In public, always defend your spouse. Make it a habit to take his or her side regardless of the situation – Jimmy and Karen Evans (MarriageToday)
That quote was taken from a MarriageToday Facebook status update. As you can imagine, there were over 57 comments for this status update with people both agreeing and disagreeing.
I agreed with this comment (in Facebook terms that means “like”.) To me, it means that spouses should not have major disagreements with each other in public. They should always support each other, especially if there is someone attacking or confronting their spouse. If your spouse is saying or doing something that you do not agree with, then you should wait and discuss it with him/her in private. And it also means that couples should never speak negatively about each other or try to belittle each other in public.
There is nothing more uncomfortable than seeing a couple at odds with each other in public or to hear a wife/husband speak negatively about their partner (who is not present at the moment.) A perfect, but extreme, example is the couple Marcus and Angela from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married movies. You can see the embarrassment on their friends faces as Marcus and Angela proceed to demean and loud talk each other in public. Another example or analogy can be taken from NFL teams. A clear sign that a NFL team is going to have a bad season is when the players start to talk negatively about each other in public. We all know that every team has its problems. But when teams are not able resolve their problems in the locker room and when the team members start to voice their concerns during interviews with the media, then we (the fans which would be like our friends and family) know that this team and it’s management (the couple) have serious problems that could have negative impacts on their ability to have a successful season (i.e. – healthy successful marriage.)
Married folks should remember that they are a team at all times. And what does it mean to be on a team? It means people coming together to pursue or achieve a common goal. The key words here are together and common goals. This is why I agree with the Facebook status, if you and your spouse are working together to achieve a common goal, you should not be bickering or disagreeing with each other in public. Of course, as individuals you will have your own likes or dislikes (you liked a movie”…your husband did not”…things like that.) But you should have respect for each others opinions and if you have a problem with something, then take it up with your spouse in private.. in a safe environment to communicate so that issues can be worked out peacefully and respectfully.
Successful teams care about each other. Members of a successful team uplift and elevate each other because they know that if they strengthen each other then the team will also be strengthened. A member of our BMWK family, WHYTE23, said the following statement about his marriage that I love: “We agree that we are a team trying to reach the same goals, we agree that we are not in a battle, we will not collide, we will not fight, and if and when we disagree we vow to remember that we are not adversaries but lovers and best friends.”
BMWK – Do you agree with that Facebook status? Is it ever appropriate to not defend your spouse in public? As it pertains to being a team, what are some of the bad habits that you see couples exhibiting in public? How can we begin to change those behaviors?
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