February 19, 2010

You know where to get relationship advice?

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, Project: Fail, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty at 9:30 am by Dagny Taggart

Before I get started, I have a question about tuna. 

Is albacore supposed to be more mercury-y than chunk light?  What’s the difference between the two?  And if I have a tuna sandwich for lunch, will I go all Jeremy Piven if I have sushi for dinner tonight?

Because I really want sushi for dinner tonight – enough so that I could be persuaded to choke down some tofu for lunch, instead.

If you want relationship advice, become friends with a divorce lawyer.  I know – I know!  You’d think that this is counterintuitive, that a divorce lawyer doesn’t come into contact with that many successful relationships, so what would a divorce lawyer know about how to live happily ever after?

What they know, is what NOT to do.  I mean, there’s the obvious egregious stuff that’s just a bad idea in general, because it’s morally reprehensible and TACKY.  Sleeping with your wife’s sister is not, actually, a classy move.  Even if her femullet is that much more impressive.

But one of the best pieces of advice/information I’ve gotten from a divorce lawyer friend, is that comparing one’s relationship to other people’s, or trying to emulate other people’s relationship dynamic, is a really BAD idea.  Because (and here’s the Holy Grail of relationship information):

The only people who know what’s really going on in a relationship are the people in it.

And I would add to this: 

And sometimes one or both of them are clueless, too.

And what’s fascinating to me, is that quite often the persons most disposed to give unsolicited relationship advice, are the persons whose relationships are significantly less sound than they would like everyone to believe.



  1. Carla said,

    Totally agree. How many times you hear about couples breaking up/divorcing, and someone saying “but they got along so well” because people never saw it coming? Usually, at least one person in the relationship saw it coming, it’s easy enough to hide the bad stuff from even close friends.

  2. Lemon Gloria said,

    Here’s some mercury info from when I was preg: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115662.htm

    And it is true – nobody knows what’s going on with anyone else’s relationship, really. And as you said, sometimes the people in it don’t even know.

  3. Carla: Definitely true! Especially, I think, because friends want to see that their friends are happy, so they might be quick to dismiss any signs of discord.

    Lemon Gloria: Thank you! S.E. said something that made me think albacore was more mercury-y, and the website confirms it. Good to know!

    Just seems like “eyes on your own paper” really is the best policy in so many situations…

  4. vvk said,

    Mercury poisoning occurs when mercury builds up over time in your system… so eating fish twice in a day won’t harm you any more than eating it twice over three days.

    As for relationships, I would expand that advice further… I think it applies to all of the various types of relationships two (or more) people can have. Friendship, rivalries, loves, hates, professional relationships, etc.

  5. vvk: Phew! I’ve been *really* looking forward to sushi. And I think you’re right – there’s often a lot going on under the surface of most of our relationships.

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