Looking for marriage advice is like looking for cement - you don't need to go far and can easily trip over it, there is so much of it in our world. Everywhere you turn there is a counselor or advice columnist or "life coach" giving marriage advice and while some of it may be worthwhile and may actually save your marriage, some of it is worthless, and may actually cause more problems than it solves. So how is someone to tell the difference between good, bad, or indifferent marriage advice? To whom should you turn when experiencing marriage problems?
It may be true that you don't actually need to be a licensed therapist or psychologist to give good marriage advice. Sometimes those who have been married for decades can easily pinpoint problems between spouses and shed some light on possible solutions. After all, they may have gone through many of the same problems in the years of their own marriage and know exactly how the spouses feel, and may have seen what really works and what doesn't. It's true also that you don't even necessarily need to be married to give good marriage advice either. Sometimes even single people can see when someone is acting selfishly, refusing to compromise, or being disrespectful or disloyal to their mate, and can see the problems that this is causing as well. After all, marriage is supposed to be a relationship between two very close friends, and a single person can see when you're being a good friend to your spouse or not.
There is some danger in just accepting anyone's marriage advice, or turning to friends and family when your marriage is in trouble. For one thing, your friends and family may have a tendency to take your side on things, or may not realize when you're just telling your side of the story without being honest as to how your own behavior is contributing to the problem. Also, getting marriage advice means revealing some of the problems you're having in your marriage, and your spouse may not like you airing your dirty laundry to these people or talking to your parents or your best friend about his or her personal business.
In cases such as these, it might be good to speak to an actual counselor for marriage advice. There is usually something much safer about talking to a third-party stranger that doesn't know you when discussing personal business. Also, he or she may be able to recognize difficult problems that your friends may not be experienced with. While your friend may be able to listen to your problems, he or she may not be able to offer sound marriage advice for how to effectively deal with these problems. Many people need someone to just talk to or to vent their frustrations to occasionally, but to really address your problems and get marriage advice on how to make them go away, you may need to call in the professionals.