Married At First Sight

We don’t actually have a screen connected to free-to-air tv in our house. I decided long ago that I didn’t want my life dictated or punctuated by the TV.

When my children where little I noticed that I might turn it on for the children to watch one or two shows, and then before I knew it, it had been on for several hours- just because one show would roll into the next, and I might have got distracted getting a few things done while the children when entertained and I decided I didn’t want that for us on a longer-term basis.

So I got rid of the tv- literally gave it away!… then my parents, (who couldn’t understand how you could live without a tv) brought us another one. So after getting rid of three TV’s so far, I finally gave in to a TV is in the house, but I didn’t connect to free-to-air tv. We only used it to watch Netflix/Youtube or a movie that we specifically decided that we wanted to watch at that point in time.

Downtime

In saying that, I work really hard- homeschooling, studying, working in two businesses, and trying to fit in some play in as well! So occasionally I need to have some down time- and one of my ways of getting that downtime is to binge watch some “rubbish” shows that I don’t really need to think about, and don’t need to concentrate on to actually follow.  Sometimes I’ll do that with Netflix,  other times I’ll do that with online replays of shows from the free to air shows.  Like this week.

This week I’m having some down time after running the 5-day Wholefood cleanse, preparing to be a speaker of the Transformation Positivity Summit, putting together my free gift for that, along with seeing clients and preparing to go do more training in Melbourne. While I’ve had this down time, I’ve been watching Married At First Sight.  I’ve never seen the show before- It’s currently on Season 6.  I’ve just watched season 1.

Season 1

After finishing the first season, Ben and I had a discussion where he was sharing with me that there was a lot of contention about the show. At this point, I was completely unaware of contention, but apparently, he follows the social trends and online gossip far more than I do and has kept abreast of the controversy.  I could see the some of the points that came up- inasmuch as marriage is an important construct for much of the population, and couples usually opt to walk down the aisle as a sign of commitment to each other- which is a serious matter, which seems conflicting with the reality TV style of the program etc.

I do think the concept of the show is interesting. In some ways, I can relate to some of the experiences that the couples are going through because while my marriage was not an arranged marriage, it has in some ways felt like a divine connection.  Ben and I were engaged 3 weeks after we met, and married exactly 1 year and 1 day after that date. I knew I would marry him the day we met, (it took him a couple of weeks longer to catch on), and if we had of had our way we would have been married much sooner- but some extended family members didn’t cope very well to our fast approach, so we gave them some time to come to grips with it (even with time they still didn’t).

Now we have been married for 17 years coming this Nov and we’ve been together for 18 years with 7 children, and I can honestly say that while we do frustrate each other from time to time, he is my best friend.

Anyhow, the general gist of the show is that couples are formed by an expert panel using behavioural profiling, testing and other methods to find two couples that should on paper at least might make a great pairing- and in the show, we see couples coming together that wouldn’t have actually met in real life due to circumstances, location, physical preferences etc; that do actually get along really well in some situations- they make each other laugh, and have been through similar experiences that allow them to connect in a way that could develop into a long term relationship.

Arranged Marriage

I guess one of the things that comes up in the discussion about the show is the idea of arranged marriages, and the idea that sometimes friends and family (or in this case the experts) know us better than we know ourselves.

Do I agree with arranged marriages?

Let put it this way- when it’s a chosen pathway by two free thinking and consenting adults who have mutual respect for the other, then I don’t see any problem with it.

I do, of course, see a problem when it is in places where it is use, abuse, control, manipulation etc.- I absolutely have a problem with that. but when the two adults want their loved ones to matchmake for them, no problem!

Now if you read that right you would have seen that I have provisos with my agreement to the matchmaking process.

100%/100%!

Having worked with many couples now coaching them on their relationship, I can say that the most important predictor of the marriage thriving and the couples in it thriving is that both parties are committed to giving 100% each to the partnership, not 50/50 but 100%/100%!

Now does that mean you can’t have a great relationship if you’re giving a 100% and your partner is giving 50%?

No, it doesn’t mean that- it means that there will be some unequal pairing- since one party will be giving more than the other! Some people are fine with that because of their behavioural type and their personal values- others will not, and I’ve seen several marriages where both parties have different priorities and that can make for a challenging relationship if they aren’t both willing to give 100% of themselves to make a great relationship. What I am saying is that the couples that I KNOW will do great, are the ones that are both committed- because they will both be willing to look at the parts of themselves that hurt, that need growth, and they will take responsibility for themselves and what they bring to the relationship!

Assigning blame verus Taking Responsibility

This commitment to taking responsibility for themselves instead of trying to assign blame is something that I see missing from the Married at First Sight show, along with a number of other things. The show from what I can tell from the first series doesn’t have the relationship coaching elements that I would bring to something like that.  They take 8 individuals with 8 different lots of emotional baggage, beliefs, values and behavioural profiles and put them together with other individuals and essentially watch and see what comes out. Will Smith has a great video on explaining the difference between assigning blame and taking responsibility, I highly recommend you take a few minutes to watch it. 

If I were the planner for the show…

I would have provided them all with individual coaching sessions and couples coaching session weekly, so that they can come out of the experience learning a lot about themselves and learning the skills needed in healthy relationships, so even if they don’t walk away with a partner for life, they are walking out with the knowledge to create an amazing relationship and learning to remove their own personal blockages and baggage that has seen them attracting the same problem partnerships over and over and essentially creating the same problems over and over, with a different person.

Relationship Coaching

This is at the essence of what I do when it comes to relationship coaching. I help people see the patterns that they are currently running on in autopilot mode, learn about who they are and how they communicate, along with helping them learn about their partner and how they communicate so they can actually get on the same page. They can learn to fight fair so they can actually hear what the other is saying- because so often I see couples fighting and rarely is the fight actually about the current topic they are arguing about. There is normally some underlying issues that the topic just lets them release these the built up anger and frustration at their partner.

Is the show a success?

So while the show clearly is a success in regards to rates, because it’s now on its 6th season, it does leave big holes from a relationship and behaviour strategy success point, based on series 1.  The concept is interesting and think could actually work outside the tv parameters and pressure, but I think it needs to include greater scope, because any reality tv program attracts opportunistic personalities that aren’t really looking for a long term relationship but to really advance their career, and we can see some of those people who they didn’t clearly manage to weed out from the program. Also, they have done all these personality profiling and test on the individual but it hasn’t included the friends and family who know the strengths and weaknesses of personality, which clearly show up in the program, with many of them are walking away from the experience without learning the personal skill to make better choices in the future, that they could have received. 

And that is one of the many things that I do. Teach people to understand themselves, their partner and loved ones, so they can create the life they want to lead and allow those around to feel the love they actually have for them, that they may be communicating in a way that doesn’t allow the people around them to feel that love.  If you would like to learn more about that, head over to my relationship coaching page and check it out. 

Bye for now

Christina M

Naturopath, Herbalist, GAPS Practitioner and Life Coach

* Have you watched the show? let me know what you think in the comments