When girl talk turns to discussion about relationships and husbands, it can be a very supportive and constructive way to gain valuable insight from those who’ve been there. It can be a way to express a fear or concern, knowing your closest girls will have a hug and most likely a comforting word. With those we trust, it can be a way to “vent” in a healthy way, but then get honest and sincere feedback on the most loving way to press forward at home.
It can also turn into husband bashing, where the wives start lamenting all the perceived terrible things about their husbands, with no resolution but to claim how awful men are and how annoyed the women are. The women somehow feel justified, powerful, and united, but at the expense of the men they actually truly love.
If this is you, keep this in mind: Our thoughts become our words and actions at home with our husbands.
Proverbs 18:6-7 Says:
“The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.”
If you are filling your marriage with negative thoughts, they will become your words and actions. You will start to see your husband in the light of the bash fest, and you will even feel justified in it. Our thoughts and actions spill over into how we interact with our spouse. When we increase in negative interactions, we are setting our marriages up for failure. Instead of recognizing we should stop partaking in the bash fests, we increase our lamentations in the bash fest, further snowballing the effect.
A few years ago, my eyes were blown wide open right in the middle of a bash fest. Reeling from the pain of my own fresh wounds in a marriage suffering at the time, my girlfriends came over with food and wine and well-meaning friendship to console me. Before I knew it, the bash fest started. I believe it was their good intention to share their own complaints to comfort me, as women do, to show our sisters they are not alone. But as I sat there in my own tears, yearning for everything to be better in my marriage, I listened to them. At one point, I heard, “He’s just so stupid, he’s just an idiot” from one of my friends referring to her significant other. I thought back to all the years I wasted not loving my spouse better, and not taking care of and protecting his heart, and an anger grew in me towards these bash fests for the first time. I thought to myself, if my friends only knew how great they have it. If they only knew that if they don’t knock it off, they will be in my shoes. Hurting. Missing my spouse. Wanting to start over, and not knowing if I will ever get the chance again. In my newly convicted heart, I rose up against the bash fest, and confronted my friend. “Are you telling us you are in love with a stupid man? You are in love with an idiot?”
The group fell silent. Nobody had an answer but a few stammers…. “Well I uh…Well I….”
and that was the end of the bashing of husbands in my life.
If you partake in these group husband bash fests and think it’s innocent bonding, here’s the danger- complaining and blaming the men in our lives, takes the responsibility from our own shoulders in our part of the relationship. It excuses us from what we may have done to contribute to the issue. And maybe we did nothing to contribute to the issue, but continuing to bash our men, doesn’t invite a positive conversation that will open up discussions towards great resolutions. Simply put- it is doing nothing to improve your relationship. And if you are complaining about your relationship, isn’t that the goal? Don’t you want to improve it? Ephesians 4:29 instructs us instead with this:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” In other words, instead choose words that are helpful for our friends according to their needs. Sometimes the words we choose do need to be the truth in love, but nevertheless, words that build, not tear down. For those who love an example, Instead of, “My husband doesn’t get it either. Men can be so ignorant to our needs”, your words could be something like, “We sometimes struggle in that area too. And while it can be frustrating, here’s what has been helpful to us…. etc”. See? Huge difference. One tears down and leaves no opening for a resolution thus continuing the cycle, the other affirms the friends’ feelings without husband bashing, and seeks a positive resolution.
Another thing to consider is this- after a relationships and husbands bash fest, the next time your friends are around your husband, they will know all the awful things you said about him. They will see him in this light now. Is this truly what you want?
Also, let’s say the tables were turned. Your husband joins in with the guys, and complains and complains about you to them. You have no voice, it’s just him telling a one-sided piece to the story in a bashing way. Would you not be hurt? Our husbands have feelings too, and if we want to start having better marriages, we need to honor our men, and their feelings as well.
So, if you’re with me, share this message, let’s end the culture of husband bashing, one ladies night at a time!