Selling Your Spouse Short To Your Child
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Selling Your Spouse Short To Your Child

A written image showing selling your spouse short to your child

Selling Your Spouse Short To Your Child

There are some things that are straight out wrong and unacceptable, especially when innocent children are involved. A scene has been constantly replaying in my mind and I keep looking back at my 13 years of marriage sincerely hoping I have not done the same.
Why would a man or his wife talk bad about his or her spouse to their children? Is it to gain favour, to be loved, to win a battle or just being plain mean?
Is it anger driven, carefully thought out, planned and strategized, or an ignorant act? Why?

The Outbursts
Can you imagine what your mum did to me today?
Your dad is just so mean!
Your mum refused to serve my food today!
Your dad refused to pay in money for upkeep; he wants us all to starve to death!
Your mum disrespects me so bad; she talks to me anyhow!
Your dad doesn’t love me any more!
And on and on…

Come on! Should we be telling this to our children, especially toddlers, teenagers and/or young adults? Should we put them in a position where they have to start viewing our spouses like they are bad people, spouse and parents?
Should couples bother their children about their misunderstandings, should they involve them in their arguments, should couples drag their children into their fights, should they expose them to what their hearts cannot handle, things that shouldn’t even be happening in the first place?

My Answer
I believe the answer is a big NO! It is unhealthy for any man or wife to pitch their children against themselves. It affects the emotions of a child and creates dysfunction in the behavior of that child. When we sow these seeds in the hearts of our children we confuse them and cause them to begin acting negatively towards our spouses.
If they buy into our thoughts and words, they may develop hatred for our spouses and in the long run, it will affect our marriages and home one way or the other.
I have seen parents sell their spouses short to their children and I have shuddered and sincerely hoped and still do, that I have not in my words or actions tried to make my boys think or believe that my spouse is not a good person, or is to be blamed for anything that didn’t go well in our home. So help me God, amen!
I believe when we do this we tell our children it is okay for them to do it to their own spouses too. We should teach our children what is good and what we know would do them good in their future, they tend to do what they see us do.

Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 (MSG)

Reader Question
Have you experienced this, mistakenly done this, ever thought your children should know how good you are and how bad your spouse is? Have you encountered this as a child or in any other way? What do you think, good or bad? Go on and share with Teshuva readers and I in the comment box, we could all learn a thing a two!

Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2014


Ugochi Oritsejolomisan

Ugochi Oritsejolomisan is a mentor, encourager and influencer. She writes to inspire you to live a full life. Ugochi lives in Canada with her husband Benson and their children; Joshua, Joseph and Josiah.

  • Vernon
    Posted at 13:33h, 24 January

    It happens all the time. I think it’s because of selfishness, bitterness and not knowing how to respond to conflict in a healthy way. I know it happened to me with my ex but my love for my children contradicted what their mother was telling them. Love never fails! Thanks Ugochi!

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 16:58h, 24 January

      Love sure doesn’t! I believe selfishness is responsible in most cases… We all need to develop healthy spirits and minds via the word of God. It will impact all other areas of our lives. Thanks a lot for coming by and leaving these thoughts. Have a super blessed weekend!

  • Rosey
    Posted at 13:57h, 24 January

    This is a good post. These things will come back around and bite you too, I’ve seen that happen! And I’ve seen children turn against a parent during a divorce where one was talking so badly about the other. I think that is especially heartbreaking (I know you meant in any situation, a specific example came to mind for me of someone’s divorce in our family).

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 16:52h, 24 January

      It is all the same Rosey. It is not good under any circumstance, heartbraking like you have said. It especially affects the children too. Thanls for coming by, do have a super blessed weekend!

  • Howard Odigie
    Posted at 13:35h, 23 January

    Wow! Great one. I never experienced this situation while my late parents were alive
    though they DIDNT have the rich knowledge of good relational tenets that believers are privileged to have today. My parents NEVER spoke of each other to us the children as if to put the other down. It is my opinion that this wrong conduct comes from the appearance of a crack on the “wall” of the marriage.
    Marriage is not about competition or contention. Why would a spouse want to look good in the eyes of the children while painting the other black? Very ungodly.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 14:09h, 23 January

      Kudos to both of them, unfortunately, some parents do not really think through. They would have finished before realizing the consequences. We all just need to mind our hearts and tongues about our spouses. Thanks bro for coming by and leaving this note, have a super blessed day!

    Posted at 17:03h, 22 January

    Thanks very much for this writeup, it is a very common trend in homes. It may be because of anger or trying to look for pity party. whichever reason, it should be stopped. Thanks very much.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 17:32h, 22 January

      Yes it should be stopped, it does no good for the marriage or children. Thanks a lot for coming by, hope to see you more often. Do have a super blessed day!

  • Rhonda White
    Posted at 22:48h, 22 January

    Wow, you hit the hammer right on the nail…in a good way. I think this happens a lot, and I know I’m guilty as well. It’s something we have to be very mindful about….and it’s good to ask the Lord to help us think before we speak in front of our children.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 12:33h, 23 January

      Yes it s good to ask God for help, other wise we will keep spilling out words devoid of grace, word that will tear down instead of build up. Thanks God His grace is available. Thanks a lot for coming by and leaving this note, do have a super blessed day!

  • Delora
    Posted at 20:44h, 22 January

    What a great post! I must admit that at times I slip and say such things so thanks for the gently reminder that it is important to always praise your spouse and not speak negatively of them to others and especially our kids. I look forward to staying connected and thanks a bunch for stopping by my blog.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 12:31h, 23 January

      I look forward to staying connected too Delora! Thanks very much for coming by, do have a super blessed day!

  • Beth
    Posted at 19:49h, 22 January

    I saw my mom do this way too much in my growing up years and I know how it negatively affected my view of, and relationship with, my dad, Ugochi. So I try to steer clear of this with my boys. It really can be so destructive to the child, the family and the marriage. Wise words, my friend!

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 12:30h, 23 January

      I also work hard to steer clear because I have seen first hand what it does to a child and marriage. Thanks a lot for coming by Beth, do have a super blessed day!

  • Ginny Marie
    Posted at 19:29h, 22 January

    As I read this post, I have to admit that I do complain about my husband to my kids, mostly in the context of housework when I’m tired and feel like I do everything around the house. You’re right, it’s not a good thing. Fortunately, my kids also see the good parts of our marriage.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 12:27h, 23 January

      Thanks for speaking truth Ginny, I understand that cranky feeling after tiresome house chores. We always need to put a check on our hearts and words at that time or we will spill out garbage from our flesh, words that we may regret later. Thanks for coming by, do have a super blessed day!

  • Roxy
    Posted at 22:19h, 21 January

    Hello, I wish more couples would put this into their wedding vows! This one act can destroy and bring disobedience into a Child’s heart. We teach them to resent both parents, not just one!
    These kinds of things are not taught very often anymore!
    Blessings, Roxy

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 10:42h, 22 January

      Yes indeed, resentment and disobedience can be sown in a child’s heart if this is found in any marriage. God help us all to love and protect our hearts and those of our children.
      Thanks a lot Roxy for your input here, do have a super blessed day today!