Ask Paul B: Keeping Secret is Dishonest?

Dear Paul B,

I am only 19 and I have a secret that is killing me. My parents brought me up to be honest and forthright, and to always do the right thing. Here is what I saw. My Uncle XXXX was leaving a motel by our house three weeks ago, and I saw his car as he was getting in. I then saw a woman walk out and get in his car. I was walking home from work and noticed this but he didn’t see me. He looked much older than this woman, and I am not stupid. I know what was going on there. Uncle XXXX married my aunt last year and I never liked him anyway. I feel bad for my aunt and don’t know what to do. I don’t want to hurt her, but feel that I am hurting her by not telling her. She has two young sons from another marriage, and her ex-husband was a bad man. I want to help her, but I am confused. What would you do? My parents don’t know, and I won’t tell my sister, because she can’t keep a secret. I want to tell somebody.

K

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Dear K,

Do nothing. Your Aunt may already know, and if not, she will find out on her own. You needn’t speed up this ill-fated union. I sympathize with all of you, especially your poor Aunt. She has not had much luck with men, and apparently continues to marry the “cheatin’ kind.” If you could somehow drop an anonymous note for this cheatin’ Uncle that you know about his extra-marital exploits, then perhaps he will reconsider this hurtful and dangerous behavior, but I think not. You do not want to hurt your Aunt, but I have a hunch that she will find out about this “jerk,” as most cheaters just push the envelope too far. You are smart to say nothing, and please do not tell anyone. Once two people know a secret, it is no longer one…

Paul B.

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