Relationship Expert, Really?

Thanks to my husband who finally stopped traveling long enough to properly diagnose and fix our computer, I hope to post to this blog on a regular basis once again. Of course, he leaves again soon, so nothing is guaranteed.

Okay, it must just be me. I mean thousands (if not millions) of people watch the morning shows, talk shows, and news magazines and do not appear bothered by the people giving advice on them, but it is driving me crazy. I have been around the media enough to know that often the “experts” are not vetted well, but lately the “relationship experts” often blatantly lack credibility in my eyes.

Is someone who is divorced more than twice, has children with other men/women, over 45, and currently single once again the best person they can find to give relationship advice? Really?

Perhaps my sister is right, they may be experts because they have had many relationships. But really?

You can call me crazy, but I would rather listen to relationship advice from someone married for fifty or more years to the same person, like my in-laws or my aunt and uncle. I would rather listen to my friends who have been married for 20 or 25 years to the same person. To me, they have the experience to possibly  be relationship experts.

Sure, I wholeheartedly believe that you can do something well and not be able to teach it and you can be average and something and teach it well. However, being a relationship “expert” does not seem like the same thing to me.

Is their advice relationship advice or dating advice? Is their a difference? I mean I dated for years. I did not get married until I was well past 30. I was hardly a “relationship expert.” (I could teach Interpersonal Communication skills though).

I guess I am not positive that a long marriage makes you a “relationship expert” either. Perhaps, no one is a “relationship expert.” Perhaps, we are all “relationship experts.”

If we all are “experts,” then I should have some relationship advice, right? Okay, here is my non-expert marriage advice:

  • Don’t marry someone you think you can live with; marry someone you don’t want to live without.
  • Don’t expect the person to change when you get married.  They will not improve, suddenly or otherwise.
  • Marriage can be hard, even when you marry the right person.
  • It is better to be happy alone than miserable with someone else.
  • Don’t count on someone else to make you happy.  You are the only person that can make you happy.
  • If a person treats you poorly before you are married, they are not going to treat you better if you make it to your tenth anniversary.  In fact, they probably will treat you worse.
  • The actual wedding ceremony and reception is just the beginning of your life together.  Don’t spend too much on it.  Put your money on your future, not on a wedding debt.
  • Respect is vital to a successful relationship.
  • When in doubt, talk it out.
  • Eating and worshiping together can only make a relationship stronger.

So, is my advice the keys to a happy, successful marriage?  No.  I do think they are valid points and they can only help.

There are many elements that make any relationship successful.  To me,  a “relationship expert” should be able to identify and execute those elements in the type of relationship for which they are giving advice.  Thus, someone giving advice on dating and marriage should have long term success in both.

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