Like most of you, I get my news from Facebook and Twitter. I’m kind of tired of being lured in by the headlines that say, “This lady with only one arm had a dog with no legs… you’re not going to believe what happened next!” so I don’t click on those anymore… as much… ok, I still do. But, I wish I wasn’t so curious about completely over-hyped stuff.
Then, I read headlines about relationships and marriage and I become a complete snob – if it’s written or posted from a source I think is silly, I won’t even read it. Is that bad?
Last night, for instance, I saw an article come up about toxic marriage or something like that and I almost clicked on it. Then I saw it was from kirkcameron.com and I was like, nah…
Isn’t that awful? I mean, I’m sure Kirk is a great guy and maybe even a great husband, but I’m turned off by his reputation and the fact that he’s… well… an actor.
When I want good marriage advice, I try my best to consider the source. I look to people that have been in it for the long haul, that have the kind of marriage I hope to have 20+ years down the line, like our friends and mentors Rich and Barb or our guest interview from last week Davina Fear. I also look to my friends who know my character, and my husband’s, and have invested time into our lives the way we have invested in theirs. When I want to know the truth, I seek people who are honest and live their own lives with integrity and transparency. I ask myself, “Do I want a marriage like theirs?”
I also look to experienced researchers over hot topic celebrities. Drs. John & Julie Gottman have eons of research as well as their own marriage behind their advice… You’d think by now we would be BFFs, but the truth is I’ve never met them… So, if I see something that comes from the Gottman Institute, I’m going to take it seriously. When I see, “Hot Sex Tips to Impress Your Man,” on every cover of Cosmopolitan, I’m gonna go ahead and take a pass.
Dr. Kevin Leman (most renowned for his work in Birth Order studies) is also rich with research and insight. So are Dan Allender, Cloud & Townsend, and Shaunti Feldhahn, just to name a few. These people, much smarter than my husband and I, have done the work, which is why you’ll see us pulling from theses sources week after week. They’ve put in the hours, not only in their own relationships, but in funding and research and case studies, and YEARS to be able to share the wisdom they share. We link to all of these sources, and many others, on our Resources page.
So, before I grab a cute meme from Pinterest, and then a DIY tutorial so I can make “art” for my bedroom, I try my best to consider the source. Is it a saying that makes me feel good, or is it actually true? Are the words something that have substance and meaning, or do they merely rhyme? Is the author someone I admire and revere or simply a celebrity whose name I recognize?
I hope you do the same, including any advice or tips we share here on #staymarried. Consider the source. Tony and I have only been married seven years, we’ve got three kids preschool aged and under. We are CRAZY, and also crazy in love, but we are not therapists. So, before you take us, or anyone else, all that seriously, pause and consider the lives of those people behind the words. Before you take their advice, make sure you want to live their kind of life so you’re not filling your home with a bunch of cute sayings, but instead with real wisdom to help you #staymarried.
You are reading Do You Want a Marriage Like Theirs? a #staymarried blog. If you liked this post, you may also like to read We Need to Talk: Four Tips to Facing Impossible Decisions or Finding a Marriage Mentor. If you think these could encourage someone else’s marriage, please consider sharing. You can also feel free to pin the image above if you like.
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