Newlyweds: The First Year

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Issues to Consider

A lot of shows on the Bravo network only provide a guilty pleasure, but a new show caught my eye because it deals with the first year of marriage, which can be a challenging time for any couple. The series follows four couples for a year, all of whom are in very different situations. They deal with issues like money, sex, a short courtship, familial approval of the relationship, and control. I will be writing up a blog each week as the episodes unfold, and talking about the issues that come up.

In the first episode of Newlyweds the first year, we get to know the couples as they lead up to their wedding day. If you want to get to know how the couples met, visit these clips on Bravo’s website.

Two of the issues that struck me in the very first episode were family approval and fighting in front of other people. One of the couples, Jeff and Blair, are gay men who face the challenge of family acceptance. While Blair’s family is supportive of their relationship, Jeff does not have the same support; his family doesn’t support him being gay or taking his relationship to a civil union.

It is common for one or both sides of a couple’s family members to not be fully accepting of a relationship, especially for those in a same sex commitment.  No matter what, this can  be extremely painful.  Starting a marriage together without both sides supporting the commitment can get old, and definitely be very painful.  We all want full acceptance and support.   To better cope, it is crucial to get to root of your vulnerable pains and aches, rather than letting frustrations build up and lead to and boiling points and arguments in your marriage. Be there for each other as a team, and remember that no matter what you are creating your own support system and family.

Another couple, Tina and Tarz, have been dating for several years and Tina is a pop star in India. She can be very outspoken and particular about what she wants. At their wedding ceremony, her new husband performs a skit as a part of the Indian wedding tradition, and he accidentally breaks her cell phone. When she sees, she screams (in front of all wedding guests!) “You #*&%!!” The look on his face says it all: he is worried and embarrassed.

Being able to “tell people whats on your mind” can be a strength so you don’t leave people guessing what you are thinking or feeling.  On the other hand, it might come out a bit rough from time to time if you don’t put effort on softening the blow.  As Tina shows, her feelings fly out of her mouth and cause harm to her partner.  Her frustrations send a message that her partner can’t make mistakes, and there is no room for conversation in a vulnerable way. because she will slam him with foul language. The relationship is no longer safe guarded and her frustations take over.  The only thing this does is push a partner further and further away.


About Jennine Estes, MFT

Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653