Do I have to tell my date?
We received an e-mail from a Bochur:
I am dating seriously, and I know that this has been talked about on the forum and Dr. Twerski thinks you should share your addiction with your prospective marriage partner, but I am wondering, if I seem to be stable when I stay on top of myself, and I plan to do the 12 steps and take safe guards to prevent myself from falling, do I have to share this with my date?
I can only share what Rabbi Twerski replied to someone who asked him this question:
There is an adage, "You're only as sick as your secrets." Revealing information that may ruin a shidduch is understandably very difficult, but keeping it secret creates a constant anxiety and a barrier to mutual trust and sincere communication. Marriages have enough problems without adding secrets.
In the case of alcohol or drug addiction, we generally tell people to avoid even getting into a relationship before one year of solid recovery and with the approval of one's sponsor.
But there are many variables. How long was the addiction? Does the person still have urges?
Whenever one decides to tell, one should say, "I must tell you something about myself, but it is with "Bal Tomar." You must promise not to tell it to anyone else.
(See this page for the whole story)
If she is the right one, she will accept to marry you anyway. What can I say? This is not easy, but may Hashem give you the wisdom and strength to do what needs to be done.
Later, this Bochur replied:
Last night I told her about my struggles. I was too embarrassed to say it straight out, so I sent her a text. She asked me about my struggle in great detail, how long I have been struggling online, detail of what I had seen, if I had ever been in contact with real people (no), how long I have been clean, what I plan to do in the future to protect myself, etc. In all, we talked about it for around three hours and in the end she said she is ok with my struggles and she feels bad for me and for all the pain I have been through.