Oversharing with Friends: When Relationship Secrets get Busted

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If I didn’t have my friends in my life, well, I wouldn’t be me. From my acquaintances and colleagues to my besties who I can count on one hand – I love having my friends in my life. Each for different reasons and none without conflict.

Much of my life now revolves around my family – my two-year-old son and my husband of ten years. With that being my nucleus, most of my day-to-day activities are tied to my private life. So what do I tell my friends? I’ll tell you what I don’t tell them.

If hubby and I fight – even if I am right (secretly aware though, that I am wrong) and I feel angry and ready to explode – I do not share this information with my friends. Having a best friend has become synonymous with sharing every minute detail, from your latest sexual conquest (that just happens to be your boss, if you’re saucy like that) to what you had for lunch and why you hate pine nuts.

I firmly believe that in your adult life, there are limits when it comes to sharing with friends.

 I firmly believe that in your adult life, there are limits when it comes to sharing with friends. When in an intimate relationship, it must dominate your priority list. Your partner should be the most important person in your life, and your status as a couple, and as individuals, should be governed by the level of respect that comes with loyalty.

And ladies, this is more for us than the fellas eh! Men simple. If they need to mention the latest news to their friends, it’s usually engagement, marriage, pregnancy, affair, divorce (no specific order intended!). Their conversations with their pardners revolve around subjects and activities that are important to them. Fact.

Us? We not so. We have to talk about everything. But it shouldn’t be that way. Never on any terms discuss your fights with your mother. Her opinion of your man will always be polluted, long after you’ve forgiven him and decided to tattoo his name in Mandarin on your bamcee. And whatever your mother feels, your father has to feel.

Don’t tell your friends that you almost collect a slap, but yuh just get a little shove and then make up with your mister. Your friends WILL look at you as weak, and never have respect for your dudeman. Some will even talk about it behind your back. Ok, most.

As adults, there are things that just shouldn’t be discussed unless you are ready for the consequences. If you don’t want your girls to watch your man ‘ah how’, don’t tell them the things that make him look like a cu… idiot. He’ll never be able to redeem himself in their eyes. You’ll be forced to tolerate snide looks and one or two comments from your friends. This will grow into paranoia, due to the little shame that you now feel, as your anger is long gone and your friends are now aware that your man rough yuh up. You’re going to feel that they are judging you. Then it will escalate into an altercation. You will be forced to choose. Your man will ‘win’, but you will now spend the next few months, even years, resenting him because you lost your friends.

It’s so much easier to shut up.

Now I used an extreme example, that of abuse. I like a bit of drama (of course, if you’re in an abusive relationship, you need to tell someone and get help). But, in reality, I am talking about the little buff you get when you forget to pick up something in the grocery, and in your vexation you tell your friend how he rile yuh up and yuh call him a loser. She laughs. Harmless, but after one, ‘little’ story becomes two, ten and more – the image she begins to build of your partner isn’t very nice. And she will laugh every time and shake her head.

When you live with someone, things get tense. Fact. Could be your college roommate. It must have fire. So far less when it’s the person you love, and with whom you’re most comfortable. When fighting, sometimes the gloves come off. You hit a few, low blows. But all is fair in true love and war, and telling ‘how she name’ everything that is done and said will just lead to you feeling alone and friendless.

As for the activities in the bedroom – you don’t want to be giving blow by blows (giggle) on that either! Firstly, if your man is a sex machine, you don’t want to be telling your girlfriends that. You’re marketing your man to the predators out there. What’s that? Your friends will never do that to you. What can happen will happen. Mitigate a risk instead of managing a crisis nah.

All the romantic things he does, keep some of them secret nah. ‘Cause the thing is you and your friends know things that he doesn’t know. Secrets. They can’t have the upper hand. Your relationship should always have the upper hand. And the only way you and the mister can share secrets is if you don’t tell your BFF everything.

Your business is your business. High school done. And who vex loss! Your friends should understand. Many of us married folk live vicariously through our friends and their escapades. Which brings me to another side of oversharing.

I love hearing those stories. Still, I don’t need to know everything. We grown. I trust it’s all good. I want an overview of the bedroom bounty hunter. Kissing. Body. Size? Timeframe. Choice of post activities. Date of next contact. Maybe a mention of a repeat. But after that, after you and homeboy getting down regularly, I don’t really want to hear. When it grows into something more or you dump him, then tell me. He will be invited to all social outings and this will remain, increase, decrease or stop, based on your orders. I eh want to know the nitty gritty.

So, as we get older and settle into life’s commitments, our friendships should be based on rehashing old memories and talking about life in general. Our thoughts on what’s out there. Funny things that happen. What we’ve read or heard. As women we talk about we hardly have any ‘me’ time. It’s because you’re spending your BFF’s QT talking about him! Good or bad (yes QT = quality time).

When you’re a teenager a kiss is a big deal, but as an adult, it’s just your business.

Eng out.


Image courtesy iStockphoto.com

Michelle Eng Leang

Michelle Eng Leang is a Trini living in the UK. Married for almost ten years, she is a mother to a two-year-old-son. She eh really cater - and that's all you need to know. You want an honest opinion? With her, that's exactly what you are going to get. Check out her blog http://mamaengsthoughts.blogspot.com.

2 Comments

  1. Anika

    December 7, 2010 at 7:24 am

    So TRUE. Great article, I love the way you write..Keep them coming.

  2. Aaisien

    June 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I love your articles Michelle and this is very true. Something my mother has already told me but I still need to practice with not talking all my relationship business! Ah does get so vex, and want to vent that byt he time ah remember ah already tell the story!

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