Don’t Follow This Bad Marriage Advice

Don’t Follow This Bad Marriage Advice

When you first got married, you were given all sorts of marriage advice. Some of it came on cards with your wedding presents. Some of it came from friends at your wedding party. And a lot of it came from your parents or other friends who are married.

Regardless of where the advice came from, you were willing to accept whatever advice you could get. After all, if anything could keep you and your fiance’ from becoming just another divorce statistic, you were willing to give it a try.

Unfortunately, not all the marriage advice you got was good. There are a lot of marriage tips floating around that have no basis whatsoever. In fact, some of the advice you got might have even been harmful. So to help you sort out which ones are no good, here is some of the most common marriage tips that you shouldn’t follow.

Bad Marriage Advice You Shouldn’t Follow

1) Never go to bed angry. This one is just silly. This one seems to expect you to get over problems within a day – just like you see on TV. The truth is, couples have problems – real problems. And not all of them get solved in 24 hours. Sometimes it takes weeks, months or even years to solve the problem. And every time the problem comes up you can’t expect each other to be happy.

Solution: Repair quickly. Instead of never going to bed angry, the better advice is to repair problems quickly. You can’t solve the problems (that might take years) but you can make amends in the relationship so there aren’t any bitter feelings while you’re trying to work the problem out.

2) Love is all you need. Umm, not quite. Sure, you might love each other but if your spouse is unwilling/unable to hold a steady job or can’t quite kick that alcohol addiction, you may be better off single. Even if you love each other, one partner really can drag the other one down. And that doesn’t do either of you any good.

Solution: Love each other but still be practical. Love is necessary in a relationship but real love comes when both partners are whole and capable of loving back. You might love your spouse to death but if your spouse isn’t whole enough to show love back then you have some decisions to make.

3) Expect your sex life to drop off a cliff. Why? You love each other so why not have sex as often as you can? Plus, sex is the only thing that you share with your spouse that you can’t share with anyone else. It’s what sets you apart as a couple. If you’re not having sex you may as well be roommates.

Solution: Yes, sex has its ups and downs when you’re married but you should always expect to be having sex. And it should always be really good (at least as often as possible). If you’re not having good sex read some books, see a counselor or whatever it takes to get your sex life back on track.

4) Focus on making your spouse happy and you’ll be happy, too. Don’t think so. There’s no magic button that makes you happy just because your spouse is. And if your spouse isn’t happy that doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to fix it. Sometimes they have a good reason not to be happy (like if their friend just died).

Solution: Yes, a marriage is a partnership so you can’t just focus on yourself. But you can’t just focus on your partner, either. Being a self-sacrificer for the sake of the marriage usually means you’re being a doormat. A happy marriage happens when BOTH partners are getting their needs met. There’s a little give and take in every relationship but don’t give up too much or you’ll lose yourself in the marriage.

You got lots of marriage advice when you got married. You probably still do. And it’s probably all well-intended. But just because it’s intended well doesn’t mean it’s good advice. As a general rule, if any marriage advice doesn’t feel good to you there’s no reason to follow it. There’s plenty of other advice out there that might work for you.

About the Author
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. He specializes in helping couples overcome stale relationships and recover from infidelity. In his spare time (whatever that is) you’ll catch him restoring his hot rod or coaching his children’s soccer games.

5 Responses to Don’t Follow This Bad Marriage Advice

  1. I LOVED this. The big one for my wife and me was the “don’t go to bed angry.” I think that one did some real harm to my marriage, right off the bat. But fortunately we’ve been able to work together to come up with our own DOs and DON’Ts. We’ve learned that marriage simply takes patience, forgiveness, and determination. Thanks for this awesome post.

    • Yeah, it’s most important for couples to find their own rules for their relationship that work for them. There are a lot of rules that are floating around that work for a lot of couples, but they can’t work for everybody. Couple who make their own paths in life are usually the strongest and happiest.

  2. I find that the goal of not going to bed angry is very good, though the problem can take much longer to solve. I’ve worked with my husband to go to bed at peace with each other, with the knowledge that the problem still needs honoring. I have to put on my big girl pants to not get all the emotional satisfaction I want, but the end result is much less combustible. I’ve had to settle for the silver, and leave the gold on the table in the moment.

    • “Settle for the silver and leave the gold on the table”. I like it. I’m going to use this with couples I see. And you’re right, it’s a good goals but often times it’s just unrealistic. People need time to cool off and sometimes resolutions don’t always come so quickly. IF you can do it, great! But don’t push yourself.

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