Who is that in your ear? Your circle matters. The company you keep matters. And most of all it is critically important who you allow to advise you esp on marital matters. While “they” may be good people, or a life long friend or even your favorite relative, you may have to think twice (third & fourth) about having them advise you on your marriage. Their counsel may be sound on most topics but proceed with caution when it come to your marriage relationship. Just like we’d make sure to hire the right/best candidate for the job, the same should be true when it comes to taking advice from others - esp on our marriage. It’s on us to know the source and it’s on us to check their resume related to the matters at hand. People don’t position themselves in our lives - we position them and we give them authority with us. So it’s on us to be wise who we platform as an authority to us.
Not only should we check their resume but we should also validate their intentions towards us. Despite what we may think or even think we know, we are not always right. ? For this reason, we need someone balanced enough to sharpen and correct us when we’re wrong. We need someone sober minded that can consider the facts, situation and circumstances and still speak on behalf of our good - not our pain. We need someone experienced enough to coach us through trauma and seasoned enough to encourage us through tough seasons. All the while, keeping us focused on our good in all things.
Positioning someone in our life this way really requires that we assess their motives. It’s true that good people most often have good intentions and motives, so we don’t have to be overly dramatic - just diligent. We have to bear in mind that their experiences are likely the leading source of their advice. Their advice will also be influenced by their healing, objectivity & maturity surrounding their experiences. That’s why someone having a bad experience doesn’t necessarily mean them giving bad advice as their healing may actually help them share good stuff. It all just depends on a lot which is why we have take be wise and take it all into consideration.
Unfortunately, you may find that some advice (even from good intentioned folks) can be biased, short sided or even misleading. It’s also unfortunate that some people just don’t like to see others happy. Sad but true. Even those we trust can steer us wrong esp when we’re vulnerable. This is why we have to consider way more than ourselves when looking for an listening ear. I’ve learned that everyone cannot be privy to our venting. Tough lesson esp when things start blowing back in your face from conversations you thought were safe. When this happens, learn quickly and respond with appropriate diligence. When people show you who they are, believe them. We tend overlook rather than believe.
Me... I mostly vent alone bc I’ve learned that my venting is really me looking to say it, express it & get it off my chest. I found that I am not looking for a solve or to commiserate or to even plan during those times. I am looking to just to vent. Secondarily, I’m looking be heard but in a weird way. I hear me and God does too. And I’m good with that. Not to mention what I am sharing when I vent is too raw for human consumption - not so much raw in words but rather raw with my vulnerabilities and passion. No one can handle all of that intense dump I’m usually spewing out anyway lol. Not to mention, I don’t trust all that “goodness” or better yet “good mess” with just anybody. So if you see talking in the car by myself - now you know what’s up - I’m likely going in ?
When I need help truly processing is when I go to my person - which for me is more than one person bc who I go to varies by topic. I haven’t found that one person can handle my multifaceted life. With my persons, I am mature not exposed. I lay out my case full of all my well collected thoughts and we discuss matters in a very effective way. I don’t vent with them. I am seeking them to groom me not pet me. I’ll be honest - it’s not typical that my friends are my go to persons. Occasionally, perhaps on a topic or two here & there but not often. Mainly bc I prefer to be free with my friends, have fun with them, keep life good with them and be open & available to support them. It’s my choice. Those I process with are my partners that truly serve as iron that sharpens me. I was taught long ago and strive to maintain 4 categories of relationships. I’ve intentionally placed these roles in my life. Who they are to me may or may not be who I am to them. And it’s ok. I have friends, partners, role models and mentors. Get you some.
Finally, it’s true that misery loves company. So, it’s incredibly important the company you keep. Bad company corrupts good morales. Not everyone has your best interest or your relationship’s best interest at heart. We can all recognize the overt shadiness but sometimes it’s the little innuendos that may seem well intentioned that you may need to take real notice of. The subtle statements, the hints of distraction, the quiet conflict, the discouraging opinions - all of those are flags - red flags. And they don’t necessarily always come from outright haters alone. Words we hear are seeds and they take root and may spring up as mixed or bad thoughts & feelings that can lead us astray and fuel unwanted actions. We just have to be mindful of who’s in our ear. Take seriously any signs of uneasiness you feel as advice is given. Don’t be so quick to overlook red flags or any pauses of concern. Your marriage is at stake.
Now before you say just forget it and declare to forsake everybody to go it alone - do not be mistaken, we all need help & support. We are relational beings and no woman is an island. There are great people available to you and you need them. Just be wise - very wise with who has access to your thoughts and who you allow to advise and influence you esp as it relates to your marriage. In closing, I’ll leave you with a few lyrics from Whodini’s infamous song “Friends”,
“You say you & your girlfriend were so tight
You took her out with you and your guy one night
She even had a set of keys to your home
And you shared mostly everything you owned
But as she shook your hand, she stole your man
And it was done so swift, it had to be a plan
Couldn't trust her with cheese, let alone your keys
With friends like that you don't need enemies
You wonder how long it was all going on
And your still not sure if your man is gone
You say, well if she took him he was never mine
But deep inside you know that's just another lie
And now you're kinda cold to the people you meet
Cause of something that was done to you by some creep
But nevertheless, I'll say it again
That these are the people that we call friends”
Be careful ￼? Be wise
Here at First Wives Club, we are for you & your marriage. Our goal is to support you as a wife. We recognize being a wife is likely one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but we believe you can win. You’re in the right position to do so. #firstwivesclub #FWClive
Author: Denise Taylor
I’m on a mission to help professional women thrive. Hear me loud & clear... Don’t Settle. You can have it all. I live a blessed life & you can too.