For the love of marriage, keep private things private! Should you air out your dirty marital laundry to family, friends, or on social media? I vote a big HELL NO! Not only is it unhealthy because is damages your respect, trust, and love with your spouse, but it makes you look a bit foolish as well - even if you are truly the victim in a bad situation. Doing so spreads negativity and brings others down. You may momentarily feel better for having vented, but it doesn't serve you well in the long run and nothing positive is accomplished. To learn more about the damaging effects of Venting, please read about it in my article on NEGATIVITY & COMPLAINING. And to read about the damaging effect to YOU when you gossip about your spouse to others, please read my article on GOSSIP.
Make Your Spouse Your #1 Priority.
If your spouse is your first priority, you will not gossip or vent about them to anyone. Period. Keep every private thing private. This fosters respect, trust, deeper connection, more passion, and you'll feel more like a team - best friends. People can have vastly different opinions on how much sharing is appropriate. It can depend on your upbringing -- if your family was close and open, sharing everything, or if family members kept things private. This can heavily influence how you and your spouse feel about sharing with others. Safeguard your relationship by having secure boundaries and a strategy in place when conflict arises. That strategy could be, for example, to sit down with one another, discuss the important points, and then agree to talk with someone else, a mediator such as a pastor, professional marriage coach or counselor, or an older mentoring couple. But never run and discuss your marital affairs to anyone other than the people you both agree on.
Effects of Airing Your Marital Laundry to Others.
Discussing your marital affairs with others is unloving and disrespectful to your spouse. If they learn of your verbal spewing, they will end up hurt, lose trust and faith in you, will be embarrassed in front of whomever you talked with, and your connection will diminish. You'll go downhill from here - and it's a hard place to recover from. Talking with others also opens you up to being influenced by well-intentioned people who may or may not provide sound advice. You have now involved your Momma, Daddy, friend, or whoever, and this gives that person permission in the future to mettle in your business - even if you don't want them to. It oversteps all kinds of boundaries. Yikes.
Keep Private Things Private.
Set up boundaries by having a conversation with your spouse on what you believe is healthy (ask an expert in marriage coaching, therapy, or intervention if you need to). Decide what topics are open for discussion amongst family and friends, and specifically what topics are out. Family and friends do NOT need to know when you've had a fight, what things are like in the bedroom, what your finances are, or that you spouse has the annoying habit of picking their nose in their sleep.
When and With Whom to Share.
If you need to seek council for your marriage, turn to a professional. Working with a professional assures privacy because you're talking to them in confidence and a professional will have the training to help you move forward in a positive and healthy way. Talking with a professional also ensures an unbiased opinion. When you talk with a friend or family member, they are likely only hearing your perspective and not your spouse's. With each new couple I take on, I listen to one and then the other - because I've learned that forming an opinion after just listening to the first will never be accurate - I need to hear from both spouses to gain a full understanding of their issues and that allows me to fully help them.
It's important to remain on the same team with your spouse - keep each other #1. An important strategy for building a healthy, successful, and fulfilled relationship together means not intentionally hurting your spouse (or saying anything hurtful about them). If it's a statement you would not say aloud with your spouse present, don't say it at all. Encourage each other, remain loyal to one another, build each other up, inspire each other, make a pact to discuss personal things with only each other, and live in love.
Here's to a healthy relationship and keeping your lips zipped,