The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: The young and the restless

  • Screaming Flea Productions, a television production company behind shows like "Hoarders, "Women of Homicide and "Sell This House," is preparing to release a new reality show centered on the issue of divorce among young couples.
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  • Screaming Flea Productions, a television production company behind shows like "Hoarders, "Women of Homicide and "Sell This House," is preparing to release a new reality show centered on the issue of divorce among young couples.
    The statistics, as casting associate/associate story producer Bif Brigman tells the Leavenworth Times in this Q5, are alarming.
    Below, he discusses the challenges young married couples face.
    1. Bif, can you tell us about the new reality series, "20 and Divorced," that the producers of "Hoarders" are launching?
    "Screaming Flea Productions, the award-winning producers of 'Hoarders,' is working on an exciting new documentary series for a major cable network focusing on transformational personal growth as a byproduct of Y Generation — 20- to 30-year-olds — divorce. The show will not only document the challenges facing young couples as they navigate the complexities of modern relationships, but will also detail the inspiring stories of how these young people bounce back and begin new lives after marriage."
    2. Will the show try to bring awareness to the problems Millennials are beginning to face as they wrestle with marriages ending at such a young age? Will it also focus on people in the LGBT community who live in states that grant the right to marry?
    "This show will raise awareness to the unique challenges and opportunities faced by young people by following and documenting this new Millennial generation as it comes forward to join the ranks of the married and divorcing couples in America. And, this demographic is certainly evolving and changing in distinct and new ways.
    "The institution and ideas of marriage are expanding and evolving like never before. With the right to marry for so many now a reality, divorce in the LGBTQQIA — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Ally — community is inevitable. Long excluded as traditionally recognized couples, LGBTQQIA voices are now part of the national narrative on marriage. Likewise, LGBTQQIA people will also have a newly visible presence in divorce.
    "This new series will profile both gay and straight individuals as they end their relationships and embark on new lives."
    3. What are the statistics on divorce for people who marry in their 20s, 30s, and 40s? How will the new show provide a much-needed resource for those facing the challenges of uncoupling?
    "The National Center for Health Statistics reports 60 percent of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 ends in divorce.
    "In America, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds. That's nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week, and 876,000 divorces a year.
    "The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry, if they remarry at all.
    Page 2 of 3 - "The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old.
    "About 1 percent of the total number of currently married same-sex couples gets divorced each year, in comparison to about 2 percent of married straight couples. Note that the percent of couples that get divorced eventually is 50 percent, but only 1 or 2 percent get divorced in a particular year.
    "Forty-one percent of first marriages end in divorce. Sixty percent of second marriages end in divorce, and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce."
    4. Why do you think it's so much harder for 20-somethings to make marriages work out?
    "People marry for all sorts of reasons and they get divorced for just as many. And while divorce continues to carry many social stigmas in modern culture, divorce is inevitable based on modern history. The Millennial generation is no different — they are divorcing, too. However, compounding their situation is experiencing a hostile world with a struggling economy, troubling unemployment numbers and simultaneously experiencing a rapidly-changing structure of technology, communication and globalization. They are facing unique challenges to their generation as more and more young people uncouple and decide to leave broken marriages in this changing and challenging landscape.
    "And while many in the Y Generation come from divorced parents and have personally seen the common effects of divorce, tense custody disputes and crumbling family infrastructure firsthand, their interpersonal relationships are impacted in ways never seen before. The introduction and dominance of social media, mass communication, ease of online dating and abundance of hook-up apps have altered the landscape of relationships in profound ways.
    "Cheating, lying and leading secret lives are easier than ever before. Disposable relationships in a disposable world.
    "Lack of maturity is the main cause of increasing divorce rates among the Net-Generation marriages. The number of young marriages is on the rise currently. Most young people get married without any knowledge about how to maintain a functional family. Divorce is not one of the challenges that strike Generation Y couples' minds before they get married.
    "Tara S. Pellegrino, a student lawyer, said, 'The large majority of young couples enter this (marriage) with a sense of perceived invincibility, an 'it can't happen to us' mentality that blinds them to the reality that divorce, not death, is the more probable end to the fairy tale.'
    "Many Generation Y teenagers are used to having their parents give them all they need, so they do not think that getting married comes with some responsibilities. At adolescence, many teenagers are usually rebellious and unwilling to listen to their parents' advice, so when they decide to get married no one has control over their decisions. In their marriages, young couples often face challenges like child rearing, financial insufficiencies, and inability to tolerate their partners' behaviors. These challenges are the realities about marriage, which most Generation Y couples only realize after getting married.
    Page 3 of 3 - "Mary Myrick, a National Health Marriage Resource Center project director, says, 'There is often a disconnect between attitudes about marriage and the reality of getting or being married.' Young couples accept the truth about marriage when they are finally married and experience the challenges in marriage. When many young married couples finally find out that marriage involves more than just happiness, they start thinking over the decisions they made, and decide to get divorced because they are too young to think of other problem-solving techniques.
    "We have previously commented on the statistics which confirm that the divorce rate amongst the under 30s is rising.
    “With the advent of ‘Generation Y,’ also known as the ‘Net Generation,’ it's likely that such unrealistic expectations will continue. The culture of thinking differently about relationships, being motivated by different goals, does not always lead to a happy marriage.
    “Furthermore, advances in technology and methods of communication that do not rely upon face-to-face or even voice-to-voice contact can, in our experience, on occasions hinder, rather than improve, relations in a marriage."
    5. How can our local residents who are interested in being on the show find out more and submit their information for casting consideration?
    "Interested people can respond with their name, age, recent photo, and a brief summary of their situation by going to the casting page at www.sfpseattle.com/casting/divorced."
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