People love giving their opinions, even if you never asked for it. I used to be like that, but I had to learn to keep my 2 cents to myself unless I was asked. This way, if I said something they didn’t like, I could always follow up with, “Well, you asked!”. As I got older, I had to learn to take things with a grain of salt. Then I started paying attention to the people I was listening to, and that’s when I started ignoring folks all together. Why? Because people don’t know what they’re talking about! Your girlfriend/BFF who is never in a relationship or can’t keep one but always giving you relationship advice? Yeah, you shouldn’t listen to her. The guy who constantly cheats on his wife but tries to tell you what he thinks about marriage? Nope, you shouldn’t listen to him either. And you probably shouldn’t take financial advice from your adult friend who still sleeps on their parent’s couch and is living check to check but always has designer clothes and always wants to hang out. Just don’t do it.
Fortunately for me, I married a man who doesn’t listen to what other people have to say about his decisions. He knows what direction he wants to go in and doesn’t let other people deter him from his path. If someone presents an idea to him, he asks questions- lots of questions, before he would even consider it. When Lorenzo and I were dating, we were living in 2 different states. He relocated to Atlanta from Albuquerque, while I remained in New Jersey. Needless to say, there were a lot of people (read: men) who were trying to convince him to date as much as he can and play the field – even though he and I were already committed to each other. Not gonna lie, I got some crazy advice from people after we got engaged as well. Here is some of the craziest we’ve heard:
Don’t get married. Lorenzo had other men say this to him. Why? Because they felt like since he was young, successful, and childfree that the LAST thing he should do is settle down. They wanted him to go around and sleep with as many women as he could – because honestly, that’s what they would do. A lot of those guys had dead end jobs with a kid or two by multiple women and had their wages garnished due to child support payments. But maybe if they weren’t sleeping around so much and having kids they would have extra money to…oh, well never mind.
Let yourself go. Multiple women have said this to me. I was shocked because I didn’t think people actually did that; I thought it was a joke. I used to look at them and think to myself, “You can’t be serious.” I didn’t keep myself in shape just to “catch a man,” I’m in the military so I have to stay in shape and honestly, I actually give a shit about my health, so no, I won’t be doing that.
Marriage is boring. Or, “you won’t get to do things you like to do.” I don’t understand this one. Is everyday supposed to be a party? If you’re so bored, why don’t you plan a trip or an outing or something? I can understand not having a whole lot of time to indulge in your hobbies if you have kids but if you don’t, why can’t you? I don’t get it. Someone will have to explain this one to me.
Don’t tell your husband about all of your purchases. So, lie to him? To me, this means that he can turn around and do the same thing by keeping things from me. Why would I want to do that? I’m a pretty financially savvy person, so I know better than to spend rent money on a new purse or make a major purchase when we are trying to save for a house. No thanks, I’m not trying to cause arguments intentionally.
I’m sure that folks have the best intentions when they offer advice, but I realize many of them speak from their own experiences rather than placing themselves in the other person’s shoes; and just because its something you’ve gone through or would do yourself doesn’t mean its the best thing for ME. If we’d listened to everything other people told us to do we’d be arguing all the time just to prove we don’t have secrets, we would’ve bought a house in a not so great neighborhood and another house that we didn’t like just to live next to people that I didn’t know. We also would’ve had a kid just because someone Lorenzo worked with was pregnant, also someone I don’t know; and went into debt planning our wedding. Lorenzo would have taken jobs that wouldn’t have helped his career and I would nag him and start arguments about next to nothing, just to do it.
The moral of this story: people sometimes give shitty advice, not just about marriage, but about life in general. I think people should consider the person they are getting advice from and always do what they think is best for them. That other person who has so much to say about your life doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of what is ultimately YOUR decision. Listen, but with caution.