Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The worst marriage advice I received

Shortly after our marriage ceremony, a relative that shall not be named pulled me aside for some good old fashion unsolicited advice giving. Want to know what they said?

Always have an ear ready to listen, a smile on your face, your arms wide open (with a knowing wink), your mouth shut and a drink in your hand.


Now, I've only been married for 2-ish years, but I credit our happiness to that advice up there.

Just kidding.

Basically, this person was trying to tell me that my marriage would last if I was always available to my husband, in every sense of the word. My feelings, opinions, thoughts - apparently they didn't matter. I hope that drink in my hand was for me, because I'd need it if I tried to live like that.

Like I said, we've only been married a short time, so I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about marriage. I am sure it will get harder as we get older and go through different life stages, like kids and whatnot. I didn't go into this thinking 'you can always get divorced if it doesn't work out!' (yes, another gem) but I also wasn't delusional and thinking that it would require no work, and just because we love each other we could just coast along and be fine and dandy.

In every relationship, there are issues. Big or small, we all have them. If you try and tell me your marriage is perfect, well, I won't believe you. KC doesn't put the damn towels away properly. I leave lights on. I leave tissues and glasses half full of water everywhere. I monopolise the couch, the TV, the hot water, the food, KC's time and the phone upgrades. I am selfish, and I know it.

Pretending that we don't have issues, or pretending like he is king and my life is all about him and making him happy- well that's just ridiculous. We're in this together, and marriage, like everything good and important, isn't easy. It takes work and it takes two people to make it work. 

So I try and pick up my tissues, and KC collects the glasses of water from around the house without a word, and I put away the towels instead of nagging him to put them away properly. I am always ready with an ear to listen, unless I've had a bad day and need to talk first. My arms are always available for a hug. Sometimes we go to bed angry, but more often than not we come to our senses and make up. I voice my feelings, thoughts and opinions, sometimes a little too much. I have learned which battles to pick, which things to ignore. I don't quite call it compromise because I don't feel like I've lost anything - if the towels really mattered to me, I would tell KC and he would do it properly. But it's not a big deal, it's not worth arguing and who cares where the damn towels are.

We have both changed since getting married, as people tend to do, and I think we have meshed together pretty well. So maybe I did follow that advice a little, in my own way. I try and make KC happy and he makes me happy. Being married to him is not a chore, and I hope it never is. We both want the same things, the same life and we enjoy each others company. What more could you want?

Look, I even made a vomit inducing adorable picture of us to show you just how happy we are (this was taken shortly after the advice giving).

In case you were wondering, the best advice I ever received was: Communicate and have sex. Don't try and communicate after sex though. 

Oh, and both advice givers were divorced, so perhaps I shouldn't listen to either of them.

Did you ever receive amazing or horrible relationship advice?

62 comments:

  1. Oh jeez. That really was the worst advice ever. And I agree, that drink had better be for you if you're supposed to be doing all of those things! Honestly, I think that every marriage is different and the only thing that can keep a marriage going is communication and the desire to want to make it work from both sides.

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. My parents always remind me to make sure to communicate all the time in my relationship. Even when I am mad and don't want to talk, I need to share that.I think this is probably the best advice I have been given. Oh and my grandparents always like to remind me to never stop holding hands, which they still do and it is adorable!

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  3. Bahaha! I love this post! Especially, the positive marriage advice ;)

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  4. Bahaha! I love this post! Especially, the positive marriage advice ;)

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  5. Lol! I guess you could look at it 2 ways. They're divorced, so they don't know how to do it right, or they're divorced so they know what mistakes to avoid. I'm currently working on a project for my sister, a "marriage advice" book. So I collected advice from our family and her fiancee's family and there was a lot of interesting stuff, but I think the most on-point advice was the communication stuff. That's been me and Ryan's biggest challenge - learning to communicate what we want, and also to communicate problems without being antagonistic.

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  6. I have a lot of friends who comply and submit on all decisions because that'swhattheBiblesaystodo. Then, we have friends who try to do their own thing all the time, despite what their partner believes. We, obviously, fall somewhere in the middle but it came down to me deciding that I wouldn't have married him if I didn't trust him. I WANT him to make decisions because I think he knows what he's talking about most of the time, you know? However, I don't think deferring to one spouse in all cases is the way to go.

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  7. love this!! everyone (minus me) in my family has been married at least 3 times (my grandfather was married 8xs) so i listen to zero advice they give me. so far, so good! ;) y'all look adorable in that pic. i'm a tissue-leaver as well!

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  8. Ha that is terrible advice! It sounds very old fashioned, and how women were expected to be in the 1950's. I've always been taught and believe that a marriage is an equal partnership built on love, trust, and communication. Love how happy you guys are despite the not-so-good advice :)

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  9. WOW! The advice people give to married people is crazy. I hear multiple times when I was engaged "are you sure you want to do this? Your life ends after marriage" and that made me so angry and sad. Mostly, sad for them.

    I agree that marriage is an equal partnership but sometimes it isn't equal due to life. Sometimes I'm the one going 70-30 because my husband is stressed or has a bad day and it often switches. I like to hear his opinion on my opinion but don't ONLY look to him for decisions. I will say though, that when I treat him well and hold my tongue about stupid stuff I'm happier than when I point out his faults. Treating him as a king only works if he treats you like a queen, too many people forget the last part of that advice.

    I like the last piece of advice, so true ;)!

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  10. the best advice i was given was by my cousin: she told me "marriage is work. after the honeymoon phase, you'll find out that you will have to work at keeping things alive and spontaneous. never put your marriage last. when you have children, always put your husband at the same priority level as your kids. it's too often that parents will put their marriage last and in the end, you will wind up with just a roommate instead of a husband/wife. that's when your marriage falls apart".

    i have taken this to heart and my husband and i work to not let our marriage fall to the backburner....kids are demanding and draining and it's true - it's way too easy to put things off when it comes to your marriage. we did that when kalya was first born and it nearly destroyed our marriage! luckily we recognized this and fixed it and now things are awesome.

    worst advice: never go to bed angry; talk shit out until you resolve. <-- no way. when you're angry and tired, you say things you dont mean out of anger and exhaustion.

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  11. Communicate and have sex. Haha sounds like good advice to me. Everyone always has an opinion, my issue is when to listen to them and when to not! I'm not married yet but have a decently serious relationship and I get conflicting advice ALL the time (most of it unsolicited).

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  12. as a bride to be, it was really nice reading this. communicate and have sex haha ain't that the truth!!

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  13. WOW hahaha the first advice, that's...special. It sounds like someone who has a very simplistic view of marriage and relationships. So basically you're supposed to just act perfectly happy all the time and if anything bothers you just stuff it, right? ;) I totally agree with your approach, to me marriage is about each one giving to the other and not letting little things (like towels!) be a big deal but also knowing how important it is to communicate with each other! And love the best advice, communication and sex are pretty much necessary, haha!

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  14. I thought the first advice was off to a good start with the "always have an ear ready to listen" and then it just went downhill after that!!! I love how you said you've meshed your lives together, because that's really what marriage is...meshing until you sort of become one but still have your own personalities - that doesn't make any sense lol! The best advice I ever got...wasn't actually spoken but I watched it growing up with my parents who will be celebrating 41 years of marriage together this year! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  15. Haha OMG just smile and keep your mouth shut..puke! That first bit of advice makes me cringe and is so old fashioned. People love giving unsolicited advice. I was once told that I should put my goals on the backburner like a good little woman. I had A LOT to say about that! That last set of advice seems pretty solid though! At the end of the day, I think we're the experts on our own relationships.

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  16. OMG, I leave water glasses everywhere (half full, and then when Kirk drinks it I get mad) and monopolize the couch and big TV (Kirk gets a smaller TV in his office for sports-watching) and he can't fold laundry to save his life! We're like soul-sisters.

    Anyway, the best advice you got was great advice. Communication and sex are the two most important parts of marriage I think. So if you don't work on those, good luck!

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  17. Isn't it insane some of the things people think it's okay to say?!? I just think unsolicited advice in general is a no-no... if someone wants it, they'll ask! I do love your best advice though - two very important parts of a marriage, ha!

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  18. Well like you said that drink in hand better be for you. I have never been married but my parents have been for 40 plus years and I can say that the advice is bullocks. She lost me after have an ear ready to listen - that is actually good advice when given to BOTH parties. The rest is straight out of a 50's apron wearing housewife how to book. The last family member though. I think her advice is golden. communicate and sex ... Pretty sure you can't go wrong with either. ;)

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  19. You probably know this about me already, but I would have eye-rolled my eyes right out of my skull if someone had every said that to me. Or I would have lashed out at them. Either way.
    Anyway, I love that you know how horrible that advice is and value your relationship with KC the way you do and recognize it for what it is. You guys are pretty inspiring as a couple—relationship goals! If I ever like someone enough to get past a third date or something, I want to grow up and be just like you.

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  20. That's terrible advice.

    The advice I always give is that you are your partner's back up - be there for them and know they're there for you.

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  21. You are so funny.
    Marriage advice is all over the place.
    My dad told Ricky the best advice - to always just say, "Yes dear, you're right dear, I'm sorry" ... to this day Ricky will say it, with a sarcastic tone :)

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  22. Your mouth shut? Like you aren't supposed to have an opinion? I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous! Other than never go to bed mad, I don't recall any crazy advice we got. But if we are fighting, we normally do go to bed mad. Probably should work on that! You are 100% right though, marriage takes a lot of work and love will definitely not carry you through!

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  23. I love this! Sometimes I feel like no one else knows how to have an actual good, healthy marriage--like everyone thinks it should be sunshine and butterflies or a divorce--but it definitely sounds like you guys know what's up :)

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  24. I've been divorced twice and even I know that's bad advice. I refrain from giving marital advice, not like anyone is lining up to ask me. But I happily dole out divorce advice.

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  25. Ha - I though the SAME thing that the drink better be for you!! My bridal party had arranged for the guests of my bridal shower to leave me marital advice on notes that was then compiled into a scrapbook - I still laugh at the old fashioned and inappropriate advice some people left!

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  26. The best advice is pretty spot on! Haha! I think communication is key, we are not mind readers so speaking up and telling the person how you feel rather than expecting them to know will make it much easier in the end.

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  27. LOL to the last advice! :) I hope the first advice was sort a joke??? People, in general, need to learn to become less repressed and to truly share their feelings, the good in bad. You were spot on, no one is perfect and it's exhausting to try and act that way.

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  28. hahah the last piece of advice is classic!!! Love it!

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  29. Love this post. Yes to being available but it needs to go both ways and you need time for yourself too! At least I do. So you can't "always" be available. And Yes everyone has flaws. Mine being I am the absolute worst at doing the laundry...Or putting it away is really the problem. Marc tends to leave water bottles everywhere too lol. And he also left a bowl of unfinished cake on an end table last night. Which I kindly threw away, but gross lol. Btw who eats cake out of a bowl? I think that things can be tougher when you have kids, because we tend to approach handling issues differently, but we make it work.

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  30. Communication is so key. Literally men cannot read our minds and stewing and wondering when they are going to ask us if we are okay or whats wrong......never going to happen. So I totally agree with that! It's all about the timing and delivery though that is for sure ;-)

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  31. Eeek! Sounds like that advice came from a character on Mad Men!

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  32. Let's see... after I got pregnant with my oldest, my mom told me to make sure I didn't let myself go. Thanks mom, glad to hear you are so excited about your granddaughter.

    I have to say, communicate and have sex is good advice!

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  33. That's proverbs wife advice and since I'm not religious, I don't believe it! Keeping my mouth shut will never happen :)
    But I agree with you, gotta do things you don't like like putting things away the way you want because he doesn't know how. He takes the trash out without me asking, so it all evens out in the end.

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  34. Your wedding pictures are all so gorgeous and you guys DO look so happy! I have to agree with you that, that first bit is some pretty bad advice, sometimes I wonder if people say things to be funny (one could hope) or they truly believe what they're saying... I mean I guess different things work for different people... or not if you said they were divorced, haha. Also, I'm glad I'm not the only culprit of leaving the lights on :)

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  35. Oh wow, that is horrible! I personally hate marriage advice period because I think every marriage is unique. I'm like you where we both believe divorce isn't an option, so we are going to work through whatever we have to deal with together. I think it is funny that the people who gave you advice were divorced! :)

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  36. People are crazy!!! LOL, I can't believe some of the things people say to brides, especially AT their wedding! I had tons of people at my bridal showers telling me I'd "better learn to cook so you keep him around" and stuff like that.

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  37. HA Why would someone give you that advice? Maybe that works for some people, but if you can't express yourself how in the world would it ever work? I have to be able to speak my mind or it would never work.

    Honestly you can tell in pictures of you guys that you guys are very happy and obviously I don't know what it's like to be married, but I think you have a great grip on it.

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  38. That is some shit advice. We didn't receive any advice, per se, but one of my bosses at my job at the time told me our vows didn't count since the word "obey" wasn't in them. I *might* have been pissed at him after that.

    Everything you've said about marriage is spot on. It's about compromising and being considerate and accepting flaws and working to fix the most annoying ones not because you want to change but because you respect the person you're married to. People and circumstances change, and your marriage will evolve and adjust with those.

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  39. I sure hope that drink was supposed to be for you too! I do love that last piece of advice though. Every relationship is different. I think that as long as y'all are doing whatever make you happy as a couple, & individually you'll be just fine. You two seem to have a great handle on marriage.

    Completely unrelated: this took me way longer than it should have to type. I had a type pretty much every other word...even in this stinkin explanation.

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  40. I agree with your "best" advice you received. Maybe the marriage didn't work because well...I guess it's easier for some people to give advice than take their own

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  41. After being in the position I'm in, I think some of the best people who have marriage advice are the divorcees; they know exactly what does and doesn't work (too late sometimes, but so interesting nonetheless!). Cheers to your beautiful marriage. Have missed you, love!

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  42. I completely agree with you, we are all human and not perfect. When you are married to someone, they are going to do things that drive you crazy...but you are going to do things that drive them crazy too. You compromise and find what works for you. I would say you have it better figured out than whomever gave you that advice!!! And seriously, why cant guys put things away?

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  43. This post makes me want to give you a big high five.
    I find it sad that people are in a situation that they feel like that WAS good advice. You know? Ouch. I mean, I surely don't have the perfect marriage. Like you said, we all have things within our marriage to work on and that we don't do perfectly, but....... Yikes. Basically, "shut up and nod your head" is not how I want to spend my life.
    You rock. And btw, I like the advice that you DID use. ;)

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  44. Ewwwww that advice! Noooooo. No no no. I seriously cringed so hard I didn't want to keep reading. But I'm glad I did :) Your marriage sounds pretty spot on with ours. I absolutely believe in being a partnership - of course, we both contribute different things to the partnership, and we each respect what the other person contributes. We have had some tough times in our marriage but we have never stopped respecting each other, and it has never been a chore to be with each other.
    I found it hilarious that the person who told you that is divorced. We were married by a pastor who was divorced and had to go to pre-marital counseling with him (let's not even talk about how I would change everything about that sentence if I could go back in time...) and I was always kind of like...really? Good thing we didn't take the counseling seriously, I guess?

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  45. hahahaha that advice makes me laugh my booty off! I got tons of similar advice and I just laughed then too. I think that it is all about growing with each other, which is why communication is so important!

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  46. Lol! I do kind of like the don't try to communicate after sex. We jokingly call talking before hand "woman porn" because of an old episode of 30 rock...anyway.

    We were virgins when we got married and the advice that stood out to me the most was from my uncle when he told me right before my aunt snapped our picture, "Dont go and try all the positions at once."

    My face is as red as a tomato in that photo LOL.

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  47. I'm twice divorced (sometimes I feel like I should have a big L stamped on my forehead...or D for divorcee or F for failure). But......along the way, I've learned A LOT of things about myself and relationships. One of the biggest lessons - what works for one couple doesn't necessarily work for all. I am a big believer that you have to work together to figure out what best works for you as a couple. Advice is well-intentioned (most of the time), but may not be what you need or your partner needs to be happy as a couple. Work it out, girl! (sounds like you are doing so already)

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  48. hahaha! Zack pointed out that I always leave water in my cup. Now I make a habit of drinking it all, or emptying it in the sink.

    I don't remember any specific advice. Every couple is different. I think the biggest thing is to stop and think when you get mad. Why are you mad, is it really worth it to get in a fight? Zack and I are both so passive aggressive we just don't fight. If there's something that's really bugging us about the other, we tell each other.

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  49. Ugh unsolicited advice is the worst. But it does make for a good laugh! I think the best relationship advice I have receive (and give out when appropriate) is that things will only work if there is communication from both partners!

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  50. Oh good gosh. That kind of unsolicited advice makes me so stabby. I love your whole stance in this post. Only one person always being available - in every way - in a relationship doesn't sound like a good way to grow together at all. I feel like both people have to do their best and only then do relationships work well!

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  51. Ugh, I hate unsolicited advice! Looks like you two are figuring it out very well though :) and communication IS key xo

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  52. I don't remember getting much advice when we got married. (When you have kids, on the other hand, you might as well be wearing a shirt that says "Give me your opinion on everything about kids." It. never. ends.) I like what one of the commenters up there ^^ said about there not being one formula that works for every couple. I find that to be quite true!

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  53. That was clearly someone with very archaic ways of thinking! My favorite priece of advice I often remind my husband of is "happy wife, happy life" ;-) all joking aside it is about both parties giving and taking equally! Great post!

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  54. I really like this read, a great reminder of what IS important and even though I do understand where your relative was coming from when they said that, I think you did a great job breaking it apart to find what will work.

    Love this paragraph: Pretending that we don't have issues, or pretending like he is king and my life is all about him and making him happy- well that's just ridiculous. We're in this together, and marriage, like everything good and important, isn't easy. It takes work and it takes two people to make it work.

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  55. I think it's great that you are making your marriage your own instead of taking 100% of someone else's advice. People mean well (and sometimes they don't), but in the end, you and your partner are a totally different animal from them and theirs. Keep doing what works for you!

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  56. I love the good advice! ahaha. Keep doing what works for you and keep that drink in YOUR hand!

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  57. Ah, horrible!! How old was this individual? Sounds like a sentiment from a bygone generation.

    Lol, love the good piece of advice though. True words... ;o)

    V

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  58. This is so timely, we just had our wedding last weekend and asked people to write down advice. I haven't read it all yet but ya there are some gems and some horrible ones. The sex and communicate does seem like solid advice haha I hate the idea that when you're married you become one instead of two people who are independent but choose to be together.

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  59. Sounds like you have learned a lot already!!
    The best advice someone gave us (well Chris) is to remember these 6 words - You're right, I'm wrong, I'm sorry. Even though we joke about it a lot, those words really are important and necessary to say from time-to-time!!
    And, I do like it when Chris has a drink waiting for me at the end of a long day!!!

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  60. Sounds like you figured it out just fine!! I leave tissues around too :O P and I definitely approach our marriage as a team. We always make sure to have hugs and kisses when we arrive and leave :)

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  61. do you want to keep your marriage strong break old habits start new routines http://bit.ly/1PGf4Lh

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  62. I think the best relationship advice I've ever heard is 'Never go to bed on an argument!'

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