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Putting Out Wild Fires

Don't fan the flame
Don't fan the flame
Simon Howden

I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday and like usual we talked about our lives, our jobs and of course our husbands. As we rattled on about things, she said something that struck a nerve. She was telling me about a fight she had with her husband and that it was her fault. She had let things build up too much without saying anything to him and chatted with her girlfriends about it which just added fuel to the fire. By the time she finally said something to him about it, she exploded.

It makes sense…we think we’re doing a good thing by talking with our girlfriends who are having similar issues in their marriages and we stoke each others fires. We agree with each other and take each others sides (like good friends do) and we get each other riled up. It’s in our nature I guess. Women like to bitch. I’m not going to deny that. But if we are constantly going over and over and over what our husbands are doing wrong to our friends, then we are building it up instead of putting it out. If we would just speak to our husbands initially, then it would only be a smoldering pile of leaves instead of an entire forest fire. The point I’m trying to make is that although we absolutely need our girlfriends and value their opinions, on touchy subjects…perhaps we should just keep it to ourselves so we don’t make it worse. I know this is easier said than done.

It’s so easy to complain about how he didn’t take out the trash or how he doesn’t help with laundry. And really, these things are ok to talk about because let’s face it…our husbands are always going to annoy us with little things (just as we annoy them as well). It’s when we delve into those more serious subjects that perhaps we should take a step back and decide if we’re doing more harm than good by talking about it. Having a friend that understands is vital to us women staying sane…but aren’t our husbands supposed to be our best friends? Are we confiding too much? Lord knows that men talk to each other, but they certainly don’t dig as deeply as we do. I seriously doubt that my husband would air our dirty laundry to any of his friends. He just gets their opinion and moves on. Why can’t women do that?

So that is my goal. From now on, I try to keep the bitching to a minimum (I’m sure my husband just let out a long sigh of relief). If I know it’s a touchy subject and I’m just going to stoke the fire by bringing it up, I’m going to turn on the faucet and keep my mouth shut.

Ok Nashville, what’s your opinion?

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A Valentine’s Day Couples Workshop you may be interested in:

Sunday, February 14, 2010
4:30—6:00 p.m.
The Pastoral Center for Healing
3605 Hillsboro Road
Nashville, TN 37215
Visit Website for more info and to register


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