Airing your laundry in public
Philip Smith was left hung to dry earlier this month when his wife, Tricia Walsh-Smith, aired her marital and divorce grievances on You Tube. While each side may have their issues with one another, for a while it was kept relatively private. But, with Ms. Walsh Smith’s recent You Tube video about the concerns she has with her husband and their divorce, public opinion is now weighing in with disbelief as to how these complaints were brought forward.
This is not the first time a celebrity or someone in the public eye has let their emotions rule their decision making only to have it backfire on them. While it might feel great in the moment to speak your mind, the feelings of relief often change to horror when you hear the reaction from the very same audience you were hoping to gain sympathy from. Perhaps it is best to keep your personal issues private, no matter how much you may want to seek revenge or validate your shame.
Articles about public displays of anger have been widely written about by the media. There are two articles I would like to draw your attention to these are:
Public opinion to the way these celebrities acted out their frustration and anger was certainly not what they were anticipating. Damage control seemed to be next on the agenda. I’m sure there are many people who would like to air their grievances in public too — out of revenge sure to humiliate you soon to be or former spouse.
While it might feel good in the moment, think about the consequences of venting in public:
· The effect on your reputation.
· The effect on your relationship with you children and/or step children.
· The possibility of the rant being used against you in legal proceedings.
· The actions coming back to hurt you later on.
Here are some strategies to help you get through these emotionally difficult times:
- Write your thoughts down in a personal journal.
- Vent your feelings to a trusted family or friend.
- Speak with a therapist, clergy or other people in your support network.
- Vent your thoughts in a letter, don’t send it out – perhaps rip it up. This can be cathartic.
- If you are going to sign a pre or post nuptial agreement, ensure you get a legal opinion before you sign.
While interest in the You Tube video will soon become yesterday’s news as the public grows tired of this battle and becomes fascinated by some other family squabble, the significance of it will play out for a long time in many ways for this couple.
Use these lessons well. As much as you may want to vent and scream your personal issues via email, You Tube or some other communication vehicle, you don’t want a war of words coming back to haunt you. While you may have achieved your short term goal, in the long term, you might very well be sorry you let your emotions get the better of you.