May 31, 2005


Despite the fact my brain thinks it's Monday because of the lovely holiday weekend, it is, indeed Tuesday, which means yet another riveting installment of The Demystifying Divas and The Marvelous Men's Club. Our topic this week? Why, it's disclosure, my devoted Cake Eater readers, or when and if you should bring out the skeletons in your closet.

It's topics like this that remind me how long it's been since I was single.

They also remind me how very nice it is to be married.

Because you don't have to think about this stuff when you're married. It's all out there. It's been dealt with. You know their secrets. They know yours. And what's even better is that neither of you care. Your past has not been a hindrance to your future and, honestly, what could be better than that? You lived, you learned, you weren't denied the object of your affection because you might have been stupid in the past. I repeat: what could be better than that?

But that's not the part of this business I'm supposed to be demystifying, is it? I'm supposed to be hitting the "before" marriage business, not the after. Sigh. Ah, well. It may have been awhile, but, the way I see it, this is comes down to trust. When do you trust someone with not only the good bits about your history, but the parts that might be considered bad? Particularly your sexual history, knowing what a loaded gun that might be in someone's hands.

The only answer I can give is that this is a question best left up to your gut. If your sexual history isn't going to get someone killed (i.e. HIV/AIDS) or make them ill (other sexually transmitted diseases that may not be lethal, but definitely leave a mark), you can wait for full disclosure until you feel comfortable enough to share that information---if you feel it's necessary to share that information, and I'll come back to this in a moment. However, if you have been engaging in risky sexual behavior---and I shouldn't have to define what this is for you, kids. You're all grown-ups. If you don't know this by now, well, you're a lost cause----you should definitely tell anyone you sleep with that you've been a particularly naughty girl/boy BEFORE YOU SLEEP WITH THEM. I don't care if it's hard or if it's uncomfortable or if it's not really something you want to bring up in the heat of the moment. In this day and age, sex can kill. It can and does. Still. It's not fair to not let someone in on the risks they're taking by being with you.

Preaching aside, if you should tell someone about your past is yet another issue that needs to be addressed. Now, at one point in time I would have said, absolutely, you must lay everything out on the table for your partner's consumption, and they should do the same; that there shouldn't be any secrets between you. But now? Well, I'm not so sure. I think this comes part and parcel with maturity and the realization all of the noteworthy bits of your life haven't happened in your early twenties, when sharing this sort of thing seems to be a benign and expected act.

As I often tell Mr. H, when he relates to me his latest tale of singledom over Sunday morning coffee, I am so happy I'll never have to deal with any of the trials and tribulations of being single ever again. And I am. Believe me, I am. But, I will admit, there are times when I wonder what I would do if I were, and this is one of those instances: would I disclose everything to this hypothetical potential partner? Or would there be some things I would keep to myself, not necessarily because they're horrible things that I would fear would make this hypothetical person run the other way, but simply because I don't think they need to be related; that they're not necessary to the conversation? And the answer is that I don't think I would disclose everything. Life is long. So much longer than it seems it ever could be when you're in your twenties. Experience is gained. Lessons have been learned. And one of the lessons learned is that not everything in your past is relevant to the future. A particular instance may have, in part, made you who you are today, but that doesn't mean you have to tell all. As long as what you're choosing not to disclose is a benign thing, there can be some things you can choose to keep to yourself. I don't think this is bad. It's simply a case of the other person not needing to know.

And that's all the psuedo-advice this particular diva can dish out on this fine Tuesday morning. My partners in crime, the other fabulous divas, have dished out their own bits of advice, so go and read what they have to say. Also be sure to check out what The Minister of Propaganda, The Wiz, and Phin have said on the subject. We'll see when/if Stiggy chimes in on this topic, since he's off gallivanting around Europe at the present moment.

UPDATE: This week's guest diva, Moogie, has also chimed in. Go and read.

Posted by Kathy at May 31, 2005 11:09 AM

There's a lifetime of wisdom in this statement: "not everything in your past is relevant to the future"

Amen and amen, again.

Well said.

; )

Posted by: Chrissy at May 31, 2005 11:20 AM

Oh yeah. I agree with Chrissy...what's most important is that we learn from our slipups. We all have them, unless one is incredibly dull and hasn't experienced life;-)

Posted by: sadie at May 31, 2005 03:52 PM

" We all have them, unless one is incredibly dull and hasn't experienced life" ... or your name is phin.

Posted by: phin at May 31, 2005 05:10 PM
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