BlogMy Marriage is a Continual Attempt to Live an HGTV Life

July 28, 2023by Frank Love0

In my previous blog, “Apologize for Your Dealbreaker,” I discussed my belief that dealbreakers have no place in a loving relationship. Today’s blog post looks at a challenge that many couples face, appreciating what’s right in front of them.

Are you an HGTV watcher? Better yet, are you a reality television watcher? There seems to be an endless number of reality television shows that showcase the posh lifestyle, the socialite existence, polished homes, or stylish renovations. Let’s consider how these shows might be impacting the loving culture in our relationship.

Each week, I facilitate a call on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET called Black Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships. During each call, men discuss and solicit advice on strategies that will lead to creating loving relationships. During one of my recent calls, my father, an excellent visual artist (check out www.KofiTyusStudios.com), quoted George Orwell: “All art is propaganda.” That got me thinking.

Rocky movies inspire some viewers to box. Military movies inspire some viewers to enlist. Romantic comedies inspire some viewers to get into relationships. Believe it or not, all of these genres (I know, Rocky movies aren’t a genre) are propaganda. They influence us to see things in certain ways and to take certain actions. With reality TV shows, we can end up believing that we need more in order to be satisfied. A better home, car, or image. We become insatiable, and all of this costs money.

And the conversations are not simply being had between the television viewer and the program; at some point, most of us incorporate our partner into our new desires. Because posh, new, shiny stuff isn’t cheap (and most viewers aren’t rich), serious expenses ensue—and often so does serious debt.

No matter how many concessions our partner makes or how many renovations we get to our home, we consistently want more. We are never satisfied. We are never content. Insatiability is hard on us as individuals, and possibly everyone that we are connected to.

The goal here is not to single out HGTV or other reality TV shows. This applies to bloggers or influencers who incessantly promote newer, bigger, and better real estate, appliances, and even travel.

The good life is not in newer, bigger, or better stuff and experiences. The “good life” or “living my best life” is propaganda, and your relationship may be suffering as a result. Most of us have good lives right now. This sentiment is captured when some of us say, “Every day we wake up is a good day.” The good life is with us when we appreciate what we have and what we do.

There are couples where one partner says, “I want a new [you name it],” and the other says, “OK. Let’s do it.” They are happy to do whatever their desirous partner wants. This blog is not for those couples.

There are other couples where one partner says, “I want a new [you name it],” and the other partner rubs their temples or takes a deep breath while saying to themself or to the partner who wants something new, “Didn’t we just get a new [you name something else]? You seem like you are never satisfied.” This blog is for these couples. Particularly the partner who constantly wants something new.

If we find ourselves as the insatiable partner:

  • Avoid real estate shows or lifestyle influencers. They are not your friends. They have an agenda, and part of it is to get you to want (and even feel like you need) more. If you allow propaganda—and believe it—you will never have enough. But if you allow the truth—and believe it—you have exactly what you need right now. The propaganda is real, and your debt may be too.
  • If you must have something new, co-create it. Let’s take a class with our partner to learn how to build whatever we want. Let’s read a book or watch a do-it-yourself video together and learn how to create or build it ourselves. My wife and I have what we call “room dates.” Our room dates came out of an agreement that our room was junky and that we did not have to hire someone to come in and clean it for us; we could do it ourselves. We subsequently agreed that we could allocate some time to do this together while watching a movie or a television show. The room gets cleaner, and we also get to do it together. No outside agency is needed, just some concerted joint time toward an agreed-upon goal.
  • Develop a family mission, vision, and plan. Let’s sit down with our partner and figure out and record what we believe to be important. What are our fundamental priorities? And what is our plan to get there? Then let’s allow this mission, vision, and plan to have weight by referencing it regularly. We can allow it to guide and advise us.

Please, let’s take care of ourselves  and our partnership. If you are going from one HGTV aspiration to the next, let’s take some time and assess the effect that we may be having on our own psyche and our relationship.

We deserve peace. And so does our partner. Let’s create it together.

Keep rising,

Frank Love

In my next blog post, “Patience When Changing Patterns,” we will discuss providing support and patience in our loving relationships for partners seeking to change their habits.

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Each week, Frank Love hosts Zoom support group meetings that assist women and men as we work to create a loving culture in our relationships. Calls occur from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST and can be accessed by visiting FrankWeeklyCall.com.


  • Tuesdays—Black Women: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships
  • ThursdaysBlack Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships


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Frank Love coaches individuals toward creating a loving culture in their family. He is also the author of Relationship Conversations You Don’t Want to Have (But Should Anyway) and 25 Ways to Be Loving. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank at Frank@FrankLove.com.

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