The Marriage Ref?

Okay, I was drawn like a moth to a  flame (or more like watching a car accident) to keep on NBC after the closing ceremonies and watch The Marriage Ref last night under the deluded hope that maybe this would be a tv show with dispute resolution in action.  The tag line for this lovely show is that it finally gives you what every couple wants–a winner.  Well, it might do that for couples but it does not do that for television viewers.  First, as Roger Fisher once told me with very wise marital advice, if you think you have won an argument with your spouse (and celebrate afterwards!) you have missed the point.  So, I don’t think that marriage in general is better off with winners and losers.  If you start to treat marriage like football games–or litigation–you might as well file your own litigation in family court.   Second, where do they get these stories (a dead stuffed dog!?!) and who are these couples?  I suppose that reality tv might have completely deadened our sense of privacy and shame but really,  I need to hear about a couple’s argument on a stripper pole?   This is entertainment?  I mean, it is barely more than an argument about intimate marital relations which, let me say again, don’t stay intimate if you share them on tv!  So….no more Marriage Ref for me (unless, of course,  I really need to feel superior in my marriage.)

Cross posted at Indisputably.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Francisco Quiroz

    I’m of the mind that approaching any negotiation as exclusively having a binary result (win/lose) will ultimately fail at satisfying either party. Unfortunately in the U.S., the approach is to look at most situations as a zero-sum game. I believe this approach stems from the ingrained competitiveness instilled in American culture. Just look at all the sports analogies we use in everyday life — sports epitomize binary results (no true fan will admit a tie is a win).

    In regard to people selling their privacy for 15 minutes of fame, I am just as mystified. I do have my suspicions though. I think people today just don’t value their privacy as much. Facebook and MySpace are prime examples of people willing to share way more than they probably should. Some of this could also be the result of an increasingly hedonistic society — people seek instant gratification without thinking of the long term consequences.

  2. Martin Tanz


    At least one critic disagrees re: this show.

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