A Word on Husband Bashing

14347252648_c9371da524_zHusband bashing is a sport I’ve never had an interest in. It’s crazy since I love every sport in existence.

First, I actually like my husband so degrading him among other women just isn’t something I’m into. Second, what’s the point again?

I remember the first time I was made very aware that this is how some women connect. I was standing with two other (older) women and they were ranting on and on about how awful their husbands were. I felt a little weird bearing witness to some of the things they said but walking out seemed inappropriate. This is what it’s like being socially trapped.

Anyway, after a few minutes of tearing into the guys that they married and weren’t exactly there to defend themselves, one of them looked at me and nodded as if to say, “your turn.” The geek that I am, I said, “umm… I love my husband.”

One of the woman laughed and waved me away. She said, “oh that’s right you haven’t been married that long.”

“Yeah, you’re young. You haven’t had enough time to come over to this side yet,” said the other.

At that point, we had only been married for three years. But we had been together for nine so I’m wasn’t exactly sure how long it would take to “cross over.”

The thing is, I will never cross over.

Husband/spouse bashing, to me, is one of the best ways to destroy your relationship. It might not be as swifty and efficient as cheating but don’t underestimate its power. Think about it. You get together with friends, have a good round of verbal boxing (in which you beat your opponent to death with no chance of them even defending himself), then you carry around that negative energy you built up… for the rest of the day or longer.

Do this often enough and you end up taking that garbage home with you. Suddenly the greeting to your partner is a squint-eyed, “YOU.”

It’s not hard to figure out that those negative feelings, often encouraged and cheered on by friends, will be all you think about. Eventually, the relationship deteriorates and you’re left wondering what happened.

Of course, I have days where I have plenty to complain about. I have stubbed my toe on a pair of steel-toed boots, I get slivers from doing laundry (tree guy), and often he takes my favorite wrench and doesn’t put it back. And occasionally, our strong personalities rear up and spar. But these things aren’t deal breakers and they certainly aren’t things I need to build on negatively by ranting about them.

I am definitely not a marriage expert and I do feel that there is a time and place where talking to a trusted friend is necessary to vent bottled up tension but husband bashing is not the way to go.

My guy and I have been together 15 years so that has to speak for something. I’m 100% positive he’s got complaints about me, too. And just like everything else we handle them openly with each other. (By the way, talking openly doesn’t mean lynching your spouse. It means speaking truthfully and in a way that creates space for conversation.)

I believe communication (next to laughter and a healthy dose of humility) is a key ingredient for a healthy relationship. 

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons/Ismayani Prabu Ali

6 thoughts on “A Word on Husband Bashing

  1. topcat0701

    I love your blogs. They are so insightful and always give you a different perspective on what seems to be an epidemic (cool) thing to do. Good for you! I have always thought you and Jay have one of the strongest relationships I have ever known….I still tell your story often of how you came to be. Maybe you’re onto something?

    • amber

      Ha! It’s possible. We’ve definitely had our doozies and I’m sure we haven’t experienced our last “foul play,” but I think being conscious of behaviors that don’t serve us helps keep them at bay. Things have a tendency to spiral out of control so fast, don’t they?

  2. Carol

    Thank you so much for putting is terrible practice out there for all to see how detrimental it is to a relationship. I listen to women I work with bash their partners daily. The only thing I can ever think to say is “is it really that bad?” It’s such a normal part of there daily lives that I don’t think they realize just how cheap and mean it makes them sound. It’s “One upman ship” on who can come up with the worst spousal behavior.
    I think it breaks a sacred trust that is shared between life partners. The person(s) doing the bashing is not someone I want to keep in my life. Negativity is lethal and spreads way to eaisily, I choose a different path.
    Keep inspiring me Amber, you are worth keeping.

  3. amber

    Thank you, Carol! I think you’re right – between the competition and possibly the only way for some women to connect, we underestimate how damaging something as simple as this really is. “Choose” is also a great word for this. We have a choice.

  4. vickioart

    Amber, I love this post ‼️ My husband and I just celebrated our 33rd anniversary and even though I have to admit I’ve visited the dark side a few times, it is NO place to stay. Bashing our partners only creates more toxicity, and more dysfunction : ( We have worked really hard to learn healthy ways to communicate and love, and it is worth it all! We are now more in love than ever❤️😊, and it’s because we have chosen to keep turning towards each other, and not away. Thank you so much for speaking out about this!! It really did touch my heart💟

    • amber

      I’m so glad! I had some hesitation writing about it because I didn’t want it to come off like I’ve never done anything wrong because THAT certainly isn’t true. 🙂 Kudos to you both for reaching your 33rd year! I think that’s inspirational. And by no means is it easy. You have lots to be proud of. Much love!

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