Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Does Marriage Confer Special Relationship Wisdom?

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When I tell people that I write romance novels or that I blog mostly about issues in relationships, the next question from some of them is whether I'm married and for how long. I am sometimes tempted to answer in the negative to hear what they will say, but the replies when I answer truthfully gives me a pretty good idea.

The assumption is that I should know what I'm talking about since I'm living it.

I have also come across the assertion by some posters on romance and relationship message boards when they ask for advice only from married folks. When the commenters know that a specific suggestion is from a single lady, they deride it and caution the initial poster to beware of wolves in sheep clothing.

I think that particular mindset is quite narrow-minded and seeks to draw lines between women. It is not always true that women are out to destroy each other. Sometimes, it may be inexperience talking when a relationship advice from a single lady seems misleading, or it could just be her honest, unbiased opinion.

Then there are those who only want to hear what will validate what they're already thinking is a solution to their problem. When you make the mistake of contributing a negative or contrary opinion, you're declared persona non grata instantly. Woe betide you if you're single, you've just handed them, on a golden platter no less, the ammunitions and weapons to finish you. LOL...

I do not think marriage by itself confers any special wisdom in terms of relationships, but certainly experience confers knowledge if not wisdom. So while I have had personal issues in my relationship and worked through them, thereby learning some lessons (hopefully), I also think that some people learn these things either through books, or through other social interactions.

And then what of those who have been in one, two, or even three long term relationships which by chance just did not end up in marriage? I actually think those are the best people to get a big picture view from, they might be better at knowing what has worked and what has not. For instance I've been married three years plus, and some have been dating the same person for 5years!

So who's among those that will only take relationship advise from married women? Is it about what I've just shared or something else entirely? Please share.








27 comments:

  1. When I want advice about how to raise God fearing, disciplined and focused Black boys in the UK....I look to older people who have successfully achieved this.

    When I want advice about how to overcome marital challenges....I look to couples who have peaceful and successful marriages - despite various challenges & Those who have lessons to share.

    Finally, whenever I want business advice....I go to successful entrepreneurs.

    Experience is the best teacher. One can take in as much theory as possible but nothing beats experience. One positive role model is worth more than a million self help books.

    Married people dont have all the answers but happily married couples are likely to have more experience regarding the power of compromise and communication.

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    1. I totally agree with you even though i have additions to what you just established.

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    2. Thank you Naijamum, so you qualify it with happily married :)

      But how do we know these apart, especially if they are good pretenders?

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    3. @Myne good pretenders are most likely the ones that will paint a rosy picture. You will know, because they will struggle to answer a question correctly or not answer at all when you want to get deep. It just looks blur...In fact am sure one will walk away feeling this was soo such a stupid idea or this marriage is so perfect or more confused.

      I would like to think a honest happy couple will simply say "we are not there yet but if we are, we would do this and that based on what has worked in the past or just approach with wisdom by praying. etc.But whatever we do, we are willing to learn together and grow. I think their answers will be honest practical, applicable and helpful.. I sure do want to be a happy couple that does this (happiness is a decision sha).

      Hope have helped.. lol.. xxx

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  2. 1)Yup,i certainly think marriage confers a special MARRIAGE relationship wisdom by virtue of the experience of being married

    2)I'll take advice from someone that has being married for 3years as opposed someone that has being dating for 5years ESPECIALLY if they havn't being living together for 5years

    However,i generally like to listen to everyone's point of view,married single,gay,old young....:-)

    Even with 2girls,the fights start when they start living together.living together isn't an easy task to accomplish at all..And all the little things add up too-in a relationship,u can decide not to have sex /not to cook/clean whatever but in a marriage,you'll feel guilty about these things...

    In a marriage,ttc is pressure,taking care of children itoo sn't a stroll in the park..the dynamics are just different generally

    So indeed i'll prefer someone going through a similar situation to advice me

    ps:I think If Brad pitt and Angelina Jolie were married,they'd have being divorced,johnny depp would have separated earlier too if they were married:-)

    Being in a relationship gives you this sense of "non commitment" like thaat

    ReplyDelete
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    1. OK, I see where you're coming from. True, marriage can be a bit different from relationship in certain issues like TTC etc. But what about other general problems like compromise, spending time together, learning how to fight fair, being friends with your spouses, etc

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  3. Actually,it's not entirely narrow mindedness to want to take marriage advice from a married person.It's like this; you can't give what you don't have.There are some advices that concern marriages that a single person can actually give,granted.However,those advices are limited because you can't advice on something when you have no experience as regards it.I leave you with this; Observation is different from participation.You can be deceived by observation but never by participation.

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    1. I think people make mistakes anyway, whether by observation or participation. What about people who have been married several times and their latest marriage ends in divorce yet again? And then there's those who by observation, marry once and it is for life?

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  4. I think it is narrow mindedness for a married person to want to only seek advise from a married person. It all boils down to who will tell you the truth. One could have a friend who is also married but doesnt have her interest in mind so will give her a very bad advise, something she wouldnt do herself. On the other other hand you could have a good friend who is single and would advise you honestly.

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    Replies
    1. I also think honesty and truth are very important and knowing you can trust the person, maybe based on their own life choices and your history with them.

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    2. I agree with you. In all, i think the 'advicee' should sift through all advice before deciding on what to do irrespective of how single/married the 'advicer' is

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  5. @Naijamum, since you go to successful entrepreneurs for business advice then you would have noticed that god fearing and most highly successful men went to private schools, where gun and knife crimes do not occur. Their parents planned to make them successful people.

    It is very difficult to raise boys in the UK without problems nowadays because of peer pressure. If you can afford to, send your kids to private secondary schools. It is a good investment. If you cannot afford the fees and if your children are brilliant, try to see if they can get scholarships.

    Also, there are a few top public schools that are just as good as private schools with high academic standards. Children sit examinations to get into such schools therefore you need to plan ahead of time.

    A lot of Asian parents spend a lot of time and money to get their children into the best schools because they don't want them to suffer and die in senseless knife and gun battles. Sorry, but most black parents in the UK don't care for their children. Most of these kids do not have moral education and are not well taken care of. Some children are lucky to have good parents.

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    1. Thanks for your input Anonymous, but you went a bit off-topic?

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  6. I'll take relationship advice from a woman if she's someone I respect. Doesn't have to be in a relationship. Sometimes, the view from outside can be the clearest and most impartial. A disillusioned married woman or one in a relationship might not be capable of giving an unbiased opinion on how best to make a relationship work.

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    1. Respect is key, knowing that such a person has a sound judgment.

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  7. hmmm, I think it really depends on the individual, sometimes, my single friends have given me very valuable advices but I also understand that when people speak from experience, they're giving you a realistic view and hopefully solution for an issue, so for me, it's not so black and white, I've met some singles with far more wisdom than some married people.
    www.bukkyapampa.com

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    1. Thank you Bukky. I also have to keep challenging myself with hearing from different people around me.

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  8. It's all about the adviser's experience, exposure, maturity and outlook. And the emphasis should not be whether they are married but whether they are in a committed relationship. Afterall, how any marriages survive these days?

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  9. ...Or have been in a committed relationship.

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    1. Good question at the end there. Thanks Adura :)

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  10. Myne I think what we need to understand that sometimes, there are no DEFINITE answers to some of this situations in life. You have to use wisdom..

    I work with convictions most times because that means am accountable.... i sift through advice alot. There are certain things pastor have said, that I have disagreed with not because am naive well maybe but sometimes I think some advice are baseless advice. Some have no backbone and structure. I am that type of person, it takes a while for me to just do things for doing sake. I rely on the help of the Holy spirit too. So in effect, I like a real advice that is said in love and honesty.

    I didnt get the post. soo i think u should what u feel is right for u.... xx

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    1. Thank you DOHK. I agree that there are no definite answers, and so the post is to discuss those who believe that married people (ONLY) hold all the answers.

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  11. Sometimes the unmarried are the ones with an objective view of the whole matter. Experience is the best teacher, maybe, but experience isn't only achieved when one lives it. People get loads of experience from just reading and observing.
    When talking marriage it is easier for the singles, because their opinions are not cluttered and slanted by their own experiences. This i think is better, because experiences are subjective and relative. an advice based on ones personal experience isn't the best.

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  12. Relationships are never the same. There is no guarantee that the suggestion of a married person will work for you. I also think that sometimes a single person may have learnt a lesson a married person did not learn before going into marriage.Wisdom has got nothing to with age but the individual.I also think that married people will give you advice based on how their marriage has fared in the subject matter.

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  13. I would seek marriage advice from a Catholic priest. Does his unmarried status make his advice invalid for someone who has counseled, guided and prayed with over hundreds of couples in his congregation?
    I would seek advice based on your experience, how forthright I can expect the person to be and the example they have shown. But in the end, I will own MY decisions.

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