Squad talk is kind of like church. Few things in life feel better than spilling your guts, in good times and bad, to the people who get you. Still, there are some relationship problems you shouldn't share with your friends because doing so violates the trust in your relationship. What the what? So there are things you aren't even supposed to tell your ride-or-die bestie? Well, yes. I know. I'm passing out a big plate of disappoint. But still, sometimes you have to draw the line, for the health of your relationship. When I helped couples sort through healthy vs. unhealthy behaviors as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate or Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, one of the problems I saw a lot of was a lack of trust due to breaking confidence and telling personal business to other people.
There are exceptions, of course, to the "don't tell your friends" rule. If you worry that your partner might be in danger, or might be putting you in danger, you should definitely tell someone and seek help. That person might be your friends, but more than likely, it should be an impartial professional. Because you know your besties are just going to be like, "I will kill that jerk" instead of "your partner is suffering from mental illness and needs treatment." Your friends are professionals in the field of understanding your life, but maybe not professionals in the fields of serious life problems. And while you're helping your partner get help, you might find talking to a counselor is good for you, too. Because some problems can be fixed, and some require a quick relationship exit. So what should you keeps from your peeps?
1. Those Trusted Secrets
If your partner tells you something and is all, "Do not tell anyone this," then they are leaning on the trust and safety of your relationship. If they find out that you told someone, it can have a serious impact on trust. It can even, depending on the secret, make your partner feel humiliated, victimized, or really sad. Relationship foul. You have to honor the trust you have between you. It's just as sacred as the trust you have that your bestie won't tell the world those things you did that one time in Vegas.
2. Bedroom Blunders
I have mixed feelings on this topic, because as a former sexuality educator, I think we need to have more talks about sex and sexuality. I'm team "open book" and team "no shame." Not everyone is like that. If something happened in the bedroom that you know would humiliate your partner if other people found out, then you should probably keep that to yourself. A good test is, "Could I tell this story if they were standing right here?" If the answer is no, err on the side of caution.
3. Stuff You Don't Want People To Know
No matter how awesome your friends are, there's always the chance that they could slip up after too many boxes of wine and tell someone your business. Maybe that someone won't be able to resist telling someone else, and before you know it, your secret is all over town (and the Internet), exaggerated, taken out of context, and in the hands of the wrong people.
4. Your Partner's Problems
Your partner's story is theirs to tell. If they confided in you about their childhood trauma, past problems, or issues that they're really struggling with, they probably don't want you discussing those things with other people. If you want to get advice from a friend about one of your partner's problems, make sure to ask first. They might welcome the input, but they might also feel mortified at the idea of others knowing about their problems.
5. Fights When You're Still Angry
All couples have fights. It's natural to want to talk to your friends about it when you're upset. The thing is, when you do that, you have to be balanced about it. If you're still angry, you're likely going to paint a bad picture of your partner. Your friends are naturally going to be like "that jerk-person! let's set their genitals on fire!" If you do this enough, your friends are just going to think your partner is a jerk, when that might not be true. That's not fair.
6. That You Fight About Your Friends
If your partner is a keeper, odds are your life is going to be filled with moments when they have to interact with your friends. If your partner isn't the biggest fan of your friends, it's probably not a great idea to tell them. No good will come of it. People's feelings will get hurt, resentments will form, future hangouts will be awkward, your friends won't feel comfortable in your home, and your partner will feel like they can't do anything right, ever again, in the eyes of your friends. Trust me, just keep that one in the secret vault.
7. Issues You Have With Their Past
If you and your partner are working through issues about things they've done in their past, telling your friends about those things will likely complicate the issue more. Your well-meaning friends might give you advice they think is helpful, like "once a cheater, always a cheater" or "if they lied to their ex, they will lie to you." They might be right. They might also not be giving your partner credit for maturing and experiencing personal growth that changes a person for the better. Work that out together, just the two of you.
8. Discussions You Haven't Had Yet
If you have a problem you need to address with your partner, the person to talk about that with is your partner. It's not cool to talk to everyone about your problems except the person you have a problem with. If you need advice about the issue, better to ask one, very trusted friend than to make it the topic of a group discussion. It's just more respectful to include your partner in this process.
9. You're Thinking About Breaking Up Or Divorcing
If you're going through a rough patch and the idea of splitting has been floating around in your brain, you owe it to your partner to think those things through and address your issues before you take the issue to your friends. It might just be a temporary thought process that popped up during a bad week, but it will leave your friends thinking there is a deep current of unhappiness in your life.
10. Every Little Problem, Ever, Forever
If you're always running to your friends every time you have an unpleasant relationship feel, it might become a crutch that keeps you from talking to your partner instead. It could also give your partner the impression that you do not trust them as much as your friends, and that they don't matter as much as your friends.
11. Your Money Problems
You partner might not care if you talk to your friends about your money. On the other hand, your partner could think finances should be private. This one is definitely not a "never talk to your friends about it" deal breaker, but it's something you want to make sure you and your partner and friends are on the same page about. If they prefer privacy, keep the talk general and don't disclose figures or deep details.
A lot of these problems are things you can talk to your friends about, as long as you go about it in a healthy way and keep your partner in the loop. Still, it's better to be on the cautious side when your relationship trust is at stake.
Images: Pexels (12); Bustle