Should this dude tell his bride-to-be he slept with her father?

Is honesty really the best policy in this situation? You decide.


Jam Kotenko


Published Apr 15, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 1:59 am CDT

When my husband and I started dating, I made him tell me the name of every girl he had ever been intimate with. My friends called me a crazy masochist, but I am a firm believer in the “I’d rather know than not know” school of thought when it comes to relationships.

Having said that, honesty clearly isn’t the best policy all the time. Case in point: This bisexual man who secretly slept with his bride-to-be’s father. 

That scenario is the subject of last weekend’s Dear Mariella, the Guardian advice column authored by Mariella Frostrup. In a letter addressed to Frostrup that’s since gone viral, a man recounts the first time he met the parents of his new fiancée, with whom he says he has been madly in love with for the past year. Things got complicated when the man recognized his beau’s father as someone he had slept with “on about three or four occasions” during his ten-year stint as a bisexual.

“He has made contact with me and asked me to tell my fiancée about my sexuality,” the man wrote. “I asked if his wife knew about his, and we have reached something of an impasse. He has since taken screenshots of old photos of me and I have also found some of him. Shall I just walk away from the woman of my dreams?”

After expressing incredulity over the chance of this happening to anyone, Frostrup offers sage and sound advice any truth-lover could get behind: Any marriage lacking the foundation of trust is doomed to fail, so it’s best to tell your wife the truth about your romantic past. But that doesn’t mean the dude should drop the I-slept-with-your-dad-three-or-four-times bomb on his fiancée right away. 

“Your first task isn’t to enlighten her about her father’s cruising days – that’s a dilemma you can leave him to face up to,” Frostrup clarifies. “Any information you proffer at this juncture will just be seen as a clumsy attempt to divert attention and spread the responsibility.”

This question tore the Daily Dot editorial chatroom apart, so we’ll pose it to you: What do you think of Frostrup’s response? Should the anonymous letter writer (provided he’s not just trolling) keep his mouth shut? Or should he tell her the whole truth? 

H/T The Guardian | Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Apr 15, 2015, 7:28 am CDT