Could watching ‘Married At First Sight’ be beneficial to your relationship?

Married At First Sight chaos has hit our screen once again and is proving to be the most talked about show on TV, but not always for the right reasons. From a rating perspective, it’s fantastic, but there has been a lot of heat surrounding the show with body shaming comments, ghosting, emotional abuse and toxic relationships.

Everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to share it. But this year I’ve seen more fire pointed towards the network than ever before.

It’s been more the articles online, the recaps and the comments that is really grabbing my attention. And I feel as though many of us are missing a strong point. I have seen some comments saying that 9 should not have put characters on the show and that they are even responsible for glamorising toxic relationships. TV glamorises most things that are bad for us, so why should a show such as this be any different?

I think what we are getting wrong is the intent of TV shows and this show in particular. We don’t tune in to programs for a representation of everyday life. You might gain some insight into tidying up on Netflix, but it’s the drama and chaos we want to see. Did we all tune in to Bigger Looser because we really wanted to support a bunch of people losing weight? Or was it the drama, the tears at the trainers and even the feeling of being superior to contestants in terms of weight? It might sound harsh, but someone once told me that an audience wants to be able to watch a show and feel better about themselves, distancing themselves from the characters on screen. So why should Married At First Sight be any different?

Elizabeth and Sam during their wedding photoshoot. (MAFS Season 6, Nine Network)

This is a TV show, and an extremely good and entertaining one, it’s not there to solve the problems of the world and with love.  Yes, there is an intent from the contestant to find love (if they have been honest with procedures) but there is also the past years of fame that I’m sure plays a good motivational part. But we the audience know that and over the past years have enjoyed the characters with the most spark. Do you remember many people from last seasons or was it the drama of wife swapping, Dean and Davina and Tracey that sticks in your mind? Does Australia really want these contestants to find love, or enjoy watching the chaos and discussing it all the morning after?

But this show can have a benefit on the contestants and on the audience that tune in. It can be used as a catalyst to start discussing issues in your own home. People are always asking me how to talk to their partners about sex and how do they bring up dissatisfaction and issues in their relationship. Imagine sitting on the couch, watching MAFS and hearing an issue raised that resonates with you. What a perfect opportunity to think about why? There might be difference between you are these characters, but there might be some similarities in what you both face when it comes to relationships and love. There is your link and your excuse to start the conversation without your partner feeling that it’s all very out of the blue.

For the contestants, there has not been the best track history of happily ever after, but I feel they gain some valuable knowledge and experience on how to actually be in a committed relationship with the constant help of the experts by their side. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all have a weekly sit down with a panel on love? The first part of a relationship can often be the hardest, but if you can prove to yourself you could do, actually make compromise and commitments on TV, then just maybe you are also capable of doing it in the real world too. Some might call this an experiment, but I also think it’s good therapy for those who might be a bit unlucky in lasting love and willing to air it on national TV.

So, next time you tune in to watch the chaos unfold, remember it’s just a TV show. But it might be a TV show that can help you start useful and much needed conversations at home.

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