This post has two parts, and covers a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. I would love to hear your input on both topics, which are related, and what you practice in your own life.
Part One: The Gossip
Gossip is a battle everyone [not only women] fights. We are taught from a young age that it is wrong to slander others behind their back, it is wrong to talk about anyone else period, especially in a negative light or by revealing trusted secrets. Yet we are seem to be unable to stop. Whether you are religious, atheist, woman, man, young, middle aged, elderly, Chinese, African, or from Mars; gossip is a part of our daily lives, whether we participate or are victims.
In my honest, humble, and probably wrong opinion, I don't think that talking is always a bad thing. Is it okay to spread rumors? Should you repeat sworn secrets that a friend entrusted to you? Should you belittle others to make yourself feel better, or as revenge? Of course, no is the answer to all of those questions. But what about the situations in which you need a second opinion, an outside source to offer a fresh point of view? What if you have been offended by a friend, but take the matter to someone else to make sure you haven't blown it out of proportion?
In all honesty, I do bring my troubles concerning someone to an outside source, mostly to make sure I am not being overdramatic. But there are definitely time when I am feeling vicious, and make malicious comments about others out of anger or high emotion. I'm not proud of this, and work on curbing my tongue daily. I know how it feels to be talked about unkindly, and have heard quite a few outrageous rumors in the past. I try to live by a standard I set for others, but sometimes what is right loses to what feels right at the time. Do you battle the gossip nature? How do you handle it? What is your approach when a friend starts talking about rumors/unproven facts?
Part Two: Husband & Wife
In our house, I tell my husband everything. Doesn't matter whether he wants to know or not, he's going to hear it [although in his defense, hearing and listening are two different things, so he may not know half of what I think he does...]. If I have a problem, have a story, hear something amazing, see something awkward, feel confused; el hubbo is the first person I want to run to, and usually do.
I read on Facebook the other day [it all comes back to Facebook, huh?] the status of a woman who is recently divorced, and complaining about an unnamed married lady who told her husband private information about the divorced woman. There was actually a huge debate going on [which I followed with unabashed interest] on whether this is okay or wrong; are there things you shouldn't tell your significant other? In the original woman's opinion, you shouldn't tell your husband anything. Her opinion may have been a little tainted by her experience being married, though. Other women, married/unmarried/young/old, all differed. Some said that there should be no walls period in a relationship; others said that some things are best left unsaid; and the rest felt as though friendship and marriage should be completely separate.
To be clear, this is not a discussion on whether you should tell your partner everything about yourself, your history, what you had for lunch today, whether or not you should have children; that is all a matter of personal preference and pillow talk. This is dealing with gossip. Should you or should you not tell your partner everything you know about your friends?
While I tell hubby most things, I never try to incorporate a friend's personal activities/feelings into the conversation. If someone lets me know that they have to see a marriage counselor for relationship issues, but specifically requests that I tell no one including my husband, then your secret is safe with me. If you let me know that you're planning on buying a puppy, I might just tell him. Mostly because I like dogs, and get excited when someone else buys one. And in relation to part one, I often tell him my problems or issues with others so he can help sort out what is legitimate, and what I'm taking too far. If you haven't guessed, I'm quite hot headed, and can boil over at the tiniest thing. Sorry, friends.
I probably do tell my husband too much about my friends, and definitely more than he would like to hear, but I also try my hardest to respect their unspoken wish if it is something they would not like to be known. How does your relationship work with your partner? Am I wrong in my habits? Do you think gossip can be detrimental to a marriage [in the respect of bringing outside gossip into the home. Talking about your personal life to friends is a conversation for another day].