him. But I only want to marry him if he wants to marry me, the whole me and not just the pretty parts, even though I would prefer more than I can express that the ugly parts weren't there.

Thanks for any help you can offer. God bless you.

[/quote]

Hi there!:wave:

Welcome to CAF! I would suggest that since you have gone to confession, it really is all in the past, so just forget about it. Instead focus on the future. Focus on your relationship whith him and make sure that God remains in the center of your relationship.

But if you feel you wish to tell him, just to get it off your chest then just do it. There shouldn't be anything in the way that could help develop your relationshop into one that God wants for you. But in the end, if he does judge you because of your past sins, then he is truly not worth your time. You need someone who is willing to love you for you, who doesn't judge you, and who knows that all people make mistakes.

Best of luck!


#3

I don't think it's a matter of when, more so a matter of if it comes up. Look if your guy judges you because of your past sins then I'd dump him on the spot. God has forgiven you. :) There is nothing to be worried about. You are not obligated to tell him about it. Those issues are between you, God, and a priest. However, like I said, if a time comes and you would like to mention it, there is nothing wrong with that either. A good beginning to such a conversation would be to start talking about chastity and how much it means to you.


#4

[quote="stringbeanduck, post:3, topic:195441"]
I don't think it's a matter of when, more so a matter of if it comes up. Look if your guy judges you because of your past sins then I'd dump him on the spot. God has forgiven you. :) There is nothing to be worried about. You are not obligated to tell him about it. Those issues are between you, God, and a priest. However, like I said, if a time comes and you would like to mention it, there is nothing wrong with that either. A good beginning to such a conversation would be to start talking about chastity and how much it means to you.

[/quote]

I couldn't agree more!


#5

[quote="stringbeanduck, post:3, topic:195441"]
I don't think it's a matter of when, more so a matter of if it comes up. Look if your guy judges you because of your past sins then I'd dump him on the spot. God has forgiven you. :) There is nothing to be worried about. You are not obligated to tell him about it. Those issues are between you, God, and a priest. However, like I said, if a time comes and you would like to mention it, there is nothing wrong with that either. A good beginning to such a conversation would be to start talking about chastity and how much it means to you.

[/quote]

Exactly right stringbean !
You're past it. Give thanks. Move on.
God bless you.


#6

I think most men have struggled with masturbation at some point. They may not all be habitually doing it but I think the vast majority of men have at some point done it. I dont know why a man would turn a woman down for this of all things. I wouldnt tell him unless you have to. I am a man and I wouldnt tell a girl unless I absolutely had to. If he cant accept your past then the partnership just isnt meant to be long term.


#7

You have been forgiven. Forget about it. It is none of his business and is TMI. Both of you have the right to know if you would be marrying a virgin or not, but beyond that it is unnecessary to discuss.


#8

I can relate to where you’re coming from. I suffered from a different but equally grave sin for many years and finally broke free shortly before meeting my boyfriend (such an inadequate word!), and we plan on marrying as soon as we can feasibly do so (darn this economy!)

I knew that for me personally, it was something I would have to tell him eventually, but I was terrified about when. It’s not something I’d ever shared before (and, as you can tell from this post, I still don’t share). But I decided to let it go. If the time was right, I would know. And eventually the time was right, and I told him, and he loved me anyway. He also shared a story from his past that he hadn’t been able to share before, and I still love him. I didn’t force it to come up prematurely, I let God lead the relationship. He led me to the right moment, and it strengthened my boyfriend and my relationship amazingly.I know that this is the man God wants me to spend my life with, and He wouldn’t lead me astray :slight_smile:

Just relax for now. Pray for guidance, but let the right time come on its own. You’ll know when the time is right, and if he is worth your time (because, to quote Gianna Jessen, “You’re God’s girl, and you’re a princess” no matter your past) he will still love you, and who knows, maybe he’s human and has a past too.

You’ll be in my prayers, and congratulations on overcoming your struggle!


#9

Uhm, I guess tell him when you have the time. People masturbate. I'm almost 100% sure that he has masturbated at some time in his life. I doubt this is a deal breaker in any relationship.


#10

Thank you all for your input. I appreciate it greatly.

LovinmyLife: thank you for sharing. Your solidarity is extremely comforting. The reason why I ask is because I know it's something I know I'll need to tell him eventually, very much like it seems you felt. (It would feel dishonest to avoid the topic.) You and your intended will be in my prayers as well, and thank you for yours, your advice, and the congratulations. :) I hope the economy will loosen its grip a little, for your sake. :)


#11

You don’t.

This isn’t any business of his, and there is absolutely no reason to share your past sins nor he, his. Your sins have been sacramentally forgiven and they are in the past.

To discuss a topic like this during dating is inappropriate, frankly. It’s almost voyeuristic. I’m not sure who put this notion of disclosing your sins to someone you are dating in your head, but get it out now!


#12

[quote="thecakeisalie, post:1, topic:195441"]
Hi, all. First-time poster, lifelong Catholic.

I've been with my boyfriend for two weeks (we actually became an item on Easter, which I find really special), before which we dated more-or-less casually for around a month and a half. We've discussed marriage in a vague sort of way, not so much that he and I definitely intend to marry each other but that it's what we're both seeking in a relationship (a husband/wife). God has been at the center of our whole relationship, the beginning of our friendship through now--we've been attending mass together since November--and I'm confident that not only is this something that God is in favor of but that my boyfriend is a gift from God to me (and vice versa, although it feels self-important to call myself a gift from God to someone else, even if it's true). We have discussed a marriage timeline, though: he figures that he'd want to get married around a year after he graduates college, which would be around a year and a semester after I graduate, and I'm on the same page.

But I have a problem: until early October, for just short of four years, I struggled with masturbation. I'm terrified of what he's going to say when I tell him. I'm terrified that it's going to be a deal-breaker. Of course, if it is, I'll understand; I messed up, and I have to suffer the consequences. I've been to confession since I stopped, and God's grace and continued assistance have allowed me to permanently break the habit--it's been more than six months now. I have, for the most part, forgiven myself, although I've never felt more sorry for anything in my life.

So my question: when do I tell him? I don't want him to spend months with me just to find this out and then feel like he's wasted time on a relationship that he doesn't want. But I also don't want to bring it up too soon, before the relationship is ready for that kind of a blow. I don't expect a time really, perhaps an idea for things to watch for in the relationship. I want to be honest with him about this, but not until it's appropriate. Although I have only known him since September, I truly want to marry him, someday in the future once our relationship has had sufficient time to grow, at which point I'd make the definite decision to marry him. But I only want to marry him if he wants to marry me, the whole me and not just the pretty parts, even though I would prefer more than I can express that the ugly parts weren't there.

Thanks for any help you can offer. God bless you.

[/quote]

It's a very common sin, your boyfriend is likely guilty of it too. I would be shocked if he actually left you because of it.

Maybe if you feel you must tell him start up a conversation about sexual sins or something like that, and casually mention it.


#13

Great answer, agree 100%.


#14

and you would be telling him, why?

confession is for confession, you and the priest, nobody else. certainly not here, either, the spiritual benefit comes from the sacrametnal grace of Christ which heals these spiritual wounds.


#15

If you guys get close to marrying or do get married it may eventually come up. As some others have said, I’m quite sure he is guilty as well… probably more frequent as well.

I would refrain from telling him now NOT because he will reject you but because I believe for many men it would turn them on and could lead him to continual sin on his part.

Should this eventually come up and he becomes judgmental about this or says he never masturbated (sorry I don’t believe any guy never masturbated) that might be a red flag. If you did for a while or still struggle with this then my guess is that you have learned a lot about yourself and what gives you pleasure. Once married you will finally have a chance to explore things with your spouse, I would just make sure you found someone who enjoyed coming together or looked forward to coming together (renewing your marriage covenant) as often as possible.

Just my opinion…

Joe


#16

If this was an ongoing issue or something you felt was truly addictive and you were afraid at some point you'd "relapse," I'd say you should probably tell him. If not and this is all in the past and hasn't messed up your concept of a sexual relationship, there's no reason to disclose all or any of your past sins.

And yes, the other posters who said that most guys have dealt with this themselves are 100% correct. It's not always habitual or an addiction or anything like that, but even the most ardent Catholic men have likely struggled with this as it's tough to deal with evolutionary instincts coupled with real temptation shoved in our faces daily by this immodest society.


#17

If you are gonna confess your sins to your boyfriend, that makes him your Priest.

What is forgiven is between you and God.


#18

Difficult to explain. I'll do my best.

It's not an issue of disclosing past sin. I don't feel like I should tell him everything I've ever done, nor he, me. But if I were to sin by harming another person, through my words or actions, it would be unloving to simply go to confession and never apologize to this person for harming them--although this might be a penance--not because I need their forgiveness more than God's but because harming someone injures your relationship. This is the exact reason for the sign of peace at mass--you're supposed to reconcile with your brethren before receiving the Eucharist. Sinning against someone damages your relationship, which is a more or less unholy state. In a similar way, the sin of masturbation seems to be to be a sin against him (well, my future husband), in addition to being a sin against God, the Church, and myself.

Although I obviously made it sound like I thought I had to tell him sooner rather than later, it really only becomes an issue if I marry him. (Whomever I marry, it seems like it will be an issue.) As Catholics, the argument is often made that virginity is not the issue; chastity is. You save your sexuality for marriage. Obviously, I haven't. And maybe I'm wrong about this, but it seems like a discussion that people who are preparing to marry have, about sexual purity. I can't imagine that someone would not tell their spouse if they had been sexually impure with someone else, whether that was intercourse or something "more minor." And I fail to see how this is different, at least on this level. I don't think the common nature of a sin makes it any less severe.

I understand propriety--I'm not trying to give too much or inappropriate information. If it didn't seem relevant or significant for the reasons I gave above, I wouldn't even consider it. (I manage to--mostly--keep the oversexed aspect of mainstream society out of my life--I don't discuss sexual issues more than is absolutely necessary, so being improper is not something I take lightly.)

Does this all make sense? Where is my reasoning flawed? (That's an honest question, not a challenge.) It is perhaps something that shouldn't be discussed until engagement? I know some of you will argue that it shouldn't come up, ever, but I'm inclined to disagree, for the given reasons.

Thanks again for your input. (And jwashu: good point, the point about not telling him now.)


#19

I don’t think so. Doesn’t it say in scripture to confess our sins to each other? I mean, you don’t receive absolution, but there is certainly nothing to prohibit you from discussing past struggles with your potential spouse.


#20

I’m not entirely sure why you are afraid to tell him, or even why you want to tell him. Most guys are guilty of this sin themselves. You say that it is no longer something you struggle with. As long as you continue not to do it, it won’t affect your future hypothetical marriage much. I wouldn’t tell him unless he asked. If he dumps you for it, he probably doesn’t like you very much. There are far worse dark secrets to have, and if someone confessed that one to me as a dark secret, I’d probably be relieved and say, “That’s it? That’s your dark secret?”

Anyhow, it sounds like you’re going to tell him anyway. I would suggest waiting until you have been together for several months to a year. Your first impression is what counts with guys, and this won’t affect it much, believe me.

Gorger


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