Cindy had set up a coaching call based upon the referral from her Pastor. She arrived to the session with a friend whom she insisted join us in session. Cindy had brought her friend to verify what she was telling us about how horrible of a husband she has. “My pastor, all of my friends, including a counselor friend of mine, agrees with me that he is the problem in our marriage.”
We asked if they had ever been to see a counselor, pastor or marriage coach together to which she replied, “Haven’t you been listening? We don’t need a marriage counselor. He needs a counselor.”
Far too often we find that unhappy spouse’s talk to almost everyone about their relationship problems, except their spouse. They will tell their best friend, sibling, parent, boss, coworkers and hair-dresser how horrible their spouse is before they make an attempt to discuss the issue directly with their spouse.
There are several problems with talking bad about your spouse to other people.
- It adds to the problem. As you tell the stories about how bad your spouse is you become more entrenched in your “side” of the story and less open to hear your spouse’s perspective. You begin to look for more evidence that supports your position. And your friends support of you is seen as additional evidence that you are correct and your spouse is wrong.
- You get bad advice. When your friends here the stories, they want to support you which rarely is good for your relationship. It is almost like telling everyone about your fever and head congestion but never going to the doctor. Instead of helpful information to solve the issue, you usually hear comments like, “She did what?” and “You don’t have to put up with that.” And “If I were you I would set him straight.”
- It causes problems in the future. When you finally have the hard conversations you need to have and reconcile, all of your family and friends continue to think poorly of your spouse. Things are good between the two of you until one of them treats your spouse bad because of all that you have shared.
- It keeps you thinking negative. What you dwell on impacts how you interact with your spouse. When you leave your spouse’s presence and spend the day talking bad about them, your mind dwells on the most negative of all of your interactions with your spouse.
- It opens the door to an affair. Confiding in others of the opposite sex about the stress in your marriage draws your heart toward them instead of your spouse. Their caring response in your time of relational stress is the beginning of an emotional connection that often leads to infidelity.
Where there is no fuel
a fire goes out;
where there is no gossip
arguments come to an end. Prov. 26:20
Instead of talking bad about your spouse to other people, take courage to have the hard conversation your marriage needs most. In connecting with your spouse by using Speaking and Hearing Truth skills, you will grow emotionally closer to your spouse. If it is just to hard to talk about, find a Christian pastor, coach, mentoring couple or counselor to help you and your spouse work out the issue.
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.