Monday, November 30, 2015

Married At First Sight The First Year S:2 E:7 Slap in the Face

The last episode before the mid-season break of Married At First Sight The First Year on FYI leaves viewers in turmoil. 

Jason has great angst about his decision to contact his father and half sister, Neph is struggling to commit to Jasmine and Jamie can't seem to leave her ex in the past and focus solely on Doug. 

How will this all turn out? Unfortunately, we'll be in for a long wait...hanging off of a the skin of our nails...holding our breath...

Jason and Cortney

First and foremost in Jason's mind this week, is finding his father and half-siblings. A quick search on the internet brings up so many unanswered questions. How does he approach them? What would he say? Do they even care about him? What does he expect to come out of it?

A favorite Jason moment was when he said, "I was like, I'll forgive and not forget, but that's so close-minded". 

Cortney once again gives stellar advice. For them to move on in their lives, it's important for Jason to heal those wounds that were NOT his fault. YES!!! Have I said how much I adore this girl? 

Dr. Pepper shares her lens with Jason. Perhaps his family knows the hurt they have caused him and are embarrassed by it. Make a decision if you just want answers or a real emotional connection and be ready to accept the answers. 

We love the return of that smile...

...but it ends all too quickly. Cortney hires a private detective and they uncover the mysteries of his past in the manilla envelope. The pain is so evident and Jason is getting tied up in knots just talking about it. Angry, hurt, sad and abandoned don't even begin to describe how he feels. It's a slap in the face.  

After a quick breath of air to clear his mind, Jason comes to terms that he cannot move forward in his life until he makes peace with his past. Cortney remains the rock, forever by his side.

While he's not ready to reach out to his father, he decides to send his half-sister an email message. 

I love everything about this couple and what they represent. 

Their journey from the beginning has been the definition of courage. Although scared with their lives constantly changing, they've pushed through it together. That's what real love and marriage is about. 

Doug and Jamie

Doug and Jamie finally take some time to do fun, normal washing their cars... 

...with Doug rocking a mullet and Jamie nixing the chicken cutlets... 

...they finally connect after a low-key soap fight. How thrilled are we that there is no mention of the ex in this conversation? 

Now it's time for a much needed date night. Doug finally figures out that by dismissing Jamie's need to talk about a home and family, it makes her feel that he doesn't see a future with her. At least he's listening to Dr. Pepper's advice.

Jamie, on the other hand, is not. Here we go again. Anyone else had it up to their eyeballs with the ex talk?  Doug appears to be getting to the end of his rope...and who can blame him. 

Life according to Jamie...things that make 
you go hmmm...

It's only respectful to Doug to introduce him to my ex.

I have to get my stuff from his house. 

It's not a thing anymore, at all, and that's the point of you guys meeting.

He's still my best friend. I can't just like cut him out. I can't break that link. 

I just want to see you guys meet. I want to see you get along and be friends.

Obviously it's going to be awkward and strange, but it doesn't have to be.  


In closing, if you follow Jamie on social media and read her blog, you know she has said repeatedly that this season has been brutal for her. She's horrified at watching herself and how selfish she's been. I'm hoping that means the ex will be put to rest soon and she will put her whole heart into her marriage with Doug.  

Neph and Jasmine

I love the dimension that Neph and Jasmine add to #MAFSFirstYear. In addition to their budding romance, the friendship forming between Jasmine and Cortney and the ongoing brotherhood of Neph and Jason is heartwarming to see.

Having said that, I feel just as confused as Jasmine by Neph's lack of empathy towards her family values regarding marriage. This is not about small town mentality. It's about respect. 

I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he makes it hard, when Jas tells him she feels hurt by his attitude and he laughs at her. 

I'm thinking it's a nervous laugh and not a degrading laugh. 

Another thing that confuses me is the bright yellow tube socks. Is this a New York thing or does Neph just march to the beat of his own drum?

Say unique New York five times...

Pressure, pressure, everywhere. Neph feels it from Jasmine, her family, his mother and even the realtor.

He is such an enigma. While he wants to by a house to give Jas more privacy, he announces it will be in his name only. I totally get it and at the same time, I totally don't.

No wonder Jasmine feels unsure of the relationship and where their future is headed. Closet space isn't the only thing lacking, nor is it the real reason for her ultimatum. 

The message is clear...make permanent room for her in your life, or she may not return...

That's it until the mid-season break is over in February. Until then, I'll be blogging and live tweeting Married at First Sight Season 3

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

Screencaps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Married At First Sight - The First Year S:2 E:7 Top Tweets

Top Tweets
Live Tweeting during Married at first Sight is a culture all unto itself.
This is the last Top Tweets blog until Married at First Sight - The First Year resumes in mid-February so here we go! 

Married At First Sight The First Year will be back on FYI in February for more fun and of course, drama with Jason, Cortney, Doug, Jamie, Neph and Jasmine!

Watch for my Married At First Sight (#MAFS) Season 3 Top Tweets blog next week! Woot! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cortney Hendrix - Transformed on Married At First Sight - The First Year

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since I first interviewed Cortney Hendrix from FYI's Married at First Sight. What a journey it's been. We've seen her go from the sweet, joyous wonder of falling in love with Jason, to the inner struggle to find happiness in the first season of Married At First Sight -The First Year, to the strong and confident woman who is a rock in their marriage today. The transformation she's made right before our eyes, is nothing less than remarkable. 

What caused Cortney to go from pure bliss to the path of despair? How did she overcome her struggle to find happiness? What has made her into the woman she is today? 

I had the opportunity to ask Cortney about her personal transformation and she was honest, open and real with her responses.

First of all, let me just say how amazed I am that at such a young age, you have such a wealth of relationship knowledge. Each week I watch in awe as you guide and support Jason, Jasmine, Neph and others. How did you obtain this knowledge?
Growing up, I was very fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful examples of healthy and happy marriages; ones that shared a love for God and kept Christ at it's core. My parents have been married 33 years, and my grandparents just 4 months shy of 70 years (when my Grandmother Hendrix passed away). It wasn't until I was an adult - a married one - that I began to understand the lessons of life and love that my parents had been teaching me my entire life. 

Who would you say was your most significant role model regarding relationships?
My father taught me how to love myself and how I should be treated by a man. My mother was and still is, my best friend. She taught me how to love another person more than anything in the world. She taught me how to be deeply compassionate and nurturing, but also to be a warrior for those I love. She taught me how to protect those that can't protect themselves, like children. They both taught me these things through example. They are my role models.

Also, since Married at First Sight-The First Year Season 1, I've read a LOT of books. Some of my favorite and absolute best are; The 5 Languages of Love, by Gary D. Chapman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John M. Gotten and Nan Silver and Captivating and Love & War, by John and Stasi Eldredge.

We saw you struggle to find yourself during the time that Jason attended the fire academy. Can tell us what that was like for you?
While Jason was in the academy, both of our lives were changing drastically. We were both completely emotionally exhausted and Jason was also physically exhausted. With so many things changing (not necessarily for the good), I felt out of control and became depressed.
I also began doubting myself and Jason's love for me. My reaction to this fear and doubt was becoming needy, incredibly emotional and on edge. I was unhappy with myself but internally, I refused to accept responsibility. Instead of looking inside myself and in the mirror, I became desperate to place the blame on something or someone else. I would not accept my reality and our relationship suffered because of this.

The holidays added double the pressure on both Jason and I last year, as well. We were grieving silently and alone, both repressing intense pain and emotion and not trusting each other. Eventually, it began to spew out. This was our relationship for the majority of Married At First Sight - The First Year, Season 1.

What was your turning point?
The turning point was when I allowed myself to get my emotions out. I cried. I slept. I wallowed. I got the emotions out and then my pity party came to an end. This is when I made the choice to take back control of my life and my happiness. I decided I would not allow depression to control my life. I was the solution to my own problem. 

Can you share what you did specifically to move beyond that?
The book, Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge, changed me. This book allowed me to take the first step towards getting the help that I needed, to process an emotional past event. It led me back to Christ. My faith had taken a back seat during all of this. God was, and still is, my saving Grace.

Can you tell us about your new job?

After leaving Teads in January of 2015, I had a ton of work to do on myself before I could even think about getting any professional makeup jobs. After working on the movie, "Tower of Silence" this summer, I got the boost of professional confidence I needed to go out there and do what I love! 

My projects and jobs are always changing, which is one reason I love my job so much. I work as a makeup artist (and special effects) in film, television, internet/digital, live events, theatre and bridal makeup. I am working towards becoming part of the East Coast Makeup Artist union. I am currently working on writing and developing a web series and have recently accepted a position on a sic-fi feature film as the Makeup Department head.

Wow, that's amazing and sounds like so much fun! How often to you travel and how has that affected your relationship with Jason?
Traveling is frequent as a makeup artist and often, last minute. Jason and I make sure that we make the most of the time we do get to spend together.

In the second season of Married At First Sight The First Year, you and Jason start having conversations about planting roots. What do you value the most when thinking about buying a home and raising a family with Jason?
I am so excited to raise a family and build a home with Jason! The most important things to me when building a life with Jason are:
  • keeping Christ in our marriage & home is the #1 priority
  • building a home together. Both of us must be happy and willing in whatever/wherever place we end up planting roots as a married couple and raising a family.
  • since family is incredibly important to both me and Jason, it's important to me that we are a car or plane ride away from those we love
  • having a home that we will live in and never leave

Share with us your biggest challenges as a wife, when watching Jason struggle with having an absent father and then his decision to locate his father and half-siblings.
Some of the biggest challenges for me as Jason's wife currently:
  • keeping our communication open and honest
  • creating  comfortable space to help Jason feel all these emotions that he has shut down from his past. This is my biggest challenge, but incredibly important! Jason needs me to support him and comfort him - not tell him how to feel.
  • asking tough questions about sensitive subjects and not being afraid of what the answers might be; having compassion to do this gently and still creating a safe space for Jason not to feel embarrassed or judged in any way 

What's the five year plan? 
Traveling, having stable careers, becoming homeowners, having children and definitely still being in love. 


Viewers from all over can learn lessons of kindness, caring and compassion from this amazing young woman. 

Tune in to Married At First Sight - The First Year on FYI, Tuesdays at 9/8c, to see Cortney and Jason take steps to achieve their five-year plan.

Screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI network

Monday, November 23, 2015

Married At First Sight S:2 E:6 Hijinks

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

Jasmine joins Neph for lunch and the talk quickly turns to the subject of her finding a job.

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 

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. 

The last thing she expected, was to find herself totally alone in her marriage, too. 

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. 

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

Read my interview with Jamie Otis here:

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

Screen caps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI network