Horrible Marriage Advice
I was reading an opinion piece on some horrible marriage advice, here
- “Never go to bed angry.”
- “The first year is the hardest.”
- “Never keep anything from your partner.”
- “Marriage is 50/50.”
- “Happy wife, happy life.”
In the piece, he explains why he feels each is horrible advice.
What is some “horrible marriage advice” you have heard, received, or even given (hopefully in ignorance 😉 )? Why, in your opinion, is it horrible?
What’s been your experience with some of the advice shared above?
I heard the never go to bed angry thing. My dad quoted the Bible not to let the sun go down on your wrath. I’d heard that verse quoted in sermons before, followed by advice not to go to bed angry.
Here’s the problem. A lot of arguments happen after 10 PM, when husband and/or wife are cranky. I used to try to talk it out with my wife late at night so we wouldn’t go to bed angry.
Then I realized that the Bible says don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. Sundown is the start of a Biblical day. I get over stuff fairly quickly, but my wife needs time to cool down from an argument. It wasn’t wise to keep her up talking. If she was getting angry over nothing, it was her mood, which sleep would help.
So I changed it. If she’s upset at night, I let her sleep it off, and then we cane make up in the morning. It’s not good to go to bed angry, but if my wife can’t calm down, why torture her by keeping her away and talking it out when talking turns into arguing.
My wife has mellowed with age for the most part as far as grumpiness/temper goes, and it was occasional early on.
The first year was the easiest for us. The first and second year before the first pregnancy. Almost no arguing, lots of sex, and a pretty easy time over all other than a few illnesses.
Never keep anything from your partner? Nah, not good. I don’t burdern my wife by telling her every concern I have. I try to consider what would be good for her to hear. If I have problems at work, she is not going to come help fix it. I let her vent. I don’t get much out of venting.
Marriage is 50-50? What if circumstances require that you give 51% of your effort on a given day.
Happy wife, happy life? Sometimes, but if a husband is too nice and always trying to satisfy his wife’s whim, she might lose respect for him. He might come off as a boring wimp with no personality. Also, if a wife is being unreasonable, doing what she wants might lead to unhappiness in the long term. What if she wants to invest all your savings in highly leveraged options? It might make her happy for a few days until it goes underwater.
Well one of the first terrible pieces of advice we received was on the wedding night. We had a night wedding. Someone told me, “keep it slippery.” We used so much KY that it was, well not so good.
“Never go to bed angry,” is not always an attainable situation. I am not referring to the sinful anger of shoving, yelling, demeaning attitudes, words or actions, the lack of forgiveness, etc. Anger that works to break bond and commitment has no place. I agree with the objective that we should aim to not disc one another, that would be foolish. Marriage is not a crop land. However, deep issues and problems require that we sometimes process the unpleasant, habitual, reoccurring items as they exist over time. Anger correctly expressed is rare and not the loss of focus or resolve of commitment to one another when addressing an issue in marriage. For example, tough love rightly processed can be an expression of healthy anger towards a spouse that must change their attitude and/or behavior.
I was not able to open the link, but I do think a lot of advice is worthless because everyone’s situation is unique. The worst advice I’ve heard came from a mother who told her engaged daughter that her new husband will want to have sex all day long on the honeymoon. I think that sets up a bride for disappointment and shame if her husband is not like that. I piped in that not every guy is like that, etc., etc.
I didn’t think marriage was hard until babies were in the picture. No one (in my experience) talks about how hard it is to parent together, when you’ve come from different family backgrounds. I think we both carry a tiny bit of hurt feelings over major disagreements we had on raising our children. They are adults now, but I often wish we had done some things differently. Water under the bridge now.
From experience, some things are best left unsaid (kept from spouse).
Not necessarily bad advice, but our premarital counseling was awful. We went through the book Before You Say I Do, by H. Norman Wright. It was filled with things that were sort of unnecessary, like, “How would you express to your wife that you don’t like the way she cooked the bacon?”
I really wish that it had been more specific on good communication and how to do it. Open ended questions weren’t helpful. I also wish it had more relevant activities such as planning where we would spend holidays. Because we didn’t even think about that. And we were so unprepared for my passive aggressively manipulative mother-in-law who then controlled our holidays for the next 15 years at the expense of my family and our own wishes.
It wasn’t so much advice as it was an excuse, taken too far, that was offered for a bad example. I was told of a couple that fought often and…enthusiastically…that any couple who never fought never communicated (which is debatable) and also that the more passionate the fight, the more passionate the love.
Better advice is to learn to fight fair, disagree respectfully, however you want to describe the notion that when disagreements arise, since they will, learn to communicate about it without tearing each other down.