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Relationship Corner: Past sexual partner history disclosure

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by robsalvv, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. An interesting scenario has been brought to my attention and has raised some interesting questions, so I'm punching it out to NR land for wider opinion.

    A guy and girl are brilliant friends and have been for several years. It's a close platonic friendship. Somewhere in their early days they had a sexual connection but it was never a fully fledged relationship. That past is an artefact of history and has no bearing on the current friendship - there is no undercurrent, sexual attraction, sexual energy or any kind of sexual magnetism.

    Each is beginning a new relationship with two new people outside of their current social circle and have introduced the new partners to the social circle and each other.

    The one time sexual aspect has not been disclosed to the new partners.

    Is not disclosing the history fundamentally dishonest?

    Is it mandatory that the friends disclose the one time sexual nature of the friendship to the new partners/new relationships??

    Is it relevant information to the new partner in understanding the friendship?

    Does wittholding suggest that the guy/girl are actually dishonest and not worth forming a relationship with?

    Is it wrong to withhold at the start if the intention is to disclose once the relationship is stronger and the friendships are fully integrated into the relationship social circles?

    If the new partner has an ideological fixed position that ex's or past partners can not ever be friends under any circumstances, how does that change the scenario?

    Discuss. :)
  2. Rob, I'm comfortable with you telling the world you were my biatch :D
  3. Lovely rich, complex situation! Each element seems to influence or change the balance of the others.

    Given that, I only feel able to give general advice, which it would be up to those involved to apply.

    1. Secrets have power, telling robs them of that power - so early is *much* better than later. If they wait until later to disclose, that makes the partners wonder why they kept a secret, which gives it more weight than it sounds like it needs. So, IMO, full disclosure as early as possible is always the best policy... and if it does scare a potential partner off, better early for less total pain...

    2. I'd actually have more concerns in some ways about someone with such a fixed position on the possibility of friendship with exes - it suggests that they generalise their own experience to everyone, and fail to recognise that every relationship is different.

    So, probably over-simple suggestions in a complex situation...
  4. :rofl: :rofl: I love you too hunny, now HUSH!
  5. On balance, I think you're right, earlier is better than later... but still I question to what end? Is it to live up to the ideal of no secrets between lovers?

    Secrets have power is a strong statement. Must ponder that more.

    I tend to agree with point two.
  6. I heard some people having this discussion in Coles last night.

    Guy: "You so had sex with him."
    Girl: "Nah... I so didn't."
    Guy: "You so f***ing did."
    Girl: "I so f***ing didn't."
    Guy: "Well, you so would've if he weren't in jail."
    Girl: "ohmygord."

  7. The 'secrets have power' thing is wisdom from my wife, who was molested by her father as a child. She is happy to tell anyone - she knows it was his fault, not hers, and if it's not a secret it has no power to be used against her. She learned it there but it's been applied everywhere in our lives together, and it seems to work.

    I think the 'ideal of no secrets between lovers' is a good one, but it shouldn't be seen as some righteous notion of absolute honesty, but as what helps build the relationship rather than undermine it. If one person knows something the other doesn't, it effects their actions in *some* way, and makes them harder to read, and that can damage the relationship. (It's also part of why the 'what happens in Vegas' ethos in relation to infidelity doesn't cut it with me: even if no-one at home ever finds out, the person who did it knows...)
  8. Your new partner should be understanding enough for you to pose the question (that you just asked us) to. Tell them everything from the start, they will decide if they want to retain the information.
  9. I generally think that what has occured sexually, prior to dating someone, is no ones business, other than those involved at the time.

    However, each of us have either lightly differing or vastly differing opinions on what is, or what is not "acceptable" as a sexual past.

    Given the scenario, I don't think it's anyone's business at all. The 2 people concerned have moved on to form other relationships. What would matter to me, is how that person conducts themselves in the current relationship. This assumes that the "friends" are honest with themselves that the former "sexual attraction" is no longer an issue and will not impede future relationships.

    However, I think that the time lapse between the "attraction" could play a part. If it happened a year or so ago... no prob. If it was recent!!... that could be tricky!. But in your scenario it was history.
  10. Cheers Bravus. Thoughtful post as always.

    I take your point but the scenario isn't one of a cheating partner keeping an infidelity hidden - the moral and ethical issues are far more clear cut in that scenario!

    I guess the fundamental answer lies in ones view of what a relationship actually is. In my book it's a "contract" to get to know someone on a deeper level and that to me implies a day by day process.

    The attitude of people to ex's fascinates me. Some folks demand that their partner not have any ex's in their life. I think that a new relationship does NOT have the right to make such demands. Everyone has a past, some of that past has been resolved amicably. What if a kid is involved with an ex?? Not that that is the case here, however, that does overlay a whole other level of complication.

    J.O., so when the friend is introduced to the new partner, you'd argue that the full backstory should be given and then let the chips fall where they may. I can respect that - it's a very honest way to live.

    Tweets This assumes that the "friends" are honest with themselves that the former "sexual attraction" is no longer an issue and will not impede future relationships. I'd say is the correct assumption.
  11. It sounds like there may still be an issue, other wise what brought this on? No sexual tension does not mean no unresolved issues. The other point is I would be very wary of someone who says under no circumstances can you be friends with an ex, there is a fundamental lack of trust possibly stemming from what they have done not what others have done to them. This is of course just what springs to mind without knowing the circumstances at all. If you feel it is important or if asked then you have to disclose it (or feel it is important to the other party).
  12. If I put myself in the new partner's shoes, I'd think it was relevant. No real need have a blow by blow account, but the quick outline would suffice.

    I was in a similar situation a few years back as the new partner. The (then) gf's ex visited the house a few times before she told me that there was a romantic history there. I felt uncomfortable that she had told me only after he had been in my house a few times.

    Not telling the new partner and having them find out some other way would raise concern I think. Upfront and honest I think is the best approach.
  13. so let me get this straight, you wanted to screw the attractive chick, but ended up with her friend, so you did the :smileysex: stayed friends now have a chance to :nail: the one you wanted in the first place, BUT she isn't aware you :smileysex: here best friend years ago and aren't sure whether you should tell her before or after.....

    well rob it's simple, :smileysex: or :bannanabutt: her first, then it doesn't matter if she :bolt:

    btw :worthlesspics: of her :rofl:
  14. The people involved can get the perfectly correct answer from each other by asking
    "Do you want to hear about any of my previous relationships?"

    Some people do. Some people don't.

    If they can't even communicate on that tiny, little, gauging-level, their relationship is doomed anyway.
  15. Can't answer the first question Blue.

    if asked then you have to disclose it ...fair enough, if asked and the answer given was "no" then that is dishonest. In the scheme of things is it a hangable dishonesty? Are there degrees of dishonesty? lol In all seriousness, I think a lie is wrong.

    Stewy, that's nothing like the scenario at all. Mischievious post or what?! lol

    Port - I agree with you especially if a fully fledged ex relationship was involved. No question. The scenario doesn't involve a fully fledged ex relationship though which is why I think it's an interesting scenario.

    Bonk, cutting straight through as always. That question probably would've sorted the scenario out pretty quick smart.

    I'm getting the sense that the consensus is that honesty is the best policy. I'm tending to agree.
  16. Ask no questions and you will tell no lies. For myself, it is not something I would volunteer to say, however I am a terrible liar and if asked I would let my partner know.

    If you tell the truth you never have to remember anything.

    No. I'd say that in an honest relationship if the question was asked then I'd be likely to tell the truth. However there is no rule book that says you must disclose everything about yourself (warts and all) to partners. Most blokes fart, pick their nose, drink too much, and have had sex with other women, but these are not the sorts of things you bring up on a first date. They are things learned over time as you grow closer to the other person. But if it is important to the other person and they ask the question, then I'd generally go with the truth of the matter. BUT, with some people it is not worth the hassle and a white lie is excusable if it does not lead to a trail of bigger lies. An example - "does my bum look big in this" is a question for which a white lie can be acceptable...

    In my opinion it is only relevant if it is impacting on the current relationship.

    no - just means that they have not disclosed everything about themselves which is perfectly normal. however if asked and they lie, they may have something to hide?

    nope - it is only natural to learn more of the nitty gritty as the relationship strengthens and grows closer.

    It makes it very difficult to deal with if you have a friendly relationship with an ex.

    This reminds me of a situation where I went travelling with an ex and a few buddies. I felt no need to disclose to my buddies the nature of our relationship because I thought it would have zero bearing on the trip and never imagined things to turn out as they did (as we had hung out for many years with no drama). Turns out it might have been a good idea to do that because all she did was get drunk and yell at me / insult me - I was literally walking away while she followed me screaming at me for absolutely no reason (actually the reason was because I was knackered from a massive farewell party and wanted to sleep and did not really want to party with a bunch of random bogans in spain just because we shared the same accent). She then proceeded to screw my mate in our rental car, leaving the franga wrappers for me to find in the morning. That was a bit of a turning point for me. The nastiness continued for a few days and I took it up to a certain point (because I am a patient guy mostly) but when my mates asked why she was being such a cow as they were feeling her nastiness too I realised that the situation was all farked up and gave her a bit of a talking to - I've never been that angry with anyone in my life and she knew about all my concerns at that point. So a bit of disclosure might have avoided an ugly scene because had my mate known he would not have gone there (at least not in the rental car....). but i digress.....
  17. Yep it is frontier law, that be a hanging offence. Lying about bumping uglies, if asked directly, can be a hanging offence at any time.
  18. If the girl is a reasonable sort tell her. If she's a psychotic hag wench who will treat you with disdain and distrust any time this person is mentioned, don't mention the detail.

    Some women are nice.

    Some are possessive b1tches.

    If she is the latter, learn to lie, lie, lie.

    That's only if you aren't smart enough to stay away from them in the first place.
  19. IMO, to maintain an open and trusting relationship with each other, it would be better to disclose it. Particularly if the friendship is to continue while the relationship with your partner is. I think its unfair on the partner to maintain the friendship while not providing background info (history as friends and sexual interaction) into the relationship you had with the friend. Not doing so is an easy route to jealousy and a distancing of the relationship with your partner
  20. Rob, how does this thread have two incarnations???