Thursday, November 23, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Mom wants to know things told in confidence

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Q: So Cousin No. 1 tells me in confidence 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.

Dealing With Mom Guilt

A: 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.

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