Replies: 12 (Who?), Viewed: 766 times.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 20th Jan 2021 at 12:20 PM
Default Dysfunctional/drifting apart couples
Hey it's me again, I must be getting really annoying with all these posts lol.
But I was thinking about some of the premade stories and how a lot of them have couples who are not in love or are barely friends and things like that. The first that comes to mind of course is the Pleasants but they are not the only ones. I've often listened to sims 2 lore videos and for so many of them I hear "they are married, but they are not in love."

I find this really interesting, it's something that I'm sure happens a lot IRL and it creates a lot of different options for story telling- But it seems almost impossible to recreate this scenario without cheats or some really odd gameplay choices?
I have a couple right now who started with negative chemistry. They are married now and they either have no bolts or one bolt, I don't remember. The husband works a lot in the military career and the wife is home alone a lot. Yet they still have nearly maxed relationship at all times just because they do an autonomous flirt or kiss every once in a while.

The same goes for couples who argue- well, it just doesn't seem to ever happen? Because my couples never ever drift apart and because they are in love they never argue with each other and even if they do it has no impact as they will just bump it back up to 100 with a flirt right after..

So it seems like the only really good way to create couple drama is to have them cheat, or to force them to argue with each other which makes me feel kinda bad if their relationship is maxed out.. Or, I guess, you can use cheats to change their relationship..

I dunno. What do you guys think about this topic?
Top Secret Researcher
#2 Old 20th Jan 2021 at 12:55 PM
Yeah it's pretty much impossible to create a dysfunctional couple through normal gameplay (as you said, cheating is the only way is cheating). To have them drift apart you'd really have to constantly stop them from interacting for a very long time so that their relationship values can decay.

The same goes for dysfunctional families, unless you force it somehow. The only time when that happened in my last neighbourhood when it happened was when a teen with zero nice points and in aspiration failure started to shove and beat up his siblings.

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Taking an extended break from Sims stuff. Might be around, might not.
Mad Poster
#3 Old 20th Jan 2021 at 2:47 PM
The one really going sour relationship I remember was when the husband caught his wife cheating. That took a lot of work to bring back to love.
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 20th Jan 2021 at 3:24 PM Last edited by ed95 : 9th Feb 2021 at 12:46 PM.
@CosmicEcho, I find your posts really interesting, don't worry!

As it's been said, it's pretty difficult to make sims actually hate each other when they share a house. Unless there's one with low Nice points, that's it; quite a big gameplya/story dissonance there! But then, Maxis seemingly understood happy, satisfied sims don't usally make for compelling stories. There are some workarounds though, that could make for great experiments in the game: keeping all the family in Aspiration and Needs Failure (that pushes them to behave badly with each other), make them furious at each other (cheating is a good way, but some mean interactions could help in getting to the point), or trying an "I'm sorrounded by Idiots", were you only control one sim and can cancel autonomous romantic interactions. The last one works pretty well for making the family ignore each other, in my experience, since they generally end up with low needs.

I recall sims being quite nasty with low needs in TS1 (to the point that they may start arguments at each other when being uncontrollable in community lots and causing total mayhem!) They could get very cranky and start criticizing their familiars. Maybe that's why they toned it down with TS2; that makes me wonder if there's a mod for making them treat each other badly when they start having low needs.
#5 Old 20th Jan 2021 at 6:01 PM
Well, the 'Throw Drink' interaction under 'Irritate' in the pie menu seems to initiate instant fury from my experience. You could have a couple get into an argument, which could end with one throwing a drink at the other. Then, it's just the case of watching the furious sim ruin their own marriage without you lifting a finger.

But yeah, outside of that, it is much easier to have a happy marriage than to force a dysfunction one without cheats. Usually though, if I want a dysfunction family for story purposes, I have no qualms with using cheats. The method mentioned above is cheat free, as with my experience the 'Throw Drink' interaction is always there.

When a game is predictable, it's boring.
That goes for any medium that isn't life.
That's why The Sims 2 is my favourite sims game.
It has elements of unpredictability and everything feels more involved.
The Sims 4 is another story altogether...
#6 Old 20th Jan 2021 at 8:20 PM
Yeah, this kinda bothers me too, especially when without mods even the "bad" couples like Mary-Sue and Daniel or Goneril and Albany seem to fix their issues with a singular flirt that gives them a crush and love instantly. The best idea I have is also to just force them to argue and find some sort of explanation. Nothing too fancy, I usually say something like "everyone might argue about something now and then" and get it over with. I also do something similar with teenagers who usually have maxed relationships from when they were kids, and when they have nothing better to do send them to argue with their parents because Teenage Rebellion (tm), which needs no explanation, since "You just wouldn't understand... Nobody would understand..."
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 21st Jan 2021 at 1:30 AM
Yeah, I have a hard time bringing down/keeping red relationships with sims in the same household too. Not just couples, it can be really hard for children and parents to be at odds too. I have managed to have quite a few children have low relationships with their parents and siblings by making the whole family work/skill-aholics and the kids were sustained by the nanny/robot/themselves (using objects like the toddler picnic table so they don't need adults) rather than from interactions their parents, but that didn't bring them into the negatives, just kept them from becoming bffs like every other parent/child in my game. I think I modded it out a long time ago, but I remember having a family in vanilla like ten years ago where the kids were constantly angry and at maximum negative relationship with their mom when doing the 50 babies challenge because they kept walking in on her "cheating" on their fathers (in airquotes because she married none of their fathers), so I think that's a way for it to happen in normal gameplay, but that's pretty much all. Couples wrecking their relationships without cheating is near completely impossible through normal gameplay, though I have found fulfilling some mean sims wants to prank people when the family is already work/skill-aholics not having positive interactions with each other has managed to do some negligible hits to relationships. I've also directed couples use negative interactions with each other in circumstances where real people might have arguments but the game won't do autonomously, like a poor pregnant wife might argue with her husband after a demotion or something. Sims will also autonomously scold each other for breaking objects in vanilla, I believe, but that's also something people mod out frequently because it's an annoyance.

I sort of want a mod that can make bad relationships more common. Even my townies don't have enemies, and they don't have the benefit of living with people keeping their relationships up passively.
Top Secret Researcher
#8 Old 21st Jan 2021 at 7:56 AM
I used to have an issue with couples falling out of love just from one wrong interaction on moving in before I even got control over them to stop it from happening and eventually had to Mod that issue out of the game.I most likely won't see much of the dysfunctional families in my BACC for a while until more modern times because the teens could move out on their own without issues and most families were close back then with a smaller more scattered population.
Field Researcher
#9 Old 21st Jan 2021 at 5:35 PM
There are mods, such as Midge the Tree's nagging mod, that allow more frequent negative interactions.
Also, my understanding with the Romantic Standards mods, which I am only just starting to experiment with, is that it is harder to build a romantic relationship, so relationships that have taken a hit might not be able to recover.
ACR really doesn't help, because you get the relationship to a 60/70 rating, and then they go off and woohoo and suddenly they are back to 100/100.

Having bad relationships with the kids also requires a lot of work. Any time the family eats dinner together, that passively builds their relationship.

I would definitely love something that made building friendships harder. Maybe something that made relationships dropping to 60/60 happen quickly if the Sims don't interact frequently. And ditching the BFF function.
#10 Old 21st Jan 2021 at 7:53 PM
Originally Posted by Coriel_Muroz
I would definitely love something that made building friendships harder. Maybe something that made relationships dropping to 60/60 happen quickly if the Sims don't interact frequently. And ditching the BFF function.

There are mods for all those. Harder relationships, faster relationship decay and (sorta) no BFF mods do exist. The relationship one I find to be a bit overkill bc my sims just wouldn't make any friends at all, but it definitely exists. The BFF one I know about is "BFFs are for 12s" and it does allow for younger sims to make BFFs (idk how young, it was made by pescado and he very politely decided not to say exactly what age it kicks in at), but I think it's the best you could do
Mad Poster
#11 Old 22nd Jan 2021 at 11:41 AM
Having played with BFF are for 12s for a long time, I can say that at least one sim in the relationship must be under young adult to have a bff relationship form. The result is, in my game, that it's mostly sims who are closely related who form the BFF relationships, and this makes sense to me, because people forgive their siblings and parents and grandparents and children and grandchildren all sorts of bad behavior they wouldn't forgive other people.

Pics from my game: Sunbee's Simblr Sunbee's Livejournal
"English is a marvelous edged weapon if you know how to wield it." C.J. Cherryh
Mad Poster
#12 Old 22nd Jan 2021 at 1:47 PM
I have mods so I can make sims fight,etc. So when mom clogs the toilet and dad scolds her, I just HAVE to make her stop hanging her head like a stupid kid. Argue back, woman! But that doesn't do much to the relationship (which is good). I often pair people up that don't even LIKE each other; seems to me that they "learn" to be more attracted (get more bolts). Anyone find to to be so?
I don't keep people together that want to fight. Also have toddlers huggle, and kids & teen all interact; otherwise you can have family members that barely even know each other. And I always have Sims make friends with relatives (even parents no one even met).

Namaste... or "go"
Mad Poster
#13 Old 14th Feb 2021 at 5:07 PM
If they are in low aspiration constantly, or constantly need-chasing because you're playing a challenge or very poor sims or have quads without a nanny, or have an overstuffed household or something like that, they will be more grumpy and be more likely to initiate negative interactions. Or they will be too busy to interact with each other, because they are interacting with other people in the house or doing other things. Or community time project + a community lot business where one of them goes most of the time (and spends the rest of the time at a job or sleeping). And varying the fun/idle activities per household helps, too. If your sims all watch TV together for fun in the evening or play chess, they will passively gain relationship points while doing this. Some sims do different activities like reading or dancing (alone) or painting, which aren't social.

That way I've had some couples drift apart and their daily and eventually lifetime relationship decays. Longer lifespans help as well - at Maxis ageing, there isn't really enough time for big shifts in relationship status without some kind of dramatic event like cheating. I play roughly 2 days per real life year and that means that some couples break up and have time to get to know and marry other people without me really directing things that much.

Also if you want some spontaneous breakups, don't be too fussy with who you allow to get together! Some people seem to obsessively matchmake, or only let sims with at least 2 bolts for each other get together. I tend to let it go a bit by chance so some sims will literally marry the first person of their preferred sex that they meet and have any interest in. Others will date a few people before rolling the want to get married to one. Sometimes an oopsie ACR pregnancy accelerates a relationship which was more convenient than soulmate.

BFFs are for 12s really helps as well - I call that in my head "Childhood friend" or "Old friend". BFF is a bit 2005 teen-speak for me if I was better at modding I'd change the name of it in the game.


Co sleeper for babies/toddlers, and teen career overhaul (also custom schools) Plus! TS2:UNI careers enabled for teens: Here at simbology
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