How bad ideas can lead to good ones.
Credit: Universal Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

When you decide to get married, lots of advice-solicited or not-is likely to come flowing in, but that doesn't mean all advice is good advice. Real couples reveal the worst advice they've ever received, and how they succeeded by going their own way

Never go to bed angry

David of Salt Lake City has been married for 10 years, and he says the worst piece of advice ever given to him was to never go to bed angry, meaning that conflicts should be resolved the day they're addressed. "We tried to implement this a few times," he says, "but quickly learned how ridiculous it was. Disagreements become more disagreeable as the hours tick by and both parties get more tired." He says he now prefers to be more proactive when solving issues, after getting some shuteye. "A good night's sleep can go a long way to helping you see the other person's point of view and be a little less prideful and ornery."

It's not you, it's them

The tip, "Some marriages work, some marriages you work at," was given to Aarn of Arlington, Texas by someone who he respected. After 24 years of marriage, he says, "It gave me the idea that if you found the right girl, everything would be smooth sailing. I now realize that the only marriages that work are the ones you work at."

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Don't get married

For Cathy of Westfield, Ind., the worst advice she had ever received was simply not to get married. "I was horrified that someone would say that to someone who was newly engaged and planning a wedding," she says. "I did not take the advice, and a little more than three years down the road, I wouldn't look back even for a second."

Keep a secret bank account

Separating assets may be a wise decision for a couple, but Zina from Denver, Colo. says that keeping funds a hidden was the worst advice she had ever been given. "Not only is this a good way to destroy trust in a relationship, but it does not necessarily protect you in the event of a divorce," she says.

Don't "outgrow" your husband

Susie of Washington, D.C. has been married to her husband for 33 years, and the worst tip she was given was, "Be careful you don't outgrow your husband by attending graduate school." The advice was given by an older woman in a traditional marriage. Susie discussed it with her husband, he laughed at the "ridiculous and limiting nature of her words," Susie says, adding that they both believe in personal development and growth. "Three years later, my husband applauded wildly as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma," she adds.

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