Saturday, 16 July 2011

Talking Negatively about our Husbands

Do you talk to your friends about your husband’s problems so they can pray for you both? Do you call your mother and let out your feelings on the phone when he’s done something you don’t like? When you're socialising, do you let things slip that you’re not happy about in your marriage?

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.

8 comments:

Kelly said...

I had to learn this the hard way lol. I think I've gotten better at this in the past few years. I'm not as great at it as I'd like and I do still let things slip, but I'm working on it. Thanks for this reminder.

Rhoda said...

A lot of that kind of stuff we have to keep reminding ourselves of I think :)

Harriet said...

We have been married 31 years and our relationship depends on gentle nudging and laughing at our human failings - as well as our successes. It would be easy to put my husband on a pedestal as he works for the church but people appreciate the fact that his feet are firmly on the ground and we can speak about each other openly. (We would NEVER say anything to others that we haven't said to each other.)
I do agree with your comment about confiding with others leading to emotional attachments. There are 'predatory' people out there.

Rhoda said...

Hi Harriet, my husband and I also tease each other about our failings in front of others, so I know what you mean, and I think up to a point that is fine and even healthy.

But I think there is a diference between the kind of thing you can laugh about to others and what would be more serious, and also the way you say it. If you are laughingly saying your husband is a pack rat, it is different from if you are grumbling to someone about how he clutters the house up.

What I'm talking about is not so much teasing and laughing at failures, but rather talking in a negative, complaining, critical way. Maybe I should have clarified that, but I didn't think of it at the time - thank you for bringing it up!

Red said...

I completely agree with you. I find it hard when my friends are talking down their husbands and I usually try to change the subject or say something lovely about my own to get them thinking positively!

Rhoda said...

That's a good idea! I often try to either change the subject or defend their husband, but I don't think I've tried saying something lovely about mine :)

Our Family for His Glory said...

What a great reminder, Rhoda!! It is so very important to be uplifting our husbands- not putting them down!
Jessica

Anonymous said...

AMEN! thank you for this post. Wish my mom would understand. She often comes to me to talk about my dad and after I tell her I don't want to listen to her complaining about my dad - she'd say "I'm just sharing, and you can pray for him!" It hurts me. hurt's relationship between me and my dad, makes me hates marriage. If there's a problem between husband and wive, always bring it to God not your children.

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