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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Free Relationship Advice for YOU!

When I was beginning my first relationship with a man, I learned pretty quickly how clueless I was about relationships.  So I took to polling my friends for their best piece of relationship advice.  After my relationship ended, I thought, "What am I doing to do with all this great advice?  Recycle it?  Give it to Goodwill?  Store it in the basement?"

It's still in pretty good condition, so I didn't want to throw it away.  I decided the best option was to do an online giveaway:  Free advice for YOU, given by my friends and family, and paraphrased by me.

On fighting:
  • "Try to have at least one big fight before you get engaged."
  • "My tendency when we fight is to draw away, even stand at the other side of the room while I make my point.  So I try to hold my husband's hand when we're fighting.  It's hard to be too angry while you're holding hands."
  • "When we have a disagreement, it's easy for me to get angry or defensive.  Instead, I try to look at what insecurity or hurt might be driving my husband's behavior.  Then I try to encourage him in that."
On compatibility:
  • "You want to be going in approximately the same direction at approximately the same rate."
On discernment:
  • Almost everyone encouraged me to pray and seek counsel about my relationship and its future.  One person said, "We know from Solomon that if we ask for wisdom, God won't hold back!"
On expectations:
  • "In order to be valid, expectations have to be reasonable, verbalized, and agreed-upon."
  • "Once I realized that my happiness in my marriage was largely dependent on my commitment to seek happiness in my marriage, it took some of the pressure off whether I was making the right decision.  Although I still very much believe that my husband is the man God had for me, when I'm discontent I know it may be because of my own attitude and actions rather than because I married the wrong person."
On communication:
  • The majority (OK, all) of my advice-givers agreed that communication is a good thing. 

I'm probably missing a couple pieces of advice, because already I can't remember all of the wonderful things people told me (which is one reason I'm writing them down now).   I find myself thinking about some of these principles in other aspects of life; for example, the advice about expectations needing to be agreed upon was new to me, and so helpful!

I hope you find something here you like.  If not, just put it out at your next garage sale and send me the profits. :)

What's your best piece of relationship advice?

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