Why I’m Careful About What I Tell My Married Friends
Somewhere down the line in my relationships with my wonderful women friends, I developed the belief that if I have the kind of friendship where I can tell them any and everything, I should do exactly that. It was my girlfriendly duty, a perk of having such close friends. But after one particular incident, I learned that there is such a thing as oversharing, even with a friend you feel comfortable telling your deepest thoughts to. That’s especially true when that friend is married.
This lesson came not long after I broke up with an ex-boyfriend. Well, let me back up a little bit. A married friend and I were going through some rough patches in our respective relationships. We bonded as we got our angries out, so to speak, and revealed some of the issues in our relationships that seemed like deal breakers. It wasn’t the healthiest of bonding, and I took heed to some relationship advice and suggestions from her that I probably shouldn’t have. Though we found comfort in one another, I think we allowed what was happening to negatively influence us both. But that’s another story for another day. I was dating my boyfriend and my friend of course was married, and therefore, had a lot more at stake should she have gone the route of divorce. Thankfully she didn’t, and she and her husband were able to smooth out their issues.
But back to my ex. After he and I had broken up, I began dating. I went out with someone I was really excited about. He seemed like a gentleman, and he was foine (yes, fine with an o), but I realized very quickly that he wasn’t exactly stable. Mentally, that is. Our last date was actually a rather scary experience and at one point, I feared for my safety. I don’t care to rehash the details but suffice it to say, I left unscathed. Of course, I told my friend about my date from hell the next day.
But I didn’t expect my friend to turn around and tell her husband all the details of my nightmarish evening. Her husband, in turn, told my ex – my ex being a friend of his. Before I knew it, two people whom I never intended to share my business with were all up in it. This was hurtful for several reasons. Namely because though I saw him all the time, my friend’s husband didn’t say nary a word to me about my breakup with his friend. Knowing his personality, he probably felt it wasn’t his business, nor his place to say anything, especially since I was his wife’s friend, not his. Okay. Makes sense.
But why he then made the leap to tell his friend, my ex, who had already moved on and was in a relationship with another woman about my horrific date, behind my back and without my permission, was an illogical jump. And when I went to my friend and asked her about the situation, all she had to say was, “Yeah, I know.” As if to say, “Geez, that really sucks for you.” As if she played no role in helping that news travel to her husband and then onto my ex-boyfriend. I was still hurt over the breakup, and knowing that my ex, who had moved on quickly, had all this info, didn’t help the situation at all. It was a definite bruise to the ego. To add insult to injury, because my friend’s husband was friends with my ex, I was often subjected to information about him that I didn’t want to know and never asked to know about. My friend would volunteer information she learned about my ex and his new relationship, which made healing all the more difficult. It was as if she was getting a kick out of seeing me squirm. But, again, that’s a story for another day.
While this was a unique circumstance, it proves my point as to why I’m careful about what I choose to tell my friends, specifically my married friends. I’m not suggesting that all married women tell their husbands intimate details about their friends, who then pass it on to other folk. I just know that if I don’t want my ish to be spread around all willy nilly, maybe I shouldn’t go around talking so freely, even to a dear friend. Some things should be left unsaid. The same applies to my married friends. There are certain things that should remain between a husband and wife. I don’t need to know details about fights, his bad habits, their financial issues, or sex lives. That’s especially true if my married friends are sharing thoughts and feelings with me about their relationships that they have yet to tell their own husbands. That can cause all kinds of problems, and I certainly don’t want to have any part of that.
When it comes to dating and relationships, I also know that my married friends have a different perspective. Some of them seem to have forgotten what it’s like to be single and either offer a kind of blanketed advice – because they’s married now and are clearly relationship experts – or try to live vicariously through single-and-therefore-able-to-sleep-with-as-many-men-without-breaking-any-wedding-vows you. These are extreme examples but I share them because, hey, I’ve experienced them, and on more than one occasion.
Are you careful about what you tell your friends, married or not?