Monday, July 1, 2013

That’ll be 5 cents please

A couple of weeks ago I was on FB when a friend started instant messaging me. I had posted a congratulations comment on his wife’s post announcing that they were expecting. The new family member should arrive sometime in November, and, after dealing with secondary IF, it seemed like something to celebrate. Apparently, to him at least, it wasn’t.

He went on about how they were having problems in their marriage and there was a possibility that the baby wasn’t even his. It broke my heart and Himself and I were both so shocked at that revelation. It wasn’t something we would ever expect from them.

Flash forward to this week and apparently paternity isn’t something that is in question any longer. It was a lot of supposition on his part that most likely turned out to be wrong.  

But, the damage has been done. The people to whom he told this will never look at his wife in the same way again. Our view of her will be colored by those disclosures.

All of this reminded me of some advice I received when I was newly married. When you and your spouse have an argument or big disagreement don’t go sharing it with the world. This person that you married, that you love above all other persons, is human and makes mistakes.  More than likely you will forgive him unconditionally and move on. But, when you share that grievance with another, one that doesn’t place your spouse above all others, you change their opinion of him, sometimes irrevocably.  They may not forgive him as you do.

That’s not to say you aren’t going to vent on occasion. He leaves the toilet seat up or his underwear on the floor. She talks too much when she drinks an extra cup of coffee and plays the radio too loudly.  

Those things, for the most part, are inconsequential.  Bad habits, maybe.  More likely endearing, or enduring (as we like to say), qualities.

Certain things should remain between you and your spouse.  And if that trouble is too big, too complicated to be handled alone, find a third party to help you work this through.  It could be your priest or pastor, a therapist, or even a lawyer. 

Looking back, I am mad at myself that I engaged in that conversation.  I was part of something that turned out to be gossip and innuendo.   As a friend I want to be helpful and caring; I want to be there in times of need as well as good.  I want the best for you and that includes the best relationship possible with your spouse. 

That will be five cents please!



  1. I often wish I could "unhear" things, and this situation would definitely fall into that category. Gossip is sometimes so hard to turn away from. I have fallen victim many times.

    Prayers for this poor family.

  2. Sometimes I wonder why people even want to air their dirty laundry out to the world but maybe a therapist or priest would be better to reach out to. It is also hard when you fell like someone needs a listening ear, it is so hard to turn then away. Maybe asking them to not give specifics and just sticking to listening to how they are feeling might be the way to go? Tough situation, prayers for this family!

  3. I always tell the engaged couples at marriage prep: the only two people who get the grace of your sacrament is the two of you. No one else will put up with his dirty socks or your messing bathroom counter; and no one else can forgive the other like you can. Don't share something that you will want someone else to forgive, it's not fair, they don't get the gift of grace you do!

    I can only hope of the couples realize this is so so true.

  4. Wow! You are so right! It is hard to take that knowledge back & look at that person without thinking of what you know. Poor baby! I hope this information never comes to light. Hopefully he kept his mouth shut to anyone who would say something & spread this info around!

  5. Wow...I can't believe he shared that info on FB. Yikes. Hopefully, he learned a lesson and won't do that again. Glad to hear that it wasn't true and he can rejoice in becoming a dad.