Marriage advice: the good, the bad, and the downright rude

January 6, 2010 – It is an interesting phenomenon that when people learn of you becoming engaged, they instantaneously become compelled to give you a string of marriage advice, most of which is usually irrelevant if not downright rude. Strangers see your engagement ring and just cannot resist the urge to tell you all about their own love story–successful or not! My favorite type of marriage advice though, comes from distant relatives. There’s always one wacky aunt who’ll keep you on the phone for 4 hours telling you all about the keys to a successful marriage.

Most brides maintain composure, smile, and graciously offer thanks in these situations. But maybe they shouldn’t! I get so tired of hearing the bitterly divorced rain all over newly engaged couples’ parades. If you have managed to ruin your own marriage, what could possibly possess you to think that you should be giving marriage advice?

Brides don’t be afraid to take a stand against these self-appointed event help counselors. You wouldn’t let them run down your wedding day, so why let them run down your marriage? You don’t have to be rude, but there is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself either. A snide remark will not help; it’s always better to take the high road. Come back with something simple and true like, “thank you for your concern, but I am confident that my husband and I will effectively overcome any challenges we may face in our marriage together. That’s why I’m marrying him!”

Let’s face it. Some people are just not tactful about some things. Either their marriage didn’t work, and they’re bitter, or they’re jealous of your happiness. Whatever the reason there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. So, if someone offends you, defend yourself and your marriage. This won’t be the first time you’ll have to stick up for your relationship, and it will be a positive example for you to look back on when you have to shield your marriage from negativity in the future.

Granted, there is a lot of good marriage advice out there, and most people offer it with your best interest at heart. People will advise you on everything from event budgets to buying a house if you let them. Unfortunately, the burden of deciphering what’s good advice from what’s bad lies on you. My word of advice? Be very discerning about whom you take advice from.