Author Topic: Discussion Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???  (Read 1060 times)

Offline AcornTopic starterTopic starter

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I have read several posts recently, and not so recently, where support and sensible advices crossed into the realm of legal and medical diagnosis and advice in my humble opinion.  I personally see this as a potential legal red flag for the forum and the persons giving the advice.   

This is not a medical or legal hotline where qualified professionals have full protection of the laws.

What is the boundary here on the forum?

Another ‘Code of Conduct’???  Sorry, mods...

« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 06:41:21 AM by Acorn »
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Online Treasur

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 06:49:01 AM »
Makes sense to me, Acorn. Also bc in an online environment we have limited information about the individual.

Fine to suggest 'seek legal advice' or 'you might want to talk to a doctor' or 'this is a good book' or 'AlAnon was helpful for me'
And to say 'when I was doing mediation, I found it helped to do x' or 'when I felt like you, I found y medication or vitamins helpful'
But we all need to tread with care bc we are often dealing with others at their most vulnerable and just bc something worked for us it doesn't mean it will be good for someone else imho.

Three kinds of situations occur to me:
- when posters talk about suicide or self-harm
- active legal issues
- significant physical or mental health issues
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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Offline nah

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 06:59:55 AM »
Personally I like the old saying on here, "here's my advice, take it or leave it"

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Offline Thunder

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 07:07:39 AM »
Acorn I agree with you but sometimes the medical or legal advice that has been given here but more just to answer a question one may have.

Things like how spousal maintenance is figured out, types of visitation rights, what you can negotiate over in Mediation, lawyers fees and how to cut down by doing certain things yourself, etc.  But they don't cross any lines.

Most of the time the information is also given with a warning that they need to check THEIR laws where they live because they could be very different in different states and countries.

Of someone is giving serious legal or medical advice it does cross the line. 
Like you said we are not experts in the legal field or medical field, and certainly not experts on their situation.  At least most of us aren't.

So I would say if it's general information, fine.  No more than that though.  You could be making matters worse for someone.

jmho   :)
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Offline OffRoad

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 07:09:46 AM »
It depends on what is called "legal" or "medical"  advice, imo. In my case, I worked for an attorney and believe letting someone know " In my experience, this is something you might want to know so you can make an informed decision" is helpful.

I can't recall where someone said "Here is your diagnosis for cancer and a prescription for it" or anything like that, nor do I see where someone was told "If you do X, you can get off of a charge ".   I do see suggestions for what people could do, should be aware of, might consider, but then I take this as a forum of opinions, not facts.
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

Offline Mitzpah

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 07:34:33 AM »
I think OR has it right :)

If I remember correctly, some time ago we had it written somewhere - possibly in the introduction to the mentor program? - that we were not professionals, therefore we could not give legal, medical opinions as such.

Personally, I will preface any comments on these subjects as being my opinion or experience, however, the person must have professional advice on subjects that merit it.

I cannot comment on legal aspects at all since I live in a country that is very different to the US or the UK!

I see the areas of concern that Treasur posted as pertinent and I think that most of the time, when these issues pop up, the advice given, in general, has been appropriate - pointing to local suicide hotlines, advising to consult lawyers/attorneys/solicitors and encouraging people to go to their local GP/psychiatrist when needed.

I don't find "in depth" discussions on specific, serious health issues (like when we had a thread on BVFTD...), legal issues (simply because laws vary from place to place) helpful because they take the focus off what this forum is for. There are forums which deal with these issues, if one is so inclined. I remember that I joined a forum for parents of children with cancer when I needed it, then, later I joined one on hysterectomies (!) which also helped at the time.



JMHO
M 58
H 58
S 27
D 24
BD 13 Dec 2010
Divorced 27 Feb 2015 (30 years marriage)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

Offline forthetrees

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 07:51:16 AM »
Any licensed doctor or attorney giving personal advice on this forum would endanger their license. I think it´s fair then to assume that any advice or suggestions falling into the medical or legal realm given on the forum are from non-professionals. If you ban those topics, you lose out on information gained from personal experience.

When my Dad had pancreatic cancer, I was on a forum and those folks provided lots of useful advice that eased his suffering.
I am on a forum for the drug I take for MS and have gleaned useful advice for avoiding side effects.

For a forum that has members going for palm readings and astrological readings, I think we´re ok as is:)
me 51
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D final 8/13

Offline Nas

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 08:17:21 AM »
Good question, Acorn.  Many, many people here are dealing with serious health issues.  One would hope that a person dealing with a serious illness would have a team of professionals, or at least one primary care physician who is monitoring them and treating their illness. 

My guess is there are many people here who have health issues that they don't even share on the forum.
 Some do and some don't.  There's been a suggestion that in order to appropriately interact with a person on the forum, we need to take their illness into account and become educated about it.  I'd argue that our comments should not be different whether we do or don't know about an illness they might have.
 There's absolutely no reason why any of us should be concerning ourselves with someone's health issues or chronic illnesses because we should not be offering advice about health issues.  Beyond showing empathy for the additional challenges those health issues might pose, or sharing anecdotes ("I've heard that X is helpful for the illness you have, maybe you can ask your doctor about it...") there's nothing we can or should be doing. 

Most people preface their comments with "This is just my opinion" or something of the sort.  We all have a responsibility to act in our own best interest, and in cases of health or legal issues, that includes doing our due diligence in the real world.

Offline Ready2Transform

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 08:31:49 AM »
Quote
If I remember correctly, some time ago we had it written somewhere - possibly in the introduction to the mentor program? - that we were not professionals, therefore we could not give legal, medical opinions as such.

This DID exist! And it was somewhere here on the main forum because I remember RCR posting about it that LawProfessor was helping her sort it. I'm not seeing where that is now, but it might be a good time to revisit it.

I 100% used to give nutritional supplement info every chance I got because (for me) that was the number one helper in re-establishing stability in both mind and body. In the earlier years my tunnel vision was very much geared toward still being a fixer. Now it's much easier to suggest things but know that not only is everyone going to heal in their own way, but they're also grown people who can discover that way on their own. It's just easier to detach.

There are some basic truths that I'll admit, it's a relief to see that a general consensus can see when there are red flags in a situation legally. I'm sure most of us enter this process without a lot of experience with the court systems, and the encouragement to not be naive and think there will be a movie-like emotional outcome in most situations is for the best. But always, "Talk to your attorney" is the only advice that matters because that's the person that will be standing there with you, who knows the law in your jurisdiction, and more importantly, knows the judge! Many times s/he is the game changer in our cases.

We all mean well. But we gotta learn when to shut up.  ;D ;)
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Offline Nas

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2019, 08:39:15 AM »

but they're also grown people who can discover that way on their own.


This.

Offline OffRoad

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2019, 09:00:53 AM »
they're also grown people who can discover that way on their own.
While I agree with this statement, I also think "Why reinvent the wheel if someone else already has designed one." When it comes to advice or other people's experiences I'm a firm believer in take what you can use, and throw away the rest, but I have to know what that advice or experience is first.

If a disclaimer is needed, how about "This is a 'no-fault' site. You are responsible for your own actions. The views and the postings expressed on this forum are the opinions of the posters and do not necessarily reflect the official position of this website, and sometimes do not reflect reality. Be a discriminating reader."  Just a thought.

When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

Offline Anjae

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2019, 09:23:39 AM »
It does not cross a line. It has always been given. There is disclaymer created by RCR and aproved by LP, who is a lawyer, that says HS members even if professionals, do not offer advice in a professional capacity.

That avoids HS and its members being liable. The disclaimer has existed for a few years.






Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline Thunder

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2019, 09:54:47 AM »
Where is it Anjae?  I don't see it anymore, or am I just missing it?
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Offline AcornTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2019, 09:56:36 AM »
It does not cross a line. It has always been given. There is disclaymer created by RCR and aproved by LP, who is a lawyer, that says HS members even if professionals, do not offer advice in a professional capacity.

That avoids HS and its members being liable. The disclaimer has existed for a few years.

Where can I find it, Anjae?
It makes legal and common sense for a site such as this to makes sure to protect itself from a lawsuit by a disgruntled member who blames it or other members advice as the reason for his/her poor decision making and outcome thereof. 

Just saw Thunder’s post.  Great minds think alike. LOL!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 10:03:25 AM by Acorn »
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Offline AcornTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2019, 10:16:23 AM »
Found it!  Under ‘Register’.  It does not seem to appear anywhere else.



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Offline readytofixmyselffirst

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2019, 10:52:42 AM »
Hello,

Since I believe I started this, I ave always provided the guidelines that I am not an attorney or a medical doctor. I can provide expert advice in curriculum and instruction, basic special education, negotiations for labor unions, personnel investigations, and charter schools.

If you read my post, I always caution the person that I am not an attorney. Although I work closely with a good one. The laws vary from state to state and especially countries.

Furthermore, you have to have the entire file in front of you and based upon the circumstances make a decision on the best route to take. While many cases seem the same, each legal case is unique to its own. Even experienced attorneys make mistakes and it is hard to unwind once a path is taken. A friend of mine had a case where a federal prisoner who was in a state facility was killed by another prisoner. The case was complex and he ended up calling another attorney who was an expert in this area. They had to painstakingly refile the case with the proper motions and claims.

I always mention on my thread to speak to your attorney or doctor. Ask questions and then make the decision. However, it is and will always be your choice and you own it 100%.

On this site, we give advice and that is what it is advice. We are only hearing the information from one source, respond the best we can, and then move on. If I take someone's advice and it doesn't work, I don't blame the other person. I blame me.

Just my humble opinion and advice.

Ready
"Always look in the mirror and love what you see."

Offline Anjae

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2019, 10:57:52 AM »
Aconr, I think it also used to appear on the board front page. Maybe the more recent layout changed things. You will have to ask RCR and/or OP why it only shows under "register".


Of course those with health, legal, etc. training, know things those without do not and can offer their experience, but no one on HS is offering advise her someone's personal health of legal professional.

Ready is right, we are also only hearing info from one source. A source we don't even know. Advice is just that, advice. As a general rule, we do an excelent job and the advice is good. I don't think it is possible to ask much more from volunteers, be them mods or other HS members. Everyone here is a volunteer.

Often, we're also presented with very complicated situations. Situations that on-line strangers take time to read about and offer advise to. It is more than many people would do.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline Nas

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2019, 11:12:43 AM »
Hello,

Since I believe I started this


Acorn, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this discussion was largely sparked by a recent suggestion that as members of a forum, before we post to someone it is incumbent upon us to educate ourselves on whatever issues a person is facing so that we don't appear judgmental or too harsh to the person being posted to.

Of course it is not our duty as posters to educate ourselves on another's specific circumstances.  Especially since, as has been stated, each person is a stranger presenting their circumstances to us and we have only the version of events they provide us.  They may have selectively omitted details for various reasons, among other things.  We don't have anything close to the whole picture of anyone on the forum. 

But this is a forum for support of left behind spouses talking about their experiences of life after BD.  Our thoughts and opinions are shared to provide general support to others who have been BDed/left behind, not to fix problems or provide individualized responses tailored to their very specific needs. 

Offline Anjae

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2019, 11:26:49 AM »
Lets say one of us is a doctor, health professional, lawyer and someone posts about illness or legal issue X.

The professional person may have a better knowledge that those of us who are not professionals, but, for example, a neurologist will not know as much as a cardiologist about hearth issues, and the cardiologist will not know as much about neurological issues. A family lawyer will not know as much about crime and a crime lawyer will not know as much as a family lawyer, etc.

HS is for people dealing with a spouse in MLC and to offer support and advice on the matter. We do much more than that. We can hardly be asked to do more than we already do. Yet, several of us took courses on a variety of subjects to known more about a number of things, etc.

We can't all be experts in all issues on the face on earth. I think most of us have a good idea of many issues, but no one is an expert in everything. Not even the biggest expert on a matter knows everything about that matter.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline OldPilot

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2019, 12:09:29 PM »
Aconr, I think it also used to appear on the board front page. Maybe the more recent layout changed things. You will have to ask RCR and/or OP why it only shows under "register".

It is on the Forum Information board.

Here
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11.0

Offline AcornTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2019, 12:14:09 PM »
I stand corrected, OP.
Thank you for the link.
It’s on the second page of Forum Information. 
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Oct 2015: ILYBIANILWY.
Apr 2016: Affair discovered
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Offline Silver

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2019, 12:22:51 PM »
It is still a good question Acorn, thank you for bringing it up  :)
I am sure you are not the only one who has been thinking of that, now the link is easier to find.

"I've seen dreams that move the mountains, hope that doesn't ever end even when the sky is falling. I've seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new. That's what faith can do." Kutless

Offline Mortesbride

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2019, 01:57:39 AM »
Information is just that...information.

It is up to each individual to decide if that information is relevant, useful, or even correct.

How does a person decide what to use on the internet? We find a reputable source. We cross check....compare information from many sources.

No matter what advice you receive on this website, it is ultimately up to YOU to decide what is best in the situation.

I don't think it should be a moderator or RCR job to police everything that looks like it might be legal or medical advice. Personally I found a lot of the information very helpful and it wasn't even about my situation. I think having people in medicine or law is actually VERY HELPFUL to people on here, because you can get some ''off the record'' tips, tricks, and ideas.

As a (single?) mom who may be facing the D word at some point, I will be looking to get all the legal ideas I can... (don't forget pensions, and custody arrangements, and health insurance and blah blah). I don't expect anyone on here to fight my case for me, or know the ins and outs of Scottish law...that is a lawyers job, but having those helpful reminders will save a lot of heartache.

Same goes for Medicine...I study Biology...have no formal qualification. But through my education, and research, have managed to solve at least 6 different health problems of various people (Me, My daughter, my husband) when the doctors here (NHS) had just flobbed them off. One of which was my own gallbladder that I had to FORCE them to check ''because I was to young for it to be that'' and by the time they gave in and agreed to the scan it was about to burst! Am I going to come on here and say ''Wowwee I think you got an inflamed gallbladder let me pop to the shed and take it out for you!''  :o no...but what is the harm in me saying ''Hey you know what happened to me....maybe you should have your doctor do a X scan''.

Think our world has gone a bit crazy over filtering information, and being super careful of what you say, because one outlier took it to far.

That is on the outlier not the information.


You know this is MLC when you have played emotional hot potato with a pair of crotch-less tights.

Offline strawberry

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2019, 08:52:48 AM »
What she said☝️

So many sites are afraid of appearing to give expert advice and are terriefied.  But the thing is, not a single one of the changes I made for my thyroid that were effective were recommended by my doctor.  Knowing what has worked in practice for other people is often useful.
H: 44
M: 45
M: 2003, T: 2001, Friends: 1996
No kids
2 dogs, 2 cats
BD1 (Summer 2014) "We aren't happy, I should move out, we should divorce"  Nothing happened.
Nov 2014 we moved across the country for H's job
BD2 (July 2015) "I'm not happy.  I want a divorce"  H moves out for 2 weeks.
BD3 (Nov 2017) H takes a new job 2 hours away and moves out.
BD4 (September 2018) OW2 discovered despite claims there has never been one.  She outs MOW1 and discloses that H filed for Divorce, but has not served me.  OW2 dumps him.

Offline Anjae

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2019, 09:31:16 AM »
I don't think people are going to stop giving the type of advice they have been giving so far. The disclaimer exists to prevent HS and its member being liable, not to stop people giving the type of advice they do.

Indeed, information is just information, advice is just advice. Each person must think, compare and decide for themselves.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

Offline Rollercoasterider

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2019, 09:29:12 PM »
The legal disclaimer was previously shown on each page by using a global footer mod. After an upgrade that mod was giving me problems and I had to stop using it. I just tried it now and it is working.

Offline OldPilot

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2019, 03:27:50 AM »
The legal disclaimer was previously shown on each page by using a global footer mod. After an upgrade that mod was giving me problems and I had to stop using it. I just tried it now and it is working.

Oh cool,  I hope it keeps working without any issues

Offline AcornTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2019, 08:12:50 AM »
The legal disclaimer was previously shown on each page by using a global footer mod. After an upgrade that mod was giving me problems and I had to stop using it. I just tried it now and it is working.

Wonderful. Thank you!

Indeed, information is just information, advice is just advice. Each person must think, compare and decide for themselves.

Yes, what you have said is common sense. 
What is also common sense is recognizing that not everyone has common sense. 

I think it’s prudent to have the disclaimer displayed unambiguously.  It’s a bit like having an insurance for one’s house.  Not because there will be a devastating fire, but just in case. 
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Oct 2015: ILYBIANILWY.
Apr 2016: Affair discovered
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

Offline Anjae

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Re: Support and advice on the forum. Where do you draw the line???
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2019, 12:32:40 PM »
What is also common sense is recognizing that not everyone has common sense. 

Agree.

I think it’s prudent to have the disclaimer displayed unambiguously.  It’s a bit like having an insurance for one’s house.  Not because there will be a devastating fire, but just in case.

Indeed.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

 

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Legal Disclaimer

The information contained within The Hero's Spouse website family (www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com, http://theherosspouse.com and associated subdomains), (collectively 'website') is provided as general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal, medical or mental health advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The Hero's Spouse cannot be held responsible for the use of the information provided. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a trained medical or mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a legal professional for specific legal advice.

Any information, stories, examples, articles, or testimonials on this website do not constitute a guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual situation. Reading and/or posting at this website does not constitute a professional relationship between you and the website author, volunteer moderators or mentors or other community members. The moderators and mentors are peer-volunteers, and not functioning in a professional capacity and are therefore offering support and advice based solely upon their own experience and not upon legal, medical, or mental health training.