I'd like to thank the troll commenters and spam artists who appear to come out when authors go silent for a while for providing me with some inspiration. Recently, on my Facebook page, I posted a link to what The Stir thinks is the "Worst Marriage Advice of All Time". Some of the advice is genuinely terrible ("You can always get divorced") and some of it is just a little silly ("Never clip your toenails in front of your husband.") In my personal opinion, they left out some of the absolute worst marriage advice. But recently, a commenter began popping up and randomly responding to your comments with some awful advice that basically boils down to this: Don't serve your husband. Don't respect him. Don't consider him. Do what you want. Let him take care of himself.
That, ladies, is quite possibly the worst marriage advice anyone could dole out. (And that is also advice that will get your comments promptly deleted.)
There are some who seem extremely offended whenever anyone suggests that a wife should consider her husband's needs as more important than her own. Or if she is advised to treat him with respect or maybe even make him a sandwich without whining. Or maybe try to dress in a way that he finds attractive sometimes. Or make an effort to "get in the mood" to have sex when he wants to. Or if she is counseled to not fight tooth and nail about every decision he makes and - heaven forbid - submit.
Why is that so offensive?
If you want a marriage to be miserable, be my guest and decide that you are more important. That your needs are more critical. That you can make any and all decisions that relate to you without ever discussing it with him. That if he is physically capable of completing a task, that you should never ever help him out and do something nice for him.
Are you important? Of course! Is your opinion and perspective valid? Of course! Do you need to wear pearls and skirts and high heels every day and greet him at the door with lipstick and a cold drink and a perfect smile and remove his shoes while he plops down on the couch like the caricature of a 1950s housewife? Um, no. Strangely, whenever anyone suggests that a wife serve her husband, it seems to conjure up images of June Cleaver and convey this ridiculous impression that anyone who does so is a doormat. No one is suggesting that any wife act like a brainless, emotionless fool.
Oddly, the same people who get offended about a wife being advised to serve her husband want to be waited on hand and foot. Those wives want him to make her a cup of coffee but they refuse to make him a sandwich. They want to be taken care of but they won't take care of him. They want to be consulted when he decides to change jobs but they won't consult him when they want to change careers. Or they will serve him grudgingly but get ticked off when he serves just as grudgingly. This does not make sense, people, especially to every single one of us who can recite The Golden Rule.
I remember the advice my dad gave me when I got engaged (I think...it might have been about having kids). He basically said that when you get married, your space is forever invaded. Your life forever and always involves another person. You cannot ignore that person because you want to live independently. If you want to be independent, if you want your own space and total freedom, do not get married!
So that is what I believe to be the worst marriage advice ever: Be selfish. It is a sure-fire recipe for failure and simply invites misery.
Agree? Disagree? What is the worst marriage advice you've ever heard?