I had been cheated on by my BF in 2014. He told me 4 months after our breakup. I have one BFF (since school days), and 5 best friends (from College) I share everything with. I have always chosen to keep the rest 5 at par in terms of sharing. I did not tell my best friends immediately about the betrayal because I cared more about my ex. I did tell my BFF though. But one of these 5 best friends had already gone through a similar experience, and it felt ‘wrong’ to have not shared it with her (considering she used to be the first person I used to spill out my secrets to in College). This feeling had been nagging me for long. And one night we were chatting on WhatsApp, and I felt close and connected to her in the moment, so I told her. I started shaking uncontrollably after I told her. I asked if I could mail her, and she told me to write as much as I wanted. I did the same..opened up her on mail. But she did not respond. It was a really long mail, so it is possible that she was tired or maybe she felt too overwhelmed to say anything..was at loss for words. Anyway, she did understand my pain. But I wish she had responded on the mail.
Now, the thing that has been bothering me is that I have not told the rest 4 of my best friends that my ex had cheated on me.
I understand why my ex cheated..and so I find it a little weird to talk about it. Secondly, these 4 and me are a group..and in a group, it is inevitable that somebody’s personal life becomes a topic of discussion. Thirdly, I don’t want to reduce my ex to nothing in their eyes (not that they knew him much, but still)..it feels a bit wrong.
There is one best friend I am closest to in this group. I do not feel guilty for not having told the others, but I do feel guilty for not having told her. But she tends to naively discuss or should I say, gossip about people. I am afraid something might affect my ex’s reputation in the future (world’s a small place after all). That also bothers me.

A.  If you don’t want them talking about you or your relationship inappropriately, then it’s best not to share with them. As you noted, they’re likely to gossip or misunderstand the relationship. In addition, what happened between you and your ex is personal. It’s between you and him. It’s none of their business. As a general rule, the more personal information you share, the more likely it is to be shared inappropriately.

I don’t think it’s always intentional or even something that people are consciously aware of. Remember, the more personal information you share with others, the more others will have to use against you. People tend to be competitive. In the wrong hands, personal information may be used against you.

You should not feel bad because of your lack of sharing with the rest of the group. Be careful about what you share and with whom you share it. Counseling would be the ideal place to discuss your relationship concerns. Therapists are relationship specialists. They are also nonjudgmental and can provide guidance regarding your relationship challenges. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle