Whenever I think of marriage, I only know of one way to describe it. Marriage is an adventure. It isn't a goal, it isn't an achievement, it is an adventure.
How does this apply to advice? Well, before you go on an adventure, you make sure that you get prepared. One of the most important aspects of preparation is getting advice and interacting with those who have already done whatever adventure you are embarking upon.
You get skiing lessons from a ski instructor the first time. If you are going scuba diving, you receive instruction and get certified. When you go skydiving the first time, you are linked to an experienced skydiver.
When you get married, get advice from married people.
It's not a bad thing to get advice. In fact, the advice that Courtney and I have received from other married couples has been absolutely wonderful. We have looked toward couples who stability and wisdom we know and trust. You can find a lot of valuable advice and recommendations from those who have been married twenty, thirty, forty years or more. And I don't just mean older married couples.
Getting advice from couples who are similar in age and at a similar point can also be very gratifying. There are differences between generations, and some of the differences mean that you have similar understandings to those your own age. However, don't think that these same differences mean that couples of older generations don't have anything to offer--they tend to lack the same blind spots and bring more experience to the conversation.
Of course, the biggest question is why get advice? As much as we would all like to think that we are completely unique and that every couple is unique, there are always similarities. Couples tend to face similar challenges because the biggest challenge in being married is becoming accustomed to your significant other. Conflicts between the two sides of a couple are unique in the particulars but very similar generally.
Last point to remember: be fair towards each other. When you look for advice, always cast your significant other in the best light possible. When you go to other couples for advice, you are not looking for referees to decide who is right. You aren't looking to correcting your significant other. You are asking what you should do to help ease the conflict, not what your spouse should do.
So, don't be afraid to get advice. It always helps.
(Here's Court's post)