Wedding Woes

Yes, you should tell him and explain it wasn't for you.

Dear Prudence,

I’m a 50-year-old woman. My boyfriend George and I have been dating casually for over two years and became exclusive at the beginning of this year. When we met, we knew we were both divorced and not looking for a serious commitment. We also didn’t disclose the reasons for our divorce, which was fine with me. The only information we knew was that both our divorces turned into an ugly mess. Three weeks ago, I attended the wedding of George’s son. I was warned ahead of time that George’s ex-wife Linda would be difficult and might be resentful of my presence. As predicted, Linda made a scene at the reception. After she was escorted away, George’s sister Melissa went to check up on me. We got to talking, and I pressed Melissa to reveal the reason for George’s divorce.

Linda had persuaded George to have an open marriage, and after being unhappy with the arrangement, they divorced. The revelation hit close to home for me, as that was what I did to my ex-husband. All of the guilt and remorse I felt in the months leading up to and after my own crumbled marriage resurfaced, and I saw myself in Linda. Like Linda, I too was viewed as a pariah by my own children and relatives. I’ve long regretted the choice I made and the hurt I caused my ex-husband and my children. It has taken me years to turn a corner and build back my relationship with my children. I’ve continually feared having to explain to any of my future partners the full details of my divorce. I had hoped after a few years of being together, I would feel comfortable enough to tell George the whole truth. Never in a million years did I think I would meet another man who went through the same struggles as my ex-husband. George is a sweet and loving man whom I feel comfortable moving forward in my life with. My heart would be broken for a second time if things were to end between us. I fear that once George learns about this part of my past he’ll end what we’ve just started. I’m not that woman anymore, and the reasons I wanted an open marriage were no longer important to me. Should I tell George the truth? I worry he will eventually find out. I’ve intentionally tried to limit George from any contact with my family. But my own children’s wedding days will be coming soon, and an easy slip-up could just as well happen. Should I confess my past deeds?

—Opened Past

Re: Yes, you should tell him and explain it wasn't for you.

  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 27
    This is SUCH a common tactic for people who think that there's only one problem in their marriage and it's sex (I did the same thing, but even the conversation about it started to reveal the other problems ETA: in a way I could no longer deny).  LW, you've literally got two examples in your lap.  And you know, LW, that there's more to the story than just sex.

    I would tell George, I would be fully honest about what you thought then and what you think now.  Hopefully he's grown and you have too, and it can continue.  
  • I feel for the LW- the irony here is cruel especially if she feels bad about what happened in her first marriage. But it did happen and if there’s a chance George could find out it’s better he here’s it from you. Tell him what you said here- that it was a different time and you thought that was what you wanted and realized that wasn’t true. And hope he understands. 
  • Oof, I do feel for LW. I also feel for George too as this will have to feel a little re-traumatizing in some way. Hopefully he's able to look beyond the past, but it's true, he may not be able to and in some ways, I can't blame him if he tries to protect his heart again. 


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  • Woof. On top of the obvious, LW has to tell George that she pumped his sister for info about his previous marriage. This is not going to go well. 
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