Maybe in a group of men, too, but I wouldn’t know. One woman will make a disparaging remark about her husband, then the others will chime in: such dopes, these men we married. I try to imagine the look on the husband’s face if he ever heard what his wife was saying to others about him. Then, I wonder how she would feel if she knew he was saying things like that to his friends about her! My word… how embarrassing! *cringe!*
Early on in our marriage, I noticed this trend, and decided I didn’t want to ever give Rick the need to tell his friends that I am a [insert negative generalization or label here]. It seemed like the best way to do that was to not do it myself, even just to be funny or feel like part of the group. It’s been sort of an unspoken promise we’ve tried to keep: we won’t say anything to anyone else about each other that we wouldn’t say if the other were right there with us.
Once again, I’m compelled to add that this is an idea for making an already good relationship better. There are all sorts of situations where one may need to hash things out with a friend… potential abusive behaviors, for instance. We’re not addressing those situations here. I’m talking about the snarky comments like, “he’s a slob,” or, “he had to buy fat man pants this week,” … the comments that are meant to get a laugh at his expense… the comments that would make him feel ashamed and stupid and exposed. That’s not nice! Don’t do that!