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What's the Worst Advice You've Ever Received?
I'm busy working on my manuscript for "A Good Girl's Guide to Sex" today, so I don't have time to write a real post.

So instead, I want to ask you to write something!

I'm putting together a column on "The Worst Advice You've Ever Received". So let me ask you: What's the worst advice you've received? Let me know, and I'll choose one respondent to win a copy of my book, "To Love, Honor and Vacuum"!

I'll make the draw next Tuesday! Thanks for your help!

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At 10:05 AM , Blogger The Girl in the Pink Dress said…

The worst advice I consider given to me was
"You need to lay down the law with your husband."
He was doing something my mother did not approve of, and she thought I should be ashamed of myself for not keeping him in line. Somehow, to her, I was less of a woman for not telling him off and letting him know that no way was this going to happen. I nearly listened to her, but I'm so glad I didn't. I found that if he does make a mistake, he'll learn from it without me giving him a lecture.


At 10:18 AM , Blogger Jennifer said…

Gee, only one piece of bad advice? How about this? Well...

When I was in college, my roommate took me with her to visit a family friend. As the mother of this family drove us back to campus, she decided to start lecturing us about marriage. Among other things she told us that she could tell that we were both strong women, and that we needed to marry men who would do what they were told to do, and who would let us run everything.

Didn't follow that advice. My husband and I are equals in our marriage and we decide together. If we can't reach a mutual decision, our default is to stay with the status quo until we can agree on something. It's not a perfect system, but it works well enough. Respect makes for a happy marriage, I've found.


At 10:19 AM , Blogger Tracey... said…

Worst Advice:

"Just forget about it and move on."

I received this lovely advice when I was trying to get pregnant and nothing was working and we had been trying for 5 years!

Not so easy when you CRAVE being a mother!


At 10:25 AM , Blogger Helen said…

I would use an excerpt from Our Town by T.Wilder... "MR. WEBB: George, I was thinking the other night of some advice my father gave me when I got married. Charles, he said, Charles, start out early showing who's the boss, he said. Best thing to do is to give an order, even if it don't make sense, just so she'll learn to obey. And he said: if anything about your wife irritates you - her conversation, or anything - just get up and leave the house. That'll make it clear to her, he said. And oh yes! He said never, never let your wife know how much money you have, never. GEORGE: Well, Mr. Webb... I don't think I could. MR.WEBB: So I took the opposite of my father's advice and I've been happy ever since..."


At 10:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

In the midst of a divorce, I struggled with my relationship for my stepchildren. I just wanted to run away from it all. My therapist suggested I tell them the following: that I wasn't really their mother and that we could relate in a different way. I stupidly took his advice and hurt my stepchildren deeply. They have since forgiven me and we are okay, but I recognize that my stepdaughter will never fully trust me with her heart. Worst of all, I know I added to her fear of intimacy and vulnerability she'd already experienced in her young life. And until she turns to Jesus and takes that risk, she'll never be healed. Please pray for her.


At 11:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

The worst advice I received was that once I married, it was until death us do part. This was given while married to an abusive husband. I stayed and prayed many times for death to take me out of it. Finally, he left. Never stay in a marriage where there is physical, mental, psychological and financial abuse. I had all four.


At 11:46 AM , Blogger Mary R. said…

I wouldn't call this advice (actually, I was trying to give advice), but I was told by a lady 15 years younger than I, who had been married 3 times and was again having marital problems, that I couldn't possible know anything about marriage because I had been married for more than 20 years (actually, I have been married 40 years) to the same person!!!!!!!


At 12:34 PM , Blogger Emily said…

wow, some of those are good/bad advice! :) The worst advice I was ever given was TO NAG my husband if I wanted anything to get done around our house. I will not say who gave me this advice, but I was rather shocked that it was given at all! It has been my own policy not to be a nagging wife since I got married, that just made my desire NOT to nag increase.


At 12:56 PM , Blogger Joyce said…

This is a hard one. I guess early on Jr. High/High School I allowed certain family members to plant in my head that what I wanted to go to college for wouldn't make any money and they determined I should be a doctor since I got good grades. Grrr is all I can say, because while I didn't go to become a doctor I didn't pursue my dreams either (interior design/decorating) and now I have several friends in the field who make a stinking killing!! AND I have a long unfinished malling of college. I have found an unexpected career I may not have found without this experience, but still its frustrating! The ones who think they know best for you don't usually know you.


At 1:59 PM , Blogger Llama Momma said…

"Don't worry about what's best for your family, just do what's best for YOU!"



At 2:28 PM , Blogger Emily said…

Well, the some of the worst advice I have ever gotten was from my aunt when I got married was that in order to "keep my husband in line" was to buy a book for training puppies and use it on him. Of course I never did that and have been happily married for almost 18 years.

The Goldman's


At 2:35 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Just got around to reading these (I've been working all day), and OH MY GOODNESS! This is not going in the direction I thought it would, but boy is this interesting!

Emily, train your husband like a puppy?!?! And it doesn't look like you're alone; a lot of the comments have been on a similar theme. This is giving me great fodder! Keep them coming; I'll likely use all of them so far...


At 2:38 PM , Blogger Mrs.C said…

A woman came to speak to us at a Mom's meeting, and she told us all we need to start practicing the "family bed". She said our children would be better adjusted in life, and feel more secure if they slept with their parents every. single. night.


We did not heed her advice, the women who I knew, who did take her advice were sleep deprived because their kiddos wiggled and kicked all night, and some even admitted that their love life suffered.


At 2:46 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Hi Mrs. C.! Good to see you again.

It's funny, because as you're writing that, I'm talking about "the family bed phenomenon" in my book right now, and doing research on it.

I know many women will disagree with me on this, because they are adamant proponents of it, but studies do show two things: sex is far less frequent when kids sleep in bed with Mom & Dad, and kids have a harder time learning to stick to a bedtime and go to sleep in their own beds when they're older. I think those two things need to be kept in mind when people are deciding how to sleep their kids!


At 2:47 PM , Blogger Berji's domain said…

Not THE WORST advice, but, in my opinion, bad advice is that poem about how babies don't keep (so forget about the dishes and keeping the house clean etc.). I understand the sentiment behind it, but really? How much more stressful when baby (and siblings and husband and you) are hungry and there are no clean dishes or food made and everything is a mess because you've been holding baby all day? :)


At 3:00 PM , Anonymous jrmiss86 said…

Marriage = The pastor who gave may husband and I premarital counseling told us that we could do whatever we wanted "in the bedroom" as long as it stayed in the bedroom. That was including pornography. I don't care how you rationalize it, there are just some lines you don't cross.

Parenting = Don't ever let your baby cry, or put them down, hold them all the time, if you don't you will create life long problems. Ha, I had two babies with colic. They cried constantly and if I didn't occasionally put them down, I would have lost my mind, one can be touched and slobbered on only so much before you reach a breaking point.


At 3:05 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Jr. Miss:

Totally agree with you about pornography! That's in my book, too.

As for the colic, I think I'll write a post on that, because I totally know where you're coming from. My husband's a pediatrician, and our youngest daughter had horrible colic. He figures God gave her to us so that he could be more sympathetic to parents. And he always tells them: "there will be times you almost want to hurt the baby when they cry all the time. That's natural. Put them down for 15 minutes and walk away if you need to." He understands because he's been there!


At 3:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

The worst advice I ever received was from my father who, when I graduated high school at the age of 17, advised me not to go to college because it was secular in nature. I wasted the next 4 years of my life doing nothing until I landed in the middle of a very, very bad 7-year marriage. However, all things worked together and 13 years, a 2nd wonderful husband and 4 babies later, I'm enrolled in school full-time on a full-tuition scholarship.


At 3:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Ahh the very worst advice ever.
I was a mother of 4 whose husband was having an affair.
My pastors wife (of the church I was attending at the time) told me..."Fair's fair - move on and show him what its like! So and So likes you and've got 4 kids no one is going to want to be with you with 4 kids! So...unless you want to die lonely you should 'hook up' with him! That will teach your husband a lesson...besides God doesn't mind divorce over an affair!"
Yeah. at the worst point in my entire life. I'm not an idiot and hindsight allows me to see the insanity in the situation. but i believed her.
My "mentor" gave me that advice.
Understandably I'll remain anonymous on this one. :(


At 3:25 PM , Anonymous kharking said…

I think the point of the "babies don't keep" advice is more about savoring the realities of meeting your children's emotional needs rather than resenting them because your bathtub didn't get scrubbed this week.
Everyone's physical needs have to be met too, of course.
Why do we get so much bad marriage advice? We went through some difficult times early on due to my husband's depression and my mom advised me to withhold intimacy in order to motivate him to be more responsible. I don't know how well that worked for her but I can't imagine worse advice under the circumstances. Sometimes that was the only thing that would reach my husband and reassure him that I still loved him. I didn't follow it but it was months before I had the guts to tell her how wrong I thought she was.


At 3:35 PM , Anonymous Amy ~ The Crimson Beloved said…

The worst advice I was given: Encourage your husband to look at you by flirting with other men in front of him.

Needless to say, I did NOT take this advice!


At 7:27 PM , Anonymous Mrs J said…

The worst advice I received when I got married was that we needed to have our own life outside of each other-keep our single ways. This opened a huge door for Satan to sneak in and try to destroy our marriage. Now that we keep each other in every part of our lives, the marriage is thriving with God in the center.


At 9:23 PM , Blogger Mrs Random said…


When I was in college and doing my practicum in the schools, an elementary teacher I respected and was working with told me I was too bright and talented to "waste myself" by getting married.

After I was married and was pregnant with our first child, a dear sweet elderly relative who told me to bring the baby to bed with me so that I could "hold the baby close with one hand and push him [my husband] away with the other.

You know, I was reading through others' replies and notice that bad advice is even more devastating when its given by someone we should be able to trust and turn to in times of need (a mother, a counselor, a pastor's wife).


At 10:15 PM , Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said…

The associate pastor and his wife (at our EX-church) did our premarital counseling. I suppose they were big into the Patriarchy movement, though at the time I had no idea what that was.

Their advice, on wifely submission, was based on two examples from the Bible: Sarah, when she agreed to go along with Abraham to deceive (twice!) saying she was his sister and not his husband, and (drum roll...) Ananias and Saphira, conspiring to deceive the church about their gift. You know, when they were both struck dead.

Those were held up to us as good, Biblical examples of wifely submission.



At 9:09 AM , Anonymous Rachel said…

I could understand if the research shows negative things about a family bed, I'm sure it depends on how the parents handle the situation and no one situation is a prescribe all for all families; but I had to throw in my two cents. We have slept with all three of our children in our bed or in a crib attached to our bed and I am happy to say that it didn't/hasn't decreased our love life. We have had to find more creative ways to be intimate and have actually found that to be fun! As my children got older they moved to a toddler bed in our room away from our bed and are now transitioning into their own room (out of necessity we had only one room for a long time) the oldest are 5 and 3 and they go to bed all on their own with no problems at all, sleep all night independently, etc. The greatest advantage is that I'm not sleep deprived, I am able to continue nursing at night while I sleep, instead of having to get up. I just had to throw in my opinion, since I have and am currently sleeping that way!

The worst advice I ever received in regards to parenting was probably to let them cry, they will eventually stop. Nope. My first and third are extremely strong willed and no amount of letting them cry would ever make them stop. They could have cried for hours and hours as infants, if I would have let them. In regards to marriage, not me but my husband, was asked repeatedly by his father after our wedding if he was sure this was a good idea, there was still time to get out! Not really advice, just some bad bad counseling by his father!


At 9:18 AM , Blogger Sheila said…

Mrs. Random--

I had a similar experience in university over getting pregnant! I was working on my Master's, and my husband and I decided to start a family. My supervising prof advised against it. Then, when I had my first miscarriage, she said, "well, that's a relief." And she was feminist! Aren't feminists supposed to care about women? :)

Herding--I can't believe they said those were good examples! Blech. That's an embarrassment to the body of Christ, and actually makes me angry that people do that.

Rachel--good point about the family bed. I think with all research, you have to take it with a grain of salt. What may be true for most may not be true for you; it entirely depends on how you handle it. It sounds like it worked great for you! And if people have the right attitudes and intentions, it can work great for them, too.


At 10:05 AM , Blogger Marian said…

I hear this one all the time:
"Make him suffer a little bit first" before accepting apologies.

Not a good way to maintain a healthy relationship!


At 1:26 PM , Blogger Rebekah said…

I've been given a ton of bad advice. I think sometimes people just say something to say something and hear themselves talk.
One of the worst pieces of advice I have ever received was to not say I forgive you until there was a 'proving period' where my husband 'showed without a doubt he would never do that again.' Ridiculous. I of course didn't take that advice.

When I was expecting our first son, I was advised to just have an abortion because I had extreme sickness, and surely my life was more important than 'that lump in there.'

During a miscarriage a couple years later a lady I really respected told me I was ungodly for sorrowing over losing this baby because that showed I wasn't thankful for the children I already had. A few hours later the nurse at the ER told me to just think of it as a prolonged period, I was young, I could try again, What a senseless waste of tears. Yep, bad advice.


At 9:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

When my firstborn was 5 months old he developed an ear infection, but I didn't know what was wrong. I called the dr. twice a week for at least 2 months- but the nurse refused to allow me to see the dr.!! I'm not kidding. She would say: 'he's just stubborn, let him cry.' I was too new a mom to know any better. I didn't know you could just say 'no- I want to see the dr.' Finally, after she left me on hold for 12 minutes (I was watching the clock!) She told me the dr. was too busy for me today. I hung up and called a friend who was a nurse in another pediatric office. Thankfully, she was the one to answer the phone because I burst into tears. I tried to explain all of my reasons, and she just kept saying, 'oh, just come in! You can come in today!' Of course, my son had horrible ear infections in both ears and after they healed he had scar tissue. Thankfully he didn't lose his any hearing. Forever after, I have been much more aggressive in our health care! - Susie


At 3:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Worst advice?
A session of elders commanding we return to their church after we left because our children were being abused.

We approached the responsible parties to resolve this while still there, but were ignored and the treatment worsened.

When one of our children began to seriously close down and another threatened suicide, we left. (We should have left sooner.) When we told the pastor and elder we left on account of how our children were being treated and the resulting fallout, they ignored the issue and blamed us for making trouble in the church "by leaving".

Session, too ignored the reason why we left, saying we were sinning because we left and had to come back.

We sent a letter to Presbytery who never contacted us except to send a letter saying we were in sin to leave, and to go back.

It was then, we sent a letter to the elder and pastor telling them to take us off their membership roll. Session replied with a letter cursing us and our children and saying we were committing spiritual suicide.

It was reported back to us that an elder(responsible for some of the abuse) then told the church that we were in "the abyss" regarding the state of our souls.

This happened here, in Ontario, in a seemingly mainline church.

Here is my advice:
the welfare of your children ALWAYS comes first.


At 5:47 PM , Anonymous NM mommy of 2 said…

the worst advice I was ever given was to abort my son when I was 19 and pregnant and just begining my college carrer. I was told I couldnt do it . . . of course I didnt listen and am due to graduate in May, I have raised s beautiful brillant baby boy who has done nothing but improve my life and he is only 2 yrs old

another piece og bad advice i was given was to marry my ex (who ended up physically abusing me in front of my son when he was 7 mths old) I so glad I didnt take that advice or I would be stuck in an abusive marriage with someone who didnt love me.


At 6:41 PM , Blogger Anne said…

well I'd say one of the worst pieces of advice is that I need to be sexual first with someone, sleep with them or fool around with them, to know if we are a good match


At 1:56 PM , Anonymous JT said…

Well I'd say that the worse advice I ever recieved was from my abusive ex.....

He told me that I should never think that anyone would love me past the "whore" that he thought I was and that I should never expect any man to want me or my children and that I should give up trying to raise my daughters because the only thing a whore could teach anyone esle is how to be a whore.... and that it didn't matter that my father refused to give me away at our wedding that I should marry him anyway because I needed to leave my parents and cling to him bc my parents obviously didnt do a good enought job raising me because I had two kids out of wedlock which constitured me being a whore and I was LUCKY he found it in his heart to want to marry me and try to give me a better life.....quote un quote....

Needless to say I called off our wedding and after finding the love of Christ which taught me to love myself and I eventually left him and his abusiveness towards me and my daughters. I am now happily married and know my worth and that I was never anyone's whore and that just because that's what he thought of me, God saw fit to show me how salvation beautifies the meek and he blessed me with a wonderful husband..... NOW if someone will just tell me an easy way to cast those memories away when they try to come up in my married life then I'd be great.

I think your book will be wonderful Shelia, there are so many women who have been told these same words in their sinful life and even though salvation erases that, it's hard sometimes to let go and be free ( sexually) with the one you are supposed to be free with til one of you dies ya know!


At 3:37 PM , Blogger Catherine R. said…

The big one that comes to my mind at the moment: "wait until you're ready to have kids"

Boy am I glad I didn't listen to that one.


At 10:33 AM , Blogger I've stolen a garden said…

The worst advice I ever got about marriage was from my mom-in-law. She said that in order to show my husband (her son) I meant business I needed to sleep in the guest bedroom one night. This turned into him practically dragging me into our bedroom (which ended well). Boy did she know how to push his buttons. It definitely worked, but I WOULD NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

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Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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