Why You’ll Never Read Good Marriage Advice

Dear newlyweds,

If you’re looking for marriage advice, you have two choices. Long-married couples who have survived the inevitable challenges of sharing life’s decisions but can’t tell you the whole truth without airing their spouse’s dirty laundry, or divorced couples who are happy to air their spouse’s dirty laundry but can only tell you what not to do.

Knowing what not to do might help a little, but it still leaves you with countless choices of what to do. Not only that, but what didn’t work for one couple might work for you.

So you’re back to advice from people like me, who have found solutions to all sorts of problems, but have to relate them like this. “Well, we haven’t had that problem exactly, but maybe something similar. You’ll just have to trust me that it was similar, because I can’t tell you exactly what happened or he’ll divorce me for sure, and I won’t tell you which of us was on which side of the argument, but when something like that happened to us, we sat down and made a chart of what would be fair to both of us, yes well I can’t tell you exactly what was in the chart, because it’s super personal, but maybe you could make a chart that applied to what you’re having a problem with.”

Well, it’s better than this advice from a divorced person that I found online. “Find a person who accepts you for who you are and then says that’s not good enough.”

I thought that advice from the widowed might be a good third option, but even the widowed might be hesitant to give details about their late spouses. I googled around, and the only marriage advice I could find was advice for widowed people who are considering marrying again.

What got me thinking about this conundrum was the fact that our youth pastor just celebrated his one year anniversary, and when I thought back to our first year, the only problem I could safely relate about the issues we faced in our first year was, “We argued about which toothpaste to buy for several minutes before realizing, hey, it’s okay to have separate toothpaste.”


But we’ve made it 17 years. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me for advice, and I’ll say, “Well, we’ve never had exactly that problem, but, well, here’s what I’d do if I were you. Not that my husband ever did anything like that, mind you.”


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3 responses to “Why You’ll Never Read Good Marriage Advice

  1. LOVE the toothpaste debate.

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