I could go on and on about what you should or shouldn’t do with your partner when you are having relationship problems.
Today I’ll be discussing one critical thing not to do that doesn’t involve your partner when you’re having relationship problems.
It’s not cheating or going on a bender, though I would advise against those two actions as well.
What I’ll be discussing is all too common and can cause big problems for you and your partner down the road if you engage in it. Even though it’s tempting and it helps you feel better, it can be highly dangerous to your relationship.
What I’m referring to is talking about your relationship problems to your friends and family.
Unless your relationship isn’t that serious or is just starting up, it is abusive, or you are definitely breaking up or getting a divorce, keep your mouth shut about your relationship problems to friends and family.
In other words, if you are in a serious relationship or are married and you want things to work out despite your difficulties, my advice is to keep your foot in your mouth.
Being that I’ve worked for years as a therapist and coach and am clearly a supporter of people talking about their problems, you may be surprised as to why I’m telling you to keep your mouth shut.
Here’s the deal:
Your friends and family are hopefully big supporters of you. They care about you more than anything and they only want the best for you. As soon as you start shit talking your relationship, you have made enemies for your partner.
They will have serious problems with whoever isn’t treating their daughter, sister or best friend like the queen she is. Then, when all is better between you and your partner, you’ll have a big pile of crap to clean up. And you might not be able to.
Do you really want that?
Even worse, if your partner learns that you’ve done some talking about them to your loved ones, you’ll have to deal with even more grief.
I’ve seen it happen many times, and trust me, it can get ugly.
Your relationship is going to go through ups and downs.
They all do. In the words of an Elvis Presley song, “True love travels on a gravel road.”
But to keep your bond sacred and strong as it should be, don’t let others into your relationship problems.
Deal with your issues together.
To save your self time and effort in doing so, consider getting help together. If you need to talk to someone other your partner about your own struggles, find an individual therapist or coach.
Of course it makes sense to confide in friends and family, but if you are telling them how much of a jerk your partner is and you want to make things work, you are doing yourself and your relationship a huge disservice.
It may feel impossible to imagine that things will get better. You might be feeling hopeless and really need to connect with someone because it’s not happening with your partner.
But if you have a seed of desire to make things better and a grain of faith that they might, your relationship can be better than ever.
And if you start trash talking your relationship or complaining about your partner to other important people in your life, you only have yourself to blame when your relationship is finally at its best and your friends and family just can’t fully accept your mate.
If you’ve already complained about your partner to others, it’s not too late to take efforts toward making things better.
Remember and mention some of the great things about your partner that you appreciate.
You might even start to notice more yourself.
So zip your lip to protect your relationship and tackle your issues together as a team.
Need help and not interested in speaking to a third party?
Check out my book, Your Best Love: The Couples Workbook and Guide to Their Best Relationship, to finally understand how to have a strong, connected and fulfilling relationship.
Cheers to making it your best,
P.S. DISCLAIMER – I am referring in this post to relationships that are NOT dangerous, violent or abusive. If you are in an abusive or violent relationship, your partner may try to prevent you from connecting to ANYONE.
If that is the case, I do NOT recommend you get couples therapy, I DO recommend to you reach out to loved ones, and check out this site as well: http://thehotline.org
I like your story especially that part of friends and families to our relationship cause some they don’t advice they choose sides and friends they breaking your relationship cause some of them they jealous they happy but they won’t show u .
Jenev Caddell says
Thanks, James! I appreciate your comment.
There is another very important point however which was omitted and which cost me my relationship; when you rant to friends you feed the negativity and it grows like wildfire. Then not only do you have the friend doubting the partner, but you have unwittingly created more of a mess then there really was and an unbiased therapist should be helping, not a friend. Or keep it between the two of you. This is very serious; I lost the love of my life in this way.
I’m so sorry to hear you lost the love of your life in this way.
I really appreciate you making this important point — it’s very true — what we focus on expands — so all of that negative ranting can spread like wildfire indeed. That’s extremely significant and I’m so glad you pointed that out.
Thank you so much.
I wish you all the best,
My question is. If you have problems and issue that you want your partner to know. It’s just right to talk about it but what if instead of talking it turn out to be a fight and ends up with unresolved issues because the other one breaks down and you cant do anything else but to stop talking.
I’m so sorry for such a delayed response to your question.
My advise is to get some help with this.
1. Check out this post about different patterns that couples get caught in.
2. Read the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime for Love by Dr. Sue Johnson, and
3. Get a qualified therapist to help you both sort through this so you’ll be able to talk – you can find someone near you by doing a search on The International Centre for Excellence in EFT.
Take these steps and I think you’ll both be able to get out of this.
I hope this is was helpful and sorry again for taking so long to reply.
I’ve never had so much agony. I lost my mom, my family, who I was.
I have never lost Someone i loved like this before, my brain rewired it’s self, when she was gone, and I knew she was the only thing on the planet that I needed.
The amount of energy coming from my core, changed people around me into my negative personality traits, and I had to hold my ground to fix them. All music ever made seems to talk to me, movies, plays are my life.
I needed to talk and could only txt, and the information started to grow and I was writing books of nonsense to her on messenger. I knew I was going to change for her, but not biblically, scientifically, or psychologically. I scared her away now I’m stuck without my love with wondering thoughts of hell on earth, me causing her pain, betrayal of my self.. When is give my last moment for a kiss, hug, and I love you! One last time.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Vaperlock – I am so sorry for your loss.
Noah Alexander Flores says
damn dude, text me on instagram or something bro i have dangerously similar ways of thinking
Excellent article that I am glad I stubled upon so I know I am not crazy…I wish my wife of 25 years had read it. We have had difficulties and she has been discussing with our friends and her family. I felt betrayed, humiliated and angry because I know they are getting one side of the picture and Im sure they now think I am huge evil jerk. Even though I was miserable I made it a point not to discuss with anyone except our pastor as a sign of respect to her. She says its healthy to discuss with others and its not my fault you dont have a support system.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Vince — I am sorry you are in this situation. Here’s more of a response from me in case it’s of any help:
Thanks for response!
Jenev Caddell says
You’re so welcome! Thanks for letting me know you got it 🙂
Would it be appropriate if I requested my in sister and brother in law (who have said they are my friends and want the best for us) to stop allowing my wife to hang out there and sleeping over because it is damaging our relationship?
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Vince — my sense is that asking your in-laws that would be just like placing a band aid over the bigger issue (and might even lead to more resentment). I would encourage you and your wife can go seek out some support to fix the bigger problem which is one of trust/connection – http://www.iceeft.com is an excellent site with a listing of certified Emotionally Focused Therapists all over the world who know what they’re doing and can likely help you with short-term focused work. Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!
Thanks, that just sums up everything We’ve been going through, wife is pregnant, I messed up, she told the whole world including workmates/rivals never mind just the family, I don’t want to be near anyone anyone more. I can’t find a proper link to your blog and would love to as it was really helpful
Jenev Caddell says
Hi E – so sorry to hear you’re going through this right now. I hope you guys can reconnect and team up again. You mentioned you messed up– I’ll share a post about how to apologize in a way that matters if it’s helpful. Just by admitting you “messed up” I’m sure you’ve apologized — but I hope you can both get through this and reconnect/heal so that you’re feeling like more of a united force and less alone.
Thanks for your comments on the blog too — feel free to scroll up and take the quiz on the right and you’ll be added to my list if you wish, where you’ll be notified whenever I share something new.
Here’s that video on apologies – I hope it’s helpful. Good luck, and congrats on the soon-to-be new addition!
I agree with you about not sharing what’s going on with family and friends because it just causes proublems. But on her side I understand she just needed to maybe get it off her chest and didn’t know who else to turn to. I don’t share my relationship issue either but I wish I did have someone to talk to that wasn’t in my life.just to unload.
I think we can all benefit from someone to speak with, to unload to, as you wrote, and also to help us see our own blindspots and get different perspectives and reach our goals. It’s a game changer. That’s one of the reasons why coaching and psychotherapy can be so helpful. Someone in your corner, just for you, to help you live more fully…it’s awesome!!
Thank you for writing in,
Hi My Name Is Anthony and me and my fiance have been together for almost 2 years. We get along very well, I love her and she loves me. Sometimes I get upset with her because I have had relationship situations that hasn’t been good. I tell her reasons why I don’t have friends, She says I’m being controlling because I tell her that I don’t want our relationship to have friends. I am this way because I allowed her to have friends 3 to 5 times and every single time some huge situation happens when her and I never really argue. Everytime we are together there is nothing but love for each other she squeezes my cheeks and covers me in kisses and everything is perfect when it’s just her and I and our 8 month old baby. But when she tries to have friends they are always jealous, most of them tried to DM me about my dress code and how good I look, I tell her these are reasons why we don’t need friends. She tries to have a friend then sayss she notices her friends are always trying to be around me and staring at me and that she doesn’t like it. I tell her that’s a huge reason why I don’t have guy friends because everyone isn’t your friend and that it can be dangerous. Now after a series of the outrageous events happens, she then says shes sorry and she understands what I been trying to say. Now we are back to good and she promises to not have any friends because it makes our relationship uncomfortable. Then when she’s upset she saying I’m controlling her and that I manipulate her. Those words hurt me because I would never want to control anyone especially the only person I have left. I feel like it’s my tone because she takes it the wrong way. I ask her ( Do you see how good we are when there’s no friends involved?) She responds saying ( yes she understands and it will never happen again) some of her friends even threatened to take our son from us like people are crazy. All I want her to understand is that I’m just trying to protect our family. We both want and need to be with each other until God calls us home. I love her a lot and we have been through a lot. She loves me a lot until we were homeless and sleeping on a beach and we were still positive. We both have taught each other many things. I just need her to understand what I am saying because I don’t want us to give up on what God has given us just because of bad friends who can be jealous and doesn’t want to see us Happy. So please reply so I can show her that I am not controlling her I’m just simply stopping a big problem that can mess up our love for each other.
Thanks for your note. It’s actually a healthy thing to have friends…we all need social support. I can see why you wouldn’t want to have friends if historically they have been jealous and have caused problems in your relationship.
I wonder if you could both approach the situation by explaining to her what you wrote here — that you do not want to have toxic friendships — and perhaps work to make new friends, both as individuals and as a couple, who are supportive and respectful of your relationship?
Please do not write off friendships all together because of a few bad experiences. They are crucial for a quality life, whether you are single or in a relationship.
I’m going through the exact same thing with my husband. He will talk to every female he comes in contact with and make me out to be the bad guy. I’ve even had mutual friends block me because of things that he’s said about me that weren’t even true. He claims he was just venting.
I watched my mother’s complaining about her relationship with my father to her parents split them up when I was in my early teens. My future wife is now potentially torpedoeing our relationship by doing the very same thing and when I bring it up to her she tries to sell me on some ridiculous bull that “that’s what Greek families do”. To make it even worse she gets mad at me when I tell her I won’t get involved or “defend” her when she argues with her parents, which seems to be a few times a week. I’ve already learned from experience that families can say horrible hurtful things to eachother when fighting but eventually get over it. I’ve also learned that as an “outsider” if I DO make the mistake of getting involved something I may say in anger can and almost certainly WILL be held against me from then on with little hope of reconciliation, yet she doesn’t get it. I’m hoping that she will read the response to this and take someone else’s word for what I already know is true.
That’s rough — hopefully you both can work on things so neither of you will have to complain to your families about each other and this won’t be another divisive issue between you.
Have you considered couples counseling? Check this site out to see if there is someone near you who can help – I am sharing this resource because Emotionally Focused Therapy can help you get to the heart of the issue and get it sorted: http://iceeft.com/index.php/find-a-therapist
My wife is very private. When I mentioned to my Mom about what was going on in her business. When my Mom came over and and mentioned what I told her to my wife she was mad. She is not talking to me. I forgot how my Mom talks and forgot to tell her not to say anything. She thinks I am not putting the marriage 1st and respecting her wishes. Maybe I have a problem
Senior Mannie says
I always had a tough time trying to stop my girlfriend from talking to third persons anytime we had a problem. Fact is, if you think we can’t solve our own problem, why must we be together in the first place? We broke up on 24th May though.. (Know it’s not needed anyway). I guess I would have to direct her here to read and get to know what I meant when I said she should go round telling her friends and my friends over any lil thang that comes in between us. It was a great article though, keep it up. Thanks. 🙂
Jenev Caddell says
Thanks so much for your comment and sorry to hear about the breakup but sounds like it was for the best from what you’re saying. I’m so glad you appreciated the post. We feed situations in our lives with the attention we give to them. I am all for being aware of “issues” and communicative about them, but complaining and “venting” about it to others usually does no good. I really appreciate your comment.
Lee casey says
Do you have any advice if ur friends dislike ur gf/bf caus you already talked to them about ur relationship problems and also who should you talk to about them caus its not easy to go it alone when ur fighting. Thank you!
Jenev Caddell says
Great question. It’s never too late to start a new chapter (one of not complaining about your partner to your friends). Let them know what’s going well and that you no are going to talk poorly about your partner. If things are going badly with your partner then I’d talk to YOUR PARTNER about it so you can try to resolve it, and if you can’t do it yourselves, get third party help from a professional. Your relationship is worth it. We take our cars in to fix without question but when it comes to relationship problems, people are more reluctant to get help because we think we should have it figured out. If your partner refuses to get help with you then there is still value in talking to someone yourself for objective perspective and the right kind of support.
That being said, the conversation gets more tricky if there is any kind of violence whatsoever in your relationship. Stay connected to others and let them know what’s going on. I don’t get the sense you’re talking about this but wanted to put that out there just in case. Also http://thehotline.org is a great resource for any matters of domestic/intimate partner violence.
Thanks for asking this question, I hope my response is helpful to you & others as well.
What If you are about to commit to this person (Marriage), and you are just noticing certain traits/behavioural patterns in them that you just can’t live with(e.g. Yelling, using painful words during an argument) despite having told them how it makes you feel, and it just doesn’t seem to change? And you just want to ask someone for their view/opinion?
Is it still trash talking?
Jenev Caddell says
I don’t think that necessarily counts as trash talking – in the video I guess I was addressing the trend I have seen about people complaining about their significant others just to “vent” – it doesn’t really help the situation much, and then people later tend to regret it. It’s not good for your relationship with your partner OR your friends. But if you need to talk something through with someone you trust, I feel like that’s a different story.
I hope this is helpful?
The commitment of marriage is a doozy for a lot of people – you might also wish to consider premarital counseling of some kind to help you both get on the same page?
Best of luck to you!! Thanks for your question.
I stumbled on your interesting article as I’m right now in the middle of such a situation. I don’t know where I am with her. She started to doubt. Maybe she does prefer bi-relationship over a hetero now with me. Or is this just the outcome of doubts she has on my real love for me. I doubted too, but due incertitude about myself, and about our age difference (17y).
Last 2 years, we took for granted our long distance relationship, saw each other more during the year on travels than we we both at home and visiting each other. On several levels we shared same values, same interests, same ideas.
Since her doubts last week we talked (actually for the first time) a lot with and about each other and actually discovered, yes, it was great and we stimulated each other indirectly. I expressed my love. She suddenly woke me up. My incertitude gone.
She was feeling warm by all these moments last days … and my hope to continue with her grow … We keep some no contact now … and it’s hard to support … And I’m now exactly on the point contacting close friends to let know there are some troubles … but idd maybe better not unless I know 100 % what’s our outcome.
Jenev Caddell says
Thanks for your comment. I think it’s only natural to reach out to others when you’re uncertain, looking for advice, etc., as it sounds like it might be the case in your situation. I think my point in the video is that if you are in a committed relationship and having difficulties with each other, simply whining and complaining about it to your friends does everyone a disservice. From my understanding of what you’ve written here, whining and complaining doesn’t sound like what you’re doing, but rather seeking support and advice. I hope I am making sense in clarifying that difference, and if not, please let me know. Thanks for writing in, and good luck to you!
Hi, Jenew. My situation is very complicated. I’ve been married for more than ten years and have kids. I actually going through this situation and finally told some friends and family about our unstable marriage. My reasons were, told painful words and and actually have been pushed again objects physically. Got some how scared but hopping it would get better. It has been the same if not worse for the last 10 years. Hopping that God will make the miracle for the sake of my kids. But afraid it might influence in a negative way my kids . Tried therapy twice bit quit immediately because realize he started talking about me as it was all my fault. He likes to visit with and on his own star bucks and bookstore alot. A fact. He tells me some how. Or , my daughter tells me. I finally, have decided to start praying for him, my kids and our relationship to God. I’m done, and know only God can fix our relationship. Don’t trust him and feel that he has hurt me so much. We are not even talking much anymore. He is always tired and angry. Needs to sleep and doesn’t care about getting any. Hope did not say too much.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi—thank you so much for your comment, you did not say too much. I strongly recommend that you get some support for yourself. I think you meant you tried therapy with him? I would suggest finding a therapist for yourself. You have been through so much and deserve only the best. A little support with this can go a long way – I really think you should find someone to talk with.
Whenever anyone may be in danger of any kind, or feels scared in their relationship, I would STRONGLY suggest you reach out to others and talk about it. I’m glad you have been, and thank you for sharing here as well. I am going to *update* my post to make sure that I’m being clear about that one (reach out for help if your relationship is dangerous, scary or threatening).
Hi my situation is different,im in love with this guy for 3 months bt we only met 3 times,i love him ,always trying to get attention from him bt the more I need his attention that’s where we arguing.now he blocked me on his phone.i didn’t know what to do and finally ask one of his family to talk to him.He was fuming and also said I’m stalking him.he even ask his family to block me hes job comes first,hes working everyday he’s married and im also married…what can I do to get him back
Jenev Caddell says
Hi there – as long as you keep falling for someone who is clearly not available to you, you will not get your needs met. I suggest starting to work with someone who can help you see the patterns you are recreating so that you can get the help you need to stop those patterns and truly create a relationship in which you are loved, valued, prioritized and respected. Feel free to look into my program here: https://mybestrelationship.com/revolutionizelove which should help you understand your patterns more, and/or start to work with a therapist/counselor to help you through this. Best of luck!
Ms.Caddell, I want to say, thank you.
I thought I was literally crazy for expecting my wonderful wife to confide only in me the problems or situations that we face. I have been fighting this very deal for the last whole year. Only to set in my agony to the horrors that lerk in all her friends and family members minds of possible one sided ideas that come from her. It kills me to be lied to but more important the foul smell of mistrust that she reveals with her words to her people. I love my wife, yet the open mouth conversations she has behind close doors, severly holds my heart with resentment and anger.
I can only say to those people reading your post that living with resentment, anger, and mistrust because you partner does not know how to bring the problems straight back to you and confide your pesonal life only with you is MISERABLE…
On the other hand who am I to say anything because I am probably the reason she feels she has to talk to these others…..What a circle of terrible truth…
Jenev Caddell says
Chess, so sorry to hear you are going through all of this, working with the right kind of therapist can do wonders – I would suggest you both find one close to home here and start cleaning this up so that you can both enjoy the kind of relationship you deserve: http://iceeft.com/index.php/find-a-therapist
Hi Jenev, I have made a bad error in myself, not realising I was always shouting at my kids, and yelling at my wonderful wife. It finally broke her, but I did confide in my sister that I am the problem and I need to fix myself. My sister is secretly supporting me by encouraging me to join anger management classes, and also counselling by her advice. She is very supportive of me to do my utmost to win back my marriage and the confidence of my children. I am really trying hard, but some days I do feel completely defeated but I do sense their is an enlightenment ahead for me and my wonderful wife. I must believe in changes, for the better of my soul and with my sisters support, I know I can learn to walk again.. Yours sincerely Gary.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Gary – I think it is great that you have your sister to confide in and that she is helping in the most supportive way. Keep up the great work, stay the course, keep your eyes on the prize and never give up!
Hi there, i am going through something similar with my partner right now. Everytime he comes into contact with most of my friends, he tends to talk to MY friends (male and female friends) about our issues; to which i hear about it later from them. He also appears to be playing ‘victim’ going by the certain trash talk that he has said. His even shown them msgs ive sent but when we are together, he acts like we have solved our issues n we’re fine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, cheers.
Jenev Caddell says
I would suggest you address the issue head on and let him know that you would like him to bring any complaints he has directly to you. And ask him to stop — let him know how it makes you feel (unsafe I would imagine? Like you can’t trust him?) – and that you want to be able to trust him. Is that helpful at all?
How do you stay in a relationship with someone that regularly talks trash about you? My husband has MS. I’ve known him since we were 11 and 13 years old. His emotions are not as level as they used to be. Both of us were raised in unhealthy homes. As adults, we moved far away from our families and we raise our daughter with the help of very supportive programs. As his MS progresses, he does well most of the time. But some days are not great and sometimes they change his meds and he doesn’t react well.
On those days, his mood goes dark, and then there is nothing that will stop him from seeing me in the worst possible light. There’s even been an occasion where I gave him a gift and told him I loved him as I saw his mood turning, and it didn’t stop. I was still evil.
In a day or three, he will be more rational. But until then, he wants to vent. And NOT to me. So one by one, his old work friends or our mutual friends will “unfriend” me on Facebook as he talks about me. Or if I get a cold shoulder from someone that used to be so nice, then I know why. There has been an occasion when a friend shared some of his rants about me. So I found out that sometimes he exaggerates things that I do. Other times he accuses me of doing things that *he* is actually doing.
My husband was my friend long before we were husband and wife. I know where he comes from, and I hate this disease. We have a daughter to raise together. I’m not giving up on our family. We have counseling through programs already.
This isn’t an issue that can be counselled away. If anything, I may need to expect other behaviors that aren’t good for us later- depending on how his MS goes.
Jenev Caddell says
What a difficult situation that you are in. My suggestion is considering Emotionally Focused Therapy, a specific and highly effective form of couples counseling that will not counsel MS away for sure, but can help you both manage it better together. I know that’s not what you likely wanted to hear as it sounds like you have been through counseling before, but this is likely different. Minimally, I would advise you to seek out some help for yourself.
Hi I’m having a similiar situation with my boyfriend we’ve been together for a year and a half. We recently had a baby together, he was born 3 months premature. My focus latey has been on our son. My boyfriend I found out recently has been discussing our relationship problems with coworkers for a while now. He recently told a coworker through text I was jealous of her, which I found out when I told my boyfriend bringing his co-workers I’ve never met to see my son after he gets off work at 11 pm seems a little inappropriate. I have no idea why he would say this to her as I have never been introduced to get to form an opinion. I did mention a five months ago how it made me feel uncomfortable that he spoke of her often but I thought that was the end of it. I’m a pretty honest person with him when it comes to our relationship and when things that bother me. We have our differences but I thought we were working through them together, but apparently not. He says I don’t listen to him, but his co workers do. I feel betrayed by him and worried about what other misconceptions he’s told to his coworkers who he said considers family. I don’t feel very trusting of him at the moment. He believes talking to his coworkers is ok because he needs to vent. Talking about our relationship problems seem inappropriate for him to bring up to coworkers. Can I get some advice on how to talk to him about this? It’s a bit much to handle with everything that is going on with our son. I need guidance.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Nicky — my advice is typically always to share your truth from a place of vulnerability/authenticity. I’d ask yourself/him what makes him feel like you don’t listen to him. Try to hear him out. And let him know, vulnerably, how you feel abou this. A little help can go a long way—You can find an excellent couples therapist here: http://iceeft.com Best of luck and so many congrats on your baby!! Jenev
I made the huge mistake of confusing in my mom about relationship problems I was having with my boyfriend. And it’s gotten so ugly. She’s basically trying to force me to leave him. And that’s not what I want. I just needed someone to talk to. And now I don’t know how to repair the relationship with my mom. She thinks horribly if my boyfriend now, and that kills me. And she keeps trying to force me to leave him. I just know in the end I’m going to either lose him or her. I always thought I could trust my mom. And now it feels like she’s destroying my life with information I confided in her. I feel helpless.
Jenev Caddell says
That’s rough…I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. First I wonder if there is any merit to her concern? Are you in any kind of danger? I’m just asking because it sounds like she really doesn’t want you to be with him…maybe because she wants you to be with someone *perfect* (who doesn’t exist), or maybe because there is something really concerning about this, in which case I would suggest you check this site outt if there is any violence.
If this is not a dangerous situation and perhaps your mom just being a bit overprotective, then try to look at this as a lesson…and trust that your mom will come around if your boyfriend does too. Getting personal support outside of friends & family is always helpful too!! I wish you all the best!
Hi , I hv a problem with my husband who like to be intimate with me which I don’t give Con sent to..many time I was like being forced to be intimate with him…i had been going thru this for years. I feel like talking to someone abt it..recently I made new male friend whom I had known for around 6 mths but we became closer as days pass but im worried to tell out my prob to ..I wonder what is his thinking abt me..shd i really talk to him…im not sure of what he will thi k abt my spouse cos he will be coming to my house one of this day soon. But I feel like I desperately need to tslk to someone whom I’ve nvr had any close friends before. I feel very desperate.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Aida- I recorded a video for you to answer your question: https://youtu.be/-1eJ_iHD4Zw
My short answer is to seek support from someone you are certain has no other agenda than to help you. I suggest you reach out to someone at http://www.thehotline.org for free and confidential support, or call them at (800) 799-7233. Intimacy/sex without consent = rape. Please call this number to speak with someone who can help. Best of luck to you!
Stumbled on your article and it’s really what I needed right now.
Been in my relationship for 6months now but we have had our bad times, he has a very disciplined personalty and also controlling, but he is a very sweet person behind all these, so during the last storm, I made up my mind to break up with him which I told a few of my friends and they supported me but he begged me and promised to do all that I complained about and promised to be sweet which he has been surpisingly. I have a few friends I talk to which I told them about what was going on over and over again, now I regret it and don’t know how to redeem it all, he is a sweet person and am ready to give the relationship another chance but my emotions got in to play and went out for help which most of them did not give out.
P.S I don’t know if am wrong but most times we have the solutions to most problems in our relationship but we run out to talk to family and friends dat have only one answer which is “break up you deserve better”.
Jenev Caddell says
Hey Funky, thanks so much for your comment — I recorded a video for you! I would just let your friends know that you guys are all good and learn your lesson to stop talking shit about your partner behind his back – UNLESS – of course, there really is any danger in which case I recommend you check out http://www.thehotline.org
Just what I needed to read because I thought I was going crazy for feeling the way I do. My husband and I were having some marital problems and he decided to go out on a bender. It was the old “I’ll show you” action. He has developed a close relationship with one of his female friends at work. I guess you cloud say that she is his new best friend. There is nothing untoward happening but he decided to unload our problems on her. She has now offered him a bed at her place to crash to get away from me. I have found out and feel so betrayed. He insists that he hasn’t told her much but I can’t shake the feeling that he must have trash talked about me for her to feel that things are so bad that she would offer him safe harbour at her place. I have asked her very politely via a text message to please stay out of our relationship but her response has been that she will be doing no such thing and will be there for her mate anytime he wants it. I feel ashamed and embarrassed that someone out there has been told things that are obviously skewered. I don’t know if I can functions together when this person is there now. I’m not sure that I can do it.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Betrayed – I recorded a video to respond to this – but my take home point is essentially that I would strongly recommend you take a stand for yourself and your relationship and get some help together to improve things. When your partnership isn’t solid and there are threatening 3rd parties, that is a recipe for disaster. Minimally, I would advise you to seek out counseling for yourself to help you take a stand for yourself during this rough time. http://www.iceeft.com has a directory of local highly qualified therapists trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy that is amazing for relationships. Here’s my video – please let me know your thoughts. Thanks and good luck:
Me and my partner have been together for nearly two years and grew very close very quickly. We moved in together early on and i have recently moved 5 hours away to uni.
We started petty arguments a long time back and he has had a very rough year with his business, broke his foot and the general arguments getting him down. So we have tried to stay on top of our arguments and tried talking over everything but every petty argument is slightly different. He kept threatening to end our relationship if i didnt change but I Feel like he also needs to change. However, i feel like our minds work in completely different ways on how we view situations and think about fixing them or whats right or wrong.
A couple of times things got so heated in arguments his mother got involved or we went to her and asked for her help as the other person really would not listen and on the verge of breaking up.
I then found out he goes to her most nights and “vents” about all our arguments.. in detail… for hours and she also puts her word in and then he comes back to me all angry and using her sentences rather than his own.
This went on for most of our relationship as they are “close”. Recently i got so fed up with her involvement i said i wanted her to butt out and she took this as me slagging her off and she now wont let me in their house or speak to me and said she doesnt want us to be together.
My partner is blaming me and saying im jealous and being selfish because i do not want her being involved in our relationship any longer, i told him i dont want him to relay our arguments to her anymore but he wont listen to me.
I am hurt and being told im bullying and controlling because i do not want her involvement any longer and also feel like hes taken her side.
What do i do?
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Amy – thanks for your question – I responded here – let me know if this is helpful? Best of luck to you!!
My husband and I got married 8 months ago. We’ve been together for almost 5 years and have had our rough patches. He’s never been the most affectionate/loving person, but that is who he is and he always assured me that he loved me and I grew to accept that and was happy as long as he loved me. Well he recently started a new job that has had him away for week and then he’s been putting in 16/17 hour days. It’s been really hard on our marriage but I knew that things would get back to normal after things settled down at work. That was until he told me one night that he wasn’t sure if he was in love with me. He has since back tracked and has said that he thinks it’s just stress from work and that he thinks things will be fine once things settle down at work. I have suggested we make an effort to bring back some romance or spark but he doesn’t feel like he should have to “force” things and that they should happen naturally. It makes me feel like he doesn’t even care enough to try and he gets angry when i suggest things we can try. I’m ready to give up and just wait it out and if things don’t get better and he still won’t even try to make things work then I’m leaving. My best friend knows that I’m not happy and is one of those people who tells me every detail of her fights with her s/o and she expects me to to the same. I’ve never believed in airing dirty laundry if you’re still hoping to work things out but I feel like she gets mad at me when I don’t tell her details or she asks questions and I shut down. I don’t know how to tell her that I don’t want to discuss it, she is the type of person who will get offended and mad at me. Any help would be appreciated because i am lonely and want to talk to her-just not about this and don’t know how to tell her that.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi Renee – thanks for you comment – first I hope you get some help for your marriage. Second, stand your truth with your friend and risk offending her or making her angry. Speak your truth with love, always. Here’s more:
Thankful for Jenev says
I’m in a tough position… I stumbled on your site when I googled “who to talk to when you’re having relationship issues.” I already knew the answer was to talk to the other person or to talk to a counselor, but I was desperate and google always has some guidance (and in this case it’s potentially you!). I wanted to start off by thanking you for your well versed and comprehensive article – I agree completely when you say that we shouldn’t talk about issues with our significant other (SO) with other people and I’ve always refrained from that until recently. When talking about him, even when we were having issues, I would always avoided talking about the issues because I knew they were temporary or contingent to the situation (LDR). We’ve been together for a long time and then he moved away for school and I stayed behind for work and we’ve been doing long distance.
But recently, a whole slew of things (stress, health issues, distance, comparisons, etc.) occurred that caused him to break up with me very suddenly and it knocked the emotional and physical wind out of me. I couldn’t breathe or move or eat because the love of my life said he didn’t love me anymore… And I couldn’t talk to him about it because he said he didn’t want to talk anymore and because of the huge distance separating us (east coast/west coast). SO I broke down and told my family and closest friends and they all despise him even though they’ve known him for over 6 years and his action was completely uncharacteristic of him.
Fast forward to today: he realized he messed up and wants to make things right again. And I am willing to give him another chance… but I don’t know if my family and friends will? At the moment, they hate him and he thinks that things will never be the same again. My friends and family are a huge part of my life and I don’t want to have to choose between the two… How to you recommend I/he proceeds?
Also, Happy Holidays!!! 🙂
Jenev Caddell says
Thanks so much for this question, and my apologies for the delayed response. Here are some thoughts I have about the matter, I hope they are helpful. Please let me know and if you have any other further questions please join my free Facebook group http://facebook.com/groups/thrivinginbusinessandlove or let me know here. Happy Holidays to you too and good luck with this!
Jenev Caddell says
P.S. Thanks for your “name” as well 😉
Thankful for Jenev says
No worries and thank you so much for the response! It was actually quite speedy compared to my expectations and I am wholly grateful for it!
The thing is, all of this occurred within the last three months (the break up to his realization) and I am not 100% firm and that is probably why my family/friends are stuck in limbo with me. And I have noticed my insecurities/doubts reflected in his demeanor. On the one hand, I don’t want to lose him, but on the other hand, I can’t say with 100% certainty that this won’t happen again…
Thank you so much for your insight/input though and I will definitely keep all your advice in mind. It has provided some clarity/guidance and the platform in which you conveyed your advice (video) is really great! I really do appreciate your thoughtful attention to this. Have a good one! 🙂
Jenev Caddell says
I’m glad this was helpful and thank you for letting me know!
We have really messed up. We were having major issues for a few years and mid 2015 I confided in friends. At first just my closest girlfriend then my small friend group. We got back together but then last year things went REALLY bad. I was sure I wanted a divorce and I even moved out last spring.
He talked poorly about me to his family and friends too.
We are trying to reconcile now. We know it will take a LONG time and aren’t trying to jump back in. We’re going to maintain our separate residences too. But I’m afraid of how people will take it.
I’ve told my mom and dad that I’m unsure about the divorce and they’re being supportive.
I am very worried about telling my kids (we are a stepfamily – I have 2 and he has 3). The 4 oldest kids are 16, 16, 17 and 18. So maybe it makes sense to wait and fully reconcile (move in together again) when the youngest hit 18. But even if we don’t get back together until they are young adults won’t they be affected? I included them far too much when things were really bad. And he and I fought so much in front of them.
(My step kids live out of state so everything going bad has likely had slightly less of an affect on them).
Jenev Caddell says
Hi MNRS – thanks for your comment – I recorded this video and answered your question close to the end of it – I say more on the video, but my overall impression is that I think this is a great lesson to demonstrate forgiveness to your kids and step-kids. It takes a lot of courage and strength to work through what you are working through, and to forgive each other and yourselves — you are doing a beautiful job for the kids. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Best of luck to you — I’m sure this isn’t easy. Jenev
First of all, thank you very much for your article. I learned a lot that I can apply in the future.
I wanted to ask if you felt the same about airing your dirty laundry to mutual friends and family even when you are headed for divorce? And do you think this changes if children are involved?
The reason I ask is, my husband and I have been in a rough patch for a few years now, we have been together for 9 years, we have 3 children together and he has been a father to my oldest son since he was 4. Recently we went through a very rough patch, we were done, we had decided to get a divorce but no action had been taken to make it happen because neither of us can afford to move out and maintain our own household. I did something stupid in my vulnerability and slept with an old friend of mine – not a mutual friend, not someone I really want to be in a relationship with. I was the one pushing for the divorce for many reasons, but the deepest issue we had was that he was not there for me or my oldest son (who was 10 at the time) when my dad died. My husband’s dad died of cancer when he was 17, and my dad also had cancer & it took about a year from discovery until he passed away. He let me and my oldest son (who was extremely close to my dad) down big time, he even excused himself from attending the funeral. It literally felt like he watched me catch on fire and just stood there while I burned to death. Six months after my dad passed away I finally told him why things had deteriorated between us and he made excuses like “that kind of thing is too difficult for me because of what happened to my dad.” It took several more months before he even attempted to apologize and promised he would somehow make it up to me. We decided to have another child, and despite his promise to make it up to me, he treated me like the pregnancy, all of the discomforts that go with it, the birth, and the first 6 weeks after were all mine to do – he did not participate in anything. I ended up in the hospital for 2 days with a kidney infection and he left me there by myself the entire time even though he was off work & my mom offered to stay with the kids. I had a rough pregnancy & by about 6 months I really couldn’t bring myself to have sex, it was just too uncomfortable. When that started he went ice cold – he didn’t so much as place a hand on my back for the rest of the pregnancy – before that he really only touched me when he wanted some. When I was in labor he sat in the back room with his mom eating food (of course I couldn’t eat) and I had to literally shout at him that it was time to start pushing before he came over next to me in the hospital bed. He talked to the doctor during the delivery more than he talked to or looked at me. Again, he left me at the hospital even though my mom was at home with the other kids. For the 1st six weeks he did not help at all, there were days when I would sit up bawling all over my daughter because she would not let me sleep. My back was stiff & very painful from sleeping sitting up; she is now 10 months old & I still have trouble with my back because of all of it. At one point I came to him bawling my eyes out & begged him to help me, but he didnt. When she was about 4 months old (after being back at work for 2 months and still getting very little help from him) we had a huge fight and I explained to him what I had been going through and I told him I wanted a divorce. After that he was constantly insisting and pressuring me to try to work things out even after my stupid “misadventure” was out in the open. I was hesitant to continue trying because we obviously had many things that caused us to get to that point in the first place, and I was worried that my actions would cause too much turmoil down the road, but we decided to make one last go of it. One day we had a bad fight and I find out a week later that he told a mutual friend of ours that I cheated on him – and this guy just happens to have been cheated on by his first wife with multiple guys. I told him that if he still wanted to work things out that he just made things near impossible, but he said he just had to talk to someone about everything and didn’t see the harm in it since we were at that point getting a divorce, and this guy is “his” friend more than he is mine. Granted this friend has been his much longer than mine, this person conducted our wedding ceremony and is a very close family friend. He also knows pretty much all of our other friends, most of which were my husbands before mine as I moved to his home town after college and these people are all his friends from before he met me. If we do end up splitting up for good, I am concerned that his friends will say things in front of my children. I don’t expect his friends to stay my friends if we split up, but I really don’t want my kids to be surrounded by people who are operating under the one-sided impression he has given them.
I just want him to understand that, even if we don’t work out, that this could be very damaging to our family. He says he wants to be friends and raise our kids cooperatively. But I am very hurt by what he did and I feel like it will solidify the fact that none of our friends will be my friends after we split, even if they were not his friends first (people who we met after we got together). He knows I have a very hard time making friends because I have a very severe anxiety disorder that is triggered by new people and social interactions. I am just waiting for the mass exodus of my Facebook friends list. The guy he told’s wife also happens to work at my company and knows my boss from working with her previously, and he knew this when he decided to tell him. He insisted his friend won’t tell anyone else, but I am not so confident that he wouldnt.
Jenev Caddell says
Hi J – I believe you have both been through so much, this is really beyond airing dirty laundry, and that speaking with a counselor or therapist would be helpful to both of you so that you can each take responsibility for your parts in this, forgive each other and move on either together or separately so you can go forth in your life with as much peace as possible. Here is my go-to resource to find a qualified therapist, hopefully near you: http://iceeft.com. Best of luck, Jenev
We have only been married a year and we are both on our early sixties. He was widowed 3 years ago after a 34 year marriage. He has 5 grown children. I have been married 3 times, before 40 and remained single for 22 years. I didn’t even date. I have 2 grown children.
I felt I was finally a good candidate for a relationship. I had done a lot of introspection and become very happy with my life. I am self supporting, self sufficient and confident.
I love my husband very much and would do anything for him. He is a generous, loving person.
The ‘problem’. He throws me under the bus. When we agree to something he will accomplish it by making me the bad guy. He makes me out to be an angry nag in front of people and calls it a joke. We will be with friends and out of no where he will say “oh, I’m in trouble now”, or “I’m going to get yelled at”, and gives me this look, like he needs to watch out. It is always over things I wouldn’t never get irritated over. I tell him in private that makes me look bad and says I’m just being too sensitive and he has always teases and that I need to get used to it. He says I am insecure. (Which I am not.) A Couple of days ago, we were running some errands and a stop I wanted to make a Goodwill and look for a Halloween themed shirt for and event. He said he would wait in the car with the dog and I said I wouldn’t be long. I did take time to go to the bathroom and look quickly around, found nothing and was heading out,when My husband came into the store irate and tell me he was hungry and the bus was leaving…A women was standing next to me as well as employees close by. I looked over to the women and said “I think I am being reprimanded”, and said “I would say so…”, he walked out to the store and she said to me, “he needs to chill, I have kids waiting at home for dinner and I can still have 10 minutes to look around…”. I was totally embarrassed and quickly made it to the truck. He want on and on about how inconsiderate I was not thinking of him waiting in the car. I was furious. I yelled, I did! We got home and right away he got summoned to the neighbors for something and off he went. We live out in the country and we a both on 10 acres. He recently really bonded with the dude, both retired and handymen, love projects. I am delighted he has found a bud. Anyway, he gets home and we are both calmer, not over the fight, but not def com 5 either. Next day, out and about trying to get past it and needs to stop at menards for caulk. He decideds to go to contractor counter and roofing prices. 1 hour later we are out of there…we are driving home and he throws out there, “by the way yesterday when I was at the neighbors, she asked me how you were, and I told her you were pissed off at me.” He told me her comment was, “that seems to happens to you a lot.” Now he ‘jokes’ around all the time about how much he gets in trouble, so what a shock. I was really upset and asked him why he would share that argument and make me look bad to our new friends. His response was I was ridiculously, and insecure and he made it out to them that he was totally at fault.. Of course, anyone with any logic would know that in the middle of an argument you would not make out like the other person was right.
My position on all this is…if the disagreement from would one had been kept privat and personal, there would have been no fight at all. If he had walked into the store, come up to me and said, “I’m ready, you are taking too long,” I would have said, “sorry honey”, and skedaddled my butt out of there. Instead, I feel, betrayed, disrespected, hurt, defensive and sad. This isn’t the relationship I wanted.
Hi Laura, I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this. I wish I could provide some great advice with a comment, but instead would recommend that you let him know how important it is to you to be able to happy together, and find someone to help you both with that. You are both struggling together and I can assure you there is a better way. The International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy has a list of highly qualified couples therapists around the globe.
You can go to their website here: http://iceeft.com (I do not receive anything for sending you there but trust this professional organization and those who are trained in this approach more than anyone else to help you with your relationship)
And read more about how Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) can be your answer here: [click here]
You may also wish to consider joining my educational/coaching community for monthly classes and group coaching calls as well, as of this writing we have $1 trial for the first month — but your fastest solution would be full steam ahead in couples therapy together with someone highly trained and versed in EFT.
I hope this is helpful and wish you all the best!! Please let me know if you have any questions. Good luck, Jenev
Lucy vivian says
i have learnt alot in this article… and ashamed that am victim if at timed sharing the faults about my boyfriend to my family and friends…i will changed so that they can see him in a better point of view
That’s great, Lucy — thank you for the feedback, I’m glad the post helped, and don’t be too ashamed with yourself as it only makes sense to reach for others when you’re having a hard time — but hopefully you can resolve things together!
Hi me and my wife are in a incredibly painful situations. She has only ever been supportive to me and loved me but dispute the fact I keept secrets from her and lied to her. I got into this habit of lying about money to prevent her from stressing out in the moment. I keept things from her which I have been struggling with my entire life. I started to fall into a hole and she could see that. We ended up having a massive fight and I told her everything I put all my darkest secrets on the table and she feels betrayed and rejected. She wanted me to leave so that she could have space and I did. Few days later I’ve only tried to reconcile with her and love her and show her how serious I am about our relationship. That I can change and that nothing is unrepairable. She was leaving me. I got to the point where I involved my sister which loves us both and would never judge ether of us. I needed advise. And she has been so helpful and made me understand everything because I truly couldn’t understand why she was so angry with me and wanted to leave. I involved her mother aswell her mother loves her and only wants the best. But all shit storms came down when I mentioned I was talking to my sister for advise and had contacted her mother for advise aswell. She says she will never forgive me for involving family. We come from different back grounds and from different parts of the world. I never thought asking family would have hurt her even more then I already have. She refuses to speak to anyone not close friends or family which I’m fine with as long as she just speaks and gets her frustration out. Surrey its better to speak to family then let it Brue inside of you.
She is an high intelligent women more the I could ever be as a man but she thinks she knows best. I know I’ve made mistake, I know holding things from her wasn’t the rite move even though at the time I thought it was.
Last night I told her that I phoned her mom to say how worried I was of her.
Her mother told my wife she hasn’t been in Contact with me. Which makes my wife feel betrayed by her own mother cause she knows she was lying to her.
She says I have manipulate her and turned everybody against her even the only person she can trust her mother. So she feels trapped that my family know and her family and she has no were to run. But everybody loves her, I love her my family love her and of course her family loves here.
This morning I had to stay home because we have a 4 month old baby and she feels to sick to get out of bed and has gotten a rash on her back probably stress related.
I’m really worried about her and want to contact her mother again but not sure if that is the rite move. She needs to talk.
Hi Christiaan – my advice would be to seek help together – http://iceeft.com has a list of qualified couple therapists who can help. Get some professional guidance and counseling for yourself if she refuses to go with you, many therapists skilled in couple therapy and relationship dynamics will also see individuals. Maybe she will eventually agree to join you so that you can have someone to facilitate some healing conversations together. This will be the best gift you can give to yourself, her and your baby. I agree that all hope is never lost – but my advice is to seek professional counseling.
I wish you all the best in this difficult situation.
I made the mistake of telling my mother everything, because I was sure he wasn’t coming back. Now I don’t know what to do, my mom already didn’t like him from the beginning. Now I have given he a reason. I don’t know what to do now.
Thanks for your comment. A lot of people find themselves in this situation. Have you considered talking to her about it?
All my best,
Really liked the article. I’m writing this having checked with my wife and she approved my words. It’s about balance; if you are in an abusive relationship, obviously it’s different- you need to talk to someone ASAP.
In brief my wife trash talked and took our private issues out of marriage. Was it malicious? Not at all, she made mistakes, but please heed our warnings; it is a Pandora’s Box, you can never, ever close. Over the course of time she did this, about 8 years, of course we weren’t talking about our private issues because she was “running my words by her friends.” Obviously they didn’t have full context. Instead they got half a story, and the saddest thing; I hadn’t really done anything wrong. She sort of exaggerated, but what was said was unforgivable.
Some of our mutual friends did a hate campaign on me, others offered her a place to stay from time to time and I didn’t really know what was going on or why people were being horrible or why she was disappearing for a week at a time. She had no idea how they were going to react.
When I found out she begged them to stop but they just upped the ante insisting I must be forcing her. She realised what we had and desperately wanted to save it, but it was too late.
Fast forward a few years later when she made it clear to people it was trash talk; Our marriage; without trust, and the breakdown due to not discussing issues with me, died. Even the marriage councillors said they felt the marriage unsalable. Her friends turned on her, she lives alone; I’ve moved on. We tried everything but too much water had gone under the bridge.
It’s so sad because it was needless, and it backfired spectacularly. I feel sorry for her, no ill feeling. But both of us implore that once something is said, it can never be unsaid.
Typing via message mobile; sorry for grammar errors!
Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience.
All my best,
I just learned that my fiancee was talking to a co-worker about our problems. He told her financial aspects, aspects related to my family, about my mental wellbeing (I am struggling a lot after going through some major life changes), etc. At some point he told her I was very ambitious and I would fit better with a person at his job they both know. She told him that I was mentally abusing him and ask him if he still loves him. She encouraged him to take a break from me, turn off the phone. I thought he was the purest, most loyal boyfriend I have ever had and I am just in shock. I don’t know who he is anymore.
I’m so sorry to read this. I hope you are getting some support for this, and are connecting to people in your life- friends, family – and someone you can lean on — therapist, counselor, etc. Even if you don’t feel like connecting, please do it for yourself.
I wish you all the best,
Ashley Mabel says
So after reading this article, i realize how wrong i am. Ive been with my wife for 3 1/2 years and married for a couple of months now. I’ve been talking about our relationship with all of my friends and none of them like my wife, out of concern. There were times where my wife was physically abusive, but shes mostly been verbally abusive towards me, calling me names telling me how wrong i am and belittling everything i saw, do and wear. An example, i wanted to wear a crop top with highwaisted jeans so i was covered, and she said i look like a single whore. Theres so much I’ve had to put up with the past 3 1/2 years and im not sure if i can do this anymore. The first time my wife got phsyical with me was extremely scarring. I told my best friend of 11 years what happened and emily, my bff, told my wife off saying she was abusive and terrible for me, then my wife said i couldn’t talk to her anymore and made me block her on facebook and everything. My wife hates all of my friends and she hates my mom and wants me to have no relationship with my mom or the rest of my friends and constantly talks crap about them…i know me talking about my relationship with others isnt justified but i cant even go to counseling because my wife doesnt trust me to go, shes afraid that I’ll break of or divorce her even though she has broken up with me 6 times in 3 years and jas threatened divorce twice already and im afraid to really do anything other than talk to my friends….it makes me feel better. I want this realtionship to be healthly ive been going to a therapist secretly….i kind of want to tell my wifes mom about whats going on to see if she can get my wife to go to counseling as well? Ive tried to talk to my wife about her going to anger management therapy but then she gets angery and says im a retard..and that i need to see a therapist because i dont know how to be in a relationship and that im a terrible person who cant do anything right….but then gets anxiety when i see a therapist and tells me to stop going….should i try to talk to her mom? I have a great realtionship with her family they love and adore me and are thankful that i put up with my wifes anger cause they know she has an anger problem…they just dont know the extent of how emotionally abusive she is and is taking me away from my friends and wants me to stop talking to my mom. Im 23 and shes 25. I dont know what to do anymore my friends are all i have and im not supposed to talk to them..
I’m so glad you are seeing your own therapist and I hope that you continue to — it is so important to you.
In the case of abusive relationships, one partner tries to cut off the other person from the support in their lives. Do you feel that this is happening to you?
In no way do I want this post to imply that you cannot rely on the support of your friends or family.
I would continue to speak with your therapist about this and look for signs of abuse and maybe talk with your therapist about this. If you are concerned that you might be in an abusive relationship, do not push your family and friends away. Keep talking.
The Hotline is also a good resource for more information on intimate partner violence.
Thank you for writing in and I wish you all my best,
I am deciding to leave my husband of 1 and 3 months but when he comes and say he is sorry i always let him in but he keeps on hurting me… he cheated on me 3 times since january lást year and with different people.. its not only about cheating, he is drinking every weekend and when he is drunk, he is verbally abusive and he insults me and it ends with him hitting me. i tried to talk to him about it but he doesnt change. and he doesnt want me to talk to any man wheather he is a family or not it must be someone he knows.
In cases of abuse I strongly encourage you to reach out and connect with others. Keeping partners from their support system is one method that abusers use to disempower them.
https://thehotline.org is one resource that offers confidential support, you may wish to check it out.
Violence is never OK.
I wish you all the best,
Hello, I stumbled upon this article and wanted to seek some advice. I know this article is very old, but it is very relevant concerning the issues I’m going through with my fiance, who I have been with for 6 years. I cheated on him over a year ago. He has decided to forgive me. After several months following that, he proposed to me. He tells me I take control of the relationship and won’t allow him to ‘be a man’. I think the issue is just communication and the unwillingness to understand each other. I feel like he has not fully gotten over the infidelity, but I feel like I have redeemed myself. Well, we got into an argument over something small and when I want to address something he has done wrong, he brings up my infidelity. We have not talked for a few days and he decided to tell his family members about my infidelity that occurred over a year ago. Now his family members disapprove of me even though he has forgiven me for it and he knew about it before proposing to me. We are on a break right now, but I know we love each other and will work through this. I also know that he is heavily influenced by his family which may break this relationship. I just wished we were able to have better communication so he would not have to involve his family, which I had a decent relationship with before they were informed of this.
Thanks for writing in – so sorry you’re going through this. I hope you both can work things out. Emotionally Focused Therapy can be extremely helpful to fully heal from infidelity and the trust issues that are now on all sides – you can find someone local to you on this website: https://iceeft.com
I recently started a new Facebook group as well that you and your fiance are welcomed to join for ongoing education/inspiration/community support – would love to have you – https://facebook.com/groups/yourbestlovee
I wish you both all the best as you work through this together.
My fiance an I have been having issues for over a month, first it was hiding things and lying which broke the trust but we finally mended it, or so I thought. My fiance and I got into a heated argument over him being disrespectful and making me feel like crap over me watching, actually it was Married Bootcamp and he always has a negative thing to say about everything I watch. So I got mad and instead of adding fuel to the fire I walked away but when I came back I heard him shit talking me to his grandma and now she feels the need to attack me and makes me uncomfortable and unwelcomed. Saying I’m not the one for him and that the reason he has a problem with me is cause I act just like his mom! Now our relationship has spun out of control and I don’t know if I can stay in this cause no one in his family other than his mom likes me.
I’m sorry to hear you are in this situation. If you wish to make things work together I would strongly advise you seek out some professional help together to establish your relationship as something for others to respect, and for you both to start respecting it and each other as well.
The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy has a listing of great therapists all over the world who are trained to deal with issues impacting couples such as the one you are up against. I’d strongly suggest you seek out some assistance together.
All my best,
What do you do if you want to work it out, but your partner doesn’t want to talk about it with you….and yet isn’t willing to talk about it with your close friend (another female) ….? How can I make that better?
In all honesty it’s hard to say without knowing you or your partner more. Have you considered asking your partner what they’d like to do to work things out, how things would look better in their eyes if they were improved? And asking them what they’d need from you?
Not sure if that’s helpful…couple’s therapy can be amazingly helpful if you are working with the right person — or the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love can give insight and understanding about how things go wrong with you both sometimes.
All my best,
So who can you talk to? I suppose we are all required to pay someone for advice or just to vent. blah.
So what about when issues are because of in laws and your not being respected the way you should be and instead of your spouse sticking up for you he takes his sisters side and the fights are about where to spend the holidays and your spouse chooses to ditch you to go there with your kid and you are home crying alone. Then the next one you go and he goes inside 1st bc i finish up filling out a bday card. But he goes inside and eats and then you come in and if you can get him a plate and he ignores you forcing someone to tell you he just finished. So u eat alone while now feeling stupid and everyone else can see it. Then they still take his side bc he’s blood. There’s no articles anywhere to help with them taking sides when they witness youre struggles and blame you. When he’s upset at his family i support him but do all i can to help him have a good relationship with them and dont allow him to mistreat them I’ll tell him he’s not being fair or whatever but when its us with issues they never tell him to go home to his wife on xmas or go but your wife flowers it’s mother’s day. Bc they like that he’s there all for them without my bring a distraction or him leaving to also see my family. Then what?
Some of your writing was unclear to me, so I hope my response is helpful.
I would suggest that you start taking more of a stand for yourself and what you need. And you get some support to do so if that feels too difficult to do on your own.
Relationships in many ways are mirrors — people will often treat you how you treat yourself.
Your life will become so much easier and full of love when you stop blaming others and start taking more responsibility for yourself and what kind of treatment you accept from others.
Thank you for writing in. I hope my response does not come across as sounding harsh — I know you deserve the best, but you will not get it until you completely believe you deserve the best as well. <3
Good day, I have issues with my fiance. It feels like he does not give enough attention, We have a long distance relationship. He knows my family well where he lives and on weekends makes little time for me. These two weeks we only chatted like two hours because my phone and his was broken. He discusses the money issue of who’s paying what for the wedding with my uncle who confronted me about it. This is our second wedding and I feel that we should split everything and fiance complains about this. I feel hurt and confused and feel I wanna give up. We had arguments already about money, going out etc. but looks like he does not take me seriously. Please give help!!!
I wish I had an easy solution for you but it sounds like there is a lot going on here. I would suggest you speak with your fiance about the situation and get some professional assistance so you can either move forward confidently in your marriage or not.
The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy has a listing of fantastic therapists trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy – you can look up someone close to you and possibly the therapist may be able to do virtual sessions if you and your fiance are long distance.
I wish you all the best and good luck,
What if your spouse has kept secrets for years and your mother and sister knew all along? I just found out that he’s been lying to me out entire relationship and my mom and sister knew for the last 6yrs and when I finally find out my sister pretty much told me to fuck off and my mom hasn’t said a thing (it’s all been a shared text string so she’s pretty much written me off too).
This sounds like an awful situation you’re in – secrets kept from you by your spouse and family?
You mentioned a shared text string — is there any way you could all speak about this to ensure there have been no miscommunications — and whatever you can all do to remain grounded/calm during the discussion so it doesn’t go off the rails?
Perhaps find a family therapist who could work with you and/or a couple’s therapist to start with you and your spouse?
The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy is a great resource and has a listing of family therapists sorted by location. This situation sounds quite difficult and complicated — some professional assistance might go a long way.
I wish you all the best,
Help for the sake of my sanity says
I really messed up and overshared some really terrible fights and things that were said out of anger between my boyfriend and I with just about anyone who would listen. We were going to break up, he moved out and once the dust settled we started talking and *truly* working on our problems that put us in this situation. However, my oversharing has caused so much damage. Now that my boyfriend and I are working things out I have people coming out of the woodworks to comment on my relationship. How it’s crazy that were back together. The biggest mistake was sharing with my sons father some nasty things that my bf said. I regret sharing our business and I wish I would have kept my mouth shut. How do I fix this? How do I let the people in my life know that I wont allow our relationship to go down that toxic path again. Help!!
Ugh, I know you have regrets about oversharing some tough stuff. I would just recommend you are up front with people and tell them how angry you were and that you regret saying those things. Let them know you appreciate their desire to protect you but you wish you could take all of that back, and to please keep their opinions to themselves. Try to retroactively put a boundary up, I know it’s tough. I would also suggest that you are more concerned with your relationship with your partner and your feelings about it than those who only have heard the bad stuff about it.
Good luck, I know this is a tough situation!
All my best,
PS I am not assuming this is happening in your relationship but I would like to add that if you are regretting that you shared anything about any kind of abuse or violence I would suggest you get some confidential assistance for that immediately. THEHOTLINE.ORG is an agency that can provide free/confidential support to people in domestic violent situations.
Hi Dr Jenev
My wife of 4 years is 16 years younger than I, and ive had this problem throughout our relationship. My wife continually runs to her mother, sister, nephew, friends whenever we have an argument. Her reasoning is that I don’t tell her what’s wrong if I have a problem with her or something she has or planning to do.
I become cold or distant because I know as soon as I tell her my piece she contacts her family and always just gives her side, she denies it when I say she has or will when I’ve seen text messages and so on.
Responses from the inlaw are not forgiving or helpful towards our relationship I can tell you.
We have been married for 4 years and this has been going on for the duration and more. I find I have no trust in her that she will keep a secret or keep quiet especially from her mother, if I give my opinion on something that contradicts her opinions then I feel that it will go straight to her family making me look unsupportive or a jerk.
I have spoken to her about this on several occasion’s but i know she just deletes messages and denies it (occasionally I have seen messages before they get deleted).
I feel bad that I feel I have to check her messages after a disagreement and I don’t think this is the way a relationship should be. I am constantly contemplating separation as I can’t go through my life knowing my wife is talking about me in this way.
Not sure what to do.
What a difficult situation. I’m sorry to hear she doesn’t respect your desire for a little privacy even after you’ve asked her several times. I wonder if she knows that you are considering separation because of how dismissed you feel – perhaps an honest and vulnerable conversation about your consideration of leaving might help her realize how damaging her behaviors are for you?
The Trust is gone!! says
OH my gosh how this hit home for me. I have always been a private person but ever since I got remarried after my wife died it has been nothing but. I have caught my new wife in numerous lies shit talking to other people about our arguments and disagreements. She uses Facebook in private messages and posts to share my life with other people. I finally had to delete my FB because I was just so embarrased to see all her posts. The last straw came the other day . I had a biopsy on my prostrate because it was enlarged and my numbers where higher than normal for a man my age. Only her and I knew about this. I get a text from my niece of my previous marriage letting me know that she is sorry I have Prostate cancer. She had messaged who knows how many people including sending pictures of my MRI to all her friends saying that I have cancer. I havent even been diagnosed yet!! I have no idea what to do. I cant trust her this has happened so many times in the 17 months that we have been married. Any advice will be so helpful.
I am deeply sorry for my delayed response to your post. My best advice would be to openly and vulnerably speak with her about this — how it hurts you, how you truly wish to keep things private between you — of course you are so angry about this, too. If this continues to be an issue I would suggest you both get support with a qualified Emotionally Focused Therapist for couples: The International Centre for Excellence In EFTThe International Centre for Excellence In EFT has a directory of couples all over the globe. Good luck and I wish you all my best.
If you already involved fiends and family and you want to correct your wrong is it ok to message them to apologize and if not how do you approach this? My actions are going to ruin my marriage.
Of course it is ok to apologize, it is always ok to apologize when it’s heartfelt. We all make mistakes.
I wish you all the best,
Excellent article and awesome discussion.
I am curious to know if it’s normal or recommended that someone tape conversations ( highly heated) and send or play them for a therapist?
My girlfriend who is studying to be a psychoanalyst and is in therapy as well recently revealed to me that she had taped nine of our arguments and sent them to her therapist to listen to… This seems very strange and I’m not sure what to make of it.
I can even remember one of the times I noted that she was acting a little different than normal and I believe now that it was because she was taping our conversation.
The problem is I’m just the regular dude 🙂 and I don’t have the “expertise” or specialized knowledge to be able to convince her that (in my opinion) it’s totally not “normal”
Would a therapist even want to listen to a taped argument between two people?
any insight would be appreciated and any references to respected articles on the subject would be awesome 🙂
Unfortunately I don’t have any expert insight or references to articles on this matter for you as I’m not a trained psychoanalyst, however, I will say that if this is not ok with you (and I can totally see why it isn’t!) then this is definitely a breach of trust and one to be discussed together.
I would hope that she is doing this benevolently perhaps to seek more insight/self-awareness herself but it’s not something I’ve heard of as recommended by therapists anywhere (analyst or not) particularly as it would cause such an injury to the relationship!
If anything, it would make sense to me to work on issues together with a couple rather than have some account of them displayed behind your back.
I hope my perspective is somewhat helpful, and hope you can work through this together and that she can understand why this might feel like a violation for you.
All my best,
I’ve been in a mentally abusive relationship and recently confided in my partners sister as she’s a social worker. She immediately put me in touch with a therapist who can help and told me to cut ties with her brother. I told her what had been going on but this was when I was highly upset at his latest cruelty to me. I regret involving his family so why did I? I think I felt I might be seen as someone with issues and he’d get in there first and I needed them to know the pain I’ve gone through, but I felt even if we work things out and go to joint therapy then his family know our business. It’s difficult cos I needed to talk to someone, I love my ex partner and I feel like I messed up by confiding in his family, help please any advice! Thanks
It is 100% ok and in fact important to confide in someone outside of the relationship if it is abusive in any way. I’m sorry that did not come off clear enough in the article. I did mention in the beginning that an abusive situation is one in which the suggestions I’m making do not apply. I don’t think you messed up at all.
I wish you all my best,
My husband has shared our personal issues with his friends for years. I have asked him many times to stop. He refuses saying his life is an “open book”. I have never shared our disagreements with any of my friends or family, as I feel it is no one’s business. I never have put my husband down. Every marriage has its ups and downs. Ours is no different. I told him our marriage is sacred and it’s between the two of us. It didn’t matter to him. He has gone as far as calling me an abusive woman for simply having a different opinion than his.
Over the years he has shared HIS SIDE of the story with many of his friends and family members. No one has ever heard my side. He is always the victim. I’m the abuser. Did he share with them how he called me names? Did he share with them how he shut me out with his silent treatment for weeks on end? I told my husband this behavior is hurting me deeply but it never stopped.
Right now we are going through a divorce. I lost my trust for him. This has caused so much pain. I could never trust him again. It’s very sad. It didn’t have to be this way. Talking behind your spouses back definitely destroys relationships. We are living proof.
When you are having relationship problems, you try everything possible in your hands. Very well written and articulated. Thank you!
John Frank says
Hi, my wife and I recently went through a really hard time. We had a newer, seemingly very trustworthy, friend couple. Without my wife present, I confided that we were really going through a hard time (without going into detail and saying absolutely nothing negative about my wife). My wife was furious and felt like I didn’t protect her. She says she doesn’t feel safe with me because I talked to friends without her there. She says everyone knows you don’t talk to friends about marital issues. I felt these friends were trustworthy (and I still do) and was only looking for help in a time of need. My wife even suggested googling what to do. The first article said it’s good to have friends to talk to and your article mostly seems to warn against any negative talk about your partner. My wife consequently also “doesn’t feel safe with me to go to marriage counseling” and says I have the problem of not protecting her and that if I want to talk to someone then I should talk to a therapist. It seems unreasonable to me that I have to schedule an appointment with a therapist to just talk about a hard time in my marriage, but I also want to protect my wife. What can I do?
Well…a therapist is a start if she refuses to go for now with you, and you can hopefully get some professional insight into what’s going on and the best way to move forward. I wonder if you let her know— you want to protect her, and find out from her what that would look like if you go to marriage counseling together and she feels protected? Because that’s what you want… you never meant NOT to protect her, and you value your marriage so much you are trying to protect it by going to counseling together….
Hey Dr Jenev,
This is an incredible life changing article for me. I have made this mistake in the past (badly!) and recently just touched on going down this path again. I wish I would had known this before I made these past mistakes but now I can change for the better!
I appreciate your comment!! I’m glad this was helpful and hopefully will be for the future!