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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
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darlyn05 posted:
This situation reminded me of a past post and thought I would share it. A woman I know, not closely, just turned 50yrs old, married 20+ yrs to a doctor, she's a retired vet tech, owns a thriving business, beautiful house(s) and furnishings, boats, cars, atv's, horses, dining out, vacations, time shares, extraordinary health care and the like benefits, basically no worries in those areas of life, no physical abuse, her husband is a narcisisst(to what degree I don't know), is now in the hospital suffering from a severe emotional/mental nervous breakdown with suicidal tendencies caused from her filing for a divorce that she did not completely come to her own terms with/was not fully ready for even though she wanted it, after the advice and push from a co-worker. Now the co-worker is beside herself, guilt ridden, feeling responsible and wishing she could take back the advice and 'push' she'd given because it wasn't the right 'stuff' or what the original woman really needed. http://forums.webmd.com/3/relationships-and-coping-community/forum/494 On giving advice Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted: As I meet new people in my office and read through the discussions on the Relationships and Coping community, I consciously temper my impulse to jump in and tell people what to do.

Because people need to simplify their complicated lives, there is often more that we (as the 'listeners') do not know in these situations than what we do know. Even when they try to provide all relevant details about a situation, they will inevitably leave something out.

It's also important to keep in mind that relationships involve dynamics that no one on the outside is fully privy to. Each person has biases and is probably inclined to defend their own position.

So, being helpful is tricky. It's easy to advise one thing when you would provide different advice if you had a bit more information; or could see how your experiences are biasing your judgment. This awareness can help you take a step back when you find yourself being judgmental; and it can remind you to be cautious when providing suggestions.

What I have found by working with people in therapy and here on WebMD is that, like so much else in life, the more I learn, the more I also realize that I don't know or understand as much as I thought I did. I'm curious; Can you relate?

Read in more detail about this topic in my post on The Art of Relationships blog .
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