Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Talk to Your Single or Divorced Friends for Marriage Advice

Don't talk to single or divorced friends for marriage advice

Preach time.

People can lead you wrong when it comes to your marital problems. Yes, we all know we really shouldn't be talking about the negative side of our spouses with our friends, but human nature dictates that we sometimes vent out of hurt feelings, anger, or frustration.

Plus, let's get down to it -- women just like to talk -- period. So if you absolutely must vent, talk to other married women about your problems.

The reason you shouldn't listen to single friends for advice is that their status is in a different place than yours. And by that I mean that in singlehood a person only has to look out for themselves. But in marriage you have to look out for both of you -- legally. And since marriage is an eternal contract, you have to remember that everything you say, every action you take will be remembered and become part of the fabric of your marriage that you weave over time.

But most importantly, you want to stay married, not go marching towards divorce. Their heart is in the right place, but singles most often will give you advice that works for you if you were on a solo level. Singles usually do not have the mortgage together, the joint finances, and don't have to face a spouse every morning and night for the rest of their lives -- so however you handle a marital problem must always consider the importance of your spouse in a resolution.

To illustrate my point, I will use a housewife term here -- baking.

Problem: "My husband came home from work and yelled at me over some trivial thing."

  • Half-baked advice: "Yell back. Don't take that from him."(You can just visually see how this can escalate into a full-blown fight.)
  • Fully-baked advice: As much as we would like our husbands to be in a good mood all the time, it just isn't going to happen. People have daily frustrations that mount up and occasionally they take it out on their spouses by yelling at them, making a big deal out of small things, or getting snippy with them. The worst thing you can do is yell back. You have the power in your hands to dissipate the anger or let it become a bigger part of your home life that day. You can say, "Okay I can see your upset. I will take care of x and y." or say calmly, "Honey, you don't have to yell at me. I'll fix it." and if you need to, just leave the room for a while. Men will often retreat to a private space when they are frustrated, and so should you. It stops you from doing and saying things out of anger that you will regret later. If your husband walks away from you when your having an argument, this should make you happy. If he wasn't the type to walk away he'd probably start screaming or hitting. 

Problem: "I hate my husband's habit. He leaves his clothes all over the bedroom floor."

  • Half-baked advice: "Tell him to start moving his clothes to the hamper or you'll starting throwing that stuff out." (I can hear the sounds of the cannons of war firing up.)
  • Fully-baked advice: It's his house too, and unless these clothes are creating a tripping hazard, then don't make a big deal out of it. While you can repeatedly ask him to put his clothes in a corner of the room or the hamper, don't always expect a miracle. People have life-long habits that often do not change, especially not overnight. If you are a housewife, part of your job will be picking up after your husband anyway. Picking up clothes is not a miserable chore.

My point is that you will always have to think of your husband's feelings even when he is doing something you don't like. When you do this, you will find that your husband the majority of the time will bounce back to normalcy and a pleasant demeanor without you having to go through a big fight together first. Thinking of your husband first will actually solidify your marriage more. When he sees you as a low-stress wife, you will get more affection, attention, peace, and even gifts from your husband.

It is okay to think of yourself only when you are single and ending a relationship comes with few strings. But when times get tough as a married couple, you really have to think about that legally-binding contract before you act. You can make or break the mood of your marriage with each interaction. Talk to long-married couples for advice and you will see that there is more give than take when it comes to resolving problems.

No comments: