Sometimes it's true.
Sometimes it's a misunderstanding.
Sometimes it's a bald-faced lie.
Sometimes it is meant to help.
Sometimes it is malicious and trouble-making.
More from YourTango: How to Fix a Relationship After Cheating
It comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. It may be a wrong impression or intended to cause upset and harm. Or, it might accurate information that you really do need to hear.
There's no doubt about it. When you hear gossip about your partner or when gossip is spread about you, the result can be confusion, insecurity, jealousy and disconnection in your relationship.
The difficult thing when you hear gossip is that it can be hard to know what is true. You might be tempted to plug your ears or wave the rumor away. But, doubt can get planted even if you're trying to forget the gossip you heard.
You may want to ask your mate about the gossip, but you don't want to start an argument. It's possible that you're not sure if you can believe what your partner says about the gossip. Is he just covering up? Is she lying?
This is the destructive potential of gossip.
You hear something that is troubling. You can't know for sure what is really true. And, this seed of doubt won't go away. It grows and can become impossible to ignore.
Pretty soon, you are looking at your love from a completely different (and maybe negative) perspective, arguments crop up easily, tension mounts and you begin to wonder if this is the beginning of the end of your relationship-- all because of what a friend, acquaintance or family member told you.
The overriding question is this...
Should you believe the gossip?
Check it out.
We urge you to always, always, always check out what you have heard. No matter how strongly you dismiss what the other person has told you, if this is about your partner or your relationship, check the facts. It will bring you more easily to peace about it.
You might have instant facts that make it clear that the gossip is absolutely untrue. For example, if someone tells you that she heard your partner was flirting with someone else at a bar on Saturday night and you two were home alone together that evening, you can easily let that gossip pass you by.
However, if the rumor is that your partner was flirting and it could be possible, get more information. Get RELIABLE information.
More from YourTango: Can Arguing Make You a Closer Couple?
You can ask the person delivering the gossip for more facts. Exactly what kind of behavior did the person see? Specifically when did this happen, with whom and where? Really listen to the details of what you are hearing. Does this feel like proof that your partner was flirting or do you need to find out more? Can you reasonably chock this up to gossip and untrue after learning more?
You can also ask your partner for more information. Be aware of how you request more information, however. If you make an accusation based on the gossip or you demand to know, “Where were you and who were you with ____!” you're probably going to get a defensive and angry reaction from your mate.