9 Surprising Reasons You Shouldn't Talk About Your Marriage Problems

By Charlotte Latvala

It's natural-and comforting-to turn to friends and family when things go awry. But think twice before dishing about marital strife, says Scott Haltzman, MD, author of The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity. "Whenever you talk to others about your marriage problems, you risk driving a wedge between you and your spouse," he says. Read on for unexpected reasons to keep marriage drama to yourselves and better ways to address it.


You never know who else will find out. Unless you're absolutely sure your friend won't blab, don't be surprised when the whole world suddenly seems to be privy to your latest spousal spat. "As soon as you reveal difficulties in your marriage, you've lost control of the information," says relationship expert April Masini. "This becomes a problem on top of whatever marital issues you're having" because it's embarrassing to be the topic of whispered conversations. Bite your tongue and follow your grandmother's advice: Don't air your dirty laundry in public.

Related: 11 Key Signs That He Might Be Having An Affair

2. Your spouse could feel betrayed. Just because you feel compelled to confide in a third party-or all of Facebook-doesn't mean your partner does. And you should respect that. "Turn to your husband first when there's a problem," says Beverly Hyman, PhD, co-author of How to Know if It's Time to Go, who adds that your marriage should be your primary intimate relationship. "When you speak ill of your spouse, you're betraying his trust." Try the "fly on the wall" test before sharing: If your husband were in the room and heard your words, would he be OK with them?

3. You could turn a minor blip into a major problem.

"Once, I impulsively complained to my sister-in-law about my husband's inability to show affection," says Jessie, who lives in Cincinnati. "She relayed the conversation to him, and he was horribly upset. It took us ages to get over it." A smarter tactic: When you're angry with your spouse, find ways to calm down without venting to others. "Doing something physical can help," says Dr. Haltzman. "Go for a long walk or run, or drive with your favorite music blaring."

4. A sympathetic ear isn't objective.

Your pal's concern is primarily for you-not your marriage. And because you can't help but give her a one-sided view of the situation, she's unlikely to give your spouse a fair shake. "In the early days of my marriage, I'd call my best friend whenever my husband hurt my feelings," admits Janelle, of Pittsburgh. "She agreed with me on everything, which made me feel good but ultimately didn't solve any problems." So instead of firing off another "Can you believe what he did?" text, try journaling, suggests Dr. Haltzman. "It's a great way to vent without harming others." But keep it private-a public blog isn't the best option.

Related: The Top 10 Reaons Women Turn Down Sex

5. You may get bad advice. Your friend's experiences color her counsel; if she lived through the humiliation of a cheating spouse, she may assume your husband's guilty of the same offense and recommend getting a divorce, says Dr. Haltzman. But that may be a premature step. Biased outsiders aren't in the best position to judge your marriage-only you two can do that.


Your friend may sound the alarm to others. Gung-ho loved ones may send out an email blast to too many people, enlisting them to come to your rescue. "Before you know it, you've got a full-fledged intervention in your living room," says Masini. Tracy, of Bakersfield, CA, learned that the hard way. "My mother ended up hating my now ex-husband and turned my whole family against him," she says. "Sharing too much with her-and the strain that ensued-contributed to the downfall of my marriage." That's why it's especially wise to stay mum around people who tend to blow things out of proportion.

Related: 7 Biggest Reasons Why Men Cheat

7. You might change your mind about your spouse, but they won't. When you paint your partner in a negative light, friends and family will look at him differently. "They may give him the cold shoulder, exclude him, even confront him-sometimes long after things are resolved in your mind," says Dr. Haltzman. "Now you have a whole new set of problems." His suggestion: Confide in a neutral third party-a certified marriage counselor, clergyperson or representative from an employee assistance program-when you want advice.

8. Their comments could hinder your marriage from healing.

Even if your confidantes remain polite after you reconcile with your spouse, their remarks during your tiff will linger. "When our marriage hit a rocky patch, my mom called my husband immature and unreliable," admits Janelle. "I've forgiven him and things are much better now, but years later, those words haunt me-and sometimes plant a seed of doubt in my mind." While you can't erase what's been said, remember that everyone has her own agenda. "Your friend or relative may have said unkind things about your husband because she wanted more of your affection," says Dr. Hyman. And when comments from the past bother you in the present, focus on the positive, healthy relationship you now have with your spouse.


You could become the girl who cried wolf. The next time you truly need guidance, your buddy might hesitate to chime in. "If you run to family and friends after every tussle with your husband saying it's 'the last straw,' but it never is, they won't take you seriously," says Masini. It's always better to talk (and listen) to your spouse before going anywhere else with your problems.

You Might Also Like:
9 Fights to Have With Your Husband
8 Secrets of Sexually Satisfied Couples
8 Ways To Tell That He's Lying
75 Most Important Things Men Don't Know About Women

More From

  • 40+ Things That Made Summer in the '90s All That and a Bag of Chips

    ICYMI, it's summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and rewind to the '90s, when the ice cream was shaped like cartoon characters and you could just yell, "Mom!" for more poolside Squeezits. We're celebrating the sweltering season the best way we know how: by reminiscing about our lazy childhood summers in the '90s. Let's relive some of our favorite things about summer in the '90s! Related: 375 Things You'll Remember If You Grew Up in the '90s

  • Some of Our Favorite Disney Princes Look Hot as Hell in This Realistic Artwork

    Hold on - is this artwork created by Jirka Vinse Jonatan Väätäinen images of actual models, new Bachelorette contestants, or Disney princes? The artist and graphic designer, who beautifully reimagined what Disney princesses would look like if they were real women, did it again - but this time with the sexy dudes of our favorite fairytales. Can we just say that Prince Eric is looking FINE? And John Smith's long-hair-don't-care look is working for us in a real way (he also definitely looks like Smith from Sex and the City). The artwork is actually a few years old, but is making the rounds on the internet again because . . . well, just look at 'em! Ahead, see the stunningly sexy photos of your favorite Disney princes reimagined in real life. Related: Disney Just Released New Princess Wedding Dresses For Your Own Happily Ever After

  • This Adventurous Elopement Involved a Long Hike to a Waterfall, but Wow, It Was Worth It

    Mira and Pearce met on a dating app. Pearce hadn't even bothered to complete his profile, so Mira didn't want to swipe right, but her friend did it for her! And thank goodness she did, because the pair were meant to be, and in late 2018, they tied the knot in a unique way that totally represented who they are as a couple. Instead of a traditional wedding, they opted for an adventurous elopement and rented a cabin in Sooke on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. On the day of their wedding, the pair were very relaxed, despite the fact that it was supposed to rain. Pearce called it "the perfect day" for their wedding. The pair upped the adventure and decided to take their wedding photos at Mystic Beach, which involved a 45-minute hike just to reach the entrance. The pair said their "I dos" and were brimming with joy. Photographer Heather Stone captured their happiness against the stunning outdoor scenery. "Once we finished, they darted across the beach then looped back and jumped straight through the waterfall and into their futures together," Heather said. She captured a few more snaps of the pair until sunset, and they turned out absolutely incredible. Take a look for yourself! Related: These Brides Eloped in the Clouds, and It Looks Absolutely Magical

  • The Love Story Behind This Couple's Marvel-Themed Wedding Is One For the (Comic) Books

    Shana and James's love story all began with a simple "like" on social media. The two messaged each other for a while and wound up going on a couple dates. Shana was late to both, but that didn't deter James. In fact, James's mom is always late, and he always thought he would marry someone with similar traits to his mother. "At the end of the second date when [we] hugged, James [said] he thought I fit him perfectly," Shana told POPSUGAR. "It was like puzzle pieces. We just went well together. It was later I found out from James that at that moment he knew he wanted to be with me for the rest of his life." When it came to popping the question, James took his time after purchasing the ring to plan the perfect, most memorable proposal. Finally, the idea came to him: first, he wrote and recorded an original song for Shana, then he filmed a music video that featured all of their friends and family with a surprise proposal at the end. Shana was told the film was for a Black love documentary, so she had no idea what James had up his sleeve. "While filming, all our family and friends jumped out of nowhere and screamed 'Shay!'" Shana said. "Looking around the corner to see everybody there, especially my best friend, who I thought was still in Michigan at the time, was totally shocking and mind-blowing. After turning back around I see James on bended knee and of course, I start to cry. He then asks me to marry him, and [I] said yes!" The gesture was sweet, romantic, and in Shana's words, the "most amazing proposal." It wasn't long after the engagement before the two started planning their big day. Shana knew what she wanted from the start, but agreed to let James have his input. As it turns out, James knew what he wanted as well - a Marvel comics-themed wedding - and immediately started purchasing the outfits and masks needed to make it happen. The couple got married in October 2019 in High Point, NC, and had a celebration of a lifetime, complete with superheroes and elegant touches. Keep reading to watch Shana and James's proposal music video, see their cute comic bookstore save-the-date photo shoot with their son, and see all marvelous wedding photos captured by photographer Temilola Ajibulu! Related: A Wakandan Wedding: This Bridal Shoot Is Inspired by Black Panther, and OMG - It's Gorgeous