Love and Marriage: 7 Ways that Hollywood Lied!

In so many instances, love stories on television betray the minds of people who watch, by frequently displaying picturesque views of how couples mange to both fall in and stay in love.  Having been in my own marriage for the past 15 years, I’ve come to see that often times, when romantic unions are shown, the depiction either glosses over the messy-not so- beautiful parts, or, those moments are represented in a cavalier way.pexels-photo-351265

Take for instance, the movie Coming to America, starring Eddie Murphy; I watched this film repeatedly as a child.  In the story, an African Prince disguises himself as an ordinary man and goes on a quest to find the woman of his dreams, across the ocean in Queens New York.  Despite a rocky start, however, the Prince (Akeem) eventually finds her, the two fall in love, wed, and return to his country to enjoy a royally, blissful life! At least that’s the take-away implied and the allusion portrayed in countless movies similar.pexels-photo-417142

Cinematic productions like that and others, such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin, and many more, program us from our youth to believe that “happily ever after” is the state where all romances end, but, therein lies the problem.  When immature minds, that aren’t able to distinguish between fiction and reality, get these messages embedded into their subconscious, they can struggle making sense of adult relationships.

As such, here are realities of marriage that are not usually presented in on Television, and especially contradictory to the perceptions that are given to kids:

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  1. Love at First Sight? In the movies it happens so magically: two people see one another from across the room and at least one immediately realizes they’re in love.  In real life, however, this happening is rare and instead, love tends to blossom over time.  I remember first meeting my husband—I wasn’t fond of him at all, but rather apathetic. Then we began to work together as colleagues, and we argued all the time; our competitive nature seemed to constantly clash.  As time went on, however, we got to know each other better and found that we actually had much in common.  So we became friends, then dated, and eventually grew in love before love was ever in sight!
  2. You Get a Princess, I Get a Prince. In the movies Coming To America, Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and Princess and the Frog, the female protagonist finds herself a prince; yet, in movies such as Shrek , Sleeping Beauty, and Tangled, it is the male character who discovers the princess.  In real life, however, the dating scene is filled with regular people living ordinary lives, which is also the case for most of us.  As such, many a male and female have set their sights unrealistically high, looking for a prince or princess, (or just a perfect person), who outside of the land of make-believe, simply doesn’t exist.pexels-photo-417274
  3. Fairytale Land and Castles.  When my husband and I first got married, we lived in an apartment that was probably more along the lines of an efficiency and before that, an apartment with no furniture except a bed.  Our first home was approximately 1400 square feet and we had to maneuver three sons into one bedroom.  There was never any castle, trust fund, wealthy parents or anything of that sort from which we could draw—in turn, our living conditions were modest, at best, until we established the finances to acquire more.  Many couple in America begin their married lives in much the same way.
  4. Where in the Hell is that Stork! In fairytales, couples have children, but they either just appear, or a stork brings them; no pregnant bellies, no raging hormones, and no semblance of mother delivering a baby are ever shown.  I’m sure some media executives feel these things are a bit too graphic for young minds to grasp, even still, it leaves a big hole in the space where fantasy families end and real ones begin.stork-bird-white-village
  5. Perfect Resolution! In movies, at least in the good ones, there is always the set-up, a conflict, and then a timely resolve. In the real world, timely resolutions are subjective and dependent on the people and circumstance.  On a daily basis, individuals face many problems that may take days, months and even years to fix or find answers to.  Worse still, some situations stay broken for good.
  6. Wise Friends to Help. The Little Mermaid had Flounder, Shrek had Donkey, and Snow White had the Seven Dwarfs to assist them when times got rough; In these friends there could always be found an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, and a wise word to help them see things clearly.  Many of us have friends that we can lean on in difficult times, but not everyone does. Still, those who do understand that even great friends can’t always be there (they have lives too), nor do they always know what to do or say.
  7. Can You Find The Happy Ending? For most romances and animated children’s films, happy endings are par for the course, and understandably so.  They make us feel good about love and hopeful that excellent results in such can be our fate as well.   The reality, however, isn’t as simple.  Lovers leave, marriages end, babies die, and spouses get sick—life and love brings with it a myriad of dynamics, many of which we can’t control.  All we can do is hope for the best, then live our lives seeing that through!pexels-photo-126271

Let us know in the comments what lessons you’ve learned in relationships that were different than what you imagined as a kid, or if can think of other ways that Hollywood lied?   

 

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58 thoughts on “Love and Marriage: 7 Ways that Hollywood Lied!

  1. I often think to myself, how will my daughter respond to this movie we’re watching (usually Disney). I can’t help but want to tell her not to set her expectations by the stories she sees because real life is hardly this pretty and this linear. I think that’s shocking for a lot of people as they grow up. A movie about real life would be sooo frustrating, boring at times, unresolved, and less than perfect. But I guess we all need a tidy escape now and again!

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    1. I love how you’ve put this!!!!! We definitely need a tidy escape occasionally, especially because our lives are often messy and complicated. I think it’s good to be a guide for our children in everything, even what they see on TV, because we never really know how they are interpreting what comes in. Thank you for sharing your take!

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  2. Marriage is really different from real life and into our imagination. It is better to believe what we experience rather than things we saw on television.

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  3. It is hard to believe anything from Hollywood these days, everything is so exaggerated and overplayed. I don’t compare my relationship to anyone else’s for my own peace of mind, because no relationship is like the one that I have with my husband. We are two different people, and no one is exactly like us. 🙂

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    1. Yes, it’s easy to see how fake Hollywood is, nonetheless, there are full grown adults who still fail to comprehend this. I agree though, it’s not always wise to compare one’s marriage to another’s, because we are individuals at the end of the day. I do, however, think we can gain wisdom and insight from the examples and mistakes of others to make our relationships better.

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    1. I’m not sure how to get to “happily ever after” because no one is always happy and I don’t see happiness as a destination, but rather, a journey. If someone has the key to getting there, I’d be all ears.

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  4. Oh my goodness so true. Hollywood, depicts these unrealistic relationships. That’s why I try not to let my little girl watch those movies.

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    1. I know– I have to keep quiet to just let my children enjoy (the first time they watch)– after that, the movie is fair game. I tell them all the things that make it “dumb” or are just plain wrong, like how in Moana, they sensationalized male physical aggression and borderline physical abuse! My kids were so annoyed!

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  5. I really enjoyed this!! All of your points are so valid and honestly pretty hilarious. Especially the stork!! Lol!! I think the hardest thing for our marriage has actually been adding our two little ones to the equation and figuring out how to work through that new dynamic! Way different than the movie premise of yay! baby magically arrived and now everyone is happy always and forever!!

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    1. Can I get an amen!!!! I say all the time that my husband and I would be the best of friends, never missing a beat if it weren’t for our children. They add layers of stress and responsibility that separate us from simply being a couple and sometimes its frustrating. We adore our children, but we’ve gotten to the point (because they are getting older) where we can do more with just us two and that helps us keep our bond tight. Here’s to you two successfully navigating kid-dom as well!

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  6. Hi!

    I enjoyed reading this post about the realities of marriage. It’s so true that many people have expectations that don’t portray how marriage actually is. My husband and I clash a lot but we also laugh about it at the end of the day. Sometimes we need a challenge to grow and learn so I appreciate this article very much.

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    1. You and your husband sound a lot like me and mine. We can be fussing one minute and holding each other the next, because we know that an argument, a disagreement, an annoying moment doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day. It hasn’t always been like that– I used to feel like those things meant the end of our relationship and the end of the world. I’m very thankful for growth.

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  7. You are spot on about the many ways folks have been misled about love and marriage. The shock of the real deal often leaves some in need of a rewrite. Marriage is work and the fantasy is just that…

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  8. Movies are fiction for a reason, too bad so many people think that’s what they should get and when they don’t immediately they give up. It’s a tough reality that sometimes you deeply love your partner, and sometimes you kind of hate them. That’s what comes with living in such close quarters with someone.

    I mean, I threatened breakup the other day because my partner keeps eating all of the things I buy for myself and leaving me none. Ugh. lol

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    1. Ha! Love and dislike in a relationship is definitely par for the course, isn’t it! You’re right, television is fiction, but its clear by the way many people live their lives that they don’t get this, and as such, they try and emulate a fantasy, which is why so many relationships fail.

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  9. I’m curious, growing up watching Hollywood movies – did you believe that is what would happen? I’m not sure if my parents discussed it with me, or if I just naturally didn’t believe, but the stories and relationships in movies/TV never occurred to me as reality. The only thing I was frustrated about, was that I couldn’t wake up with perfect hair and makeup haha

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    1. As a very young girl, I did believe in magic and fantasy the same way children believe in Santa and Elves. I thought sex was all flowy and seamless from the romance scenes I watched in movies and I also thought of love in a somewhat sensational way. As an adult, it becomes very clear how fake Hollywood is (to some), but no, I could not distinguish that (completely) as a child. In fact, there are still some adults looking for their perfect mate and a perfect relationship that they think exist because it was embedded into their psyche from very young.

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    1. Awww. I love hearing stories like these. Yes, love and romance do exist– it’s just the after that comes as a shock to some. Be ready to put in constant work to keep your love strong and it will grow beautifully. May you enjoy many years of laugher and love!

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    1. Absolutely, and it would be easy to do so if parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were more of an influence on children than television. Sadly, however, for many children, they are not seeing real life examples of healthy, real relationships and they are much too heavily indoctrinated by tv.

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  10. I really enjoyed reading this! I find Hollywood portrays marriage as being full of exciting times spent together filled with endless passion.The kids are never anywhere to be seen in those passionate moments. In real life, we pretty much always have our kids around. and, in reality, there are a lot of boring, predictable moments together.

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    1. OMG– YESS!!!!! Can I get a boring, predictable, monotonous, annoying, tiring, and a frustrating for the win! And the kids– they are indeed always around in some capacity or another, even when they’re sleep. You couldn’t have put this any better.

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  11. I loved this so much that I shared it with my husband! One thing I’ve learned is that like any relationship, you’ve got to put in work and do new things to keep it interesting. Sometimes, you will be out of sync and out of flow – that doesn’t have to be forever – you can always work to get to a better place. Thank you again for sharing!

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  12. I never really wanted a romantic ending growing up, even though I watched all the Disney movies. But there definitely is this expectation of reaching that marriage milestone and, somehow, your life will be complete. But after 13 years with my (now) husband, there is no such thing as happily ever after. Marriage and relationships Require true dedication and hard work.

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    1. Yes, we look for the marriage utopia that is supposed to come after we meet “the one”, then when it doesn’t come, people think there has to be something wrong. The truth is it doesn’t exist, and like you said, marriage is hard work and commitment more than it is butterflies in the stomach and romance.

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  13. Pretty much everything about marriage is different than what I imagined when I was a kid. The biggest difference is that everyday is NOT rainbows and sunshine and happy all the time.

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  14. I stopped believing Hollywood when it came to love and relationships years ago! I think we’d all like a fairytale ending, but real life sadly isn’t that easy!

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