How Reality TV Has Made Me Appreciate My Marriage

When I was barely 20, I never imaged how so thoroughly thankful I’d be one day for such a boring life. Back then I’d read articles aimed at couples on how to “spice up” this and “get wild” with that in order to have the best marriage and life possible. I believed the hype that adding drama to your relationship was what made it appealing. Luckily for me, must-see television has opened my eyes to exactly how good I have it with the man I’ve been with for the past 16 years. Watching other couples work, live, shop, explore, argue, and eat together on reality TV has made me appreciate my marriage for exactly what it is: Nothing you’d ever want to watch on TV.

We met at work and knew right away we were interested in each other. Total snoozefest, right? But at least I didn’t have to compete with a couple dozen desperate and overly lip-glossed ladies in tight dresses to get him to make out with me, like on “The Bachelor.” That’s way too close to snogging a sticky petri dish: No, thank you. Once we became a couple, we took our time to get to know exactly how annoying each of us was before committing forever, unlike on “Married at First Sight.” Those couples say, “I do” before knowing whether their partners chew with their mouths open (an obvious relationship deal-breaker).

When it came to buying a home and decorating it, we were pretty in sync. I would not have been able to handle a typical “House Hunters” scenario during which the husband insists he can’t bid on a home in a great neighborhood with wonderful schools and three full bathrooms that’s under budget just because the living room is painted pink. I’m a calm, reasonable woman, but that sh*t just makes me feel like going all Jack Torrence on the closest pocket door with a pickaxe. Having a reasonable husband who knows how to paint a room the color he wants it to be keeps me zen. I also love that his gag reflex is too sensitive to tolerate the terrifying things Chip Gaines of “Fixer Upper” throws in there to sate his hunger in between home improvement projects. I mean, who wants to kiss a man who snacks on cockroaches and snakeskin? NOT ME.

We travel well together, feeling no need to insult one another at top volume in public places, like on “The Amazing Race.”

When I cook for him, he never hammers me with disappointment in the form of creative, curse-laden insults about the food, like on “Master Chef.”

He was cool about sticking to only two kids and one wife, unlike human hoarders Jim Bob Duggar of “19 Kids and Counting” and Kody Brown of “Sister Wives.”

Most importantly, we know that every couple has bumps in the road during their life together. We work through them as partners, in private, respecting one another because we’re in it for the long run. Neither of us feels like we need to slap on stage make-up and wave every scrap of our crazy in front of the cameras, like on “Couples Therapy.” We also respect each other too much to create a soap operatic life like those on “Real Housewives,” in which the husbands are all cheating and the wives are all having catfights.

We’ll never become America’s most-beloved couple or get filthy rich by keeping fans tuned in to watch us build things, break bread, or butt heads, and that’s okay by me. I’ve witnessed enough small-screen drama to know that my camera-shy guy is exactly the right one for me—and that’s worth more than any multi-million dollar contract.

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