I can’t remember where I learned this, but going into our marriage I knew two things for sure. One thing was that I should never talk negatively about my husband to my parents, because it would only lead to conflict in our family relationships.
The other was that I should never talk to anyone negatively about my husband, unless there was a real problem - in which case I could go to a pastor, pastor’s wife or godly woman for counsel. I'm not talking about laughingly teasing each other about your failings in front of others (unless he doesn't appreciate that of course), but more the kind of negative talking which is complaining, resentful, or critical.
I feel so strongly about this that I don’t even like hanging around when women talk badly about their husbands, because I know that it can influence me to do the same thing.
I believe it is detrimental to my husband, because people will think less of him, and for me because I would dwell on it more. Also more than likely I would get sympathy which would only lead me to have even worse feelings about him.
Here is a great quote on this topic from a book by Nancy Wilson, called ‘The Fruit of Her Hands’:
'Christian wives, never downgrade your husband to anyone – not to friends over coffee, not to your children, not to your parents, and, of course, not to your husband. Do not share your husband’s weaknesses, problems, blunders, sins, poor decision, or failings with anyone. It is disrespect if you do.
He is not perfect, we all know that. But when you share unwisely, it does two things: it causes you to disrespect him more, and it causes the hearers to think less of him too. Sharing his problems is totally unproductive unless you are talking to someone in a position to help (i.e. your pastor).'
I would really encourage you, if you are a wife (if you aren't then you probably haven't got this far!!) to take this to heart. I believe it is so important for a healthy marriage, for the glory of God and for many more reasons, to stay away from criticising your husband in front of others.
A particularly dangerous temptation is to do this to another man who appears to be understanding, because it can start an emotional attachment which can then lead to an affair - something that we all need to be on our guard against.