MAFS: Evidence exposed as spouses are trapped
Married At First Sight wives clash in a showdown at Sunday night's commitment ceremony where two people are trapped against their will and one wife does what we all wish we could do: read aloud a handwritten list detailing all the things we hate about our partner.
If you tell me you don't have a secret Notes file on your iPhone dedicated to documenting a comprehensive archive of your partner's mistakes so you've got evidence to call on in an argument, you're lying. Or, you know, you just have healthier relationships than me. Jury's out.
Two people are trapped in a hell they can't escape tonight and this is the best bit about the commitment ceremonies. When a relationship gets putrid, one person begs to leave, but then the other person gets completely passive aggressive and chooses to stay - which then traps the first person for another week. The look of terror in the spouse's eyes as they realise they have to endure one more week is superb. The only thing that would make it better is if the experts yelled in unison, "Ya trapped!". TV shows should absolutely have more fun catchphrases like this.
But we don't wanna start with negativity. We want to witness an upstanding example of love from the two most together people this experiment has ever seen: Hayley and David.
"Is there a sexual relationship," Dr Trisha asks.
"Yeah, we do Trish. It's a bit of a one hit wonder right now, but we're working on it. Ya mum's gonna be so proud," Hayley growls, gripping David in a headlock.
We're still recovering from David's sex confession earlier in the week, but he goes ahead and traumatises us again.
"It was probably strawberry or chocolate because it wasn't vanilla!" he grins.
Great. Now they've ruined sex and, more importantly, all ice cream.
"Up next, Chris and Vanessa!" John Aiken shouts.
"Who?" we squint.
Oh. These two. We haven't seen or heard from them since their wedding. They're … how do we say this delicately … boring. I'm pretty sure producers have even stopped allocating them a film crew. We don't hang around to see their decisions and swiftly move on.
Things have been tense for Natasha and Ten Second Mikey since Natasha told that joke about Mikey lasting 10 seconds in the bedroom which then led to all of Australia referring to him exclusively as Ten Second Mikey. Honestly, people should really grow up.
Anyway, they have the same old fight we saw last week and Natasha chooses to stay and we're about to check out but then Mikey finally does something interesting.
"She's fiery but there's a good fire and a bad fire. And so right now, I think it's best for me to leave."
Ooh. We hear your cries for help Mikey, but unfortunately you won't be leaving tonight becaaaaaause … YA TRAPPED!
Suddenly, Dr Hayley enters the ward to give her diagnosis.
Cathy and Josh whirl on up to the couch and Cathy is white with terror. They're the most content couple on this show, so you'd think that's a good thing. Wrong! Cathy is obviously concerned their happiness will lead to them becoming a Chris and Vanessa and we'll promptly forget about them and strip them of their camera crew. So Cathy makes up some drama.
She says she saw Josh talking to Hayley at the dinner party during the week and she starts crying about it and Josh says if she can't trust him then he's leaving.
We shrug and sigh, "Fine, leave". Obviously we've called their bluff and they both choose to stay. They receive a formal warning and if they waste our time again with fake drama we will absolutely strip them of their camera crew like Mork and Vivienne.
Next! Ugh, it's the elderly couple. They sit at opposite ends of the couch and Mishel stares witheringly at Steve.
"I'm very, very aware of how you try to control me. And I've got a LIST of stuff!" Mishel declares. Ooh! A list! This commitment ceremony is finally looking up!
Keeping a list of grievances about your partner is extremely healthy. I treat relationships like a court trial where I'm both the prosecutor and defence. I'm constantly ready to either attack or rebut with watertight evidence that I archive in the Notes app on my phone. It's nothing crazy - just a list of times, dates, occurrences, quotes and screenshots that I feel I may need to draw on in future arguments to either prove my own accusations or, more frequently, escape accusations levelled at me. Sometimes, I'll even print things out so, as just as my argument is gearing up, I can pull it out from behind a couch cushion and scream, "Exhibit A!".
As the token elderly person on this show, Mishel doesn't know what the Notes app is, so she has recorded her evidence in a handwritten document. From experience, if you do it this way you've got to keep it in a good hiding spot - people tend to freak out when they find a book of intricate observations you've made about them. It happened with my colleagues. Jeez, you keep a notebook on your desk to record all the annoying things Lisa and Elisabeth do and suddenly someone finds it and it's being shared around the office before you wind up in HR again. What happened to privacy?
Anyway, Mishel whips out her Burn Book and starts loudly reading from it.
"Can I go through my list?" Mishel asks.
"Like you even need to ask," we gush.
"So, I'm not allowed to swear," she begins. "I'm not allowed to say I'm going to wee or poo - I have to say, 'use the bathroom'. I want him to sit at my eye level - but he likes to stand. I train hard ass guys, I know how to intimidate someone. That's a standoff tactic that I use on my students."
We're all kinda underwhelmed by her Burn Book, so rush them both into giving their decisions.
"I'm outta here!" Mishel shouts while holding up her card - the words "LEAVE!" scrawled in crude capital letters as if they were written by someone trapped in a hell they can't escape.
"You can have the ring too!" she adds, throwing it on the table.
But it all comes down to Steve.
"When I wrote my vows, I said too many people give up too quickly. Let's not be those people," he says, deciding to stay.
Pick up that ring and pop it back on, Mishel, because ya trapped!
Speaking of people being trapped, Amanda rolls up to the couch and declares Tash summoned her to solitary confinement.
"If you wanted to make this work you would have lived with me!" she yells.
"Everyone here has had issues, do you see them running for the hills?" Amanda pushes.
And with that, Dr Hayley enters the ward again to put out yet another fire with her unsolicited advice.
"Dave ran for the hills and we're all right," she calls out. Amanda looks at her in confusion.
"You're saying, 'Have you seen people' … and there has been people in the same situation as you guys. What Tash is doing, I did on my honeymoon, yeah? I closed down, I collapsed. We went ass up, ass up, ass up."
Amanda tries to cut her off but Hayley has seen a lot of Maury Povich and she knows just to keep talking over her, loudly.
"No no no lemme finish," she says. But just before Hayley can say "there's no 'relationship' in 'I'," Amanda slaps her down.
"This is our f**king fight now. With all due respect, pipe it. pipe it," Amanda barks. "This is not about you, Hayley. You've had your argument now shut the f**k up."
Tash pulls out a piece of paper and we get excited because we think it's another Burn Book. But it's just a civilised letter to Amanda. Obviously we tune out.
There's nothing left to fight about. It doesn't matter anymore. They both choose to leave.
Amanda delivers some beautiful words about how she wishes her relationship with Tash worked so that all of Australia could see how great gay relationships are. She wanted this marriage to be a shining example of the love that flourishes in the gay community - and for people to see it's the same as the love shared by the heterosexual couples on this show.
But this relationship isn't a fail. I mean, it was - Amanda and Tash had a sucky marriage. But it was still a fabulous example. Because it shows that us gays are just as emotionally volatile and dysfunctional as the straight people on this show.
We're all the same, guys. It's beautiful.
Watch Not Here To Make Friends live every Sunday and Wednesday straight after MAFS, when James Weir is joined by guests live on Facebook and news.com.au, discussing the couples' ups, downs, sideways, pimples, pashing and misjudged PDAs.
The podcast will be available on news.com.au, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all the usual suspects straight after the live stream.