Life Advice



Ask Amy: Stories of secret-keeping from the vault

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

You should be "real" with the people in your life for many reasons, but mainly because you deserve to live honestly and authentically, regardless of how you think others may want you to be. Your family could find support and community for your mother through

(April 2011)

Dear Amy: I recently took a brief vacation, and I stayed at the home of my (live-in) girlfriend's mother. My girlfriend was not there (her spring vacation is at a different time).

During my visit, the mother told me that she had recently developed a romantic relationship with a man, after the death of her husband of 40 years.

She asked me not to tell my girlfriend, since she'd be seeing her the following month and didn't want her to hear it secondhand.

I obliged.


When my girlfriend returned from her vacation, she was furious at me for not divulging her mom's secret and for forcing her to be surprised by this news, which she doesn't like.

She accused me of not being on "her team." I was stunned at her reaction.

– Keeping Secrets

Dear Secrets: Just because someone asks you to keep something a secret, doesn’t mean that you must agree to do so.


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