When you get married it should be to the person who you trust the most in the world – except we all have some things in our past or just in our heads that we would prefer to keep secret.

There are five categories of Letters to Wo. They are 'doubts and worries', 'family and friends', 'money', 'secrets' and 'sex'. To see letters in the other categories please select Letters to Wo on the top menu.

My girlfriend is determined to show off her tattoos at our wedding and its going to freak out my family!

Personally I’m not into tattoos and when I met my girl she only had two or three tasteful ones, for example a little mermaid on her lower back and some tiny hearts on her neck. I managed to convince her that having lots of visible tattoos might ruin her job prospects and she agreed to be discreet but over the years she has added lots more in hidden areas. Her back and lower back in particular is almost covered, and some of the designs are scary. Now though she has bought a wedding dress which is totally open and transparent at the back. She says that she wants everyone to know who she is, which will come as a shock to my family. My father in particular hates tattoos so we have made sure previously that he doesn’t find out. Why does she want to do this on our wedding day when it will surely lead to bad feelings? It beats me.

Wo says: Your wedding is the time to fully support your future wife. You may not like tattoos but they are obviously a very important part of her self-image. You should take the time to fully study and appreciate her artwork and let her know that you love both her and her tattoos. Your father and family will cope just fine with the situation after an initial shock. Even if they aren’t happy, your wife must come first in future.

I got rid of her annoying cat and I’m terrified that she will find out!

When I met my girlfriend she had a cat that she doted on. It was an overfed ginger moggie that she had got from a shelter, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. I do not like cats yet they always seem to want to come to me. A few weeks ago I was staying in her flat while she was away on a training course. I had a couple of drinks and was lying back on the sofa when the cat jumped onto my lap causing me a lot of pain. I knocked it across the room and it started limping so I panicked. The next morning I drove it miles away on my way to work, and abandoned it in an estate there – it was quite a nice area so I thought it would quickly get adopted. I told my girlfriend that it had not come home that night and we spent days looking for it then gradually gave up. I thought everything was fine but she has now mentioned that it has an electronic tag registered to her so she might still hear something if it turns up. If someone says they found the cat and gives the date and the place then it is going to look bad for me!

Wo says: You don’t mention if you planned to get married but if so I think you already blew it, and your girlfriend is probably better off if you don’t. I suspect some of our readers would happily drive you a few miles away and abandon you, given the chance. The only possible salvation for you is to go back to where you abandoned her cat and find it. That is, put up some posters, knock on a few doors and so on. If you have success then you can be a hero in your girlfriend’s eyes. Our readers will never forgive you though.

I found out my fiancée has commitment issues but she won’t discuss them with me!

Once a week my fiancée disappears in her car to go to see a therapist. She told me it was to do with an eating disorder that she had when she was younger but I overheard her on a phone call in the next room and she was telling a girlfriend about her last session. She said that the therapist had told her that her commitment issues all dated back to her teenage years. I asked her about it but all she did was yell at me for snooping on her conversations and she won’t discuss it at all. As far as I know the only area of her life where she could be having ‘commitment issues’ is with our relationship. Shouldn’t I have a right to know about that?

Wo says: There is an old saying that goes something like: ‘Those who listen at doors rarely hear good things about themselves’. I know that sometimes it is impossible not to overhear a conversation however, so you really can’t be blamed. You do have to let your girl have her secrets though. Even if it is true that she has discussed your relationship with her therapist, she is clearly trying to fix the problem. What more can you ask? I would suggest never mentioning the topic again.

My future husband once had a gay affair and he doesn’t know I know!

I am getting married quite soon and so I have started to meet more and more of my husband-to-be’s family and friends from back home. We live away from both our birthplaces as we met at university so the preparations for marriage has meant we visit his home town more often. On one trip one of his friends there said that he had been surprised to hear about the wedding as he had always thought my bloke was gay. Indeed he knew for a fact that he had been together with an older boy when he was in his mid-teens. Now my man acts terribly macho nowadays and I’ve heard him make cruel jokes about homosexual men we pass in the street. I don’t mind his past at all but I think he’d be really angry if I suggested that it might have happened. Do I just keep this to myself?

Wo says: I think you have answered your own question. Yes, there is no need to say a thing. We are all entitled to define ourselves in exactly the way we wish. If your man wants to be seen as happily heterosexual now then that is what he is. You might discourage him from making jokes about other people, though as you know this is probably in part a defence mechanism. It might also be a good idea to minimise the visits back to his home town as that is where his now inconvenient past behaviour took place. When you are married, in years to come, your husband may confide in you about his youth but you do not need to be the one to start the conversation.

My boyfriend’s dad has the hots for me because I mistakenly gave him the idea I was interested!

When I first went to my boyfriend’s house we were with two of my girlfriends and in a silly mood. When we were sat around I noticed that his dad couldn’t keep his eyes off my legs – I was wearing a micro-skirt. For a laugh I flashed him my knickers, or I would have done if I was wearing any but I had forgotten that I wasn’t. He went bright red and left the room but unfortunately I kept on going out with my boyfriend for two more years and we are now engaged. We will be living with his parents after the wedding and his dad has got the idea that he is on a promise. He keeps coming up close behind me and pressing himself against me, and he makes jokes in front of everybody about looking forward to seeing me coming out of the bathroom in my negligee the morning. Obviously my boyfriend doesn’t know about the original incident and he just tells me that his dad was always a bit of a joker. What do I do?

Wo says: A firm stamp down on his foot with your heels when he next comes up close behind you would start to convey a clearer message, followed naturally by a sincere apology for mistakenly stepping back on him. If he talks about you coming out of the bathroom then cruelly say that you are dreading seeing him with his beer gut and in his Y-fronts. If your boyfriend objects to you being rude, say that you are just being a joker like his dad. With a bit of luck he does have a sense of humour and he’ll start behaving normally to you.

I am a girl in a same sex relationship and about to get married but I slept with a boy since we met!

My partner is not a prude and she knows that I have had lots of relationships in the past with people of the other sex before coming out as gay. In the early stages of our relationship we even both had brief flings with other girls and were open to each other about it. I know that the one thing that she couldn’t tolerate though is me still wanting to sleep with a man. She would see that as me denying my identity as a lesbian. In other words, it raises the possibility that one day I would start to have needs that she could not satisfy. The affair with a boy came about the usual way these things do, too much alcohol. It didn’t really matter to me that he had a penis, only that he was listening to me and being supportive. Do I keep it secret? I hate the idea of keeping secrets from her.

Wo says: The truth is always the best solution to any problem like this, but you have to be prepared for the consequences. That is, it may split you up or become a source of friction in the years ahead, thrown back at you when she thinks you are looking at a man with too much interest. On the other hand, you didn’t do anything bad so it isn’t like you are concealing anything which is really significant. There is a lot to be said for not ‘over-sharing’ things that are best forgotten about. Only you can decide which way to go with this.

I gave up a baby for adoption when I was fifteen, should I tell my husband to be?

When I was very young I made some bad mistakes and slept around quite a lot with a group of older men. To be honest, I was not even sure which one of them got me pregnant and none of them would have wanted to marry me anyway. My parents do not believe in abortion so they insisted that I carry the baby to full term then have it adopted. I was too young, and too in the wrong to argue. I did what they said and then sorted out my life with their help. Nobody who meets me now knows the kind of slut that I was then, and I really don’t want the story to come out. On the other hand I’d really like to see my child, a daughter, again one day so I don’t like to think I could never tell my future husband about her. On the other hand, if he starts asking around about me and my bad past then he probably won’t want to marry me at all. What shall I do?

Wo says: You should not talk about yourself using terms like that. You were a child and you were abused, so you have nothing to be ashamed about. It is understandable that you don’t want the whole story to come out though, certainly while you are still quite young and vulnerable yourself. Like so many questions, there are no easy answers. One approach would be to realise that you are probably of no use to your daughter anyway until she is at least in her late teens and you are an older, wiser person yourself. Keep the secret to yourself for ten years and by then your husband to be will probably also be more mature and able to deal with the information, if he has to find out.

My boyfriend’s family don’t know that I am adopted and now I am afraid to tell them!

I have really lovely parents and they told me about being adopted when I was really quite young (about seven) and I have always been quite relaxed about it. I was adopted when I was a baby and so I had no way of telling. They explained that it meant that I was special because it meant that I had been specially picked by them, and it never gave me a problem. I don’t tend to tell people because I am quite shy and so my boyfriend and his family don’t know. The trouble is that I have realised that his mother and father have this thing about ‘good breeding’ and they go on about ‘bad genes’. Now that we are thinking about getting married it means that our two sets of parents are going to have to meet – something that I have always avoided up until now. I can’t tell my parents not to talk about it as they’ll hate having a secret. What do you think I should do?

Wo says: Tell your boyfriend as soon as possible. If he is worth your love then he will immediately accept it as changing nothing about you. On the other hand, if he has bought into this nonsense about ‘bad genes’ then you’d best find that out about him now when it isn’t too late. Being adopted is something that it isn’t easy to conceal nowadays, not when everybody is out there putting family trees together. Anyway, it isn’t something to be ashamed of and you might want to track down a long lost brother, sister or mother in due course. As for your boyfriend’s mother and father, they will have to react however they want. No doubt they’d like a good relationship with their future daughter in law so they’ll learn to keep their more offensive thoughts to themselves.

My boyfriend has so many secrets from me so should I marry him?

My boyfriend is really fanciable and I am totally in love with him. The trouble is that he just won’t be honest with me about so many things. For example, I know he gambles but he will never tell me how much he has won or lost. He goes out with his mates but he tells me it is none of my business when I ask what they got up to. I know what his job is but there are areas of his past that he won’t tell me anything about and I wonder if he was in prison for a while. We are talking about getting married but his secrecy worries me so much. Should I break it off with him?

Wo says: It sounds as if this secrecy thing of his is deep seated as he does it in so many areas of his life. It is definitely time to have a serious sit down with him and give him an ultimatum – either he openly answers all of your questions or you are off. I know that is easy to say and hard to do, but the alternative is a married life where this could get worse – he leaves the house in the morning and gets home whenever and you aren’t allowed to know what is going on. That is no way to live. I suspect that you will have to break off the relationship though, because even if he promises to do better he will probably go back to his sneaky ways of doing things.

My husband to be thinks that I am a virgin so will he know on our wedding night that I am not?

I have just got engaged to a lovely man from my community. I have been putting off accepting for ages because I am haunted by the idea that he will eventually find out that I am not a virgin and then will hate me and tell my family. I had sex two times with the same boy when I went away on a college trip, so even my friends don’t know. I worry about asking them this question in case the gossip spreads. I have heard about people having little capsules of blood that they release on the sheets and so on but I have no idea how I’d arrange that.

Wo says: Obviously, the ideal solution is to be able to talk honestly to your future husband. If that is not possible, then be sure to lie convincingly. There is no way to tell for sure that somebody is no longer a virgin. As long as you confidently assert that you are a virgin then there is no way your husband, as he will be then, will be able to tell. Think of good reasons why you might not bleed – for example, you rode a boy’s bicycle and had an accident, or you used to ride a horse, or do gymnastics at school and ‘did the splits’, or used tampons or even that you think you explored with your fingers when you were younger and caused a cut. If he researches any of those he will find that it is a possible cause for your hymen not being in place. If your wedding night goes well though, the thought will probably never cross his mind.

Should I tell my husband to be that I once slept with the man who he wants to be best man?

I love my husband-to-be very very much. We will soon be married if all goes well, but I have a secret that I feel I should share with him. Surely, it is a terrible thing to go into the marriage with a secret between us? After all, it isn’t as if this happened after we were engaged. This was just a drunken fling when we were on holiday together and he passed out after too much to drink. I was left alone drinking with a group of his friends and then the inevitable happened and I had a drunken grope with one of them. It wasn’t even full sex really, and I didn’t give it a second thought the next day. It was only because of the stain on my dress that I even remembered something had happened.

The man it happened with is really not that close a friend of my husband-to-be. They were more work colleagues really and so I have hardly seen him since. When I did see him he winked at me, so I think he remembers. He is such a poor choice to be best man and I was surprised when his name came up. I think it is because he is now the boss of my future husband and he wants to get in with him.

Wo says: Say nothing! If you haven’t already done so, confide nothing to your friends. Forget it ever happened and deny it if it ever comes up. After all, you said you were drunk so the man can’t really be sure exactly what you remember. You might just remember it as a kiss. If it isn’t too late, campaign for a better candidate for best man without being rude about his choice. Try and think of good reasons why another of his friends might be offended if they are not asked. Steel yourself though. He will still invite this man to the wedding and he will probably wink at you again, or worse. Just practice keeping calm and ignoring any provocation. Most men in that situation don’t want to cause real trouble. they are just indulging their rather poor sense of humour.

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