Carolyn Hax: No need for guilt over keeping secrets

April 10, 2014 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn: So Cousin No. 1 tells me in confidence that Cousin No. 2 had a miscarriage and asks me not to say anything to anyone, which I do not. Fast-forward a few months, my mom finds out about Cousin No. 2's miscarriage and asks me if I knew. I say yes, but that it was told to me in confidence. Mom gets very angry and says I should have told her because she has a right to know about important things that happen in her family.

Cousin No. 1 is now pregnant and has asked me not to say anything. I know that when my mom finds out, her first question will be whether I knew, and the same thing will happen. What can I do about this?

DEALING WITH MOM GUILT

Your response, if this happens again: "When I am told something in confidence, I will not share it. Not even with you, Mom. I do understand you feel bad when you're out of the loop. Please know I treat your private information with the same care."

Save your guilt for when you harm others on purpose.

Dear Carolyn: My daughter dated a guy in college for two years. Then they broke up. After a year and a half, he joined the Army and they started talking again. After four months, he came home and they spent five days together. Now, not quite four months later, they are engaged and plan to marry when he comes home again in November. My husband and I are completely against this. We've told her our concerns that they haven't spent enough time TOGETHER. Do you have any knowledge of marriages that begin like this and their chances of success?

LDR

There are examples to support every possible outcome - happily ever after, imploding instantly, a promising start and a slow unraveling, growing and learning together beautifully after a rough start, on-again-off-again hell - so don't even bother to go down that road.

They've made up their minds, so respect them enough as adults to bite your tongue.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service