Under Australian Law – The Marriage Act of 1961 – there must be 30 day’s notice given to the Attorney General that you have an intention to marry in the form of a NOIM (Notice of Intention to Marry) so the idea of not knowing your intended spouse until the day is just a dream.
But the reality TV show MAFS is seeing us tuning in every night to follow the hopes and dreams of everyday people trying to find their hunky new husband or gorgeous wife. In many ways, it is relatable, as more and more people are struggling to find “the one”, relying heavily on dating apps which use high-tech algorithms to match us with our “ideal” partner. The couples on the show put their faith in “marriage experts” to match and guide them through their relationships.
Putting aside whether these marriage experts are legitimately trying to match the individuals with people who they will get along well with, or if they are deliberately matching them with people who they will clash with for entertainment value, we will never really know.
Morally is it right to portray marriage under these circumstances? I would say no. It brings a sadness to think that Marriage is shown as all glitz and glamour. It isn’t, but can we have hopes and dreams and see this played out on the TV screen? Can we as intelligent adults understand the difference between the TV show and our real lives?
This season of MAFS has scenes of domestic violence, verbal abuse, displays of lunatic behaviour, great sorrow and remorse over actions taken. Apologies, shows of affection, attempts of retribution. We have seen it all. Then we read in the latest magazines it is all for nothing; no one, not one of the couples that marry on the show make it in “real life,” and so…. we saddle up for the next season or tune in to watch “The Batchelor” and start the process all over again.
It is a shame that the institution of marriage is not respected as a sacred union between two loving partners. The show should not be called Married at First Sight. It is a commitment ceremony, not a fully committed relationship that the couples enter. The show opens with a beautiful white wedding with all the trimmings. But we are loving it and is that wrong? I personally watch the show or at least the wedding at the start to see the couple’s journey to marvel at the wedding ceremony and to check out the celebrant! lol