DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend told his mother one of my biggest secrets.
The two are very close, but I am deeply upset with him for repeating something that I asked him never to share. I feel deeply betrayed and ashamed.
At first I felt angry enough to consider a breakup, but since then I have calmed down.
Would he be exaggerating if he never told her another secret again? What would be the correct answer?
DEAR BETRAYED: The problem with secrets is that too often that trust is betrayed. There always seems to be someone to trust, even when you’ve promised to keep something for yourself. Witness your boyfriend and your mother.
Talk to your boyfriend and explain how upset you have been by his betrayal. Make sure he understands that this breach of trust makes you question whether it is safe to talk to him about your innermost feelings and your fondest stories. Admit that you are doubting that you can continue to trust him. Ask her why she decided to share this secret with her mother after you explicitly asked her not to.
Ultimately, you will have to weigh each situation to decide what you share with your boyfriend. Whenever you reveal something private to someone, there is a possibility that it will be shared with other people. Sometimes it is more important to say it anyway. You will have to decide when disclosure is more important than secrecy.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I sublet an apartment from my friend who had to move unexpectedly. Your cousin and I are splitting the sublease as roommates. I recently discovered that your cousin has not been paying as much rent as I have. I am upset that I am a full time student so renting has been a challenge for me. Should I confront them about this?
My friend was doing me a favor by letting me move because I just couldn’t afford housing on campus anymore, but I feel taken advantage of.
ESTIMATED SUB-LEASE: Unfortunately, you probably have no rights here. You can consult an attorney or the housing court, but I doubt they can offer relief. Did you sign a lease to begin with? Very often when people sublet, it is under the table, so to speak.
While what your friend did – splitting the rent unevenly – wasn’t fair, in his eyes, he may not be able to change a thing. You can appeal to their humanity. Tell him that you just found out that your premium is paying less than you are. Point out that it is an exaggeration for you to pay the amount you agreed to, given your status as a student. Ask if they would consider rebalancing the amount you pay.
If you really can’t afford this rent, you may want to look for another home. If the sublease is off the books, notifying the landlord could result in eviction for everyone. If it’s legal, it means that the two of you agreed on particular rental amounts, and that would be binding.
Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c / o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.