Is there any English "folk wisdom" proverb about how one should not meddle in an ongoing argument between a married couple?

  • Is there one in your native language? – Mitch Sep 15 '18 at 23:10
  • More generally: "Keep your own counsel". – Weather Vane Sep 15 '18 at 23:14
  • @Mitch yes. Now there are campaigns against it because people say it promotes domestic violence, but it's an old saying, something like: "In a husband and wife's fight, nobody steps in" (the original has a rhyme). – user316399 Sep 15 '18 at 23:28

keep one's nose out of something, according to Cambridge Dictionary:

to not become involved in other people's activities or relationships

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    This is in no way specific to relationships. – KRyan Nov 16 '18 at 5:02

none of (one's) beeswax TFD an idiom

Something that is of no concern to another.


mind your own business. Dictionary of American Proverbs

As in:

It's none of your beeswax why I left the party early the other night. Why I left the party early the other night is none of your business!

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    But that's not a proverb. – Kate Bunting Sep 16 '18 at 15:27
  • @KateBunting "Mind your own business" is taken from Dictionary of American Proverbs. I assume your comment is about the beeswax phrase. Would saying "Mind your own beeswax" be a proverb? With beeswax being a metaphor for business? – Zebrafish Oct 17 '18 at 2:47
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    I would never have thought of 'mind your own business' as a proverb, just a commonly used expression, but now you mention it I can see that it could be seen as a proverb. 'Mind your own beeswax' is just a jokey mispronunciation. – Kate Bunting Oct 17 '18 at 7:52
  • This is in no way specific to relationships. – KRyan Nov 16 '18 at 5:02

This isn't applicable specifically to a couple's dispute, but "Why do you look at the mote in your neighbor's eye, and pay no attention to the plank in your own," or some variation on the idiom, has a similar meaning. Generally, don't worry about other's problems, especially when you have problems of your own.

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  • This is in no way specific to relationships. Noting that fact at the outset is appreciated from a sheer honesty perspective, but it’s still not an answer to the question. – KRyan Nov 16 '18 at 5:02
  • There is to my knowledge no common proverb in the English speaking world to mean exactly what you are trying to communicate. This is what I believe to be the closest approximation, and in my personal use I have used it as a way of discouraging others from involving themselves in arguments to which they are not a party. – eenbeetje Nov 16 '18 at 5:07
  • I am not the person who posted the question. The “closest approximation to the answer I can personally think of” is not a valid answer, and not a good reason to post an answer. The goal of Stack Exchange is to provide clear, authoritative answers to questions and direct readers to them by promoting a high signal-to-noise ratio. Currently, this answer is pure noise, as are all the other answers on this question: none of them actually answer the question. If you could actually demonstrate somehow that there is no answer to the question, that would have value. This does not. – KRyan Nov 16 '18 at 5:09
  • It is impossible to prove that something does not exist. We can only say that it is incredibly unlikely that it does exist, and that is the case here. It is not as if I didn't do any research before I answered. I did, and I found nothing that was specific to a couple's disagreement. In light of that, my personal experience with this expression as being a close approximation is the only thing that I, or anyone else, can answer based on. – eenbeetje Nov 16 '18 at 5:24
  • Stack Exchange collects expert correct answers. If in this case you believe the expert correct answer to be "there almost certainly isn't one", then I encourage you to post that answer. – MetaEd Nov 16 '18 at 19:59

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