Kill the Pig – Couples Therapy Episode 6

Well, this was an interesting week. I hope everyone reading this from the East Coast of the States is safe after Hurricane Sandy. Our family got very lucky as we live on relatively high ground, and our thoughts are with those who weren’t so fortunate as they begin to pick up the pieces.

Great Camera Deals

One thing that’s been very frustrating to me as this season airs is not knowing what is coming, since we don’t get advance screeners of each episode. It’s yet another thing I can’t control, which by now probably doesn’t surprise anyone that it would make me crazy. Simon’s take on this week is on VH1′s site here.

Every single participant (well, except one,) shared incredible, immensely personal stories of baggage they carry from childhood. I was sorry that not every story was shown, but otherwise it would be a three-hour special. Suffice to say, by the time Dr. Jenn came to Courtney, we were all taken aback when she refused to participate. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been – we should have expected it given her behavior leading up to that moment, but it was a room full of emotionally raw, spent humanity, and we hoped for the best. We didn’t get it, and the collective feeling was…get this kid out of here.

Just as we never let our two boys watch reality TV or any other grownup programming, just as we shoo them out of the room for discussions that are over their heads or too much to carry for their current emotional development, it was clear that Courtney could not hold her own. I was disappointed the viewers didn’t see Doug’s story – his brave willingness to open his soul was a striking contrast to his wife’s, and gave a major clue as to why they are together. That when this episode was edited his wife’s behavior overshadowed his therapy process, is an interesting metaphor. While everyone else was diving deep into their psyches, Courtney hung on by using the only tool she had – her sexuality. It was very telling to me that she couldn’t separate her manner of dress and grooming from her personality – take away all the surface phoniness, and what’s underneath? She proved she was too afraid to find out.

Tiny’s bravery blew me away this week, and the gentle strength and support that JoJo gave her was evidence of his ability to cope and overcome. I hope that he can turn that inward as well.

On Dr. Jenn’s blog she describes a Lord of the Flies atmosphere, and she was correct. However, I believe that it was too much to expect for things to have turned out differently. From the very first day, all of us complained loudly about what we called stunt casting, and were stonewalled. Some half-hearted measures were taken, such as a lot of lip service and finally the dress code, none of which worked. In any case, I felt that Dr. Jenn was hesitant to throw Courtney out because of the TV aspect – as far as I am aware it was not her decision to cast them. Also, I am really, really sick of people misusing the term “bully” as an excuse for their own inappropriate behavior – can’t get away from that on reality TV, it seems. Did we all sink to a 17 year old level? Absolutely. If we had to do it all again, would it play out the same way? Probably.

One thing I would like to clarify about my own childhood story is this – my reluctance to invite my mother to join us in therapy was mostly about the TV cameras. While I was certainly afraid of dredging up old news, the biggest stumbling block was doing family therapy on TV. My beautiful, strong mom is a very private person, and asking her to join me on a 24/7 film set was an overwhelmingly scary prospect. My mother had been horrified by the satirical spin placed on my life on Housewives, and had less than zero trust (as I did initially) about what could be created in an editing suite with televised therapy sessions. To find out what happens with all this….keep watching.

13 Comments

  1. Alex,

    I am an avid fan of all the Real Housewives shows. I have to say that I was never a big fan of yours…until watching Couples Therapy. I’m also a new fan of Simon’s too. To me, on RHONY, it seemed that you and Simon did and said things to “make your mark”…now whether one can contribute that to editing or not is probably up for debate.

    Listening to you tell your story of finding your father was heart-breaking and I just wanted to hug you. I have never been in that type of situation, but we all grow up with things that happen in our lives that are unpleasant (well, I guess Courtney doesn’t in her fantasy world, but that’s another story)…and they shape who we are.

    I could go on and on. Really, I just wanted to tell you that I think you are a very strong woman and your marriage to Simon seems to be getting stronger all the time too. It’s obvious that he really loves you and you love him. You two could be great role models for others who go through difficult times in their marriages.

    Stay strong and keep up the good work!

    Hugs,
    Tricia

  2. Hi, Alex. I just wanted to say that your story really touched me last night and you were very brave to share it. And it helps so much to work through those things, I’m have been in the process of doing that myself. Anyway, I just wanted to support you and let me know I’m praying for you.

  3. Elaine Comstock-leirer /

    I am very pleased to see that you have a grip on what is happening on the show and a realization about your reaction to Courtney and why she is on the show. If Dr. Jenn did not want her cast then she sold out for the sake of the show and against the well being of her patients. There is no excuse for this as she put her patients at risk.

  4. I have always thought you were a little too classy to be on the Real Housewives, and I think you find it hard to go down to that level. I do not think other people see that.

  5. Oh, my gosh. Deb, that is exactly it. You have summed up what I have felt but never put into words about Alex. Finding it hard to go down to that level…..and apparently stay there for some.

  6. 4Tuna Fan /

    I felt the pain that you and Tiny shared on this week’s episode. Baring your soul on national TV must be one of the most difficult things you (and the other’s) have EVER had to do. I’ve experienced traumatic emotional injury as a child and at 55 years old, you can count on one hand the number of people I was able to share that with. In my humble opinion, the couples have all shown great restraint in dealing with the ‘Dourtney’ debacle (and we are only witnesses to a small portion of your days). Doug appeared sincerely concerned for what was being said in the session and seemed very empathetic. I wish that the cameras trained on his child-bride had shown if she shared his feelings, since her flippant wise-crack was callous and crass. Clearly, Doug needs counseling for his inability to recognize that he allows Courtney to manipulate him. He shares his insecurities about her overtly hyper-sexual behavior and attire, but then he smiles and looks the other way (or WORSE – DEFENDS her) when she makes advances to Nik or admits that she doesn’t want to give up her ex-boyfriend! Perhaps Courtney hasn’t realized that her methods of torturing Doug are no better than her accusing you and the others of ‘bullying’. Hang in there Alex. I hope you and Simon are both doing well now.

  7. Janee Cifuentes /

    Alex, thank you for sharing your story. It was very powerful and I am sure that it helped someone somewhere that has had a similiar experience in his/her life. Best of luck to you and your family.

  8. Momma2423 /

    Alex, I have watched you and Simon since the beginning of Housewives… you were my favorite. You always was a perfect example of what a good woman is, which so many of the young women of today need. Hopefully, the 17 yr old drag queen eyes will be open and ears cleaned out enough to get help. Never liked her husband and any movie, understand the reason after this show. Maybe, Simon will be an example to him. I am discussed with dr. jenn, her allowing this type of behavior, at least I can hit forward… You and Simon keep setting the example for others. You two will keep your marriage strong, we can see the love whether you and he see it or not. Good luck to all of you that are there for actual help.

  9. It’s a shame that a dress code wasn’t enacted from the onset of the therapy. It would have made more sense than devoting so much time to Her! I’m glad to see you are finding yourself in a better place and I wish you and Simon the very best. Hugs,

  10. Jane Jupiter /

    Alex = “Take away the puffed up lips, the puffed up t*ts, the long blonde hair, and the wiggle … and what do you have left?” http://blog.vh1.com/2012-11-05/check-out-our-supercut-of-courtney-stodden-life-saving-lol-er/ COURTNEY STODDEN … the next HUGE Reality-TV sensation of 2012! Let’s face it: the ONLY reason peeps are watching the show, is because of Doug and Courtney. Even when they’re GONE, you other couples can’t stop but obsess about them. VH1′s behind them. Dr. Jenn’s behind them. Irwin Ent’s behind them. The only thing behind you is your FAT ASS hitting the concrete at the edge of the pool and your troll of a husband acting all “indignant” around Courtney when we all know he’d KILL for a golden Hottie like that. Sorry, Darlin’, but your days are numbered. Dourtney rules!

  11. Crazy Owl /

    Alex,

    I initially wasn’t a fan of yours nor Simon in the first few season’s of RHNY; but you both grew on me and I came to get a distant understanding of you.
    I have really appreciated you reporting on Rumor Fix regarding the House Wives franchise; awesome insight. Thank you.

    As for couple’s therapy~ WOW!~ the show has blown me away; I have learned much of each person (Courtney excluded) on the show, something about myself that maybe I didn’t realize was going on inside.
    Love the team work, love and friendship you and Simon share. Awesome to see Simon a bit humbled as well.
    Personally, I have seen you both grow through lots of gunk from RHNY to now; all I want to say it “AWESOME, keep on growing!”
    Be well~
    Crazy owl

  12. I think you should be proud of yourself for the work you have accomplished. Its sad for ratings Courtney and Doug are allowed to remain on the show. None of you were bullies it was rather being at the end of your rope and acting out your frustration and anger at the situation, I love how the dear Dr’s solution was you should of ignored her blatant disregard for everyone’s feelings with her behavior and dress. Because yes a grown person needs to be told not to put their ass cheeks on kitchen counter just ridiculous. I’m sorry you will have to deal with them for trainwreck value.

  13. carolyn /

    Dear Alex, I really appreciate how honest and open you have been. On Real Housewives, you found your voice, and we watched as you navigated how to be forthright and at the same time, sensitive and caring. When I watch you on Couples, I see a real, genuine, hurting, smart, and lovely person. Everyone saw how much Simon loves you, both when you slipped at the pool, and when you spoke of finding your father on the floor. Keep working hard at therapy. You both have made significant strides, and as you know, you have so much worth fighting for….especially your beautiful boys. Take care, and stay strong. C

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