The Craziest Relationship Advice You’ve Ever Heard

BY: - 29 Sep '10 | Relationships

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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?

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, Founder of Life Editing and creator of The Black Wives’ Club. Tiya resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 630 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit and


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16 WordPress comments on “The Craziest Relationship Advice You’ve Ever Heard

  1. HarrietH

    I’ve received bad advice more by action than words. . .a pastor telling my husband one thing in my presence, but the opposite when they were one on one.

    Either way, this is my take on bad marital advice. MISERY LOVES COMPANY. If it’s not working for them, it’s not going to work for you, so why join the ranks of those with failing marriages that aren’t even attempting to make them work? No thanks!

  2. DCDivaCB

    Funny how most of the people that give such horrible advice aren’t in a well-functioning relationship themselves! The best advice I would ever give anybody (and I’m not married but in a health relationship) is to think about yourself and your mate and decide on what you want to happen before talking to outsiders. They cloud your judgement and make it harder for you to hear your inner voice.

  3. Spenseravery

    “Look at her shoes”. From 3/4 of my uncles on my Mothers side. Then My Grandfather on my Fathers side.

    -if there run-over, worn down or jack-up. Run Fast!
    -she constantly wears VERY expensive footwear, YOU will soon B footing the bill.
    -never let’s you see her feet? She’s hiding more than just corns & bunions.

    I do have to say. I have followed this advice AFTER 1st ignoring it.

  4. Anonymous

    Unless you are dating the SAME person who is giving you the advice is dating, I would advise taking it with caution. I will offer this advice to everyone, WHAT WORKS FOR PETER MAY NOT WORK FOR PAUL. The only third party you need in your relationship is Jesus, so keep Pookie and Mama dem at bay. Just saying.

  5. Christina

    One of my fellow church members told me “Always make sure your husband loves you more than you love him. That what you know he’ll stay and do anything for you.” I just gave her a blank stare….

  6. Babington

    I’m not sure if this was advice but more a warning:

    “It’s not IF he will cheat, but WHEN”

    I was like “WHAT??” This was from a group of women where everyone was cheated on…. What a downer!!

  7. mochazina

    This one may be a lil touchy for a lot of women, but the worst advice I ever got was to keep a separate bank account that he knows nothing about. To me it just screamed I DON’T TRUST HIM!! But only recently did I find out that the person who told me this years ago was once in a marriage where the man had a bad habit of clearing out the bank account without warning for personal funtime, leaving her in a bind when it came to necessities.
    Totally agree that bad advice comes from those who have been hurt.

  8. Pingback: Relationship advise – YouTube – Gay Relationship Advice

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The Four Seasons of Marriage

BY: - 1 Oct '10 | Relationships

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by Harriet Hairston

Anybody with just one of their five senses can tell that change is in the air, some  for better, some for  worse.   We are embarking upon Autumn.   No matter how hot it is outside, the leaves on the trees tell of a different story.   As they transform from green to auburn and burnt orange,  I enjoy hearing the crunch of them under my feet as I walk.   The air smells different, and the stifling heat subsides earlier than normal.

Just  as nature has its signs to outline the changing of seasons, so do marriages.   Gary Chapman, in his book, “The Four Seasons of Marriage,” outlines the seasons a marriage tends to go through, and how to gracefully remain positive in transition.   Here is his description:


“Winter marriages are characterized by coldness, harshness and bitterness.   The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice.”

Conversations are only about logistics–who will do what and when they will do it.   Communication is relegated to silence, arguments, criticism and at times verbal abuse.   Lives are lived independently, although under the same roof.   This is caused by rigidity:   an unwillingness to consider the other person’s perspective and work towards compromise.

The emotions ever present in a winter season of marriage are hurt, anger, disappointment, loneliness and a sense of rejection.   The attitudes of spouses in the winter season are a pervasive pessimism, seeing the worst, thinking problems are too big, discouragement, hopelessness and the nasty habit of blaming the other person.

The natural inclination of individuals within a winter season of marriage is to avoid the elements and withdraw.   There is either a conscious or subconscious desire to hurt the other spouse with harsh words or even violent acts.   Spouses tend to feel detached and desperate for change.

There is, however, a positive side to the winter season.   According to Chapman, couples tend to “maintain hope.   People don’t lay down in snow and wait to die…they seek help.   Trials produce patience and perseverance, and forgiveness makes room for love.”


“Spring is where most marriages begin,” says Chapman.   “The excitement of creating a new life together is not exclusively for newlyweds.”

The emotions in a spring marraige are characterized by excitement, joy, hope and happiness.   Couples feel animated and buoyant, and their attitudes towards one another are positive.   There is both gratitude and anticipation of the future, and an overall feeling of optimism and trust.

Just like newlyweds or second/third/fourth honeymoon couples tend to do, the actions of a spring marriage are the constant thinking of how to express love in both word and deed.   Couples want to do things to deepen the relationship and benefit the other person.

But just as the harshness of winter marriages has a positive side, the excitement of spring marriages contains negativity.   In natural terms, many people suffer with allergies and hay fever during the spring, and a spring marriage can contain the same kind of unexpected irritations as well.


“Fun is the theme of a summer marriage,” says Chapman.   “Life is beautiful and reaping benefits of efforts to understand each other.   Spouses share a deep sense of commitment, satisfaction and security in each other’s love.”

Emotions include happiness, satisfaction, accomplishment, connection, peace and FUN!   Attitudes are beautiful, but they must be watered, or else they will wither in the heat of the sun.   There is usually a desire to keep growing together.   The communication is constructive, and couples have learned to accept each others’ differences.

A couple in the summer season of marriage needs to be forewarned, though.   There are unresolved conflicts under the surface that must be brought out if  a marriage is to remain in the  ebullience of summertime.


“These marriages look find externally; outsiders may  even comment on how happy the couple seems to be.   Yet inside the marriage, things are changing.”

Fall marriages can either be a prelude to winter, or a couple can dig deep and make time reverse itself so they can go back to spring again.   Emotions in this season include sadness, apprehension, rejection, resentment, loneliness and emotional depletion.   Couples in the fall season of their marriage have attitudes of great concern over their marriages; there is an uncertainty about where things are going.

The beauty  about the fall is the fork in the road that makes itself available to couples.   Either they can lead into winter with attitudes of neglect and allowing the marriage to drift in a negative direction, or they can go back to the spring season with actions that foster a positive relationship.   A couple can either grow closer together or drift further apart in this season.

There are six strategies a couple can employ to ensure a marriage remains either in spring or summer:

  1. Deal with past failures so you can put them behind you.
  2. Choose a winning attitude and break the cycle of negativity.
  3. Learn to speak your spouse’s love language.
  4. Develop the awesome power of empathetic listening–put yourself in your spouse’s shoes!
  5. Discover the joy of helping your spouse succeed.
  6. Maximize your differences instead of focusing on them.   There is a balance that all married couples can attain.

BMWK, you can find out which season you’re in by taking the assessment quiz at this link.   What season of marriage are YOU in?   How can you employ the six strategies to either remain within spring and summer seasons or push yourself out of winter and fall seasons?

God bless!

~ Harriet

Harriet Hairston  is a woman who slips and slides in and out of labels (military officer, human resource manager, minister, mentor, spoken word artist and  teacher).   The only ones that have stuck so far are “wife” and “mother”  (the most important  in her estimation).  The rest have taught her well that only what she does for Christ will last. There is one more permanent label she holds:    “author.”   You can purchase her first book,  “Who Are You?”   simply by clicking on the link.   You can also contact her at

About the author

Harriet Hairston wrote 27 articles on this blog.


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