Fights are inevitable. The thought of living with one person for the rest of your life is enough to drive anyone crazy. There is, however, one mistake you should absolutely never make during the occasional fight with your spouse.
I get it, your husband or wife did the one thing you absolutely hate for the millionth time. Maybe they left the toilet seat up, left the cap off the toothpaste, or made a mess of makeup on the counter. Maybe the issue you’re dealing with is a lot bigger than that.
Whatever the case may be, there is one thing you should never do during a fight with your spouse, even if it’s a huge, blow out.
Under (almost) no circumstances should you ever complain about or disrespect your spouse to your friends, family, coworkers, really to anyone in your life. Let me explain…
I know that’s almost impossible to imagine when you’re in the midst of a huge row with your spouse. What you really want is to vent your frustrations to someone who will hear you out and tell you you’re right. You want someone to agree with your stance on things and agree that your spouse is wrong (an idiot, an ass, whatever).
The thing is, that satisfaction will only last for a short time. When you’re finally able to calm down from your anger or frustration at your spouse, are you going to be happy you shared this moment of weakness with someone else?
Fights are a very personal time in any relationship.
Allowing someone else to see them is allowing other people an intimate peek into your most important relationship. That can actually be very dangerous to your marriage going forward.
You want to surround yourself with people who will support your marriage throughout the course of your lives, and venting to other people can easily undermine your marriage in their eyes.
Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, you’re likely to forgive your spouse for whatever is going on and to want to move past it. It’s much easier for you to forgive your spouse for their shortcomings than it is for someone who loves you and wants what’s best for you.
Even the most well-meaning and supportive friends or family members will have a harder time forgetting whatever indiscretion you’re thinking of confiding.
I’m not suggesting you suffer through every fight alone. I’m simply saying you need to be incredibly selective in who you confide in. Even people who you think are open-minded enough to hear your complaints and still love your spouse as much as they did before they were clued into your current fight may surprise you.
This is where a marriage counselor would be extremely handy. I know you’re probably thinking “pump the brakes, if this fight is seriously about something as stupid as a toilet seat, I’m not going to be rushing to a counselor’s office!”
I totally agree if your biggest disagreement is about a messy bathroom counter. However, if you ever have fights that are about something that is really important to you, it’s definitely worth finding a marriage counselor that you love.
My husband and I have been going to the same counselor for two years and we absolutely love her. We credit her with teaching us how to be married. So much so that we’re planning on naming our second baby something that is a nod to her.
In my opinion, every couple needs a marriage counselor on speed dial. You wouldn’t expect your car to keep running perfectly for years and years without ever visiting a mechanic. You wouldn’t expect to maintain your health by never visiting a doctor. Why should we expect our most valuable relationship to go on without a hitch without any maintenance?
All of that being said, maybe marriage counseling just isn’t an option for you. I understand that counseling sometimes comes with a high copay that people just can’t afford or maybe you just have a negative view of counseling.
If that’s the case, maybe there are just one or two friends in your life who you really can trust with your relationship’s issues. For this to be the case, you should always make sure your spouse is okay with you confiding in someone about your marriage.
For me, there are two of these people. My best friend and my husband’s best friend’s wife. I can honestly tell these two people anything and because they love my husband as much as they love me (okay, probably more. My hubby is pretty lovable), and they never hold a grudge against him or our marriage. They’re always very loving and supportive and are always rooting us on.
Marriage is tough! If you have any friends that you can honestly trust to let into your marriage now and then, consider yourself very lucky. Just be so careful to not slip and complain about your significant other during a difficult time if you think you may regret it later.
That pain in the butt spouse that you’re currently extremely mad at still deserves for you to protect them in other’s eyes, even though they’re falling short and disappointing you at the moment. This is the part of marriage where “love is an action” and you have to just do it because you know it’s what’s right – not necessarily what you’d prefer in the moment.
Have you ever complained about your spouse to someone only to regret it later? Do you have friends that you can honestly trust with intimate knowledge about your marriage? Where do you stand on marriage counseling? Let me know in the comments!
Saturday 19th of May 2018
Great advice! What if your spouse continues the bad behaviors you've not spoken about because you shouldnt over decades? So much so that your Friends and family have seen it for years, not said anything to you but can now tell that it has changed who you are and made you unhappy? What then? Counselor, Friend, or Family, I'm confident they may all tell me the same thing. LEAVE. But How do I do that?
Monday 30th of April 2018
Hi, thanks for the eye opening article. I have complained to someone about an issue that was never ending with my husband and I regretted later especially after she told someone else right in front of me while laughing at me, she is no longer my close friend. From that time, I just don't tell anyone. But I totally agree with you that we all need someone to talk to.
Saturday 28th of October 2017
I am a therapist who struggles in my relationship at times. I agree 100% that it very dangerous and can even destroy a relationship to confide emotionally intimate details to an outsider. I make sure the person I confide in is vety clear on my flaws, my best friend who is also my 1st cousin. Therefore she can see the issue more fully and hopefully give me much more helpful insights.
Tuesday 21st of June 2016
I agree, but I'm so guilty of doing this. It's like I'm a pot about to boil over if I don't let it out. These are some great tips and I think this is a good reminder of what not to do in marriage.
Wednesday 22nd of June 2016
Thanks, I'm glad you like it! I usually don't complain about my husband even to my closest friends, but when I do, there are just those two people who I let in enough to see our weaknesses. The rest of the time I just complain to my husband about whatever he's doing to make me mad and we talk it out and move on. I just assume he's gotten pretty good at tuning me out over the years... :-)