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Nowhere in the most marriage vows does "I will always tell the truth" make an appearance. But honesty is key to establishing trust with a long-term romantic partner well before you walk down the aisle. Being forthright from the beginning of a relationship can mean avoiding a lot of hurt down the road, especially if the truth is bound to come out eventually.
Here are some big things that you should never lie about if you want to keep your bond strong up until and well beyond your wedding day.
1. How much money you have (or don't have)
That student loan debt that you're slowly but surely paying off? The collection of credit card bills with late payment fees? These are the types of things you shouldn't hide. Licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., says that couples need to be honest about financial issues that could put them at risk or damage their credit.
2. Your sexual history
For similar reasons, you should be upfront about your past bedroom escapades. Behavior and relationship expert Patrick Wanis, Ph.D., says, "There are people who are in a relationship for a long time and have not revealed to their partner that they have an STD." There's no need to go into detail about all your college hook-ups, but you should tell your fiancé about any communicable diseases that you have before saying "I do."
3. Big mistakes
Cheating is one of the biggest relationship killers out there, and lying about it just makes everything worse. The same goes for being unfaithful in just about any way, according to Dr. Jane Greer, New York-based relationship expert and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. Taking a big chunk of money out of your joint account and spending it without consulting your partner is another huge mistake. "Before you do anything, ask yourself if you would tell the truth about this to your partner," Durvasula recommends. "If the answer is no, think long and hard about doing it."
4. Current relationship satisfaction
Feeling loved and emotionally fulfilled is an indication that you're in a good relationship. The same goes for physical satisfaction. So it's important not to lie when it comes to feeling in sync with your partner. "It's terrible to fake it in bed all the time and say you're having great orgasms when in fact you're not experiencing that," Greer says.