There are so many things that can be completely utterly damaging for a marriage. One of those things is choosing friendship with others over your spouse. There are times when a person’s spouse can see how damaging having someone else in your life is for your relationship that you may not be able to see yourself.
An example is having a friendship with your spouse’s ex-wife. The ex-wife and you may get along beautifully and even have a remarkable relationship. Yet, it can be damaging at times when the temptation is there to compare your relationship with your spouse verses their relationship with the ex.
Everyone’s Relationship With Others Is Different
I’m speaking from personal experience on this issue. My own relationship with my current husband is completely different from what it was with my prior ex-husbands. If my husband were to try to compare my faults with them, they could really tell him things that were by far even worse than what my current husband will ever have to go through!! The prime reason why our relationships are so polar opposite is because my current husband has my complete utter heart, soul, and body. My ex-husbands can’t take that claim although I did have strong feelings for both of them, but neither one of them were the ONE for me.
My husband is able to bring out the best in me even during my bad moments. He doesn’t see the same things as negatives as my exes did because he knows far more about the reasons why I do have those annoying traits than my exes did. Plus he also knows how to prevent them from becoming unlivable traits to deal with.
You Are Uniquely Different
If you compare how your spouse’s actions are with you versus their relationship with their ex then you are adding fuel to a fire that may already be burning. You may even begin to think that it’s your spouse’s fault as to why you’re having marriage issues since he did the same mistakes with his ex-wife. Granted, a person may make the same mistakes in the new marriage, but here’s the kicker…you’re not your spouse’s ex-wife…so YOU are going to REACT differently.
Don’t Talk Negatively About Your Spouse With Others
A very wise loving friend gave me solid advise: She advised me to not downgrade my spouse to others. She told me that her husband has his faults too, but he has many wonderful traits as well and she started listing them off like crazy. She told me that she would love to hear about my husband, but not anything negative because that is something I need to talk to Del about not her or anyone else. You know what I started telling her all the wonderful things about him (and there is A LOT of things I could say about him that are on the positive side) that I went home with a renewed love for him and literally forgot why I was mad at him to start with.
Marriage is Hard Work Without Outside Negative Influences
The ex-spouse may not mean any harm in their simple comments, but the truth is it’s just human nature to add the comparison talk when you start talking marriage issues. If your spouse requests for you to not interact with their ex-wife/ex-husband then there is a valid reason why they requested it. It most likely has NOTHING to do with wanting to hide something from you, but rather not wanting to have to feel like they are re-fighting their ex’s opinion of them and you at the same time.
Again, every person’s relationship with another person is different because each person has the ability to bring out different traits with a person. Don’t believe me about that one… go observe how people interact with others around them in a public place and you’ll see it firsthand.
Please always choose your spouse over any relationship you may have with another person. God should come first, but your spouse is always supposed to come second!!