Monday, July 6, 2015

Tell Me About It: Mother wants her to reveal cousin's secrets

0 comments

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Question: So Cousin No. 1 tells me 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?

For what it's worth, I think she sees my not telling her as her being excluded - but my cousins are like sisters to me, so I think it's normal they would share this with me and a smaller group first before telling the family at large.

Answer: 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. Living by your moral and ethical code, and in the process upsetting someone who wishes you had handled something differently, is not the same thing.

Question: 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. They want to get married so she can join him at his next assignment.

Obviously, 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?

Answer: There are examples to support every possible outcome - happily-ever-after, imploding instantly, a promising start with 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 trust them and love them and respect them enough as adults to bite your tongue. If it works, great; if it doesn't, they'll learn from it. You've said your piece.

Question: My charming, irresponsible sibling is getting bailed out again (for totally failing to deal with a problem everyone else has seen coming for years) and I'm furious.

There's no solution here. I'm thinking of going with a primal scream. Or ice cream.

Answer: Why not both?

Even if you could live your life the way your sibling lives his or hers, you wouldn't. Never lose sight of that.

 


tellme@washpost.com

Chat with Carolyn Hax online at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

 

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter