Tough Talk From Steve Ward – Tough Love Couples Episode 2



Mother-and-son Master Matchmakers JoAnn and Steve Ward are back for a whole new type of Tough Love. As always, Steve will be checking in with weekly commentary on each episode via this blog. Below, he talks about the second episode, including Mario’s confession, Larry’s epithet and Ryan and Axelle’s marathon bickerfest.

The first major event of the episode is that Mario admits that he received a happy ending at a massage parlor. Do you think that threw a wrench into their situation? Did you suspect that he cheated on Christina?

It was only a matter of time. And I think he was smart. I think he was a lot smarter than I originally gave him credit for. I think he wanted to get it out there before it just came out on its own. I mean, if he mentioned it to a friend, maybe he thought a friend was going to rat him out. I don’t know, but that is what my suspicion was. I do think that he really does love the girl. The guy is very confused.

The slime exercise that immediately follows that reveal seems particularly helpful to Christina, just for the catharsis of it all.

Absolutely. That was the whole point of it. We were trying to kind of exorcize these demons or these really negative feelings, and try to get them out there so that we can address them and hopefully put it behind them. It’s funny, because in the first episode Dustin says that Courtney’s never shown him any emotion before. I’ll tell you what: she was the most emotional girl on this show. It only goes to show how much she has bottled up.

In Episode 2, more of the problems that Dennis’s mom is causing in his relationship surface. I wonder if that was anything you could relate to, being as close to your mom as you are?

I think there’s a balance you learn to maintain. That’s what becoming a man is all about. You have to be able to say no to your mom. You have to be able to put your foot down. Believe me. I’m extremely close to my mom, but we don’t always see eye to eye, and she knows it.

What did you make of Axelle being accused of escorting?

I mean, look: She’s in real estate, she has high-end clients and she needs to entertain them. It goes on in every business if it’s medical sales or pharmaceutical sales, you name it. If you have clients and you want to keep them as clients, you have to entertain them. I don’t think that makes somebody an escort.

It’s kind of amazing that she and Ryan are willing to fight in front of cameras for literally six hours. They don’t care much for self-editing, huh?

I was amazed, actually dumbfounded, at how open all these people were about their issues. It was startling. I think at one point I said, “I can’t believe that you could sit there and talk about all the dysfunction in your sex life to a complete stranger, but you can’t talk to each other.” It absolutely boggles my mind, but that’s why they’re there.

Then another strange thing is during the group, Axelle says that Ryan doesn’t flip his lid, and then of course there’s a flash back to him screaming and ranting and raving. Is she delusional?

I wouldn’t go with delusional; I would say she’s desensitized. Think about it this way: if you’re around somebody who never raises their voice, and then they raise their voice, you’re shocked. You’re like, “Oh my god, that’s not like you.” But if somebody is constantly yelling at you and yells at you all the time, it becomes normal.

Larry calls Christina a bitch twice. The strife isn’t just confined within the couples – it’s among the entire group.

You know why? Because that was the first competitive challenge that they faced. That was the first challenge where it was couple versus couple. That was Larry’s competitiveness coming out. But the bigger issue regarding why he broke down and cried in group, is the fact that he insults people, and is completely oblivious to it. How can you not even realize that you’re insulting somebody to their face? You have to know what you’re doing. So I have to use the feedback, use the video. That’s the most powerful device that I have on the show. Everything is caught on tape. So anytime somebody does something, I’m like, “Really? Let’s go to the tape.” You use it to prove your point.

There were no winners this week. Do you feel like people were under-performing?

I don’t think that anybody was able to see the point of both of the exercises. I think they did them, and they did them to the best of their abilities, but I don’t think they saw the point to it. If they had convinced me that they knew why I was doing what I was doing, then I would have chosen one of them. They could have been my example of “this is what you need to keep doing at the camp.”

Related content
Tough Love Couples cast reveal
Tough Love Couples show page
Tough Love Couples videos and extras
Master Matchmakers
Check out Steve and JoAnn Ward’s Book, Crash Course in Love

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  1. bonnie says:

    about the Mommas boy-if Momma wakes up out of a sound sleep at 1 am and cooks him a steak cos he just got off work and then cuts it up for him-RUN. If you are on the roof and he takes the ladder cos his Momma need it-RUN. If he “loans” his Momma your car cos hers is broke down-RUN-I didn’t run then, but I damn sure did later and wound up with another Mommas Boy-who has raised my daughter as his own, helped my parents when they asked for his help, has never cheated, has a steady job, doesn’t go clubbin, doesn’t call me names and doesn’t hit me. He isn’t perfect but neither am I. You have to put into context how much of a Mommas boy he really is.

  2. dannyone79 says:

    christinas a beautifull girl, i cant beleive her boyfriend is not content and is unsure about being with just one girl. it must be nice to have so many options, even though the girl your with is gorgeous.

  3. dannyone79 says:

    aaaaah….greed such a beatifull thing! (sarcasm)

  4. John says:

    My wife and I have been together for 32 years come July. It’s been tough at times but love can be. She waited for me to grow up, I waited for her to understand men don’t have the same level of emotions as women.
    These couples, well, some don’t stand a chance. One man can’t understand that if he loves her, it doesn’t matter that she’s the only womam.
    One woman can’t understand that she’s imasculating her man with what she says.
    One man can’t understand the line between mother and life mate.
    Steve was right about one thing, communication is the key.
    The biggest problem my wife and I see with other couples, too many want things to come easy and if it doesn’t, they give up and split. I’ve met people who have been married three or four times and can’t comprehend the problem.
    Too many people expect the magic of the new relationship to last forever, it doesn’t.
    I think the key is, if you can’t be friends as well as lovers, you don’t stand a chance.
    Guys, remember, women think with their hearts.
    They have emotions hitting them all the time from all directions. Some they see coming, others they don’t. When they don’t, they need us to understand and help them through it.
    Girls, remember men don’t live life that way, it’s called testosterone. We don’t feel the way you do all the time.
    I wish all those working on their relationships the best of luck. Working at it is the key.

  5. BeA_MAN says:

    Are you kidding me? No way Larry should have apologized. If the shoe fits wear it. Christina acts like a huge B***H and when someone calls her on it other than the host (apparently he can call anyone anything he wants) they are reprimanded. Larry should have stayed strong “yeah I said it, she’s acting like one and I am asking her not to be one” Christina should have been up there but no she gets away with it further reinforcing her bit**yness. Watch the tape who was attacking who.

  6. Sandra says:

    I love Steven Ward because he is real. He tells it like it is as he should be, and never candy coats anything. He has great advice and is honestly a sweet heart and knows what needs to be done. I hope this show never ends because of Steve and his mother.


  7. Wende says:

    To BeA_Man:

    I think the point is more about Larry’s attitude and the way it functions in relationships rather than what he had said to Christina. Larry is out of line with the way he treats people; have you seen the way he talks to his girlfriend?

    Besides, I was on Christina’s team in this argument. Maybe not with the way she handled it, but Larry was being really immature with taking the queen sized sheets and refusing to give them up when he knew another couple actually needed the sheets. He was self-centered like a spoiled five-year-old. Give me a break!