We don't watch "The Jerry Springer Show" in our house. Too much drama and yelling and stupidity. But, once in a while, the Dr. Phil show will appear on our TV screen. Dr. Phil seems more normal and intelligent. Actually, a Dr. Phil show formed the basis for this column.
A young, newlywed couple appeared to be headed for divorce before their first anniversary. Dr. Phil tried to get to the root of the problem and help them.
The wife "needed" expensive clothes, a stylish car, a spacious, well-decorated home, and a big diamond ring.
The husband "needed" weekly golf matches at the country club, nights out drinking with his buddies, a flashy sports car, and dinner on the table by 6 p.m. each evening.
Apparently, these two had not fully discussed their "needs" prior to walking down the aisle. When asked about their differences, the wife said, "Why shouldn't I have exactly what I want? Life is too short to settle for less."
The husband agreed with his wife's attitude, but thought that his "needs" came before hers since he made more money than she did. At that, the wife smiled and said, "It's all about the money, isn't it?"
At that point, Dr. Phil looked as though he was going to vomit. He saw clearly that these two young people wanted it all – right away.
The young married couple forgot (or maybe never were taught) the basic elements of a good marriage – compromise, cooperation, caring, hard work, and sacrifice. They were so concentrated on fulfilling their individual needs that they lost sight of what makes a healthy marriage partnership. Their impatience and selfishness were tolling the death knell to their union.
This scenario is typical of today's generation of young adults. They wouldn't be caught dead having used furniture or hand-me-down décor in their homes. They wouldn't buy clothing at decent prices in discount stores. The technology in their homes and offices has to be on the cutting edge.
Young people today don't understand the concept of waiting a little for life's rewards. Starting out in married life requires a certain amount of patience. What ever happened to working hard for future benefits?
Postponing the new home, the new furniture, new car and new everything else makes a lot of common sense. Working together as newlyweds to build a life is a shared, unsurpassed experience. Nothing can cement a relationship more than joint effort toward a common goal.
In truth, my generation must shoulder a lot of the blame for this impatient bunch of youngsters. As parents, we wanted the best for our children. We raised them to believe that they could be anything, do anything, and have anything. We wanted them to be independent, self-assured, and capable. We also taught them about life's rewards. What we might not have emphasized enough was the timeline for achieving those rewards.
I firmly believe that when something is too easily acquired, it is not appreciated. Some college students treat their four years there as party time, thanks to their parents' hard work at providing tuition and spending money. If the student had to work hard to accumulate her own college money, the education would become much more important.
When someone gets everything she desires at a young age, where is the future challenge?
Dr. Phil advised the young couple to think hard about their priorities. He warned them that their "needs" were not really "needs," but "wants."
I didn't feel positive about the young couple's future, because the bride said, "To me, there's no difference."
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.