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You Asked: Should I Come Clean?

Dear Sugar,

I'm not a virgin, but my fiancé thinks I am. When we first started dating, I wasn't ready to have sex with him — my first and only time was extremely traumatic for me — so I lied to him, and have continued to lie to him for over a year now. I know I made a big mistake, and it's been weighing heavily on my conscience. Part of me wants to come clean, but the other part of me doesn't; I'm afraid he'll end things with me. I'm torn and it's eating me up inside. What should I do? — Not a Virgin Virginia

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Not a Virgin Virginia,

While the decision is completely up to you, I advise you to come clean before saying "I do." Entering your marriage with a lie about your virginity will only make you feel worse about this secret you've kept from your soon-to-be husband. I understand you're scared about your fiancé's reaction, but think how much worse it would be if he found out months, or even years, into your marriage.

Keeping such a big secret from the man you love is going to wreak havoc on your mind, body and spirit — if it hasn't already — so trust the old saying that the truth will set you free. Good luck to you.


Join The Conversation
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
To be blunt, this was your past, if he is bothered by this, best you find out now because in that case he is not worthy of you.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
There is such a thing as a "second virginity". Most women (and a lot of men?) regret their first time because they often weren't ready or were pressured into it. I would say that you had a second chance at your virginity and you lost it to the man you love/will marry. I think this is better than most of us could manage. I never say I lost my virginity to my first boyfriend because he molested me. My second boyfriend was the guy who got my virginity because he deserved it. You gave your virginity to the man who deserved it the second time and that's all that matters. Take this to your grave (maybe send it into postsecret too :p).
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I think it completely depends on who else knows. If it's just you and the guy that know then I wouldn't say anything. I'm not saying it's okay to lie but in this case it sounds like he'll be getting more hurt than anything else. Would you rather hurt your fiancee and possibly ruin your relationship or live with the lie. You have to think hard about that one. If your friends and family know about the first time you had sex I'd just tell your fiancee the truth. Tell him you didn't feel like you lost your virginity and that it was horrible and traumatic and that you wished your first time could be with him and that you'll always regret it.
pinaywriter pinaywriter 8 years
Where I come from virginity is a major deal so when I met my boyfriend and we got together I was not surprised that he was upset that I was not a virgin. But I think it would depend on how understanding your fiance is when it comes to this things. But if he is the kind who would hold it against you if you lie to him, might as well get it over with and spill. Sorry, I am just a fan of frankness I guess.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
Unless it is going to tear you up inside not to share the secret, I don't see what difference it makes if you keep it to yourself. You had sex only once, and not since? You're a reborn virgin! Good Luck.
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I had a similar situation w/ my ex. I didn't say anything either way, he just assumed that I was a virgin the first time we had sex. When I mentioned a past sexual experience later on in our relationship he flipped out, "dumped" me for "lying" to him, and held it over my head after I begged for forgiveness and we got back together. Really, I should have dumped him before being an asshole and making me feel guilty for something that, really, shouldn't have been an issue for him since he had slept with 6 women before me. That said, you did lie to your fiance and you're very guilty about it. That is no way to feel while starting a marriage. I think that sexual experiences are very personal and never something anyone, especially your significant other, should judge you for. Virginity is also subjective when you've only had one sexual encounter with one partner. It is highly improbable that your fiance would be able to tell, physically, that you are no longer a virgin. Not everyone has a hymen that will break with sexual intercourse (if you do it's not always that noticable) and if you're STD-free, who's the wiser? Your emotional responses to sex could tell another story, however. I have a feeling, from what you wrote, that although your first experience was traumatic and not repeated it was consensual. The bottom line is you do need to tell him. Make sure it's in a safe environment for both of you and there are no distractions. Give him as clear a picture as you can about your first experience - knowing where you're coming from and why you didn't want to tell him will make the admission easier for him to handle. I wouldn't blame him for being thrown off and disappointed, however, if he reacts the way my ex did he's not someone you want to marry anyway. You should also reassure him that, although you're not "technically" a virgin, sex is something that you want to share with him and only him for the rest of your lives together.
anonomous anonomous 8 years
also, (my last post I promis), everyone is saying "wait for a good time"...when waiting for a good time to bring up something that's this hard to do, no time will seem like a good one. You's sit down for a movie on the couch, before you hit play, turn to him and say it...I need to tell you something important, it's been bothering me, and you DESERVE to know everything (meaning the truth) Make sure there's a good amount of time allotted, with no interruptions. maybe turn off your cell.
anonomous anonomous 8 years
and to "grandpa" does accomplish a lot. saying nothing accomplishes nothing. It will accomplish: closer relationship, develop skills to work through things together, Easier to be open to each other about anything, TRUST because some day that man might find out throught the grapevine....not a good place to learn things about your spouse! If she doesn't say anything, the guilt will grow and grow, or disapear for a little and come back later!
anonomous anonomous 8 years
wow, that shouldn't even be a question in your mind! Secrets are NO GOOD when it comes to marriage! seriously, telling him will show him you are an honest person! It will bring you so much closer to let him know. If he rids of you for it, then he's not a man worth marrying because that shows that he can't work with you through problems. It's important to work through these things because marraige is not an easy road like the movies. It takes constant work to improve it and keep it together as the years go by!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
It's just a little creepy to me that she chose the words "traumatic" and a lot of posters are making it sound like it was rape. Maybe traumatic meant it hurt like crazy, super drunk and very regretful or that the guy lied about something to get her in bed. I think maybe people shouldn't all jump on the rape assumption just yet. I say tell him if its really bothering you (but if its not, then don't because its not like you were a call girl or anything). But i would caution against making it sound like rape if it wasn't (obviously if it was then you should seek counseling and tell your bf). But if it wasn't, then by making it sound as if you were raped he may treat you diiferently simply because he would probably be afarid of hurting you or messing you up psychologically or something. Guys (esp. when they love a girl deeply) can get very protective/fearful/angry-at-the-guy if they find out a girl they love has been brutalized or hurt so much. You don't need your almost-hubby spending time in jail because he beat your ex to a bloody pulp.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
You should be able to tell your husband anything and everything. If you don't feel comfortable with that, you probably aren't ready to get married. If he loves you, he will be understanding and try to help you get past your previous experience.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
Keep it to yourself, never ever mention it, and do your best to forget it yourself. It accomplishes nothing, and will hurt your partner, if for no other reason that you lied to him. What exactly do you think it would accomplish?
Meike Meike 8 years
Poor OP. Your first experience was traumatic and something you clearly did not want. I don't think your fiance, if he is a good man, would consider you less. Because of the circumstance under which you had your first experience, I would still believe you to be a virgin. I don't want to put words into your mouth or skew the facts but I know of a rape victim who had a hard time dealing with her virginity stolen form her. It took her believing she was a virgin and telling her then-fiance that she had been raped to heal her wounds. Now, she's in a happy and secure relationship with one child and a baby on the way.
avantgardeology avantgardeology 8 years
If it was me, I would tell him. I had a hard time in the past telling my x about me cheating on him, but I did eventually. Truth is, karma catches up with you eventually. Everyone appreciates the truth sweetheart. Just dont be scared. What is meant to be is meant to be. Just be true to yourself. Always ALWAYS think about how you would feel if HE didnt tell YOU.. Then do what you need to do. Good luck!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Personally, I'd be creeped out that your virginity is so central to your relationship anyway. Tell him the truth and find out if he's a decent person or someone who only values you for the intact nature of your hymen.
Yeah, thank you for pointing it out. If he wants to get upset, he can get mad because you lied, but not the content of that lie. Your body is yours and yours only.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
Ummm... Not all girls BLEED when they have sex the first time. I certainly did not. And sex continued to be painful for a few times after that. So given that you have only had sex once, and it was before you were with your fiance, I think you are in the clear. I wouldn't stress about having to come clean. But if you weren't protected your first time around, then you should get tested for STDs, just to be on the safe side. As long as you test clean, you don't need to fess up to your first time.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Personally, I'd be creeped out that your virginity is so central to your relationship anyway. Tell him the truth and find out if he's a decent person or someone who only values you for the intact nature of your hymen.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
i wouldnt. what happens before isnt really his business unless you had gotten a STD. but if it was really that bad the first time i would just disregard it as dry humping. I had something like this happen I had an ex who i fell for and he loved me. turns out he was looking for perfection for me and virginity was one of them. when i told him i wasnt, he ended up resenting me the whole time and saw this imperfection in me and made me feel worse, i went through a bad experience as well. not trying to scare you but it happens. if you know he wont turn then tell him but be prepared. this is one of those situations where it would have been better to him first off not until now. he has this vision of you being a virgin and now he may feel like he has been lied to.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Ask yourself : What do you consider to be a state of virginity? How is this different from chastity? If you think that virginity before marriage is really important to him, bring it up casually and see if you guys are on the same page about virginity and chastity [this is something good to know, anyway]. That way, you can feel out how he might react if you decide to tell him about it. I agree also that you should tell him - if it's eating you up so much inside now, it will get worse after you get married. If you do tell, explain to him why your first time bothers you so much - because you said it was traumatic. If he cares about you, then he should understand, be there for you, and be willing to help you through whatever fears about sex in general you may be carrying from the trauma. Also, if this trauma from your first sexual experience is affecting you severely in other parts of your life, I suggest talking to a mental health professional, either by yourself or with your fiance. It may be something that may block your intimacy with your future husband.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I think you should find the appropriate time to come clean with him. Also, I agree with what GScott had to say.
stumbler02 stumbler02 8 years
I agree with skigurl--it's understandable why you lied. But lying in general is bad for both of you. Don't keep things from him anymore. You should be able to communicate and trust each other. You should confess this issue to him for your own peace of mind as well as for the sake of your relationship. How can you be happy together if you have a secret weighing so heavily on your conscience? P.S. I disagree with all the people who commented that he will find out when you have sex. It's impossible to tell if a woman's a virgin by having sex with her. Some people bleed not only the first time they have sex, but the next few times too. And some people don't bleed at all. Like me..when I first had sex with my boyfriend, I was a virgin, and not only did I not bleed, it didn't hurt at all. So, bring this issue up beforehand. I think you should tell your fiance exactly what you told Dear. If you two have any chance of making it, he will understand.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 8 years
Well I think you should come clean. He might get mad at you, but if he really loves you (i think he is since he already proposed) he will come around.
cfp cfp 8 years
Yes, StefaPie! To me, you are a virgin. That's not a lie. You just also happened to have sex once. There idea of being a "virgin" is really hard to classify and I think as a result virginity is more a state of mind. If you have erased your one past experience and are starting fresh and are waiting to give yourself to this person, then you are as much a virgin as anyone who has never had sex before. That being said, if this is something that is worrying you, why not tell him? You are going to marry him, after all. Trust that he is the understanding person that you must think he is (otherwise I imagine you wouldn't be marrying him) and that he will reassure you that this is not the huge deal that you've built it up to be in your mind. If he doesn't want you because you have been penetrated by another man then maybe he is not the man that you want to give yourself to anyway.
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I agree with TidalWave and StefaPie. It is better to be honest, especially since it doesn't sound like what happened was a choice. In my opinion, you are still a virgin because the act was not consensual. It is better to tell him now about this. It sounds like you are carrying around a lot of guilt for something that was not your fault. If you were raped, please please get counselling to deal with the trauma because it could negatively affect your future sex life and intimacy with your husband if you are still carrying issues about it around.
lily3484 lily3484 8 years
I somewhat agree with Dear Sugar. The truth will set YOU free but what will it do to your future husband. You know him better than anyone. Obviously, he will be hurt but will he appreciate the truth? He may surprise you and be sympathetic for your situation, especially if it was traumatic. I can understand why you were not honest in the begining. A traumatic event is in no way easy to talk about. On the other hand, sometimes keeping a secret to protect the one you love is worth it.
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