Do You Want a Marriage Like Theirs?

Do You Want A Marriage Like Theirs - a #staymarried blog about being selective with the advice you listen to for your marriageLike 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.

People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy. - quote on #staymarried blogSo, 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.

New to #staymarried? Welcome! Check out why we started this blog and our first entry to get a little background.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Michelle

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8 responses

  • Great post today Michelle.

    Paul and Virginia Friesen have not only an amazing marriage but are also amazing parents and examples to MANY.
    They have written handfuls of books and speak around the world about successful relationship tools.
    You guys should check them, and their resources out….

    http://www.himweb.org/Info/staff.html

    They’re reputation and relationships prove their true character but I also got the opportunity to get to know their daughters pretty well and they speak more highly of their parents than anyone else!

  • Love your posts! I learned so much by reading ( and re-reading many times) Dr. Phil’s 10 personal relationship values. You can find them in his book Relationship Rescue. This book was invaluable to me as I worked through some very difficult times in my marriage. I’m happy to say that my Hubby and I will be married 28 years this summer. The book isn’t all sunshine and roses. It really demands a lot of the person reading it.

    • Wow Christine! 28 years! Congrats!

      And kudos to you for taking on the challenge of personal growth. I’ll have to check that book out.

  • So I really enjoy your posts each week. I recently graduated with my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy so relationships are important to me and I love the emphasis you put on reading good material, the truth is that there is a lot of information that is really bad out there.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Congrats Matt! Would love any other recommendations you’ve found in your studies that could help us. Thanks for reading!

  • I agree 100% with this and I do the same things. Beth and I make it a practice to hang out with people that have been married 20+ years. We go country dancing with a couple that has been married 30+ years all the time. This couple actually saved our marriage with their dancing class and taught us how to be one again. If you can get through a dancing class and still be married your golden. 😉 After 10 years, kids and jobs we just seemed to separate into room mates and forgot how to love each other. Now when we start feeling distant we go dancing sometimes at a bar and sometimes just in our living room. We love it, We would have never had the chance to learn this if it wasn’t for that dancing group and a great couple leading it. now we have a passion for marriage, and just want to scream when we hear the word divorce. God works in crazy ways if you just let him.