In August, we asked you, the readers of Hope, to answer the question, “Should friends know the relationship details between a woman and her man?”
We decided to take the same question to relationship experts, Dr. Nicole LaBeach and D. Ivan Young.
Here’s what they said:
By Dr. Nicole La Beach
I believe a good girlfriend is like a guilt-free bowl of ice cream – good to the last drop. She requires no pretense and is the one you can bounce ideas off of and confide in with some of your most intimate thoughts. However, when those thoughts include details of your relationship, it gets tricky. Though it is not as hard and fast as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” my advice is that “less is definitely best.”
When it comes to the details, the fewer friends who know, the better. The type of friends you tell is critical. Here are some things to think about: If you’re seeking a lasting relationship, friends with a laundry list of bad relationships are not the best picks for the details. Although you may want your friends to support and minimize your relationship blind spots, it is a wise decision to keep some things to yourself. Not to mention, you have to be clear on how your partner feels about your confidantes knowing what he may have chosen to only share with you.
Think about it this way — do you want your man’s friends knowing intimate details about you? Would you feel unprotected and exposed if they did? This especially counts when referring to sex and finances. I’m not saying these subjects are off-limits, but the details should be, especially if you’re married. At that level, it’s best to come to a solid agreement with your spouse about who can know intimate details about your marriage. Agreement on the friends (preferably couples) who should have access to intimate aspects of your relationship will minimize the potential for detailed sharing to breed conflict or contempt. In a nutshell, stay connected to your friends, but keep the details to a minimum. Remember, what you don’t want him to share with others you may want to think twice about sharing as well.
Life, Relationship, and Executive Coach, Dr. Nicole LaBeach is the author of A Woman’s True Purpose: Live Like You Matter and CEO of Volition Enterprises, Inc., a premiere personal and professional development firm in Atlanta, Ga. To find out more, go to www.volitionenterprises.com or www.askdrnicole.com.
By D. Ivan Young
Involving third parties in your relationship doesn’t solve your problems — it compounds them. Discussing your private affairs in public will backfire. Managing relationships by committee condemns them to premature death. Once you put others in your business, you never get them out.
Sometimes, people who have an eager ear to hear your business can’t wait to tell it. The juicier the gossip, the harder it is for someone to hold it in. You may be needlessly exposing your relationship to unnecessary scandal and betraying your mate. Long after the two of you get past the problem, friends and relatives in your social circle will still be whispering about the past.
Wise men heed the counsel of many advisors bearing fruit. Here are some guidelines and suggestions if you are going to get advice or seek outside counsel:
• Talk to a professional such as a relationship expert or licensed counselor.
• Get advice from a couple who has a successful, happy relationship of 15 years or more.
• Read the Word and pray.
• Use wisdom, not emotions, to make relationship decisions. If God is involved, things will always fare far better.
• Finally, take responsibility for your contribution to the situation. Lead by example and remember that a sincere apology goes a long way.
Relationship expert and best-selling author D. Ivan Young has been featured in and interviewed on CNN Radio, ABC, CBS, the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. Find out more about his new book, Break Up, Don’t Break Down, on his website, www.divanyoung.com.