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LifeWhat's Hot

Do I tell him about my bad past?

Dear Michael,

I’m in my mid-20s and recently got engaged to a wonderful man. When I was in college, I tried to kill myself but luckily, I was found before I died. I was having a hard time adjusting to going away to school and was involved in an unhealthy relationship.

Afterward, I sought counselling and sorted myself out. Before the attempt, I would casually think about suicide as an easy way out if things ever got too bad. Since then, I’ve come to realise that I want to stick around no matter what life throws at me.

My fiancé doesn’t know about my past and I can’t help but be worried that if he finds out, it might change things. We’re very honest with each other, but I don’t want this to influence his perception of me. Since it happened so long ago and I am truly recovered, should I let him know about it?


Dear Winnie,

As I have heard it said, you would rather break an engagement than a marriage. But that is assuming that the man you have described as wonderful, and with whom you have said you are honest, would not believe you when you told him that it was a critical event of the past, and that you are now ready to ‘stick around no matter what life throws’ at you.

From a different perspective, the man is getting into your inner circle. It will take great effort and the collaboration of close family to keep the secret from him.

And if he were to discover such a secret later in your life together, it would be likely to have an even more devastating effect on your relationship.

As an engaged couple, you should be learning how to trust each other. Trust him with the information and find out how wonderful he truly is. 

However, if he is not as wonderful as you thought, then you would have to think hard about the upcoming marriage.

Suicidal thoughts, an attempted suicide due to a new life situation and a ‘very unhealthy relationship’ are all important for a prospective spouse to know about. 

It would make them aware of that remote but real possibility of extreme stress triggering a reversion to the same thoughts, and possibly an attempt. 

If you do share this information with your fiancé, be prepared to give complete answers to the many questions he might have, and allow him to process the information. 

Whether you share the information now or later in your lives, keep to your commitment to live life no matter what it throws at you!

Do you have a pressing personal problem? Seek advice from Michael Oyier at [email protected]