Briana and Matt Spotlight

We hope you’re all enjoying Little Women Couples Retreat! It’s the show that takes an in-depth look into what makes love work. We’re really excited because relationship expert, Hasani Pettiford has agreed to recap Episode 3 by walking us through the often volatile marriage of Little Women: LA’s Briana and Matt. 

When the Going Gets Tough…

The first scene of episode 3 of Little Women Couples Retreat started out with fireworks. What was supposed to be a tranquil poolside breakfast, soon became a ringside spectacle. Brianna embarrassingly suffered a verbal lashing from a very intoxicated Matt, which quickly escalated into a group altercation. As the entire cast rose to Brianna’s defense, Matt became more furious. In classic Briana fashion, she both justified and defended his public rant during breakfast. ‘Drinking his breakfast’, unfortunately, created a buzz which lasted throughout the day.  Not only did it show up at breakfast, the effects of it rose its ugly head that evening at the fire-pit.

Matt, like many men, lives in his own duality; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one body. In other words, he suffers from the Dr. Jekyll /Mr. Hyde schism. While Matt can be very charming and fun-loving, he also exhibits a dark side that puts others at risk. Matt’s internal turmoil creates a very unstable and unhealthy home environment for Brianna and the kids.

As a counselor, I do recognize that Matt has a lot of personal work to do. And, with the right program, recovery is possible. I have worked with countless men who have struggled with similar issues and have completely transformed their lives and marriages. So, there is still hope. Whoever says there is no hope is slamming the door in the face of God.

While the group heads to the beach to go deep sea snorkeling, Matt refuses to get on the boat which robs Brianna of a day of fun in the sun. This is the second group activity Matt independently decides to bow out of which put Briana in another awkward position. While in preparation for our session, Brianna gives Matt permission to call her out on anything, if that makes him feel better. Once again, a very bruised Briana, gives her husband permission to shirk responsibility for his actions.

Fortunately, during our couples session I experienced a very sober Matt. It allowed us all to broach the subject of past indiscretions and inappropriate behavior that have compromised their marriage. While Matt emotionally admitted to seeking attention from other women during turbulent times, Brianna was faced with a question that she could not answer. “Do you believe you deserve to be in a happy and healthy, mutually beneficial relationship?”

Much like Brianna, many people struggle with the fear of abandonment and self-esteem issues which keeps them trapped in circumstances that are less than desirable. Likewise, when there are no consequences for bad behavior, an environment for repeat offenses is created. In order for their marriage to work, Brianna must gain some strength and establish her own personal ‘must-haves’ and ‘non-negotiables’.

My 12-year career working with couples has revealed a very clear distinction between men and women. Generally speaking, women are motivated by the ‘hope of gain’ and men are motivated by the ‘fear of loss’. So, when a man realizes that stiff consequences are associated with bad behavior, he is motivated to operate in relational/sexual integrity. When Brianna finally decides to be uncompromising in what she wants for the relationship everything changes.

The good news is that there are several episodes in the season. There is still enough time to turn things around. Let’s all continue to root for Matt and Briana’s personal and martial recovery.

                                                Click here to learn more about Hasani and his relationship-saving advice!

And tune into Little Women Couples Retreat every Wednesday at 9PM, on Lifetime! 

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