I could go on and on about what you should or shouldn’t do with your partner when you are having relationship problems.
Today I’ll be discussing one critical thing not to do that doesn’t involve your partner when you’re having relationship problems.
Spoiler alert: it’s not cheating or going on a bender, though I would advise against those two actions as well.
What I’ll be discussing is all too common and can cause big problems for you and your partner down the road if you engage in it. Even though it’s tempting and it helps you feel better, it can be highly dangerous to your relationship.
What I’m referring to is talking about your relationship problems to your friends and family. Unless your relationship isn’t that serious or is just starting up, it is abusive, or you are definitely breaking up or getting a divorce, keep your mouth shut about your relationship problems to friends and family.
In other words, if you are in a serious relationship or are married and you want things to work out despite your difficulties, my advice is to keep your foot in your mouth.
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Being that I’m a therapist and clearly a supporter of people talking about their problems, you may be surprised as to why I’m telling you to keep your mouth shut.
Here’s the deal
Your friends and family are hopefully big supporters of you. They care about you more than anything and they only want the best for you. As soon as you start shit talking your relationship, you have made enemies for your partner.
They will have serious problems with whoever isn’t treating their daughter, sister or best friend like the queen she is. Then, when all is better between you and your partner, you’ll have a big pile of crap to clean up. And you might not be able to.
Do you really want that?
Even worse, if your partner learns that you’ve done some talking about them to your loved ones, you’ll have to deal with even more grief.
I’ve seen it happen many times, and trust me, it can get ugly.
Your relationship is going to go through ups and downs.
They all do. In the words of an Elvis Presley song, “True love travels on a gravel road.”
But to keep your bond sacred and strong as it should be, don’t let others into your relationship problems.
Deal with your issues together.
To save your self time and effort in doing so, find a couples therapist. If you need to talk to someone other your partner about your own struggles, find an individual therapist.
Of course it makes sense to confide in friends and family, but if you are telling them how much of a jerk your partner is and you want to make things work, you are doing yourself and your relationship a huge disservice.
It may feel impossible to imagine that things will get better. You might be feeling hopeless and really need to connect with someone because it’s not happening with your partner.
But if you have a seed of desire to make things better and a grain of faith that they might, your relationship can be better than ever.