Dear Barb – Going Public

Dear Barb:

My friend and her husband are in the process of separating and they are airing their dirty laundry on Facebook. They are not saying their names, but everyone knows who they are talking about. Why do people do that, it is so uncouth. I think they should be banned from Facebook when they do that! Andrea

Hi Andrea:

Facebook has received a lot of criticism in regards to how it handles privacy issues, hate speech, as well as religious and sexual content, among other things. However, It’s a publicly accessible forum which promotes freedom of speech. I agree it is uncouth to air your dirty laundry online; obviously that is not where it belongs. Unfortunately, a lot of people like attention and drama, as evident by the popularity of reality TV shows. You always have the option of removing yourself from Facebook and deactivating your account. Thanks Andrea.

Dear Barb:

My older brother is enrolled at AU and I came across “The Voice” among his books, so I thought I would send in a question to you. I am still in high school and have been dating the same boy for six months. My family doesn’t know about our relationship, as he is from a pretty bad family and I know they would not approve. I really like him, but I am starting to notice some abusive behaviour at times. He is very possessive and jealous and always demeaning me. I think my boyfriend would feel more secure and stop being so possessive once we tell my family and they get to know him. I really want to tell them, but I fear how they will react. I’m still going to keep dating him even if my family freaks out. Do you think I should keep this from them as long as I can, or should I come clean? Thanks Jess

Hi Jess:

You need to tell your family about your relationship as this may be an abusive relationship and It’s not going to get any better if you keep it a secret. As to whether he will feel more secure when your family knows about him, I’m not sure that will happen. If he is treating you in a demeaning manner they probably will not support the relationship, and some of the behaviour you describe would definitely be considered abusive, for example demeaning, possessiveness, and jealousy. If your family expresses their concern that this is an abusive relationship, you can be sure your boyfriend will not want to visit them, nor will he want you to spend a lot of time with them. I think you need to rethink this relationship. If you have doubts whether this is an abusive relationship, I would suggest you contact the Women’s Shelter or Crisis Center in your area and discuss your boyfriend’s behaviour with them. Thanks for writing in this with important question!

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

%d bloggers like this: