Talking about your marriage issues with a good friend will just make things worse

From this link

13 Things - What Your Marriage Counselor Won’t Tell You

By this woman

It’s presented more or less as a given. What exactly is the rationale behind this advice?

Basically that when you talk to an individual by yourself, they’re more likely to collude with you. ‘You’re the good guy, shes a cow’ kind of stuff, or variants of such. Which means that when you do talk with the partner about it, its more likely to go badly.

Even for counselling for relationship issues not involving violence its often recommended to do it as a couple, as the chances of separation occurring go up if its done individually.

How much this is based on actual research rather than it being viewed as a truism in couples therapy, I couldnt tell you.


I agree with Otara. I am in H/R and half the complaints I hear, are really nothing more than personality conflicts and they come to me, hoping to get an ally in their argument. A good friend is likely to see your side and make you think you have a point, when there is none

Agreed with Otara. Problems with the marriage need to stay inside the marriage.

Plus if you complain to friends or family about the marriage, they’ll dislike your spouse for what they did. Then if you come back and say “we made up, we worked it out,” they’ll still be pissed at the other person. So you’ve poisoned your spouse’s relationships with others - maybe without your spouse even knowing - and there’s no equivalent of “marriage counseling” to fix that.

WTF. This shit is has been around for months. Suddenly it’s everywhere. Why has it gone viral specifically today I wonder?

Having done a little counseling with my wife, not marriage counseling as such but close enough, the point is that when you discuss the problem with someone else they will likely agree that you are right and your spouse is an asshole. When you discuss the problem with your spouse, with a counselor or in that type of environment, you both realize you are assholes.

Talking to somebody about your problems helps to relieve the burdens and stress of those problems. If you share your marital problems with a friend, chances are that you are less likely to share the problems and your feelings with the spouse. Communication, its tough but essential.

I disagree. A good friend challenges your assumptions about the situation. A good friend points out when you are being unfair, or applying a double standard. A good friend tells you frankly when you are the asshole in the situation.

The other type isn’t a good friend, just a “yes-man.”

I suppose for the sort of shallow people that read and care about such articles, probably all they have is “yes-men” and no real friends in this world. In which case the statement is true for them.

Don’t we already have a thread about the 13 Things Your Marriage Counselor Won’t Tell You? I remember seeing it yesterday.

I agree. Maybe this is why my friends don’t ask me things unless they really want the truth. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, from the same OP.

I’m not really sure what the OP is talking about. Maybe if they started a third thread about it I might start to understand.

They are two completely different articles with similar titles. See link at top of this thread. I just wanted clarification on the one question in this thread I inquired about. It was not in the original article link you are referring to.

If everyone just talks to good (and hopefully mature, honest, and wise) friends about their marriage issues, who will talk to marriage counselors?

Won’t someone think of the marriage counselors?

Even if you’re a ‘tell it like it is’ person, your information is still limited to only knowing what the person tells you. The partner will tell you what they’re not telling you.

People tend to self filter about things, particularly the things they dont want to remember, which often are the things they really need to be looking at most.


So what if your spouse doesn’t want to go to counseling? Or what if they act one way at counseling and another way at home? What if they are dominating and you feel that you cannot stand up for yourself and words get twisted and you always turn out to be the one at fault? If you are deep into a dysfunctional relationship and you can only go to counseling 1 or 2 times a month what do you do in between times? I don’t feel I can communicate with my spouse, he is not willing to look at himself. It’s always if I would change he wouldn’t get mad.

Frankly, I disagree. I think it’s better to release your frustrations with a friend than bottle it up because you can’t/won’t talk to your spouse about it at that given moment. Friends understand venting, and everyone needs to vent. A good friend won’t hold it against your spouse. Everyone has disagreements sometimes. The problem in my mind, that I realize when I talk to other people about my relationship, is that they’re only getting it from my side, so the best they will know is half the story. Therefore, their opinions will always be biased towards my perceptions/assumptions/etc. But if you’re someone that needs to talk about it or it’ll come out in other ways, I think it’s healthier to talk to a trusted friend.

Oh, bullshit.

This is true for serious stuff, for issues that, if not resolved, could threaten the well-being of one’s marriage. But there’s lots of “things in your marriage” below that level, things that annoy you that you’re perfectly willing to put up with for the next 40 years if that’s what it takes to continue to enjoy the pleasure of your spouse’s company.

You gripe about stuff like that when it seems appropriate, whether you’ve discussed it with your spouse or not. You know, in 20 years of marriage, I’ve never found a good time to mention to my wife that it annoys me when she leaves kitchen drawers open a half inch or so, because crumbs from the counter wind up in there? But if the opportunity to gripe about that naturally arose in a conversation with a friend, I’d gripe.

Talking about it with somebody will make me feel better, and it’s not likely to make my friend think worse of my wife, because it’s in the category of ‘we all do annoying shit on that level.’ And our marriage will be just fine even if I never get around to mentioning it to my wife, and I’ll just continue to close a drawer that last half-inch myself when I notice that one’s slightly open.

I suppose degrees matter, and whether you are looking for validation or not. Sometimes you’re just venting, she knows I hate dumplngs and she made them twice this week etc.