This season on Couples Therapy, there’s a lot of drama in the house thanks to the incredibly diverse and occasionally divisive personalities that have been cast. One couple, reality veterans Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord, have offered to review and recap each episode of the season to tell us the truth about the way things really were and what they think of the therapy process. This week, Simon weighs in.
As one of those guys (or as Alex called me last night, “a piece of granite”), I approached Couples Therapy with an unhealthy dose of cynicism. At 48 years of age, I like to think I can solve my own problems as I sit for hours weighing up the pros and cons of various life decisions. However, while I still think that’s OK for me in isolation; the work Alex and I did together with Dr. Jenn was incredibly useful to us both and as important, to me. If you’re interested in Alex’s thoughts on this episode they are here.
In the darkest moments group session, I sat there pretty uncomfortably and largely in silence as Alex showed real pain over her recollection of when she had shouted at me wanting a divorce earlier this year. What compounded my reaction while on the couch was that until she had brought it up at the CT house, I had actually forgotten she’d said that. Perhaps it’s my own sense of denial that I just blocked it from my memory. #Lesson1
As Dr. Jenn went around the rest of the group I was, at this stage, completely unaware of the magnitude of JoJo‘s issues with alcohol abuse and so his statement that there were no dark moments didn’t necessarily seem like an untruth. Although, when Tiny then spoke of the attempted trip to the liquor store on their way home from his release from hospital, I did begin to wonder.
Nik and Shayne — what can you say? Their union is such a roller coaster of emotions; their impetuous marriage (after just eight hours), her absolute disdain for his website; her ‘shopping as therapy’ when really it’s about spending and hurting Nik (and their wallet) in the process, and their complete and utter inability to communicate without digs back and forth. Honestly this is where a group session can help, as although their communication style was way worse than Alex’s and mine, I did see little snippets within them of the two of us. #Lesson2
For Courtney and Doug it really seems that their main issue is one of her maturity, although I also tend to think that Doug has become less mature as an attempt to meet her on her level. As everyone else in his life has cut him out of theirs, Doug seems to have regressed to the child he once was and surprisingly Courtney now wears (only metaphorically, unfortunately) the pants in their relationship.
That scene at dinner where Courtney refused to cover her chest is not surprising given the lack of parenting she seems to have had. Dr. Jenn is convinced that we can all learn from each others’ troubles and I suppose that from Courtney I’ve learnt as a parent to not ‘enable’ my own children as Courtney’s parents seemingly did with her. #Lesson3
With Todd and Monica arriving this episode, the dynamic in the house begins to shift even further away from Doug and Courtney, and Doug, with Courtney largely gone for most of each day, is in the difficult position of having no one who really wants to talk with him and no significant other to confide in. While I recognize the importance of California’s Child Labor Laws that meant that Courtney could only be in a filmed environment for 6 hours per day, I do also think that as she IS legally married that perhaps she should also have been granted the rights of emancipation* as well.
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Until next week!