May 10, 2015
Marriage Advice From Someone Who Blew It
It makes sense. If someone is doing something right, that is the person I want for a role model.
Of course, no marriage is perfect. Nearly every couple will go through some difficult times. Getting advice from those who have done the hard work, figured it out, and solved the problems may mean that we can save time and avoid a lot of grief by applying what they have already figured out. Not only can we learn from what they did right, but we can learn from what they did wrong, and possibly avoid making the same mistakes.
While we are learning from others' mistakes, what about those whose marriages failed? Some never get past anger and blame. They aren't likely to have much wisdom to pass on. But those who are able to move beyond the negative feelings and apply some introspection have the opportunity to gain a great deal of insight into the processes that caused their marriages to fall apart. Where happy couples usually have a list of "dos", divorced couples are likely to have an equally (or perhaps even more) useful list of "don'ts".
One such person is Dan Pearce, who blogs at Single Dad Laughing. His list of "16 Ways I Blew My Marriage" is a wonderful, cautionary tale. He is honest about his role in the destructive behaviors that undermined two marriages. He describes what went wrong clearly and concisely, and then talks about what he would do differently. In addition to the first 16 items, a second post adds 15 more.
With any luck, most couples (at least most of those who are still married) probably aren't doing most of the things on these lists. But I would bet that nearly everyone does, or has done, at least a couple of them.
This is like a map showing where some of the landmines are. Avoid those places! If you see yourself doing anything here, it's time to take a big step back. Before it blows up in your face.
U.S. Department of Energy photograph