Honey, You Know What You Should Do . . .
. . . is stop giving unsolicited advice, apparently.
Advice giving, especially unsolicited, is tricky. Being on the receiving end can be annoying and make us defensive. But giving advice can be frustrating, as well, particularly when the intended beneficiary of our wisdom makes it clear it isn’t welcome – or takes the same recommendations we’ve been giving for months from someone else. The whole advice issue is typically hardest to navigate with the person we know the best: our spouse or partner.
In a series of six studies that followed 100 couples for the first seven years of marriage, researchers at the University of Iowa found that both husbands and wives feel lower marital satisfaction when they are given too much advice from a spouse, as opposed to too little. And – surprise! – unsolicited advice is the most damaging kind. The most recent study was published in 2009 in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Other interesting findings include what happens when too little advice is given, how men and women differ when offered advice, and how we should explain to our spouses exactly what we are seeking from them.