Married at First Sight: the holy grail of commitment & the unhappy state of doomed relationships

The new ‘rules’ imposed on the mostly unhappy couples in this year’s installment of Married at First Sight provides yet more evidence (as if more were needed) that this show is the worst case of exploitative, scripted, manipulative reality TV ever invented.

The weekly ‘commitment’ ceremony (the bit where couples get to discuss the week’s progress) has been altered since the show’s inception. It used to be that if either of the couple elected to leave the experiment (throw the towel in on their faux marriage) then that person could…well…leave.

But now if either party writes ‘stay’ inside their little black folders then both parties must stay. Hm. Okay. Why? Well, you see the ‘experts’ explain: It’s an opportunity for couples to work out their differences and clear the air for love to grow. Because the sacred aim of relationships (it seems) is to make them ‘work’ at all costs – weather the torrid storms of better and worse…or worse and worse as is mostly the case – with or without the help of professional intervention.

And the professional intervention in this car-crash of a show is truly disturbing – encouraging the continuation of unhappy pairings for the sake of ratings, dismissing one party’s decision to leave in favour of gifting them with the blessing of further imprisonment. Because with the help of baby steps they can make things work – they get one more week to confirm or deny – is so and so really the incontrovertible cunt they discovered on their tropical honeymoon? Will their non-existent physical attraction somehow blossom into unstoppable passion? Will she get what she wants and finally be thrown on the bed? Will he no longer retch at the mere thought of engaging in flagrante relations?

Hey ‘experts’. It’s a pretty sick message to send out – advocating staying when leaving is clearly the best course of action. There are people out there trapped in abusive relationships who don’t need to hear that commitment trumps all. Okay? And Just admit it. Your new rule is designed for one very bad reason – to stir up trouble, add insult to injury and inflame the state of unhappy coupledom – cause after all, it is a rating game, and when other people suffer we get to feel so much better…and maximum conflict always gets the best boner.


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