In the past several months I have become more aware of the affect T.V. shows and movies can have on relationships. It’s hard to find a marriage that is depicted in a “healthy” terms or any relationship for that matter. Whether we like to admit it or not we compare ourselves to the things we see in media. It’s easy to compare your relationship to the ones on T.V. and then question yourself and/or relationship at times, which is a scary and dangerous thing. Here are the three things I learned from this.
T.V.’s portrayals of sex are very graphic these days and on nearly every drama series. It’s always staged as spur of the moment, passionate, and earth shattering. No one is worried about work the next day or even getting to work on time for that matter. No kids running around or crying in the monitor. It’s all just care-free and easy. So why is this an issue? Slowly couples start questioning their relationships. Why doesn’t sex-life look like this? What’s wrong with my relationship? He doesn’t say those things to me. She doesn’t dress like that. In the wrong context these can be dangerous thoughts. They can place seeds of doubt where they don’t belong. It’s important to constantly remind yourself “it’s staged.” It’s not real life with real stressors or complications, it’s not going to look like what’s on T.V. all the time. Much like the dangers of allowing porn into your relationship, it gives you a false since of “normal.” The reality of the situation or the effects are never shown.
So often parents in general are portrayed as idiots that don’t know what to do or what’s really going on right in front of them. It seems husbands and fathers get the brunt of this and are being portrayed as clueless. The moment the mother leaves the kids are tearing the house apart, babies crying, and the dads are duck taping diapers together. It’s easy as the wife and mother to fall prey to this stereotype when it’s what we see in media day after day. The danger is that it can lead to the mother feeling she can only rely on herself; isolating the husband and wife from each other. Instead of asking for help or discussing why things are done a certain way, it’s assumed their husbands can’t be trusted with it. For the father, they question their abilities and stop offering to help for fear of doing it “wrong” or being yelled at. This causes a downward cycle of anger and resentment from both sides. And when there is anger, seeds of doubt grow faster.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to what’s in the media. We want what’s portrayed and then blame ourselves or the people around us for not having it. And the seeds of doubt grow bigger. The beautiful women that has it all together must be better than you. Her husband loves her more. He’s more helpful. My wife never dresses like that for me. She doesn’t even notice me anymore. Suddenly, it’s hard to see the good in the marriage and you only see the flaws in yourself or your spouse.
Are T.V. shows and movies inherently evil? Should we all stop watching it? No not at all. But it’s best to know the dangers so that you can protect your relationship. Without an anchor in your marriage media can destroy it. Without humility and communication seeds of doubt planted by the lies of media will lead a marriage down a dangerous path. Relationships are hard work because it’s two imperfect people coming together as one.