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Warning to you who discuss your spouse in public



The other day I happened to be in the vicinity while some young people at my workplace were talking amongst themselves. One particularly loud guy was talking to the others about his marriage. I surmised from the conversation that he has one child with his live-in girlfriend, whom he has yet to marry but insists on calling ‘wifey’. Some of these boys masquerading as men! Are you getting enough sleep?

He also has no intention of formally marrying her until he has bought himself a car, pursued further studies and built his mother a house. When someone asked the young man why he was always out clubbing, he responded: “I met my wife in the club, so I will remain clubbing forever. Her job is to cook.” What can one possibly respond to that?

Here is a guy who took on a woman and had a child, but has no intention of prioritising the relationship. If you want to study, buy a car and build your mother a house, then perhaps you should do all of that before tying down someone’s daughter in a hoax of a marriage. There were so many things wrong with this situation, but my main problem was the verbal diarrhoea. People, let’s learn how to talk about our spouses in public, if we must talk about them at all.

As a rule, if you do not have anything nice to say about your spouse, please shut up. You may imagine you are disparaging your spouse, but you are actually exposing your own stupidity whenever you start blabbing about their flaws in public. Before the good Lord delivered me from WhatsApp, I once witnessed a discussion in a ‘fitness group’ about someone’s ‘one-minute-man’.

Of course, they were all pretending to give her advice on how to help her man, but really, go see a healthcare professional if you must. Don’t let the world – including your pastor’s wife, the wife of your husband’s boss and your in-laws – know about such things. Here’s a free warning for women: Sometimes your girlfriends will even try to trick you into talking badly about your spouse by commenting about theirs.

One time someone went out of her way to tell me about what a gentleman my husband is, and how she cannot get her own man to do the same things. She ended with a question: Is your husband always like that? If I had been born yesterday, I would have taken the bait and informed her about my husband’s not-so-gentlemanly traits. However, I know that under no circumstances is a public discussion of my husband necessary or prudent. So I just smiled. Full stop. You can make what you will of a smile, and many of you would be well advised to smile when the temptation to discuss your spouse in public arises. You will find people airing their dirty linen in taxis, salons, bars and market places – what solutions do you hope to get from these forums?

As soon as you walk out of the salon, your story will become the topic of the day, and all the advice they should have given to you will be shared in your absence. No one will give you useful advice because they enjoy hearing about your drama too much. If they help you solve it, who will share horror stories and make them feel better about themselves? Protecting the public persona of your spouse is an integral part of those vows you make to “honour” each other. Where is the honour in disclosing the size of his junk or the nature of her body odour to the public? Allow your spouse some mystery, some privacy and some respect. You’ll both benefit from it.

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