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May 10, 2015

Marriage Advice From Someone Who Blew It

Conventional wisdom tells us to look closely at those who offer marriage advice. How long have they been married? Are they happy? Do they have the kind of marriage we would like to have? As in many areas of life, we tend to believe we should seek advice only from those who are successful. They know what they are doing, and if we emulate them, we'll succeed, too.

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

3 fabulous comments:

  1. Thanks for this, Rosemary. What a great list!

  2. Great blog for making and improving relationship. One can make his relation better by avoiding small mistakes of each other. Nobody is perfect so just learn from others and their relations, you will understand what mistakes you not have to repeat and what improvement you have to do.

  3. The list of "16 ways I blew my marriage" is great, it's really important for couples to realize what is needed to be done to maintain a marriage.

    Communication is key to any marriage and it is the fundamental ingredient that allows humans to have meaningful relationships. It is necessary for good friendships, a peaceful family life and most importantly, a harmonious and happy marriage.

    There's a really good ebook about how to communicate effectively in a marriage, how create harmony and bring life back into it, it's free and can be downloaded at
    -- http://savethemarriagetips.com/


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