An Example of What is Wrong with "Marriage Advice" from Some Popular "Self-Help Gurus"


It’s very sad anytime a marriage ends in divorce, especially when children are involved. It’s a tragedy for the entire family and I’m not here to make jugments about the way someone else chooses to live their life.

However, I am disturbed when influential “self-help gurus” - who have an impact on hundreds of thousands of people - offer relationship and marriage advice that I think could influence people to make very poor decisions. I feel compelled to say something about such advice.

I can’t help but be extremely troubled by this hugely popular (apparently over 1 million readers) online advice columnist’s reaction to (and explanation of) his divorce. This is someone who brands himself as the source of “personal development for smart people.”

Again, I recognize that everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. Such imperfections don’t make someone unworthy of offering helpful advice. My problem is how this guy reacts to and then explains the reasonings for his divorce. Due to the nature of his site, he’s obviously sharing this reaction and explanation in an effort to advise others on their relationships.

Here’s the article: LINK

What I find very scary is that thousands and thousands of people rely on this “self-help guru” for advice on what it takes to live a successful life – including in the area of relationships and family life.

Is this really what is passing for mainstream relationship, marriage, and family advice these days? “Open” marriages? Putting one’s own ideological (read: delusional) idea of ultimate utopian happiness above any and every other interest? Being smugly thankful that you and your kids live in a city where divorce is so common and that you feel “welcomed” into the club of divorcees?

I’m sorry but this is exactly what I think is wrong with a lot of the self-help industry.

Am I overreacting here?


No, you’re not over-reacting IMO. I’d never heard of this guy before, but the article you linked to made me feel a bit ill. :frowning:


I am in mental health and family counseling by profession. Don’t even have to read the article or know the name of the guy. Yes, lots of that out there. Absolutely NO that this philosophy is the stance of mainstream marriage counseling unless the therapist does not keep up on the research.
We are not supposed to put links to these kind of things but I assure you the latest research on marriage and families is that children are hurt by divorce, such excessive self pursuits cause a sense of abandonment in the children, and the goal in marriage therapy should first see if the marriage can be salvaged and made better by a balanced give and take. This is in the secular literature.
Those seeking enlightenment with such so-called guru’s, including religious ones by the way, are misguided. You can’t do much about that except letters to editors presenting am opposite viewpoint with research evidence to support it. Just remember, even in the Scripture letters of Paul, such guru’s existed then too. People don’t change much through the millennia.


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