My wife and I recently went through a difficult period in our marriage, and I leaned heavily on my parents for support. We’ve since worked through our problems, but I told my parents some things about my wife that I probably shouldn’t have, and now they’re cold to her, more critical than they used to be, and constantly questioning me about what’s going on in our lives. While I’m appreciative of their loyalty and the fact that they were there for me when I needed them, now I’m wondering if I didn’t make a mistake. Can I correct this somehow?
You’re wondering if you made a mistake. Um, yes! Yes, you did!
What’s wrong with you?
I see no problem with leaning on your family in hard times, and asking them for emotional support. But I’m guessing you did more than that. I’m guessing you called your mom crying on a Friday night after you discovered that Judy’s new job was not, in fact, managing a Friendly’s, but working as a lap dancer at Friendly’s Strip Club and Naked Disco.
It’s possible, you know, to mention that things are a little rocky without actually giving all the details. I’m sure your parents want you to be happy, but I’m also fairly sure they don’t want to know that the weekend everyone thought your wife was on a yoga retreat, she had actually run off to Puerto Rico with her sister’s husband.
From now on, keep your mouth shut. When your parents say disparaging things about Judy, be polite but make sure they know how much you love and respect your wife and how you’re really focusing on the positive now, and not dwelling on the past. Tell them often and enthusiastically how great she is, and mention a lot how she reads to the blind, delivers meals on wheels to shut-ins, and tutors homeless children after school.
And for Christ’s sake, keep your trap shut from now on.