Married Life Today

Life after 'I do'… one day at a time

Don’t air your dirty laundry in public


I read a heartbreaking story a few days ago. A young man went to his doctor for a medical consultation. During the appointment, he became overwhelmed with emotions and broke down crying in the doctor’s office. He then confided in the doctor that his job working away from home was having a serious impact on his marriage and family life. He was afraid he was about to lose his wife and child.

The doctor was very understanding. He did his best to calm his patient and then wrote him a referral for counselling services at a nearby hospital.

Great and caring doctor right?

Well, wait until you hear what this caring doctor did next. As soon as the patient left his office, the doctor went and got his wife’s phone number from medical records. Then he began trying to woo her by sending flirtatious texts. He went after this woman, who was very vulnerable because of the crisis that had enveloped her marriage. He gained her trust and persistently made inappropriate requests and sexual advances until she succumbed.

The husband eventually found out and reported the doctor to the General Medical Council. But more worrying is the damage that had been done to his marriage.

While most of us will not entrust the most intimate details of our relationships to a doctor, how many times do we share the struggles we’re experiencing in our marriage with friends, parents, colleagues… or even on Facebook? It is amazing how some people are completely comfortable with airing their dirty laundry in public. They will happily share their spouses’ failings and shortcomings with just about anyone that cares to listen. No discretion, whatsoever. They want to tell it as it is, apparently. But there are a couple of problems with this approach:
  • Firstly, no matter how close you think you are to someone, you may not really know their heart towards you. Only God knows the intimate details of our hearts. So, if you share your problems and intimate details indiscriminately, you are creating multiple opportunities for people to stab you in the back!
  • Secondly, even the people that love you the most can and do get it wrong sometimes. Most likely, they will advise you based on their own experiences and limited knowledge, which might not be the right path for you at that time. Besides, their love and concern for you could even cloud  their judgment. For example, most parents will take their son or daughter’s side whether they are right or not!
Okay, that doesn’t mean we should be completely silent and never actively try to find help. That too has its disadvantages. Sometimes it’s helpful to get things off our chest. But it is much safer to prayerfully find one person (or a couple) that you can trust to act as your mentor.

Qualities to look out for when choosing a mentor:

  • They have walked where you are walking now and have come out victorious.
  • They elevate God’s word above feelings or worldly counsel, and are not afraid to tell it to you as it is.
  • Their own marriage is a good and godly example. I mean, you really don’t want to be discussing your marital problems with a person that has just walked out of their marriage. What could they possibly teach you about staying in yours? It’s common sense.

So please choose wisely!


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