While our friends are often our biggest supporters and “chosen family,” there are a few things you should avoid telling them about your marriage. Why? Well, in some cases it would just violate your spouse’s privacy, and in other cases, it could taint how people view the marriage . . . which In certain situations, it may be advisable to only tell certain friends “certain things” and vice versa. No matter what, be careful when you share information about your marriage – lest it be held against either of you down the line.
1. Sexual Preferences
We all talk to our friends about sex . . . and it’s OK to share some details. However, if your partner has something he or she is very private about – say, he likes to wear women’s underwear or she likes to wear a toy – whatever the case is regardless of sexual orientation and gender, be cautious about what you share with your friends. Sure, we all have that “one friend” we can reveal stuff to – I am typically that friend that people talk to – but not all friends need to know about a spouse’s proclivities, especially if he or she is not open about it to begin with.
2. Every Fight
Obviously, our friends are there to hear us out when we clash with our spouses, but if you give too much detail, be prepared for your friends, rightly or not rightly, to judge your spouse. If you’re on the verge of divorce, it’s another thing, but still, just be cautious, otherwise it can create a worse divorce process. If you’re in an abusive marriage, please share that with your friends. But, in most cases, it’s good to not divulge every vicious detail, and if you do, keep it to a few select friends.
3. An Affair
OK . . . this one is so tough. How do you carry that secret around? You don’t. You wait. You take your time. You consider how you want to handle this. Do you want a divorce? Counseling? You make the choice first in your mind . . . and then once you’ve decided, you reveal your spouse’s affair, or not, based on where you see the two of you going. You can pick one person to share with, of course, but if you go back to your spouse, expect some flack. In this case, a friend is probably better to tell than a parent. I just think you need to first decide a general direction of where you’re headed . . . and pick one or two people to talk to about this, before or IF ever making a big reveal.
This is touchy. A few of my friends and I openly share such information, but these are very close lifelong friends and only a few of them. Overall, I think your and your spouse’s income should be private. You can say if you’re comfortable or not . . . or really not, like struggling, but sharing too much of this information could backfire in your face.
5. Mental Health Issues or Learning Disabilities
If your spouse is an advocate and writer on bipolar disorder, then hey – share on! But if your spouse is not comfortable sharing this information, you shouldn’t be sharing it either. You should ask them who is OK to know. I am not advocating for keeping silent or “stigmatizing” mental health issues more than they already are, but before sharing that your spouse has anxiety or ADHD or whatever the case may be, you should have your spouse’s permission first. They need to be comfortable knowing that others may then want to ask questions. Personally, I hope your spouse would be open, but many people are not, and in that case, it’s a matter of respecting your spouse.
6. Family Drama
I’m not talking about crap your MIL or his or her sister is pulling. I’m talking about any deep and dark family secrets that your spouse’s family may have. Those are the things you need to keep quiet about, for sure. Simply put, they’re not your secrets to tell.
7. Sexual Mishaps
OK, so if your spouse sucks in bed, no one can blame you for wanting to complain, but before you complain about your spouse’s sexual failings, try to work on these issues with your spouse first. Complaining isn’t going to make those satisfying moments any better in the first place.
8. The Past
Did your spouse have a shady past? Let your spouse decide who gets to know that and who doesn’t. Keep that stuff to yourself. It’s probably hard enough on your spouse as is.
9. Trash Talk
If your spouse says bad things about your friends . . . do you really want them to hear it? Unless you’re planning on getting a divorce, don’t do it! It will only create hurt feelings and drama.
Obviously there are a few close friends we can always confide in and who always confide in us, but be cautious about who you choose!