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.

Follow Steve on Twitter!

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

  1. Ana says:

    Peace Hair Grease!!!! Peace out Ryan, take that right to the nutz.

  2. PAULA MARTIN says:

    Paula Martin
    3507 NW 114th lane
    Coral Springs Fl, 33065
    954-297-7847
    Dear Producers, writers and editors,
    Who am I? My name is Paula Elizabeth Martin. I am twenty-two years old. I was born originally in St.Catherine, Jamaica. I am writing this letter to your network to persuade you why your program for youth needs to be changed. They are so many different reality shows about the aspects of life. For example teenage pregnancy, and also celebrity and there life are some example of negative series. But what about teaching the youth how to live a responsible life of faith? I guess that isn’t an option but its okay to have shows showing teenager having baby on television, as if that is acceptable. When other young people see these shows they want to also go out and have babies because they see it as an opportunity to have their fifteen minutes of fame.
    I am writing this letter because it time for change. It time to have TV program or reality shows about young people life the right way. They work hard every day at home or at work or at school or even have something that are committed to. For me it my faith, I am committed to my faith. I am a person of quality always thriving for the best. I’m not a person known for quitting. I have never quit any task I have started because quitters never succeed in life. It doesn’t matter how are it is or how challenging I will keep performing. We need more show that teach youth how to preserve through the storm no matter how hard situations might me. I believe I would be a perfect example of that type of young person trying to live a righteous life. My life is an example that we go through temptations of feeling of regret and desires that are not healthy to have on a daily basis. If I was given this opportunity to have a show or air my lifestyle to the nation I would was to be a positive example to young people. Not to have fifteen minute of fame but to know why life helped someone to make the right decision.
    Sincerely, Paula Martin

  3. PAULA MARTIN says:

    Paula Martin

    Dear Producers, writers and editors,
    Who am I? My name is Paula Elizabeth Martin. I am twenty-two years old. I was born originally in St.Catherine, Jamaica. I am writing this letter to your network to persuade you why your program for youth needs to be changed. They are so many different reality shows about the aspects of life. For example teenage pregnancy, and also celebrity and there life are some example of negative series. But what about teaching the youth how to live a responsible life of faith? I guess that isn’t an option but its okay to have shows showing teenager having baby on television, as if that is acceptable. When other young people see these shows they want to also go out and have babies because they see it as an opportunity to have their fifteen minutes of fame.
    I am writing this letter because it time for change. It time to have TV program or reality shows about young people life the right way. They work hard every day at home or at work or at school or even have something that are committed to. For me it my faith, I am committed to my faith. I am a person of quality always thriving for the best. I’m not a person known for quitting. I have never quit any task I have started because quitters never succeed in life. It doesn’t matter how are it is or how challenging I will keep performing. We need more show that teach youth how to preserve through the storm no matter how hard situations might me. I believe I would be a perfect example of that type of young person trying to live a righteous life. My life is an example that we go through temptations of feeling of regret and desires that are not healthy to have on a daily basis. If I was given this opportunity to have a show or air my lifestyle to the nation I would was to be a positive example to young people. Not to have fifteen minute of fame but to know why life helped someone to make the right decision.
    Sincerely, Paula Martin

  4. Tricia says:

    Mr. Ward:
    You brought Sherri in to refute or confirm Ryan’s story; fine. It bothers me that as a relationship expert you obviously understand the importance of open communication and honesty but it seems that Sherri was not made fully aware of the situation prior to being brought into a fragile yet hostile environment and was turned into a sacrificial lamb on National Television. Your priority needed to Ryan and Axelle… and Sherri. It upsets me because she seemed insecure and vulnerable yet you brushed her off like a piece of lint. Is it not bad enough that Ryan treated her like that? I hope for everyone’s sake a lot more therapeutic and supportive communication took place off camera.
    To be clear, I am not saying Sherry needed to be coddled but she should have been treated better than a cancer on a relationship.

    Sincerely,
    Tricia

  5. Etr says:

    Sherry was lied to about EVERYthing steve the editors everyone lied to her to get her to talk. Ryan was not with axelle when he hooked up with sherry so he felt it no ones business but his and sherrys. He did tell axelle that they slept in the same bed that should have been enough….. Axelle was having sex with another guy and ryan didnt even know 10 days before sherry came down. Whatever, there was 1 lie in that relationship. And you found it. So now Ryan is made out to be the biggest liar in the world. doesnt seem fair to me. Also the way they lied and make sherry look IS TOTALLY UNFAIR. This show is lame as hell and they pigeonhole each and every couple. Dustin never tried to work it out with courtney or be honest he got caught cheating ! They stay !! ryan gets caught lying about something that happened when they were not together and gets ripped down to shreds and exploited and booted…. This so is horrible. I hope the ratings were good.

  6. Perspective says:

    OK,

    I too was bothered by the poor edit job. I think there was a better story line than was shown. The reason Ryan was shady was b/c he was playing the fence in that relationship. He wanted to be there but, he clearly told this other women bad things about his relationship. That is why Sherri said Axelle was not good for Ryan and didn’t treat him well. The only way she could have come to that conclusion is by the story Ryan told her. What kind of guy cries to (and sleeps) with another women? And as Axelle pointed out that there is no way they could have had that level of intimacy and didn’t talk before or after or perhaps before & after the incident. Steve even said something about having other emotional relationships in his back pocket (shady). I think this is why Axelle had a huge problem with him, and ultimately decided he wasn’t man enough for her.

    Yeah, Ryan may have manned up in the future. But, as of this show, and the man he was in that relationship, he was a lying cry baby, and couldn’t be with someone whom demanded a mature adult for a partner.

  7. Gail says:

    OMG What a tear jerker tonight. I felt so bad for Axelle – when she cried and everyone else too – it made me cry all the more. You are really good at what you do on the show. I know it takes common sense but the way you talk things out is excellent and with your good looks – it is a good combination. I love watching and will continue as I always have something to learn. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you both.

  8. NYPITBULL says:

    WTF!!!!!!! WHERE THE HELL IS DENNIS AND SIMONE? THAT’S BULLS#*&!!!!!! THE ONLY MINORITY COUPLE ON THE SHOW DOESN’T GET ANY AIR TIME!!!!!! IT SEEMS ALL THE COUPLES HAD DRAMA BUT SURPRISINGLY WE DON’T SEE THEIR DRAMA. IS IT THAT THEY ACT TOO SOPHISTICATED AND REPRESENT THE MINORITIES WITH CLASS??? HMM.. I WONDER. BUT IT’S BS TO SEE ALL THESE EPISODES WITH MARIO AND CHRISTINA. THEY HAVE YOUNG, NO CLASS DRAMA. LETS SEE THE ONE COUPLE THAT APPEARS TO HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER AND GROWN COUPLE DRAMA THAT INVOLVE A FAMILY.

  9. shaknbak480 says:

    NYPITBULL- It is a reality show! Do the viewers want to see all the boring oh you’re right I love you sorrys? No they want to see the yelling at drama so stop trying to say it’s about race because it is clearly not.. get over it

  10. evfan says:

    “can i give him a hug?”*laughs* what a *+*%(%+_~()(*)_~*

  11. Mike Z. says:

    I just finished watching this episode for the second time and I now feel sorry for both Ryan & Axelle. I see the two of them going thru a tearful goodbye to their relationship at the “romantic dinner”. Is lazy updating during production or poor editing to blame… but the relevations with Ryan’s ex the following day was unnecessarily sadistic.

    It was already over between them and then you milked it to the n-th degree. First with the video and then bringing the ex on set.

    Whatever the reason, shame on you, Steve.

  12. graphic t shirts says:

    Thanks for your article

  13. Ms Campbell says:

    I absolutely LOVE VH1s new line up!! Tough Love Couples is the BEST reality TV show that I’ve seen in a while. Love is the only motivation with tough love couples. I literally cried watching Dennis and Simone’s Wedding. Finally reality TV that inspires instead of being a degrading hot mess. VH1 keep up the good work this new reality TV show lineup is OUTSTANDING! The “Of Love” shows will NOT be missed.

  14. Helene says:

    Where can i find the full episode of Tough Love Couples Episode 5??? I can’t find it anywhere. All i find are small clips and blogs.. i want the Full Episode!
    Please help!

    Thank you..

  15. may says:

    When is the new season starting????????