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Two and a Half Men Asks When Is Lying Okay?

Season Premier of Two and a Half Men

Alan (Jon Cryer), left, lies to his teenage son, Jake (Angus Jones) in the season premier of Two and a Half Men while preaching honesty and values.

By Todd McFliker

Last Monday night’s season premiere of Two and a Half Men on CBS explores a parent struggling to keep a secret from his son while preaching the importance of honesty. In “Three Girls and a Guy Named Bud,” Alan doesn’t want Jake to know he’s dating his best friend’s mother. As he questions his 16-year-old son about two teenage girls seen sneaking out of his room, Dad is telling a lie about his own relationship and whereabouts.

While Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus Jones portray the question with fun humor and satire in the premier of the Emmy-nominated sitcom,  the question of building trust within a family is one that challenges intimate relationships everywhere.

Is it okay for Dad to fib about his sexual relations with Jake’s best friend’s mom? Is it cool for a 16-year-old boy to bend the truth when a couple of teenage girls are seen sneaking out of his room in the morning? Can Dad really preach honesty when he is lying himself?

Supplying comical relief in the background of “Three Girls and a Guy Named Bud,” Charlie Sheen wakes up on the stairs without his pants.  Yet his shoes are on.

In tonight’s episode of Two and a Half Men, “A Bottle of Wine and a Jackhammer,” Alan has plenty to think about when Lyndsey asks him to move in. While Charlie will do anything to get him to agree to it, Jon Cryer’s Alan has to consider the ups and down of living with a new girlfriend.  Should Jake move in with his best friend?

Is it a good idea to move in with a girlfriend and her teenage son?  While some viewers may think it’s a bad idea, others believe the more experience the better before making a lifelong commitment. Will it make the teenage best friends even closer, giving them both the brother they never had?  Or will their folks getting married come between them?  There’s no way of knowing beforehand.

Seth Eisenberg, President of PAIRS Foundation, a leading provider of relationship and marriage education classes, says Two and a Half Men raises serious questions that impact millions of couples and parents.

“Research suggests divorce rates are higher among couples who live together before marriage,” Eisenberg says. He adds that couples need to make sure they’re committed to one another before considering if moving in together is right for them. “It’s much more difficult to end a relationship when two people live together, leading many to marry partners without the level of commitment needed as the foundation for marital success.” he adds.

Of course, Charlie loves the idea of living alone in his own bachelor pad.  That way he’ll be free to wake up in his underwear in any part of his Malibu home.

A newlywed, Todd McFliker is an award-winning reporter, photographer, and the author of All You Need is Love to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. He earned his Masters in Communication from Lynn University.

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September 2010
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