As a marriage coach, I understand why the “50 Shades of Grey” movie is so popular. It reveals a serious need in many marriages – a need for adventure and uncertainty. As I write this, the movie topped the box office setting some records. The books sold over 100 million copies. While some folks rail against the movie as promoting abuse and bondage, others see it as inspiring and empowering for women. It’s almost as if we are talking about 2 different movies. The reality, unfortunately, is rather sad. The reality is that there are multitudes of married couples who have played it safe for so long, the marriage has become boring. A book or movie like 50 Shades of Grey stirs everything up, and at least for a couple hours, gives viewers a fantasy.
It doesn’t have to be fantasy. I’m not promoting what is in 50 Shades of Grey, but as a marriage coach, I do see a need in many marriages for a little adventure and uncertainty.
Why Most Marriage Coaches are Against the Movie
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, but are intrigued by it, consider this. No marriage coach wants couples to base their marriage on Christian and Anastasia.
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The relationship between Christian and Anastasia is not a healthy relationship, based on the book or the movie. In both, boundaries are crossed. There is little respect. There is little a marriage coach can look to and recommend couples to do what they do in 50 Shades.
Women are known to read trashy romantic novels. I find it interesting though. The marriage coach in me finds it a bit hypocritical that they can read soft porn or see a movie like this, but complain when their guy is caught watching porn. I can hear it now. “Mark, it’s just entertainment. I know the difference.” To that I can also say porn might be considered entertainment, but we all know how bad porn is to a relationship. Porn is addicting and it sets unreal expectations in a marriage. You will not find a marriage coach recommending porn. Why then, is it OK to read books like this or watch this movie?
Is it Time to Spice up Your Marriage?
Is your marriage exciting and adventurous? Is your sex life loving, passionate, and sometimes wild? If not, then I can understand why this book or movie can be so appealing. Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes are famous for popularizing the 6 human needs. The 2nd human need is for uncertainty and variety. We all need it. Some need it more than others. If your marriage is boring, you need to spice it up. If your sex life is boring, you need to spice it up. I do not recommend the methods used in 50 Shades of Grey. There are many other ways to do this without violence and abuse that are respectful and loving. You can check out some options here, here, and here.
As a marriage coach, I can tell you that it’s good to keep things alive and adventurous. Change up how you greet your partner, hold her hand, or say “good-bye” before going to work. Mix it up. In the bedroom things should be fun and lively, not boring or routine. You don’t need trashy novels or soft-porn movies to liven your fantasies. A personal development mentor of mine, Jim Rohn, used to encourage everyone to read. When it came to the question about trashy novels, he said it best by saying that there isn’t enough time to read all the good books, no sense in reading the trashy ones. The same goes with movies.