A friend of mine got engaged a few months back, in the ‘arranged marriage’ way. Several questions rattled around in her head. One of the real biggies was: “Should I tell him about my past?” All the people she discussed this with (all women) advised her not to. I on the other hand, told her that it made sense to have it out before getting into a big commitment like marriage.
This principle works for me. I don’t believe honesty is the best policy. I think it is the only policy. Forget about the goody-goody stuff, lets think practically. How possible is it to spend your life with a person, share their bed, dining table, bathroom, family, schedules, lifestyle etc and hide such a vital fact from them?
Cut to the present now. The engagement has been broken for various reasons including dowry demands and the guy cheating on her. It was unpleasant…downright dirty, especially when the boy’s family threw out a stinging “Apki beti ka kisi ke saath chakkar tha!” (“Your daughter has had an affair” expressed in the most vulgar way possible)
I’ve been in a relationship..more than one as a matter of fact. Maybe I’m too volatile for a woman or maybe I’m just too old to change my habits but I can’t imagine having to conceal this fact. Any intelligent person who stays with me long enough can figure out that my sometimes-brash, rather forceful opinions about men, love, relationships and the world have to be based in past experience. I would rather be forthright and expect the same from the other person rather than get embroiled in the nasty games that couples seem to indulge in.
And yet, is this realistic? I’m not talking about what is right or wrong. It is a matter of how viable it is. I was honest enough to admit that I had been in love before, to my last boyfriend. In retaliation, he’d throw that fact in my face at every opportunity, making subtle references to my character, to my intentions and upbringing. This despite the fact that HE had had several more relationships before, had cheated on two of them, had pursued another one simply because she was ‘available’ after his friend dumped her and generally done other such things that just seemed wrong to me. When I left him, I thought “I’m glad I’m rid of the jerk!” But my next thought was…am I really rid of him? What if the next man is like this too? What if they’re all the same jerk with different faces?
I can just see Valhalla, Apoorva, Brad, Rumpelstilskin and the other men who read my blog start to protest violently. Simmer down…I’m not saying any one of you is like this. It is possible that the small set of men who read my blog just are more liberal and fair-minded than the rest. In statistics, you choose a small part of the entire group and observe them and draw conclusions about the whole group based on it. This does not mean that every single element in that group exhibits these traits. It simply means that if you had to characterize any one element it would MOST LIKELY show these features.
I intended this to be a serious thought, not a raving one. I want to know how many men are willing to face the idea that their wife/girlfriend has been with someone before them. A lot of men tell me that they don’t mind. Even that points to something. My ex- once said “If a girl’s been around with other guys, you know she’ll be easy”. As Sagnik put it in a more refined way, “If she has had other people in her life, she’s dateable”. So fine….a girl who has dated is available for a date, a chat and other sorts of fun. But that’s about it. Fun and serious relationships are mutually exclusive apparently.
Most of my women friends are married or planning on tying the knot soon. And all of them are facing the big question : To tell or not to tell? Every single one of them has been in love or lust or a relationship. I would imagine there was something seriously wrong if a 20-something hadn’t felt the natural urges of any human being. I tend never to believe guys who say that they have ‘never looked at a girl all their lives’.
That’s two issues in one. Why do some guys lie? And why do they expect the woman to lie? Do men have a birthright on honesty and how much of it should exist?
I have made mistakes. I have taken bad decisions. I have been stupid and gullible and naïve and foolhardy. I have been human. I admit it. Does that make you respect me more or less? Or is that supposed to be a gender-specific question?