'Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars' recap: Couples play "Blame Game," Juelia Kinney devastated over JJ Lane letter
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/30/2017
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars featured the Season 9 couples playing the "Blame Game," allowing the celebrities to discover how much blame weighs on a relationship and takes a toll on one's spirit.
This season of Marriage Boot Campdocuments the following couples attempting to work through their issues: Bachelor in Paradise stars JJ Lane and Juelia Kinney, Teen Mom 2 star Kailyn Lowry and estranged husband Javi Marroquin, Bad Girls Club star Mehgan James and boyfriend DeAndre Perry, Shahs of Sunset stars Asifa Mirza and Bobby Panahi, and Love & Hip Hop: New York stars Amina Buddafly and Peter Gunz.
All of the couples try to overcome their scandals, dark secrets, and emotional or physical cheating under the guidance and with the help of therapists Dr. Venus Nicolino and Dr. Ish Major.
On Day 3 of the journey to better and healthier relationships, Juelia was still reeling from the letter JJ had written her one day prior.
During an exercise to release anger and resentment on paper, JJ wrote down some hurtful and offensive problems he had with Juelia's physical appearance -- including her "greasy" hair and makeup, "clumps of sh-t" in her eyebrows, and potential weight gain down the road.
JJ initially thought his letter was going to be destroyed, but Dr. Nicolino and Dr. Major felt it was necessary for Juelia to learn how JJ really felt about her.
"I'm so emotional I want to leave," Juelia admitted after reading the harsh letter. "I'm having a really hard time. I don't know how to do this boot camp with someone who is so superficial. I don't want to do it anymore."
Meanwhile, the doctors observed Kailyn and Javi fighting in their bedroom, just going back and forth with blame.
Dr. Nicolino and Dr. Major therefore decided it was time for the couples to learn how toxic blame can be in their relationships by throwing medicine balls, representing blame, back and forth until reaching the point of physical and mental exhaustion.
Each medicine ball was labeled with a different relationship issue, such as insecurity and infidelity. A couple had to chose a ball that represented an issue in their own relationship and then debate which person was ultimately responsible for that issue.
Asifa took the insecurity ball, while Bobby took the blame for the couple's lack of communication. They also found selfishness and trust to be problems in their romance.
When JJ and Juelia were up, JJ said Juelia acts perfect all the time, almost like she's a stepford wife, and he can't live up to it. JJ also blamed himself for Juelia's insecurities considering he attacked her looks in the letter he previously wrote to her. JJ also lost Juelia's trust by bashing her behind her back.
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As for Kailyn, she felt smothered by Javi's insecurities and inability to drop a petty topic or accusation that's bothering him. Javi then blamed Kailyn for infidelity, saying she always slept with her phone under her pillow.
"She's the one who decided to sleep with someone else," Javi noted.
"I filed for divorce!" Kailyn replied.
Kailyn wanted Javi to keep the money ball since he threatens to take 50 percent of her money every time they fight or talk about their divorce.
"F-ck you," Kailyn told Javi. "I would literally take all the balls just to get him to shut the f-ck up so I can get away from him."
Mehgan confessed she could be more respectful of DeAndre's decisions in life, especially ones about his career. On that same point, she took the money ball since she makes him feel guilty and self-conscious about not making more money.
Peter took the infidelity ball for cheating on Amina with his ex, Tara. Amina, however, accepted five percent of the blame for getting involved with Peter to begin with knowing the situation. At the end of the game, Peter admitted he'd be upset if any one of his daughters brought a man home like himself.
But tension didn't die down once the game was over. Asifa yelled at Bobby for having sex with an escort from his gym, and JJ was getting emotional.
JJ told Dr. Major that telling his former wife he was unhappy in their relationship was really difficult, so when he cheated on her, it was like he "almost wanted to get caught." The doctor acknowledged his letter to Juelia held the same purpose in that he was probably hoping Juelia would read his words and break up with him.
Meanwhile, Juelia cried to Dr. Nicolino, saying she trusted JJ more than most people on the planet and couldn't believe he'd say things like that about her.
"I'm torn. He's probably one of the most important people in my life," Juelia told the cameras. "But at the same time, I love myself and he doesn't deserve me at all."
The episode then featured a second boot-camp exercise in which each couple had to work together to carry all of their balls of shame -- gathered together in a net -- up a large hill.
Each medicine ball weighed about 15 pounds, and the task was designed to show the couples how heavy blame can be and how weight is carried on both of their shoulders, no matter which person accepts responsibility.
Each couple successfully completed the challenge.
Divorce court judge Lynn Toler then arrived at the Marriage Boot Camp house to speak her mind to the participants.
"Amina, if you were my daughter, you'd still be trying to get my shoe out from your behind," Toler said, before adding that it's possible Peter still wants to be with Tara over her.
Toler told Kailyn and Javi, "You don't want the decision about your children's lives to be in my hands or any other judge's hands. We don't know your kids. We don't understand your kids. You are five minutes on my docket. We're going to make the best decision we can, but we don't love them."
That wasn't news to Kailyn, but the judge's words seemed to settle deep with Javi, who had seemingly been taking his estranged wife's claims about divorce proceedings with a grain of salt.
And then Toler addressed Juelia, who was feeling like she lost JJ.
"Juelia, were always looking to lock down love. It's not necessary if it's not right. It's better not to be than it is to be in the wrong relationship," Toler insisted.
And the judge also asked DeAndre to speak up more, not just when he's mad or irritated.