Why It’s Important to Complain About Your Partner Sometimes


Holding it in doesn’t help anyone. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A few years ago, Girls had nothing on my girlfriends and me when it came to discussing our relationships.

We’d dissect the hidden meaning in texts, over-analyze arguments, and give detailed accounts of what went down in bed. I once spent 20 minutes with a buddy talking about how her new man’s small package was actually a good thing since he tried harder in bed. (She ended up marrying the guy.)

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But now, most of my girlfriends are married and we haven’t had a good Girls-level chat in ages. In fact, this is how most of our catch-ups go:

Me: So, how’s your husband?
Them: He’s great/the best husband ever/running for president!
Me: Cool!…So…um…what else is new?


Of course, that’s their prerogative, but it just kind of feels…fake.

Related: More People Say They’re Unhappy in Their Marriages Than Ever Before

And that’s why I’m so psyched every time I talk to my friend Sara. Our conversations go a little something like this:

Me: So, what’s new with your husband?
Sara: You would not believe what he just did! I want to f—ing kill him…

If I’m ever pissed at Chris and want to talk, she’ll listen and offer up a similar anecdote, while some of my other married friends just pretend like fighting with your husband is a foreign and completely bizarre concept.

Sara and I have real chats about our marriages—covering the good and the bad.


Is it weird to be so into the fact that I still have one friend who’s open about her relationship?

Nope, says psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. She says it’s definitely important to have at least one friend that you can bounce things off of, even when you’re married.

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“Sharing with a supportive and discreet friend means we can ‘normalize’ the things that happen that we may be blowing out of proportion in our own minds,” she says. “A good friend should help talk you down from the crazy stuff, not pump it up.” Tessina says my chats with Sara can be a stress-reliever, too, and can help lower the odds I’ll take something out on Chris.


But Tessina says I have to careful not to share too much since guys can freak out if they hear that information they thought was private has been the topic of a, err, gossip session.


Chris knows I talk to Sara about things, but he might not be so thrilled if he knew everything we discuss.

So in lieu of ‘fessing up to Chris (I so don’t want to have that conversation), I’m just going to tone it down—a bit. For now, at least.

We’ll see how long that lasts…

Korin Miller is a writer, SEO nerd, wife, and mom to a little 2-year-old dude named Miles. Korin has worked for The Washington Post, New York Daily News, and Cosmopolitan, where she learned more than anyone ever should about sex. She has an unhealthy addiction to gifs.

By Korin Miller

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