How to Cope When Your Spouse Embarrasses You

Posted on September 17, 2013

Honey, you're embarrassing me! (flickr)

Michele Phillips and her husband, Gary Wadds, were hanging out on the porch with friends one evening in Piermont, N.Y., when the talk turned to hiking. One person mentioned a local trail, another raved about her new hiking boots. Then Ms. Phillips chimed in with, "Gary and I fooled around behind some rocks on a path on Bear Mountain—and another hiker saw us."

The reaction? Silence. Mr. Wadds shook his head and retreated into the house. Ms. Phillips finished her story, and the friends had a laugh.

Later that night as they were getting ready for bed, Mr. Wadds confronted his wife. "I can't believe you said that," he said. "Isn't anything sacred?" Ms. Phillips became defensive and asserted the story was benign. "I only told a few close friends," she replied. "Get over it."

"The number of ways for spouses to embarrass each other is almost endless," says Mark Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of the Social Psychology Program at Duke University. It is perfectly ordinary in a loving relationship for one spouse to mentally wince from time to time because of something the other spouse has said or done. But chronic feelings of embarrassment, and constant fighting about them, could be a sign of serious problems in the relationship.

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Category(s):Relationships & Marriage

Source material from WallStreet Journal

Mental Health News