Why You Should Watch "Love and Marriage": Huntsville If Considering Marriage
While two of its biggest shows (Greenleaf and Queen Sugar) have been on hiatus, OWN has debuted a couple of interesting reality shows. One of them, Love and Marriage: Huntsville, is about three rich black couples juggling businesses, their romantic relationships, and their friendships. If you're looking to get married, this is a good show to watch with your significant other. Each relationship faces different challenges that make for good discussions. One couple includes two working spouses who have dealt with infidelity. Another features a working father and a stay-at-home mom looking to revive her career. The third couple involves a blended family with a single parent marrying a divorcée.
From the very first episode, there are plenty of “is he serious?” or “is she serious?” moments to get you and your significant other talking about how you all want your marriage to go. For example, when one of the husbands says, “I don’t get paid to run the household,” just watch your partner’s facial expression to see if they nod along or make a face.
Some topics the show covers that you and your significant other can discuss are:
cheating (Is there such a thing as respectful cheating? Is cheating a deal breaker in your relationship? What would it take for your spouse to regain your trust after infidelity?)
gender roles (Does one spouse want to be a stay-at-home parent? If so, for how long? How active does your spouse expect to be in taking care of the children? Who will be responsible for paying bills and to what extent? Can a deal made at the beginning of the marriage about roles and expectations be broken?)
step-parent roles (How active should your partner be in the parenting of your child before marriage? What about after marriage?)
building a family business (How do you feel about going into business with your spouse? What role would each spouse be given in the business? How would you all balance business and family? What is the best way for you or your spouse to communicate frustration in a professional setting?)
disclosure (How much should you tell your friends about your marriage? Is your partner comfortable with you discussing your marital issues with your friends?)
The situation that most stuck out to me is how the stay-at-home mom and her husband made a decision at the beginning of her marriage that she later came to regret. I understand her no longer wanting to be around kids all day after twelve years. I’ve heard that complaint from my friends who have been stay-at-home mothers for a lot less time. However, I also understand her husband saying nope, a deal is a deal and the conditions of the agreement have not been met.
What irks me about her husband is how he talks about fatherhood. He’s one of those “babysit my children” type of fathers who can’t seem to understand the difference between babysitting and parenting. This man doesn’t think he should be left alone to watch them at all, though. While I would want to be a work-from-home mom while my kids are young, I would have a problem if my husband thought he would never be responsible for taking them to activities or making sure their homework is done, etc. I’m in favor of premarital counseling because we would need to hash that out before the “I dos.”
You could learn a lot by observing how your partner reacts to the different situations and actions on the show. The men on the show...well in one of my group chats they were described as trash. I think one of them has sense, maybe because he’s the oldest of the men. The show is good at demonstrating that no person or relationship is perfect. The man that seems to have sense also waited seven years to propose to his lady. The sexist guy is the funniest, makes good points sometimes, and believes strongly in commitment. The cheater is one of the more active fathers and helps around the house. The woman who seems like she’s got it all together and is happy with her life doesn’t and isn’t.
Not everyone goes through marriage counseling, but don’t be like one of the couples on the show and not have important conversations before the marriage. Watching this show can help spark those conversations.
Season one is available to stream on OWN. I haven’t heard that there will be a season 2.