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Why Did I Get Married? Essay Example

Pages: 8

Words: 2231

Essay

Director Tyler Perry’s movie Why Did I Get Married? is based on director’s hit stage play of the same name. Through the stories of four married couples, Perry takes a critical look at the difficulty of maintaining a relationship in modern times (Perry). In addition to writing the directing the movie, Perry also played a major role in the movie.

The first couple is comprised of Terry who is a pediatrician and Dianne who is a lawyer. Dianne is a workaholic who doesn’t mind bringing work home as well. She is always digitally connected with her workmates through email and phone which irritates Terry. Terry believes that Diane ignores her family due to her work but doesn’t realize it while Dianne believes that Terry is just a control freak and exaggerates her commitment to work. Diane believes that as long as she is physically with her husband and daughter, there is nothing wrong in trying to accomplish a little work in the idle time. Terry also complains that Dianne doesn’t pay attention while he is communicating with her. The relationship has been so much taken over by Dianne’s work that the couple doesn’t even find time for sex and other romantic activities.

Terry is ambitious but he also believes in a balance between career and family life. Dianne on the other hand is more focused on career and feels obliged to take on more work related responsibilities. This is because being a partner at her law firm was her lifelong dream and now that she has achieved it, she wants to justify her selection as a partner. Dianne also mistakenly believes that Terry is old-fashioned and wants her to take the role of a traditional housewife. We know this because Dianne tells Terry during her fight, which led to Terry moving out of the house, that Terry wants her to go back to the 1950s. During the same fight Dianne also stated that maybe Terry is jealous of her career achievements since she is more accomplished of the two.

As far as Dianne and Terry’s relationship is concerned it is possible that Dianne took Terry for granted which decreased the incentives for her to work out the problems. Dianne probably took her quarrels as part of a normal marriage life and underestimated the impact of regular quarrels on the long-term stability of marriage which is why she could never imagine Terry to move out of the house. It is possible that Dianne’s gender also played part in her desire to excel at work so that she could prove women are no less competitive and capable than their male counterparts. She might have believed that Terry was jealous of her due to his pride as a male which is why he wanted her to slow down and was using family as merely an excuse. Terry believed that Dianne was selfish and didn’t care about family but failed to realize the extent of her motivation. Terry never inquired Dianne about her work which might have made Dianne believe that Terry was not interested in her achievements or dreams. Because Terry often criticized Dianne for her addiction to blackberry and work, it forced Dianne to adopt a competitive attitude as well. Because Terry never appreciated Dianne’s achievement, it is possible that Dianne also started considering Terry selfish who just wanted a son and didn’t care about the impact of a child on Dianne’s career.

The second couple is Marcus and Angela. Marcus has a son from previous relationship with Keishaand a daughter with Angela. Angela cannot stand Marcus’ ex Keisha because she believes Keisha tells lies to the children about her. In addition, Angela has a hot temper and Marcus is the exact opposite. He doesn’t like arguing and doesn’t like that fact that Angela often embarrasses him in front of others. Of all the people who have gathered at the annual winter retreat, Angela is the least popular because of her inadequate social skills and her tendency to argue with others. Marcus relationship with Angela also lacks romance and which forced Marcus to resume her physical relationship with Keisha. Angela also doesn’t let go of any moment to humiliate Marcus who is an employee at his wife’s salon.Like Dianne, Angela also takes her husband for granted because she thinks he is dependent on her for income and, thus, would never leave her. Because Marcus doesn’t argue back, Angela also takes her as a sign that he is dependent upon her and would bear any treatment silently.

Angela’s treatment towards Marcus was probably also due to her jealousy towards Keisha. In addition, Angela owned the salon and employed Marcus, thus, she hadgreater power than Marcus and was not hesitant to prove as to who was the boss. Marcus wouldn’t defend himself which led Angela to believe that it was because she was often right. She believed she was doing Marcus a favor by employing her, thus, Marcus should blindly obey her as a gesture of gratefulness. Angela also probably believed that Marcus doesn’t love her but is simply staying with her out of his own selfish reasons. Thus, to Angela marriage was an act of convenience to both parties. One could argue that Marcus was doing himself a disservice by staying silent because only after he defended himself, Angela came to realize that his feelings for her were real and he loved her and not stayed with her out of convenience and her attitude changed after that. This is when she realized she was being selfish and misunderstood Marcus.

The third couple is Mike and Sheila. Sheila is a little overweight and often the subject of Mike’s ridicule due to her weight. Despite her husband’s cold treatment, Sheila is determined to save her marriage. Mike and Sheila have a friend named Trina to whom Mike is attracted due to her impressive physique. Sheila realizes that Mike doesn’t find her attractive due to her weight and is determined to lose weight to make her marriage work. Mike is also blunt in his opinions and often gives remarks that hurt Sheila’s feelings. The other three couples do not agree with Mike’s disrespect towards her wife but Mike doesn’t give weight to his friends’ opinions and brushes them off. Sheila takes Mike’s rude treatment silently because she has an inferiority complex and blames herself for Mike’s lack of attraction to her. Sheila is also religious and spiritual, thus, finds solace in her faith to get through the stress and disappointments in the relationship. Mike doesn’t treat Sheila as an equal in the relationship because he considers himself more attractive and superior of the two. Mike is aware of Sheila’s feelings towards him that is why he doesn’t feel the need to choose careful words as not to hurt Sheila’s feelings.

Due to her lack of confidence and self-believe Sheila gave all the power in the relationship to Mike. Because she believed that Mike is the better looking person in the relationship, she started blaming her appearance for the marital problems. This gave Mike even more encouragement to give cold treatment to Sheila and he didn’t feel any remorse when Angela revealed his infidelity in front of everyone. For Mike, physical attraction was a necessity in a relationship and it was only after separating with Sheila that he started realizing her true value and how she managed most of the home affairs. This is when Mike realized that relationship is more than just physical attraction to each other and relationship without real feelings has a very short life. It was not only Mike who learnt his lesson but also Sheila who understood the meaning of relationship better through marriage to Troy. Sheila realized that both people in a relationship bring different things to the table and thus, one should believe in himself before others value him. Troy also taught Sheila that one should take charge of his life and change things if he is not happy with the state of the affairs.

The fourth couple is Patricia and Gavin. Patricia is a psychologist and bestselling author and the couple is in deep love. However, they grow apart for a while after Patricia comes to know that Gavin blames her for the death of their only child. Patricia feels hurt but later Patricia reveals that unlike what Gavin thinks, she did tie the seatbelt around the child but didn’t make sure she had secured the child. Patricia shows remorse and Gavin realizes the pain Patricia had been bearing all by herself.

Out of all the couples, Patricia and Gavin seem the one with the most stable relationship. Despite being a relationship expert, it was revealed in the beginning of the movie that Patricia had somewhat mistaken belief that her friends were dealing with their marital problems effectively and were happy. But Patricia is also the most practical and she is the one who forced Angela and Dianna to take steps to repair their own relationships. She was also the one who realized that the main problem with all of the couples was lack of communication and courage to discuss their opinions honestly with their partners. Out of the four men, Gavin and Terry have the strongest sense of loyalty to their partners and often cite the 80-20 rule to defend their stance. They believe that the temporary gain from infidelity is not worth risking the benefits that come from a relationship even if the couples have occasional problems. Mike has the least sense of loyalty while Marcus is bearing Angela’s non-stop criticisms for the sake of his children.

If we analyze all of the relationship problems being experienced by the four couples, we find that lack of communication is the trait shared by all the relationships just as Patricia pointed out to her friends. Because they were unwilling to honestly communicate with their respective spouses, the problems were left unchecked and frustration kept on building. Because of lack of communication, they didn’t know why their partners behaved in a particular manner and, thus, everyone created his own assumptions. In addition, everyone in the relationship was overly focused on the problems and didn’t think about the good parts. This is why Patricia’s advice had such a profound impact on Dianne and Angela as they realized by making a list how they had failed to appreciate the positive things in their respective partners. Besides communication, another thing lacking among the couples was trust which only created distances over time. Whether women or men, they would feel more comfortable sharing their marital problems with friends than with their spouses which is why the dinner table revelations took all of them by surprise. It made them realize how little they knew about their spouses.

All the four couples can take numerous steps to build their relationship. As far as Terry and Dianne are concerned, Terry needs to realize how important Dianne’s dreams are to her and support her. Terry should take interest in Dianne’s work and make her feel important and proud. A sense of appreciation would motivate Dianne to try to understand Terry’s priorities as well. Dianne needs to realize that relationship is also like work in a sense that it requires attention, focus, and open communication. Successful relationships are the outcome of teamwork in which both the parties play equally important roles. In addition, being in relationship means the couple has to make important decisions mutually. Dianne needs to realize that Terry and her daughter also has a right over her and problems in relationship do not go away by themselves.

As far as Angela and Marcus are concerned, Marcus needs to be more vocal about his opinions and Angela needs to realize that both parties are equal in a relationship. Angela also needs to work on her temper because open communication can only happen when your partner trusts you to be understanding and not just critical. Patricia and Gavin probably only have communication problems and thus, they should be more honest in sharing their opinions with each other that will also help them address each other’s misunderstandings. The last ones are Sheila and Mike and Sheila. Sheila has found a new partner and thus, she should work on increasing her self-confidence. She should not be overly conscious of her shortcomings but also take the effort to remind herself of her positive traits. Troy can help her by giving her verbal appreciation and keep motivating her to take charge of her life.

All these couples need to realize that good communication in marriage is respectful which means the couples avoid sarcasm, accusations, judgmental statements, and disrespect. In addition, an effective communication is also quantitative which means that couples dedicate sufficient time to communication instead of talking for few minutes per week. A good relationship requires investment of ample time resources just like any other challenge. Communication is also a two way streetwhich means partners should both have the capacity to speak as well as listen to their partner. If they don’t pay attention, they send the message that they do not consider their partner worth listening to. Similarly, communication should be honest. Honest communication may be difficult at times but it will prevent buildup of mistrust and problems over time and both individuals will have a better understanding of each other(Northcutt).

References

Northcutt, T. (n.d.). Marriage Communication. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://www.familydynamics.net/Communication.htm

Perry, T. (n.d.). Why Did I Get Married? Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://www.whydidigetmarriedthemovie.com/theatrical.html

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