Is it just me, or does it feel like the moment that, that shinny ring you have been secretly (or not so secretly) pining for slips on your finger, everyone begins to bombard you with their two cents? From wedding advice to marriage advice you will hear it all as you prepare to walk down the aisle. Anyone who has ever been married (and even those who haven’t) will dish out advice like it’s a Bennie Baby from 1997. Some of the advice will be great, but other gems of wisdom will leave you rolling your eyes and practicing you best fake smile. With that in mind, we wanted to breakdown the top four worse pieces of advice we received about marriage.
Never go to bed angry
Okay… Seriously who came up with this one? Never go to bed angry is age-old advice that I’m sure you and everyone else has heard multiple times. I don’t know about you, but when I am tired, my filter is a lot more likely to go out the window and my words do not resemble those that should be spoke on a Sunday- if you catch my drift. ;). When having a heated argument that is going around in circles, staying up until 3am to keep rehashing out the same insults isn’t helping anyone. Personally, as those late night hours become early mornings, I know I become more frustrated, stubborn and a lot less likely to bend. In our 11 years as a couple (3 married) Greg and I have yet to resolve an issue at 3am. We go to bed angry, sometime furious and frustrated, but we bite our tongues and turn the other way. We sleep on the fight and typically by morning we are both ready to be a lot more receptive to the other persons opinion. So if that late night fight is going nowhere and you are exhausted, hit pause and get some sleep.
It is better to keep your mouth shut than fight
Personally, I don’t think fighting is bad for a relationship—when it is done correctly. When you show respect during a fight and have the goal of resolving the issue in order to grow closer then fighting is good! However fights where you are belittling, blaming and just looking to win can be destructive to a relationship. Proper fighting shows that there is still passion left and that you still care enough to want to resolve the issues. I would much rather fight than live with contempt and resentment growing for my partner. So, if something is bothering you, bring it up to your partner in a healthy way. Your partner is not a mind reader; by keeping your mouth shut you are not helping anyone. So go ahead, fight, makeup and then move on.
If you don’t agree, then your husband gets to make the final
I remember after we received this piece of advice, the first thing Greg said after we were clear of the person was, “that may be true for them, but that is not how our marriage will be.” And to this day it has not been that way. There are times when we disagree and when this happens, we table the issue until we can revisit it or come up with an agreeable alternative. In a marriage no one person should have all of the control. Marriage takes bending of the will from both people. It is a commitment and giving one-person veto power belittles the joint union of a marriage.
“Run”, “Are you sure you want to do this”
Okay, while these two are technically not pieces of advice, Greg and I heard them quite often (once even by a wedding vendor we were interviewing). With marriage being something I am so passionate about, I cringe every time I hear this. And then I feel pity of the person saying it, because their marriage must not be what they expected or wanted. Then I pray for them and their relationship, and that they can see the glory of marriage. Yes, marriage is tough, no one said it would be a walk in the park. However, marriage is not a trap, it is an adventure in patience and love. Marriage will not always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
Ultimately, what we found is that advice should be taken with a grain of salt. What may work for one marriage may not work for another. Our best piece of advice is to work hard at your marriage and love your partner fiercely, even when you are mad at them. Work hard to figure out what works for your marriage and what doesn’t. Attune yourself to your partner so that you can grow together and can someday be that happily married old couple dolling out advice that the next generation will likely ignore and write about in a blog post. J