Episode 2 of Couples Therapy on VH1 aired last night, and we started to get below the surface of everyone’s issues. One of the first things Dr. Jenn and team did is to get everyone into 2-on-1 couples sessions, and for me as a participant that was fascinating as we didn’t get to see that part while filming the retreat.
During the first 48 hours there was a lot of “What am I doing here with these people?” going on. I felt it, as did everyone else. At first, I wanted no part of the group therapy room. Although I logged a year with a therapist myself in college, I had never participated in group sessions, and really didn’t want to hear the other couples’ laundry, dirty or otherwise. During the first group meeting, however, we were asked to share our darkest relationship moment with the group. And the cameras. For me, that was like shooting a movie where you do a really intense scene first, before you’ve really gotten to know anyone. You’ve just met these people, have a bad impression of some and aren’t sure about the others yet, and here you are spilling your guts. Never in my life had I shared what I did that morning. Not with my mother, not with reality cameras, not with anyone. And as Simon said on his blog this week — he didn’t even remember. That was a wakeup call to the state of our communication.
As other couples shared their darkest moments, I began to see why the group dynamic can be useful. If you see someone be courageous and bare their soul, it inspires you to do the same. If you see someone hiding, deflecting, not listening or just not taking things seriously, it reminds you to do better. I think we’ll see a lot more of that as the season goes on.
Finally, Simon and I made dinner for everyone, and fur flew. Although we do make our children dress for dinner every night, it really wasn’t about Courtney’s lack of clothing for me. It was about her aggressive, disrespectful, attention-seeking behavior. She reminded me of a naked version of the Jack Russell terrier in The Mask. Everyone tried to ignore their antics in order to focus on their own therapy process, and that made her angry. It was clear to me that both Courtney and Doug desperately wanted to have all eyes on them, and when they felt they were being ignored would act out accordingly. Courtney would change into an even skimpier outfit and shake her (ahem) attributes, and Doug would gleefully remind everyone that he had been called a child-molester. Once. Every other time it was brought up, it came out of Doug’s mouth, as though it was some weird badge of honor.
A new couple arrived this week, and brought a breath of fresh air into the house. After the darkest moment session, I felt raw and unprepared to get to know someone new. I sat in the dining room writing, and in walked Todd and Monica, who gave my mood a 180 with their lovely, positive attitude. Instead of dancing in putting on a fake show, they joined us, gauged the mood of the room and fit right in. I had to laugh 30 minutes later, when I realized that Todd also happened to be Too Short. Yes, I listened to his music in high school – there are all sorts of things about me that never came up on Housewives, lol. There’s room on my iPod for all sorts of music, his included!!
There’s so much more to come, and I still can’t believe how much drama naturally happened, without booze, drugs, producer machinations or any other typical docu-drama ingredients. We left those in New York!