This is Part 1 of ‘Is Reality TV Ruining Your Marriage.’ Read Part 2 here.
Drayton Bird, one of the top business voices of his generation said:
It seems the more MBAs [Masters of Business Administration] a company has, the lower their profitability.
The reason for this is simple.
Most business schools are staffed by people who have never actually done any business.
Statistics show it’s true.
The lesson is pretty clear…
Where you get your information from determines the level of success you have.
In terms of marriage it means that if the information you get is not helping your relationship, get different information.
I don’t watch the Bachelor. But I know many people who do.
Is it good? Or bad?
If it is where you get your relationship advice, then it’s bad. No, horrible.
If you watch popular reality TV shows (Big Brother, Survivor, The Kardashians to name a few) and this is where you get your relationship advice, I can promise your life will be filled with drama.
If you like drama, go for it.
But if you want a healthy marriage, then you must get your advice and relationship information from a different source.
By the way, that’s why we put together our Healthy Marriage Toolkit. It’s a growing list of books, programs and courses that will help you create the marriage you desire and deserve.
Here’s 13 Signs You Have a Reality TV Relationship
Before we jump in, please note:
Every disease has its symptoms. What are the symptoms of a Reality TV Relationship?
First and foremost, you think the Bachelor, Big Brother, and the Kardashians is normal life.
It may be common, but it’s not normal.
Normal can mean two things:
a. That which is average, typical or usual.
If that is the definition you prefer, then reality TV might be normal. There sure are a lot of people who measure and model their relationships that way.
b. Conforming to a standard.
This is the definition I prefer and the one I’m using.
I believe a normal marriage meets a certain standard. While standards can vary from couple to couple, there are certain things that make marriage work. If those are violated, things fall apart.
For example, one standard for marriage that is universal (every good marriage has it) is trust. Without trust you simply can’t have a great relationship.
Shared values is another standard. You need to share certain values to make your relationship rich and strong.
I think you get my point.
Reality TV relationships are not ‘normal’ because they are not built on these common standards.
Here are 13 Signs of a Reality TV Relationship:
1) Addicted To Drama
Let’s face it, some people love drama. They seem to thrive on conflict, chaos and turmoil.
People addicted to drama usually love to gossip. They ‘live’ on social media. Every thought, opinion and idea is shared with the world.
Don’t misunderstand. I think social media can be a valuable tool. But it is only a tool.
It is not your life. When all your friends are virtual relationships, you have a problem.
Not everything in life needs to be shared with the public.
My wife and I live a very private life. Yes, we are on social media. But our life is pretty private. I share what I think will help people, but I don’t want the world to know where I eat, vacation, watch on television, or all my political views. I speak up when it serves my audience. Other than that, it’s personal.
Drama queens (and kings) love that stuff.
They share stuff to stir the pot. And they usually over react if they don’t get the feedback they want.
Pay attention to reality tv shows and you’ll soon discover what I’m talking about.
2) Overly Emotional
To build on the previous point, reality tv is built on feelings, emotions and hysteria. Everything is an issue. A big deal.
How do you know if you are overly emotional?
One, you throw fits when you don’t get your way.
Two, you don’t think before you act.
When something happens, you let your emotions lead the way.
Three, you constantly have conflict with other people.
Overly emotional people find their friends dwindling and their relationships suffering.
3) You Get Involved In Other Peoples Arguments
There is no personal boundary you aren’t willing to cross. If it’s happening, you think you should be in the middle. Even if it has nothing to do with you.
You think the world deserves your opinion.
If you constantly feel like you need to add your ‘2 cents’ to a conversation, you might be living a reality tv life.If you constantly feel like you need to add your ‘2 cents’ to a conversation, you might be living a reality tv life. Click To Tweet
4) Center of Attention
Everyone likes and deserves attention. It becomes a problem when you crave the spotlight.
You don’t know how to let other people have a little limelight.
Ever have those friends who always worm their way to center stage?
My wife recently noticed an acquaintance always commenting on her social media posts.
Commenting is normal. Even desired. We want people to interact with us.
What was peculiar about this person was ‘how’ they commented. They always wanted to ‘one-up’ the conversation. No matter what someone else said, they had to top it.
If you never allow others to shine, your world will soon become very small.
Another symptom of the ‘ego life’ [always craving attention] is you never say you’re sorry.
Because your world revolves around your feelings, opinions and desires, you don’t know how to own your stuff. You always expect others to cater to your needs and desires. When you hurt them, you can’t understand why they would feel that way.
One final characteristic: If you have a bad day you expect everything to come to a screeching halt.
If you feel something, you think everyone should feel it. If you have a bad day, everyone should either have a bad day, or at a minimum stop their day to acknowledge how you feel.
When they don’t, you feel frustrated. You don’t feel validated.
Reality TV relationships are characterized by jealousy. Because there is very little trust, suspicion and doubt drive your thoughts and emotions.
Susan Heitler (Psychologist) suggests that jealousy has three root causes:
Projection is when you project your emotions onto others.
Heitler shares the story of Carla. She was jealous of her husband’s colleagues at work. During counseling, she realized that she was the one who had attraction issues for a co-worker. She was projecting her own thoughts onto her husband.
Protection happens when we desperately try to protect our world through unreasonable responses to issues.
They are unreasonable because they are motivated by fear, anxiety and distrust.
Competition is easy to understand. Insecure people try to compete for attention. This generally puts you in a ‘me’ vs ‘them’ state of mind. It never creates an atmosphere for a trusting relationship.
It all seems to flow from low self-esteem.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Journey to Trust
Negativity is a marriage killer.
I hope you read that again. Slowly. Let it soak in.
No one likes to be around negative people. At least, not healthy people.
Negative people see everything as a disaster. Situations are bigger than they really are.
They always see the dark side of things, never the positive.
Problems are devastating events, not opportunities for creative solutions.
Negativity will never produce a positive relationship. It can’t. The DNA of the relationship is wrong.Negativity will never produce a positive relationship. It can’t. The DNA of the relationship is wrong. Click To Tweet
Reality TV thinking is negative. Avoid it.
7) Conflict Follows You
If you have ever watched an episode of a reality tv show, one of the first things you notice is conflict. The shows thrive on it.
We have a friend who has twin boys. They are handsome adult young men. Both models for a time.
Several years ago they were approached them to be a part of The Bachelor TV show.
They were told if they were to be a part of the show they had to create conflict by getting mad at each other and get into a fight. It was all staged to create drama.
This is NOT the personality of the brothers. They are solid, well rounded you men.
The producers understood that nice doesn’t sell. Drama does.
So they wanted them to fight on the show.
They chose not to be contestants. A decision I’m sure they are glad they made.
Conflict sells ratings. But it destroys relationships.
Wrapping It Up
We covered the first 7 Signs You Have a Reality TV Relationship. We will cover the next 6 in Part 2.
Reality TV may be fun entertainment (although I don’t think so, you are welcome to your own opinion), but it is a terrible model for a healthy marriage.
If you see any of the first seven characteristics in your marriage, work toward change. Every strong marriage is built on good relationship principles. Those principles drive the content of this site.
The characteristics we discussed are the opposite of what builds a strong marriage.
Here is a recap of the six concepts we covered:
- 1) Addicted To Drama
- 2) Overly Emotional
- 3) You Get Involved In Other Peoples Arguments
- 4) Center of Attention
- 5) Jealous
- 6) Negative
- 7) Conflict Follows You
Resources for this Article
Save the Marriage System
Even if your marriage isn’t in trouble, this program will help you learn the eight stages of marriage conflict and how to respond to each stage.
No More Jealousy
Here’s How To Stop Your Constant Fears, Doubts, Worries and Destructive Relationship Killing Jealousy Behaviors.
Marriage Max Fitness
Mort Fertel offers 7 Steps to get your marriage in shape.
Journey to Trust
Don’t let jealousy drive you apart and wreck your relationship. Discover proven keys that will help you break jealousy in your relationship.
A powerful way to rediscover the magic and love you once shared and draw your man irresistibly back into your life for good.