What I Don’t Tell My Spouse (and what you shouldn’t either)

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I probably should start by saying that my husband and I are always talking. I have a close friend -with a wonderful marriage- that is completely different from mine and I don’t understand it at all. She tells me that while she’s home with her husband they don’t see each other or speak to one another much. For the record, they live in a small apartment with young children. Each one of them, though, is busy doing his/her own thing and there’s very little contact. I believe her when she says that they have a great marriage- but I can’t wrap my head around it! My husband and I don’t stop yakking. I consider my marriage pretty great and I understand marriages come in different shapes and sizes- no one necessarily better than the next. It just so happens that our dynamic is, well, a pretty verbal one.

That said, I do try very hard to not speak to my husband about some things (admittedly I fail at least as much as I succeed). I avoid topics of negativity that take the form of kvetches, sadness, bitterness, irritation, anger, etc. The upside is that with all our shmoozing, we avoid bringing up lashon hara (negative/damaging speech). The advantage that I’d like to highlight here is that I don’t spread the negativity. Again, this is a work in progress.

So, to wrap up, do I (should I) vent to my husband? In a generation that glorifies full self-expression, I’m proud to report that I have censored(!) myself many times this past week in an effort to keep our atmosphere at home upbeat and cheerful. There were a few challenging moments (totally not connected to my family) that I opted to keep to myself. Y’know what? I don’t feel repressed or squelched or stifled or inhibited. I feel liberated. Taking control of my mouth in the face of strong emotions leaves me completely empowered, in the driver’s seat.

While my friend says she doesn’t talk much to her husband (and hey- if that works- gezunterheyt!), most couples I encounter TALK. A LOT. While our cultural standard is to give couples carte blanche to disclose every thought passing through (sort of like Twitter…), I propose we utilize a little good judgement before we communicate to our spouses. 

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