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The Daily Dish Relationships

Emily Simpson Says Couples Therapy Is Key For Beating the "Housewife Curse"

The Real Housewives of Orange County newbie and her husband went from colleagues to married in three weeks.

By Marianne Garvey

The Real Housewives of Orange County newcomer Emily Simpson has a word of advice for that "Housewives curse" (you know, when you're a Real Housewife and you end up getting divorced during or after being on the franchise): get couples therapy. Even if you're seemingly happy. 

"There are days when I love it, and there are days where I'm like, 'What the hell did I get myself into?'" she said of her experience on RHOC  during her appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. 

And that affects her husband, Shane, too.

"I think Shane has the same days where he's like, 'Oh, it's OK,'" Emily said. "And then other days, he's like, 'I can't believe that we signed up for this. This is ridiculous.'" 

In order for them handle their relationship now being in the spotlight, the two started therapy together. Emily explained that she decided to do so after witnessing many couples on the show split after the arrival of cameras in their home. The couple entered the season solid, but wanted a third party involved to make sure they remained on the same page.

Associate Professor at Loyola University Maryland. Theresa DiDonato, says that it's smart to seek out couples therapy — the trick is getting started before there are any obvious problems. 

"Most couples — even distressed couples — do not readily seek couples therapy, despite evidence showing it can help," she tells Personal Space. "The average wait time for unhappy couples to enter therapy is six years, during which time, a relationship can become further entrenched in unhealthy, dissatisfying patterns."

She says that happy couples might be particularly resistant to therapy, given its potential stigmatization, and that "one alternative proposed is a 'marriage checkup,' similar to an annual physical."

"It consists of an assessment and feedback session and is conducted by a therapist typically using motivational interviewing techniques. Couples who go through the marriage checkup, even happy couples, tend to experience an increase in intimacy, satisfaction, and feelings of acceptance. If this were routine practice, couples would be able to see changes in their relationship and seek more extensive interventions if needed."

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