Family Gossip And How It Affects A Marriage


Family gossip may be normal, but so are tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Here are a few points to consider as to why husbands and wives should learn to refrain from airing their dirty laundry before others.


The Reputation Factor


It is one thing to have to recover your reputation with your spouse. However, recovering your reputation with a multitude of family members and friends can be a long grueling process, and, in a number of cases, it is quite unnecessary.

If a person makes an about face and has to rebuild their reputation with their spouse’s parents, family members, and friends as well as their spouse they will often feel it a difficult task. Some will even cave at the mere thought of it.

My wife and I made a rule for our little family years ago: no airing dirty laundry to others unless we are seeking for bonafide biblical advice.

In Matthew 7:6, Jesus said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” I believe that we can apply this in part to marriage and family issues in that most people cannot handle your private and most personal information as they will take it and find a way of using it against you.


The Impression Factor


One of the major issues with gossiping about your spouse is that, on a bad day, you may feel the need to vent to others about your marriage issues. The problem is that five days later when you and your spouse are on good terms, those that heard your complaints will often still have that negative impression branded upon their hearts. Consequently, their view of your spouse is often not parallel with reality, and, to be frank, it is just not a kind way to portray your lifelong companion and friend.


The Convoluted Factor


Involving outside influences into your problems is often a sure way to make seemingly complex issues even more complex. In fact, when I am personally coaching an individual in the midst of intense marriage issues, I often encourage them to limit the number of people to which they vent. This is because too many cooks will often prove to confuse a matter.

Of course, I certainly understand the value of building what I call a fortress of support when dealing with intense marital issues. This fortress can include counselors, coaches, pastors, a faithful and godly friend, or a wise family member. But, I should point out that there is a difference between seeking out biblical counsel and dumping your issues on others for the purpose of beating a dead horse.


Raise the Bar


Many couples feel that the way they handle their issues is totally normal. However, their standard is often what they saw growing up or what they see in their circle of friends. To be honest, this is often a very low standard. Let your standard be the scriptures and couples that enjoy a great relationship with God and one another.

If you profess to be a Christian, you are better than gossip, and the Christ in you deplores such behavior. Raise the bar. Set your affections on things above. Act like the conqueror Romans 8 tells us you are.

In our marriage book, we teach couples how to properly deal with their issues in a way that formulates a win-win for God’s glory, both spouses, and the children. Our 2-step process gives couples a Biblical, yet positive way to raise the bar in their marriage so as to free themselves and their family of a low way of dealing with marital strife. Check out our marriage book.

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Posted in Communication in Marriage

5 comments on “Family Gossip And How It Affects A Marriage
  1. Warrior says:

    Truly agree with this article, this advice was given to me before I got married. If you have issues talk to your spouse and /or a professional but never anyone outside of that because it’s sure to spill over into others ears. Sometimes family will gossip about it and the issue can be magnified into something more than it is, when it was a simple strife. Write it in a journal, see a counselor but don’t share marriage disagreements with friends or family! Period! I learned it makes things ackward especially if you have an amazing partner who’s name gets tarnished by the others conclusions of what you shared in anger or hurt.

  2. Heidi says:

    My husband has moved out and asked for a separation. It is not something that I want. He is angry because I have told my friends about the separation. I understand the importance of not going into the dirty laundry details, but I don’t feel like I should have to put a smile on my face and tell my friends that I am ok when I’m devastated. I kept our problems to myself for many years, but now that he has moved out and is no longer there for me as a husband, i don’t feel like separation should be a secret. He also keeps saying that the more people that I tell, the harder it will be to possible reconcile. I am telling friends so that I can have support and also so that they can be praying for us. I am not being mean spirited about it.

    • Tracey says:


      I don’t believe you are doing anything wrong by not wanting to pretend and lie to cover up for your husband. More importantly, you deserve the support of your friends during this tumultuous time. I believe it is a controlling and manipulative behavior of your husband so you can be the bad guy when he doesn’t want to reconcile.

      I leaned into my friends and family after my husband cheated for the THIRD time. I protected him before, but felt it was time to shine the light into his behaviors as sin loves darkness. Of course it was used against me as to why he couldn’t reconcile our marriage when the truth was he took his affair underground and continued lying to everyone. Even went so far as to get re-confirmed at church.

      Be loving, honest, and humble with him. Show grace, mercy, and extend forgiveness to him. If he can’t do the same with you then he probably isn’t worth it anyway. I prayed for the restoration of my marriage but I guess God has bigger and better plans for me. Lean into Him for a peace you can’t experience anywhere else. Good luck and I’ll be praying for you.

      • Austin says:

        It is typical bad advice to try to make our own stories apply to others when it doesn’t.
        Your husband cheated on you 3 times yet this is not relevant in the case that you are counselling. This is a bad way to advise someone! Her case is different and her actions or reactions to it must reflect her own unique circumstance.
        What you are doing is an effect spreading your own vitriol like a contagion and creating chaos in other people’s situation.
        You have already advised this lady to permanently disengage from a man when you do not even know what plans God has for them.
        And of course you end by telling her that you will be praying for her!

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