A favorite conversation topic among married women is their husbands. They turn to their friends to get marriage tips and advice, or have fun exchanging stories about funny things their husbands have done.
This is not only a problem for women — many men do it as well. However, some secrets should be kept solely between you and your spouse. To avoid damaging your relationship with your sweetheart, it is important to know the difference between what is and is not appropriate to share with others.
But where is the line? Experts say that revealing specific things about your spouse can hurt your marriage and cause feelings of distrust and betrayal to come between you. Here are 10 topics a woman should always stay away from when talking to her friends about her husband.
1. Your sex life and intimate relationship
In one of her books, Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, says this is the topic that bothers men the most. Commenting on the quality of your sex, what he likes or does not like, and intimate details of the process is not acceptable in any conversation amongst your friends. It should be something personal between you and your husband. Can you imagine if he told his friends something so intimate about you? How would you feel?
2. His fears
Society has created the idea that a “real man” is not afraid of anything. So if your husband shares that he has a fear of something silly like thunder, toads or spiders, don’t go tell your friends about it. Dr. Audrey Sherman, developer of PsychSkills method, stated that “Women are not reluctant to share their fears, but [men] are.”
3. His annoying habits
Dr. Lombardo explains that telling your friends that your husband does not change his socks every day, picks his nose or something else disgusting makes your friends look at him negatively and associate him with something nasty.
4. His poor salary or lack of success at work
If you have to get financial help from family members or the bank, or if your spouse never seems to get a promotion or pay raise at work, keep it to yourself. “Our culture teaches us that [a man] should be able to support his family and be in control all the time,” stated Dr. Sue Johnson. Therefore, these comments can make your husband feel incompetent and decrease his confidence in his ability to provide and care for his family.
5. His inability to do simple home repairs
In this regard, Dr. Lombardo tells us that “Men equate their masculinity with the ability to fix things,” once again due to a traditional role placed on them by society. If he messed up a little fix-it, such as a poorly attached door latch, ask his permission before sharing this “funny” story with your girlfriends.
6. A major flaw that you have not discussed together
If your husband has some serious flaw that is very troubling to you, talk directly to him about it. Don’t go to your friends. Talk to him privately about these issues.
7. Comments made during arguments
When you have disagreements in your marriage, work them out together. You aren’t likely to say very positive things about your husband when you are angry with him, so withhold that information from your friends, and do not involve them in your arguments. (If abuse is happening in your home, however, it is important that you do seek professional help.)
8. His political or religious beliefs
It is important to respect your husband’s opinions and beliefs, even if they are different from yours. You would most likely want him to do the same for you.
9. His problems with other family members
Unlike women who like to solve their family issues as quickly as possible, Dr. Lombardo teaches that there is a different mechanism instilled in boys, which can cause them to be much slower to resolve a disagreement with a relative. Your comments regarding his conduct can undermine and prevent the resolution of conflict even more.
10. His past mistakes
Bringing up your husband’s errors and events of the past is not a good subject to talk about with your friends. Besides feeling misunderstood, your husband may feel that you are being more faithful to your friends than to him. This can bring back painful memories, which can foster bad feelings between the two of you. Don’t unearth an old argument that was solved long ago. Help him remember the good things he has done and forget his past mistakes.
Even if your husband is not around to listen to your little girlfriend chat, never say anything that could risk hurting or offending him. Trust is vital in a romantic relationship, and is the very foundation of a good marriage.