Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Marriage on Television


arroyo TV
Originally uploaded by reddirtrose.
I had a couple of separate thoughts come together today.

The first thought was about the number boys that are growing up in homes without fathers. There are so many single mothers either due to divorce, death, fathers abandoning their families and children concieved out of wedlock. Some sources say that as many as 50% of children will spend at least part of their childhood with only one parent. As wonderful as mothers and women are, boys want and need a male role model to show them how a man acts. When there is not a father to provide this role model, it must come from somewhere else. If that role model is to come from TV, I would be hard pressed to name one that I like.

The second thought come from working on getting my book ready for printing. I have been re-reading some my favorite things of what I had posted before. Topics like respect, humor, couresty, faithfulness, undestanding and gratitdue are common. The practice of these virtues is what makes a for a marriage that is not only strong but enjoyable.

The thoughts of a strong marriage combined with the lack of role models for young boys combined to compose this question: What is a good example of a role model for a married couple on TV? A marriage in which the couple:
* Treats each other with respect
* Doesn't critize, belittle and complain
* Is faithful
* Works out problems together with courage and humor
* Likes each other
* Demostrates the attributes and attitudes that others would like to have in their own marriages

Here is what I thought of:
* The Dick Van Dyke Show
* The Cosby Show

So I asked my sweeheart:
* The Brady Bunch
* Leave it to Beaver

I asked a friend:
* Mad About You

I asked another friend:
* The Donna Reed Show
* Bewitched

None of these answers came quick. It took us all a moment to come up with the answer.
It wasn't meant as a trick question. I admit I do not watch a lot of television, but Mad About You ended in 1999. The others are even older. A bunch are even only black and white. Hasn't there been a single happy, strong and supportive marriage on TV since 1999?

Turn that coin over and ask the opposite question: Are there any bad examples of marriages on TV? Are there any shows in which couples that argue, belittle, cheap, lie, blame, critize and are otherwise unpleasant to each other? Of course there are. There are entire genres dedicated to bad marriages. Soap operas, reality TV, and a lot of sitcoms portray marriage and couples at their worst.

Combine reality TV with a soap opera and your get Divorce Court. The dissolution of a marriage and the destruction of the family is now considered entertainment. Divorce Court represents the atithesis of a role model for married couples.

Where should a couple turn to for relationship role models? My sweetie adn I are lucky in that her parents are still together and my are as well. We get to spend quite a bit of time and see what it takes to make a marriage work for the long haul. We are also being an example to our children so they can know what to expect from a good marriage.

Who are your role models for marriage?
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