This season on Couples Therapy, Dr. Jenn Berman helps the entertainment industry’s most infamous couples break through the drama associated with living in the public sphere. Together, they examine the complicated dynamics that relationships face, while working together, as a group, to learn from one another and leave with the tools needed for long term success. Any group therapy scenario is prone to drama, but even more so when celebrities are involved. Check out the five most dramatic moments of this week’s episode!
1. So far this season, there have been obvious issues regarding Courtney being a minor whether it be the other cast member’s being uncomfortable with her attire or that she cannot sleep in the house due to California child labor laws. The focus of the age-difference has primarily been on Courtney, until now. This week we realize that Doug’s age also comes with baggage. Specifically, in this episode when Doug’s back goes out as he stands up. We’ve been so focused on how young Courtney is that we’ve almost forgotten how old Doug is. As devoted a wife as ever, Courtney rushes to rub his back quipping, “I’ll be there to rub you’re back when you’re 80! You’ll be my 80 year old baby!” she jokes (we think?). “See, I’ll be your baby now, and then you’ll be my baby later so we don’t have to have kids! Isn’t that cool?” Interestingly enough, when Doug is 80, Courtney will still be younger than Doug is today. (She will be 45.)
2. This week in group therapy the topic is “selling out.” Each of the couples has had to sacrifice a part of who they truly are primarily from being a public figure and it has not only taken its toll on them, but also on their families. Simon and Alex are became public figures when they agreed to have their lives filmed on The Real Housewives of New York City. They feel that they were “naive” for agreeing to be part of the cast, and also that they were “dealt a very raw hand” as they were essentially the punching bag for the rest of the cast during the four seasons they were on the show. They struggle with being recognized and having fans of the show prejudge them based on what they’ve seen on television. During group they discuss a particularly emotional incident that occurred when they were boarding a flight to Australia, in which a woman on their flight was live tweeting their conversations and telling people she would keep them posted as to whether or not their children were out of control. One particularly hurtful accusation that was brought up repeatedly on The Real Housewives, is that they are unfit parents. It stemmed from one of their very young children being portrayed as “a brat who always misbehaved.” Alex and Simon are both extremely disappointed that the producers portrayed their son that way (because really what 5-year-old boy isn’t a little rambunctious?) and even more disappointed that their participation in the reality show sullied their son’s reputation before he is even ten years old. They blame themselves for signing the release allowing him to be featured on the show.
3. A main source of contention this season has stemmed from Nik and Doug not seeing eye-to-eye on whether or not Doug and Courtney’s relationship is appropriate. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but Dr. Jenn fears that the animosity will inhibit everyone’s therapy so she asks resident counselor, Tom, to mediate a conversation between the two men and hopefully help them resolve their issues or at least make it possible for them to co-exist in the house. Nik starts by explaining his problem with the situation is that the “underage union is just not right” and he would like Doug to explain it to him so he can look at him “without thinking he’s an a**hole.” Doug explains that Western countries take issue with the union, but in other parts of the world relationships like theirs are more commonplace.
Nik isn’t satisfied with that explanation because it is hard for him “to grasp between love and touching a child” in Doug’s case, especially because he is a new father to a baby girl. He asks Doug how he would feel if he had a teenage daughter who wanted to be romantically involved with a 50 year old man. Doug counter’s Nik’s question by asking if he would prefer his daughter to date someone her own age who gives her drugs and alcohol or is abusive or and older man “with pure intentions who is going to keep her daughter safe.” At this point it’s clear that their definitions of “safe” are very different, but luckily Tom is there to lead the conversation productively. Tom asks if Nik can “accept Doug as a human being even if he can’t accept the choices he’s made” and Nik apologizes for calling him a “child molester,” but let’s Doug know he still thinks it is a form of statutory rape. Doug accepts Nik’s apology even though in his confessional interview he admits that he doubts if it was genuine.
4. From the outside, it doesn’t seem like JoJo and Tiny have many relationship issues, but as they begin to open up in therapy we realize that even though they love each other deeply, they do have quite a few issues they need to work out, largely stemming from JoJo’s dependency on alcohol. Tiny is upset with herself for acting as an enabler for JoJo during the lowest points of his addiction. She became accustomed to making decisions for both of them, even when it came to basic things like laying out his clothing each day. But now that JoJo isn’t drinking “two or three fifths [of alcohol] a day” he finds her behavior oppressive. He feels that as a 41 year old man, that he is capable of making basic decisions for himself. He tells her, “you are my wife, not my mother.” And while he certainly is capable of making decisions on his own, Dr. Jenn makes the point that he “invited her to be in that position.” JoJo doesn’t seem to understand the extent that he’s hurt Tiny over the years because he says it “never got to the point of talking divorce.” And is shocked to hear that Tiny has considered divorce in the past. Tiny doesn’t want to live her life in fear that something tragic will happen to JoJo because he decides to have one too many drinks. JoJo admits that while he has “slowed down tremendously” he has not stopped drinking completely and that he can only stop drinking for himself, and not for Tiny. Dr. Jenn agrees that he has to want it, but tries to make him realize the position he’s putting Tiny in. She asks him “do you know that she lives on the edge waiting for you to die?” and suggests he gets professional help by participating in a 12-step program. After therapy, when they are laying in bed, JoJo tells Tiny to stop bringing up his drinking to Dr. Jenn. He thinks Tiny is playing the victim and let’s her know that he will not participate in a 12-step program, but acknowledges that Dr. Jenn legally can send him to one if she feels its necessary to his recovery. Unfortunately, Tiny regresses back to her enabling behavior and agrees not to bring up his drinking problem in therapy again.
5. Alex and Simon’s primary issue with each other seems to be a lack of appropriate communication skills. Before group, they had a roundabout argument about who interrupts who more and after group the drama continues. As they sit by the pool, Alex asks “do you feel like you talk too much?” I feel like I don’t get to talk as much as I want to in situations in life.” Simon responds callously by saying “That’s not my fault. Don’t blame me for talking too much. Speak!” His remark upsets Alex because she is trying to make Simon aware of how she feels and he continues to take no responsibility. She continues “I’m just saying that you’re dominating he conversation so I don’t say things that might be on my mind.” Simon, again, takes no responsibility by asking “Why is that my problem? They are your thoughts,” which exacerbates Alex’s anger.
She punches her fist into the pool and aggressively responds “Do you know how sick and tired I am of hearing that?” as she huffs away. This moment would have been dramatic enough on its own, but as she’s huffing away she slips on the wet pool deck and takes a hard fall onto the ground.
In Simon’s defense he does attempt to try to see if she’s okay, but is not having it at all and continues to huff away.
What were your favorite moments from last night’s episode? Do you believe Nik’s apology was genuine or will he and Doug continue to butt heads? Will Tiny continue to enable JoJo by not mentioning his drinking problem during group? Will Alex and Simon be able to stop arguing in circles? Let us know in the comments section and check back next week for the most dramatic moments of episode four!