Ask Amy: Her wish for a successful marriage may hinge on coming clean about her addiction and recovery
4 min read
She's been clean for more than 20 years, but has never shared this part of her past with her fiance
Dear Amy: I am a recovering addict. I have been clean been for over 20 years.

I was in a very mentally and physically abusive relationship with my first husband (the father of my children), and he has since passed away.

Finally, I met the love of my life, and when we first met, he made some judgmental comments about people who use drugs. Once I became aware of his attitude, I was afraid to say anything that might ruin our relationship.

I am very proud of myself that I beat the odds and I am now very successful and have a wonderful life with him. We have been together for five years.

I have told him about most of my life before him. I have never lied to him, but I have also never mentioned that part of my life. I struggle with this because I want to be honest, and I want him to know everything about me.

I feel like I'm being deceitful in a way, but I also feel like this should be left in the past. I shouldn't worry about it because we are very happy together and we plan on getting married soon.

What are your thoughts?

– Recovered

Dear Recovered: If you had truly left your addiction and recovery in the past, then you wouldn't still be worrying about it.

But I don't think you should leave this part of your own history in the past, because you will be in recovery for the rest of your life. This is a rich and important part of your complicated story, and your partner deserves to…
Amy Dickinson
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