Playing With / Awful Wedded Life

Basic Trope: A marriage that sucks.
  • Straight: Alice and Bob are always bickering, while not engaged in passive-aggressive shenanigans, as are living in a nearly Sexless Marriage.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Alice and Bob married for the wrong reasons, and/or rushed into marriage.
    • The challenges of day-to-day life and raising three kids have started to take a toll on the marriage.
    • Alice and Bob have personal problems that are starting to affect their marriage.
    • Alice and Bob have hit the Relationship Ceiling, but don't believe in divorce, or deny that they have problems, or whatever.
    • The work is a period drama set at a time when divorce was heavily stigmatized or difficult to obtain.
    • Alice and Bob don't have the money for a divorce.
  • Inverted: Alice and Bob are Happily Married.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice and Bob have the occasional foible, but it all works out in the end.
    • The couple try couples' therapy.
    • The two are in a relationship, but not actually married.
    • Alice and Bob divorce or break up.
    • They seem to be more or less happy together.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But one or both of them is still unhappy.
    • But the therapy only brings out more hurt feelings, which proves too much for them, leading to even more fighting.
    • They try the therapist's suggestions, only to fall right back into their old patterns.
    • The relationship is still an unhappy one, and the couple fight over every little thing.
    • But it takes them an insanely long time before they decide to do so.
    • The divorce or breakup doesn't stop them from fighting.
    • Alice and Bob get back together and still haven't resolved their issues. They keep breaking up and getting back together repeatedly.
    • Publicly, that is. In private, they're always fighting.
  • Parodied: Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice and Bob are married, then they start fighting and cheating and whatnot, then get divorced, then get back together. Rinse and repeat.
  • Averted:
    • Alice and Bob are Happily Married.
    • Alice and Bob are not married or living together.
  • Enforced: Rule of Funny.
  • Lampshaded: "Why did I ever want to get married, again?"
  • Invoked: Alice and Bob have a Fourth Date Marriage and find incompatibilities cropping up everywhere.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice and Bob don't let that bother them, and treat each other with respect and set healthy boundaries. Their relationship improves.
  • Discussed: "I heard Alice and Bob fighting again last night."
  • Conversed: "I don't know why they don't just get divorced. Really, I think Charles is a better match for Alice, anyway."
  • Deconstructed: Alice and Bob are unhappy, and that may affect their families. Plus, it puts a lot of stress on Alice and Bob themselves, leading to more bickering and more stress. Rinse and repeat.
  • Played For Drama:

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