How you speak about your wife when she is not around says a lot about the kind of man that you are.
Early in my marriage, people in my life, especially at work, would ask me about the “old ball and chain.” They would use other typical phrases, too. It wasn’t meant to be mean spirited, it was meant to be a joke.
I’m sorry to say that I went along with the joke. I wasted a perfect teachable moment. I was not honest with them.
I should have answered that things were going well, because we had both entered into the Sacrament with maturity. I should have answered that we were learning more about each other each day.
Instead I let it be dismissed as a joke.
Just as we are given the opportunity to witness to our Faith on a daily basis in the public square, we are given that same opportunity to witness to strong marriages.
The way you speak about your wife matters.
If people hear you do nothing but complain about her, then you are part of the problem. You are justifying their unreasonable assumptions about marriage. You are confirming in their mind that marriage is a trial and not worth their time.
If instead you share the glorious moments and conversations; if you share the acts of service and love, then you do everyone a favor. You communicate truth and honesty.
By speaking well of your wife, you are convincing people that marriage is something to be cherished. You are demonstrating how life is beautiful. You are witnessing to the true essence of marriage: love.
Of course, if you always use flowery words, people will dismiss you as still in your “Honeymoon Phase.” There is certainly a balance. You should share some challenges, but note that there is a difference between sharing a challenge and speaking poorly of your spouse.
Be mindful of this opportunity. When people ask how the married life is, be honest and share with them the joy that you have experienced as a result of the Sacrament.