When Should I Disclose To My New Boyfriend That I'm Divorced

I am a professional in my early 30s and was married for seven years. I was divorced two years ago and remained single till I decided this year that I am sick of being lonely and the only single person in my social circle, so decided to try my luck at online dating. I want to thank you for the awesome insights you provide in your books and blogs. After reading Why He Disappeared and Believe in Love, I dated with so much confidence and finally started exclusively dating an intelligent, successful, thoughtful man that I really, really like. He asked me to be his girlfriend after a month and I happily said, “yes”.

However, something is haunting me and I desperately need your help. I did not tell him I was divorced. I don’t know how much or when I should disclose my past. I don’t want to scare him away. But when he asked me about my relationship, after a few dates, I told him I was with the same person for 8 years and we grew apart.

I don’t view divorce as my failure. Rather it is a memorable life lesson where I learned how to treat my partner equally and communicate better.

How and when should I disclose my past marriage without jeopardizing my relationship with my new boyfriend?

Thank you again for your guidance.

-Olivia

Olivia,

I appreciate your kind words, so forgive me if I kind of dispense with the niceties and cut to the inherent contradiction in your question.

To wit:

1. “I don’t view divorce as my failure.”

2. “I did not tell him I was divorced. I don’t want to scare him away. How and when should I disclose my past marriage without jeopardizing my relationship with my new boyfriend?”

Evidently, Olivia, you view your divorce as a failure, or at least some sort of personal embarrassment. Otherwise, why would you hide something as integral to your relationship history as a marriage and a divorce?

Your divorce isn’t the problem. Your lying and your insecurity is.

Let’s just take a second to pick this apart and hold it up to you, so you can see what I see:

You say you’ve got a great boyfriend.

But instead of telling him the truth about your divorce (something that you are NOT embarrassed about) you lied to him and pretended you’d never been married.

Now I ask you: what do you think is more likely to upset your boyfriend? The fact that you’re divorced (like 60-70% of people who first got married under the age of 25), or the fact that you lied to the one man who is supposed to trust you the most?

You’ve got it.

Pretty much everyone has a hard time with a partner who has an iffy relationship with the truth.

Your divorce isn’t the problem. Your lying and your insecurity is.

I’m not sure what you’re afraid of – or why being divorced would jeopardize your relationship – but I can assure you that nobody outside super-religious circles judges divorcees any longer. But pretty much everyone has a hard time with a partner who has an iffy relationship with the truth.

So rip off the Band-Aid and tell your boyfriend you were married – and own the fact that the impetus for your lie was your shame and insecurity.

Otherwise, you’re implying that you were worried about him being so narrow-minded as to break up with you for no reason, which is kind of insulting to him, don’t you think?