Full disclosure in relationships and marriage

When one decides to get married, one of the privileges you lose as an individual is the right to keep secrets. After you decide to leave everything behind, forsaking all others to be bound to a person and become one flesh, it means that you no longer have to bear any burden alone, this includes the burden of keeping secrets. Building trust requires full disclosure of information which will help you or your spouse determine whether you will proceed or terminate a relationship before marriage. When a person says yes to marriage, it is usually based on the person’s perception of who you are, this can only be achieved if they have all the information they require about you. if that person discovers that the reason he/she agreed to a marriage is a lie, regret is the initial reaction followed by resentment and contempt.

Once a person cannot accept certain situations, marriage will do little or nothing to make them change their position. While some may endure and still harbour salient ill feeling towards a spouse who lied initially, others may completely breakdown at the discovery of certain informations about a spouse. It is better they know initially rather than putting both of you through the emotional trauma of discovering later. Marriage unlike courtship is not a testing ground for trustworthiness, sincerity or character, it is the end result of your own assessment and confirmation of the presence of all of these prior to agreeing to settle. Waiting to trust your spouse before divulging important information is like putting the cart before the horse.

A lot of marriages are suffering today because of the mistake of keeping vital information from spouses. I am a strong believer in letting bygones be bygones, but there are pieces of information which must be disclosed prior to marriage, especially for serious and important events which precede the marriage and those that the marriage precedes. For instance if a person was in a previous relationship which produced a child or through infidelity and carelessness a child is produced, courtesy, common sense and conscience makes it imperative for such information to be disclosed. Failure to disclose this and in the unfortunate event that your spouse discovers on their own, it will cast a huge shadow on the person’s trust for you. Most people believe that information you give may be used against you in future, while this is very possible, that information will still be used against you if it comes to light. It is more honorable to be in that position than to be branded a liar.

This also applies to ownership of property, money or other valuables, accurate age and any ailment or health conditions you may have, failure to disclose these is pure deception. Your first instinct might be to be silent about certain pieces of information until you determine the direction of the relationship and the sincerity of purpose of your spouse. While this may seem like the wise and logical choice, it is always counter productive when this information reaches your spouse through other means which will in most cases happen eventually, when it does, the foundation of every marriage which should be mutual trust will be seriously jeopardised.

Opening up about previous relationships may not be necessary especially if they are unknown to your spouse and you no longer have any contact with them. However, if the relationship involves a close friend or family of your spouse who is still close and present in his/her life and has access to your home or a coworker who is still at your place of work, for the avoidance of doubt, it is extremely important to disclose this information before marriage to determine your spouse’s ability to handle it. If you discover that they are close to your spouse after marriage, it is also necessary to let them know. Keeping the information may put you in an awkward position of being suspected or accused of either still harbouring amorous feelings or having an affair with them, especially if the said person still has close personal contact with you.

It is extremely important to disclose the true position of your finances, the nature of your work or the businesses you are involved in. Some people have certain professions or businessEs they are not comfortable with, keeping such information from a spouse amounts to deception. When discovered, your spouse may constantly bear a grudge against you for making them accept something they will not ordinarily accept, trusting you from then on may be a difficult task. It is difficult to keep a secret forever, in order to free your conscience and tow the part of dignity, it is better to come clean with the truth, a confession has a way of appealing to your spouse’s conscience, it is better than living a lie and it makes forgiveness easier.. Full disclosure is advised because starting your marriage with a lie or deception makes a mockery of the union, it will always remain a lie laced with deception. Such foundational lies are very difficult to forgive – Sir Stanley Ekezie

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