D.A. wrote: “Minor relationship quarrel here. My girlfriend is of the opinion that when someone tells her something and asks her not to share it with anybody it is understood that she will be telling me. So often am I hearing about someone’s bedwetting or infidelity or criminal history that I tend to interrupt her and suggest this person may not want me to know these things.
She believes this to be how it works, that when you tell somebody something in confidence you should already assume they are going to tell their significant other.
I, however, disagree and informed her that when a friend, family member or co-worker asks me to keep a secret I keep the secret even from her.
She thinks I’m being unrealistic, I think she’s being out of line. What say you?”
Liz says: A friend, family member, or coworker should assume their story/secret will be shared with their confidante’s mate, unless they specifically ask them not to tell “even your husband.” Here’s why.
When two people get married or have a long-term relationship, having honest, open conversations is crucial to solidifying intimacy. They shouldn’t have secrets between each other. One person holding a secret from the other (even someone else’s secret) can cause a rift. “Why didn’t you tell me Daisy was having suicidal thoughts? If I’d known I wouldn’t have suggested she read that book.” Next thing you know, your mate feels as if you think they aren’t trustworthy and you’re fighting about someone else’s problems.
Generally speaking, there is a silent agreement amongst most people that a couple is a unit, that what you tell one will be shared with the other. This is because your mate is usually your closest confidante. Your significant other is usually the person with whom you share your deepest thoughts and feelings and with whom you discuss everything.
If they are truly concerned with preventing their story/secret from traveling, then they can choose to not share it with you in the first place or they can ask that you not tell your partner. “Can you do me a favor and not tell Marc? Jon is his coworker and I wouldn’t want Marc to start treating Jon differently, ya know?” If there’s a really important reason to keep it from your significant other and it’s something that most likely wouldn’t upset them to discover you knew first, then that can be an exception to the unwritten rule.
So that’s what I say on the matter 😉