Thursday, February 23, 2012

TMI

When I refer to TMI, I am not talking about people sharing (often gross) things they probably should not. But rather sharing a friend's or a relative's personal information with a spouse or significant other.

I know people who have cheated on their spouses, had abortions, have been raped or victims of domestic violence, committed (minor) criminal acts, did not disclose things to the government that they should have, suffered from various mental aliments, and who have been drug addicts or alcoholics. In most cases, I have not shared that information with Brian unless the person told me I could or I felt he needed to know for family safety issues (e.g., you have to consider who you let your children around). I am certain he would think less of some of these people if he knew things they did, so what purpose does it serve telling him? But more importantly, I want these people who confide in me to know they have my word.

I can honestly say I don't think I can trust any of my friends not to tell their spouses something very personal that I have shared with them, which is why I very carefully consider things I disclose, and which is also why even though I am pretty open, there are a couple of things that no one really know about (nothing illegal, don't worry!). I don't think this makes my friends "bad" people or not "true" friends. And it may be that I have a couple of friends who really, truly would not share something highly personal with their spouses. But history and past experiences tell me otherwise.

So I ask, do you tell your significant other/partner/spouse everything, even things that friends tell you not to? If you take it on a case-by-case basis, what is the tipping factor? Or if your special someone is in the dark about everyone else's business, is he/she okay with that, or do you feel as if you are hiding something from your guy/gal?

I probably won't change the way I am, but I am interested in how others roll with these kinds of issues.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tell my spouse pretty much everything. Usually it is along the lines of a friend who says not to tell anyone she is pregnant. I think it is kind of an unwritten rule that when you tell your friend you tell their hubby. I think I would be more worried about a friend who blabs things to other friends. That person is probably not really a friend if she is telling your secrets to another friend.

Anonymous said...

Interesting topic. When I was a pastor, I had a lot more secrets from my spouse because more people confided their personal info to me.



Sometimes, I would ask them if I could share the info with my wife, whom they probably knew. Usually this was in cases in which they were asking for prayer or some kind of emotional support.



Today, way fewer people confide things to me. (Which is fine by me, by the way.) If I find out something about someone (like when other people blab) I would probably also tell my wife. If someone told me something directly, I would probably ask permission. Or, as you said, if it would affect her opinion of someone, I would probably not tell.

Anonymous said...

Facie... fyi. Your blog won't let me comment using an id. It always says I typed the two anti-robot words wrong and gives me two new words. I've tried to comment on your blog from three computers, but the only way it lets me in is anonymously (previous comment). Just thought you'd like to know.

--carpetbagger

Lynnette said...

For me, I think it's on a case-by-case basis. If the friend asked me not to tell, then I would definitely not tell (although there's always the possibility that I forget that the friend asked me not to tell, and I tell anyway for one of the two reasons I state next). If the friend didn't specify, and I didn't ask for permission, it would depend on the issue. I guess the tipping point for me would be if the issue seemed minor to me, I might tell him. On the flip side, if the issue seemed too big and I didn't know what to do to help my friend, I may tell him, just because I know he could help me figure out what to do to help. But he wouldn't feel slighted in the least if there were things I didn't tell him that were going on in my friends' lives. He's very respectful like that.

chris h. said...

Interesting question! I honestly don't know because I've never had anyone say "don't tell your husband." And really, if I get a "don't tell anyone" I usually take that as "don't tell anyone who might spread it around because they're in our same circle." Often, hubs doesn't really know my friends or particularly care what's going with them, so it would just be chatter on my part. So, probably my answer is...I'd use discretion to decide whether to tell him or not -- it would be case by case.

Facie said...

Anon 1: True dat about friends. I have some who do that and I know it; I think it is more their nature than their trying to disrespect me. At least I hope so!

Bagger: Weird about the ID thing. But thanks for trying on three computers! That is one of the distinct advantages of being Catholic--you can tell a priest anything and not worry that he is going to tell his spouse. And whatever you confess, even if it is a crime, cannot leave the confessional.

Lynnie: Bri is that same way when it comes to others, although it is more that he just does not care, not so much that he is being respectful!

Chris: I don't recall someone asking me not to tell Brian, but people have asked me not to tell anyone, and I guess that is my question, are spouses not counted as just "anyone"? Kind of like Mike, Brian is hardly friends with any of my friends, so most of the time, if I tell him something, it is not a big deal b/c it is not as if he will see them or tell one of their friends.

bluzdude said...

If someone says not to tell, I put it in 'the vault.' But if they don't say anything about repeating, I may or may not say something to Pinky. In most cases, it from someone she doesn't have any dealings with.

Facie said...

Bluz: I am all about putting it in the vault! But, yes, there are times when people tell me something salacious without telling me not to tell anyone else. I don't feel bad about telling Brian in those cases, unless it is one of thoese things I talked about.