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The Golden Rule of Marriage: Never Quarrel in Front of a Third Person

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Marriage is a complex and deeply personal relationship, one that hinges on the delicate balance of love, respect, and communication between partners. While the dynamics of each couple can vary significantly, a fundamental principle often emerges as a cornerstone of a healthy marriage: never argue or quarrel in front of a third person. This guideline is paramount for maintaining the integrity and respect within the relationship. Here’s an exploration of why this rule is considered essential and how it impacts the quality of the marital bond.

 The Importance of Mutual Respect

The happiness of a family largely depends on the quality of both partners’ contributions to the relationship. Both roles are equally vital in sustaining a harmonious marriage. Each partner brings unique strengths, perspectives, and responsibilities, creating a dynamic interplay that forms the foundation of the family unit. When both individuals are committed to nurturing the relationship, it fosters an environment of cooperation and shared purpose. However, this balance can be delicate. Emotional dependence often shifts over time, with one partner sometimes feeling more vulnerable or invested than the other. This can lead to feelings of being controlled or belittled, which can erode the fabric of the relationship. Ensuring that both partners feel valued and respected is crucial to maintaining equilibrium and preventing resentment.

Maintaining mutual respect is critical in preventing such imbalances from causing friction. Respect in a marriage goes beyond basic politeness; it involves recognizing and valuing your partner’s emotions, opinions, and needs as equal to your own. It requires active listening, empathetic understanding, and a willingness to support each other through challenges. When mutual respect is present, conflicts are more likely to be resolved constructively, with both partners feeling heard and validated. This respect also serves as a buffer against external pressures and internal stressors, reinforcing the partnership’s strength. By consistently honoring each other’s dignity and worth, couples can navigate the ups and downs of life together, building a resilient and fulfilling relationship.

Respect in Private and Public

When couples argue in front of others, they risk undermining each other’s dignity. This public display can lead to a loss of respect not only from the partner but also from the onlookers, causing an ‘image crisis’. Public arguments expose the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the relationship, which can lead to embarrassment and shame. This loss of privacy can be particularly damaging because it opens the relationship to external judgments and criticisms, which can further strain the bond between partners. The public nature of these disputes can make it harder for couples to resolve their issues constructively, as they may feel pressured to defend their positions rather than genuinely address the underlying problems.

Protecting each other’s respect is crucial for a healthy relationship, and it starts with handling disagreements privately. When couples manage their conflicts away from the public eye, they create a safe space for open and honest communication. This privacy allows both partners to express their feelings and concerns without fear of judgment or humiliation. It also fosters a sense of solidarity and partnership, reinforcing the idea that they are a team working towards a common goal. By maintaining this level of respect and discretion, couples can navigate their differences more effectively, preserving the integrity and strength of their relationship. Ultimately, the way couples handle conflicts, both in private and in public, plays a significant role in the overall health and longevity of their marriage.

The Impact of Public Disputes

Image Crisis: Involving a third person in your personal disputes can lead to a situation where the relationship suffers from an image crisis. When disagreements are aired publicly, the private nature of the marital bond is compromised. Outsiders, whether they are friends, family members, or mere acquaintances, may form opinions and pass judgments based on incomplete or biased information. This external scrutiny can create additional pressure on the relationship, making it difficult for the couple to reconcile their differences without external interference. The third party’s involvement often complicates matters, leading to a loss of control over the personal aspects of the relationship. As others begin to take sides or offer unsolicited advice, the original issue can become overshadowed by the complexities of managing external perceptions and opinions.

Once an argument goes public, it becomes difficult to manage perceptions and maintain the privacy and integrity of the marriage. The couple’s private issues are no longer confined to their own understanding and resolution, but are now subject to the interpretations and reactions of others. This can lead to a misrepresentation of the relationship’s dynamics and add unnecessary strain. The couple may feel compelled to defend their actions or justify their feelings, diverting attention from resolving the actual conflict. Moreover, the damage to their public image can have lasting effects, affecting their social interactions and potentially their professional lives. To protect the sanctity of the relationship, it is crucial to address disputes privately, allowing for a more genuine and focused effort towards reconciliation and understanding.

Escalation of Problems:

Sharing personal problems with others can exacerbate the issue. When couples discuss their private disputes with third parties, the initial problem often becomes more pronounced and difficult to resolve. External opinions and perspectives, though sometimes well-meaning, can complicate the situation by introducing new elements of misunderstanding or bias. Friends or family members might unintentionally take sides, offer solutions that are not suitable, or interpret the conflict based on their own experiences, rather than the unique dynamics of the couple’s relationship. This external input can cloud the judgment of the partners and make it harder for them to see the core issue clearly.

Moreover, involving others can lead to unwanted advice and judgments, further complicating the situation. Each additional person who becomes aware of the couple’s problems brings their own perspective and potential for judgment. This can create a sense of being scrutinized or evaluated, adding emotional stress and making the partners feel defensive or misunderstood. Instead of fostering a collaborative environment where the couple works together to resolve their issues, the involvement of others can create divisions and escalate the conflict. The couple may find themselves arguing over the advice received or feeling pressured to act in ways that are not aligned with their true feelings or best interests. To avoid these complications, it is essential for couples to handle their issues privately, seeking professional help if necessary, to maintain the focus on mutual understanding and resolution.

 The Role of Social Media

In today’s digital age, the temptation to share personal experiences on social media is high. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer instant ways to communicate and receive feedback, making them tempting outlets during moments of emotional turmoil. However, airing grievances online invites public scrutiny and judgment, which can be detrimental to the relationship. What starts as a brief moment of venting can quickly become a permanent digital record, accessible to a wide audience. This public exposure often invites unsolicited opinions, harsh criticisms, and judgment from people who may not have the full context of the situation. The fleeting comfort of immediate feedback can turn into long-term damage to the couple’s reputation and emotional well-being.

Social media is not a therapist’s couch; it’s a public platform where private issues can quickly spiral out of control. Unlike a private conversation with a trusted friend or a session with a professional counselor, social media interactions are inherently public and can be shared and commented on by anyone. The lack of confidentiality and the permanence of online posts mean that once a grievance is aired, it is challenging to retract or control its spread. Moreover, the public nature of social media can exacerbate conflicts, as partners may feel embarrassed or betrayed by having their private issues exposed to the world. Instead of resolving the problem, social media exposure can create additional layers of conflict and misunderstanding, making it harder for couples to work through their issues constructively. To protect the integrity and privacy of their relationship, couples should resist the urge to broadcast their disputes online and instead seek appropriate and private avenues for resolution.

Seeking Professional Help

While the golden rule emphasizes not sharing personal problems with a third person, there is an exception: seeking professional help. Therapists and counselors are trained to handle marital issues with confidentiality and neutrality. These professionals offer a unique combination of expertise and objectivity that friends and family members typically cannot provide. In a therapeutic setting, couples can explore their issues in a structured and supportive environment, guided by techniques and frameworks designed to foster understanding and resolution. This safe space allows partners to express their feelings and concerns openly, without fear of judgment or ridicule, which is crucial for addressing deep-seated issues and fostering genuine communication.

Professional help can be transformative for couples facing persistent or complex challenges. Therapists and counselors facilitate constructive dialogue, helping partners to identify underlying patterns and dynamics that contribute to their conflicts. They can introduce strategies for better communication, conflict resolution, and emotional regulation, which are essential skills for maintaining a healthy relationship. Moreover, the confidentiality inherent in professional counseling ensures that the couple’s private issues remain private, protecting their dignity and respect. By seeking professional help, couples demonstrate a commitment to their relationship and a willingness to invest in its improvement, which can significantly enhance their chances of overcoming difficulties and building a stronger, more resilient bond.


The most important rule in marriage, often considered the golden rule, is to never argue or quarrel in front of a third person. This principle is essential for preserving mutual respect and ensuring that personal issues remain private. Public disputes can undermine the dignity of both partners and invite unwanted scrutiny, complicating and exacerbating the issues at hand. By handling disagreements privately, couples maintain control over their relationship dynamics and protect their bond from external judgments.

Furthermore, seeking professional help when necessary is a critical exception to the rule of privacy. Therapists and counselors provide a safe, confidential space for couples to work through their issues constructively. This professional guidance helps couples develop better communication and conflict resolution skills, fostering a stronger and more resilient relationship.

Ultimately, the foundation of a happy marriage lies in the quality of both partners’ contributions and their ability to navigate challenges together, away from the prying eyes of others. By adhering to the golden rule and investing in professional support when needed, couples can maintain a respectful, loving, and enduring partnership.

Sajeda Akter
Sajeda Akter
Sajeda Akter is a distinguished sociologist and accomplished columnist, with a Master's Degree in Sociology. In Bidibo News, she writes about society, family and various major issues in life. A seasoned columnist, she writes for various newspapers on social issues, family dynamics and thought-provoking topics related to various lifestyles. With an adept ability to articulate and analyze social trends, Sajeda Akhtar stands out as a notable figure in the field, contributing thought leadership that has already won over readers. Her work not only informs but also inspires, making her a respected voice in the worlds of journalism and sociology alike.


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