3 Things To NEVER Do When Speaking Of Your Spouse
As a friend, a co-worker, a leader, or a parent, the health of your marriage directly affects the impact of your character. It also impacts your ability to influence others – especially your own children.
I have witnessed this time and time again. Being effective at anywhere and on anything begins by being effective at home.
Throughout our marriage, my wife and I have encountered countless people that we felt degraded the value of their marriage.
We’ve met people of great influence whose marriage relationship was shady (though apparently strong) only because of the way they spoke about each-other and to each-other.
"As a leader, the health of your marriage directly affects the impact of your character." - Alex Colon Click HERE To Tweet
Often times when couples speak negative of each-other to others it comes across as funny while other times you can feel a little bit of tension.
When the comment is funny, everyone laughs. You might think it’s just plain hilarious.
When the comment is more like a jab filled with tension, you feel like crawling under a rock wishing you were never there. (Know what I mean?)
On the other hand, I’ve been around people who just speak volumes of gems about their spouses. This is rather rare to see a man speak boat loads of gems about his wife, but more common to see a wife speak greatly and passionate about her husband.
We’ve been around people that compliment and express appreciation and admiration for their spouse.
When considering these two experiences, I am convinced that praising your spouse in public is one of the most important investments you can make—in your family, your work and others around you.
In fact, as we reflected on these real experiences, my wife and I decided to NEVER speak negative of each-other in public. Instead, we’ve always made it a point to praise the other.
Now let me be clear here. This didn’t start real good right off the bat. Naturally, I’m more of a “cutting down – teaser” type of person. I used to find something silly you did, make it look real dumb and teas you with it.
Oh it normally turned out to be a funny moment. And most people tend to enjoy that type of teasing. I never meant any harm – it was just me.
So marrying a woman who didn’t appreciate that type of teasing was not easy to conform to her request – to tease in a nice manner. Oh boy! That was foreign to me.
Needless to say, my first few tries were a joke! No really, they flopped. I tried to fix my teasing skills only to make it worse. Have you ever had such a dramatic experience?
Whether you have or not, let me give you what I’ve learned from my wife as well as from others to NEVER do.
I’m not saying I’m perfect at this – sometimes I’m not real good at it at all – but surely way better than I used to be. In fact, I’m actually pretty good at it – at least, I think so. Just don’t ask my wife.
So here’s what we’ve learned to NEVER do:
1. NEVER belittle your spouse in public.
In other words, regardless of the moment, regardless if you had an argument on your way to your friend’s party, or if you’re going through some depressed season, still, NEVER speak ill or negatively of your spouse.
ALWAYS praise him/her in public.
If you want to be encouraging to your spouse, enhance your marriage and have a happy spouse, try speaking positively of and to your spouse – especially when in public.
2. NEVER complain about your spouse to your friends.
ALWAYS speak well in an affirming manner to others.
Here’s what I mean, everyone needs a friend to bounce ideas from and to even get good council or advice from. That’s all good.
That doesn't mean, however, that you’re going to complain and speak ill of your spouse because he/she is being inconsiderate or whatever.
Sure, you may want to share with your friends the fact that you and your spouse might need some help or need to work on some things due to some tension in the relationship. But use wise words with a tender and positive attitude as opposed to a negative and complaining attitude.
Your attitude will reveal the condition of your heart and the condition of your relationship.
Your attitude will also insinuate that you don’t have a happy marriage – when in fact you do even if you’re having a few glitches to work through – who doesn’t?
ALWAYS speak positive of your spouse to others. If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all.
3. NEVER let others degrade your spouse.
You know what I mean. Those times when men get together and one of them will make a negative condescending comment about their spouse, also affirming that every woman is the same. The flip side of that is true – wives can do it too.
In such case, when such comments are made, don’t stay silent.
If the moment allows it, ALWAYS praise your spouse and show your friends how amazing he or she is. They need proper leadership. They need a positive influence.
I’m not saying to portray your spouse as a saint when they ain’t. I’m not asking you to make your spouse look like an angel when everyone knows they’re more like a fallen angel. But at the same time, don’t allow the attitude of others worsen yours or at least diminish the value of your marriage.
This is part of the reason why we're so sold out on doing our yearly marriage and family vision. It has made a tremendous impact and brought great change to our marriage relationship.
Bonus: Having followed these same principles, my wife and I have noticed five things that happen when around others:
1. People begin to stop their ill comments about their spouses.
It's so cool to see others learn from example to stop speaking negatively and junk about their spouses - even when they don't like some of the stuff their spouse does.
2. Eventually friends begin to admire and make positive remarks about their spouses.
One of the more rewarding experiences is to see others model after your own behavior - when speaking of your marriage. It's amazing - I might humbly add.
I have learned this skill from pastor friends, and others that I've admired their marriage relationships.
3. Those that want to remain destructive of their marriage, quit hanging around us.
And that’s perfectly fine with us. If they can’t value the greatest blessing God has given them, and they can’t honor our love and respect one to another, then we sure don’t need them around poisoning our minds and emotions – and the future marriage of each one of our kids.
4. What other people say.
Others have said: “We’ve watched you for a while now, and we want to have a marriage and a family like yours. We want your counsel.”
At which point, we tear up and wish we could run away.
Sure, we’re thrilled for such admiration and consideration, but the responsibility and even the slightly possible idea of exemplifying a false image of our marriage, scares us greatly.
We don’t want to give the wrong impression of a perfect marriage or a perfect family.
No we’re not perfect. But we value what God has given us and we hold dearly what we’ve worked so hard for. And we’re not about to let that die, or get squelched by negative talk from others or from ourselves.
5. What you respect you will attract.
The more we affirm or praise each other, the more good we want to do for one another. This is almost like psychological thing that happens in the human soul. The more good you get, the more good you want and the more good you want to do in order to get more good results. Get it?
Speaking well of your spouse, praising your spouse and letting others know how great you think and feel of your spouse, will affect your everyday life and will partly enhance your marriage relationship.
By the way, my wife is the BESTEST woman in the world! And I mean that! (Go ahead and Tweet That)
Now it’s your turn. How have you seen (any or all of) these principles work for you? Have the praise friends regarding their spouses impacted you in any way? You can leave a comment below.