To my friends and family who are about to get married,
My advice for you is to not listen to any advice.
When I was about to get married, my parents had no advice for me. My sisters too, never gave me any “real” advice. It is of course a different story once you become a parent, you are showered with advice!
I did get advice though from a number of random people.
Looking back, it baffles me how most of the advice I got, was from people who were not married. Their advice was always based on someone else’s experience with marriage. Sadly, the worst advice is always given by people who were once in a terrible relationship. Looking back I think I got more judgments than advice.
Some of the advice I got was as follows — Marriage is learning how to compromise. Never show your tears. Keep your finances separate. Men will be men. The first year is the hardest, etc etc I am pretty sure, men also receive similar advice. Most of which are either demeaning to the other or just plain generic.
Having said that, my hairdresser did say something to me that I never forgot since. While blowdrying my hair, she loudly said, *hair dryer blasting over my head*
“You will never know the man/woman you are married to until you live under one roof,”
The whole salon heard her, but she was right.
Thinking about it, the advice you get for marriage can be applied to any form of relationship we encounter in life. Verdict, it is not a one size fits all, what works for one person might not for another. Advice is good but it does not mean that it is right for you. There are a lot of aspects to consider before taking the advice of someone, even if this someone happened to be your own mother.
Marriage is an individual experience. The more you know your partner, the more you figure out what best works for your relationship. So, no matter how similar the ups and downs of your marriage are to someone else’s, you still remain different people with different personalities who basically live a different life altogether.
What your favourite insta couple choose to show or preach on social media is an extension of their marriage not yours. So is the advice coming from someone who just got a divorce. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Stop listening to either side and live this chapter with your partner and with time, you two will figure what works best for your relationship and rarely will you need to seek advice from anyone.
Sharing experiences while acknowledging that you have a different one I think, is fine … Advice especially is a delicate matter that needs a lot of consideration even if asked for. What I know for sure is that the story you hear and the picture you see says very little about what goes on behind closed doors. Therefore, anyone who thinks knows enough to give advice, in fact knows so little.
To my cousin, to my friends,
You don’t need advice,