Q: I recently started dating this amazing guy, I actually love him. The problem is I worked in a brothel for a period of 2 years, months before I met this guy. He does not know this part of my life. Should I tell him? if so when and how. I feel ashamed to tell him, I am afraid if I tell him he might breakup with me.

This question presents an all too familiar issue in any new relationship, the issue of skeletons in the closet. Every human being has skeletons in their closet.  Being human means making wrong choices and decisions sometimes. Whenever you enter a new relationship there is always that desire to omit certain things because you want to put your best leg forward. However, the best leg to put in any new relationship is and should always be the truth. What most people don’t know is that truth has the uncanny ability to foster trust in a new relationship, no matter how dirty and despicable the truth might be. This means that be open and talk about any skeletons you have early in the relationship. Mentioning it involves you owning up to the consequences of your past mistakes. Avoiding talking about past mistakes obviously sounds like the easiest thing to do right now, but owning up to your past and telling him will take a huge burden off your shoulders.

The fact that you asked such a question means that you are battling with the guilt and the heavy burden of keeping this away from your new boyfriend. The weight and the burden of secrets never gets lighter, in fact it gets heavier and heavier, it weighs down on the conscience and puts a spiritual barrier between you and the person you are in a relationship with. The more you stay silent, the more you hold on to the past and the bigger and more elaborate the deceit becomes. Commit to the truth and release yourself from the heavy burden you are wrestling with, to hold off from telling the truth for fear of losing him would be unwise.

You have to let go of the fear of losing him and that fear can only be removed by being bold and confident in your current identity. In saying that, true lasting, boldness and confidence of the spirit comes from Jesus. Jesus’ capacity to love is more than  man’s capacity to love. No human love can ever compete or come close to the love of the Father. In him and through him your sins have been made as white as snow. Jesus is available to give you a new identity and to help you understand that no longer do you have to be intimidated by the past because in him you become a new creation. He loves you exactly the way you are.  Understand God’s love through Jesus, understand that he is the real man in your life; consistent, strong and always present. If you catch this fact you will never be worried about any man leaving you ever again.  So know your worth, your value, your importance and your beauty in Christ because it is priceless and cannot be measured. As much as this sounds cliché it is not, it is simply the truth.

Before you tell him, if you choose to tell him it is important for you to understand that you are not who you once were and you should not let the demons of the past haunt you and taunt you into living a secret lie of guilt shame and fear. You have to forgive yourself first for the decisions you took in the past. You should come to terms with it and accept the fact that it happened and move on, the truth is you have to accept and forgive yourself first before you can find acceptance from anyone else. You might not be proud of what you did but don’t let the past dictate how you live your life now. Forgiving yourself first brings about a sense of freedom, you become at peace with your past life. You don’t blame yourself or feel ashamed because your past has no hold on you, its in the past, hence, its referred to as past. This should give you the confidence to stand and look at yourself as the person you  are today not the person you were.

The best pillars to any good relationship are communication and honesty. Nothing builds a healthy strong relationship like honest open communication. Being honest will bring out the true nature and strength of any relationship and what you have built.  You would rather be in a relationship with someone who loves you and wants to be with you despite your history and past mistakes than to be with someone who loves you for what you are not.  You cannot build a healthy relationship based on deceit or omitting the truth.

You are right in thinking that he might leave you because of your past but if you really like this guy then you owe him the truth. Love is selfless, meaning you have to put him first before putting yourself first. You can’t, therefore, say I love him but I don’t want to tell him the truth. As long as there is no honestly and transparency there can never be true love. To love someone is to be vulnerable and to tell them the truth. Your current boyfriend deserves to know the truth and to choose for himself what/ who he wants. However,  One of the most important facts is that true love does not take into consideration past mistakes. Chances are your boyfriend will not break up with you for working in a brothel, he might be disappointed. On the other hand, what would hurt him way more than anything would be the deception and lack of honesty if he somehow found out about your past without you telling him.  If someone does not accept you for your flaws, failures and wins then that person does not deserve you. If he chooses to end it, by no means does that make him a bad person, each person has the liberty and freedom to choose what they want in a life partner. So open up and don’t feel scared to tell your boyfriend about your past, regardless of the consequences.

With delicate issues like these you don’t want to say too much too soon before you know the person and at the same time you do not want to wait for too long before you say anything. Owing to the fact that you asked this question, now would be an appropriate time to tell him as it is a good indicator because the issue is playing on your conscience. Don’t think about it too much but just go up to him and tell him the truth.

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