We have already seen that there are no grounds for sharing gossip with one’s spouse (Day 16). To view withholding loshon hora from one’s spouse as a breach of harmony and trust is mistaken. (A husband and wife who seek to have the Divine Presence dwell in their midst should build their home on the foundations of halacha and avoid conversations which promote strife and dissension among Jews.) Moreover, sharing negativity (e.g. information, feelings, etc.) does not help create a healthy, positive relationship.
Nevertheless, when a husband or wife is in need of emotional support in dealing with difficulty, it is only natural to look to one’s spouse for assistance. Speaking or listening under such circumstances is constructive and is clearly permissible.
When possible, one should attempt to help one’s spouse understand the situation in a way that would relieve his or her anger or frustration.
If one finds that his or her spouse is forever in need of “letting off steam,” it is important to try to bring about a general change of attitude through discussion, reading or audio material, or suggesting a meeting with a rabbi or other qualified individual.
A word of caution: While one must be prepared to hear out a spouse and offer emotional support when necessary, one must be ever vigilant not to be drawn into a conversation of loshon hora for no constructive purpose. It is often the case that couples fail to draw this distinction, and consequently totally ignore the laws of shmiras halashon when conversing.