Who To Listen To When Your Marriage Is In Trouble
The moment people hear that your marriage is in trouble, you get deluged with every sort of opinion, recommendation, and idea that people can come up with.
Most of it is bad.
Some of it is motivated by good intentions.
However, if the ones who give the advice love you, they most likely aren’t very happy with your spouse. Therefore, their viewpoint is skewed against him/her and very much toward protecting you (and maybe toward damaging your spouse).
From Who Should You Get Marriage Help?
If things start to go ary in your marriage, it may be difficult discerning who you can talk to and who you should actually listen to for advice.
Friends may give you the advice that they think you want to hear, and your family may tell you the opposite and frustrate you even more.
There are also strangers out there (including random people on the internet) who have very strong opinions and want the world to know.
I’m so sorry. BUT…I could have told you this would happen.
You are so much better than him/her anyway—you should just leave.
Why don’t you guys have a kid? That should make it all better!
Friends and family usually have good intentions when they dole out advice and sometimes that advice is worth taking, especially if that particular person has a good advice-giving track record.
However, there are instances when the advice is unsolicited, negative, or subjective.
There are also times when advice may come from a perfect stranger, whether that be in person or through social media.
These are things to think about if you are actively seeking help in your marriage.
It is best to be aware of the various reactions and types of advice that you may receive if asking around.
Examples of advice you just might not like:
Unsolicited advice is just simply not asked for.
Someone who is going to give you marriage tips when you have not asked for their help is somewhat questionable.
Even though they may be close to you, you will want to ask yourself what their motivation is in giving you advice and take what they say with a grain of salt.
If you do not agree with them, don’t get defensive; merely say thank you and move on with life.
Those who are “negative Nellies,” like someone who would tell a friend to leave their spouse when times are tough, need to go do some yoga and chill out.
There are so many other options, and unless the friend needing advice has initiated that specific idea, it should stay behind closed lips.
Such negative or rash decisions brought forward as advice from a friend or family member should be questioned and graciously put aside and out of your mind.
Subjective, or biased opinions, will result in advice that sways one way—and usually that way is benefiting one party for a particular reason.
The friend (advice-giver), who told her friend (advice-taker) to leave her spouse may only want her to do so because she was recently broken up with and she is jealous of others’ relationships.
She might want her friend to join single hood once more so that she will not be alone.
Always wonder why a person is giving you the advice they are giving; always ask yourself if there is any subjectivity to the topic.
Lastly, there are so many random strangers online all around the world just waiting to give out advice!
On Facebook, for example, there are numerous open and closed groups on almost any topic you can think of.
There are marriage groups and there are divorce groups and there are groups for the in-between.
You want it…you name it…you got it.
The thing people need to be wary of regarding obtaining advice from strangers via social media, is that they do not know you, know your full situation, or understand the life experiences that are in the background of that one simple question you asked the group.
These strangers have no emotional or physical ties to your life, but do have that one question, preconceived notions about the topic, and all the advice in the world to type away at you.
What about advice or council from a licensed counselor, marriage coach, or faith-based professional?
This seems like a better option than gaining advice from those listed above simply because of the experience they have and what they have seen in their experience; however, even professionals can lead you astray.
Nothing is without risk.
Your situation could strike an emotional chord, they could decide to pre-diagnose your spouse even though they may have never met him or her, or they may pressure you into considering divorce, thinking that they are helping you to find happiness.
One would hope that all professionals work with ethics in mind and interact with clients in an objective manner, but it is always wise to use your own judgement in determining whether or not the advice-giver is someone you want to listen to.
Who should you get marriage advice from?
- Someone who will remain objective (not favoring you or your spouse)
- Someone who will actively listen to your situation without judgement
- Someone who will ask many questions in order to better understand the problem going on in the marriage
- Someone who will not get offended if you choose to not take their advice
The next time you stumble upon a situation where you need some good advice, especially when concerning such a significant subject matter as your marriage, think about the who, the what, and the why.
Ask yourself who is giving you the advice, what specific advice they are giving, and why they are giving it (motivation).
Although we would all love to take the advice of our friends and family and even at times those we do not know, we must remember to be smart about receiving it so that the advice we get will benefit us in the long run.
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ALSO SEE: How To Fix A Marriage
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