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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Feb 13, 2014
 
DEAR ABBY: Earlier this year, my sister "Kathy" was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation, and will begin reconstructive surgery soon.

Because of her diagnosis she encouraged me to visit my doctor for an exam. When I did, they found a lump, which needs further testing. I have chosen not to share this with my family because my sisters and parents have been deeply affected by Kathy's diagnosis, and I don't want to cause them needless worry.

My husband is angry and he said that because Kathy is their favorite they wouldn't be concerned anyway. I thought it was insensitive and cruel to me, but more to the point, I felt he wasn't thinking about how upset my doing so might make my family. Am I wrong to feel this way?-- NEEDS FURTHER TESTING

DEAR NEEDS FURTHER TESTING: Certainly not. Your husband's comment illustrates the importance of keeping one's mouth firmly shut if one can't think of something helpful or supportive to say. It almost appears that he is angry at you for the questionable test result.

I can't blame you for not wanting to upset your already stressed family at this point, but if more testing confirms that you, too, have breast cancer, I think it's important that you let them know -- especially your sisters, who might want to be screened sooner than later.

I hope your husband's apparent inability to support you emotionally during this difficult time is an aberration, but if it's not, you will need to find support elsewhere.

DEAR ABBY: About 15 years ago I committed a crime against a woman I cared about. I have felt guilt and remorse about it ever since. I can't speak to her or have any contact with her.

I would like to tell her I'm sorry for what happened. I have beaten myself up over this and thought about suicide. What do I do? Please help, Abby.-- SO SORRY IN ST. JOSEPH, MO.

DEAR SO SORRY: The first thing you must do is talk with a mental health professional about your suicidal thoughts. Once you have been stabilized, you should then understand that you may have been forbidden to contact your former friend because what you did was so traumatic that it could cause her to relive the incident, which could further victimize her. If you're looking for forgiveness, forgive yourself and move on -- but leave her out of it.

DEAR ABBY: Is there some sort of etiquette regarding inquiring about someone's country of origin?

While making polite conversation with a customer in my retail shop, I noticed she had an accent and asked where she was from. She became very evasive and seemed offended that I had asked. She actually refused to answer my question.

I tried to recover from the awkward situation, but I can't help but feel I insulted her somehow. Was I wrong to ask?-- FRIENDLY RETAILER IN KANSAS CITY

DEAR RETAILER: Perhaps. Some immigrants to this country feel the question you asked is a very personal one. There can be various reasons for it. The person may feel self-conscious about his or her accent, and you can't know the political situation in the person's country of origin or whether he or she has encountered bias because of where he or she came from.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Feb 13, 2014
 
1- There's no need to further stress your family by telling them anything now. Wait until you have more information. If it turns out to be nothing, let it go. If you're gonna be dead in six months, you might want to tell them.

And no, I don't think I'm contradicting myself from yesterday's letter about keeping things from family. This is a different situation. A lump isn't anything to stress family about. Full-blown cancer is.

2- I agree with Abby

3- There's nothing rude about asking someone where they're from. She was probably being evasive because her visa expired and she's now here illegally. Call INS.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#3
Feb 13, 2014
 

Judged:

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1 I think your husband did not know what to say, so he blurted out the first thing that popped into his head. He is scared, and scared for you.

2 You want absolution...Well you aint gonna get it. You admit you did a horrible thing so just man up and move on.

3 Edog is right, If she wont tell, then she can just go back to where ever she came from. Real Americans are proud of their origins, we remember and discuss it to remind ourselves how great we have it now.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#4
Feb 13, 2014
 
edogxxx wrote:
1- There's no need to further stress your family by telling them anything now. Wait until you have more information. If it turns out to be nothing, let it go. If you're gonna be dead in six months, you might want to tell them.
And no, I don't think I'm contraditing myself from yesterday's letter about keeping things from family. This is a different situation. A lump isn't anything to stress family about. Full-blown cancer is.
2- I agree with Abby
3- There's nothing rude about asking someone where they're from. She was probably being evasive because her visa expired and she's now here illegally. Call INS.
How do you differentiate between "keeping a secret" and simply not sharing information that is no one else's business and only confiding in someone you are close to?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#5
Feb 13, 2014
 

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Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>How do you differentiate between "keeping a secret" and simply not sharing information that is no one else's business and only confiding in someone you are close to?
I don't. I see them as the same thing. Not providing information to someone is the same thing as keeping it a secret. How do YOU differentiate between the two?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#6
Feb 13, 2014
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't. I see them as the same thing. Not providing information to someone is the same thing as keeping it a secret. How do YOU differentiate between the two?
So do you, for instance, email your entire family every time you come back from the doctor? What I'm getting at is, do you not believe that a person should have any aspect of their lives that they rightfully consider private and that no one else has any RIGHT to know?

Medical info is just one example. If my doctor tells me I have high cholesterol and should work on that, its really no one else's business. I don't feel compelled to share that with anyone but I don't see that as a "secret".

I just have a hard time with you characterizing any private info as a " secret".

If my sister gets knocked up and has an abortion, I could more than understand her confiding in my mom, but not sharing it with me. Its none of my business. Its not something i have a RIGHT to know.
Blunt Advice

Newark, NJ

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#7
Feb 13, 2014
 
1. Wait until you have the test results to say anything.
2. Depending on what it was you did and if you are likely to do it again.....counseling or lethal injection.
3. Get a feel of how friendly or approachable a person is before asking.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#8
Feb 13, 2014
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't. I see them as the same thing. Not providing information to someone is the same thing as keeping it a secret. How do YOU differentiate between the two?
I suppose they are the same, but labeling it as a secret gives a negative connotation. Like the person is doing wrong by not sharing the information. That's where my issue is. I don't buy into this idea that everyone has a right to know everything about me whether I want them to or not.

If my friend confides in me that he is having marital problems and asks me not to tell my wife who is friends with his, I'm keeping my mouth shut. My wife has no RIGHT to know that info. It was shared with me in confidence. Same as with lw's husband and his daughter. Marrying him does not automatically grant her an equivalent relationship with his daughter and make her a confidante.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#9
Feb 13, 2014
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I suppose they are the same, but labeling it as a secret gives a negative connotation. Like the person is doing wrong by not sharing the information. That's where my issue is. I don't buy into this idea that everyone has a right to know everything about me whether I want them to or not.
If my friend confides in me that he is having marital problems and asks me not to tell my wife who is friends with his, I'm keeping my mouth shut. My wife has no RIGHT to know that info. It was shared with me in confidence. Same as with lw's husband and his daughter. Marrying him does not automatically grant her an equivalent relationship with his daughter and make her a confidante.
I guess it depends on the situation, and the scope. Not telling my family I went to the doctor isn't keeping it a secret from them, however, not telling them I'm dying IS.

But even with your example, not telling your wife about your friend is fine, but I think not telling her about your child is wrong. It's her child too, even in the case of a "step" child. Parenting your children should be a partnership (and yes, even legally adult children still might need to be parented.) It's not right to exclude your spouse from that.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#10
Feb 13, 2014
 
LW1: Your husband is a knob. The last thing you need is his creating drama right now. He should be doing everything he can to help you and to support you.

LW2: Move on. I'm sure the last person she wants to hear from is you.

LW3: I don't see anything rude about that question. If the person took offense, that's on them. People are strange.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#11
Feb 13, 2014
 

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LW1: What RACE said. At this point, I can see your husband not giving a f*ck about how your family feels; he's worried about you.

LW2: Guess what? This doesn't get to be about you and your bad feelings. Leave her alone and seek some therapy.

I wonder if you'd feel so bad if it was a woman you didn't care about...

LW3: She may be from a place that, even if you didn't know the details, just telling you the country would give enough information for you to start wondering (and judging) about all the terrible things that happened there. The former Yugoslavia comes to mind.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

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#12
Feb 13, 2014
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
If my friend confides in me that he is having marital problems and asks me not to tell my wife who is friends with his, I'm keeping my mouth shut. My wife has no RIGHT to know that info.
True, but A) this is a slippery slope, because in this particular example it could turn into him asking you to cover for him which could lead to lying to your wife and B) in general, I don't think it's fair for someone to ask a friend to keep things from his or her spouse.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#13
Feb 13, 2014
 

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L1: I agree with Race about the husband with not knowing any other info. He probably is very scared. It depends on the family on whether or not you tell them about your test and how the person who is waiting on the test is coping. I'd probably drag one of my sisters with me (or a close friend). I didn't do that with other minor (potentially major) stuff, but something like that I probably would.

L2: Don't contact her. You can make amends better to the world by being a better person and giving what you can to charities (whether time or money or both) that deal with helping people who do whatever you did.

L3: A simple -- I'm sorry, that's personal, after the reaction would probably have sufficed and then a compliment about how you adore the way the person speaks. But I can be a suck-up.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#14
Feb 13, 2014
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess it depends on the situation, and the scope. Not telling my family I went to the doctor isn't keeping it a secret from them, however, not telling them I'm dying IS.
But even with your example, not telling your wife about your friend is fine, but I think not telling her about your child is wrong. It's her child too, even in the case of a "step" child. Parenting your children should be a partnership (and yes, even legally adult children still might need to be parented.) It's not right to exclude your spouse from that.
I disagree in tge case of the adult "step" children. I have too many friends who have remarried parents who do not consider new spouse a parent of any kind(not that that's a bad thing). I can only agree with you in cases where the child was young enough an new wife really did play a parental role.

But take the step out of it. You have a problem with a child confiding in one parent? You think the parent shoukd break that trust and tell the other when asked not to? Good luck having them ever confide in you again.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#15
Feb 13, 2014
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
True, but A) this is a slippery slope, because in this particular example it could turn into him asking you to cover for him which could lead to lying to your wife and B) in general, I don't think it's fair for someone to ask a friend to keep things from his or her spouse.
Could it lead to that? Sure. But it could simply be him talking to a sumpathetic ear about his problems. One dies not necessaroly lead to another.

As far as keeping things from the wife, I see zero problem when the thing is none of the wife's business to begin with. I don't run to my wife and give her a full report on every conversation I have throughout the day nor do I want to know hers. There have been times that she's had a friend over and gone into another room behind closed doors cause her freind needed to talk to her in private about a personal issue. I respect that and don't care that she does not spill the dirt to me. Its not my business.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#16
Feb 13, 2014
 

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H*ll yes.
Parents need to be seen as a single entity by their kids. Do you mean that when you were a kid, you never pleaded with your mom not to tell dad? I know I did, but it was to no avail. Dad got home, learned of my misdeed and a spanking is what I got for my troubles.

So let's kick it up a knotch, If daughter gets her period and she tells mom, dad is not obligated to know. BUT...If she does NOT get her period, dad is obligated to know.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
But take the step out of it. You have a problem with a child confiding in one parent? You think the parent shoukd break that trust and tell the other when asked not to? Good luck having them ever confide in you again.
Cass

Claremont, CA

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#17
Feb 13, 2014
 
LW1 - Your husband has a medical condition called "foot in mouth disease." I agree with Dog. Get the lump biopsied, get the results, and THEN discuss this with your family. You can tell them that you didn't mention anything earlier because you didn't want to worry them needlessly, but now that you know for sure either (a) Yay, good news! It's a fibrocyst which may not even need a surgery or (b) Unfortunately, it's cancer. Thank you, Kathy, for alerting me - it was caught early and the prognosis is good.

If the gaffe is out of character for hubby, forgive him and move on. If not, you have bigger issues, but you may want to put them on hold how until your know what's going on with your health.

LW2 - You date-raped your then-girlfriend? Stay the h- away from her. Check yourself into a hospital if you are suicidal.

LW3 - Oh, that's one of my pet peeves. Let me explain.

I was born in Ukraine. Although I have been speaking English since the age of 10, I still have a very mild accent in it. Having been asked over the past many, many, many years where I was from has gotten extremely annoying. I don't hide it from the people I know, but for strangers - it's totally none of their business.

I wouldn't be avoiding answering these strangers if not for one thing: invariably, when they hear the name of my native country, they think it is awfully exotic, and they think I am some kind of an exotic person. They compliment me on my English. Thanks, but I've been speaking it for a good 35 years - far longer than I spoke my native language as a child. I have not lived in my "home" country in decades. The last time I visited some cousins there was 10 years ago, and that was when I took a 3-day detour on the way to visit a friend from college who then lived in Germany.

I avoid answering strangers' questions about my country of origin because - bizarrely, in my view - upon hearing my truthful answer, they ask me whether I regularly cook goulash. Ummm. That's a Hungarian dish. I am not Hungarian. And no, I don't cook any dishes from my native country either.

I avoid answering strangers' questions about my country of origin because if I say I am from New York (where I lived for a long time before moving out to the West Coast in my mid-20s), they say, "No, where are you REALLY from?" Really? I was born in Ukraine. "Oh, do you cook goulash?" WTF????

In other words, I don't answer strangers' questions about my country of origin not because I am illegal (I have long been a U.S. citizen) or because I am ashamed of my place of birth (I do not know much about it in the first place, and my memories of it are rather vague). I don't answer those questions because way too often they are intrusive and lead to a lot of annoying and extremely stupid follow-up comments and questions.

Okay. End of rant.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

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#18
Feb 13, 2014
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Could it lead to that? Sure. But it could simply be him talking to a sumpathetic ear about his problems. One dies not necessaroly lead to another.
As far as keeping things from the wife, I see zero problem when the thing is none of the wife's business to begin with. I don't run to my wife and give her a full report on every conversation I have throughout the day nor do I want to know hers. There have been times that she's had a friend over and gone into another room behind closed doors cause her freind needed to talk to her in private about a personal issue. I respect that and don't care that she does not spill the dirt to me. Its not my business.
If it's just information, sure, but what if it indirectly affects your wife? What if your buddy went to rehab and wants you to visit him to bring him that book he loaned you that he wants back now but your wife's not supposed to know he's in rehab? If you go, you're either going to tell your wife in spite of him asking you not to, or lie to your wife.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

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#19
Feb 13, 2014
 

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Cass, I was born in Hungary (naturalized US citizen for almost 30 years) and even I get annoyed when people ask me if I cook goulash. I don't cook anything!
:)

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#20
Feb 13, 2014
 
People ask me where I am from and it never bothers me to answer. Of course they always follow up with asking me how come I am so awesome, and I do admit it gets a little tiresome to answer about my greatness, but I understand their natural curiosity.

You need to remember they are not being nosy, just curious.
And you should learn how to make goulash, its delicious. Try adding rabbit to it.
Cass wrote:
LW3 - Oh, that's one of my pet peeves. Let me explain.
I was born in Ukraine. Although I have been speaking English since the age of 10, I still have a very mild accent in it. Having been asked over the past many, many, many years where I was from has gotten extremely annoying. I don't hide it from the people I know, but for strangers - it's totally none of their business.
I wouldn't be avoiding answering these strangers if not for one thing: invariably, when they hear the name of my native country, they think it is awfully exotic, and they think I am some kind of an exotic person. They compliment me on my English. Thanks, but I've been speaking it for a good 35 years - far longer than I spoke my native language as a child. I have not lived in my "home" country in decades. The last time I visited some cousins there was 10 years ago, and that was when I took a 3-day detour on the way to visit a friend from college who then lived in Germany.
I avoid answering strangers' questions about my country of origin because - bizarrely, in my view - upon hearing my truthful answer, they ask me whether I regularly cook goulash. Ummm. That's a Hungarian dish. I am not Hungarian. And no, I don't cook any dishes from my native country either.
I avoid answering strangers' questions about my country of origin because if I say I am from New York (where I lived for a long time before moving out to the West Coast in my mid-20s), they say, "No, where are you REALLY from?" Really? I was born in Ukraine. "Oh, do you cook goulash?" WTF????
In other words, I don't answer strangers' questions about my country of origin not because I am illegal (I have long been a U.S. citizen) or because I am ashamed of my place of birth (I do not know much about it in the first place, and my memories of it are rather vague). I don't answer those questions because way too often they are intrusive and lead to a lot of annoying and extremely stupid follow-up comments and questions.
Okay. End of rant.

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