My BF doesn't want me to share deets with my girlfriends
Q: My boyfriend and I have been through some tough times lately. We have decided to work on things, however, last night he freaked out because he realized i talk to my girlfriends about a lot of things and he always assumed everything between us was just between us. I assumed he talks to his guy friends about everything, but he doesn't. He has told me before he's gone out and had a vent fest with his buddies, I was never naive in thinking it only happened once. But now I messed up royally. We've lived together for 3 years and now i don't know if he'll ever trust me again. Do guys always assume we don't talk to our girlfriends about personal things? I've grown up with my girlfriends being my support through everything, and i think it's natural to tell them things. I was surprised when he said he didn't know i talked to them, as he's been around me and my friends and heard the way we talk. How do I fix this? I promised from now on I would keep things to myself, but i don't think he believes me...
A: Frankly, I’ve come to assume that everything I say and do around a girlfriend will eventually make its way back to her friends to varying degrees of accuracy. Everybody talks. You don’t mention exactly what it was that you told your girlfriends―I could see your boyfriend being upset if any of the details were particularly humiliating―but he needs to know that you’re going to share some of your personal life with those closest to you. And you didn’t cheat on him, so I think this has less to do with trust and more to do with understanding. You’ve already told him you’d “keep things to yourself,” but I think you need to be much more specific. Find out what subject matter makes him most uncomfortable and then try to come to an agreement about what kinds of things should stay totally private. With luck, you’ll find a mutually acceptable halfway point. ―Chauncy
A: I have a feeling that all couples have this debate/discussion/fight at some time or another. I myself have gone through this at least twice, once I was telling my boys too much and the other I got miffed that my partner was revealing person details about our love life to her friends. I totally respect and agree that your friends are your support group and you need to share your relationship ups and downs with them as a way of finding clarity. However, I do feel that there is certain information that you just keep between you and your partner. This will be different from couple to couple but I think every relationship needs to have a certain trust that personal stuff stays personal. I guess the rule I use when chatting with my boys about a lady is thinking to myself "Would I like it if she told her friends the same personal details about me as I’m about to tell my friends?" ―Sir B
A: I wouldn’t beat yourself up. Your boyfriend is demonstrating a remarkable grasp of naivete in assuming you never discuss any of your relationship problems with your friends. And unless his impotence or teddy bear fetish is a regular topic du jour at social gatherings, I don’t believe you’re overstepping your bounds on this one. It would be different if, say, he had explicitly requested a blackout on any and all of your chats. But he didn’t. All you can do is apologize, remind him that you only consulted your friends because you care so much about your relationship, and promise it won’t happen again. ―Sergio
A: Maybe I’m seeing the woman’s point of view more now that I’m less than two months away from being married….But, honestly, what dude doesn’t think that his girl will talk about her relationship to her girlfriends?? Has he never watched a movie or television before? That’s what girls do! Okay, maybe it’s not something guys do all the time, but it’s not in our nature to do so. I really don’t see why he would care or should care that you ask your girlfriends for advice. It’s a blatant sign of his own insecurities, IMO. ―Richard
A: I don’t think he wants you to keep things to yourself, he wants you to keep things between you. Venting is healthy and can help you gain perspective on issues in your relationship, but you can’t actually solve anything until you discuss matters with your dude. In my experience, guys are a little more tight-lipped than girls when it comes to sharing their relationship issues. Part of it is that guys aren’t as open with each other as women are in general, but it’s also because we don’t want to paint a negative picture of our relationship by bitching about it. I imagine part of his concern is that he is looking bad to your friends. Explain to him that going over things with your friends is how you’ve always dealt with issues in all areas of your life and that it helps you to work through things by getting their input. Assure him that you are not doing it to make him look bad and that it really isn’t about him at all. You should also talk to him about how the two of you communicate about problems when they arise. His frustration with you going to your friends could stem from him feeling like you don’t come to him when you have problems. Either way you will need to reach a compromise, as cutting off your friends and support system and living 100% inside the bubble of your relationship is not the solution. ―Josh