I think anyone married, engaged, or in a relationship that seems headed toward serious commitment has received advice - wanted or not.
Sometimes, the advice is good.
Sometimes, the advice is bad.
I guess that's kind of how marriage can be, too. Sometimes, the choices we make are good. Sometimes, the choices we make are bad.
I once attended a wedding and ended up getting some of the best marriage advice I've ever heard.
The pastor addressed the wedding party and those in attendance at the ceremony. The friends and family asked to stand with the bride and groom and all those witnessing the creation of this bond had a very important role to play in their marriage.
If he comes to you and complains about his spouse, it is your job to direct him back to his spouse. Marital problems can't be solved outside of the marriage.
We all have times we need our friends or need someone to hear us. But if I go to my friend and my purpose is to complain about Jeff, to belittle Jeff, to build the negativity of whatever the situation is... I am destroying my marriage and if my friend doesn't turn me back to my husband, they are playing a part in destroying my marriage.
If you want your marriage to be strong, you have to turn towards your partner when things are falling apart.
If you want your marriage to be healthy, you have to surround yourself with people who will support your marriage, you, and your spouse and who will surround you with love and respect.
I also think about the importance of faith and spirituality in my marriage.
If it isn't something I'd be willing for my pastor to see, read, or hear... .if it isn't something I'm willing to say, write, or share with Jesus... it shouldn't be shared or said to or about my spouse.
I work to respect and value my husband. He does the same for me.
I can't live a second life. I am his wife all the time. I am his wife at home, at work, at church, at the store. I am his wife when I am by his side and when I am away from him. I can't have a strong marriage if I love him when we are together but then disrespect and devalue him to other people.
There are certainly times I am frustrated or angry and need a safe place to vent. I have one person I can trust in that way that will always point me back to my husband and will always balance my emotion with logic.
I look at the people in our lives and I know that if Jeff and I were to hit a hurdle that we were struggling to overcome together, there are people who would lift us up in prayer and would reach out to us and support us in working through the difficulty.
I also know there are people who would want to help... who would truly have the best of intentions... but who would really be more damaging than helpful.
You have to have wisdom to discern who will truly support your marriage. It isn't about loving individuals alone. It's also about loving the relationship between 2 people.
So the best marriage advice I can give that has worked in my life so far?
Turn towards your spouse in hard times, in all times. Be the kind of person in your marriage that authentically demonstrates to your spouse and your community the respect and value you have for marriage itself.
And in the bedroom...
Have separate blankets.