After weeks of speculation about what was to come, Seven Year Switch came to an end on Tuesday night.
And while all four couples committed to stay together and work on their relationships, there was one pair who stood apart from the pack for all the wrong reasons.
From the get go, Brad and Tallena’s relationship raised question marks. Brad had a fiery temper and an inability to express his feelings. Tallena was shut down or yelled at whenever she expressed a different opinion, which left her feeling as though she had no voice.
Before the show, the Queensland couple were engaged, but due to Brad’s spending the wedding had been postponed. Whenever they fought, Brad would take Tallena’s engagement ring away and hold it ransom until “they” were happy again.
On the rare occasions where Tallena did do things for herself, Brad would lose his temper and detail in great length how it had affected him, how it made him feel, why his irrational response was in some way her fault.
Tallena and Brad at the start of the experiment. Source: Channel 7.
And on Tuesday night's final episode, this emotionally abusive behaviour became more glaring and more unsettling than ever before.
Having been reunited the previous week, Tallena advised Brad that she wasn't yet ready to come home and decided to stay at a hotel while she collected her thoughts.
And look, that kind of news would naturally upset and disappoint anyone, I understand that. Especially if you'd been making plans to surprise someone and show them how much you love them.
But Brad's response was extreme. He hung up on Tallena's phone call. He sped off in his car. He ripped up a cheque he'd written out that was set to go towards their wedding. "What I need her to tell me is why the fuck she done it to me," he told the camera.
To me. Not to us. Not why she feels this way. Not, 'I want to understand why her uncertainty remains and what I can do to repair that.' It was "why the fuck she done it to me."
Preparing to be reunited, Tallena appeared anxious, commenting that Brad didn't ask her once how she was or what she was thinking. But the real clincher was her final comment, when she admitted, "I'm just a bit worried that I pushed him a little bit too far yesterday with wanting another night to myself."
Tallena spent much of the series in tears over Brad's tempremental behaviour. Source: Channel 7.
When Tallena did return home to join Brad and the therapists, she was given the silent treatment, before the manipulation was lay on fast and thick.
"I was destroyed," Brad told her. "Because you know how much birthdays mean to me and to you," he said through tears.
Explaining that she had needed more time, Brad began to give Tallena presents, one by one.
After some jewellery and an emotional card outlining all the ways in which Tallena balances him out, Brad handed over a card, saying "It's probably going to hurt you, but it's going to hurt me more."
Me me me me me me me.
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Inside the envelope was the ripped up cheque. "I could have bought you anything. I could have shown you so many ways how much I love you. But not coming home yesterday absolutely ruined me," Brad told her.
And right when she was on the edge of fear - thinking that she had lost him and that he was no longer in the fight and that she had pushed him too far - he handed over another card, with a new cheque, reassuring her that it was still okay. This time.
Through that ripped up cheque, Brad made a very clear vow to Tallena in front of a nation of viewers.
If she ever doubts their relationship, if she ever leaves him, if thinks of herself before them as a couple there will be consequences, and he will not be responsible for them.
Because after all, she's his everything. She is the woman that he loves. She is the one that makes him happy, that takes care of him, that calms him down.
If she had just followed the rules in the house he wouldn't have written that now infamous letter.
If she had just come home at the end of the show, he wouldn't have ripped up the cheque.
If she just had of believed that he'd changed, he wouldn't have lost control of his emotions again.
Brad did not respond well to Tallena taking time out for herself. Source: Channel 7.
Throughout this show, Brad consistently shifted his responsibility of self care onto another, and by doing so has an eternal excuse for why he's not responsible for what happens next.
But what I want to know is, how all of this happened in front of two psychologists with neither of them stepping in at any point and discussed why this behaviour was highly abusive.
Thousands of viewers wanted to know the same thing, taking to Facebook and Twitter with similar answers.
So the predicament is this: either those therapists are rubbish at their jobs, or the show has presented an untruthful account of Brad and Tallena's relationship in the interest of ratings.
If Brad and/or Tallena come out saying the latter, we need to ask why an emotionally abusive relationship of a now married couple was televised to millions of people in the first place.