Simon van Kempen Recaps Couples Therapy Episode 4: The One Thing You Never Say To Alex McCord Is…

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Simon van Kempen Alex McCord Couples Therapy

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. Today, Simon reveals the root of why Alex was so angry with him, what happened in the aftermath of her fall, and, yes, a few more insights about living with Courtney and Doug.


This week’s special Sunday episode of Couples Therapy opened with the aftermath (I dare not say ‘fall out’) of Alex’s slip, after storming out of the hot tub. After she palmed me away, I gave her a little space before then going into our bedroom to see how she was and offer an icepack. After she’d soothed herself in a hot bath she came back out to the terrace and we sat and quietly spoke. Earlier that day Alex had got quite annoyed that I was interjecting a lot in the group sessions when other couples were talking. It wasn’t so much that I was speaking that offended her, but Alex felt that by me speaking, I was inhibiting her from having her say as well. I had said then that if she wanted to speak she should, but Alex had censored herself because she didn’t want ‘us’ to be monopolizing the conversation and not give others a chance to speak. When Alex had gotten annoyed in the group session, Dr. Jenn had told her to ‘find her voice’. Any Housewives fan will have heard that particular phrase before and let me just say that saying it to Alex is akin to waving a red flag at a bull.

Alex has a voice and always has had. Within RH, she sometimes got flustered at the inanity of it all, particularly the pretty stupid arguments. By dint of her upbringing, which involved civilized discourse, Alex isn’t practiced at the art of interrupting and screaming over the top of others (which, these days, is a prerequisite for what the RH franchise has become).

Anyway, when I said to Al in the hot tub that even Dr. Jenn had said “she needed to find her voice,” I knew that when I said it that it would cause her pain and likely result in her getting infuriated. I hadn’t counted on her slipping and falling as well. As we sat on the terrace afterwards you hear Alex talk about our need to stir up a hornet’s nest and that is exactly what happened. Fortunately the hornets calmed down pretty quickly.

I’ve never done yoga in my life but mucked in with the rest. I could understand Doug feeling left out and deciding not to continue participating but watching the argument in the kitchen with Shayne really shows just how much of a persecution complex he has. Not once did I hear Shayne ‘blame’ Courtney, not once did I hear her criticize Doug. Shayne was genuinely trying to empathize with Doug and help him mitigate his anger. All Doug heard were his own internally voices harmonizing ‘Woe is me, everyone’s against Courtney and me.’

When Courtney did come to the house that day, I’m sorry but that little speech she gave Doug in the bathroom showed complete disregard for the actual facts of what had transpired and again Courtney went into “it’s all those nasty people against us.” As I watched Doug listen to her I saw a 12-year-old boy and not a 52-year-old man, and that’s…just…weird.

The less said about the bowling the better. As usual, Courtney has no idea how to operate within a group and while Shayne has the opposite issue of just trying to hide all the time, she was right in this instance to largely opt out of the Doug and Courtney show. I opted out so much that I don’t think you even saw that I was even bowling!

The longer we were in the house and the more that Tiny and I spoke one-on-one, the more I understood the enormity of JoJo’s drinking issues. Watching Tiny talk first with Dr. Mike and then watching them both in session with Dr. Jenn, it’s impossible not to see the denial in JoJo’s eyes. JoJo is such a gentle guy and he and I spoke a lot in our down time, but the JoJo I watched last night sitting in that session was a meaner, darker JoJo than I ever witnessed. Addiction is an insidious disease and I do so much hope for both their sakes that he conquers it. Not tries but succeeds.

Shayne’s aloofness from the rest of us and constant hiding was beginning to really trouble Nik, but the issues it was highlighting were ones endemic to their own relationship issues. We’d heard Shayne complain in group that Nik either worked on his website, played golf or watched TV and was never there for her. Frankly, that was basically what she was doing to him in the CT house.

Next week we get to see Dr. Jenn finally confront Courtney on her dress and, really, if Courtney thinks it’s an attack on her beauty, then that really says it all. Tiny is beautiful, Shayne is beautiful, Monica is beautiful and of course Alex is beautiful. So far I’ve not seen one thing that qualifies as beautiful in Courtney. Immature — yes, self-centered –– yes, a seventeen year old — yes. But beauty? Not yet.

Alex’s initial thoughts on this episode are here and if you’d like to know what else we’re up to in real time (we just spent a great weekend in the Catskills), please follow us on Twitter @SimonvanKempen @McCordAlex as well as on Facebook. For more on us and our family see our website. Until next week!

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