When I wrote about the 7 things that husbands and wives should stop doing in their relationship a few months ago, some spirited comments and conversations resulted. In this post, I want to address 7 things that you should stop doing in public—things that can harm your spouse and hurt your marriage.
1. Stop criticizing your spouse to others.
Being critical of your spouse hurts their reputation. It damages whatever respect others have for you too. And it conveys that your marriage is not a safe place for your spouse to be themselves.
2. Stop making your spouse the punch line.
This behavior belittles your spouse and suggests that you don’t care, even if you do. At some point, your spouse and others have to wonder, Are the jokes really jokes?
3. Stop sharing the details of your love life
At social functions, I’ve all too often heard other men talk very negatively about their sexual relationship, and lack thereof, with their wife. When they do so, they are really breaching trust with their wife. Intimacy is built on trust. When you expose your private love life in your marriage, especially in a derogatory fashion, to public scrutiny, you can easily destroy that trust with your spouse.
4. Stop treating your spouse like a child.
I’ve also heard men and women in public instructing and ordering their spouse around like a child. It’s humiliating to your spouse.
5. Stop checking out people who aren’t your spouse.
You may have heard someone say, “I can look at the menu as long as I don’t order.” That’s wrong thinking. Your wandering eyes and careless words may cause your spouse to feel insecure, inadequate, and without value. It’s degrading to your spouse as well.
6. Stop constantly correcting and contradicting your spouse.
When your spouse is telling a story, stop interrupting to inject missing parts or correct mistakes. It demeans them. Instead, look for opportunities to honor your spouse and help them save face in public. Be their hero.
7. Stop flaunting your body to others.
This applies to men and women. Our culture does not value modesty, and when you flaunt your features, it appears you’re advertising yourself or are available to others. Dress like you’re only available to one person, your spouse. Because that’s the only person you should be available to.
Let’s Talk: What is something you have done that embarrassed your husband in public?