No wonder people don’t watch TV much anymore. Network TV treats us like we’re dummies. We must have fast cutting clips to keep us interested. Rather than focusing on content with depth, they offer up talking heads who say one or two things quickly–then cut to commercial. I was watching The Today Show, and got disguested when “the experts” start talking about relationships. The Three-Year Itch is the new Seven-Year Itch blah blah blah.
The piece started out with an interesting bit of research by sociologist Kelly Musick at USC. “Relationships start to deteriorate over a short period of time.” If The Today Show had stuck with Prof. Musick and let her talk more about her research, it would have been very interesting. She studied couples who have been together 1-3 years vs couples who have been together 4-6 years. “There’s something that is getting in between what people want and fantasize about in a marriage, and what they actually do.” That’s something I’d like to hear about.
But no. Rather than go deep, The Today Show goes wide. A talking-head marriage and family therapist says people are used to being bombarded with stimulation, so if they’re not feeling excited 24/7, they get bored (isn’t that called ADHD?). Then the in-studio wonks spout their wisdom, which is high-school-hallway caliber. ‘Keep the interaction positive.’ ‘Remember what you liked about the other person in the first place.’
One of the in-studio wonks was Dr. Dale V. Atkins, author of Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life. She recommended “caring for the other person, even more than we care for ourselves.” Later in the interview, she said it again, “You have to care for that person really more than you care for yourself.”
Hold up there, chief. We women know better. We’ve gone the way of self-sacrifice, of “my job is to meet his needs, and if I’m not doing that correctly, it’s my fault.” We’re waaaaaay past that now. We see how that set up gives him all the emotional power in the relationship. We value our sanity (and if he’s smart, he will too).
So we have two women with Ph.D.’s, two experts. Dr. Musick has done the research, and we get to hear two sentences from her. Dr. Atkins has made a career out of lecturing and media appearances, and she feeds us the crap that we’ve been trying to recover from for years.
Lord knows why I was watching TV for relationship advice when Johnny Lingo was waiting for me over on YouTube. Just what is my worth in cows? Thanks to Leahpeah who linked to 3 segments here, here and here.