“Why did I have to find out from someone else?” I remember the look on my wife’s face while asking this a few moments after getting home. We had been waiting for weeks to hear back about a potential job change that could positively impact our family. I had finally gotten my answer and, in my excitement, called my buddy first to share the good news. I just had to tell someone! He knew my situation and was happy for me, and was equally happy to congratulate my wife when she walked by his office later in the day. Unfortunately for him, he had no idea my wife was still in the dark. I hadn’t told her the big news yet. There was an awkward silence as they both realized I’d chosen to tell a friend my exciting update before telling my wife.
The May 2021 American Perspectives Survey revealed that only 53% of Americans surveyed said the first person they talked to when experiencing a personal problem was their spouse. That means nearly half confided in someone else. This can cause a lot of problems. When we choose to do life with a wife, we are also choosing to go to her with problems and concerns and work through them together as a team. Here are 4 things to tell your wife before telling your friends.Communicate with your wife first about your goals, desires, and concerns. She’ll have to live with the results.
1. “I’m not satisfied with work.”
For a married man, when and where you decide to work impacts both you and your family. Your job affects your time, income, and schedule. If work is starting to grate on you, your spouse needs to know first. She is the one who will be impacted most by your decisions related to your career. This doesn’t mean coworkers or buddies aren’t equipped to advise you or shouldn’t have any influence on your decisions, but communicate with your wife first about your professional goals, desires, and concerns. She’ll have to live with the results.
2. “I’m struggling with …”
Every man struggles, but not every man shares his struggle. Some guys think just dealing with life’s curveballs without being vulnerable is sign of masculinity or toughness. But, eventually, holding all the weight will crush even the strongest men. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, down and out, or anxious, tell your wife. She’ll understand and sympathize. If you feel pressure at work and it’s getting to be too much, tell her first. If you feel demeaned by your wife and get tempted to vent to a friend, go to her instead and explain how her words or actions made you feel. It’s probably painful for her to watch someone she loves struggle. So, talk with her. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your wife.
3. “The kids are draining me.”
Kids require a lot of time and attention. School events, sports, and other activities can weigh a parent down. As your kids get older, their problems and reactions to them will become more dramatic. It can get exhausting. You and your wife parent as a team. Lean on each other when you feel drained. Talk about the joys of parenting together. Find the good in a tough situation. Ask her about a time when the kids were causing her stress and see how she dealt with it. Communicate with your wife about how you’re feeling. She may be feeling the same way.
4. “I want to make a drastic life change.”
Want to switch careers? Thinking about relocating your family? These are not things to discuss with buddies first. What if your wife isn’t interested in this potential drastic change? What if she thinks switching jobs or moving away would be harmful to your family? These drastic life changes matter to more people than just yourself. Take them to your wife first and weigh the pros and cons. She may be just as invested in the idea as you. She may hate it. Either way, you must talk through the possible changes together.
Sound off: Have you ever told a friend something important before telling your wife?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Who do you think you should tell first when you have something important to share?”