tv

'I resented Seven Year Switch being on television. Then it changed my marriage.'

Let’s not lie, when these “controversial” shows about relationships crop up, we all roll our eyes and think “what fresh hell is this?”

I was the same. Shows such as “Married at First Sight”, “First Dates” and “Seven Year Switch” never really interested me – I’m much more of a Soprano’s and Mad Men kind of girl.

But myself, my husband, and countless others were pulled into the show about couples – who are in dire straits with their current partner and unsure about their future. They are then paired with new ones and shipped out of their homes.

Whilst I don’t believe the show is quite as controversial, experimental and explosive as the promos suggest, it has certainly proved irresistible to my husband and I.

Watch as Mamamia staff share the moment when they knew their relationships were over. Post continues after video… 

The series started by introducing the four couples to us – detailing the various gripes each of them have about their spouse and relationship in general. They are then paired with someone who physiologist suggests are more like minded to them, and different from their partner.

Throughout the series, the “new couples” are put in various situations forcing them to open up about their feelings about themselves, their partner, their issues and what made them take part in the experiment. Through discussions with their “new partner” and the psychologists, they explore where they have been going wrong in their relationship and acquire tools to help them better communicate their feelings and needs to their partner.

What I didn’t expect as a result of watching Seven Year Switch was that I’d enjoy it. I also didn’t expect it to generate a dialogue between myself and my husband about marriage and relationships in general.

Source: Screenshot/Channel 7

Once a week, we sit down together to watch the show and deliberate over the lives of complete strangers. We give our opinion on each of the couples, such as who we think is in the wrong in certain situations and what we think they should do moving forward. We also compare it to our own relationship both the similarities and differences there are.

We talk openly and honestly about all the issues raised in the show. Jealously, sex, expectations, support, communication and so much more. We debate about the topics, agree on some, disagree on others, but mostly just vocalise our opinions.

As the show draws to a conclusion this week, we will learn if the couples choose to stay together, or if they will part ways. We have each had a guess about the outcome and are eager to see how the show concludes.

Source: Screenshot/Channel 7

The part of the show I have enjoyed most is definitely the chats with my husband after and sometimes during the episode. I like to think that we communicate pretty well in our marriage, we often have discussions about our relationship and how it has progressed over the years.

ADVERTISEMENT

My husband and I are similar in ways and very different in others. Having a forum to discuss our differing opinions about issues in relationships has been refreshing and provided so much food for thought.

We don’t always agree, but we respect the alternate opinion the other provides. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when you are faced with these issues in your own relationship. When you fight or have a disagreement with your partner there are so many emotions involved. You are hurt; you are upset, you are angry. Often rational thinking does not form come into play. We can be so much more rational in our reasoning when we are not emotionally involved.

Source: Screenshot/Channel 7

I think these discussions have inspired us both to communicate more efficiently, to improve all aspects of our relationship with tolerance, acceptance and encouragement. We have such a strong feeling of positivity at the end of each episode and after each discussion.

Maybe that’s the thing about “reality” television. Yes we watch it for entertainment, for escapism and sometimes for a “guilty pleasure” (I do love those Kardashians). But it can also be a tool for so much more. To provide inspiration, to teach us new lessons and to encourage discussion.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???