Keeping Secrets

14 Oct

Letterbalm Woman with Hands Over MouthDear LetterBalm: I’m involved in an affair, and I think I made a big mistake – no, not cheating on my husband, but telling my best friend about it. I have been under such stress, that I had to tell someone. I’ve been married to a difficult man for 10 years. He’s cruel and mocking, and he reneged on our plans to have children after we got married. A year ago, I happened to meet up with my first love. He’s single, and we’ve never stopped loving each other. I’m preparing to leave my husband to make a new life with this man, but I can’t yet because my mother is terminally ill; my divorce would be nasty and it would add to her pain. I’m not asking you to judge me, just to give me the words to make my friend understand how important it is for her to keep my secret.

–Hush-Hush

Only you can know how much you can trust your friend to keep your relationship confidential. Ms. L.B. won’t dwell on the morality of your affair and the karmic implications thereof. Let’s talk about waiting to leave your husband. Are you sure that on some level your mother isn’t already aware of your bad marriage? Would a divorce really devastate her now – or, do you fear her judgment? Whatever your decision, you need to put all these elements in play when you talk with your friend. Needless to say, the two of you need a private moment, no distractions and no possibility of being overheard. Say this:

Cassandra, since I took you into my confidence about Ron, I have been worried, and I need to talk with you about it. It’s not too big a stretch to say that my life is in your hands. You know that when I tell Caesar I’m leaving him, there will be hell to pay. The separation and divorce won’t be easy, and he must be absolutely kept in the dark until I’m ready to make my move. I’ve decided to wait until my mother passes away – you know how ill Mom is, and I don’t want the uproar about divorce to add to her pain. You are my dear friend, and everything is on the line. I must know that you will tell no one – no one – not even your family or your pastor. I need reassurance now. Please, talk to me. What are your thoughts about this?

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