LIES, DAMN LIES, AND STATISTICS
According to OnlineLayerSource.com: In most general terms, the causes of divorce (and arguably the cause of any relationship dissolution) involve a breakdown or lack of communication, compromise, and/or commitment. Family legal experts cite the following factors as major causes of divorce: poor communication, financial problems, lack of commitment, dramatic changes in priorities, and infidelity. Causes of divorce may also include physical, mental or emotional abuse, substance abuse, lack of conflict resolution skills, unmet needs, failed expectations, and significant discrepancies in parenting.
According to daytime television: The causes of divorce include a heretofore unmentioned spouse coming to town and bringing along a heretofore unmentioned child; a presumed dead spouse returning to town and bringing along a presumed dead and/or unknown child; one partner discovering the other naked under a blanket in a cabin during a snowstorm and snorting with derision at the excuse of "It was just to preserve body heat, I swear!"; most acts of nature - hurricanes, avalanches, floods; a drunken tryst no one seems to remember exactly but is staunchly eager to believe took place; a misunderstanding that could otherwise be resolved in six minutes if only the aggrieved party actually consulted with their spouse, rather than with everyone else in town.
Such disparate lists beg the question: Would you like to see soaps take a more realistic look at marriage?
For instance, would you enjoy seeing ATWT's Brad and Katie split up not over his ex and child, not over a scheming intern, not over her allegedly unresolved feelings for Mike (and Jack. And Simon) but over something more common, like Katie charging up a storm on her credit cards, or Brad buying them a house they can't afford to make payments on and then losing it?
Would you like to see GL's Rick and Mel arguing over something normal, like how hard to push their gifted daughter, Leah? Mel, who was always pushed to be a super-achiever by her parents could be urging her daughter to slow down and enjoy life while Rick, who has made a ton of mistakes, including becoming addicted to drugs, could be obsessed with setting Leah on the right path to success sooner rather than later.
Would Carly and Jack's umpteenth break-up be more believable if it was over her wanting to go back to work while Jack insisted the kids need her at home (and, this time, there was no homicidal puppet involved)? Should Margo and Tom face a fracture in their marriage not from Emily or Doc or a random psychopath but from Tom, following his heart attack, suddenly discovering religion -- and begging a reluctant, unbelieving Margo to join him?
What if Beth became a physically abusive wife to Alan (with her background, its certainly conceivable)? What if Jeffrey and Reva ended up with a seriously disabled child -- and couldn't agree on a course of treatment?
In other words, would you like your soap marriages and inevitable break-ups more statistically realistic, or is the back from the dead spouse why you watch soaps in the first place?
Let us know in the Comments section below!