Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Married at First Sight ~ Respect is a State of Mind

After watching last night's episode of Married at First Sight, I feel gut-punched. I want these couples to succeed to the point that I feel a personal investment in their success. 

The focus on respect this week got me thinking about how we individually interpret respect based on our upbringing, experiences and each situation. 

We show respect when we honor people of authority...parents, teachers, bosses. Self-respect is when we follow a moral compass or set of values we define for ourselves. There is also mutual respect in relationships.

Respect in relationships is built when you consider the thoughts and feelings of your partner over your own. That requires active listening. It also requires eliminating the "my way or the highway" attitude. To make Jon happy, Molly planned a date doing something he loved...rock climbing.


Photo credit: Kinetic Content





To have respect for another, you must have empathy. This requires putting yourself in your partner's shoes and looking at the situation through their lens. It's also about creating a safe place for them to speak their truth without criticism or judgment. Jon is showing empathy by setting aside his personal feelings and honoring Molly's comfort level with physical intimacy.

Showing respect is having a desire to make decisions as a team. There is no room for demanding or authoritative behavior. Jephte admits it is innate for him to be stubborn. Yet he's embraced the advice of the experts and conceded the importance of compromise. We've seen him go from being unyielding to being willing to negotiate for the good of the relationship.


Photo credit: Kinetic Content





Respect is honoring all opinions, even those we don't agree with. Opposing thoughts should never be treated with humiliation or deemed unworthy. Partners need to feel appreciated, validated and understood. Shawniece and Jephte are great at this. They respectfully shared opposing views regarding the potential role of kids in their marriage. 

Respect is speaking in a positive manner to and about your partner. Complaining about them to others does not bring resolution to a problem. In fact, going behind their back erodes trust. Instead, work to resolve an issue of conflict within your marriage instead of going outside it. We see Ryan struggling with this. The tension he is creating is palpable. 


Photo credit: Kinetic Content





Finally, respect is accepting responsibility for your words and actions. Constantly placing blame on your partner so you can be "right" is detrimental to the relationship. Take on the attitude that there is no right or wrong, just different. Doing this will result in an outcome that is a win-win for both you and your marriage. Jackie is making an effort to resolve conflict and discuss how best to handle the situation in the future. Ryan is not there yet. In fact, Pastor Cal said his behavior is indicative of self-sabotage.   

What can we learn from this? Remember, it's okay to make mistakes. We all make them every day. Apologizing with sincerity from the heart and a changing your actions can go a long way towards earning, keeping and regaining respect. 


***

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS 

Watch "Married at First Sight" on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00pm CST








Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Married at First Sight ~ Flying High, Holding on Tight and Hitting Rock Bottom

As season six of Married at First Sight comes to the halfway point, couples take viewers on a trapeze ride that leaves us breathless. Seriously. I can't breathe. 

I could hear a collective gasp as Pastor Cal talked about being "submissive" to your spouse. So what does that mean? In essence, it's putting your partner's wants and needs above your own. It's being selfless. When both partners are willing to do this, they develop a strong foundation based on compromise. Okay...exhale. 


Photo credit: Kinetic Content



Jephte and Shawniece are flying high right now. When Jephte refused to swap phones and walked out on Shawniece, it could have been the end of their relationship. Instead, he used a lifeline, called a friend for help, and came back stronger with roses and an apology. 

Marriage is about forgiveness...and Shawniece has no shortage of that. She has proven more than once she can forgive, forget and move forward with a positive attitude...and a laugh. This girl has it together. 

Another major change for Jephte was stopping his "single" mindset, mid-conversation with Pastor Cal. He realized it's okay to be uncomfortable doing things in your marriage and that stepping out of your comfort zone can bring you closer together. He put those thoughts into action by soaring on the trapeze, despite his fear of heights. Boom!

In the beginning, I was most concerned about Jephte and Shawniece. Now we see them planning their future to include kids. This is a good sign.


Photo credit: Kinetic Content



Jonathan and Molly are holding on tight with an abundance of perseverance. I haven't seen a couple put this much effort into making their marriage (to a stranger) work since Doug and Jamie. 

It would be easy for Jon to get all in his head about Molly's lack of physical intimacy. Instead, he's listening to the experts, garnering up his patience and putting his focus on earning her trust. 

It would be equally easy for Molly to give up when she's not feeling the immediate chemistry. Yet she is taking the experts advice to heart, pushing beyond her comfort zone and trying to develop a physical connection with Jon. 

Together, they exhibit the epitome of selflessness. They are working harder than ever to build a solid foundation beyond the eight-week experiment. 


Photo credit: Kinetic Content




Ryan and Jackie had an instant connection right from the start. But marriage is more than chemistry. If you're committed to joining two single lives as one, then decisions should be made as a team. That's where they are hitting rock bottom.

When Ryan makes the statements, "I will not change" and "No one can tell me I can't go out", it shows he is unwilling to compromise and completely self-absorbed. 

Furthermore, there is a break down in trust when actions don't match wordsRyan tells Jackie she is #1 and he's 100% committed to making their marriage work. Yet we see him show a pattern of abandoning her when she needs him. If your job, your hobbies or going out with friends take priority over your spouse, that's a BIG mistake.

One silver lining is, in the midst of their struggles, we see Jackie growing as a person. She is holding her ground to Ryan, speaking her truth and putting it all out there calmly and respectfully.

In closing, it's not about whether we make mistakes because we make them. It's about whether we can learn from them. With the fertile ground of an open heart and mind, growth can take place. That's what I wish for these couples. 



***

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS 

Watch "Married at First Sight" on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00pm CST






Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Married at First Sight ~ Energy in Authentic Relationships

We've all heard the saying, "Life can change in an instant". Two weeks ago, my husband's routine surgery became life-threatening...all in the blink of an eye. Complications led to more complications and suddenly, my brain was consumed with wondering if I'll have to live my life without half of my heart.  

Sitting by his side, the minutes stretched to hours and then to days. Each breath he took brought me to an increasingly deeper level of soul-searching. 

Why is this happening at this moment and time? What lessons are there for me to learn? What do I need in order to survive a trauma that threatens to destroy my very existence? Then the realization comes...the two things that matter in life are my Faith and true, authentic relationships. 

With authentic relationships, positive energy flows continually from one person to the other and back again. It's rarely ever a perfect balance, rather like the ebb and flow of the tide. You give of yourself to fill the other person's need for unconditional love, support and acceptance and they give of themselves to fill yours.

It's in your darkest hour that you realize who the people are that are there to lift you up and carry you when you are too weak to walk on your own. They fill up your emptiness with words and arms of love so you can survive another day. 

It is through this lens that I watched the three couples in Married at First Sight this week. 



Photo credit: Kinetic Content

At this point of Jephte and Shawniece's marriage, their flow of energy is completely one-sided. Shawniece is giving to Jephte in the way that she needs to receive..with physical touch. She's also trying to be open and honest in her communication and feelings. Jephte is so overwhelmed, his walls of steel are solidly in place. As a result, he's blocking Shawniece's positive energy and giving her absolutely nothing in return. We can clearly see this is sucking the life out of her in a very gut-wrenching and painful way. 

I think most of us have been in relationships where we have given everything we had and received little to nothing back. It left us feeling like it's our fault...like we are unworthy. If we tried harder...we did more...we gave more. But the truth is, there isn't anything we can do to make people care about us in the same way we care for them. 

It's a choice. With every interaction, people can choose whether to respond/or not respond, in a way that allows the other person to feel like they matter or feel like they are marginalized. 

Will Jephte be able to bring down his walls and let Shawniece in? Can he give her what she needs to feel like she matters?



Photo credit: Kinetic Content



This has been the first rough patch we've seen for Ryan and Jackie. Often in life, it's easier to sweep the past underneath the rug when it's too painful to deal with it. The problem is, brushing it under the rug...or packing it away in boxes...only means it will continue to resurface. Also, we may think we've worked through something, only to have it come up again when we least expect it. 

The question is, is a major trauma ever really dealt with for good? My life experience (and my therapist) tells me the answer is no. Why is that? Because up to 70% of our daily thoughts focus on past messages. That means we are unconsciously focusing a lot of our time and energy on what was instead of what is. It takes a conscious effort to stop replaying those old messages and concentrate on what your reality is now. 

Healing from past trauma is a lifelong journey. It's hard work to stay in the present and not let the past to define you. 

Will Jackie's loss affect the present for her and Ryan? 



Photo credit: Kinetic Content




Of the three couples this week, Jonathan and Molly seem to be on a pretty even keel, energy-wise. Jonathan knows that Molly needs trust in order to be physically intimate. He's keeping things light and giving her time to build that trust. 

Molly knows Jonathan needs physical intimacy to feel like they are moving forward in the relationship. She's willing to connect with him in a way that is comfortable for her. Hand-holding, cuddling in bed or simply sitting close to one another are all ways they are building trust, so they can slowly ease into a physical relationship. 

Will they be able to continue to work through their very different paces in order to keep the positive energy flowing between them? 


***


Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS 

Watch "Married at First Sight" on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00pm CST








Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Married at First Sight ~ Is It Honeymoon Bliss?

The Married at First Sight weddings are over and it's on to honeymoon bliss...or is it?

Photo credit: Kinetic Content



Ryan and Jackie are definitely in the blissful stage. In the first few hours and days of their marriage, their physical and emotional connection is so real, it's hard to believe they just met. 

Their families also jelled like they've known each other for years. Seeing their children so happy at the wedding and brunch brought relief and joy to both sets of parents, but especially Jackie's after watching their daughter endure such a devastating loss. 

So far, Ryan is saying and doing everything perfectly. So perfectly, that it leaves room to wonder if he's sincere. Even Jackie is questioning if he's for real. 

Ryan is clearly operating from cloud nine, but it's inevitable that at some point, the Cinderella heel is going to drop down to planet Earth. We've seen them in good times...how will they respond to conflict? Will it happen next week when he finds out about Jackie's previous loss?


Photo credit: Kinetic Content


I love the camaraderie between Jonathan and Molly. Their light and playful banter puts them at ease so they can move into the comfort zone. We saw that comfort in their pillow talk. Molly asked some great questions and the sincerity of Jonathan's answers gave the perfect balance of his serious and fun side. 

However, it's clear that they are moving at very different paces. The physical connection Jonathan has with Molly is what he needs to become intimate. Molly needs to develop an emotional connection, as well as physical. Will Jonathan remain patient and put his focus on developing that emotional connection? Can Molly put her reservations aside and let him in?


Photo credit: Kinetic Content



Slowpitch and stranger and wife, oh my. Jephte and Shawniece are at polar opposite ends of marrying a stranger.

Shawniece can't help but show excitement for her fine-looking husband. This is her dream come true and she is all in. But her open, honest and exuberant personality is paralyzing the man she married. 

Jephte is so overwhelmed with marrying a stranger, he's pretty much shut down and stiff-arming every attempt Shawniece is making at building a connection with him. 

My question is, if Jephte is so uncomfortable with "strangers", why in the world did he apply for and agree to marry one? It's clear he didn't have a clue what he was in for and is way out of his league here.

It looks like continued rough times are ahead. Will the experts be able to help them find that middle ground in order to build a relationship in just a few short weeks?

Photo credit: Kinetic Content







Moving on, one of the great things about Married at First Sight is the expert advice that can be applied to relationships. Here are a few golden nuggets:


"It's okay to have fear. It''s okay to want to take things slow, but you take them slow together. You don't take them slow apart." ~ Pastor Calvin Roberson 
"Having some empathy for her (or his) position, may help. Being able to acknowledge how she (or he) is feeling, but then state what you need." ~ Dr. Jessica Griffin 
"If you're ready to be married, you have to be willing to change. You know from personal experience that if I'm going to join my life to another person, I cannot remain a single entity." ~ Pastor Calvin Roberson
"Marriage...it's a series of ups and downs." ~ Dr. Pepper Schwartz 
"It's how you handle the difficult times in a marriage, not the good times." ~ Dr. Jessica Griffin
"You grow in love, you don't fall in it. If you focus on those positives, the chemistry will come. You can create the chemistry." ~ Pastor Calvin Roberson

Photo credit: Kinetic Content



Let's close with another great change this season. For the first time, all three couples were sent to the same location to give one another support in this unique and challenging social experiment.

MAFS couples honeymooned at Palace Resort's newest luxury all-inclusive property, Moon Palace Jamaica, a AAA four-diamond awarded hotel in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 

This tropical paradise was the perfect backdrop to set the tone for love to grow. I can't wait to see what happens! Until next week...


***

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS 

Watch "Married at First Sight" on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00pm CST




Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Married at First Sight ~ Chemistry Is Great But Real Beauty Lies Much Deeper

I LOVE the Married at First Sight weddings! This season had major good vibes with all three couples having instant physical chemistry. Of course, chemistry isn't everything, but it sure does help if you are attracted to the stranger you marry!

Photo credit: Kinetic Content


While all three couples had physical attraction, Jackie and Ryan were the most comfortable couple. Ryan's charisma put Jackie at ease right from their introduction at the altar. Throughout the wedding and reception, he continued to compliment Jackie and express how happy he was.

It's clear that Ryan's love language is words of affirmation and physical touch. Jackie will NEVER have to wonder what he is thinking or feeling. But as Dr. Jessica Griffin pointed out in "Married at First Sight Unfiltered", can he tone it down a notch when needed? 

Words of affirmation may be what Ryan needs to hear, but how does Jackie give and receive love? With a less exuberant personality, will she be able to express herself in the way that Ryan needs? And finally, the BIG question on everyone's mind, can she set aside the ghosts of her past to truly find happiness again?

Photo credit: Kinetic Content



The saying, "opposites attract" is certainly true with Jephte and Shawniece. He is quiet and reserved, she is bubbling with a fervor for life. He is cautious, she throws caution to the wind. He is slow to trust, she is all in. They are clearly attracted to one another, but there's another important saying to consider..."beauty is only skin deep". 

To fall in love, you need a clear understanding of who your spouse is on the inside. It's also important to have a level of respect for your differences. It's a fine dance of give and take that requires time to perfect. Pushing an introvert too far out of their comfort zone will shut them down. Completely withdrawing from an extrovert will destroy their trust. 

With guidance from the experts, I think Jephte and Shawniece can develop a foundation that will go the distance. But it's going to take patience and a willingness to compromise. Will they BOTH commit to giving it their all? 

Photo credit: Kinetic Content


The smiles on Jonathan and Molly's faces the ENTIRE wedding day said it all. Their light-hearted and easy banter was infectious. It took the awkward out of marrying a stranger and replaced it with fun. Friends and family breathed a sigh of relief, as we saw their fears literally melt away. 

Humor is an important part of a healthy relationship. If you can laugh with each other during both the good times and bad, it can ease some of the burdens we face in life. The important thing to remember is that we don't use humor as a shield to protect our hearts. 

The divorce of Jonathan's parents and the loss of Molly's father is certain to have built a brick or two around their grieving hearts. In order to start building a foundation of trust, they need to break away any barriers and get beneath the surface.That's a tall order for any couple just beginning their relationship. Is it possible to do it in 8 short weeks? 

Each season, just when you think it can't get any better, production company Kinetic Content steps it up another notch. Last week the men and women got to meet each other BEFORE the weddings. Tonight we got to see a UNIQUE behind the scenes look from the experts on "Married at First Sight Unfiltered", hosted by Jamie Otis of Season 1. I LOVE these changes.

Now if they could work on easing up a bit on those cliffhangers...


***

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS 

Watch "Married at First Sight" on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00pm CST







Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Married at First Sight ~ Boston Marriage Marathon

In Season 6 of Lifetime's Married at First Sight, 50,000 singles from the Boston area applied for the radical social experiment, with the ultimate goal of marrying a stranger. These singles put complete trust in a panel of show experts that use science and research to match them with their potential soulmate. 

Here is a first look at the six singles chosen to marry a stranger. 


Photo credit: Kinetic Content



Jaclyn Schwartzberg, a 29 year old sales representative, has suffered the life-changing tragedy of losing a mate. Knowing what a healthy relationship is, she's willing to risk it all to have a second chance at love.

As a fire fighter, construction worker and landlord, 29 year old Ryan Buckley has proven he has a great work ethic. Now he's ready to share his success with someone he can call his best friend. He's excited to find his soulmate and start a family. 

Ryan is very nurturing and is ready to spoil his wife. His willingness to put his spouse first is a great foundation for marriage. Jaclyn is ready to be the recipient of a little nurturing! These two seem perfect for each other, but will they have a physical connection?



Photo credit: Kinetic Content




At 28, Jonathan Francetic is very adventurous and athletic. He feels serving his country in Iraq made him into the man he is today. Unfortunately, his company wasn't supportive of his decision to marry a stranger and he had to give up his job in finance.

Molly Duff, age 25, has also known hardship. Losing her dad and home at 18 was difficult, but it ultimately brought her family even closer together. Although Molly has a stable job as a commercial insurance adjuster, starting off their marriage with Jon being unemployed is certain to put a burden on their new relationship. 

Will Molly's resiliency give her the empathy and compassion needed to support for her stranger husband? Will Jon be able to find a job upon returning from their honeymoon?



Photo credit: Kinetic Content



As the oldest daughter of 13 siblings, Shawniece Jackson always thought she would be married long before age 29. She's worked hard to build a successful cosmetology and wig business and is looking for a mate that is equally hard-working.

Jepthe Pierre is a 26 year old elementary school teacher that is also the oldest of many siblings. He has served as a father figure and understands what commitment and sacrifice are. 

Jepthe's mother is very important in his life, but she is not happy with his decision to marry at first sight. Will her lack of support cause angst in their marriage? 

As I watched the wedding prep, my stomach was tied in knots like I was the one marrying a complete stranger. For the next several months, I'll be living vicariously through them. Such is the life of an empath. 



***

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS 

Watch "Married at First Sight" on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00pm CST








Monday, August 14, 2017

The Spouse House ~ Just Do It or Don't Even Think About It?

In The Spouse House this week, some relationships are starting to take off, some are beginning to unravel and others vacillate between the two. Just when viewers think they know what's going to happen, they get thrown a curve ball.  Here are this week's do's and don'ts... 


Don't Even Think About...



Asking her father for her hand in marriage and 
getting cold feet when she says she loves you. Ouch.


Coming to the #SpouseHouse to get married 
and freaking out when you're asked to be in 
a monogamous relationship. Confusing. 


Flirting with men who are already in 
exploratory marriages with other women. Gutsy.


Alternating between ride or die...every other minute. Exhausting. 


Letting another women get touchy-feely with you 
and then calling HER out for being standoffish. Defensive.


Crying when he walks out in the middle of 
disagreement...once again. Disheartening.


Thinking there is hope with a girl you first 
ghosted and then openly rejected. Disillusioned.


Just Do It!!!




Leaving the Spouse House in love and committed, 
knowing your relationship is just starting. Ecstatic!!!


Opening up your heart by telling him you love him. Blissful. 


Taking a leap of faith with someone 
you've know for literally a day. Brave. 


Hoping that wooing will grow the 
good vibes exponentially. Persevering.


Taking the high road and admitting you 
messed up big time by acting out of fear. Gallant.


Putting a smile on someone's face...
no matter whose idea it was. Thoughtful. 


Trying to talk someone down from the ledge. Responsible. 


Shocking the whole WORLD by 
getting down on a knee and proposing 
BEFORE the engagement ceremony. The MAN!!!


***   

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #SpouseHouse

Watch The Spouse House on TLC Sunday's at 10:00/9:00pm CDT

All screencaps credited to Kinetic Content


Click on the links below to read other #SpouseHouse blogposts:


The Spouse House ~
Make or Break Moments