If you’re going through tough times in your relationship (and no relationship is perfect), you may feel like talking things through with friends and family but is that really such a good idea?
- You’ll have shoulder to cry on. They say a problem shared is a problem halved and you will certainly feel better if you talk through your relationship problems with someone close to you.
- You will have someone on your side who supports you.
- Your friends will feel closer to you, knowing what is going on in your relationship and that you trust them enough to share.
- Friends and family may be able to offer advice to help you put things right. Some of them may have encountered the same issues and have experienced what you are going through.
- It may make your relationship problems worse, if your guy finds out you have been talking about personal stuff going on between the two of you to others. He will think you are disloyal. Relationships are about trust, and sharing with others can destroy that.
- Friends and family may not have the best advice. They will almost certainly have their own personal biases, and they are more likely to side with you, even if you are being harsh, unfair or totally in the wrong, simply because they are telling you what you want to hear to support you.
- If you sort out the problems with your guy, your friends and family will still have a negative view in their heads of him doing or saying whatever he did that hurt or upset you. When you have long forgiven him and forgotten all about your tiff, your mother and your best friend will still remember and like him less than they did.
What To Do
In some ways, how much you share depends on the nature of the problems between you.
- If it’s a minor problem that you might also have with anyone you share a house with or with a friend then it’s probably also OK to share with your girlfriends now and again. But, if you are constantly moaning about him, (and never praise him to them) you are being disloyal and they will start to see him as useless. Do you really want that?
- If your guy has made embarrassing mistakes at work or with his finances, don’t share, because that’s private and it’s up to him who he shares that with. He probably doesn’t want it to be shared with anyone and will hate his weaknesses being exposed in that way.
- If it is something that is to do with you – like you can’t help feeling jealous when he goes out with his friends, or you wish he would be more committed to the relationship, then that’s OK to share because that is an issue with you rather than him. You’re not making him out to be a bad guy. You’re just wishing things were different. And if you think you are falling into a pattern of unhealthy relationships, then it’s really useful to get your friends’ perspective on that near the start of the relationship before things go too far.
- If the problem is something to do with a general relationship issue that does not cast him in a poor light, such as you’d like to go out more or communicate more, then that’s OK to discuss too. Friends can often offer some useful advice here.
- If it’s a sexual problem or intimate details about what you do or like in bed, be very careful about sharing. Your guy would see that as very disloyal. That is generally something to talk only to your guy about (or a doctor).
- If it’s anything that would make your friends or family think less of your guy in a major way, keep it between the two of you and don’t share, unless
- you need support because things have gone very wrong (example, he’s been unfaithful, you’ve thrown him out and you’re devastated ). At that point, be very choosy about who you share with. If you manage to work through your issues, are you ready to have the person (or group of people) you share with, think less of your guy forever?
- You need support because you are afraid of him or what he will do. In these circumstances, it’s essential that you share and get all the support you can.
- If a friend asks for information you’d rather not share, don’t share. Just say you don’t share stuff like that or fend off the question. You can get round all sorts of questions with a coy smile and “big enough”, “often enough to keep us both happy” and similar 🙂
How much do you share about your relationship?
Has sharing ever backfired on you?
Did you ever start out sharing at the beginning of a relationship and then, as it got more serious, realized you wanted to keep things private between you and your man?