good marriage advice

5 Places to Get Bad Marriage Advice

A couple of months ago, I bought a house. It has needed plenty of work, but one room that didn’t need any was the upstairs hall bathroom. It had recently been renovated. As I was doing some painting downstairs, my son was taking a shower in that bathroom and, fortunately, my daughter was in the kitchen. All of a sudden, my daughter nonchalantly says, “Oh, great, now it’s raining from the ceiling.” I replied from another room, “What?!” Turns out the piping for the shower was done by a handyman and not a plumber. It was done all wrong. If the original owner had gone to the right source for the renovation from the beginning, it would have saved our house a lot of damage and me a lot of money.

When things need fixing, especially in a relationship, we turn to a lot of places for advice. But when we go to the wrong source, it can cost us dearly. Make sure you choose your marriage “experts” wisely to get good marriage advice and stay far away from the bad ones. Here are 5 places to get bad marriage advice.

1. Friends of the Opposite Sex

This scenario offers too much temptation. One friend begins to confide in another, and as they talk through his marriage problems and she offers support and consolation, something more happens. Without ever intending to, they’ve formed an emotional bond that’s inappropriate and can easily lead to an affair. Suddenly, a marriage that had some problems has even more. If you must talk to a friend, make it a friend of the same gender.

2. Those Sour on Marriage

Misery loves company, so we have a natural desire to go to a place where we think our feelings and opinions will be validated rather than challenged. Those in a marriage crisis will sometimes turn to another unhappily married or divorced friend whom they know will say, “Believe me, I know. You’ve gotta do what’s best for you.” But is that the smart thing to do? Wouldn’t it make more sense to talk to a friend who’s happily married who might offer insight you don’t already possess?

3. People Who Don’t Share Your Values

If you view marriage as a covenant relationship between you, your spouse, and your God, why would you consult with someone who doesn’t share that fundamental belief? Once the core values are removed from the marriage equation, all bets are off, and you’re left with nothing but what you feel to guide you—and that’s dangerous ground. Make sure your advice is coming from someone who shares your most important beliefs. This goes for choosing a counselor too.

4. The Local Gossip

Your spouse, no matter how at odds you may feel, deserves your protection and respect.

Your spouse, no matter how at odds you may feel, deserves your protection and respect. Sharing your marriage problems with someone who’ll broadcast them all over town is just another dagger thrown. Make sure that anyone you speak with candidly can be trusted to keep your confidence. It would be a shame for you and your spouse to get things worked out between you, only to have either of your reputations irreparably and unnecessarily damaged.

5. Your Parents

This warning is more of a judgment call, but it deserves consideration. As a parent, you know how hard it is to forgive someone who mistreats your child. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change with time. If you dump all of your spouse’s weaknesses and dirty laundry out for your parents to peruse, it will be much harder for them to forget than it will be for you. When your marriage is back on track, you’ll have the added work of helping your side of the family to trust and love your spouse again in an uninhibited way. Think long and hard before you make Mom or Dad your marriage counselor.

Sound off: Where do you get good marriage advice?

Huddle up with your wife and ask, “Where is one place from which we should both avoid receiving advice about our marriage?”