Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie 6/30

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: My mother-in-law can’t keep a secret to save her life. Neither can my husband, for that matter. She lives for gossip, and my husband joins his parents daily for “happy hour.”

Members of our family have often told me things in confidence that they are not yet ready to share with others. Sometimes good news, sometimes not. The problem is that my husband gets angry with me when I won’t fill him in on all the “dirt.” I’ve repeatedly told him it is because he runs right to his mother and tells her everything. One could just as well call the newspaper office and put it in the morning edition. My mother-in-law also tends to put her own spin on whatever really happened.

Thus, I keep things to myself. After the most recent time that my husband spilled a secret that I told him to his mother, I’ve decided that I’m done. I can’t trust either of them. Now they’re both upset with me, and I’m the bad guy for keeping things to myself. – Biting My Tongue

Dear Biting My Tongue: Being trustworthy is one of the most important parts of being a good friend; I agree with your decision to keep private matters between you and whoever confided in you. There’s no need to even broach the subject with your husband or his mother.

After all, just because someone shares a secret with you doesn’t mean the story is yours to tell.

Dear Annie: A couple of months ago, I caught my wife of 31 years talking to a guy on her Instagram. When I asked her about it, she said they were just friends and got all defensive about it. We have a joint account that she won’t use.

Now the person she was talking to messaged me and told me they are talking on a different app. When I asked her about it, she denied it. I tried to check her phone, but she changed the passcode. She’s become very distant, telling me she needs space because I accused her of cheating, which I never did.

Any advice to get her to see it from my point of view? I love her with all my heart, but I really don’t know if I can trust her again. – Insecure on Instagram

Dear Insecure on Instagram: You are starting from a good place – a place of love. Now it is a matter of openly communicating your concerns with her – not trying to read through her phone without her permission.

I’m not sure why the person she was talking to would send you a message saying they are talking on a different app, unless you had asked him. A good couples therapist can help you close the distance that you are feeling between you and your wife.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to