Men and women looking for love via reality TV are getting more desperate than ever.
In a new FYI Network show called “Married at First Sight,” three men and three women will show up at the altar on the premiere of the show to meet their spouse for the first time. A team of “experts” used scientific methods to choose the pairings, which then embark on a marriage for four weeks while a film crew follows them around documenting their successes and failures.
Well, I say that is one enormous failure.
Not ratings wise, of course, because I am sure lots of people will tune in to watch these couples have a go at marriage. But as a society, this is a definite failure.
Are we really at the point where we are taking something as sacred as marriage and having young co-eds desperate for airtime take it for a spin with zero intention of sticking it out, making it work or treating marriage like an actual commitment?
Oh, did I mention that at the end of four weeks, the couples have to decide whether to stay married or get divorced? Four weeks. Talk about being in it for the long haul.
I have mentioned before that I watch "The Bachelor." Yes, I know. I am ashamed. But like other boy-meets-girl shows up until this point, "The Bachelor" is about people trying to find out if they want to marry someone. They may get engaged with the cameras rolling, but they make the decision offscreen. Only a handful of these relationships end in marriage because I think the participants take marriage seriously enough not to tie the knot just because it makes good TV.
I actually think the premise of using experts such as the psychologist and sociologist used in “Married at First Sight” to match couples is a great idea. I believe arranged marriages can also work just as well as traditional ones, but marriage will only ever work if both parties see it as a binding commitment — not a four-week trial where they can just get divorced at the end.
The bottom line is this new show makes a mockery of marriage. And as someone who values my marriage as the most important covenant in my life, I’m saddened by it.
Marriage is not a gimmick. It does not last four weeks. It is not something that can be tried on for size and then abandoned.
Marriage is binding for me and for many other people who take it seriously. It is sacred because it is a commitment between three parties: man, woman and God. You break your commitment to one, you break it to all three.
Marriage is not a commitment between man, woman and TV producer. Once we start seeing it that way, marriage — like so many other sacred things in our society — becomes nothing more than a joke.
What do you think of the premise of this new show?
Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, she discusses it all while her 7-year-old and 3-year-old daughters dive-bomb off the couch behind her.
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