Don’t listen to the advice at the water cooler!

The morning started out pretty well, it was snowing, no wind, quiet in the back country. I had planned a nice hike and photo shoot in the woods that Saturday morning back in Wisconsin. I had a friend that wanted to go along and take pictures of winter scenes.

I showed up at his place at 6:00 AM, and waited in his driveway while trying to find a decent radio station to listen to. The defroster was on high, the wiper blades were brushing the snow that was falling, it was beautiful outside! I found a station that fit my mood, Christmas music, it was 3 days before Christmas.

As John walked out the door with his camera and gear, he waved good-bye to his wife. He opened the door to my truck and got in and said “lets go”. As I drove into the snowy dawn morning. He was silent for several minutes, and then I asked him if he was OK? He said “No” that he wasn’t that he and his wife were talking about separating. I was taken aback and continued to listen to his sharing with me. He talked the entire trip to our photography destination about the possibility of getting a divorce. I turned off the engine and continued to listen, what else could I do? He had a lot of hurts and no one to share them with. I finally asked him, what caused his wife to want to get separated? He wasn’t sure. but knew she had been talking to some of her friends at work.

That’s all I needed to hear, I knew as soon as those words left his lips, that she was hanging around a bunch of gossips. Gossips can separate friends, family members, employees, they do so much harm. Often people who give advice around the water cooler are not people that can help you or count on.

Case in point, when I counsel clients, I asked the simple questions, have you been talking to friends about your relationship problems? What have they told you? Are these people married or divorced? Do they seem to have a good marriage are they in a healthy relationship? I like to dig deep when people are getting advice from friends, and asking questions can get to the core of the issue.

What’s sad, over the years that I have counseled people in bad relationships, I find a common thread. Usually those who want to give advice are the ones who are in a bad relationship, and don’t have the guts to file or separate from their own bad situation, and will live through your divorce. They are willing to give advice, that they will not follow themselves. If people want to help you, they should ask if have you sought some counseling or help from a relationship coach? Have you talked to a pastor or someone in the clergy?

I have a friend of mine who offers help at the drop of a hat, and I have sat and listened to some bad advice come from his lips. He has no clue or idea on how people process experiences that they are going through. His advice is from From watching Dr. Phil.

People will act on your behalf because they love and care about you, but they don’t always give sound or good advice. We all have friends that will fight for and with us when we ask for their help or they find out that we are hurting from a bad relationship.

I have heard people say, “if I were you, I would toss the bum out”, or ” I have a friend who is happy she is divorced, she has no more pain”, “Divorce is the best thing I ever did”. There are reasons for divorcing someone, and good ones. I like to see couples at least try to save a relationship. I have had many individuals in my office sharing regrets of getting a divorce, with tears flowing and broken hearts. I will hear, “What was I thinking”, “I listened to my friends, and now I am divorced, what have I done”, “Will, I ever get over this hurt”.

My photography friend, sought help from a relationship coach, and his marriage is just fine. It took a lot of work, and both had to compromise to make it work. Talking things out works the best, couples need to talk and not listen to those people at the water coolers.

Are you are going through trying times and want some help or someone to talk to? Give me a call. I can help you through the process of discovering if a divorce or separation is necessary.

If you would like some help in dealing with personal issues in your life or the relationship that you’re in, you can contact Mike at 303.456.0555. If you need more information about the Professional Accountability Partner Program, call 303.456.0555 or go to contact Mike link to set up a free consultation appointment. Dr. Mike’s website is all calls are confidential and your privacy is protected. Check out Mike’s blog at: I always welcome your thoughts and comments on today’s coaching article.