Marriage Advice, Gossip, and Friends
The flowers are arranged, the guests have arrived, and the bride and groom anxiously await their big moment surrounded by their respective wedding parties. Traditionally this group is made up of close friends and family with their duties ranging from bachelor party planning, to dress primping.
More importantly they also serve as literal witnesses to their friends’ new marriage. Unfortunately, in our modern society we often end up focusing more on the “fun” or party elements of the event instead of actively supporting this fragile new union.
If it takes a village to raise a child, why wouldn’t the same hold true to grow a marriage?
Create new traditions! Many couples are asking their families and friends to offer “community vows” at their wedding ceremony. Check out some ideas HERE.
So what kind of support could we possibly give to our friends when their marriage hits a rough patch? The truth is that most people don’t feel comfortable dishing out advice that might help fix their friends’ relationship problems.
Rather, they feel much more comfortable wallowing in their friends’ marital woes, encouraging negative thinking and further stoking the flames that may ultimately take down the couple. Maybe it’s our culture’s propensity for juicy gossip stories that drives some to escalate these types of situations, but it seems that the old adage still rings true; misery LOVES company.
We’ve all heard these types of conversations, heck, maybe we’ve even participated!
“Aww you don’t need her! She’s just bringing you down any way… you’d do so much better if you were just free!”
It’s human nature not to want to rock the boat. Just tell your friend what they want to hear, and commiserate about how much better their life might be if they left their marriage, right?
“He’s always telling you what to do! I mean, does he even KNOW how much YOU do for him?"
While Hollywood may glorify tearful rant sessions over a bottle of wine, the reality of it can be extremely destructive. Not only does this undermine the marriage in question, but in the long run your friend may end up resenting you for speaking badly of their spouse.
So don’t be afraid to rock the boat! If your friend values your friendship enough to have you IN their wedding, don’t shy away from standing up for the vows you watched them take.
Marriage Advice Do’s and Don’ts
DO listen. All of us need to vent sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with being a shoulder to cry on.
DON’T join in with the negative talk.
DO offer a hopeful, positive perspective. Even if it means recommending counseling, always stay positive.
DON’T use the “D-word” (divorce).