Dear Annie: How much is appropriate to share in the workplace when it comes to personal matters?
In general, my husband and I get along fine. Recently, we ended up in some disagreement over not-so-important matters. Words were said that would have been better left unsaid. We were both angry. I was not proud of it. Later, I apologized.
He took our personal pickle and openly discussed it with his staff in the office. Days later, he told me how everyone at work agreed with him.
He is the boss. He says he trusts these people. I do not. The same folks bring all kinds of juicy gossip to the office from their community. That explains to me their level of trustworthiness. My experience in life is that people who gossip will be happy to share any story with all their so-called best friends. Our problem likely did not stay at work.
I am a private person. I really hate being in the local gossip mill. I would never think of taking a personal conflict and discussing it in the workplace, putting my husband — or any person who is important to me — down like that. Earlier this summer, I had asked him not to take a different family matter and discuss it with his staff, but he did.
My husband is quite a talker. He says things that come to his mind and maybe thinks about them later. I am just the opposite. Many things come to my mind but only to think about. Later, he apologized.
For the life of me, I cannot believe he threw me under the bus like that. The trust is gone, and I feel really hurt. We are working on rebuilding it with some help. I often stay in the garden, working on little things and crying. I have a difficult time forgetting and forgiving. I keep our discussions only on safe topics to avoid more trouble.
Am I overly sensitive feeling this way? Is there a right or wrong in our situation? — Feeling Hurt
Dear Feeling: It does not make you overly sensitive to feel betrayed, hurt and uncomfortable. Your husband violated your trust and exposed your private matters to his colleagues. Aside from upsetting you, this is also highly inappropriate and unprofessional as a leader.
Arrange for the two of you to speak in the presence of a couples counselor. This is not the first time your husband has turned chatty amidst a tiff at home, and it’s time to break the pattern.
A third party might help you feel more comfortable articulating your thoughts to him without feeling like you’re causing “more trouble.” It will also give him the space to talk these things out with the right people, keeping your personal matters between the two of you and out of the office.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]