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Stop Venting About Your Spouse. Here's Why.


couple fighting


Relationships are a lot like plants - they need nurturing, time, and attention in order to grow and thrive. Some seasons are better than others. There are periods of heavy growth, and some concerns along the way. Some can be brought back to life after a lot of struggle, and some sadly can't be salvaged in the end. But, as they say, "the grass grows where you water it." It is a metaphor for life and to not give up on the things that matter to you. A marriage is special, and is a commitment you made with someone you love. That person is often someone you've started (or hope to start) a family with. Your two sides became one during your union, and there are a lot more people involved and invested in your health and happiness together now. Unfortunately, not every relationship experiences 24/7, perpetual bliss, but that's no reason to throw in the towel or feel that every detail of your struggles needs to be shared with those who know you. Here's why you should stop venting about your spouse.


Your marriage is sacred.


...and it should be treated as such. Unless you're dealing with something intense and deeply concerning like abuse, addiction, or something that's done irreversible damage to you or your family, the ebbs and flows of your relationship should be kept private. You chose to spend your life with this person, and make a very serious commitment to them, no matter what kinds of highs and lows you experience together. Learning effective communication within your relationship is truly the only thing that will improve it. Sharing intimate details of the goings-on in the privacy of your home is not only a break of trust with your partner, but disrespectful to your marriage as a whole. Anything that needs to be worked out with him/her, should be worked out directly with that person. Plus, it's unfair to polarize loved ones with single-perspective details of situations in which you're inevitably demonizing the person you're married to. Which brings me to my next point...

Friends and family don't forget.


Everyone has been on the receiving end of partner venting at some point in their life. You listen. You support them. You give words of wisdom. You offer comfort, and a shoulder to cry on anytime they need. But you never, ever forget. Most of the time, you truly hope things will get better and they will get over the struggle they're experiencing. But the worst is when you know nothing has changed, except that they want you to just pretend like nothing ever happened during future get-togethers. Maybe they're over it now. Maybe they don't want to talk about it anymore. Maybe they're in denial. Maybe there has truly been resolution with their significant other. But to masquerade like there was never a problem in the first place, and gaslight anyone that has the nerve to ask is awkward, uncomfortable, and makes people lose trust in their own relationship with you. "Just wanting to vent" is something many people feel the urge to do, but it is not without consequence. Which brings us to the fact that...


You can't put the "cat back in the bag" later on.


Whether you told the truth, exaggerated things, got something wrong, or outright lied about the details for some reason, everyone you told heard what you said, and that's what will stick with them. Do not ever think they will be able to truly look at your spouse the same again, after knowing what they know. It may involve more self-control than you're accustomed to, but sometimes... you just need to know when to STFU already. Your marital issues are no one else's business. I said what I said. You cannot undo what has been done once the information is out, and it's honestly absurd to expect anyone else to. Plus...


People will notoriously tell others your business.


Being gossipy is a common facet of human nature. Not with everyone, but surely with a lot more people than you'd hope. It's not always with malicious intent, but people like to talk. Sometimes it's a slip up, sometimes it's to relate to what's happening in another discussion, and sometimes it's because they're just bursting at the seams to share what they've been told. In any case, you can probably expect that the intensely personal stories you've told about the most private, inner-workings of your marital challenges are going to be shared with people you don't want to know, and wouldn't ever tell yourself. Which means that...


Opinions will be forever changed.


A scarlet letter, a smear on their name... and yours. If what you're saying is bad enough, not only will people look at your spouse differently, but they'll look at you differently for "putting up with it," or have judgement on how you're handling it. Whether you work through it, forgive, or make a hard decision, there will always be someone around ready to tell you (and others) that you did the wrong thing. But worse, if whatever has happened is not enough to break up your relationship, you will never be able to change the opinions other people now have of your marriage, or the person you've married. At every barbecue, wedding, or birthday party for your kid, all eyes will be on you both, and the whispers during, before, and after will forever exist. It's also worth considering that...


You're ripe for unsolicited advice you don't want.


Everyone thinks they know best when it comes to giving advice. But if you've come to someone before about your marital struggles? You can be sure they'll honor that with a lifetime of unsolicited opinions you have no intention of welcoming... long after the rainy days of your relationship are over. This is because you've already exposed yourself and the vulnerabilities of your relationship in a way that makes others perceive you as unstable, weak, and lost - even if it was just for a small moment in time. If you're not prepared for those types of interactions to carry on, it's best to keep your private moments private. Especially if you have children, because...


Kids see and hear more than you think.


No matter how much you try not to fight or bicker in front of them, they are aware of everything going on around them, even if they don't act like it on the surface. This can lead to a lifetime of insecurity, misunderstandings about what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like, or deeper trauma that will inevitably follow them into adulthood. But sharing the details of what's negatively happening inside the home while kids are "busy playing" is extremely irresponsible and irrational. Many times, playdates are when parents are trying to take a little break, catch up, and "let their hair down." But that doesn't mean it's an appropriate time to disparage another parent. Which means that...


If you want an outside perspective, you should really consider paying for an unbiased one from a professional (you don't personally know).


I'm not someone that whole-heartedly believes every person on planet Earth needs therapy. But, in this type of circumstance, I think it is often the healthiest and most thoughtful way to handle inner struggle within a marriage. Do not vent to your family members. Do not vent to your friends. Do not vent to your kids. Want to be really honest and get feedback that's fair, from someone who knows what they're talking about and has seen this all before? Consider going to a marriage counselor, therapist, life coach, or psychologist that specializes in this area. There, you'll get to "let it all out," cry, be angry, share TMI, whatever you need to do. They will be able to listen, provide alternate perspectives, coping mechanisms, and healthy strategies and ideas for how to move forward productively. Consistent work with someone who is good at what they do can help keep you accountable, and maybe even involve your spouse to help improve communication to get you over the hurdles that trouble you. Then, once you're on the other side, you'll get to continue enjoying your social activities without fear of future judgement or backlash from your friends and family. Because remember...


Life changes, and so do relationships. Don't do things you'll regret during a brighter future.


In conclusion, most things in life are not permanent and can have action inflicted in order to result in change. In this scenario, the hope is that your relationship will grow, improve, and be stronger than ever once you work through your struggles. It probably won't be an isolated event either, but a lifetime of learning each other and adapting to evolve as a individuals, and as a couple. All marriages need support. The last thing you'd ever want to do is get in the way of that because of frivolous gossiping, moments of weakness, or periods of bitterness. Your spouse deserves your love and respect as much as you do. And reasonably, you can only expect to get what you give. Do the work the right way, by working on yourself and your relationship together, and know that the brightest future will lie ahead - without outside interference or judgement. Be the example you want to set for your children and loved ones, and take pride in doing the hard thing in exchange for a lifetime of enjoyment with a marriage that is built on trust, devotion, and loyalty.







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