Green Room

Why do guys badmouth their wives?

posted at 10:51 am on March 3, 2013 by

If you’ve watched Steven Crowder and I discuss marriage on my daily show, you’ll already know that this is actually a pet peeve of mine as well.  I like to tease my wife about her being the boss, and sometimes I’ll joke around about the “yes dear” survival instinct with others when she’s with me. Otherwise, any joking I do about our marriage outside of her presence is at my own expense, not hers, and I’ve even tried to curtail that.  Too many men do nothing but deride their spouses and complain about marriage, to the point where one has to wonder just who is the real problem.

Steven takes them on in his latest Fox News column about the need to project a positive image of the institution of marriage:

Here’s my challenge to the real men out there; it’s very simple. If you have a good marriage, talk about it. If you love your wife, say it. If some moron tells you that you’re merely a “newlywed” or that you’re still just “too young to understand,” correct them. Openhanded slaps to the face are preferable.

Unless those of us who love our wives (and thus, our lives) make a conscious change to the way we speak of them, unless we begin choosing to elevate and praise our spouses instead of denigrate, we will be letting an incredibly corrosive self-perpetuating societal meme destroy the very institution that defines our lives.

Are we willing to do that just to fit in with some gelatinous beer buddies?

Finally, to those men out there who genuinely think of their wives as a “pain in the ass…” grow up, and learn to make some better decisions.

Also, do some squats.

A few years ago, a friend called me to tell me he was getting engaged.  I congratulated him, and told him that he was going to be very happy with married life, and that while it was tough work, it would be the most rewarding effort he could possibly make.  The phone was silent for a moment, and then he told me that I was the only married man with whom he had spoken who had a single positive thing to say about marriage.  Quite frankly, he told me, he had begun to worry about the decision he had made until we talked about it.

As men, we should be taking steps to strengthen the family and the societal bonds that it creates, not denigrating its core institution.  Venting cynicism — especially insincerely — just to fit in with boors is never a good idea, and that holds true for pretty much every principle one values.  C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Courage is the form that every virtue takes at its testing point,” and this is just one example of that wisdom.

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