Talking Bad About Your Spouse
Today we’re addressing the common issue of talking bad about your spouse to others. Have you ever heard or said, “I have four kids. Three, if you don’t count my husband.” If we had a nickel for every time we heard that joke… we’d have WAY too many nickels!
Are you husband bashing without realizing it? It’s an easy trap to fall into and today we’re sharing really good reasons why you need to stop! In short, talking negatively about your spouse harms your relationship whether you realize it or not. So keep reading to understand why it’s incredibly harmful to talk bad about your spouse!
What is Talking Bad or Man-Bashing and Why It Needs to Stop
I’m gonna take a wild guess that most of us like our husbands. I’d even venture to say that we love them. I mean, it’s the whole reason we decided to marry them!
Remember, he’s not a bad husband. But for some reason, it’s becoming more and more common and normal for wives to bad mouth and bash their husbands.
And here’s the thing, I don’t think most women even realize that they are doing it! I think often wives are just trying to be funny and think they’re making a harmless joke. But the truth is, whenever you are talking bad about someone, the effects go much deeper than you may realize.
Let’s address 6 reasons why talking bad about the person you love is detrimental to everyone.
1. Talking Bad about Your Spouse Doesn’t Make You Better
We see the bad marriage memes all over the internet. The ones that claim the bad husband is the one who forgets A, B, C, etc. Unfortunately, the culture of talking bad about your spouse isn’t just limited to the internet either! All you have to do is flip on the T.V. to see what I mean. In popular sitcoms, movies, and even T.V. commercials, husbands are largely portrayed as incompetent, ignorant, and uninterested in their family.
I remember watching Mary Poppins as a little girl and laughing at the line in the Sister Suffragette song, “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stuuupid!” My brother was offended by the line and I thought it was hilarious. But then my mom did something that stuck with me. She paused the movie and taught me something important.
She explained the history of the women’s rights movement but said it was important to remember that “you don’t need to push others down to lift yourself up.” Can you imagine your reaction to a page full of bad wife memes? Not funny. Equality is a good thing. But you don’t get equality for women by pushing men down. I’d say that’s a really good reason to stop talking bad about your spouse to family and others.
2. Talking Bad Brings YOUR Attitude Down
Husband-bashing affects YOU! Even if you put your husband’s feelings aside, the truth is that husband bashing is hurting you! You know what they say, “You find what you look for!” If you’re always looking for the negative, you will find the negative! If you’re looking for the positive, you will find the positive! And a negative mind will never give you a positive life.
So to put it quite simply, talking bad about your spouse to family or friends doesn’t lead to any good. If there is something about your husband that is bothering you, putting him down will not fix it. It will not make you happier. If you want a happy life, (and who doesn’t?)… quit the criticism! This is not to excuse bad choices our husbands may make, but that does not give us the license to make bad ones, as well.
3. Talking Bad about Your Spouse Lowers Their Self-Esteem
Husband-bashing affects what your husband thinks about himself! I think it goes without saying that talking bad about someone has negative effects, but have you ever really thought about it? I remember my aunt telling me once, “One of your most important roles as a wife is to be the guardian of your husband’s self-esteem. And vice versa.”
I love that! If you are serious about protecting and building your spouse’s self-esteem, you would never belittle, demean, or mock him. You would never use his weaknesses as amusing anecdotes or treat him like “one of the kids.”
Treat your husband with the same respect you expect from him. So if you want to be treated like a queen, treat him like a king! Don’t nag him, insult him, or poke fun of him in public.
Certainly, don’t talk bad about your spouse in any setting. Too often we treat the person that we are closest to with the least common courtesy. Your marriage should be the one place in the world where you feel the safest.
This quote from Jeffrey R. Holland puts it nicely. “Life is tough enough without the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy. In this person’s care, you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure.”
Think back to when you first started dating and ask yourself, “Would I have said or done this at the beginning of our relationship?”
4. Bashing Leads to a Lack of Unity in Marrige
Talking bad about your spouse to family or to others affects your marriage. Husband bashing also prevents you from working together as a team in your marriage. By putting him down, you’re creating an uneven playing field. It’s important to remember that you’re on the same team and you either win together or lose together. You would never tackle your own teammate, so we shouldn’t feel free to verbally “takedown” our husbands.
By focusing on shortcomings, we create a divide between us. Instead, we should be building, encouraging, and cheering each other on. We should be each other’s biggest fans. Imagine posting “I love my husband” memes instead of the bad husband ones. I’m sure he would love that!
We need to be willing to overlook weaknesses to recognize and acknowledge each other’s strengths. And one of the best parts of marriage is knowing your spouse has seen you at your worst and still loves you the most.
For each complaint we have of our husbands, one can be made against us. No one is perfect. This quaker proverb says it perfectly, “Thee lift me and I lift thee and we’ll ascend together!”
5. Bashing Your Spouse is a Dangerous Contagion
The effects of husband bashing aren’t limited to you and your husband – it also affects your friends and family. If you’ve ever hung out with a group of women you probably already know that it can easily spread! All it takes is for one woman to start complaining about her husband and suddenly the door swings wide open for others to join in on the bad-mouthing. What starts as a fun girls’ night can quickly turn into a girlfriend gripe fest.
So often, we women say that we “just need to vent!” It might start out with a wife feeling a little annoyed with her husband, but after getting validation from the roomful of women, she leaves with her annoyance snowballed into full-on frustration and anger.
Sure, sharing your feelings with others constructively and getting support and advice is a good idea. But venting just for the sake of “getting it out” exacerbates the problem and can often blow it out of proportion.
We often use this acronym to help teach our children to think before they speak. But it’s a good idea to examine our own words too! Before you “vent” – just THINK:
Basically, is what’s bothering you really important? If it’s not, let it go. However, if it is important, talk to your spouse about it! And if you feel like you can’t address it with your spouse, then seek a trusted friend or professional counselor who will support your marriage.
6. Negative Spouse Talk Affects Your Children
Talking bad about your spouse to family or friends affects your children. Have you ever thought about how the words you use describing your husband will affect your children? Besides just being a bad example of being unkind, we are also unintentionally giving our children a negative view of marriage. We don’t want to send an awful message to our children about their father.
Whether said jokingly or not, constantly finding fault in our husbands in front of our children paints an unfair picture. Criticizing and re-doing what he has done undermines his abilities. I learned long ago that my husband may do things differently than I do, but that does NOT mean my way is better. Let’s model what a healthy, happy marriage looks like for our children, and that includes respect for the strengths of both genders.
“Show the world that good men exist and marriages can be happy.”
Sadly, society has set a pretty low bar for husbands and dads. We’ve got to stop considering thoughtful husbands and hands-on fathers to be a sort of unicorn-level novelty. They’re not! Good men EXIST and happy marriages are NOT extinct!
They say that the most direct way to change society is in your own sphere of influence. So, if you agree, please join us in spreading the message by sharing and pinning this post.
Top 10 Ways to Talk Positively About Your Spouse
- Mention one thing he or she did for you each day.
- Compliment his or her physical appearance.
- Praise their successes at work.
- Share how they assist in the work at home.
- Keep your disagreements private.
- Share your love for them daily.
- Tell a story about your favorite memory together.
- Each time you want to say something demeaning, stop and turn it into a positive.
- Write down your frustrations, so you don’t feel like saying them out loud.
- Kiss before you leave the house, always leaving on a good note.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check 10 Things Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew, and our 10 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive AFTER Kids.
I love your article. I’ve really enjoyed your wisdom. Yes we are a team, man and women. Lets act like a team.
More so than realizing the consequences of these destructive behavior, I think some light has to be brought as to the root of the problem. And more often than not, you will usually end up with narcissism.
To a narcissistic woman, her significant other is the perfect victim-she can abuse him and belittle him and he wont leave her, right away at least. Let’s face it, we are all imperfect and make similar and unique mistakes. What gives a woman the right to come down on her man publicly or privately, when she has a bag of her own unique mistakes to work on?
Its just so much easier to look at your husbands need of improvement list, than proactively work on your own list isn’t it? Well, let me tell you, this is the lazy way to go about growing (evolving) as an individual. Its difficult enough for most women to realize their mistakes, let alone work to fix them.
So what happens when you neglect your own life’s to do list? What happens is that we don’t grow, and as a result we feel dissatisfied and unhappy with life; at which point women blame the man, because he is not changing enough to make her feel happy or satisfied with life. Let face it, the truth is that for our lives as individuals to get better, men or women, the individual has to become better. No one can do your push ups for you.
Some women expect their husbands to fill their inner voids, cure their insecurities, and return love in exchange for verbal abuse and judgement. The only type of man that will tolerate this behavior are the ones that do stick around them, you know, the ones that they refer to as kids. Man that excel in life and act like man, don’t have patience for these type of women, or show interest in women like this.
So, if you women wish to have a better man, start by you yourselves becoming better women. Everything gets better when we get better.
I really like this a good article. My girlfriend has created bad blood between me and her and her family for this very reason. Our relationship has ended. Thanks for the article
I’m so sorry to hear about the end of your relationship.
I’m guilty at all that,I’ve been with my husband for along time and we have been through so much together and well sometimes woman would like the same ,I didn’t always talk bad to or about my husband jokingly or any way to hurt him,but after you get hurt so much by the same it kinda reflects back to him not that it’s rite either,cause it’s not I guess cause he would treat me that way I should not do him that way and not my husband because my husband is a wonderful hard working lovable man but some men may really be the things that woman say they are ,I’m just glad my husband is my one and only best friend,hero,and everything any wife could ever ask for.we love him so much he’s 100%perfect
I totally adore this, it is SO true and I still find it surprising how so many don’t feel the same way! This is totally a MUST read!
Such a wonderful post, thank you!
AMEN AMEN AMEN!! I couldn’t agree with and love this post more. So much truth spoken here. Let’s build men up, not bash them down! Thanks for this article!
Definitely, thanks Megan!
So good. Thank you!
Such a good habit to make!
Amen to all of this 🙌🏻
Oh, this article is SOOOO good! I love everything it says!!
Thanks for this. It’s overwhelming how much I see husband bashing. Especially this past Father’s Day. I’m a very involved father and makes me sad for my son knowing that he’ll face this kind of sentiment as he grows older in a social media world. Thanks for this positive light. In no way am I after equality in this issue – because that would mean women bashing. I simply would like mutual respect
We agree! When women respect men and men respect women- THAT is when we all win.
I’m repenting iof husband-bashing and this is perfect to help remind me of all the reasons why. I especially like the THINK acronym. Thank you for this article!
So glad you found it helpful, Norma!
Thank you for this article!
You are SO welcome!
I love this post! It is so true. Sometimes I catch myself doing this, but hadn’t really put it in this perspective! Love this!
So glad you loved it, Nisan! XO
I agree with this so much! In one of my former jobs, husband bashing was a frequent activity by my co-workers. It was really hard to listen to them constantly put down the person they were supposed to love.
I’m definitely not perfect in this area, and I’m still working on being aware of my words and how they affect my husband. Great reminders here!
So glad you enjoyed it, Esther. None of us are perfect, but I’m glad we have husbands who are perfect for US. 😉
As a husband, father, and grandfather it is refreshing to read an article that puts men in a good light. On TV and movies men are looked at as inept and insecure. Our society has made this normal. That is such a shame. I Love my wife of 34 years and I can say she loves me too. This article could also be flipped to stop men from wife bashing. Our society needs a few more insights like this…. thanks
We totally agree, Mark! It really is a shame. Thanks so much for your comment. So glad you and your wife have such a great marriage.
Thank you so much for this. So glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!
You’re definitely not alone. 😉
There is way too much husband bashing out there and it makes me so sad to hear it! I have tried really hard to only speak positively about my hubby, but this has just inspired me to try and be even better! Such a great article, and SO needed. Love it Becca!!
It’s SO sad how often these memes are made! Marriage is all about teamwork and it won’t improve unless you are BOTH working hard at it! It’s hard to put all your effort in when your spouse is bad-mouthing you! Love all of these points in this post! Xo
SUCH good stuff, Becca! Thanks for all the fabulous insight!!