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Daytime Opinion Article


Original Ideas Needed! By Suzanne

I'm tired of hearing that couples on soap operas can't be happy because they're boring. I think that's just an excuse for poor writing. No one wants their couples to just be sitting around and doing nothing, but marriage can be exciting and can have many problems without resorting to infidelity or huge lies that can lead to divorce. Marriage has its ups and downs, and its happy and unhappy times.

How about exploring domestic abuse, not as a 1-dimensional evil bad guy problem, but someone with anger issues that has to learn how to control their behavior through marriage counseling? I could totally see EJ and Sami getting physical with each other. Heck, he raped her and she shot him in the head, so that would be easy. There are many couples who stay together even though they might sometimes smack each other. Not everyone who hits their spouse is totally evil. These could be ground-breaking stories.

I loved Y&R exploring Sharon's mental problems and Billy's gambling, but they take it too far. What about if someone who's rich decides they really like gambling? Explore the idea that, is it a problem if they're rich and don't lose that often, and never go to bookies? I knew a middle class man who used to go to the race track a lot, or to Vegas to play poker, and he never was "addicted" because he won enough and didn't go crazy on it. Was he "addicted"? If someone is rich, I would think you would have to have quite a problem in order to lose so much. But maybe his wife or kids would think he is addicted. Similar to the recent storyline where Katie accused Bill of drinking too much. How about having Ridge, after he comes back and reunites with Brooke, revealing that he started gambling while he was away? Brooke thinks it's great when they jet off to Vegas occasionally, but then she finds that he wants to go too often, or that he is going to the race track a lot. Someone like Ridge wouldn't need to go to bookies, either.

What about more mental illness? If one spouse is OCD that can be a big problem. Say you have a young couple and one of them is very controlling and OCD, and the other goes along with it for a while, but then it causes problems. Or how about someone who refuses to get help for a medical or psychiatric problem?  These stories can be educational (like they used to do on soaps!). How about if Hope and Wyatt on B&B get married and then she finds out that he's OCD?

What about if a young couple gets pregnant and decides they don't want to have children? An abortion story where the couple is fine with it, but their friends and family don't like it. I could see this happening with someone, like maybe Abby on Y&R?

What if one spouse likes to go out to bars and restaurants, and the other one likes to stay home? I've seen that happen a lot. What happens if one spouse suddenly finds religion and the other is not interested? Or what if they disagree on how to raise the kids? Or what if one of them is a shopaholic? What if they have a family member who suddenly becomes very right-wing and have to deal with them?

There are so many issues in marriage that soaps could explore that would be more relatable than the standard stories they always have about babies and hopping into bed (or worse, serial killers).  We don't need to see the same stupid stories recycled over and over. Yes, it's great when they are exciting or sexy, but they don't all have to be so over-the-top.  Show some more romance, too. Couples can be happy occasionally and have more date nights and romantic times. These scenes are few and far between lately on the soaps.  Women watch soaps for the same reason they read romance novels. We want romance and love in our "stories".

I challenge the writers to come up with more original and appealing stories that we can relate to! Keep our couples together and happier!

Page updated 12/3/13

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