For so many of us, our relationships feel like an open book. We reach for our phones after a date and share all the details. If we fight with our partners, we immediately vent to friends. And if things get a bit rocky, it's not long before everyone knows. But, even though it's common, it doesn't mean it's right to share private details about your relationship.
By sharing too much info about your partner and how you two interact, it can not only lead to trust issues, but it might even create more problems. "Relationships are between the two people involved and those are the only people who [should] have all the details of the relationship," NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle. "Getting others involved only leads to varying opinions and suggestions from outsiders who do not have all the information."
If you've ever gone overboard during a venting session, or slipped up and shared private details about your SO, then you already know it can take some effort to undo the damage. So, avoid giving your friends and family a negative view of your partner — and save yourself the drama of unsolicited (and uninformed) advice — by keeping the topics below as private as possible.
1. Every Little Fight
When your partner pisses you off, it's so tempting to run to friends and family and vent vent vent. But if it's just a silly everyday argument, do try to exist. "[Talking] about fights between you and your partner will only leave others taking your side and not giving neutral, unbiased advice," Hershenon says. "It will also lead to others getting a bad taste in their mouth regarding your partner because they are only hearing one side of the story." And that can be tough to undo.
2. All The Great Things About Your Sex Life
If your sex life is incredible, you might want to share all the details. But, even though it's all positive and brag-worthy, it's important to keep it between you and your SO. "If you are in a relationship and respect your partner, it would be considered private or TMI to share what you both do in the bedroom," says spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport. "[It's] best to keep mum on the details."
3. All Those Not So Great Things...
On the flip side, if things are utterly horrible, you might want to complain to your friends. And yet, when you really think about it, what can complaining accomplish? "Issues in the bedroom should be discussed solely with your partner," Hershenson says. "Sex is a very intimate part of a relationship and the only people who can fix the problem are the people directly involved."
4. Topics You Believe Your SO Misunderstood
If things are currently confusing in your relationship, you'll probably want to ask friends for advice. (Or complain to them.) But, again, it's not likely to help. "It's important to talk to your partner if you feel things are lacking in the relationship," Hershenson says. "They are the only ones who can fix it."
5. That One Rude Thing Your Partner Said
While you definitely shouldn't keep ongoing problems a secret — especially if you're being mentally, physically, or emotionally abused — it's not healthy to share little thing your partner does wrong. "I like to tell my couples that I work with to keep all the outsiders out, meaning people that will not contribute to the relationship," licensed mental health counselor Montingus Jackson tells Bustle. "I work with a couple that the male has thrown his spouse under the bus so much to his family ... they think she is the worst person. However, he created it by running to his family every time they had an issue." Definitely not cool.
6. All The Private Things You've Learned About Your SO
You hold all sorts of secret info that your partner likely doesn't want shared, so don't tell anyone — even your best friend. "You are supposed to be your partner's confidant," says psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez. "Be the one person they can tell anything to and know that it is safe. Respect that role and that privilege, and do not violate their trust."
7. Big (Yet Still Undecided) Plans For The Future
While you don't have to keep big news a secret, do think twice before sharing TBD plans for the future. "Well-meaning family members or friends may want to give you advice," Rappaport says. "Sometimes their advice is selfish ... So you have to do your homework in that regard to see what is best for you and your partner."
8. Future Plans You Have For Yourself
People have some pretty strong ideas about how relationships should work. So, if you have plans that only involve you — like a solo vacation, for instance — be prepared for others to not understand. "Sometimes well-meaning people will try to give you advice and that can create confusion," Rappaport says. If it's all good between you and your partner, that's what matters.
9. Issues Your SO Is Having At Work
If you're stressed out and need to vent, then go ahead and find a healthy way to do so. That said, it's not necessary to share every tiny detail about your partner's career struggles. As Rappaport tells me, it's something that should be discussed and planned between you two. Unless, of course, you need and want some outside advice.
10. Any Financial Problems You're Experiencing
However you two decide to handle finances will likely be unique to your relationship. And that's why you don't anyone else's advice or opinion mucking things up. "If you have issues regarding saving and spending, the last thing you need to do is share that information with anyone," Rappoport says. "Outside" folks can get mighty judgmental, and may even steer you wrong with some unsolicited advice.
11. Family And/Or Health Issues That Seem Private
Unless you're with someone who's open and willing to share, try your best to keep their issues between the two of you. "If your partner is having family issues, money trouble, or any life stresses that they feel is personal, respect their boundary and do not betray their confidences," Martinez says.
What's OK to say and what's not will vary from couple to couple. But, for the most part, private issues should be kept private.
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