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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Overshare Much?

Our culture offers so many opportunities to talk - about how we feel, what we're doing, who did what to whom and how I feel about that.  We can add little faces and emoticons to further describe our thoughts.  Oh it's so validating when others respond, "like" or comment!


  • When dealing with separation, divorce and co-parenting I was tempted to share 'out there' in order to somehow justify my feelings and seek support for my viewpoint.  I'm so glad I kept a low profile, it would have been so easy to let it all out there!  As it was I regret that so many knew so much - that was even with trying to be discreet.

    Bad-mouthing your ex can feel pretty good when you are angry and in pain.  Still, it isn't often helpful or productive and this is the time to enact some healthy boundaries for yourself. 

    Do Not:
    • Post on Facebook about specific frustrations - what goes around comes around and it will surely not help the relationship you still have with your ex.
    • Unload repeatedly on the same [perhaps mutual] friends - they will think you are bitter and negative if the topic is complaining every time you get together.
    • Consider every interaction and child exchange to be the time to bring up grievances.  It can wait until you can talk alone or email about specifics.  Let go of the feeling that each time you see your former you are reliving the betrayal and rejection.  That is in the past, live in the present.
    • Find a few safe, trusted people with whom you can vent and rant.  Then move on to better and more uplifting topics.
    • Keep it light on the internet and remember the permanence of your words.
    • Protect your children from feeling of mistrust because you do not feel the same way they do about their parent.  It is their right to idealize mom and dad and to point out faults will create distance between you and them.  Let your ex define his or her own relationship with the children...they will know the truth in time.
    • Prepare a few key phrases for when acquaintances ask how things are going, "We are well and learning to work with our new family time."  "There are challenges and working on them."  "Some days are tough, but most days are busy, fun and full - like all families." 
    I whole-heartedly endorse journaling, for letting out those thoughts that even I feel are a bit scandalous!  Sharing with trusted people helps so much, as does sharing with those who have traveled this path.  I think a support group would be beneficial.  If you really feel that you are having deep, lasting resentment, it may be time to visit a therapist or minister.  You need to get these feelings out, then you can fill the space with dreams of your future and positive plans for a better season.

    I can think of several times I've really just wanted to shout out my pain, and explain to everyone the intricacies of why our marriage failed.  I had a need to feel justified and wanted validation from others.  A key part of my recovery has been to acknowledge that I know the truth, I don't need others to pat me on the back and agree.  I know I have acted in line with my values and I don't owe others an explanation.  Sometimes I know there are people who judge me or don't understand and I'm okay with that now.  I've never regretted holding back, but there are things that I wish I didn't share.

    What is your experience with sharing?  Needing validation?  Facebook?  Talk around town?


    1. I'm with you here. There might be things that needed to be shared for the sake of your sanity, but at the same time, there are things that might be better kept to ourselves (or written in our journals). Especially when we're feeling emotional,it's good to take some time to calm down first before deciding to rant over mediums such as facebook, twitter, or the likes.

    2. I kind of hate facebook. I think it's a natural reaction after after your husband "unfriends" you. (Mind you while we are still together) I am seriously thinking about getting off facebook because sometimes it just makes me feel bad to see everyone else's wonderful lives. I share only cute things my kids say or do. I think if you get on there and share negative things, people are going to think you are stuck there and will judge you based on that. Plus, it's very junior high, the whole thing. Don't want to go back there!

    3. I understand that regret of saying too much. Like you, I've never regretted holding back, but I do regret saying too much. There are times when I need to speak to someone, but I hold it in because it's just emotionally safer to do so.

      In the past couple of years, I have tried to remove myself from relationships that aren't beneficial to either party. If we're not bringing anything positive to each other's lives, then we clearly don't need to be around each other. That said, I do have a couple of very good friends who are willing to listen and be supportive in a non-judgmental way, thankfully. I never feel like they're going to use it against me in the future or spread it around town.

      Something that I have found helpful is to use my commute time as a sort of rant it out time. I simply vocalize my frustrations during my drive and say, to my empty car, all of the things that I would like to say to a person. Call it commute journaling, but it works.

      Keep your head up. I find your blog inspiring.