I am in the midst of reading Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl. The movie Gone Girl, based on the book was recently released in theaters nationwide. The story is a sinister mystery centered around the disappearance of the wife. The book is a delicately woven tale of a marriage unravelling over time. Aside form being totally engrossed in this wonderful book, it has also prompted me to look for positive images of marriage in media.
Tabloid magazines frequently douse us with tales of celebrity woe and marital un-satisfaction. Reports of infidelity and other indiscretions top headlines in the media. Culturally we seem to have an unending thirst for news and images of relationships gone bad. On the flip side there are wonderful examples of skillful, warm, loving and supportive relationships on TV, in books and the media. Here are a two television couples worth paying attention to…
Eric and Tammy Taylor, Friday Night Lights.
So yes, admittedly this is a bit dated. The show ran from 2006-2011. It is worth a watch for the relationship between Eric and Tammy alone. They are such a wonderfully relatable couple, facing the challenges of daily life, kids, jobs, stresses and they do it with skill and love. Far from feeling trite and idealized, Tammy and Eric demonstrate the kind of fluidity successful couples have in dealing with conflict, staying loving in tone and balancing the ups and down of everyday life. Their relationship provides a bedrock for almost all of the other players in the story to count on at some point in their lives. It is a lovely reflection of the power of a strong marriage in a small community and beyond.
Adam and Kristina Braverman, Parenthood.
Parenthood is another show that (mostly) gets the marriage thing right. The show is a spin off of the 1989 movie by the same name. The show tells the story of four siblings and their collective broods. While some of the characters have more sucessful relationships than others, Adam and Kristina seem to navigate everything from infidelity to job loss, an child with Asperger’s and cancer with support skills and open and skillful communication.
Not everyone has an example of a healthy marriage in their life. One of the wonderful things about learning marriage skills is you also learn what a healthy marriage looks like. How do skillful couples talk to each other? How do they face the everyday challenges of life? What habits do they make a part of everyday life to stay connected and support each other?
One thing is for sure, there are more dysfunctional marriages on television that healthy marriages. Perhaps it is a reflection of how many people struggle in their marriage or perhaps it is simply an entertainment factor. Whatever the reason, I hope we continue to see more positive images of marriage show up on television.