3 Ways Fictional Marriages can Sabotage Real Ones—and How to Get it Right

3 Ways Fictional Marriages can Sabotage Real Ones—and How to Get it Right April 12, 2022

Not long ago, I was taking a lunch break and reading a novel—and was jolted by a particular scene that reminded me of a conversation I’d had with my college-age daughter. She’s been dating a young man for more than a year, and as their relationship has deepened, she has been realizing the differences between how things work in the fictional relationships she sees all around her—in the latest TV series or fiction books—and how things work in real life. “I’m just now realizing,” she told me, “that these shows and books often portray great marriages but not necessarily the truth for how you create great marriages. The goal is right but the examples they show of what the couple is actually doing are often so wrong. In real life, I don’t think good stuff comes from doing those things!”

Perhaps because of that conversation, my eyes were suddenly opened to one such example as I was reading that novel. And then I saw another example a few pages later . . . and another. The next day some other examples jumped out at me while watching a movie. And then in an episode of the latest TV show we’ve been bingeing. I’ll share some of these examples shortly. But it caused me to realize . . . these “that approach only works in fiction” examples are everywhere. And we need to identify them so we can purposefully replace the wrong approaches and expectations with the right ones.

There are so many examples, I could write a whole book on this (hmm . . .) but for now, here are three common ways we must replace fiction with truth:

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