Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Real Talk With Jamie Otis from Married At First Sight - The First Year

One thing we know for certain, is that Married At First Sight viewers are a close-knit family. Many have followed the Cinderella story of Season 1 couple Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner since the show first aired, the Fall of 2014. 

When it appeared almost overnight that Jamie and Doug went from being over the moon in love at their vow renewal, to having a pretty significant disconnect, fans were shocked and lines were drawn in the sand.  

What led to the disconnect that viewers were so disheartened to see? According to Jamie, it was, "lack of communication and lack of respect, primarily." 

Each week as I combed through hundreds of #MAFSFirstYear tweets for my blog, it became increasingly more challenging to find the once humorous, light-hearted and supportive tweets for Jamie and Doug. People began voicing their thoughts and opinions in a very passionate way. 

Jamie became the recipient of a tremendous amount of negativity on social media. In addition to the plethora of messages attacking her personal character, viewers advised Doug to RUN, said Jamie is not good enough for him and that he should divorce her. Ouch.

Jamie admits, "I get it. My thoughts are wrong. My actions are questionable. But I'm sincerely trying my best. Last night before we went to sleep, I asked Doug why he thought people think I'm such a villain. And he said, 'Because you're honest. Other people hide their ugly truths. You've never done that.' "

Jamie explained in a recent blogpost on jamieotis.com, that people only share happy, positive lives on social media and not struggles. She adds, "When my husband Doug and I found ourselves in an unhappy marriage, I almost felt like I had to keep up with the charades."  So she avoided what was really going on by posting happy thoughts about family and friends. Without the cameras there to film their lowest moments in which they barely spoke, it was easy to hide the truth. 

However, when it came time to start filming again, Jamie and Doug were brutally honest with FYI and production company Kinetic Content, about the fact that they were at an all time low in their marriage. "We couldn't paste a smile on and invite friends over to join us for dinner when we weren't even eating dinner together," Jamie said.

And true to the integrity we've come to know with both Kinetic Content and FYI,  they kept the show authentic, changed the happy, fun format and flew in Dr. Pepper Schwartz to give the couple the help they so desperately needed. That's when things got real. The conversations were gut-wrenching, to say the least. 

Like many viewers, I wondered what Jamie was thinking when she brought up her feelings for her ex to Doug. The question that was on everyone's mind...is honesty truly the best policy? 

That is an individual decision each person must make. For Jamie, she knew first and foremost, she had to share her thoughts with Doug. "I don't want to lie to my husband. I'm not going to deceive him. I've only known one way my whole life and that's to be real and genuine," she says.

That doesn't make it easy to watch herself each week. Jamie has admitted in her blog she is 100% wrong for having the feelings she was having.

She shares, "It is so difficult to see my own actions and thoughts replayed. I am truly trying to be a better wife and a better person - but I also don't want to be a mat where I'm walked all over. Watching it back, I can see where I'm so difficult to be married to. I can see where I could try harder and have more patience. It's all a learning process."

What have I, as a viewer, learned? Our words have the ability to either tear people apart in their struggle, or to lift them up. In light of what has happened in the world in recent days, I choose to to lift them up. I commend Jamie and Doug for putting themselves out there in the most grievous of times in their relationship, so that we may learn and grow with them. I honor them for being honest and real. There are lessons in this for all of us. Perhaps the most important, is to love. 

Will Jamie and Doug be able to find true happiness again?

Watch Married At First Sight -The First Year Tuesdays, at 9/8c on FYI 

Read Jamie's thoughts on Married At First Sight -The First Year, here: jamieotis.com

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

All screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI Network

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