So, as has been mentioned previously, I’ve been making my way through Star Trek Deep Space Nine over the past few months. (I’m currently moving into the later part of Season 3. I am looking forward to Worf showing up next season.)
However, I’ve noticed something that’s really bothered me, and that’s that Chief O’Brien and his wife fight almost every scene they’re in. Maybe because I was just a kid when I watched DS9 the first time I didn’t notice, but Holy Sepulchre, Batman, they never stop. It’s unhealthy, really. It makes me uncomfortable.
That got me to thinking. In the whole of Trek, the O’Briens are one of the few married couples that 1) are main characters, 2) have both characters onscreen, and 3) one of them doesn’t die. With it being such a minority, why have them be so unhappy? Yes, yes, I know conflict = drama, but at this point I’m wondering why they just don’t get divorced because it seems like everybody would be happier.
Anyway, I was brainstorming other scifi, trying to think of happily married couples, and the best I’ve got is Han and Leia in the books, and I admittedly haven’t read a Star Wars novel since I was 14 so maybe I missed things there too. Everyone else I can think of seems to be more of background characters.
I can think of a single example in a fantasy novel, Dragonsbane, and even then, the relationship’s not…normal.
If a character has parents, they’re not safe either. So many main characters are missing a parent for some reason, whether they disappeared, were murdered, have been separated in order to keep the kingdom safe, etc.
I don’t know. It seems to me like you could keep the level of tension and drama pretty high and still let a character have a spouse. Not all aspects of life have to be terrible to keep a reader/watcher interested.
What do you think, Squiders? Can a married couple be happily married and still allow enough conflict? Do you have examples of where it’s done successfully? (Speculative examples, preferred.)