This blog seeks out good advice for married couples who are experiencing problems in their relationships and looking for ways to save their marriages. Friends and family members are always on hand to dispense marriage advice. TV talk shows and best-selling books are also filled with experts dispensing their wisdom. But in an article this week on HuffingtonPost.com, Ashley Reich relates some very unconventional advice from relationship expert Mort Fertel, who says some of the most common advice is also some of the worst.
As Fertel says,
Much of the advice people get about their marriage problems is wrong. It sounds good. It makes sense. The problem is, it usually doesn’t work. Reconciling a broken marriage is tricky. The process is not intuitive. You really have to be careful that the advice you’re following has proved to achieve the outcome you’re looking for.”
In the article, he passes on 6 very unconventional ways to save your marriage and we want to share three tips that we found most surprising.
1. Don’t wonder if you married the wrong person.
When we’re going through a crisis, large or small, in our marriages, it’s very common to wonder if we just married the wrong person and should get out of the marriage. But Fertel says that this is entirely the wrong question.
Many people wonder, ‘Did I marry the right person?’ But that’s the wrong question. The key to succeeding in marriage is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found. Love is not a mystery. Just as there are physical laws of the universe — like gravity, which governs flight — there are also relationship laws that, depending on your behavior, dictate the outcome of your marriage. You don’t have to be ‘lucky in love.’ It’s not luck; it’s choice.”
2. Don’t talk about your problems so much.
Conventional wisdom (and we’ve passed it on many times) says to talk things out. Mort Fertel says this can actually work against your marriage.
Talking about the problems in a marriage doesn’t resolve them; it makes them worse. It leads to arguments and bad will. Besides, you’ll never talk yourself out of a problem that you behaved yourself into. Marriages change because people change. Say little; do much. Speak in the vocabulary of your actions. New choices resolve marital problems; discussions don’t.”
3. Don’t confide in family and friends about your marriage.
One of the first things most of us do when we’re having problems in our marriages is find a friend or family member in whom to confide. We do it for comfort, for validation that our side is the right one and for some advice. Fertel says this is the wrong thing to do.
One of the most important values in a marriage is privacy; therefore, it’s a mistake to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends. It’s a violation of your spouse’s privacy and it’s wrong.”
Every couple should take a look at this article and read the remaining tips from Fertel. They may be unconventional, but they ring very true.