1. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    Marital problems

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by motormouth, May 13, 2011.

    Im writing a script for a play-
    In it theres a newlywed couple, who re in serious marital problems to the point of near breakup because they cant seem to stop arguing. As a result, they need help/ counseling from an older couple to fix it. (Part of the plot)

    But my problem is i cant think of a good underlying reason for them arguing- alli cant think of is that the wife is extremely jealous of the husband who is a friendly guy and she gets angry whenever he talks to other women, even thought he doesnt mean anything by it. To me thats not good enough, I'd like something wherein both contribute to the problem so both can learn from their respective counsellor (man- man- woman to woman)

    Beig unmarried and single im dry for ideas. Any help?
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    The top five things couples fight over :

    1. Money
    2. Jealousy
    3. Money
    4. kids
    5. Money
     
  3. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    hmmmm, newly weds so no kids.
    Jealousy im not too keen on it
    Money- how do i make that into an interesting topic

    My initial idea that i forgot to mention is that the wife's mother left her family for another man, leaving her dad to raise her and her siblings. Therefore she paranoid of being cheated on (trying to avoid the usually, unfaithful father stereotype)
     
  4. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Well that is jealousy, or at least insecurity, the root of jealousy. So even though you say you're not keen on it, your story says different (to me anyway).

    They don't have kids, but maybe they forgot to discuss how many they wanted or if they wanted them at all. Or maybe someone changed their mind. Happens far too often.

    Money- Oops, he didn't realize she had a secret love of Bath and Body Works (I refuse to say shoes, it's annoying). She didn't realize he was going to throw a fit just because she buys three coffees a day. He plays WoW all night long and *gasp* that costs money she screams, are you JOKING?

    Really there are SO many ways to do this......
     
  5. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Yeah I agree about money. I mean I'm not married, so don't take me too seriously, but I live with my boyfriend, and getting used to sharing resources can be really difficult - if they didn't live together before they got married that's a great thing to spark arguments.

    Another option is grief.

    A fatal Earthquake hit my hometown earlier this year, and the amount of people who have split up since is astounding. A friend of mine back home (an assistant for an attorney who works in family law) says there's been a massive spike in couples wanting divorce. It's something to do with everyone handling trauma differently, and not accepting other people's ways of coping with grief, if that makes sense. There is a degree of everyone re-evaluating their lives, but mostly it's one or both sides of a couple not being able to see outside of their own little sadness bubble.

    You wouldn't have to make it a natural disaster, either. The death of a mutual friend or something like that would, I assume, evoke a similar reaction.

    Of course, something that big could as easily detract from your story as enhance it.
     
  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see what's wrong with what you've already got...seems like a legit thing to argue about to me. If you don't want to stick with that, the only thing I can think of to add to Trish's list would be something like big religious/political differences.
     
  7. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Money is the easiest thing to get into an argument over in any type of relationship. Both partners have bills they need to pay. Both partners have things they want to buy.

    There are a lot of people, especially today, that don't understand the concept of need vs want. Sort of like the couple that argue over buying a certain model of car. No amount of arguing will change the fact they can't afford the price of the car, but people will still argue over it. Other people will waste money buying trinkets like mp3 players, games, cds, etc., when there is the electricity or water bill to pay. Or they will go out clubbing instead.

    And don't even get started on credit cards.
     
  8. Nightshade
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    Nightshade Senior Member

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    Money is a main point of argument but there can be other things.

    Perhaps the wife loves her husband a lot but she doesn't want to sleep with him because she's incredibly self conscious or she's been in bad relationships before or doesn't have a high sex drive, this leads to tension because he thinks that she's not interested in him and so he flirts around, they both love each other but they're ending up hurting each other. Another one is when you have one person who is incredibly touchy feely and clingy who requires a lot of attention and then someone else who needs their space. I argue a lot with my partner because when I shut myself in my study to do writing he comes in and complains that I'm not spending enough time with him or giving him attention, and he's only interested in having my attention when he doesn't have something better to do.
    Perhaps the female character doesn't like her husbands friends and so socialises with them grudgingly and he takes offense to this. Maybe one of his friends is trying to make moves on her and she's uncomfortable but when she tries to tell her husband he takes his friends side because he's known his friend longer and thinks the wife is just jealous of the time he spends with other people rather than with her?
     
  9. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    Money is a biggie, even if it's not about who spends what, but the stress of barely making it. As newlyweds they may be paying off a wedding loan, or just bought a condo, etc.
    Different incomes and who makes decisions. Or maybe on eof them is an artist and doesn't have a steady income, but does all the housework... Etc.

    Hen the recently moved in together thing would work great. She nags abou dirty socks in front of the couch, he grumbles at her nagging.
    Or she suddenly gains weight (hey, she's not on the market anymore, so why bother) but that makes her cranky.
    Or, as my mum told me: after being married, she talked about going out of an evening to hang with their friends - his answer: "why? I've got a wife now." - aye, they ended up divorced ;)
     
  10. Zev Steinhardt
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    Zev Steinhardt New Member

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    You *can* have newlyweds with kids.

    1) One of them has kids from a previous relationship (or maybe they had a kid before they married each other).

    2) They "end up" with a kid -- perhaps a close relative who is a single parent dies and as his/her dying request she asks your newlyweds to raise the kid.

    Zev Steinhardt
     
  11. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    I guess you need a fundamental underlying reason that is linked to antagonistic character traits, not some bunch of coincidental events. Just from the top of my head a bit brainstorming for inspirational purposes:

    Money: one is a big spender, the other is frugal and thinks twice before s/he spends it.

    Life style: one is extremely orderly and tidy, the other is a slob
    One is denigrating the other in front of others
    One is egoistic, the other is altruistic

    Love: one is faithful and loyal, the other sees sex as fun that has nothing to do with love
    One wants kids soon, the other wants to wait

    etc.... HTH
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Things I've heard two newlyweds complain about at work recently:

    1) A woman who says her husband doesn't treat her as 'special' any more, in fact, he apparently seems to resent her because he can't spend evenings out with the lads like he used to (we didn't suggest that even a saint would get sick of having his in-laws around every night and weekend, as she seems to);
    and
    2) A man who says he and his wife discussed having children. He told her he wanted them, but now he is changing his mind (this is apparently a perfectly natural perogative). Added to this, when wife didn't get pregnant by the third month, she went to a doctor ('behind his back'!), who said she would need treatment. Now husband is treating her as if she is a bore with a tedious and unreasonable obsession to have a child.

    Actually, there's usually a lot going on around you if you are looking for inspiration--oh, but maybe you don't work in an open-plan office filled with neurotic teachers.
     
  13. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooh, in-laws are another thing newlyweds could fight over! Especially if you want it to be a situation where the wife is insecure because of what happened with her parents...he could feel like her mom treats him like he's just going to leave, which leads to tension, which leads to her getting upset, etc.
     
  14. Nightshade
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    Nightshade Senior Member

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    Or perhaps a nagging mother in law who is pressuring her new daughte rin law to have children, or the husband is still hanging onto the apron strings and mother keeps interfering! Or perhaps the husband is treating his new wife like his mother and expecting her to do everything for him and mother in law isn't at all sympathetic because she says that's the wifes 'job' now!
     
  15. NikkiNoodle
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    NikkiNoodle Active Member

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    You can absolutely have jealousy as the reason if you want, but it has to be a valid reason. It has to have a firmly rooted backstory for the woman (something like; her father cheated on her mother, she was cheated on previously with HORRIBLE consequences, ect... and she was scarred and hasnt healed enough to fully trust her husband) and he has to have a valid reason for arguing back AND being insensitive to her real fears. She's just over-reacting, he doesnt mean anything by it, now HE'S upset because if she really loved him she would trust him never to hurt her, etc...
    We are really complex creatures and although money may be a big factor in arguements it is NOT the reason for the arguement by itself. She is IRRESPONSIBLE with money and he DOESNT TRUST her, he isn't working hard enough to support them so she steps in to bring home the bacon and he feels intimidated by the power struggle, ect... it's all about the human condition, really. So your couple can have any problems you want as long as you can make us believe that they really feel that way.
     
  16. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha any of the above would definitely work. There's no shortage of issues one can have with a mother-in-law...trust me. I think I pretty much have them all. ;)
     
  17. motormouth
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    motormouth Member

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    Ok, thanks but lemmes explain the concept, the setting os on a cruise ship. They have boarded cruise liner to see if theyu can work it on during the time away from home. Since theyre there on the seas. There wont be and point for the ther relatives in the cast. The story starts as theyre in the boarding lounge. So now glimpse of life b4 it. I do like the idea of him wanting to spre whilhe she wants him to stay home tho
     
  18. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't really matter where the setting is...relatives or anyone else involved with their problems don't have to physically be there to be a part of the story...
     
  19. ZeaMayz
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    ZeaMayz Member

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    She earns more than he does. He has a problem with that. He doesn't want to feel he is living off his wife, she thinks he is old-fashioned.

    One of them is frugal, the other spend-thrift. "We need to save, we don't know what awaits us around the next corner" vs "good grief we have the money why not have some fun while we are free and child-less"

    They have separate bank accounts and argue about who contributes what to the marriage: rent/food/entertainment etc

    He loses his job, she nags him about not trying hard enough to get another job, he tries his best and can't stand the pressure, but is also too particular about what he wants, doesn't want to drop his standards.

    They make a bad investment and blame each other. / One of them makes a bad investment, one accuses, the other is defensive.

    The bicker over the smallest trivialities (which tooth paste to buy), but don't realize that they are screwing up the big decisions (what car to drive).

    One is showy, wants to impress with fashion and style, the other is a happy slob. They have endless arguments about keeping up a good show vs just enjoy life and stuff everyone else.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Housework or other chores.

    How to raise the kids, or whether to have kids.

    Spending monery on non-essentials without consulting the spouse.
     
  21. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Housework and chores is a pretty big one, lol. Why didn't I think of that? :p
     
  22. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    My ex and I went on an island holiday once - he spentthe entire time sunbathing in front o the cottage and even forgot my birthday. I spent the time chatting with the bartenders and exploring the place. Two people, same setting, different expectations... IMO if you just want to sunbathe, why would you fly halfway around the world? His opinion was 'to get away from everything and finally relax'...
    Anyways, finding photographs of other girls butts in my negatives after getting them developed, didn't really help his case...
    There ya go, just change the setting and you have the story :p
     

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