Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry, Advises Portland Marriage Counselor

August 1, 2011 by

As a Portland marriage and relationship counselor, I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen marriage problems that are exacerbated or even caused by too much public disclosure. With the advent of Facebook and other social networks, it has become even easier to let everyone know every intimate detail of your relationship, and many of us tend to focus on the negative.

But being in a committed relationship means protecting and supporting your partner. By sharing personal issues with friends, family, or the entire internet, you are betraying their trust. Your partner needs to feel comfortable communicating with you, but it can be hard to be open and honest if you are afraid that those issues will become public knowledge.

Some couples air their dirty laundry to others as a way to avoid actually communicating about their issues. They may even post status updates on Facebook as a passive-aggressive way of prodding their partner into an argument. In the end, this does nothing to resolve your relationship problems. If you are having trouble talking to one another, consider talking to a Portland marriage counselor who can guide the process and help you develop your communication skills as a couple.

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd, says Portland Marriage Counselor

You know the expression. It doesn’t matter who your best friends think is right or what your mom would recommend. You and your partner are a team, and you should work through problems together. You don’t need to have the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others enter into your negotiations. It can complicate matters and make it harder for you to figure out what you think and feel.

That’s not to say that you have to keep mum about what’s going on in your relationship. Sometimes you may need to seek advice or simply share a little frustration. But before you do, ask yourself two things: Would I be comfortable with my partner having a similar conversation with his or her friends? Will this help me to talk to my partner about this issue later in a way that’s constructive?

Also, don’t forget to tell those friends and family members about the good things in your relationship. You may not realize that you’ve been dumping so many relationship problems in their lap that they can’t even understand why you’re with your partner in the first place! You want people to be supportive of your relationship, plus making a point to talk about the positive aspects of your relationship can remind you why it’s worth working through your relationship problems.

Of course, sometimes it can help to have a third party help you with your relationship issues. If that’s the case, I encourage you to get professional help. Visit my center to talk to an experienced Portland marriage counselor.