You can’t take relationship advice from just anyone. Bad marriage advice can come from anywhere. For the good of your marriage, be selective by only taking advice from those you trust, who love you, and who’ve demonstrated the key behaviors for their own relationship success. People can unintentionally steer you wrong with their thinking of what a good marriage looks like. And some advice, though it may have been passed down through the generations, does not work for every relationship. You and your spouse have to determine what’s best for you. In this article, we will explore bad marriage advice and why some of the most popular advice can hurt your relationship.
Bad Relationship Advice: Why These 5 Phrases Hurt Our Marriages
In This Article:
- Advice on Keeping Secrets
- Advice on Accepting Poor Behavior
- Advice on One Spouse’s Happiness
- Advice on the Perfect Union
- Advice on Changing Your Spouse
Though Big Momma may have always told you to pick a mate who loves you more than you love them or to never go to bed angry, it still might not make the most sense for your marriage at this time. There are certain thoughts that will keep you from fully investing in your marriage, and that’s no good for either you or your spouse. Below are 5 pieces of advice to avoid.
Advice on Keeping Secrets
Any advice encouraging you to keep secrets from your spouse can cause confusion, deception, and unhappiness in your marriage. The phrase “You shouldn’t tell your spouse everything” is very harmful. The truth is that you don’t have to reveal everything on the first date, of course. But as you begin to spend a life together with your spouse, you both should be on a constant mission to learn something new about one another. You should be able to trust your spouse with everything that matters to you; that includes your thoughts, feelings, fears, and yes, your past. When you marry someone you trust, you can confide in that person and they in you, which is exactly how a marriage should be built.
Advice on Accepting Poor Behavior
Any advice that suggests you should accept your spouse’s poor behavior is setting your marriage up to fail. Phrases like “All men cheat, he’s just doing what men do” Or “You have to let a man be a man” are false. In fact, this is the epitome of bad marriage advice. They encourage you to accept your spouse’s bad behavior and live in an unfaithful marriage. Why should either spouse be unhappy and give the other permission to be hurtful and harmful to the marriage? You are not wrong to have an expectation of a faithful marriage. It is false to believe that all men cheat. Expectations in the marriage should be established early on and there should be an understanding of what each partner wants. There are also consequences to every bad behavior, and a cheating spouse will have to accept that.
Advice on One Spouse’s Happiness
Any advice that highlights one spouse’s happiness over the other is misguiding. The phrase “Happy wife, happy life” is choosing one spouse over the other and ignoring the needs of the other partner; which isn’t fair. There are two thoughts in this statement that can hurt your marriage. First, the wife isn’t the only one who should be happy. She isn’t the only one that exists in the relationship and her needs aren’t any more important than her husband’s. The other thought in this statement that is bad marriage advice is that husbands shouldn’t get in the habit of just appeasing the wife to keep her quiet and not necessarily addressing any concerns that exist. “Happy spouse, happy house” is the better piece of advice that couples should be striving to achieve. It indicates that when both partners are fulfilled, the happier the home will be.
Advice on The Perfect Union
Any advice that suggests your marriage will be perfect is a misrepresentation of what marriage is. Phrases like “Marriage is the perfect union” have couples striving for perfection in their marriage. This is a target that is often missed in most relationships, which leads couples to feel like failures, and that just simply isn’t the case. Your marriage won’t be perfect, because individuals aren’t perfect. We bring our flawed selves into the union and sometimes have unrealistic expectations. You and your spouse will disagree. You will have days where your marriage feels more meh than happy, and guess what, that is okay. Imperfection is what makes your marriage work, believe it or not. Love your marriage for the unique partnership that it is. Embrace your flaws. Know what you don’t like and work on changing of course, together. But continue to love your marriage through its journey of growth and discovery.
Advice on Changing Your Spouse
Any advice that recommends you try to change your spouse is misleading because you can’t. Phrases like “He/she will change once you get married” aren’t necessarily true. A person has to make a conscious decision to change. So thinking that those bad habits you experienced before the marriage will simply disappear after the wedding isn’t always true. It’s so important for couples to understand what they are actually saying “I do” to. Also, the other important thing to remember is that change isn’t always easy. It doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger. It takes time, work and a genuine want to. Which again, is up to the individual. Couples must ask themselves tough questions in the beginning, like if your spouse never changes would you be okay in this marriage? The answer to that question should guide the choice you make before you walk down the aisle.
Receiving unsolicited advice on your marriage may not ever stop. People are invested in the lives of others and some are genuinely concerned about your happily ever after. But as a couple, you and your spouse have to discern the good from the bad and understand what your marriage needs. So beware of bad marriage advice that may be disguised as helpful. Together, you will learn what’s best, what works, and what doesn’t work, and it won’t matter what anyone else has to say about it.
BMWK, what is some advice you have received for your marriage?