Ethics of ‘Married at First Sight’
Have any of you ever watched ‘Married at First Sight’? One of my kids subscribed to Hulu. I’ve been watching ‘Married at First Sight.’
It’s an interesting show, especially if you can cut over the 20 percent of repition and boring stuff. I’d seen part of the first season, too.
The show has a few ‘experts’ match up applicants who sign up to marry a stranger. We follow scenes of their marriage and conversation. After so many weeks, the experts ask the couple if
I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to be set up by matchmakers. Children in numerous cultures have been set up by parents for thousands of years. Jeremiah prophesied for Judeans taken into captivity to find wives for their sons and husbands for their daughters. There are also cultures that use matchmakers. I don’t think it is wrong to have experts match up couples.
It seems like the couples that jump into having sex early tend to get along better and might even have a better chance of succeeding past the end of the show, at least. Some of the participants ont he show talk about waiting to have sex until they get to know each other.
I do see some problems with the ethics on the show. Some of the people getting married on the show will say that they believe marriage is for life. Others treat their marriage like an experiment, thinking they can dispose of it if it doesn’t work out.
What I find even more troublesome is the experts, including a pastor, as the couple if they want to stay married or get a divorce, calling their marriage an ‘experiment’– giving them an ‘out’ and an excuse to get a divorce. It looks like just tempting them with an evil choice in a lot of case.
I have seen two or three seasons of it. My issue with the show is marriage is serious business, and the idea of jumping into a life-long commitment with someone you don’t know seems very capricious. Also, all TV shows are intended by their creators to be watched by as many people as possible. I think the ‘experts’ who pick the couples have no incentive to pick people who might actually get along; the more drama between the couples, the more people will tune in to see what is happening. As I recall, I think maybe only one couple stayed together. The emotional damage from coupling and uncoupling seems like too high a price to pay for generating high TV ratings.
I haven’t seen the show, but I will say that while I believe it is entirely possible for two people who believe marriage is meant to be a lifetime partnership of servants of God to meet on their wedding day and have a successful marriage, I seriously doubt that is what is happening on a reality show created by America’s entertainment industry. (Although having asserted it’s possible, I’m glad I didn’t have to do it and I wouldn’t want it for my daughter.)
The Australian version has been running for 7 or 8 years so similar time frame to the US. I cringe at most of it. Matchmakers of old lived in the community and knew the kids mostly, so the whole expert thing as matchmaking is a nonsense. I can see some value when watching it – and the wife and last one love it – but wouldn’t pick it myself.
I did enjoy the US version of Wife Swap.
Never seen the show and don’t intend to watch it because I agree with Olorin on the producers’ motives – but I would bet that these –“Others treat their marriage like an experiment, thinking they can dispose of it if it doesn’t work out” – are the ones that jump right into sex. It sounds counterintuitive to say those are the ones that seem to stay together, but is it? Sex was meant as the glue between spouses. Most if not all ancient Jewish weddings were arranged, and after a long engagement, often separated from each other, sex was expected shortly after the ceremony, with proof of the act. When you combine THAT with an underlying mindset that it is lifelong, you have the ingredients God wrote the recipe to have. (I don’t know about the proof part being God ordained, I think that was a rabbinical addition, but you get the idea)
To add more thoughts….. It produced a lot of introspection for me as well. It made me evaluate how I was and am as a wife. It made me think about how I do view marriage, what is the importance of sex, and if I was in a similar situation what would I do? As someone who is interested in watching people and seeing how they work and interact, and as one who has an interest in marriages/sex, it fit my cup of tea. I binged watched the 9 seasons, starting with season 9 on Netflix and going back to season 1 through 8 on Lifetime (online). They don’t have a high success rate of marriages, but there are real marriages that came out of it, and multiple families that have been started (aka kids). I can tell you too, that even out of the unsuccessful ones, things can be learned. I would much rather watch couples trying to make a marriage work, than to watch a Bachelor make his rounds around sleeping with all his “potential” brides 🙄
I’ve never watched it because I don’t like the concept of dating shows. But I do appreciate and find it fascinating that there are couples who met on reality shows (not dating ones) who went on to have successful marriages (i.e., Rob & Amber on Survivor, Sean & Rachel on Road Rules). Pretty cool to have video of the first time you met to show your kids!!
I’m curious about your comment that the ones who have sex early on end up staying together. Is it because they are physically attracted to each other more than the other couples are?
I wouldn’t have a problem with the show if everyone went into the show with the same expectations– marriage for life, and they didn’t match Christians with unbelievers, or set up any forbidden marriages. If it was all virgins, that would be better, but virgins are too rare because of our abnormal and sexually immoral culture.
There was one ‘contestant’ who was a virgin, but she never slept with her husband and he chose to divorce her.
IMO, it only makes sense for a Christian to go on the show if God actually instructs the person to do so. The chances of getting someone who isn’t a Christian, who doesn’t take their faith seriously, or someone with an unbiblical view of marriage and divorce are really high.
There was one couple that they think they will stay together and remain married if they fall in love. For Christians men, we are commanded to love our wives, not to remain married to them only if we fall in love. The pastor on the show tries to open people’s eyes as to what marital love actually is. But he also offers them divorce as an option on ‘decision day’ or at other times.
It sounds like there are a lot of sounds clips edited together in the show to make sentences the participants may not have actually said. They want the audience to think the couple that is getting along great is also considering divorce. If I were them, might be upset if I were one of them and several weeks in, they strung togehter clips of my voice to make me say something I didn’t or included a sentence I said before the wedding day and misapplied it to a later stage of the show.