By Tiya Cunningham-Sumter
Our family and friends love us right? Well, sometimes their quest for wanting what is best for us can be a little clouded and biased by their life’s experiences, which don’t necessarily mirror ours. That’s why it is important for us to distinguish between the good advice and the bad, no matter which loving relative’s mouth it may come.
This, I learned early on, thankfully. Because I love my husband so much, it makes it easier to compromise when I have to and easier to consider his feelings first. I love him as much as he loves me, which is a contradiction to some relationship forewarning I received before I said “I do”. I was told to make sure I marry someone who loves me more than I love him. Although I neglected to ask at the time, I did wonder why and what good that would do. It seemed like I would be getting the short end of that stick. While he’s happy, in love and crazy about me, I would just feel mediocre about him. What type of relationship is that? I knew it wasn’t going to work for me. I can’t recall what woman gave me the advice but I assume it was something that worked for her and more than likely was something she had learned from a previous relationship. I wonder if she loved too hard before and the feelings weren’t reciprocated which resulted in a broken heart. As I was reminiscing on the counsel I received over the years, I did a small poll of a few close friends on the craziest advice they had ever been given and here is a little of what I heard.
“Don’t go to bed angry” is one I have heard personally a thousand times and while it makes sense to me, my close friend says it is the craziest to her. She is finding that this is pretty much impossible to do. I think the assumption with this one is that whatever the issue may be it has to be resolved by bed time, which isn’t very realistic in all instances. We are going to disagree and sometimes we have to just accept that, kiss and move on.
“Men will be men so women should cheat first so that it doesn’t hurt that bad when the time comes and we find out the man cheated” was a little shocking for me. My friend was pretty stunned by this advice as well and thankfully will not be applying this one to her marriage.
“Women must always serve their man and make sure they eat first” wasn’t actually advice, but more so a tradition one friend noticed in her family; A tradition, by the way, that won’t always work in her marriage. She feels that “serving” should be done by both husband and wife.
“Treat a lady like a lady, let a H*e be a H*e and don’t give a B****h an inch” is a quote that a male friend was given about how to treat women when he was a teenager. He didn’t say if he used the advice at the time, but thought it was pretty crazy looking back on it. And this piece of information had come from his relative who had been hurt before.
I have learned that bad advice normally comes from hurt people. Those hurt people don’t mean to hurt us; their thought is to protect us. I get that. But I know I have to be wise about what I listen to. I know me, my husband and our relationship, so I have to do what is best for us.
BMWK, what is the craziest relationship advice you have ever received?