May 3, 2021 at 2:47 pm #1059447
If your only outlet is to bitch about your spouse to friends, at least don’t put it in writing!May 3, 2021 at 3:02 pm #1059466FyodorGuest
“Bitching about your partner only serves one purpose: you want someone outside of your marriage to confirm that you’re right (with only half of the information). It solves nothing. It digs the other person in to a position”
I think that this is awfully unfair. Being in a bad marriage can be a pretty depressing experience. Sometimes people who are unhappy want commiseration from their friends. He’s got a major problem in his marriage. My guess is based on her response that he’s raised it before with her and she’s shrugged it off. I agree it would be better if they had a more productive way to work out their problems, but I don’t think it’s somehow egregious that he wants to talk about it with his friends.May 4, 2021 at 7:04 am #1060458LisforLeslieGuest
It seems like they are both talking at one another and not to one another.
That communication issue is going both ways. She feels ignored and neglected because he’s always on his phone or with his friends. He feels neglected because he’s not getting what he wants. So instead of sitting down and talking and listening to one another and modifying behavior – both are digging in their heels: If you don’t give me what I want – you don’t get what you want. I don’t think it’s that blatant but I do think that’s what is happening.
I understand that people want to complain to their friends. In a situation like this, what does it serve? If it’s abuse, sure you may want to get a sanity check. If you’re bitching because you’re not getting any – yeah, maybe someone will explain partnership and communication and how romance shouldn’t be last on his list, or maybe his friends will be an echo chamber for him.May 4, 2021 at 8:14 am #1060537
Yeah, honestly, what is to be gained by complaining to your friends about your sex life other than a sympathetic ear? Are they going to be able to tell you how to fix it?
Whereas if you were to discuss it with your spouse, you might be able to find solutions. And one of you might have health insurance that covers some sessions with a counselor. And then you haven’t compromised your spouse’s privacy.
Even strangers on the internet are a lot more likely to be able to help with these kinds of issues than your friend, and you can keep it anonymous.
To the LW, I think you need to come clean about your snooping, why you did it, and how you felt about what you found, and that you’d like to work with him to figure out what the problems are in your marriage and how to fix them. Is it hard? Yes. Is there work to be done? Also yes. But I promise you that if you just try to sweep this under the rug and not address it, your marriage is definitely going to fall apart eventually.May 4, 2021 at 10:29 am #1060683BittergaymarkGuest
For starters, one may learn that they are over or underreacting to a situation.
That this is a even a vaguely controversial concept blows my mind.May 4, 2021 at 10:55 am #1060713LisforLeslieGuest
That’s why I mentioned the sanity check. That I get, but a sustained and regular whinging doesn’t address the problem.
If you want a behavior change, then it requires sitting down with the person and having a discussion, an argument, laying out an ultimatum, whatever works for the couple or works to confirm that they are not going to work as a couple and should split up.May 4, 2021 at 11:09 am #1060730ronGuest
I think he talks to his friends for the same reason that LW wrote to this forum: to get others’ views on a gut feeling that it is time to move on from the marriage and divorce. She writes that she can’t get over the fact that he discussed their sex life with his friends. She is considering divorce because of that. He can’t get over how little sex there is in his marriage. For him this likely constitutes rejection as well as a loss of sex, just as the time on his phone and with friends and discussing the marriage with friends counts as rejection to her. Neither is at all satisfied with the marriage and has at least one foot out the door.May 4, 2021 at 3:43 pm #1060985FyodorGuest
“Yeah, honestly, what is to be gained by complaining to your friends about your sex life other than a sympathetic ear? Are they going to be able to tell you how to fix it?”
Has no one ever talked to friends about something that was depressing and upsetting, even absent the expectation that their friends could fix it? I mean, is it terrible to want a sympathetic ear?May 4, 2021 at 4:27 pm #1061038
No, it’s not terrible, it’s just not a great idea. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it, and that’s okay, but it’s an invasion of your spouse’s privacy and it leaves them with that bad impression of your spouse.
ETA, yeah, I actually do think it’s kind of terrible to complain about them behind their back to people who know them.
May 4, 2021 at 4:31 pm #1061044
- This reply was modified 3 days, 10 hours ago by Kate.
Also, I think if you’re at the point of bitching about your husband or wife to people who know them, you really already have one foot out the door.May 4, 2021 at 5:34 pm #1061131FyodorGuest
“No, it’s not terrible, it’s just not a great idea. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it, and that’s okay, but it’s an invasion of your spouse’s privacy and it leaves them with that bad impression of your spouse.”
I don’t think that people should talk about sex to mutual friends and I agree that people should work directly to work things out in their marriage. I just think that it’s not crazy or unusual for someone in an unhappy situation to want to be able to talk about their problems with their friends, even absent the expectation that the friend could fix it.May 4, 2021 at 6:13 pm #1061188BittergaymarkGuest
Kate, you live in a bizarre Ivory Tower of late. Your response to recent letters baffles me…
Drunkenly beat a romantic rival in public?
Eh, everybody does that in their 20s.
Privately IM a friend about the lack of sex in your marriage in one’s 20s?
Begone! Oh, the betrayal. The terrible betrayal…