B – Bashing Your Husband is Off Limits (and add your links to Marriage Moments Mondays)
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love & Respect writes, “No husband feels fond feelings of affection and love in his heart when he believes his wife has contempt for who he is as a human being. Ironically, the deepest need of the wife – to feel loved – is undermined by her disrespect.”
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” James 3:5
Perhaps your friends are doing it. Perhaps your coworkers are doing it. Perhaps even your family is doing it. But dear married lady friend, you shouldn’t be doing it – husband bashing!
Back in the early days of my marriage, when my husband would disappoint or anger me, I had a hard time not venting to someone else about it. I would call a friend or a family member and gush every detail, hoping for sympathy and answers. How destructive this was! Not only did this paint my husband in a bad light in the eyes of others, but my selfish inability to keep my mouth shut disrupted our spiritual, emotional, and sexual intimacy.
Husband bashing is dangerous and destructive, and is off limits for any wife, but especially a Christian wife. You should never, ever give into bashing your husband as a way of dealing with frustrations, anger, bitterness, or misplaced emotions.
Thankfully, I have found healthier, holier ways of dealing with my frustrations (which I’ll share with you a little later). Is it still a struggle? To be honest, yes. I am a communicator by nature, and I process things externally. I need to get my words out in order to understand my thoughts and emotions. Even now, when I have a problem with my husband, it takes a lot of prayer, God’s strength, and willpower to stop myself from venting to anyone who will listen.
What is husband bashing?
Husband bashing involves discussing negative things about your husband with another person (i.e. a coworker, friend, family member, even a counselor) in a destructive or demeaning way.
This can include:
- listing things he does wrong
- calling your husband names
- demeaning your husband
- dwelling on the negative aspects of your man and/or his relationships with others and/or your marriage
- mentally or verbally complaining about him
- acting as though your husband is stupid
- talking about your husband like he’s a failure or that he’s worthless
- publicly throwing a fit when you don’t get your way
- making your husband feel bad because you feel you “do” everything around the house
- playing the “one up” game to see which husband is a bigger loser
Keep in mind, husband bashing can happen face-to-face, over the phone, in a letter, on social media, or in an email.
Why is husband bashing dangerous and destructive?
Pretty soon, all you’ll see is the negative in your husband – all the things he does wrong – instead of seeing anything right or good or godly about or in him. Husband bashing is incredibly contagious and incredibly disrespectful!
- hurts your personal spiritual walk with God
- undermines your spiritual relationship with your husband
- hurts your Christian witness
- interrupts your emotional intimacy
- stimulates ingratitude
- creates a breeding ground for anger, bitterness, resentment, and an unforgiving heart
- disrupts your sexual intimacy
- pollutes your thoughts
- disrespects and dishonors your husband
- damages your husband’s reputation and Christian witness
- distorts your attitude toward your husband
- attacks your husband’s heart
- could potentially destroy your husband’s trust and confidence in you and your marriage
Precious lady friend, “getting it all out there” seems therapeutic and stress-relieving at first, but it’s a long, dangerous road toward marital destruction. God calls you as a wife to uplift, respect, and honor your husband. You didn’t marry a perfect person – and you must acknowledge that. You must accept your husband and all of his attributes – negative and positive. You may not like how he forgets to pick up his dirty socks or take out the trash or how he always leaves the stereo blasting in the car when he turns it off. You may dislike how he doesn’t brush his teeth before bed or how he buys you roses when you’d prefer lilies. Regardless, he is still your husband – and he deserves your respect and honor.
*Please note this doesn’t mean that you should tolerate abuse of any kind – sexual, physical, or verbal. If your husband is abusing you, you need to seek immediate help and counsel outside your home! God doesn’t call a wife to stay in a destructive marriage to a husband that is endangering her or her little ones.*
When you’re tempted to bash your husband…
- Acknowledge your temptation to the Lord in prayer, and ask for His strength to overcome.
- Spend time examining your own heart before God in prayer and seeking out Scripture.
- Make a list of your husband’s positive attributes and keep it handy to review when you’re tempted to think or speak of him negatively.
- Remind yourself daily how grateful you are for your husband.
- If you still need to “get your feelings out,” consider writing them down in a journal. Keep a Christlike attitude, but if your husband has genuinely hurt or angered you, use the paper to channel your negative emotions and express your thoughts. I use this method frequently to better understand my own emotions and thoughts, and often use my journaled notes later when confronting my husband lovingly.
- Surround yourself with godly marriage-affirming friends, both single and married.
- Ask God to show you what in your life is polluting your thoughts and emotions toward your husband (i.e. books, movies, magazines, TV shows, news, the Internet, friends, family, etc.
- Seek wise counsel – I knew of a couple who went to the church for counseling and the wife was immediately accused of having an affair, though this wasn’t true. This poisoned her attitude toward the church and her husband, and eventually the couple, sadly, were divorced. Always weigh what others tell you against the standard of Scripture and spend time in prayer before making decisions, asking the Holy Spirit to give you guidance.
- Meditate on and memorize Scripture.
- “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
- “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31: 11-12, 26
- “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3
- “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:4
- “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Proverbs 15:28
- “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26
- “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11
- “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.” Proverbs 10:32
- “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Psalm 141:3
- “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” Proverbs 10:11
- “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” Proverbs 18:7
- “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31
*This post is included in the ABCs of Marriage series*
Your Turn? Have you ever been tempted to or actually bashed your husband to your girlfriends or someone else? How did you overcome the temptation or how did you cope with the aftermath? In what other ways do you protect your marriage from the infamously popular coping mechanism of husband-bashing?