One of the biggest fights I have with my husband of three years is about the fact that I tell my mother about the struggles I have with him. I grew up an only child and my mother raised me by herself under challenging circumstances.
We grew very close over the years and have more than a parent-child relationship. We've become friends too. She's been my pillar of strength and guide through life.
How can I manage the tension between her and my husband? He hates the fact that I open up to her about challenges I go through in life and marriage. CONCERNED WIFE
MOVE! EXPERT ADVICE
Marriage is hard work. And sometimes we all need an outlet to talk about the struggles we experience. But who you talk to about your marriage could in fact sabotage your marriage.
Read more: "Can I trust my man who has cheated before?"
Over the years, we’ve met numerous couples in all stages of marriage. And in all these various phases, we’ve noticed these themes: No marriage couple is without conflict and challenges. Every couple feels like “opposites” in some – usually most – ways.
Every couple gets frustrated and looks at a third party for support. This is normal. However, what surprises most couples is that the communication they have with each other is only one part of the problem.
Sometimes the bigger issue is the communication they’re having with outside parties about their marriage. Is talking to others about your marriage a bad thing? As a matter of principle, no, it’s not. We can all benefit from a third-party perspective.
No marriage is an island. But most people, instead of consulting professionals, they call a family member or friend.
WHY VENTING TO FAMILY OR FRIENDS IS PROBLEMATIC
They only hear your side of the story. They hear your perspective often while you are at the height of your frustration. When we speak out of a place of hurt and anger, we often exaggerate the situation. So when you call your bestie and vent about how your spouse keeps allowing their nosy parents to interfere in your marriage for instance, your friend often hears the worst version of the story, and only one side. This makes objectivity impossible.
Their first allegiance is to you, not your marriage.
When you call on your mother or bestie, they’ll almost always take your side. It makes sense because you are their closest connection. No matter what happened, there’s a strong chance they’ll take your side and offer advice. And that simply isn’t right. You are married.
Any advice you receive must have the best interest of your marriage in mind. There are extreme cases where abuse is involved but this doesn’t apply to those cases. But, even then, we encourage people to seek a professional third-party, including law enforcement, which can help you.
They rarely hear about what happens next.
Have you noticed how, when it feels like everything is falling apart, we reach out and tell a friend all about the drama? But, when things get resolved, we rarely call that friend back and say, “You know, I was as much to blame as my spouse.
But we've made up. Thanks for listening!” Instead, we often leave the thirdparty with only the bad side of what happened – which is often blamed on the spouse. Over time, this can taint their view of your spouse and cause other issues, especially if you’re venting to a family member. By carelessly venting you’re sabotaging their relationship with your spouse.
“But I tell my mom everything!” Well, that may have been the case before you got married. But now, your primary allegiance is to your spouse. One of the best ways to build trust in your marriage is to preserve your spouse’s privacy in this way. Venting to others also creates a complex dynamic in their relationship with your spouse.
Marital conflict is the very thing that should bring you closer as a couple and help you become students of one another on a deeper level. But careless venting can actually have detrimental effects to your marriage.