We tuned into an epic reunion show of Seven Year Switch last night.
Three patched-up couples beamed at the cameras, reinvigorated with love and passion and fight, each celebrating their own milestones. Weddings! Baby bellies! Strange beachside proposals with tattoo vouchers!
It was all going on.
But while the celebrations of teeny tiny arrivals gained the attention of many, there was a group of viewers who felt a twang of pride for an unlikely pair – the only pair to go their separate ways – Michelle and Jason.
Watch a snippet of the reunion episode below (post continues after video).
That proud group is made up of kids who are products of broken marriages. A group who knows what it’s like to witness a messy separation, to be part of a divided family and to love two bleeding, shattered parents irrevocably. A group of which I am a member.
It might sound crazy, but I see Michelle and Jason as the success story of Seven Year Switch.
Sure, it wasn’t a Disneyesque ending. There were no miracle baby announcements, proclamations of undying love or glittering diamond rings, but there was peace. There was mutual respect. There was a sense of overwhelming relief. And above all, right there on our TV screens was a shining example of what a separated marriage can – and should – look like.
"We tried, but at the end of the day, we decided to separate," a tearful Michelle said last night. "It got to the stage where we looked at each other and we couldn't try anymore."
And try they did. These two did not walk away from their marriage, or from their commitment to each other, lightly. This was no snap decision made in the heat of the moment, but one that had weighed Michelle and Jason down for years.
"I was trying everything I can honestly say I've tried everything possible," Jason said. "But we got to the point where we talked about it and realised that the best thing for us to do was separate."
No child would ever ask their parents to continue "suffering under each other's pressure" in the hopes of keeping a dead love alive. No child wants to come home to a household paralysed with bitter tension. No child wants to feel like they are the reason their parents are trapped in misery. And I can say from experience that Michelle and Jason's kids will be better off with happy parents who live in different homes, than sad parents who merely co-exist in the same one.
A married couple doesn't equate to a happy family, and what Michelle and Jason showed us is that a strong, modern parenting relationship isn't dependent on wearing a wedding band.
"We spend more quality time together now than what we did before," the mum-of-two said. "I love Jason with all my heart and I still do. He is my best friend and I'm the luckiest woman in the world because I got to have my babies with my best friend.
"We will be in each other's lives forever and I can't imagine a better person than that to be as Jason. We might not live in the same house anymore, but we will always be family. I love my children more than I could ever be angry or dislike him. He is still my children's father and I love them."
I don't know how the other relationships will turn out. Perhaps this really is the beginning of their happily ever afters. But what I do know is that Michelle says she feels "stronger". I know that her kids are getting more quality time with mum and dad. I also know they're no longer stuck in a house where anger and resentment accompany dinner every night.
If you thought that Michelle and Jason lost their fight, you'd be wrong. Because it's never easy to walk away. Hell, it's undoubtedly the hardest thing parents have to do.
But to do so with such grace, such respect and such love showed us that sometimes the most courageous decision - and the best decision - is to go your separate ways.
While they were the only couple who left the experience as two singles, Michelle and Jason were the success story of Seven Year Switch.