It is forbidden for me to speak lashon hara to any person, including someone who’s a distant person to me or a person who is a close relative. And explains the Chafetz Chaim, this is one of the big mistakes that people make. They assume that to my spouse I’m allowed to speak. And oftentimes, explains the Chafetz Chaim, a husband will come home and tell his wife about what happened during the day; this one said that, this one did this, and that is absolutely within the parameters of lashon hara. Meaning to say, if it’s a negative story, if it’s something that degrades a person, speaks badly about a person, that’s fully in the issur, fully in the prohibition of lashon hara even though I’m telling it to my spouse.
In fact, explains the Chafetz Chaim, oftentimes it’s even worse. Because assuming that my spouse will hear what I’m saying, not only will she hear it and accept it, she’ll probably be angry at the person for doing this, and it leads to strife, machlokes, et cetera. And therefore it’s important to understand that even if I’m telling something to my wife, or a wife is telling to her husband, all of the parameters of lashon hara apply, even though the person I’m telling it to is very close to me. It’s still within the category of lashon hara.
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