If you discover your husband complaining on an online forum, how would you react?

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What if you come across posts from your partner ranting about you on an internet forum, how would you react?

These days, broadcasting our feelings online has become the norm. In fact, social media platforms have become the venue of choice for rants about politics, entertainment, and personal matters.

But, how can we know if it’s gone too far? In a time where transparency is natural and even encouraged, is airing out your dirty laundry still taboo?

One avenue for rants about relationships and parenting-related matters are Q&A platforms such as theAsianparent Community.

One user on the helpful site (which can also be downloaded as an app) asked this question anonymously:

How do you feel if you found out that your husband complain (about) your parent in internet forum? Would you accept it?

screengrab: theAsianparent Community

screengrab: theAsianparent Community

“…it will be better to talk between us on what went wrong instead of ‘running away’ and complaining on the internet.”

Reine T., a mum of two, wrote this in response: “I will feel upset. Doesn’t matter who is wrong, I don’t think that hanging dirty linen in public is acceptable. I believe that it will be better to talk between us on what went wrong instead of “running away” and complaining on the internet. Also ensure that you shouldn’t take sides on your parents if they are wrong.”

Idza B. believes that, as long as it’s kept anonymous, with no actual names mentioned, then it would be perfectly fine. But, it’s not something she’s willing to let slide.

“I will ask him why he felt the need to go to a forum instead of talking to me,” she writes. “And if it is indeed my parents’ fault, I will definitely talk to them on his behalf.”

Fellow mum Danny S. wouldn’t mind it either. “But, I’d prefer it if he came and spoke to me first,” she clarifies. “I’ve used forums for all kinds of issues and I find them really helpful so I think I’d understand him!”

Find out what other respondents had to say on the next page. 

“I totally understand the intent of going through forums to find thought partners in sorting out issues and concerns,” writes Ameetess D. “People in similar situations can provide insight in the most unexpected ways. Personally, I would much prefer he comes to me first in the same way I’d go to him before I go outside of the relationship to address concerns.”

Janine M. agrees with Ameetess. “Open communication is always always the key. But do understand that maybe he is also thinking that you might get hurt if he shared with you his concerns with your parents. This might be his initial thinking. Just let him know that you are very much willing to listen–whatever concern it may be–because you are his partner. And that you would understand him and help him no matter what.”

“Some issues should be kept within the family.”

Dad-of-three Alvin C. believes it’s just not right. “Some issues should be kept within the family.”

Even the best relationships will encounter some degree of conflict. One important habit is stopping yourself from sweeping things under the rug and practicing being more open with your partner.

Sure, it helps to get advice from close family and friends—-even an internet forum. But, many people will agree that the first step is acknowledging the conflict and communicating with your partner first in order to find a way around it.

Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne of Psychology Today believes that these five conflict resolution strategies are a must for all couples in order “to get past even what may seem like completely irreconcilable differences.”

1. Accept that avoidance won’t work

Allowing yourself to cool off during every argument is good because it gives you some distance in order to approach it later on with a more level head. However, this constant avoidance or putting disagreements “on pause” may cause resentment to build up.

It also poses the danger of you or your spouse exploding in a fit of rage at the slightest provocation. So, don’t neglect disputes and discuss it rationally to prevent larger fights in the future.

2. Leave “but” sentences out of it

Cushioning the blow of bad news or critical comments by prefacing it with “but” can raise false hopes. Though this is usually done so as not to offend one’s partner, it may create undue stress.

You can consider just being blunt and direct about issues. Sometimes getting the “bad news” out of the way and ending with the good can be a more effective way to communicate.

Find more expert advice on how to talk about difficult issues with your spouse on the next page.

3. Prepare the way

If both of you are mentally and emotionally unprepared to face conflicts, arguments and uncontrolled outbursts are bound to happen. So it’s best to alert your spouse or partner if there’s something you wish to discuss—even if it’s something that’s upsetting you. But, the key is always how you phrase it.

For instance, instead of saying “I’d like to talk about the fact that your mum is always critical of me,” phrase it a different way and say “I’d like to discuss my feelings about your mother’s constant criticism.”

4. Agree on common goals

Learn to compromise and be open to discussing a potential outcome that will satisfy both of you.

Try not to enter a discussion with your own outcome in mind. Dr. Whitbourne says “A common goal is different than a common notion of what the result should be. The more emotionally laden the conversation, the more important it is that you agree on goals that preserve each other’s emotional well-being.”

5. Stay optimistic

Don’t enter into an difficult discussion feeling hopeless. “Once you’ve decided that all is lost, you’ll invariably interpret everything your partner says with a strong dose of pessimism,” writes Dr. Whitbourne.

Remind yourself that you’re both in this together so that, whatever comes up in the conversation, you’ll both remain optimistic about the end result.

Having this attitude helps maintain your self-respect for one another even in the worst of times. These healthy habits in resolving conflicts will help you strengthen your bond as well as help make future conflicts more manageable.

Learning to work out your differences helps you achieve mutual fulfilment and satisfaction.

READ: 5 Harsh things spouses should avoid saying to each other 

Be sure to check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike.If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the article, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from theIndusparent!

Written by

Bianchi Mendoza