Tough Talk From Steve Ward – Tough Love Couples Episode 5

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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 show’s fifth episode, focusing mostly on Ryan and Axelle’s departure from the show.

This is quite a dramatic episode.

It’s one of my favorites.

Usually in the fact-digging episodes of reality shows, there’s a polygraph involved. But you were able to get information out of these people without one.

That’s because they’re scared s***less. They know what’s going to happen if they lie to me. They’re going to get busted. So they realize that it’s better to be truthful than to lie because the truth shall set you free.

How long did it take you to get the truth out of Ryan?

Seconds. It took seconds. That kid was itching to tell me.

Why do you think that was?

He saw that Dustin and Mario had come clean, and I think he realized that I was onto something, and if he didn’t tell me the truth I was going to bust him. Which I surely did. He didn’t even tell me the whole truth. That’s the worst part. How are you going to sit there and try to confess with partial truth? How does that make sense? “Yeah, Steve, I had a shower with her and I touched her boobs, but there was no sex.” OK, bud.

Ryan said his problems with Axelle were worse at this point than they were going into the show. Do you think that was just a matter of the truth coming to the surface?

It’s the same reaction I told you I got from Dustin. It’s like oh, really? Things aren’t going in your favor, so all of the sudden this isn’t working out for you? OK, buddy. What makes you think that you’re going to come into a boot camp and you’re going to make the rules? Like, really? What did you expect to happen?

After Heather revealed that when she was on a break from Larry she hooked up with her old boyfriend, they discussed things in a very calm matter, as opposed to Ryan and Axelle who were freaking out. There was an overt contrast there.

As far as Larry was concerned, he never asked her and she never lied to him. That’s what Ryan fails to realize: regardless of whether or not you were on a break or if you were together, that’s not what matters. What matters is the fact that you lied, and you continued to lie. That’s the problem. The girls just wanted to know the truth, that’s it.

How was it that you were able to track down Sherry?

She just happened to be in L.A. It was pure coincidence. Almost as if the gods wanted me to out this kid. It all fell perfectly into our lap.

It was amazing that she came in with her reputation on the line. She’s not even on the show, she’s not even invested in the process, and yet she was so open.

Sherry had no idea she was a part of Ryan’s deception. She first got there and was like, “Can I hug Ryan?” and I’m like, “Probably not a good idea right now. Why don’t you hold off a second?”

I thought that was her coming in aggressive, looking to mark her territory.

She had genuine feelings for this guy. This was a girl who he just keeps in his back pocket when he’s available, when she’s available, when they’re both in the same area.

Starting in the interrogation room, and then through the video and Sherry coming in, the whole thing is pummeling Axelle. Was there any concern that she was going through such a hard time as a result of this?

Axelle’s incredibly resilient. Her attitude was, “Look, I didn’t give you a reason to lie to me, yet you did and you continued to lie to me. So, why do I have to feel bad about my self at all?” She walked away with a clear conscience.

I guess the pain is temporary as opposed to being in a dead-end relationship which could be eternal.

Exactly. The fact is, if this guy was honest with her from the very beginning or if he told her the truth without me dragging it out of him, he would have been able to save his relationship.

You say that deception is a disease and you compare it to cancer. Do you think it would have even been possible to repair Ryan and Axelle’s relationship anyway?

I think that no matter how hard it may be or how difficult it may be, you have to be honest with the person that you’re with. They may not like what you have to say, but they need to know the truth. Everybody deserves the truth. Wouldn’t you want to know?

Have you ever seen a relationship bounce back from this level of deception?

Have I ever seen it? Honestly, no. I haven’t.

I wonder if they were just doomed from the start.

No. No, no. If he was honest from the beginning, if he decided to come out with it, before I proved that he was lying, then he could have saved his relationship. That was the point of boot camp. Boot camp was a place where everybody could exonerate themselves. Dustin took advantage of that opportunity. Mario took advantage of that opportunity. For some reason, Ryan didn’t want to admit it.

The last scene of the episode is very bittersweet because obviously they’re breaking up and leaving the show, but now Axelle can go on with her life.

Axelle needed to get closure. She needs to realize that there isn’t anything else she could have done to save the relationship. The guy just continued to lie to her. And again, it’s not about what the status of their relationship was, that’s not the question. It’s the fact that she begged him to be honest with her and he just couldn’t do it.

Have you spoken with her? Do you have any idea of how she’s doing or what she’s been up to?

Yeah, she’s doing fine. Ryan really tries to save the relationship. He continues to try to save it. And she’s over it.

I guess in happier news, Mario and Christina turned things around yet again on this episode.

I think they rounded the corner, you know what I mean? I think they really started getting somewhere and making incredible progress, and I think you’re going to see their relationship grow a result. They start doing really well.

Heather and Larry seem to be in an upswing as well.

Heather and Larry make the turn as well. They needed to get through this Mike issue, and that’s what you’ll see in the next episode, about exes.

Was anything else outstanding to you at this point? Obviously, the focus of the episode was Ryan and Axelle, but everybody’s got stuff going on.

Everything is playing out exactly how I expected it to. You’re going to start seeing me get some dramatic results, and it’s exciting. It’s encouraging. That’s what people came here for. They came to this boot camp to try to get answers. You’ll find that as the boot camp goes on, I somehow manage to get the answers for these people. It gives them closure. It gives them the confidence. It gives them the conviction that they need to know that either they belong with this person, or they don’t.

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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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