Saturday, June 13, 2015

Married At First Sight S:2 Finale Decisions, Decisions!

In the Married At First Sight Season 2 Finale Tuesday night, the initial 6-week social experiment came to an end.

Viewers were on the edge of their seats, while watching the first hour that recapped the journey of each couple. The suspense built to a crescendo that had us all on a roller coaster with stomachs tied in knots. Going into decision day, the individuals had a lot to say.

The Good

Jess: Ryan is being so much more affectionate than I could have ever imagined and I'm loving every bit of it. 

Ryan: Things are taking a turn for the better. I think Jess and I want the same things for the future. We both want to be happy and have a family. 

Ryan: Jaclyn is a very loving person, she's a caring person, she's very loyal and seems to have my best interest at heart. 

Jaclyn: Ryan is a great person. He's very family oriented. He's a solid guy and has really strong character. Those qualities that don't come around very often.

Sean: We've developed a friendship and that's something to consider, because friendship is the basis of all relationships.

Davina: We're able to see life as an adventure. When struggles come about, we're able to recognize them and help each other through them, rather than drag each other down. 

The Bad

Jess: I've been through every single emotion I can think of in 6 weeks and I'm nervous. It's been a hell of a roller coaster. 

Ryan: What scares me the most is not knowing what she's thinking.

Jaclyn: I really do love Ryan and his family, but I don't see me living in Long Island and I don't see him living in Jersey. 

Ryan: I'm not at that point yet where I can just say this is 100% what I want to do, to uproot wherever I'm gonna go and fight myself day and night about being away from my family.

Davina: I think in this marriage we have both thrown up blockades and retreated away from each other. 

Sean: There have been a lot more challenges to this relationship than any other relationship in my life. Just the logistics of it...our careers, emotions, the intensity of the process.

The Ugly

Ryan: She's a very dominant person. On a scale of 1-10, she's a 15. I feel like it's too much sometimes with her.

Jaclyn: I had to carry the team. I felt like I was alone and I felt like he really let me down. And the disappointment was hard to bear. 

Sean: I did try the commute and it took over two hours. I'll be honest with you, it's not something that I can do. 

Davina: Decision day is definitely bigger than my wedding day. I chose to be part of the experiment. I didn't choose to be with Sean. Today is the day where I make the choice whether to stay with Sean. I'm happy with my decision. 

Jess: My biggest fear if we decide to stay married is that the Ryan that I got the first four weeks will pop up again. I don't want that person.

Ryan: There were days I didn't want to come back. I just don't know if she's the right person for me and that's big.

The Decisions

Davina: My decision is that I want a divorce. I think Sean is a great person and there's been the cultivation of a friendship, but it's a platonic relationship. I've learned that I need a really strong man with me and beside me.

Sean: My decision is that I want a divorce. Davina is a good person with a good heart, but she's not the person for me. There will be a man someday that will find her and be very, very happy. I'm not a weak person. I know I'm strong and I can be a rock.

Ryan: It's been crazy. Coming into this I didn't expect it to be easy. Each day there was a new challenge and obstacle. But to be completely honest, I wouldn't have changed it. And for that reason, I'm going to stay married. 

Jess: I knew what my challenges were and I've been able to work on them. It's been a roller coaster of emotions, but I'm honestly grateful for the highs and the lows. My decision is, I want to stay married. 

Ryan: There's nothing easy about marriage. But if marriage and that person is worth it, than that work won't seem so difficult. My decision is to stay married. 

Jaclyn: I tried to see the positives in everything through this experience. We have been supportive of each other. I understand that he didn't have any negative intentions. I want to give this a chance and I want to stay married.


Although 2/3 of the couples chose to stay married, it appears from the 6-Month Later preview that life was not all paradise them. We shall see next week how that unfolds.

A Bee in My Bonnet 

I started doing a "Top Tweets" blog each week because of all the great interaction between #MAFS fans on social media. It was such a joy to read the many creative and humorous thoughts. My husband would often join in and we would be in stitches.

As the season progressed, people became more passionate about the show and invested in the outcome. Lines were drawn and sides were taken. As an equity and social justice advocate, I've always been a proponent of respecting all opinions and honoring multiple perspectives. 

However, weeding through more than 1,000 tweets to find very few that were lighthearted, humorous and positive, was painful for me, as a viewer. I can only imagine what those personally involved in MAFS felt.  

Ryan & Jaclyn, Sean & Davina, Ryan & Jessica and the four experts are human beings, with hearts and feelings. They bravely put themselves out there, so that we may learn and grow with them. No one was more invested in the process and outcome than they were. They lived it. 

Feeling disheartened, I started to wonder...when using social media, how can we be authentic, yet respectfully speak our truth? Where is the fine line between voicing our opinions and causing pain to others with our words? 

And finally, for someone who holds honesty in the highest regard, I struggle that someone can anonymously claim fact, causing much damage, when there is no proof of validity. I'm a firm believer that the truth will eventually come out. My hope is that it comes directly from a credible, verifiable source. That is what I will put my trust in. 

I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.

 Read MAFS Season 2 Blogs:

All screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI, and A&E

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Watching Married At First Sight Can Change Your Relationship and Change Your Life

In the reality TV show, Married At First Sight (MAFS), six singles put their trust in four experts, Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Joseph Cilona, Sexologist, Dr. Logan Levkoff, Sociologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Spiritual Advisor, Greg Epstein, to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives...that of choosing a spouse. 

"I take this responsibility incredibly seriously. This is a legal marriage. If these relationships fail, the only way out is divorce", said Dr. Logan Levkoff in the season 2 premiere.  

It's Decision Day for couples. Tonight in the MAFS season 2 finale, we find out which couples chose to stay married at the end of this 6-week social experiment.  

From the lens of a viewer, MAFS is so much more than a documentary style reality TV show. It's groundbreaking TV at it's finest. By tuning in, people worldwide learn valuable lessons about relationships, commitment and love. Experts give couples, and ultimately viewers, tools to better communicate, honor and respect one another and navigate through tough times. 

Watching with your partner can lead to having honest and courageous conversations about the health of your relationship. Each week, my husband and I get out our notebook and write down key advice from the experts. Whether you are just starting out, have been married for 36 years like us, or anywhere on the spectrum, it's advice that everyone can use. 

Dr. Joseph Cilona:

  • Learning to merge single's lives to a couple's life is really critical. 

  • In order for a relationship to develop, it's important to prioritize work and travel schedules to spend time together.

  • Expressing your feelings and being honest and open is important to feeling comfortable with one another.

  • Couples need to have a safe place to discuss what's really going on in their relationship. 

  • Making a list of trigger words that are "off limits" can help ensure emotional integrity when disagreeing. 

  • Compromise needs to be done in a way that meets the needs of both individuals. 

  • If we defend and guard ourselves based on the past, it does not leave room to be open and vulnerable for the future.

  • Anger and resentment can be an outward expression of emotion that camouflages deep hurt. 

  • Making decisions and choices based solely on emotions, causes you to be more reactive rather than thoughtful about the future.

Dr. Logan Levkoff:

  • Cohabitation means that you are blending your lives together. Not as two individuals, but creating a totally whole new identity...that of you, as a couple. 

  • Both people need to hold themselves accountable for their actions and be willing to admit they are responsible for the ups and downs in a relationship.

  • Trust is something that is earned. If you don't trust someone, you're not going to want to open up that vulnerable side of yourself.

  • Talking about finances can be uncomfortable. It's important to discuss your gender role expectations with respect to finances. 

  • Many couples have different incomes. The key to navigating through this is to be thoughtful when talking about money. 

  • Conflict between partners isn't necessarily a bad thing. We're different, we don't always get along, we don't always agree. The key to a good relationship, are partners who know how to fight fairly and respectfully.

  • If one of us thinks that the other person has checked out, then we tend to pull away too. This creates a huge divide between partners that can be very difficult to get past.

  • To engage your partner emotionally, you have to make them feel like they are wanted. 

Dr. Pepper Schwartz:

  • In a relationship, you have to give to each other. There has to be some generosity, as well as some equity and equality. That lifestyle, that becoming a team, is critical in a marriage.

  • Relationships aren't just about emotion. They're about the little things like creating a home, cooking and even shopping together. 

  • You need to have domesticity and emotional generosity for a couple to feel grounded in a marriage. 

  • There is nothing more important in a relationship than communication. You have to listen to what your partner is trying to say, and sometimes even read between the lines, if they're not being articulate.

  • Words matter. You have to be very careful of the words you use towards each other. 

  • You need to forgive yourself for the tough stuff.

  • It's important to take time away. Make romance a part of your life and be playful. Research shows that it's good for couples to learn new things together. 

  • When you hold hands you're a team...and that's powerful. 

Greg Epstein:

  • You need to communicate well, in order to have a deep, lasting, intimate, connection.

  • The biggest obstacle can be to get out of your head. Allow yourself to feel what you are really feeling and to admit it to yourself and one another. 

  • There will always be strain, tension, fights, arguments and disagreements. Commitment is the moral force that can allow us to overcome those struggles.

  • Spending an extended amount of time together, without the distractions of home and other people, helps us to grow in our relationships.

  • Give what gifts you can. Know what you are feeling, but also focus on what the other is feeling.

  • If we make an effort to connect with our partner, the feelings of intimacy can come back. 

  • There is a real power that we each have in being able to step back and look at our mistakes, and grow. 

  • There is no perfect, but there can be wonderful.

Whether it's the couples on MAFS or viewers watching from their homes, the free tools and advice from experts can give you a better chance at achieving a successful long-term relationship. But the bottom line is, it has to be applied. We have to take responsibility and be willing to put in the work that's required, every single day.  

What advice have you applied to your relationship from watching MAFS

Share your thoughts with me! 

All screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI, and A&E

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Married At First Sight S:2 E:12 Top Tweets

Top Tweets

Live Tweeting during Married at First Sight is a culture all unto itself. 
Here are my top tweets for this week. 

I don't usually include my own Tweets, however, since I won't be blogging the episode this week, I've added them as a way to share my thoughts. Here we go! 

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live Tweet #MarriedAtFirstSight 

For more Top Tweets:

All screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI, and A&E

Who stays married and who goes? Leave me a comment!