Marriage Advice To Cherish, To File Away, And To Ignore
By: Dylan Buckley
Updated February 25, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
Lots of people who have been married consider themselves an expert on the subject. As soon as you get engaged, they will naturally assume that you need their advice to guide you through your entrance to married life. There are a few pieces of advice that you will almost certainly hear immediately after you break the news to your family and friends.
Some of the most common nuggets that you will hear are listed here. Some of the advice that you hear will be good advice that you should hold close to your heart. Some of it will be advice that you may or may not need at some point in your relationship. Some of it will likely be bitter projections or tired clichés that you can probably just ignore.
Marriage Advice To Cherish
Chances are, whoever is giving you marriage advice is doing it because they care about you. Any advice that someone gives you because they honestly want to see you happy and your marriage thrives advice that you should cherish. Here are some common examples.
Never Go To Bed Angry
You've probably heard this mantra before, or seen it embroidered on throw pillows. When you announce your engagement, you'll probably hear it again. Despite how often you've probably encountered it, it's worth listening to.
The sentiment is simple: if you're fighting, come to some kind of understanding before you go to sleep. That doesn't mean that you have to actually solve your problem before you go to sleep. If you can, that's great, but sometimes it just isn't going to happen. Staying up to try to solve a large problem can leave you staying up late and getting crankier as you get sleepier and that's never a good thing.
When that's the case, agree to pick up the discussion some other time when you aren't so tired, say that you love each other and want the best, and then go to sleep. The problem will still be there in the morning, but if you make peace before you go to sleep, you're likely to sleep better and wake up in a cheerier mood that is more conducive to constructive problem-solving.
Marriage Advice To File Away
It's worth saying again: most of the marriage advice that you will receive, you will receive from a place of love. That doesn't mean that it will all apply to you. It deserves some consideration, but it just might not be what you need.
Sign A Prenup
"Prenup" is short for "prenuptial agreement." It's a legal document in which you and your fiancé agree how you will handle the legal complications of a divorce before you get married. A lot of people don't like the idea of prenups because they feel that the whole idea requires the assumption that marriage is going to fail. However, having something written ahead of time can save a lot of bad blood if you do ever get a divorce. Besides, there's no harm in having one if you don't get divorced.
In many cases, prenups are more valuable for people who have more assets partially because it makes a divorce more legally complex. If you lead a simpler life, a prenup might not save you that much time and energy. As a result, whether or not one is right for you depends on your attitudes toward them as well as your situations in life.
You Marry The Family
One common cautionary phrase is "you marry the family." That suggests that when you marry someone, you marry all of their family's problems - of course, you may also be marrying all of their benefits like social support.
This can be necessary, though, in some cases, it depends on how close your partner is with their family and how their family operates. Some families are very private, and you may find that your problems and their problems remain quite separate. In some cases, your partner may not be very close to the family, or they may not have much family.
The important thing is to sit down with your fiancé and decide together what roles both of you want your respective families to play in your married life.
Marriage Advice To Ignore
Sometimes you'll hear marriage "advice" that isn't meant to help you so much as defend or vindicate someone who has had a bad experience of marriage. This is generally advised that you don't need to carry with you. After all, you have enough to worry about.
Look At The Mother/Father
One common, bitter lamentation is some form or another of "look at the mother." This implies that every woman in a married relationship behaves as her mother does in hers. The same can be said of men in married relationships. Of course, both versions are only partially true.
While we do often pick up social cues from our parents, we are just as likely to do so in an inverse fashion. Sometimes we see the things that our parents do and decide that they are normal or good and adopt those behaviors. Sometimes we see things that our parents do and decide that those behaviors are not good, and we refuse to adopt them or even adopt opposite behaviors. Other times, some combination of things is the case. We may like something that our parents did but decide that it isn't appropriate in our situation.
Many mental health conditions like anxiety and depression often run in families, so if your fiancé's direct relatives have a mental health condition, there is some possibility that they will develop it too. Of course, vetting those we love based on how likely they are to develop traits that may be difficult to deal with is a little … dystopian. Ideally, the person that you marry is someone that you can love and support regardless of how likely they are to be perfect.
On that note, neither of you are perfect, and it's more important to support the person that you love than it is to love someone you'll never need to support.
Put Everything In Your Name
"Put everything in your name" is a kind of quick and dirty way to get around a prenup. The idea is that if you legally make all of the payments on the house, the car, the utilities, insurance accounts, etc., you'll "hold all the cards" if your relationships hit problems. The other person will be more dependent on you and, the theory goes, you'll get everything if you divorce.
Legally, having payments in your name doesn't mean that you're getting everything in the event of a divorce. Further, if you think defensively about a divorce, it's easier and fairer to just go with a prenup.
Potentially more important, insisting on having all of the responsibilities as some kind of power move is a form of emotional abuse. It doesn't protect you in the event of separation so much as it makes the separation more likely. If you both share everything, you'll share equally in all of the responsibilities and benefits and have a more transparent, trusting, and strong relationship.
Learn To Like His/Her Friends
There's nothing wrong with liking your fiancé's friends. However, the idea that you have to or it won't work out is a little too simple. You're marrying your partner because you want to spend time with them, but both of you still need time alone and letting them hang out with their friends without tagging along all the time is a great way to ensure that you both get it.
When Advice Isn't Enough
Your married friends and family can be an important source of support before and after you run into problems. However, life can be hard sometimes, and you might need a little extra help. Marriage counselors specialize in teaching new forms of communication that are great for deepening your relationship even if it's already strong.
If you'd like to explore the possibility of seeing a counselor or therapist, you may want to consider meeting with a counselor or therapist online. This is less expensive and more flexible than meeting with a counselor or therapist in person and can be just as effective or even more effective for some people.
For more information about getting started with online therapy or counseling, visit BetterHelp.