I realize that most of what I write about pertains to leadership, character, and management techniques, but I think this topic is very important because it ties directly into your work life and the relationships you create there. I’ll try to crudely paint a quick scenario that will tie in my point.
A man has an someone at his place of employment that he normally gets along with. That person is normally pretty reasonable but today he seems to step out of the norm and is a total jerk.
The man gets home and tells his wife about it. Of course being a good spouse she immediately listens then comes to the quick conclusion her husband is right and that guy at work is a jerk indeed. She can tell this has really bothered her man so understandably she is upset also.
The next day at work the man who acted like a jerk comes to the man and explains how he is sorry for the way he acted. The husband accepts his apology and the happy work life continues.
The weekend comes around and the husband and wife see the man who acted like a jerk in town. The husband speaks, shares a few pleasantries and pretty much act like they are best friends.
Meanwhile the wife is in the background, keeping to herself with quite animosity toward the man who hurt her husband. She holds on to this animosity close to her chest until his name is brought up in conversation and a little at a time it is released exposing the hurt she has shared for her husband.
The point here is the husband got to work out his feelings toward the man who has wronged him. The wife was never given that opportunity. A spouse was designed to be your partner. You have to respect them and how they function (wanting to defend you).
I’m not saying you can’t vent to your loved one. You can. What I am saying is you shouldn’t only use them as a sounding board to work out your own problems without walking them to a healthy resolution also.
When you use your spouse as a sounding board, then work out your problems away from them and leave them holding all the animosity, that is SELFISH. Either walk them through the whole process with you by keeping them informed or don’t vent to them at all.