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Author Topic: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family  (Read 3394 times)

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EllenS

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2015, 07:44:23 AM »
We are obviously from the same country OP, I've seen this online in the papers from back home lately too.

I think in the cultural setting of my country of origin it doesn't set well - and I think it makes a bit of a mockery of the whole marriage thing.

I'm also really surprised at some of these experts who chose to be involved in this.
Particularly as it involves actual legal marriage which is a very big deal regardless of your beliefs - like lakey said, whether it's civil or religious, it is a serious commitment.

If someone I know did this? I definitely would not be attending that wedding.

Were there any reputable professonals involved? I have a hard time believing legit psychologists and clergypersons would participate. Then again, there are a few "TV doctors" in every profession.

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2015, 07:57:26 AM »
Arranged marriages can work very successfully.   They are rare in western culture, but the issue is more the way the process is conducted than the concept itself.   In New Zealand there have been two very successful long term marriages of couples who literally met at the altar and married as part of a radio competition.   But rather than a bachelor style dating process it was a prior assessment of wants, needs, involvement of the families in the process etc.

From an etiquette perspective I believe there is no appropriate response apart from "Congratulations".

Quite frankly, I know many couples who have dated awhile but should never have married due to issues in their relationship - but it's not my place to judge how a couple meet and whether I think their relationship has potential or not.   I know many long term happily married couples who met at bars and "hooked up" which a lot of people would be shocked by, and the fact is that doing things "the right" way is no guarantee of success and happiness.   
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Ceallach

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2015, 08:01:18 AM »
The show you describe sounds like a tv version of this: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Strangers_and_a_Wedding
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EllenS

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2015, 09:09:31 AM »
Arranged marriages can work very successfully.   They are rare in western culture, but the issue is more the way the process is conducted than the concept itself.   In New Zealand there have been two very successful long term marriages of couples who literally met at the altar and married as part of a radio competition.   But rather than a bachelor style dating process it was a prior assessment of wants, needs, involvement of the families in the process etc.

From an etiquette perspective I believe there is no appropriate response apart from "Congratulations".

Quite frankly, I know many couples who have dated awhile but should never have married due to issues in their relationship - but it's not my place to judge how a couple meet and whether I think their relationship has potential or not.   I know many long term happily married couples who met at bars and "hooked up" which a lot of people would be shocked by, and the fact is that doing things "the right" way is no guarantee of success and happiness.

It's not the arrangement aspect I'd be concerned about. It's the spectacle and payment aspect.

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2015, 09:14:13 AM »
For me, it's not the arrangement aspect that gets to me. It's the "trial marriage." A marriage isn't a trial, it's a commitment. You don't marry someone and then decide after a predetermined time period if you actually want to be with them.

My understanding of arranged marriages is that both parties go into it with commitment in mind, not "we'll give it a go and see what happens".

Plus, this is reality television. They'll want some drama. So, have these "experts" put together two people who aren't compatible to make the show interesting, thus making more of a mockery of marriage?

But, as long as there weren't cameras involved, I would treat the couple as a social unit. I may not like how they're going about their lives, but it's none of my business, really. I've had friends with BFs I couldn't stand and I treated them as a social unit anyways. I consider this kind of the same thing - I may not like it, but if I want to continue the friendship, it's something I will accept.

Ceallach

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2015, 10:06:30 AM »
Arranged marriages can work very successfully.   They are rare in western culture, but the issue is more the way the process is conducted than the concept itself.   In New Zealand there have been two very successful long term marriages of couples who literally met at the altar and married as part of a radio competition.   But rather than a bachelor style dating process it was a prior assessment of wants, needs, involvement of the families in the process etc.

From an etiquette perspective I believe there is no appropriate response apart from "Congratulations".

Quite frankly, I know many couples who have dated awhile but should never have married due to issues in their relationship - but it's not my place to judge how a couple meet and whether I think their relationship has potential or not.   I know many long term happily married couples who met at bars and "hooked up" which a lot of people would be shocked by, and the fact is that doing things "the right" way is no guarantee of success and happiness.

It's not the arrangement aspect I'd be concerned about. It's the spectacle and payment aspect.

The radio show I am referring to was quite a spectacle (I didn't even listen to that station yet still knew all about it!) and cash and prizes were involved.  Yet they have a happy marriage and two kids 16 years later.   Not saying I think it's a good idea, just that it's not our place to judge.
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EllenS

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2015, 10:42:15 AM »
Arranged marriages can work very successfully.   They are rare in western culture, but the issue is more the way the process is conducted than the concept itself.   In New Zealand there have been two very successful long term marriages of couples who literally met at the altar and married as part of a radio competition.   But rather than a bachelor style dating process it was a prior assessment of wants, needs, involvement of the families in the process etc.

From an etiquette perspective I believe there is no appropriate response apart from "Congratulations".

Quite frankly, I know many couples who have dated awhile but should never have married due to issues in their relationship - but it's not my place to judge how a couple meet and whether I think their relationship has potential or not.   I know many long term happily married couples who met at bars and "hooked up" which a lot of people would be shocked by, and the fact is that doing things "the right" way is no guarantee of success and happiness.

It's not the arrangement aspect I'd be concerned about. It's the spectacle and payment aspect.

The radio show I am referring to was quite a spectacle (I didn't even listen to that station yet still knew all about it!) and cash and prizes were involved.  Yet they have a happy marriage and two kids 16 years later.   Not saying I think it's a good idea, just that it's not our place to judge.

Whether or not the people involved would be able to stay married, or procreate, is not the basis of my problem with this setup. People manage to do those things under all kinds of circumstances that I personally find appalling. The fact that this is not a new or unique idea also does not give it merit.

Which also does not alter the fact that I would treat them, socially, as any other married couple.

For me, it's not the arrangement aspect that gets to me. It's the "trial marriage." A marriage isn't a trial, it's a commitment. You don't marry someone and then decide after a predetermined time period if you actually want to be with them.

My understanding of arranged marriages is that both parties go into it with commitment in mind, not "we'll give it a go and see what happens".

Plus, this is reality television. They'll want some drama. So, have these "experts" put together two people who aren't compatible to make the show interesting, thus making more of a mockery of marriage?

But, as long as there weren't cameras involved, I would treat the couple as a social unit. I may not like how they're going about their lives, but it's none of my business, really. I've had friends with BFs I couldn't stand and I treated them as a social unit anyways. I consider this kind of the same thing - I may not like it, but if I want to continue the friendship, it's something I will accept.

And, of course, this.

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2015, 11:28:19 AM »
We are obviously from the same country OP, I've seen this online in the papers from back home lately too.

I think in the cultural setting of my country of origin it doesn't set well - and I think it makes a bit of a mockery of the whole marriage thing.

I'm also really surprised at some of these experts who chose to be involved in this.
Particularly as it involves actual legal marriage which is a very big deal regardless of your beliefs - like lakey said, whether it's civil or religious, it is a serious commitment.

If someone I know did this? I definitely would not be attending that wedding.

Were there any reputable professonals involved? I have a hard time believing legit psychologists and clergypersons would participate. Then again, there are a few "TV doctors" in every profession.

Yes, there were. A Lutheran minister, a psychologist and and a psychotherapist to being with. But yes, there are TV doctors in every profession, I agree.
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Lynn2000

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2015, 03:03:22 PM »
Another parallel I think of is how many people I know, where I know very little about their relationship or their spouse. For example, my first cousin recently got married. I see him less than once a year and have not said anything more substantial than "hi" to him... well, ever, probably. Although I have a vague recollection of meeting his bride once a couple years ago, her face was totally unfamiliar to me in the wedding pictures I was looking at online.

I have absolutely no idea under what circumstances they met (maybe they were cheating on someone), how healthy their relationship is (maybe one of them is abusive), what its chances for longevity are (maybe they're completely ill-matched), or how seriously they take it (maybe they are already cheating on each other). Yet, I easily assume that the answers to all these questions are good, and I have no plans to treat them differently from any other married couple just because I don't know for sure. For example, I will address next year's Christmas card to both of them, and if I was inviting my cousin to a family gathering I would also invite his wife.

Sometimes having more information is actually worse, because if you know nothing, you can assume everything is fine. In this case I would know the couple met and married for a TV show, which in concept makes me ::) at best. I think to be polite I would just need to set that aside as much as possible, and treat them as I would any other marrying/married couple. I didn't attend my cousin's wedding, but I did send a gift, so I would probably go that route in this case.
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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2015, 04:58:02 PM »
Actually, I think there are different levels of "how I would treat them".

If I just ran in to them socially, I would treat them as any married couple. (Although EvilTwik might be quite brazen about pretending she had never, ever heard of them or their situation.)

If one person was a friend of mine, I would likely tell her that it was, to my mind, a very bad idea. But once she declared she was going through with it, I would try to avoid being judgmental, and just wait for the crash.

My greatest scorn would be for the professionals who came up with this farce, but even reality tv producers must be treated with politeness to their faces.
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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2015, 09:17:36 PM »
I think the commenters so far have done a great job of hashing out how to treat the couple and deal with the situation in general.  I have never even heard of these shows: I swapped cable for Netflix many years ago, partly because reality shows had taken over and were too boring to actually pay for.

I have, however, had friends host a TV wedding.  They met in the usual way, but by volunteering to have their wedding filmed for TV they turned it into a stage production.  There was a LOT of waiting around for cameras and lighting to set up.  If you end up attending the wedding, eat a big lunch and bring snacks, and go in with low expectations.  You're no longer a guest, you're an extra.

Although I wasn't around for the rest of the filming, I can tell you what they told me about the process.  The producers got frustrated that they were getting along too well and made them stage a fight for the cameras (Even doing several takes).  I suspect they have to do this for wedding shows because they can't create fake, stressful, settings like they do for other reality shows (such as competition shows).  A lot of shows mandate that you cut off all contact with friends and family (even calls and email) which of course makes people less able to cope with stressors and more likely to cry or get angry or fight with other participants, contestants, etc.   

It always amazes me what people will put themselves through just to be on TV.

johelenc1

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2015, 10:01:19 PM »
I find this show fascinating.  I haven't seen it yet, but I would like to see an episode.  At first I was horrified and wondered who in their right mind would agree to such a thing.  Then, I thought about the countless arranged marriages and became intrigued.  There is so much psychology in dating now - matching profiles and personalities, likes, dislikes, values, etc.  These couples probably have a better statistical likelihood of succeeding than most couples who meet "normally".  The X factor is simple attraction. You just can't predict that.

I take marriage pretty seriously, but I don't know that these couples AREN'T taking it seriously.  My only serious moral objection would be if anyone involved had children or if they got pregnant during their "trial" period - before the relationship is securely established.  I would guess there are rules about having children, and for heaven's sake, I hope they all have sense enough to use some semi-permanent birth control.

Otherwise, from a purely social experiment, I find it fascinating.

CakeEater

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2015, 11:50:26 PM »
They're not really married:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/television/petition-to-stop-nines-married-at-first-sight/story-fni0cjvj-1227315458193?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=DailyTelegraph&utm_medium=Facebook

They go through a 'commitment ceremony', designed to last a month and get to decide at the end of a month whether to remain together or split up.

Well, that's less ridiculous, but obviously 'see if these people can live together for month' is less likely to score ratings than, 'they got married'.

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2015, 07:05:46 AM »
They're not really married:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/television/petition-to-stop-nines-married-at-first-sight/story-fni0cjvj-1227315458193?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=DailyTelegraph&utm_medium=Facebook

They go through a 'commitment ceremony', designed to last a month and get to decide at the end of a month whether to remain together or split up.

Well, that's less ridiculous, but obviously 'see if these people can live together for month' is less likely to score ratings than, 'they got married'.

I return to this, here, they really were married. I ended up not watching the show here, reasoning, I have better things to do with my time :D But, it seems, that 2 of the 3 couples actually stayed married. It's been now a year maybe from the filming, I think. Obviously, not a long marriage yet, but not bad success percentage.

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Re: TV-marriage and etiquette for friends/family
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2015, 12:04:02 PM »
A few years ago I was briefly addicted to Wife Swap, which ran on Lifetime.  It was about family dynamics where two married women with children swapped households for two weeks.  Each family was paid $25K for this.

"Pushing the envelope"?  "Married at First Sight" sounds like people are looking for even more shock value.

Reality TV proves that the inmates are running the asylum.