Husband's tribute turns to tears
DEAR AMY >> My husband's job requires that he be active on social media. His primary account contains mostly work-related content, but he also uses it to direct people to some personal writing and photography.
He has several thousand followers.
I am not active on social media for my own valid reasons, and I understand that my husband can manage his own choices. I have asked him NOT to post personal information about me, but he still shares more information than I would like.
When my mother died, he posted a “tribute” to her on his blog and promoted it on all his accounts. He included lots of personal details, including her maiden and married names.
A few days ago, he forwarded an email to me from a man who had read his blog. The man said he'd done genealogical research and had determined that his grandmother and my mother were half-sisters. He asked if our family was aware of this and invited someone to contact him for more information, if they were interested.
My grandparents were very candid about their past and never indicated that they were hiding a secret. If so, it was clearly information they did not want to share.
I know my husband never intended for something like this to happen, but I resent that he put me in this situation by ignoring my request for privacy.
I have no interest in pursuing this, but other family members might feel differently.
Should I share this with them?
I'm very upset and don't know what to do.
DEAR BEREAVED >> People who are more public with their social-media sharing should respect the privacy of others in their lives who have the right to control their own personal or private information.
Your husband should have shown you his tribute to your late mother in advance of posting it to his followers.
I maintain that the reason he did not run this past you in advance is because he didn't want you to weigh in or to edit him. His writer's ego was running the show. It was insensitive of him to make this particular choice.
All the same, the information you object to his sharing would also be published in a death announcement in the newspaper, on the funeral home's website, in an obituary, or in any number of online memorial tributes.
The contact from the alleged relative would have made its way to you, eventually.
Someone linking their family to your family through their own genealogical research does not make it a fact.
I suggest that because this contact came through your husband and you're not interested in following up, you could leave the decision up to him on whether to forward it to your other family members.
If your other family members also object to his oversharing, he should hear it from them and face the personal consequences of his choice.