“50% of marriages end in divorce” is what I call a lying statistic. It’s just not true. Not only is the raw number wrong and unsupported by facts, but the truth is that certain marriages based on the right values and supported by the right attitudes last. According to Shaunti Feldhahn, almost 80% of marriages built on the right foundations will make it. In other words, success is predictable. Success is so predictable that the best thing for a marriage-minded single person to do is to just follow the path.
Yet right now in America:
59% of Asian men are married.
54% of White men are married.
45% of Hispanic men are married.
36% of Black men are married.
Considering the strong correlations between marriage and wealth, better health, happiness and stable communities, clearly we owe it to ourselves as a society to look at how we might do things differently. We need to promote marriage again. We need to find a better way.
And then came along something called “Married at First Sight” – a TV show that they hesitate to call a TV show. A “reality” series that I prefer to think of as a documentary. Haven’t heard of it? Here’s a preview:
I’ve come to the place of thinking that if I’m ever in the position to be a Premarital Counselor, I will have my clients watch this show together as a couple. (You will have to watch the show along with the “Six Months Later” Special to see whether any or all of them made it through the experiment.) I’ll just say that I have all the respect in the world for each of the couples and each of the experts. Since casting for Season 2 has already begun, I’m guessing a lot of people agree with me.
A good interviewer who is well-versed in social dynamics, temperaments, family histories, personalities, etc. will probably know a person much better than that person can admit after a short time. A team of interviewers who could collaborate would do even better. I don’t know if this will catch on, but it definitely isn’t haphazard. It’s a lot better than somebody relying only on “that spark they felt” one time!
The producers of the program have received some criticism for being frivolous. Some say they take marriage too lightly. I disagree. I think this show appears to honor marriage quite a bit. I am in support. In reality, in the real world, every couple has the opportunity to get divorced at any given point so that’s nothing different and shouldn’t be a hindrance. Out of what looks like a couple hundred that first showed up, fifty were screened and then three couples were matched. I like those odds. They didn’t just throw darts at a board. The matchmakers probably did a better job than most people do on their own.
Further, if these people just wanted a trial run or quick sex, they wouldn’t have chosen to go on this show. I honor that. I think heavy-handed criticism of these individuals would be very unfair. There isn’t a single one of them who couldn’t get all the sex they want in today’s society. Instead, they are seeking help to find something more and to overcome their own bias, negative family histories, invalid expectations, etc.
In fact, I find that Dr. Pepper’s closing dialogue sums up Married at First Sight brilliantly:
“Ultimately, this experiment is grounded in commitment. They’ve committed to marriage – an institution. Married at First Sight isn’t just a trick. It’s actually a theory, an experiment about how commitment might help you stay long enough and deep enough with the right person to actually make a lifetime commitment.”
(At this point, Cortney (one of the brides) interjects “That’s how Jason and I were able to make it through. The commitment carried us through.”)
“This experiment has proved that we can help people get married. We can help people find the person that they could love if they are willing to put themselves out there to be vulnerable to grow, to listen, to take advice. If the will to be married is the will to find someone and make a relationship is strong that it doesn’t have to be meeting in a bar, getting drunk together, ending up in bed then starting from there. It doesn’t even have to be years and years getting more and more cynical about dating. There are other alternatives. There is another path and I think we found it.” – Dr. Pepper Schwartz
My daughter asked me if I would allow her to go on this program. I had two responses for her. First, you’d be an adult and presumably wouldn’t need my permission. Second, yes. I would support and even encourage you if you decided to do this. That’s how impressed I was with Married at First Sight.
How about you? Would you encourage someone to do this? Would YOU do it? What do you think?
Mark Anthony McCray helps people live on PURPOSE, achieve higher PERFORMANCE and experience true PROSPERITY. Forward this to a friend if you found it helpful. All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted!
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