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Family secrets/privacy

(17 Posts)
BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 21:36:57

I grew up in an abusive household and we had a lot of family secrets. I realise this is because my background was not normal. It is very normal for me to keep things to myself, or only tell dh. However, some things I have told him, he has told his parents or siblings and I'm not sure whether I am being unreasonable in expecting these things to remain between us.

Some examples of things that he has told others:

I was suffering with some health issues a few years ago. Turned out to not be too serious but he had told others before we knew this.

Our suspicions that 3 year old dd has ASD. (I have this and to my knowledge he has not told anyone about me).

Drug addictions and psychological problems with some of my family members, and the problems this has caused.

I did not tell him not to tell anyone about these things, I just did not expect that he would. With our dd in particular, since finding out that he mentioned our suspicions to people, I have been very clear that I want this to remain private. I strongly feel that we should definitely not be saying anything to anyone while she has not been diagnosed, and even then, I feel it should be on a need to know basis. Outside of those who have to know, I think it should be up to dd, when she is old enough, to decide who she wants to tell. He has agreed not to speak about it anymore since I said this.

His family are big gossips, so this makes me less keen on them knowing things. I just want an objective view really as I know my thoughts on this have been coloured by growing up in a home full of secrets.

fc301 Mon 26-Dec-16 22:01:35

Hmm there's no right answer to this. In a healthy family you do deal with worries by sharing. So I can see why he would tell them his concerns for you & DD.
I can also appreciate what you are saying. You can only discuss this with him and agree a compromise x

Cricrichan Mon 26-Dec-16 22:04:19

He should have checked with you about your stuff but he's entitled to speak to who his wants about your daughter. Next time, ask him not to tell other people if you don't want him to discuss it with anyone else.

bananagreen Mon 26-Dec-16 22:14:09

Its a tricky one. DH has a serious long term MH problem which impacts on our lives significantly and I need to talk to friends about this to cope at times. I try to do this in a way that respects his privacy as much as possible. On the other had I was upset when he started telling his family members we were ttc, as I felt that was private. I think it is normal for him to discuss his worries and concerns with his family, but if there are certain things you want to stay private and you expressly tell him this then he should respect that.

RebelRogue Mon 26-Dec-16 22:17:52

Now that you know make sure you mention what things you want to remain private. Most of the things you mention sound difficult and worrying and it is quite normal and healthy he reached out for support or just to sounds things off.

awayinamazda Mon 26-Dec-16 22:24:58

Yes, it's not just you - people vary in how private they are, and you just need to be clear when u don't want something passed on, with DH and with other friends. Some people just don't get it, and u have to avoid sharing confidences with them; I told a friend i was thinking of looking for a different job, but not to say anything at work, and within minutes someone else approached me asking what I was thinking of doing next! She meant no harm, she just didn't understand, and I now make sure I don't tell her anything private.

BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 22:30:35

Thank you. I was expecting to come to find everyone saying "yabu". (I know this isn't the aibu topic).

Another thing I've remembered is he told mil when I found out I was pregnant, before the scan. She insisted he told all his siblings so he did.

I will be sure to say next time I want something kept private. I do want him to have support. With regards to our DD possibly having ASD, I just feel that personally I don't want people knowing I have it. As I found out in adulthood that was possible for me. I just want her to have the same control over who she wants to know if you see what I mean.

BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 22:34:49

It's difficult for me to judge which kind of situations I should tell him to keep to himself, or what type of things I have a right to get annoyed if he does tell others, as my natural inclination is to keep pretty much everything to myself, or only tell dh, and I know this isn't normal.

Figure17a Mon 26-Dec-16 22:35:12

If dh confided Amy to f those things to me I would certainly not tell "anyone" but I probably would share with mum/sister. They're obviously big things for you but they'd be quite difficult to hear about someone you love too.

RebelRogue Mon 26-Dec-16 22:36:14

Neither are being unreasonable. You're just a product of your upbringing,you are not used to sharing,so your assumption has been things are not being told. Sounds like he is used to sharing,so probably assumed things are ok to say unless otherwise mentioned. You need to talk things through and find a compromise,like simply saying "please don't tell anyone". Your dd possibly having ASD is already out there,and tbh i don't think it will be harmful for her, but there's nothing you can do about it now.

BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 22:48:22

Thank you. Yes Rebel that's exactly right. My assumption is that things do not get told whereas his is the opposite. Ironically he has been having some problems with his own family recently and a result of that is that they have started keeping some things from each other.

Figure, yes I see there is a difference between him telling just anyone and him telling his close family. I suppose I will have to try harder to accept that's how life is, and just be grateful that he isn't telling just any old person. Thank you for giving me some perspective. I do wish his family weren't such gossips though as it makes it feel much worse.

My dh has actually made me more of an open person. He has convinced me to share things with my dm when I would not have previously, and I do think it's a good thing.

BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 22:56:10

Despite the secrecy when it comes to "outsiders", my family tend to be fairly open in telling another member of the family if they are doing something wrong/annoying/etc. His family are mostly much more diplomatic in the way they will deal with these things, or say nothing and let things build up. That's not to say my family deal with issues any better than his or vice versa. Just another difference.

RebelRogue Mon 26-Dec-16 23:00:22

That's a shame about his family. Is there anyone in his close circle that you/him trust and know they're not a gossip? That could be his go to person when/if important stuff get overwhelming and he needs to talk to someone "safely".

P.s. You don't have to answer but was the secrecy in your childhood in the "what would people think " and/or victim blaming form?

isittheholidaysyet Mon 26-Dec-16 23:04:25

I share everything with my Dps and expect it to travel further in the family. I'm an open person as are they and we chat lots about everything. So something like worry about the kids at school or minor health niggles would be discussed at such an early stage that if they turned out serious my family would already know.

DH's family are very private and share very little. I find it very strange. So I have to remember to always check what I can share. Also I have to remind him to tell them things I feel they should really know.

I think you can only work together to find out what works for both of you and how much of your life you wish to share with others.

(Interestingly, Dh is often happy to share stuff with my family which he doesn't want his to know.)

BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 23:37:57

RebelRogue it was mainly my mum saying "some things are just for family members to know" or stuff like that. She never said what would people think, but that was what I took from it. My dad was abusive and particularly after he left home things got really bad with him breaking in a few times, amongst other things. My mum was an alcoholic I think, or at least drank way too much every night, and some things she did, like passing out, we were told not to tell anyone. Also there are mental health issues with my mum and one sibling, and if they ever did anything strange I just knew it was not to be spoken of.

BuzzoffBoob Mon 26-Dec-16 23:39:07

Apart from his family, dh only really confides in me.

Drquin Tue 27-Dec-16 00:03:33

I agree neither of you are wrong or unreasonable .... you've just got slightly different ideas of "normal", so it's probably best to chat it through so that neither of you unintentionally upset the other.

I was with friends recently, one announced she was pregnant, very early days but wanted to tell us. She asked that it isn't go outside the group, particularly as most of us were associated via work. I said "congratulations, that's wonderful, no of course I won't say anything". Another said "congratulations, that's wonderful, no of course WE won't say anything, DH can be trusted with secrets".
That led to a huge conversation about does "don't tell anyone" really mean "I know you'll tell your DP, but don't tell anyone else" or "don't tell anyone at work / school / gym / in our social crowd".

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