Should you Know Everything about Someone’s Past Before you Marry?

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Getting married is one of the most blessed experiences in life. This is because of the emotions of deep love, security and abiding loyalty that you can look forward to in the relationship. And yet there are few more traumatic experiences as being in a marriage which conceals lies, deceit and half-truths. Should you then know everything about someone’s past before walking down the aisle with him/her?

Health issues

Being aware of your partner’s health issues is vital to an emotionally and physically healthy relationship. Enquire into his/her medical history which could include both physical and psychological conditions. Of particular relevance are any sexually transmitted diseases that you partner may have contracted in the past and which if not treated thoroughly could infect you as well. It is important to have a clear idea about your partner’s past illnesses so that you not only know what triggers to avoid and medications to continue but you are better prepared to lead a lifestyle which is healthy for you both. The health of parents and other family member could also have a bearing on your family health and possibly that of your future children.

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Past relationships

While it is extremely rare these days to find a mate who has never been in a romantic relationship before, it is also prudent to find out all you can about your fiancé’s past relationships. This is particularly important in case your partner has been married before since he/she could be involved in alimony or child support issues. For instance if your boyfriend is already paying a large amount in alimony or child support, it could mean that he will have less to spend on you and your future home. Also the issues which may have led to a messy breakup between your partner and his/her former flames could be relevant for you too. Should you trust someone who has been through several failed relationships and cannot seem to settle down with any single person? Or if you have been dating a married guy and even after he leaves his wife and family, can you really trust him – a person with a history of infidelity who has once gone back on his wedding vows and may do so yet again? Also apart from emotional baggage from previous relationships, your betrothed may have been close to people known to do drugs or involved in other kinds of substance abuse. This is not to say that a person can never give up destructive habits of the past and settle down to a healthy relationship later on. Just be careful that the physical, emotional or financial consequences of your partner’s past relationships do not come to haunt you later on.

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Finances

Marriage not only involves emotional commitment but in some cases joint financial responsibility as well. If you are married to a guy who has a lot of debt and very poor credit rating, in certain situations, this could negatively affect your own financial standing as well. Then again you may not be able to undertake any more investments as a couple if your partner’s credit rating is already very low. So be very careful about the financial position of the person you are getting married to. Don’t be misled by an address in a posh neighborhood or expensive shopping habits – your partner may be only renting that house or addicted to a high consumption lifestyle and living a life of credit. For all these reasons you are well within your rights to find out about your fiancé’s professional and financial status. Even if you know that your partner has major assets, don’t neglect his/her day-to-day financial habits. Things like whether your partner is an impulsive spender and has poor saving habits could affect the overall quality and especially financial health of your marriage.

Family

Families are rarely perfect but still the people among whom your partner has been brought up are crucial in shaping your partner’s personality and values. Encourage your fiancé to tell you childhood stories and introduce you to his/her parents, siblings and even extended family members. Watch out for the family dynamics since these could give you important clues on what your betrothed feels about marriage and relationships. For instance a guy who has never seen his father treat his mother well is likely to be domineering and disrespectful to his own wife. Then again a woman who has always been her daddy’s pet could have grown up as immature and selfish.

Legal issues

Any run-ins with the law that your partner has been involved with should come to your notice before you take the decision of marrying him/her. Also heavy drinking and drug use should be a deal-buster for marriage until you know for sure that the problem is resolved. Check for telltale signs, which could range from apparently harmless ones like abrupt mood swings to serious ones like sudden personality changes or always planning dates around events where there is a lot of alcohol and drugs. Also watch out for physical evidence like hidden, empty alcohol bottles or drug paraphernalia. Don't ignore these issues and make excuses to yourself as these problems are unlikely to disappear after marriage. Ideally your partner should be the one to come out with such details but if you have a notion that he/she is hiding something, feel free to run a background check on your intended.

While you are within your rights to know about the past of the person you are going to spend your life with, issues like trust and privacy of an individual also need to be considered. It is best if you do not intrude too much in areas of his/her life which have nothing to do with you or your relationship, These could include past friendships which turned sour for some reason or strained family relationships about which your partner does not like talking much. At some point you will have to trust him/her on these and lay off asking questions. As long as these issues have no bearing on your future marriage, it is best to respect your partner’s past and privacy.