Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Carolyn Hax: Brother’s baby is a heavy secret to keep from their mom

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My hope is that he’ll change his thoughts earlier than the baby arrives. But, he’s younger and bullheaded. Would I be utterly within the fallacious if I spilled the beans when the baby is born? I can’t stand the logistical gymnastics and emotional drain the household and I are going have to undergo to keep his secret.

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Overwhelmed: Yes, you’d be utterly within the fallacious. Do not “spill the beans,” and don’t even entertain the concept your inconvenience trumps his emotional wants.

But I’m getting forward of myself. Blabbing is fallacious simply because it isn’t your information to give. Full cease.

Superimposing your wants onto his enterprise, although, is a larger fallacious that may danger your relationship along with your brother finally, even should you keep his secret concerning the baby.

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There’s a trace of this downside elsewhere in your letter: that you just “believe [your mother’s] heart was always in the right place.” What you imagine is true about her motives would not apply to your brother.

There’s good purpose for this. You determined she meant/means nicely based mostly in your expertise along with her — which was your willpower to make. But his expertise along with her was completely different, mechanically, and would have been so even should you have been at one another’s sides for each childhood second you spent along with your mom.

So he’ll, and has each proper to, make his choices for his family based mostly on his personal expertise. It could also be awkward for you and pressure your relationship with Mom, which you’ll be able to say to him once you ask him simply to inform her — however your judgment nonetheless would not govern your brother, and you aren’t getting to decide his selections based mostly in your information.

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Please get these strains clear in your thoughts now, earlier than the baby will get right here. His news/your news. His household/your loved ones. His expertise along with your mom/your expertise along with her. His beliefs/your beliefs. These strains do usually blur in households led by “difficult” folks, so remedy is additionally an possibility.

As for the weirdness of holding such a large secret towards the forces of social media nature, I’m sympathetic. But the impossibility of it is truly another excuse not to inform: Why spill beans which are sure to spill on their personal?

You can even make a affordable settlement along with your brother that you’ll not lie to anybody about what you recognize. Instead, you’ll deflect and refer folks to him, no gymnastics required. “I’m not at liberty to say,” and, “You’ll have to talk to [Brother] about that” are good phrases to have available — and to repeat verbatim to individuals who gained’t take no reply for a solution. And in case your mom blames you when she finds out? “It wasn’t my news to deliver. If you ever need me to, I’ll guard your privacy as forcefully as I did his.”

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