Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Auntie Says: When, and when not, to air dirty laundry

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan

Do you remember when you were in high school and you’d tell your girlfriends everything?

Nothing was off limits. She’d tell you about her boyfriend, then you’d share back and the two of you would compare notes. There were no secrets, or boundaries, but often there’d be judgments passed, rumours started and, of course, loads of giggles.

Related: There is so many things to talk about

I know that guys talk too, but it’s the way young women share so openly about their relationships that I want to look at. Often the chatter is emotionally charged and while cathartic, it can also be damaging as there’s little thought given to the possible outcomes that such conversations may have.

Related: Auntie Says – A little respect please

There are many women who still run to their girlfriends to discuss their husbands or boyfriends on a regular basis. Often there’s no filter and knowing when to temper the topic of private issues is lost over cocktails and the airing of dirty laundry.

The problem with this strategy is that your friend doesn’t have the same investment into your relationship and will always take your side. That may seem like a good thing in the short-term, but doesn’t bode well when she begins to belittle your partner on her own. So, whether seeking advice, venting or just whining, be aware that there could be consequences.

Related: Auntie Says: Mind your own business

Here’s an example: A young friend of mine shared this story with me. I’ll called her Jane. She was very upset as she’d had a serious fight with her boyfriend. It was their first big blow out and Jane was confused, feeling betrayed and on the verge of an emotional meltdown.

Though well into her 30’s, her first instinct was to call her best friend— just like in high school. They met at a restaurant and Jane spilled every dirty little detail of the fight. The friend at first gave sympathy, then quickly became angry and protective.

Fuelled by alcohol, she started bad-mouthing the boyfriend and making plans for Jane to end the relationship. It got to the point where Jane felt she needed to defend her boyfriend, the relationship and her decision to stay. What had started out as Jane seeking the support of a friend, turned into an uncomfortable discussion with opposing views, stakes and understanding.

Related: Auntie Says: The tradition of the sunset party continues

After the emotions settled, Jane regretted disclosing so many intimate details and didn’t know what to do. She feared ongoing backlash and judgment from her friend for something she and her partner worked through together. She was over the fight, but was the friend? Even after talking with her, Jane was concerned the friend would act stand-offish around him, treat him differently, or even make snarky remarks or innuendo. In the end, the friend did comment to the now fiancé about the incident and that changed the friendship forever. Jane backed off and closed ranks around her partner, who she felt was being attacked unfairly. It was a hard lesson learned.

In this scenario, the friend came out on the losing end of the stick. There was never any doubt that Jane would choose her fiancé over the friend and admits that some things should’ve been held closer to the chest. She’s now found a neutral person that she can trust and confide in and seek guidance if necessary. If you’re someone’s person— your job is to just listen and support — not comment, judge or suggest. Listen and support.

If you feel compelled to rant on about your man’s annoying habits, traits or appearance then you best sit down and take a look at yourself. As you evolve in life and relationships, things need to change and mature. It’s not high school anymore. Instead of talking so much, you need to listen to the others and perhaps you’ll see what I’m saying. And, let me make it perfectly clear I’m not referring to violence — physical or verbal. Those secrets kill and need to be told.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer who lives in the South Okanagan. Reach her at faye.arcand@icloud.com or www.fayeearcand.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The proposed Skaha Lake Road housing project will be modelled after the Burdock House on Winnipeg St., said BC Housing.
BC Housing panel peppered with questions about Skaha housing project

Virtual meeting involved questions about crime, level of supports, timelines

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

Landmark Cinemas Penticton was forced to close down when the provincial government ordered all theatres to close when new COVID-19 restrictions were brought in Nov. 19, 2020. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Despite ‘devastating’ losses the show will eventually go on at Penticton theatre

Landmark Cinemas has been offering movie popcorn since having to close in November

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

This is rendering of what the playground of the new provincially funded child care centre could look like on Edmonton Ave.
Public hearing for childcare centre rezoning Feb. 1

The Edmonton Ave. facility would add 116 more childcare spots

Charlotte is one of the resident pigs at Star's Piggly Wiggly's Sanctuary near Kelowna. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-area pig sanctuary needs a new home

Star’s Piggly Wiggly’s Sanctuary is looking for properties in Vernon, Coldstream, and Enderby

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kelowna mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Most Read