worst marriage advice

All Pro Dad’s Top 9 Worst Marriage Advice Comments

Many years ago, I was talking to a friend who was college student at the time. As we talked, the conversation wandered into the subject of relationships, a source of pain for her. I made a passing comment about her that I don’t even remember. I didn’t think what I said would affect her that much, if at all. Years later, she told me the comment I made kept her up all night. When people share their pain with us, we enter holy ground and should treat it that way. The fact that I can’t even remember the comment I made is an indictment of my own lack of wisdom at the time. I may have done some serious damage, because what we say matters.

Our words can help bring insight and healing or they can contribute to and cause a deeper level of hurt and brokenness. Many brave people have shared their marital struggles in our comments section. There have also been a lot of people who have responded to them with messages of kindness, encouragement, and advice. Some of that advice has been great, but unfortunately, some has been the worst marriage advice ever given. Here are the top 9 worst pieces of marriage advice given in the comments section of All Pro Dad.

1. “If she treats you that way, you should divorce her.”

Before ever telling someone to break up their family, we need to have all the information. All of it. We can’t give advice that will have life-altering consequences for a couple and their kids after reading five sentences about their life. Not only is it a small window into a family’s world, but it’s one-sided as well. Telling someone to get divorced with such limited information is negligent.

A marriage will never thrive if the people involved are not pursuing each other.

2. “Do what makes you happy.” / “Be selfish.”

There is a need for self-care, but this advice goes too far. A marriage will never thrive if the people involved are not pursuing each other. Telling people to do what makes you happy is basically telling people to get a divorce without telling them to get a divorce. Being selfish and seeking your happiness with a disregard for others never works out in the long run. It only invites relational brokenness.

3. “Talking less will lead to fewer arguments.”

It may lead to fewer arguments, but it also leads to less communication. Less communication leads to more relational problems.

4. “Porn has helped tons of marriages.”

A lot of people make this statement without backing it up with any data. The really damaging part of this advice is that it seems to ignore the many testimonies from hurt wives, family counselors and psychologists, and actual data showing the dangers of pornography for personal lives and marriages.

5. “The last thing a marriage needs is God.”

In my opinion, God gives the greatest example of how we should treat one another. The problem isn’t God; the problem is us. We fail to love people, especially our spouses, the way God intended. Sadly, some of the biggest failures are people of faith or a religious background. God challenges us to be more loving, selfless, forgiving, patient, and even-tempered, and to have a willingness to suffer long for our spouses. If we did that, we’d all have much better marriages.

6. “Never be honest with a woman…”

…because they’ll never understand or be able to handle the truth, this advice-giver said. But being dishonest or hiding things in a marriage causes distance and mistrust. If you feel like you can’t be honest with your wife, there could be a problem with the words you are choosing, your tone, and possibly your view of the truth.

7. “Cheat on her.”

Again, this is giving life-altering advice with limited information. This advice is typically given in response to a complaining husband whose wife either has cheated on him or withholds sex. It vindictively encourages responding to a moral failure with a moral failure and selfishly using another person in the scheme.

8. “Never get married.”

One of the biggest mistakes we can make when giving advice is to project our experience onto someone else’s. Perhaps there are people who shouldn’t get married, and maybe the people who say this are those people—but it isn’t true of everyone, even when marriage involves difficult challenges.

9. “You should never do anything you don’t want to do.”

If you’re being forced, manipulated, or intimidated into doing things you don’t want to do, it constitutes abuse and shouldn’t be tolerated. Beyond that, a healthy marriage involves sacrifice and compromise. You’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do when you put the needs and desires of other people before your own. And that’s what love is—putting other people ahead of yourself.

Sound off: What’s the worst marriage advice and the best you have ever received?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What’s the best advice you have ever received?”