Imagine this: your spouse or partner does something that really makes you angry. What is your next move? Well, hopefully you talk to your partner about it. But if you’re like a lot of people, you may also start venting to friends about relationship troubles.
Venting about your relationship is a common way of coping with anger, resentment or even simple annoyances. But is it ok to vent to your friends about your relationship? That’s exactly what we’re going to explore today.
While complaining in a relationship is normal, venting to friends is typically more common among women. One thing that makes female friendships different from male friendships is that females tend to talk about everything.
While men are more likely to bond over watching sports or playing video-games, women bond by discussing thoughts, feelings, and actions we took in response to our thoughts or feelings.
So, given that women share the inner workings of their minds with each other, it’s only natural that relationship talk will become part of the conversation with close friends.
The question is, how much relationship talk, if any, is healthy for your relationship? Can venting to friends about relationship issues actually make those issues worse? Let’s dig into this question a little further.
Is Venting to Friends About Relationship Issues Bad?
On the one hand, it’s wonderful to have people to vent or gush to about your relationship, especially if you’ve been spending all of your time with your significant other.
Having an outside perspective when dealing with relationship issues can be extremely helpful, and since it’s your friend, she will probably have your back.
Still, there are dangers to spilling about your latest lover’s quarrel, and there’s definitely such a thing as complaining too much in a relationship. And when venting becomes toxic, it has the potential to do more harm than good.
So, how much is too much when it comes to venting to friends about relationship challenges? Here’s some things to consider.
4 Things to Consider Before Venting to Friends About Relationship Issues
1. The Jury Is Stacked
Your friends will probably be on your side regardless of what happened between you and your partner. While it is always nice to feel validated, that is not always the most helpful thing, especially if you are in the wrong.
Sure, you probably have that one friend that always tells you the truth even when it’s hard to hear, but when you are angry, she’s probably not the one you’ll go to when you’re venting to friends about relationship challenges. Am I right?
Instead, you’ll most likely opt for the friend who will tell you how horrible he is, and how angelic you are. While this is nice to hear, it might not be great for the future of your relationship.
If you truly want to repair your relationship and heal whatever hurt has been done, consider how unconditional validation of your anger might make that harder.
2. The Plot Is Skewed
Without even realizing it, you will probably end up telling more of the bad stuff about your relationship to your friends than the good. Maybe you don’t want to feel like you are bragging or make them jealous by sharing all of his sweet gestures. Or perhaps you simply consider his loving texts and gestures private.
But when venting about your spouse or partner becomes the bulk of what you share about your relationship, you are painting a skewed picture of your partner.
This can make it hard for your friends to forgive him or see him in a positive light when the two of you make up. You may even find that your friends remember his flaws long after you’ve forgotten why you were fighting in the first place!
Unfortunately, venting to friends about relationship issues can lead to trouble between you and your friends down the road or awkward feelings between your friends and your partner.
You want your friends to like your partner and they do too! So think twice before you tell them every negative and annoying quality he has.
3. Advice Is Easier Said Than Taken
Well-meaning friends want the best for you and they hate to see you hurt. As such, they might be quick to tell you to break-up with your love to avoid pain and heartache – especially if you’ve been doing a lot of venting about your relationship.
Clearly, that’s easier said than done and they aren’t the ones that will have to deal with the consequences of that decision. Only you can decide what the best course of action is, and that’s best achieved when you have calmed down and had a rational discussion with your partner (not your friends).
4. Is All Fair In Love And War?
Regardless of how angry you are with your partner right now, you still want to act in a way that you can be proud of in the morning. Will you be happy with yourself if you share all of his shortcomings with your friends? Would you be okay if he did the same to you?
Part of being in an adult relationship means showing respect for your partner, even when you are angry with each other. Sometimes, that means venting to friends about relationship challenges is not always the best idea.
What To Do When Venting Becomes Toxic
Are you worried you might be venting about your relationship a little too much now that you know how complaining affects relationships? Even if you want to vent less, it can be hard to know what to do instead.
After all, you have to talk to someone when you are fighting with your boo because how are you supposed to make any decisions without outside input?
First and foremost, learn to look within and trust your intuition. You are the expert on you but sometimes you need some help turning up the volume on that little wise voice that resides within you.
Second, there is someone that you can vent to with wild abandon without having to worry about the consequences…a therapist!
Your therapist has no personal stake or connection to your partner or the outcome of your relationship.
Instead, a good therapist will help you connect with your intuition to figure out what you really want – and then help you communicate those needs with your partner. All the more reason to reach out to a skilled therapist today 😉
If you’re ready to stop venting about your relationship and start doing something constructive with that anger or hurt, then contact Couples Learn to explore our online therapy services.