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  1. Great article! I haven’t experienced close girlfriends negatively gossiping about their husbands just to slam When it’s a colleague I usually leave the conversation and go eat lunch somewhere else. I do have one close girlfriend I confide in when faced with a challenge in my marriage. I trust her fully and she shared with me. Often when a lot of little things ‘bother’ me about my spouse, it’s ME that needs healing from a past issue and I’m just being triggered in those moments. Once I go to the Lord and get some of my baggage dealt with, those little things don’t bother me anymore. Not always but often. I’ve been married 11 years, we’ve been living in the same town as my husbands parents and very large extended family for 10 of those years. I’m so glad neither one of us has shared any of our challenges with his family from the start. Not once. Not that they’ve not heard us not be loving 100% of the time (bring a full time care giver for his dad was very stressful a few years ago)… If any of them mention it, my reply is we always forgive each other and pray and share positive things about my husband. I do know how things get flipped as when I’ve asked a friend years ago to pray about something regarding my husband, b/c she shared a similar thing, I thought both our hearts were in the right place but she proceeded to paint my husband in a very bad light, and hers. Lesson learned.
    I’m enjoying the 30-day Respect Challenge, all are great reminders 🦋

    1. So glad you’re enjoying the challenge, Paula. I love your standard reply about always forgiving and praying and sharing positive things about your spouse. That is a great habit other married couples would do well to establish. Glad you enjoyed the Respect Challenge. I’m working on a similar 30-day prayer challenge now. Hope to have it ready by the first of next year.

  2. This is anonymous. So I’m not embarrassing anyone. You are so correct. One must always protect the reputation of their family. My father, aunt and grandmother use to gossip about my mother to church members and coworkers. So much so, that much of what they said always got back to us. My parents ( both retired) did not work in the same school. However, they did work in the same school system. They had mutual associates. Sometimes, these people would be extremely rude to my mother, based off rumors my dad concocted. Much of his comments would get back to my mother’s place of work. It got to the point where my mother didn’t feel comfortable in her own house. Every time my father would come around, we’d be overly conscious of the things we did. We feared being ridiculed and gossiped about. I think this rubbed off on the whole family, because many of us began bad mouthing each other. However, people don’t trust or respect a person that bad mouths their family. They may listen to your gossip and relish in it. Yet at the end of the day. they don’t respect your or your family.

  3. Our culture has a habit of also, bad mouthing wives and objectifying women, so what suggestions do you have for husbands when they are around other husbands and hear negative wife talk?

  4. Jennifer, I love reading your writings about marriage, etc. My husband and I just celebrated our 59th anniversary. We have had good days and bad days, but God has helped us work through the tough times. I’m thankful today that we are still in love (even more so than we were when we married). People sometimes comment, when they hear how long we have been married, and you both still like each other?🙂

  5. I’ve been thinking on this lately. When I got married, I was very conscious of our culture’s trend to badmouth husbands and I didn’t want to be that sort of wife, but it seems the only conversations about husbands and marriage in my social group are negative and ithas been very easy to fall into doing the same (or more frustrating, is when I’ve been trying to share something positive and people have skewed my words to fit their expected bad husband image). When negative husband talk is going on, what does one say? It seems a bit in their face to gush about your own husband when their struggles are very real. Just don’t say anything? Defend their husband? Encourage them to pray?

    1. I faced the same dilemma when I was a young wife, Kirstie. I, too, would like to have gushed about my husband, but held back and said nothing. I think that if you find yourself among friends who take pleasure in speaking derisively about their husbands, you should gently encourage them to change their tunes. If they persist, then I would recommend limiting the time you spend with them or developing new friends who are more respectful of their spouses and supportive of marriage in general.

      Please note that I am not suggesting you turn your back on a friend who has come to you privately and sincerely seeking prayer and counsel for a specific problem in her marriage. This situation is entirely different than the one described above, where wives are merely complaining for the sake of complaining and have no real desire to better their circumstances or improve their marriage. They seem rather to be trying to outdo one another in terms of who has the stupidest spouse and therefore deserves the most sympathy. That sort of grousing session is destructive to everyone involved and should be avoided like the plague.

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