When you receive a marriage advice, a funny thing can happen – it can ruin your marriage. It wouldn’t be the first time. Although there is so much you can learn from other people’s experience, the road to hell is, after all, paved with good intentions. Let’s learn from the experience of a married couple, we’ll call them Jack and Jill, why taking someone’s advice might not always be a good idea.
Wrong advice can wreak havoc on your relationship
When Jack and Jill met, they were both in serious relationships with someone else. Jack had been dating his college girlfriend for 5 years, and Jill was living with a young man who she intended to get married to as soon as her career jumpstarts. They were both fairly content in their longstanding relationships. Not enchanted or thrilled anymore, but content.
Yet, when they met at a seminar, the usual happened. There was a spark, they both felt the need to introduce some newfound passion into their lives, and they soon left their partners to begin their own fresh romance. And it was amazing, so much so, that they both started talking to their friends about how they felt that they could love this person for the rest of their lives.
And the friends, as supportive as they get, not only braced this idea they, from both sides, began to push for an instant proposal and a fairytale happily ever after. This was felt in Jack and Jill’s relationship, as they both started to insinuate where their hearts lied. And on the occasional group nights out, everyone alluded to how insanely romantic it would be to get married out of pure infatuation, after only a few weeks of dating.
The friends weren’t ill-intended. They watched Jack and Jill in their previous relationships where they were comfortable as one is in an old sweatshirt, but they were never ecstatic about their love life as they were now. So, the friends deemed this to be the true love. There’s nothing to wait for when the right one comes – the advice was announced.
The aftermath of the wrong advice
So, Jack and Jill, guided by their fresh romance and friends’ support, ended up getting married after only 3 months of dating. The wedding was grand! Everyone was excited because everyone got to watch a real-life romantic movie about two who found each other and seized the once-in-the-lifetime chance for true love.
Yet, what was left unspoken by Jack and Jill that day was the fact that they both started to have a gut feeling that this wasn’t the right thing to do after all. They had a few wrangles before the big day – they didn’t go well at all. But they attributed this to the nerves about the wedding and swept the doubts under the rug.
What ended up happening is this – Jack and Jill turned out to be completely incompatible. They still felt burning love for each other, but their personalities, values, and communication styles were so different that their marriage turned into an argument marathon in a matter of days. A couple of years later, they had a child and a load of irreconcilable differences. And Jack was having an affair with his college girlfriend, for whom, as he discovered, he did feel passionate about after all.
So, what happened to Jack and Jill? Jill was willing to try therapy, to change herself, to blame herself. Jack was willing to yell, to be radically honest, to withdraw. They were doomed, and they both knew it. And they would have known it before they said their I dos if only they gave it a few more months. A lot of heartache and hardships could have been prevented.
Why taking others’ advice isn’t always the best idea
In Jack and Jill’s case, the advice was romantic but impractical. They got carried away by the romantic notion of love at first sight that lasts a lifetime and conquers all problems. All they needed to do was wait a bit longer to have a chance to see how they both react in different situations and see if they can live with that or not.
Jack and Jill were advised something no therapist would recommend – making decisions out of infatuation. But, many other pieces of advice can also go eerie. The thing is, although there are many general counsels that work for the majority of people, it is always the couple that needs to explore what’s best for them. And, as we learn from Jack and Jill’s cautionary tale – take your time with it!