I’ve been noticing a terrible trend lately. While mostly on television, there seems to be an increase in the amount of wives who are openly, publicly, and unapologetically belittling their husbands. On Braxton Family Values, a reality show that follows Toni Braxton, her sisters and her mother, two of Toni’s sisters have been talking down on their husbands on a regular basis. Towanda is separated from her husband Andre, and constantly brings up the fact that he can’t get a “real job” or support their family. Tracy is still with her husband Gabe, but continues to bring up the fact that he cheated and doesn’t trust her. Let’s not forget when Mariah expressed on national television that she only trusts her husband “sometimes.” We need to stop publicly (and even privately) bashing our husbands!
My first point is “why.” What does bad mouthing your husband really accomplish? Whatever you’re complaining about may surely upset you, but do you think criticizing him, especially in a public forum, is going to change things? Do you honestly believe public humiliation is the route to go? If you’re so sick of him or the things he does or doesn’t do, why do you stay? I wonder this every time Towanda mentions Andre is not the primary breadwinner. It baffles me that Gabe and Trina don’t trust each other, yet they continue to stay married. If you can’t stand the person, then why do you stay?
Marriage is not easy, by any stretch of the imagination. If you remember your vows, you know there will be good and bad times. You’ll have amazing times and you’ll have trying times. The point is to get through your problems together. When you openly discuss your problems with your spouse, to family and friends and Lord forbid associates and strangers, you’re putting your relationship on thin ice. Men have pride, men have egos, and men are supposed to be the head of the household. When you strip him of these things, you get a broken man, which is not good for him or your marriage.
So what can you do? When you’re fed up and had enough, and you want to spew insults instead of compliments, what are the next steps?
First and foremost, you two need to talk. No interruptions, no additional input, no outside influences. The two of you need to sit down and discuss what the underlying issues are. Although these women discuss openly and repetitively what the issues are, they seldom mention how to handle it. Say how you feel, allow your husband to explain his perspective, and make sure each one of you knows what’s going on.
Next, try counseling. If you’re going to tell someone about your problems, tell a professional. Your mom, your friends, and your Twitter followers can only say so much. Find a licensed and or certified therapist, relationship coach, counselor or psychologist in your area who specializes in marriages. Don’t go expecting the professional to agree with everything you’re saying. You’re not looking for an enabler or a yes man. You’re looking for an assistant, someone to help the two of you find a place of peace in your relationship.
Then evaluate what the end goal is. Sometimes people continue to go in circles, fighting the same fight, when in reality the marriage has been done a long time ago. Although we don’t advocate divorce on BMWK, we most certainly understand that not every marriage is the right marriage. People grow apart, people make mistakes, and some people just aren’t right for each other. Be honest with yourselves. Staying in a marriage long after it’s over helps no one, including children if that’s the reason you’re really staying. Constant bickering and belittling is not making anyone feel better, including you.
Finally, let’s go back to what our mothers taught us when we were young. If you don’t have anything nice to say, please don’t say it at all. Negative energy in any form is not healthy, for the person you’re saying it to, the person you’re talking about, or for yourself. Think about the positive things your husband brings to the table. Please don’t write it off as “he doesn’t do anything good.” Even if you have to think back to the very beginning, he has done some good things, or else you wouldn’t be married today. Have you seen Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? Make that list, weighing the pros and cons about your man. I’m sure you’ll remember he has some great traits.
I plead to all the wives who have a gripe against their husband, handle it privately. It’s discouraging for the singles out there, it’s embarrassing to your husband, and it doesn’t make you look like a saint either. In 2012, try to communicate with your husband more and tackle the issues that have been bothering you the most. Let him be the man you want him to be and that he can be!