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I don’t want to hear marriage advice from celebrities

Kirk Cameron is an actor, but he recently made a splash with his comments about wives honoring their husbands. As a marriage and family therapist, I wonder why these celebrities feel they are qualified to give the public marriage advice.

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Kirk Cameron seems to be publicly sharing his thoughts on relationships and how he believes they should look: “Wives are to honor and respect and follow their husband’s lead, not to tell their husband how he ought to be a better husband. When each person gets their part right, regardless of how their spouse is treating them, there is hope for real change in their marriage.”

Cameron is currently on a tour called “Love Worth Fighting For,” a Bible-based event intended “to strengthen and encourage your marriage.” The quote Cameron discusses about “each person getting their part right regardless of how their spouse is treating them” is not appropriate or healthy relationship advice for a couple — or even people in general. How we behave and treat others is more important than “getting your part right.”

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I have seen many other celebrities doing the same thing as Cameron. Remember when Gwyneth Paltrow gave her advice on divorce? While it is not unusual for celebrities to share their own personal stories, when is it too much?

I would suggest taking most of their advice with a grain of salt. Celebrities are not always relatable and their thoughts and personal journeys might not be useful for people who are not famous. I think it is just plain old good advice that if you are seeking out solutions to your own marital or relationship problems, you should start with a professional in the field.

Some simple and good advice for any couple:

  1. Communicate! Communication is essential to any positive relationship. If you do not have these skills, seek out a couple’s therapist.
  2. Share your thoughts and feelings on an ongoing basis, and spend time talking about what is going on with each person in a meaningful sit down.
  3. Practice kindness and respect in your behaviors and actions.
  4. Use mindfulness or coping tools to reduce stress.
  5. Create healthy boundaries — and make sure you enforce them.
  6. Have time together and time apart. Share hobbies and experiences and balance individual time as well. Maybe even find a new hobby to do together.
  7. Practice emotional intelligence.
  8. Learn to manage conflict in a healthy way.
  9. Establish a support system for each person.

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