When other people get a bit too nosy or personal, inviting themselves into your marriage, what can you do?
A very happy newlywed recently asked me a few questions that she was hoping I could address. So let’s get to it!
“Maybe talk about boundaries in marriage. I have had a really hard time navigating my relationships after marriage.
Meaning people question me if marriage really is that good. People asking me about our intimate life. People telling me how often we should be intimate. People telling me we should have children or else the population of the church will die out.”
I remember experiencing some similar issues when we were first married (27 years ago this month, actually). <3
Of course, consider the source. If it is your best friend sharing things with you, you may have more grace for her. But there may still be things that you want to keep private or you still may not appreciate unsolicited advice.
It is okay to say that certain topics are private and not up for public discussion in your life.
If men ask about your sex life with your husband
Here, I am not talking about your pastor talking with you and your husband giving you counseling together or your OB/GYN asking routine check up questions.
If other men are asking about your intimacy with your husband, that is not okay. You may think they will stop eventually if you just don’t respond. In my experience, that is not usually the case.
If a guy is that brazen that he will approach you about your private marriage bed, you will have to address it firmly.
I suggest saying something like:
- That is inappropriate. Please don’t speak to me about this again.
- We are not going to have this discussion. You need to leave me alone, please.
- I do not want you to talk about this subject to me again.
- Don’t ever talk to me about this subject again.
- You need to leave now.
- I’m going to be sure to let my husband know what you said. He’s not going to be happy.
And, of course, be sure to let your husband know what the man said to you. And take any concerns or recommendations he has seriously.
If a man acts inappropriately toward you at work or church
If it is happening at church or work with men, and they don’t stop after the first time, it may be necessary to involve management or the administration.
If a guy flirts with you or touches you inappropriately, you also need to deal with that quickly and firmly so there is no question that you do NOT approve of that behavior toward you.
When other women ask, “Is marriage really that good?”
I would encourage a wife to be honest that she is very happy if she truly is very happy. If you are not “feeling it” at that moment, still, I would encourage wives to try to find something positive to say to the general public at work, at church, in the neighborhood, and the extended family.
It’s wise to treat our men with respect and honor when we speak about them, thinking about ourselves as representing them. Almost like an ambassador would represent her home country to another country. We don’t need to air dirty laundry with everyone around us (or on social media in public).
(Of course, if you are experiencing severe marriage problems, please reach out to experienced, trustworthy help—but not to just anyone or everyone.)
When other women ask about the details of your sex life in marriage
If ladies at church or acquaintances are coming up to you asking these kinds of very private, sacred things — in my view, that is crossing the line of decorum.
I vote to respond when people are rude like this by saying something like:
- That is something I keep private just between my husband and myself. Thanks for understanding.
- I don’t feel comfortable sharing personal information like that.
- I hope you can respect that my husband and I don’t share information like this with others. It’s a private thing.
- Wow! You know, I’d rather not answer that.
- That is a very personal subject.
- I don’t discuss that topic.
- Thank you for caring about me and my happiness. We are very happy but I will not be discussing this topic. Thanks for understanding.
Or, talk with your husband and see what wisdom and advice he may have. He may have some great suggestions.
When other women offer unsolicited advice about sex
If these are older women from church who think they are trying to mentor you, you don’t have to be hateful or mean. But you do need to nip this in the bud.
For women at church
I suggest saying something like:
- Thanks for caring about me and my marriage and wanting to share good advice. I don’t feel comfortable discussing intimate issues with other people. I hope you can understand.
- Thanks for sharing. (Then change the topic.)
- Intimacy is important in marriage. You’re right. It’s not something I like to discuss with others. Thanks for understanding.
- I’ll keep that in mind. (Then change the topic.)
If unbelievers are giving unbiblical advice
If they are unbelievers who are giving very unbiblical advice, you could take a similar approach as what I shared above.
Or you could use it as a witnessing opportunity, as the Holy Spirit leads.
Maybe say something like,
- You know, the Bible has a lot to say about a healthy sex life in marriage.
- God designed marriage so beautifully. Would you be interested in hearing about it?
- I think I’ll stick with the Bible for advice on this topic.
- God made marriage to be a picture of the way Jesus relates to His Bride, the church. How amazing is that?
- A lot of people think sex is the most important thing in marriage. It is definitely important, but building our marriage on God’s Word is the real key.
When people try to pressure you to have a baby
This happened with us SO many times in the early years in our marriage. And it always upset me a lot. It was a very sensitive issue.
It hurt my feelings when people assumed I was pregnant or should be pregnant, or when one lady came up to me (holding her grandson) and said, “This is what one looks like. You need to have a baby!”
Now, I know that people at my church and others just wanted us to be happy and wanted to love on our kids one day. But it is my personal conviction that it is just not wise to ask super personal, prying, potentially excruciating questions of people.
To me, questions/statements like these are hurtful:
- When are you going to start dating someone?
- Are the two of you a couple?
- When are y’all getting married? (If they aren’t engaged yet.)
- When are you going to have a baby?
I believe there are many godly ways we can respond:
- Use humor.
- Laugh and change the subject.
- Ignore the comment and change the subject.
- Or speak directly to the issue.
When people ask why aren’t you having a baby yet or when they pressure you to have a baby…
Here are some things you could say
- We love children. It will be a joy and an honor to be parents one day.
- Please pray for us about this issue for God’s will and His timing.
- That is a very personal issue that I really don’t feel comfortable discussing. Thanks for respecting our privacy.
- I’m sure you can’t wait to love on our kids one day. We’ll be sure to tell you as soon as we have news we can share.
- Kids are such a gift from the Lord. We look forward to experiencing parenthood one day.
- This is a private matter that we don’t discuss with other people.
- Thanks for caring and for your concern. This is a very important issue that we take seriously. But we plan to keep this matter private.
What about you? Have you learned any godly wisdom about how to respond when people insert themselves into your intimate life or marriage that you would like to share?
Much love, dear sisters!
Let’s Talk About Sex – links to all my posts about sex
6 Ways to Be a Faithful Wife (includes marriage boundary ideas)
What’s Going On in a Controlling Person’s Head?
What Does the Bible Say About Sexual Harassment by Got Questions
What Does the Bible Say About Flirting by Got Questions
What Does the Bible Say about Dealing with Difficult People? by Got Questions
I’ve never had nosy people asking or giving advice about our intimate life but the subject of children early in our marriage would always come up. Or when are you having another one.They were always hurtful questions.
I’m glad you didn’t have issues with people asking about or giving unsolicited advice about intimacy. That was a blessing! Yes, the topic of having children seems to come up a lot. I’d love for us to all allow couples the privacy and freedom to handle those issues themselves. If they need our advice, I am sure they will reach out and ask!
I like this post. There are too many Christian bloggers who encourage us to be up in each other’s business. I can”t imagine why someone would think it’s okay to ask about your intimate life. As for the subject of having babies, we just don’t know what might be going on there and unless a couple bring up the subject first, it’s really no one else’s business.
Very true. It is a super sensitive, private topic. One that could create a lot more pain if others prod and poke about it, in my view.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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