The FYI Network recently launched a show called, Married at First Sight, that recently wrapped up it’s first season. This show was an interesting concept for a reality television program, where experts put individuals through a series of tests including; psychological, background, compatibility, etc. Based on their results they find three matches that are “perfect for one another.” Two of the three couples stayed together and were quite happy with their matches, only one of the three had chemistry in all areas immediately.
This may sound like a crazy concept to marry someone whom you have never met or seen in person, or for that matter to marry someone you know nothing about. However, statistically marriages aren’t all that stable in the United States, resulting in half ending in divorce. Far too often we base our choices on feelings and impulse rather than compatibility. We believe that things will work simply because we love someone. I can tell you that I love a whole lot of people in different ways, but that doesn’t mean that I would be compatible with any of them.
As strange as it may seem arranged marriages have a much higher success rate and matchmakers in other countries have been employing their skills to set up successful matches for as long as marriage has existed. I think that one reason for this is that those individuals trust that the matchmaker (sometimes a family member) will find them the perfect person. Also, they go into it knowing that they will have to do everything they can to make it work. Marriage today, the modern marriage, doesn’t usually go that way. Often times people meet, they hit it off and despite any warning signs that it may not last forever they get hitched. They don’t understand that marriage is a whole lot of work and they continue on until the differences become too great. In a new arranged marriage they have to learn about one another from the second they meet. They are more invested for the long haul whereas the modern marriage is too easy to just throw to the wayside.
I am not saying that modern marriages are doomed to fail, but I think that there were some valuable lessons in the show. First off, I think that we take for granted our partner’s needs. If both people are invested in their spouses needs then both can be fulfilled. Second, ask for help. There are too many couples that ignore issues and they do not get the proper help and support they need to work through those issues. Marital counseling is something that can be a huge benefit in the beginning of a relationship when any sign of struggle presents itself. If you wait too long you have less chance of success.
When new couples begin their married lives many of them have already lived together and been in a relationship with one another for quite sometime. This may seem like a benefit, you already know how the other is in the day to day routine. However, despite knowing those intricacies there is something that seems to change when you say your, I Do’s. Suddenly this isn’t a situation where if it doesn’t work you can easily just move out and move on with your life and that puts a lot of stress on a relationship. The trapped feeling can become overwhelming. For some it forces them to actually put in the work but for others it forces them to overlook the important issues while letting it build into a much deeper frustration and resentment resulting in the eventual demise of the marriage.
I have learned over the years that in relationships it is important to realize that people are human, they are not flawless beings without faults. We can accept the fact that our partners may mess up, perhaps even tell us a lie, and at a crossroads may be unfaithful. That doesn’t mean that it is a failure it means that we have to learn to move forward and grow to be a better couple and work toward a lasting future. I’m not saying put up with someone lying to you on a regular basis or any such thing, but do not expect that your partner is perfect or that you are perfect. Real people mess up and real people have struggles. You can work on them together or apart. Either way once the relationship falters to a point of no return, you have very little chance of then making it a success later on.
I do think that we should be looking for a new approach to marriage and make sure that both partners are getting what they need and want from it. Open communication is certainly imperative to making a relationship work, as we saw on the show. If you can’t honestly and openly talk about your fears, doubts, issues, etc. what chance can it really have? I feel that overall the show was a success and I am anxious to see how these relationships progress and how well they work moving forward.