If there is to be a selection of ideal people who qualify to give relationship or marriage advice, who should they be?
Some people believe that no divorced person should not be allowed in this category. The idea is that people whose marriages have broken down should not be teaching others how to make a marriage work when they could obviously not keep theirs.
I recall an example of this manifesting between media personality, Toke Makinwa, and some guy on Twitter few years back. Toke had tweeted about her sister’s forthcoming wedding in 2017 and the Twitter user told her to not bother giving the bride-to-be [at the time] any marriage advise because she 'dropped out' of her own marriage with Maje Ayida and 'lacks experience.'
To value relationship advice from divorcees or not?
I think divorced people could be in one of the best positions to give certain advice on what one needs to avoid in a relationship/marriage. Their failures would be obvious pitfalls that newly-married people might want to avoid in their own marriages.
So, really, one can’t shut divorced people up on marriage and relationship issues. They usually have lessons from their botched marriages which can inspire some very good advice to other people.
Being married for long does not guarantee possession of great marriage advice
On the other hand, people believe that old people who have been married for so long are the best people to get relationship advice from.
This is not a disparagement of the useful experience that comes with long marriages, but one can’t particularly place all trust in the words of every old, married person.
What if their marriage is just long and not happy?
Remember that people stay in marriages for several reasons, and some of those reasons are not always good. Imagine a woman who remains in a marriage because of her kids, or because of the fear of what people will say and society’s negative labels for divorcees.
So a man or woman who stays for donkey years in an unhappy marriage qualifies to give relationship advice but someone who leaves their bad marriage does not?
That does not make much sense, does it?
Single people can give good relationship advice, too
There are also people who believe that if you are not in a relationship or if you have never been in one, you should not be giving relationship advice. If you have never been married, no one should listen to anything you say on marriages. They say such a thing is akin to the case of the blind leading the blind.
Views as this try to invalidate the wisdom of certain [and quite rare] people who are truly wise on marital issues despite being unmarried, and those who have no boyfriends or girlfriends but are truly deep and hold sensible views on relationships.
Of course their knowledge can be dismissed as being just theoretical and untested in an actual relationship or marriage of their own and that could probably be right.
All in all, I believe that everyone should know what’s best for them - the kind of relationships they want, and the right kind of people they’d allow to influence the relationships.
What really determines the usefulness of relationship advice
Anyone can give good or bad advice, whether married or unmarried, young or old, experienced or inexperienced – although I'd admit that by virtue of experience, involvement and wisdom that comes with age, some may have a higher tendency of giving good advice over some others.
Relationship and marriage advice [and all other forms of advice] are actually meant to be taken or rejected. So it does not matter who gives the advice, if you think it’ll work for the kind of relationship/marriage you have with your partner, then take it and use it, even if the giver is divorced.
If it won’t work for you, please drop it like it’s hot, even if the person giving it has been married before Lord Lugard amalgamated the southern and northern protectorates of Niger area.