Blowing the Lid Off…Couples Therapy Episode 4

The moment I took that fall on the wet concrete, I knew that three months later we’d
be watching it on TV. After you do reality television for a while you get a feeling
for the rhythm, and when something both dramatic and topical happens, you say to
yourself “Oh, that’s going to make it.” Couples Therapy and Real Housewives have that
in common. Where they differ (thankfully) is that on CT the drama played out in real
time, without random hearsay soundbites of the other cast’s opinions on something
they didn’t see. I have to give a shoutout to our night-time therapist on duty,
Sarah Novia, as she ran after me on my talk -to-the-hand tirade through the house to
make sure nothing was broken.

When Simon and I sat down outside, I was terrified. I felt that before we entered
the retreat, we had a good lid on things. We had each other’s back in all things
public, and were cordial to each other and knew that deep down we loved each other
very much. That night, the pot boiled over and the lid blew off. You know when you
stare at a huge mess you’ve made, and know that in order to clean it, you have to
make it worse first? I was afraid that we wouldn’t have enough time with the
therapists, away from our daily lives, to fix it. I was afraid that we would come
out of this experience with our relationship worse than better. Watching it back on
the screen, I can see we hit a wall and broke through it, but I couldn’t see that at
the time. All I could see and feel was my fear, and it felt awful. Simon’s thoughts on it are here.

Sometimes I wonder whether group therapy is just designed to give each individual
some perspective. While the issues Simon and I were dealing with didn’t feel good,
I wouldn’t have wanted to be in anyone else’s shoes. Seeing Tiny and JoJo’s private
sessions with Dr. Jenn broke my heart — in group we really had no idea how dire
their situation was — they really kept it swept under the rug (hmm, that strategy
looks familiar.)

Doug just couldn’t see Shayne’s point, and while Courtney effectively calmed him
down, she made totally incorrect assumptions about Shayne’s intentions. The yoga
meltdown was the one time Shayne wasn’t being negative this week. In fact they
could have made an entire episode of all of us yelling at Shayne to snap out of it
the night of bowling. Between Tiny, Nik and me, each one of us tried to get through
to her and none of us could. But Shayne did try to help Doug out and he rejected &
dismissed her.

I was in a really precarious emotional state this week — we’d had the big fall and
fallout, and then these people thought that yoga would help. And bowling. Anyone
who knows me knows that I hate bowling. And yoga. Even my dear friends who teach
know better than to ever, ever ask me to get down with the dog or whatever it is. I
really tried to enjoy these extra-curricular activities. . I even taught Courtney
how to bowl, AND got her into proper bowling shoes. For about three frames. And I
was getting angrier and angrier that I felt I had to do all these stupid things I
didn’t want to do, and try to keep the peace. In hindsight, I see that I was about
to blow. And you will too, in the next episode or two. Watch out, because
Armageddon is coming.

9 Comments

  1. I hope when the explosion hits Courtney & Doug are part of the collateral damage!

  2. Jennifer /

    Alex it takes mad skills to trip over flat surfaces even with wet feet and you are not alone. I would just like to say kudos to the way you treat Courtney, almost in a motherly way which is obviously what she is lacking. I don’t know what will happen with you and Simon, I hope it’s exactly what you want. I too was in a marriage when I was never heard nor had to opportunity to be heard no I’ve left and can’t shut up. Seeing you on Couples Therapy has brought you into a whole new light because honestly I didn’t understand you on Housewives but let’s be real the majority of those women are KA-RAZY. As far as your little princes what to people expect from little boys all little boys are crazy (good crazy) and if your little ones say thru a flight like little robots to Australia people would have been saying you had medicated them. You have my love and respect now lady and the boys can come climb all over my house at anytime they will fit right in with my 3! Your are a beautiful, down to earth, lovely person and seeing you not judge anyone in the show tells me what an amazing person you are! Keep up your lovely lady. Simon STOP SMOKING it’s bad for and no one wants to kiss an ashtray!

    • Jennifer, thank you so much! One thing I can say is that for better or worse, on CT the viewers are getting an accurate picture of us — something that we never felt was right on Housewives. xo A

  3. Elaine Comstock-leirer /

    Many women as they raise children and have a professional life, gradually become the responsible person in their menage. It is commendable that you teach Courtney the bowling art, it is not your responsibility. You feel you must keep the peace, why. Who gave you that responsibility. You and Simon are theoretically there to work on your own problems. I see Simon with his….that is your problem not mine….and your willingness to blame yourself at odds with the overall picture. You have to practice not being responsible. In a partnership two have to shoulder the burdens, time for a contract with Simon. If you both do not sort this out…resentment will poison your mind and you will end up hating him.

    • All good comments. What’s been interesting this week is that seeing this play out on TV has sparked more discussion and we’ve been digging deeper into it — which so far is a really good thing. I’m continually amazed at how much we are getting out of this experience — which probably speaks to an initial lack of trust in producers/editors/network.

  4. I found myself pulled into Couples Therapy randomly and saw you and Simon and knew I just had to stay tuned! After watching RHONY I had such admiration for you, for your class, dignity, and finding your voice! I wish you only the best from this new journey and have to tell myself I’m getting a glimpse of TV produced lives and not to judge Simon to harshly, because I don’t know either of you personally and that you have shown your strength in the past shows and will do what is right for you on this one! Stay string Alex! You have so many fans who believe in you!!

  5. Dharma /

    Group therapy is a tool so you can become less involved with one’s own behavioral actions and instead have the opportunity to not be so alone during these times. It is to hear what others are doing and sounding like. A sounding board in many ways or at times a mirror because you’re not looking at yourself (in your daily actions). At times you can relate or not. Feelings in a marriage once it is being challenged become very cloudy. Good show, good therapist for her strong works and communications skill. smile, Doc Dharma

  6. Kennedy Margaret /

    When my late husband and I went to therapy our relationship deepened and matured. We stopped right fighting and learned to take brakes when needed. I am now becoming victorious over cancer again and live with m.s. therapy made all that possible. Your honesty is refreshing and will benefit in the years to come. In ways u cannot imagine. Just always be you and love the essence of each other, even if at that moment you cannot even look at each other. Stay brave and strong.