Do you need relationship advice?
Here is my advice: Don’t ask me for advice.
But should you wish to ignore my advice and ask anyway, I offer this very intelligent observation from Bob Odenkirk, who is better known for his comedic genius on “Mr. Show” and any other number of projects. It’s taken from an interview posted this week with one of my favorite sites, Nerve.com. They do a regular feature called, “Sex Advice From …” Well, this week it’s from Bob Odenkirk.
Ready? Here it goes:
You played a marriage counselor on Arrested Development. What’s the single best piece of marriage advice you can give?
You’ve got to know when to shut up. You learn when you’re young never to put nasty or angry words in an email or letter — you realize that even though it was all true at the time you wrote it, you don’t want it between you and the other person forever. With a marriage, think of it as if there’s a stenographer in the room at all times who’s making a permanent record of your discussion. So when things get hairy, watch how far you go, because in order to keep the relationship going, you need to not say things that you can’t live with. My wife and I are very honest with each other, and it’s one of the reasons I’m with her — one of the things that made me be in love with her was that she was very straightforward with me, and she allowed me to be very honest with her and not walk on eggshells around her. But that’s all up to a point, and then you have to make sure you don’t go over a line.
It’s kind of funny, because I was talking with my ex-wife about this subject recently. Yep, we are still good friends. It happens.
I don’t recall how we got on the topic, but I was telling her about how I am not always TOTALLY open about how I feel in the heat of a “relationship moment.” Bob has very eloquently explained why. I wish I had put it so well.
So if you want my advice, it is this: You’ve got to know when to shut up.
The other person may not appreciate it during your “relationship moment,” but everyone will hopefully be happier in the end.