Monday, November 7, 2011

Talking Tough Love and Meeting Moms With Michelle Betts

This week's episode of Tough Love was extremely emotional for the women on the show. Not only did they have to address the issues they have with their moms, but they had to either meet their date's mom or have their date meet their mom.

One of the women, Michelle Betts, had some particularly tough challenges to face. First, she had to address her mom's favoritism towards her sister Renee, and after that, she had to face her date's mom - a Jewish mother. Her date's mom seemed to be particularly tough to face, especially when she came right out and told Michelle (who is not Jewish) that she wants Jewish grandkids!

Michelle handled this week's challenges with honesty and grace, so I couldn't wait to catch up with her to discuss what happened on this week's episode. Fortunately, she was willing to share, and her thoughts on this week's episode are below.


On this week's episode of Tough Love, Steve Ward asked you and the other women to write letters to your moms. How did you feel after you wrote the letter? Looking back, how do you feel about what you said in the letter? Do you have any regrets?

On this past week's episode Steve Ward asks us to write our mothers letters, after I wrote the letter I felt like an amazing weight had been lifted off of me; it was very freeing.  When I wrote the letter I did not know we were going to be reading them on TV, so it's not that I regret saying what I said, it would have just been more fair to my mother to speak to her personally, I just didn't want to hurt her because I do love her with all my heart.  She's been a wonderful mother and had no idea I had felt that way; I had never communicated it to her.

Did you tell your family about the letter before the show aired? How did they react?

I did tell my family about the letter before it aired.  The funny thing is that my sister felt that I was favored, so she could relate to me.  My mother never intended to hurt us, but I did start my attraction to "bad boys" young and I new there was a correlation.

Have things with your family gotten better because your letter and the feelings you addressed on this episode? Did writing the letter enable you to share your feelings with your mom?

Things have gotten much better since I have been back from the show.  I called my mother and let her know how I felt, that I was alone all by myself in LA and that sometimes I needed things to be about me, not all the time, but sometimes. A few days later she drove up from Northern California to visit me.  It was really nice.

We didn't hear all of the letters being read on the show. Is there anything notable that we didn't see but is worth sharing?

As far as the other letters that weren't aired, I'm unable to talk about that for confidentiality reasons. I feel like the show did very good at portraying the main issues that needed to be addressed regarding mothers.

What was it like meeting your date's mother? We only saw a quick clip of the date - how did the rest of it go? Did you mean what you told her about being willing to convert to a different religion, or is that something you said in the moment?

When my date first showed up with his mother, I was very shocked, nervous, overwhelmed, etc.  Although she was drilling me so to speak, I thought that meeting her went well, and that we both liked each other.  She is a very nice woman and who would I be if I blamed her for being a bit picky with her only child?  She's very lovely.  When I said I would convert, I meant it.  Honestly, in a perfect world I would love to meet someone Catholic, but things don't always work out that way.  I'm now a mature woman and if I met the real deal, meaning someone that I was head over heels in love with and thought I could spend my life this point I wouldn't let my religion stop me it's not a deal breaker. I would "pull a Charlotte" (fromSex and the City).  I didn't just say it in the moment, I meant it. 

After addressing major issues in the letter she wrote to her mom, Claudia had to decide between leaving Tough Love to heal herself or staying on the show. Do you think she made the right decision by leaving? Was it difficult to see her go?

When Claudia decided to leave, it was a very hard decision for her.  I got close with Claudia right when I met her, our beds were right next to each other.  I did not want to see her leave....but I couldn't ask her to stay.  I do think it was the best thing for her to do and that she made the right decision.  Claudia has become a very good friend of mine; I speak to her often and love her dearly.

Anything else?

Although this episode and week at bootcamp was really hard for me, it REALLY helped me through my process.  I'm very grateful for Steve and his mother JoAnne, they really do care about us and want the best for all of us.  They are great at what they do.  Even though there is only a few weeks left of bootcamp there is still so much more to come.  Gotta keep watching to see if I really do kick my addiction to bad boys!!!

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