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To talk to MN friends about my private life behind DP's back?

(46 Posts)
readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 13:00:31

NC for this.

I've been going through a difficult time with DP - but not her fault. I've been relying on support of MN friends, and one in particular, a lot, both on here and in private emails. I've told people a lot of personal stuff.

I know if DP knew about this she'd feel really betrayed, that I'd shared our troubles with 'strangers' and told tales about her views and opinions etc.

I'm feeling very guilty for doing so, but at the same time I really felt I needed support, and didn't have anyone to talk to in RL.

Is sharing personal stuff out of order? Should I come clean and apologise? Do I need to stop? or is it ok?

however Mon 08-Jun-15 13:03:01

I wouldn't like it, no.

Perhaps a counsellor is in order.

readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 13:11:50

Isn't it kind of what everyone does though?

googoodolly Mon 08-Jun-15 13:14:01

I wouldn't like it. I do discuss issues on here BUT I would never go into loads of detail and if I found out that DP had been talking to a friend in details about OUR relationship/problems I would be really upset.

callmewhatever Mon 08-Jun-15 13:14:08

I don't see why you should stop. A lot of people use mumsnet to get advice and many, I assume, use it without their partner knowing. A lot of personal info is divulged when posters ask for advice so imo your doing nothing different. The only issue may be personal emails, which is moving away from public forum help to personal help and may be viewed as crossing a boundary.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 08-Jun-15 13:17:45

I think asking for advice on a thread, and having ongoing private messages going back and forth are two very different situations. The first is fine, the second kind of crosses a line.

Minus2seventy3 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:18:31

The entire relationships board is people talking/seeking advice behind one's partner's back.

TedAndLola Mon 08-Jun-15 13:25:16

The biggest disagreement my husband and I ever had was on this. He was so upset that I talked to my best friend about our relationship that he almost left me over it.

The problem is, we cope with arguments in very different ways. I like to talk about it to clear the air and come to a resolution, whereas he shuts down. His usual response is to go and sleep then pretend it never happened when he wakes up. If I try to bring it up he shuts the conversation down and wants to move on, because he hates that we've argued.

So I told him that if he won't talk to me, I have to talk to someone else. I still don't think he likes it but, frankly, I would go mad if I had nobody to speak to about it so I carry on.

I think YABU if you refuse to speak to your partner but you will spill your guts to people on the internet. However if you are taking positive steps to sort out your problems with your partner, and turning to internet friends for additional support, YANBU. I would be careful about what I said though, unless you really know you can trust your confidantes.

readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 13:33:32

Thanks TedandLola. I am talking to DP and it is how to cope with those conversations that most of its about. Also the MNer I've been talking to has the same issue so is really helpful.
The main reason for going off thread was to ensure no lurkers who might know me - though obviously I hope I've never revealed who I am - and to be able to say more than I would in public. I do trust those I've been talking to!

readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 13:45:22

Does it make a difference if you know the person you're talking to? Even if you met on MN?

ApeMan Mon 08-Jun-15 14:09:39

I think that if you're knowingly doing something that would hurt your wife, and other women are being brought in on it, you need to have a word with yourself proper sharpish, like.

It's what you'll do when you won't get caught...

readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 14:52:32

Ok apeman, that sounds like you think I'm a man. I'm not. Does that make a difference?
I'm not hurting her, I'm doing my best not to!

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Jun-15 14:57:35

I didn't think ApeMan was assuming you were male.

For some reason I've assumed you were female since the opening post.

But I do think if it's likely to hurt your wife, you might want to question why you're so reliant on telling people things that are so private.

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Jun-15 14:59:15

Sorry - your DP.

ImprobableBee Mon 08-Jun-15 15:02:00

YABU for the private emails. I would venture that anybody would see that as a betrayal if they were honest on the Internet it were them.

The rest is what MN is.

ApeMan Mon 08-Jun-15 15:09:40

No I wasn't assuming you were a man - like Worra I thought the opposite, perhaps something about the question in my case.

I don't want to sound judgmental because I'm not - I have got used to not sharing stuff myself for reasons, but I completely understand others have needs and ways of life far outside my own - and quite frankly I exploit other people's willingness to share as a resource - using it to hopefully improve on myself and my relationship, so it would be hypocritical of me to criticize harshly.

I would just... for me, I would always ask how my wife would feel about a situation, and if my instinct is that she would be very upset, not do that. That usually sees me right, personally.

Atenco Mon 08-Jun-15 16:20:44

I'm no expert on relationship having been single for the last twenty-five years, but I always shared my problems with my friends. What I don't think is on is bad-mouthing your partner anywhere or to anyone. When it gets to that stage, it is time to separate.

AnyFucker Mon 08-Jun-15 16:31:20

I think when you are confiding very personal stuff to one person and you know that if your partner knew she would be very upset then a line has been crossed

you are having what sounds like the start of an emotional affair with that one special person, no ?

I would certainly construe that way if I were your partner, and would act accordingly

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Jun-15 16:40:54

I agree there's possibly a danger of an emotional affair developing, it it hasn't already.

AnyFucker Mon 08-Jun-15 16:44:01

OP, if I were your partner I would also think you were being completely out of order to not only be discussing very private stuff but also making new threads to seek validation to continue doing so

Aermingers Mon 08-Jun-15 16:51:34

I think a line gets crossed when you start making yourself identifiable.

OP, you say that you have shared stuff with this woman that you wouldn't want general people on the forum to know. That's not really on, it's not fair on your partner.

You should also bear in mind that it is difficult to know who you are talking to on the internet. I mean, potentially you could be telling a middle aged man in Dudley who has a thing for lesbians all about your love life. I've recently been slightly bitten on the arse by this because I made a friend online, started seeing her occasionally in RL. Unfortunately it was difficult to realise online that she had really fucking serious and complicated mental health problems which meant she was at best a bit of a nightmare to deal with, at worst dangerous and destructive. I'm having to spend a lot of time at the moment deleting abuse from my inbox and for a while was scared every time I came home she would be sitting outside my house waiting for me.

I'm not sure it is either okay(or wise) to moan to people in RL either. I have many friends who have complained to friends or family about a partner (often giving a very one sided version of events) who have been surprised and upset when they've got through the rough patch, but their family and friends still don't like the DP because they have had all the couples dirty linen aired in their ears for months.

I really do think that when it comes to telling someone online really personal things and making it clearly identifiable who you are, then you are getting into the territory of invading DPs privacy.

Also, if I was your DP I would be questioning exactly what the intentions of you and this woman were. It sounds like a very intense friendship which could easily tip over into a physical affair. It sounds like it may already have crossed the line into being an emotional one.

readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 16:52:15

Ok AF I hear you. Just to be clear, the private stuff is about me, not DP, except insofar as it's about her reaction to it. I have not been bad mouthing her.
And I can't talk to RL friends because they are DPs friends too and I don't want to 'claim' them or put her in a difficult position.
And I am really not having an emotional affair. I have found a new friend that much is clear. Friend only!
So how to turn the secret friend into an open one? hmm

AnyFucker Mon 08-Jun-15 17:26:24

It might be a bit too late for that because this "secret friend" has information that your partner is not privy to which puts them both in an awkward position.

This is the problem with line crossing, it can be difficult to pull back without someone getting hurt. Perhaps you could explain to your "secret friend" that you are grateful for her help but that you now realise your friendship is actually putting your primary relationship in jeopardy. If she is a true friend she will understand that your energies should be going in to talking and resolving issues with your partner who may have already noticed you are detaching from her and will be wondering why/looking for clues/may stumble across your messages

I am sorry, love. This is cliched stuff. It's emotional affair 101 and the outcome will be messy if you continue in the same vein

readingsfromthebookofexile Mon 08-Jun-15 20:05:16

AF, what makes you say that this is 'emotional affair 101'? All I've done is email with someone who is going through the same issue as me... Not sure why you think that qualifies?

Aermingers, yes I can see that's a risk but I'm quite confident not his case (famous last words!).

But I take your point, most of you, that if I'm hiding it it probably is wrong.

Though I still don't see what the alternative would have been other than not get any support and fuck it up even more badly.

AnyFucker Mon 08-Jun-15 20:13:07

what makes me say that ?

Pretty much everything you have said.

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