Saturday, August 29, 2015

Seven Year Switch S:1 E:8 Finale! Accepting the Truth




The first season of Seven Year Switch far exceeded my expectations. Every Tuesday night, FYI Network and producers at Kinetic Content took us on an intense emotional roller coaster, sprinkled with a dusting of sound applicable relationship advice from psychologists Dr. Jessica Griffin and Dr. Dan Shapiro. 


The season finale was hands down the most nerve-wracking two hours of viewing pleasure I've had since the finale of Married at First Sight Season 2. No wonder FYI has become my new go-to station for my reality TV addiction...intense emotion and sound advice? That's a win-win! 



Houston and Aleshia



Houston seems to have turned over a new leaf, helping with domestic chores. 

He and Aleshia talk about whether to keep the lines of communication open with Leah and Neal. While they both care about their experimental spouses, it's an awkward situation.





Houston and Aleshia realize that if they don't take more time for each other, they could end up down the same path as Leah and Neil. They even recommend switch therapy to their friends. 








Houston proves he's a new man by opening up his DJ world to Aleshia. This is major, considering she previously hasn't been allowed in the room. 









Being a part of this experiment taught each of them to recognize what needed to change in their marriage. We see those changes. 









Houston appreciates all that Aleshia does for him and wants to make her happy.

Aleshia has a better understanding for the long work hours Houston puts in. 

They couldn't be more grateful for this experience.






*Special Update*


Houston and Aleshia announced they spent so much quality 
time together after the experiment, now they look forward 
to sharing their lives with their soon to be born baby girl.
Congrats you two!!!


Eric and Danielle




Eric stayed true to his promise to come up with a 5-year plan, making travel, owning a home and having kids a priority. 

Although Danielle had definite opinions about career goals being #1, she was able to communicate it to Eric in a way that he didn't shut down. That's progress, people!






Danielle's friends react to her spending time in a cabin on Big Bear with an "experimental" spouse. They learn that CW is the male version of Danielle. 

An "aha" moment for Danielle is the realization that every relationship has problems, it's how honestly you communicate and deal with them that matters. 




A fun day of fishing becomes a little heated...and not from the sun. Danielle indirectly seeks assurance from Eric that Rachel is not more compatible with him. Eric has a hard time reading between the lines. They powered through the discomfort to ended on a positive note. 






Danielle has come to appreciate what a wonderful man Eric is. She accepts the balance he brings with his relaxed and free spirit. 

Eric now realizes that a little more effort with communication, organization and goal setting goes a long way with his wife. 





Eric continues to step it up and planned a party to apologize to Danielle's dad for not getting his blessing prior to marriage. This brings tears of joy to Danielle.

There is no question in their minds that switch therapy saved their marriage. 






CW and Rachel



Rachel pushed herself way beyond her comfort zone and spoke her truth to CW regarding his promotion. CW played his usual game of shutting her down. Let's change the subject...








Finally an honest dialogue! Rachel realizes she has completely lost herself with CW. We saw her open up, laugh and be free with Eric. She was like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. Now she has retreated back to confinement. 
  





Feeling guilt for how sad and down she was about their relationship, Rachel apologizes to CW for missing the boat in honoring his last promotion.









CW refuses to go through a communication exercise with the psychologists. When they suggest couples therapy, he feels that it wouldn't be beneficial to their marriage.

In other words, he is scared to death of being caught in his lies. 





They decide to save their marriage and have a recommitment ceremony.

CW promises to implement immediately what he learned in the experiment and try to understand Rachel better. 
 
Rachel vows to be his biggest cheerleader and give him constant affirmation for the wonderful husband he is. 


Neal and Leah




Neal has been stuck for a year in a place where he's harboring hurt. He doesn't know how to move forward and Leah is getting tired of throwing hail Mary passes to save their marriage. 








Neal drops the bomb to papa that he wants kids. Yes, papa Neal, you DO have to be on the same sheet of music, going in the same direction in life.

Unfortunately, Neal and Leah are on polar opposite ends going different directions.






Pastor Calvin gets real and tells them marriage is not for punks. Either Neal wants it or he doesn't. Time to stop the flip flopping and make a decision. 









Neal (and Leah) have made the decision to end their marriage. 

The hurt Neal experiences is greater than the love he feels for Leah.

Although it didn't end the way Leah had hoped, at least the year of emotional ups and downs is finally over.




Leah did not feel this experience has been beneficial or helpful to their marriage. 

Neal gained a lot of information and a new perspective from it.

They have been in different places from day one and neither seemed fully invested in the process to save their marriage. 




***



I end this season with a myriad of thoughts. Look for my next blogpost, Seven Year Switch Season 1, From the Lens of a Viewer to be out next week. 


Screencaps made by Bee..Photo credits: FYI








Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live Tweet #SevenYearSwitch





Thursday, August 27, 2015

Seven Year Switch S:1 E:8 Accepting the Truth Top Tweets


I love great content in reality TV and the 
fast-paced culture of live tweeting. Combining those two is the ultimate!

Here are my top tweets for the season finale of 









































Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live Tweet #SevenYearSwitch








Monday, August 24, 2015

Danielle Wolf - An Exclusive Behind the Scenes Look at FYI's Seven Year Switch




FYI Network's newest innovative and groundbreaking series, Seven Year Switch has four couples living with an experimental spouse for two weeks, in an attempt to learn the skills needed to fix their broken marriages.

Eric and Danielle Wolf, of Thousand Oaks, CA, were one of four couples that participated in switch therapy. Pairing up with experimental spouses Rachel Farris and CW MCGee of Nashville, TN, gave them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see if the grass is actually greener.



Danielle and Eric Wolf - FYI


While watching Seven Year Switch, I admire Danielle's complete honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. Although what she says isn't always easy to hear, she put her true feelings out there in order to learn and grow. And let's face it, life is not always easy.  

Eric gave this radical social experiment his all. He acquired some mad communication skills that we saw him transfer back to his "real" marriage with Danielle. That's what this innovative concept is all about. 

In this exclusive interview with Danielle, she gives us a "behind the scenes" look at goals, lessons learned and thoughts as we go into the Seven Year Switch Season Finale.


Danielle Wolf - FYI

B:  How did you learn about Seven Year Switch (SYS)? 
D:  Our friend works for a casting agency and made a posting on social media detailing the premise of the experiment. Jokingly, I tagged Eric and before we knew it, we were interviewing nonstop and finding counseling relief just in the dialogue with the producers. We knew it was a rare opportunity and a right fit for us so we ran with it.  

B:  What were your goals when you agreed to participate and did they change throughout the process? 
D:  Our goals were really to find a way to harmonize our different communication styles and lifestyle plans (career path, kids, budgeting) and they seemed to remain the same. 

B:  Share what you learned about yourself in the two weeks.
D:  Being in a place of solitude; no husband, phone, work, friends, obligations...all these things that define you.. it definitely had an existential effect on me. I got to step away from societal pressures and was able to ask what I truly want for myself and my marriage on a deeper level. I realized that at the end of the day health and love trumps all of these silly things that we push ourselves and our spouses into...houses, vacations, climbing corporate ladders. They are all wonderful things as long as they don't disrupt what matters - love and quality time in your marriage. The experiment was more profound than what I expected it to be and I'm grateful for the experience.

B:  Share what you learned about Eric.
D:  Eric has a seriousness that really seemed to come out in a way I've never noticed before. Behind the big-hearted silliness, he cares deeply about others and will put a hardhat on if you let him take control of situations. 


CW McGee and Danielle Wolf - FYI
B:  Why do you think you made such a strong connection with CW?
D:  We connected in terms of work-life balance. It was refreshing to be around someone that had similar goals. My parents are a Type A duo, so I guess being raised by that dynamic was a familiar place for me. 



 B:  What was your most profound “aha” moment when watching the show? 
D:  Watching Eric with Rachel interact, I realized that Eric is very insightful and has great ideas. Like, wow, listen up more and you can really see a wonderful side of him. 

B:  If you could change one thing you did, what would it be?
 D:  I wouldn't change anything, really. I gave it my all in the most honest way possible.

B:  What were your thoughts in the car as you returned home?
D:  It was a feeling I haven't had in years; the first date jitters. It was like I was 19 years old again sitting in Eric's car in the beginning of our relationship...being nervous and excited in all the right ways. I just wanted to be with him.

B:  Would you recommend that others try switch therapy?
D:  Yes, but only for certain couples. You have to be open-minded, of course, but being strong with your morals and goals is everything. Keeping your spouse in mind through the best and worst times, is a mantra you have to be diehard about. 

B:  Do you have any last thoughts to share?
D:  I'm excited to be reunited with Eric! I just hope he knows that I gave it my all - for us. 

***

Did Danielle and Eric find a way to harmonize their communication styles and create a lifestyle plan they can both agree on? Watch the 2-hour Season Finale of Seven Year Switch, Tuesday at 9/8c on FYI. 








Sunday, August 23, 2015

Seven Year Switch S:1 E:7 Reunited With Reality



Participating in FYI's Seven Year Switch gave four couples a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what it would be like to be married to someone else. It allowed them to see if their perceived ideal qualities in a partner were what they really needed and wanted.

Now it's time for the experimental spouses to say goodbye to each other and return to reality. What did they learn in switch therapy and will they successfully apply it to their marriages? 


Final Goodbyes


Aleshia experienced life with a spouse that was attentive to her. She felt appreciated, something she didn't feel with Houston. Will Houston make their marriage a priority?

Neal appreciated Aleshia's open and honest opinions. He felt at ease as she posed thought-provoking questions. This method of communication really worked well for them. Will Neal feel this comfortable once he returns home?





Danielle spent two weeks connecting on a deep level with someone who is as driven and serious as she is. Although she said CW saved her life, is 14 days long enough to  know someone beyond surface level?

CW is going to miss spending time with Danielle, who has the same work ethic and drive for success. Can he go back to someone who doesn't understand his drive?





Although, Leah guided Houston on the importance of bringing balance into his life,  she personally shut down early in the process. Did Leah reap the potential benefits of switch therapy? 

Houston is now open to the concept of balance, but will he realize his traditional values may not be what his marriage needs?




Rachel felt a weight lift off her shoulders and she was able to freely share her thoughts and feelings with Eric. Will she stay unmuted once she returns to CW?

Eric really embraced the communication exercises and gave it his all. Once he returns to Danielle, will he use those skills or shut down?



Questions Abound 


Did Houston miss Aleshia, or did he cross any boundaries?










Will Aleshia come to appreciate the hard work Houston does for his DJ-ing and day job? 








Did this experiment show CW he should have married someone else? 










Will Rachel become less sensitive and appreciate CW's intense work ethic?










Will Eric step it up in his work and their marriage?











Will Danielle become less quick to judge Eric's laid back and chill demeanor?









Will the time apart help Neal and Leah get back to that beginning place in their marriage?









Can Neal finally forgive Leah so they can restore their relationship? 











Reunited With Reality





CW says Rachel is even more beautiful and sexy than he remembered. 




Danielle tells Eric she wonders if she would be better off with a type A personality. 



Houston doesn't like that Neal was willing to share a bed and feels Aleshia is talking too much about Neal. 



Leah confronts Neal about changing his mind on wanting to have kids. 
This is a game changer. 




Golden Nuggets



One of the things I love the best about Seven Year Switch is the communication activities and advice Dr. Dan Shapiro and Dr. Jessica Griffin give the couples. Each week I learn something new that I can apply to my own relationship. This week the experts were on point as they guided the couples after they returned home. Here are my golden nuggets.



  • To ensure you are on the same page with your spouse, it's important to have a master five-year plan with a vision for your marriage.
  • Problems in marriages were not created overnight and they will not be fixed overnight. It takes time, commitment and a lot of hard work.
  • Sometimes there is this idea that the grass is greener on the other side, when in fact, we should be watering our own grass. 
  • Our spouses can be set-up to compete with our work for attention, leaving them feeling resentment towards it.
  • When our partner withdraws or becomes silent, we tend to go to dark places in our heads and image the worst. 
  • In order for both partners to feel honored in the relationship, there needs to be equal compromise.



 A Bee in My Bonnet



If there is one thing Seven Year Switch fans are, it's passionate and loyal, invested in the success of the four couples.

As I did my top tweets blog for this episode, there was clearly one thing viewers were outraged about...CW lying to Rachel.

CW openly admits to the camera that he hasn't told Rachel the truth about drinking with Danielle. But in usual CW fashion, he doesn't take responsibility for his actions, rather blames it on the fact that Rachel is highly sensitive. 




I'm confused by this. Does CW think Rachel should not be upset that he didn't honor his commitment not to drink with his experimental spouse? Does he think that lying about it to Rachel is going to make it better? Does CW realize cameras captured him drinking twice with Danielle? Does he think that dishonoring Rachel in front of millions of viewers on National television is okay? 

I sincerely hope that Rachel finds out about the lie before decision day. Trust is the foundation of a marriage and keeping your word is what that foundation is built on. This breach would crack any foundation. We shall see if it can be fixed or if it comes crumbling down. 




Will the four couples choose to stay married or get a divorce? Watch the 2-hour Season Finale of Seven Year Switch, Tuesday at 9/8c on FYI