In this week's episode of FYI's Married At First Sight - The First Year, the couples move forward in their relationships and conversations of purchasing a home together and raising a family begin.
Oftentimes, men and women view this in a different light, and the #MAFSFirstYear couples are no different. Men tend to view it as a goal of financial stability and women often view it as an emotional commitment.
Jason and Cortney
As Jason and Cortney start to think more about next steps in their lives, Cortney decides it's time for Jason to see all that North Carolina has to offer. The girl is glowing at the thought of going home.
Although this was not the first time Cortney and Jason visited North Carolina, it is the first time they've had a crew with them to film it.
Cort gets down and dirty with her Cheetos fingers, pointing out Jason's driving flaws.
The first stop is meeting Cortney's BFF Marla and showing Jason what a successful family life could be like in Charlotte.
I seriously could not stand how sweet Jason was holding this baby. My heart melted like a big ole puddle on the floor. What a great dad he'll be some day.
Next, they research houses on Zillow and Cort shows Jason that they could live in a 5 bedroom mini mansion for less than a one bedroom studio in New York. Bam!
For dinner, Jason gets sushi and a hot seat with the crazy eight. They alternate between roasting and grilling him and the night was certainly full of hijinks. (First time I've heard the word too, girls!)
How cool is this shot? I may or may not have screamed a little with Cortney while watching this activity. White water rafting was exhilarating...
...and so were the words that flew across the table after.
Your girl needs a ring, Jason. Get on it, please. We can't handle more than one disgruntled couple on MAFSFirstYear.
The end of the trip brought them to Cortney's grandmother's grave. It was hard to see the raw and vulnerable emotion she was feeling. But if anyone knows what it's like, it's Jason. Seriously, how perfect are these two for each other?
Doug and Jamie
Doug and Jamie are clearly still struggling, but they put on a good front and try to enjoy Doug Sr.'s surprise birthday party.
I love how enthusiastic Jamie is about the party. She truly appreciates being part of a stable, loving family.
Back to reality...
One word...heartbreak. My heart hurt watching Jamie try so hard and Doug totally disengage. They are both individually experiencing so much pain and isolation. More thoughts on this in the "Bee in My Bonnet" section of the blog.
Jamie left everything behind when she moved to Jersey with Doug. Feeling desperately alone, she once again turns to Dr. Pepper for advice.
In her usual fashion, Dr. Pepper tells Jamie straight up that her ex-boyfriend has played a significant role in Doug's withdrawal. Dr. Pepper advises Jamie to communicate how she is feeling.
Dr. Pepper also tells it straight to Doug. Withholding the next steps of buying a home and starting a family makes Jamie feel unloved. Doug can see that when he shuts down, he misses opportunities to spend time with Jamie, which alienates her further.
Stepping it up, he organizes an afternoon of volunteering at a local dog shelter. Look at Jamie beam. Good job, Doug.
Dr. Pepper: In marriage, both partners have to be making real effort to support the relationship.
While they have been hit and miss at best, I'm starting to see real effort from both Jamie and Doug.
Neph and Jasmine
Wait...did Neph just call Jaz spoiled for driving less than an hour to work? Oh yes, he did.
Neph has been in relationships where the other person depended on him for everything. His concern is that Jasmine won't create her own life in New York. That seems reasonable.
Jasmine needs more time to get acclimated to moving to New York. She's looking for comfort instead of pressure. That seems reasonable too.
Just moving to New York is a brave thing to do. I have no doubt she's going to find her own way when she is ready.
I hope we see more of Neph and Jasmine when we return from the mid-season break. I love what these two bring to the show.
A Bee in My Bonnet
Our past greatly affects who we are today. It just does.
Jamie grew up feeling abandoned by both her mother and father. She grew up in poverty, often wondering how the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing would be met.
She had to become a mother to her siblings, quickly developing qualities of caring and nurturing and oftentimes putting their needs above her own.
It's no wonder the things she yearns for most in life are a stable relationship, a home and the close-knit family she never had.
When the four experts matched her with Doug, they knew he had all the qualities she was looking for on paper. Only life is never that perfect or that easy. Marriage still takes a ton of work...every...single...day.
So what happened with Doug and Jamie?
In many instances, when someone turns to another, it's because their needs aren't being met. There...I've said it.
Does that make her reaching out to her ex right? Absolutely not. Understandable? Yes.
Jamie gave up everything to move to New Jersey with Doug. As a very social person, it was hard for her to have no family, friends or professional colleagues to talk to or spend time with.
Did she fully communicate her needs to Doug and did he listen? Did Doug share how he was feeling with Jamie and did she listen? We know from my interview with Jamie, the answer is no. She shared the reason for their disconnect was primarily due to, "lack of communication and respect". Read my interview with Jamie here.
Instead of reaching out to each other and communicating openly to resolve their issues, they both shut down. The walls went up in an effort to protect themselves, causing further damage to the other.
How many couples experience this? What can we learn from watching Doug and Jamie's struggle? From watching Married At First Sight and getting stellar advice from the experts, my husband and I came up with a list of golden nuggets:
- Although conflict in a relationship is often seen as negative, it can be a way to learn from and grow with each other, but only if it is dealt with respectfully.
- Being actively engaged in the process is key. It's important to listen whole-heartedly with an open heart and mind.
- Start with addressing the topic with "I" statements to avoid making accusations and placing blame on the other.
- Get specific with your needs and don't talk in generalities, expecting the other person to "get it".
- Allow your partner to respond with their perspective. Really try to see the issue from each other's point of view. Remember, you don't have to agree with them to understand how they are feeling.
- Avoid shutting down. Communication stops when it is one-sided.
- Find points that you can agree on and build a foundation from there. It's not about winning or losing, rather finding a solution you can both live with.
- Concessions must be made by each person. True growth takes place when both people feel respected, honored and valued in a relationship.
Read my interview with Jamie Otis here:
Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live Tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight #MAFS or #MAFSFirstSeason
Read my Married at First Sight The First Year Blogs here:
Married at First Sight The First Year S:2 E:3 Not Cool Jamie
Married at First Sight The First Year S:2 E:4 Wrong Path in Life
Read my Married At First Sight Top Tweets here:
Screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI network