Friendships outside our relationships are invaluable. "Our friends are mirror images for us," explains relationship expert April Masini. "They validate our feelings and confirm what we're thinking when we're not confident or certain enough to accept new situations. They know us very well, and can tell us when we're wrong or when we're projecting."
But as a relationship moves from casual to "until death do you part," there are certain things a newlywed should part with sharing to protect her marriage. Here, Masini breaks down what you should and shouldn't open up about.
What to share:
"[This] is primarily about you, and if you have some sort of health issue where you really need the support of your friends — and when husband and family just don't cut it — it's okay to share these issues with your friends," says Masini.
Sometimes, Masini says, it's best if your husband isn't also your everything. "Having friends you can talk to about career or workplace issues takes pressure off of marriages and gives you an support base in your friends, that doesn't betray your marriage and supports you, and ultimately, your marriage," she says.
In this situation, even the most level-headed of men can't be objective. "You need support to be a stepmother," Masini says. "Choose close, trusted friends who won't gossip, and make sure you get the support you need. Blended families are tough. Your friends can help keep them together if you have the right resources."
Your hopes and dreams
The first step to accomplishing a goal is writing it down — and dishing on it, of course. "Sometimes, telling your spouse gets a different reaction than telling your friends, and it's great to have all walks of life support your dreams," says Masini.
Your will, trust, and estate plan
"It's a great idea to give a copy of your estate plan to one or two friends, just in case," Masini says. "When there are biological kids and stepkids, contentious conflict can arise over estates, so share your plans and what you want for those around you, if you're not around."
What to keep between you and your husband:
"Single women are much more frank and open about sex than men are," Masini explains. "They talk details. They get down and dirty. And they're more honest about their success and failures in bed. This is great when you're dating and you want to share in order to process — or just to make your friends laugh. And it's a great way to find out just how normal your experience is because your friends all weigh in and compare experiences and reactions. But when you get married, there's a sense of betrayal when you share your married sex life events with friends."
Dishing on every detail can make it seem like your relationship is in turmoil when you're simply annoyed for a moment. "Some blow over, while others are fatal," says Masini. "In order to prevent friends and family from drawing up sides and fueling the fires, don't talk about your fights in the marriage. If you have to, choose one or two close friends that you both know are your inner circle, outside the two of you."
"It's no one else's business, and you should protect his privacy when it comes to his health issues," Masini reasons. "Even if you think [his problems are] common, he may not. Put his feelings first."
"If you feel like you need to talk things out with someone, hire a financial planner," says Masini.
"He may have shared things with you about his past — whether it's family abuse, criminal issues, financial failures," says Masini. "But whatever it is, don't betray his trust by sharing what he doesn't want others to know."
What else do you think a newlywed should or shouldn't share with her friends? Let us know on Twitter at @BRIDES!