Sibling Silence

6 Oct

Letterbalm ShhhhDear LetterBalm: My problem is so simple, it’s boring. But it’s majorly stressing me out. For the past two years, my sister has been having an affair with her boss. She confided in me that they are in love, and she wants to leave her husband. He’s a good guy who really loves her, and he hasn’t got a clue. She and her lover started out keeping things relatively discreet, but they’ve gotten bolder. She told me people in their office have started asking questions, they’ve been taking long lunches, and she’s getting preferential treatment on the job. I should have stopped listening long ago. What can I say to her to get her to shut up?

–Secret Stress

Ms. L.B. will keep this uncomplicated. You have leverage, so use it. If your sister knows you won’t keep her secret if asked directly, it may scare her into keeping silent. Take her aside when the two of you won’t be overheard. Speak plainly, keep calm and don’t give in if she says you’re making light of the situation or overreacting and being dramatic:

Francesca, I’ll keep this simple. I’ve never judged your affair with Paolo, and you know I never will. That’s your business. But from now on, here’s how it’s going to work: I won’t volunteer your secret, but if somebody asks me directly if you and Paolo are seeing each other I’ll tell the truth. I’m not comfortable keeping your secret. And, I don’t like keeping secrets from Antonio because I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to withhold information from your husband. If he asks me, I’ll tell him the truth, even though he’ll probably hate me for not telling him early on. You’re my sister and I’ll always love you, Francesca. But you complicated your life, so you have to deal with it. Don’t come to me anymore because I’m done listening.


2 Responses to “Sibling Silence”

  1. headshot photographer Dallas 10/06/2014 at 12:42 pm #

    whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.

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    • Ms. L.B. 10/06/2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Thank you for your good words. I hope LetterBalm helps with the slings and arrows of life.

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