Should You Tell Your Friends and Family About Your Marital Problems?
It’s natural to want to talk to your friends and family about your marriage – especially when you’re having marital problems. They lend a sympathetic ear and you leave the conversation feeling better.
The problem, however, is that a sympathetic ear is not objective. They are your friends and family so of course they are going to take your side which can be dangerous for your marriage in many ways.
You probably don’t mind your friends and family knowing what is happening in your marriage but it’s very likely that your spouse does. They would probably feel betrayed if they found out that you have been discussing their faults with their inlaws.
When you speak ill of your spouse to family and friends, they begin to look at and treat him or her differently. This is their way of saying “we are on your side.”
The problem arises when you and your spouse work out your marital problems. Your family is not in love with your spouse so there is no incentive for them to stop looking at and treating him or her differently.
They might even try to talk you out of working on your marriage because according to them, your spouse is in the wrong and he or she must grovel before you forgive him. This puts you in a position where you have to choose between your marriage and your family.
Once you tell a friend, parent or sibling about your marriage problems, you lose control of the information. You can’t stop them from telling other people. They might do it with the intention of enlisting people to come to your rescue but it will still be embarrassing when you find out everyone around you is privy to the inner workings of your marriage.
To share or not to share?
It’s best to avoid sharing your marital problems with people who aren’t neutral. The little comfort or vindication you might get from telling your friends or family about your marital woes is not worth the trouble.
It’s however perfectly fine to brag about your spouse to friends and family. If they ask about your marriage, tell them all the things he or she does well.
Other than that, what you can and cannot share with your friends and the inlaws about your marriage comes down to the boundaries that you and your spouse have established in your relationship. For example, you may want to discuss your finances with other people but if your spouse isn’t comfortable with it, you shouldn’t do it. Disregarding boundaries creates marital problems.