“Between the Two of Us,” Ensign, Jan. 2001, 66
Early in our marriage, I made a commitment never to criticize my husband behind his back. I had noticed that as my friends got together, conversation easily slipped into husband bashing. It seems to be an almost natural tendency to avoid marital conflict directly while gaining a feeling of support through the counterfeit relief of unloading emotional burdens on friends or family. But I had to ask myself, “How would I feel? Would I want my husband to complain about my weaknesses to others?” Hurt, betrayal, and mistrust are all consequences of verbal disloyalty.
Marital difficulties are best kept between the partners for resolution. The Lord himself counsels that we should first take a problem to the one with whom we have the difficulty; if the problem cannot be resolved at that level, others should be involved only according to a carefully specified pattern (see Matt. 18:15–16; D&C 42:88–92). If problems persist, counsel can be sought from priesthood leaders, who may recommend professional counseling if necessary.
Admittedly it takes courage to bring issues directly to our spouse. Our confidence is bolstered when we approach the situation with the humility born of a willingness to see our own imperfections, not just the flaws of our partner. Humility and courage together allow us to avoid the pitfall of verbal disloyalty and pave the way toward lasting resolutions.—Kim Beecher, Auburn Fourth Ward, Auburn Washington Stake