Are Michelle and James From Couples Therapy Still Together?

Couples Therapy‘ is a unique reality TV series on Showtime that, as the name suggests, chronicles married couples from different strata of society, who wish to mend their strained relationship. In a documentary-style format, it follows renowned psychologist Dr. Orna Guralnik as she helps these pairs navigate through the problem areas in their marriages and work toward finding long-term solutions to improve communication and reconnect with each other.

While the show has introduced the viewers to several interesting participants since its debut in 2019, one couple that intrigued everyone is Michelle and James, who were featured in the ‘The Covid Special’ episode. Let’s find out more about them, shall we?

Michelle and James’ Couples Therapy Journey

“Her voice is grating…like nails on a chalkboard,” said James, sharing his sentiments about his wife, Michelle, on the show. She, too, stated, “I just can’t stand him!” This is how the couple described their frustration with each other to Dr. Guralnik during one of their video call therapy sessions. Despite belonging to different backgrounds, Michelle and James had fallen in love and been married for quite a few years. However, things changed with the birth of their son, who was 3-years-old when they appeared on the show in 2020.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, the husband and wife had been confined to the four walls of their apartment with their son, and their issues, which had started before the quarantine, started turning into resentment toward each other. As their conflict began interfering with raising their son, they approached Dr. Guralnik for guidance. The pandemic had a drastic effect on everyone’s mental health, and troubled couples especially were forced to face each other constantly due to the restrictions on going out.

Michelle, who is a working professional, had to transition to the work-from-home culture during the lockdown. As she primarily started being a stay-at-home mother, things became better for her as she could devote more time to her son. “I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” she told Dr. Guralnik. James, however, was not too happy at this change in their lifestyle, as he wished for some personal space. In addition, he was tasked with taking care of their toddler while Michelle worked and was unable to manage the responsibility alone.

Moreover, the most pertinent reason for conflict in James and Michelle’s case turned out to be their differing political opinions. Both of them were well aware of each other’s political inclinations since before marriage, and it had never really caused any strife between them. But when it came to their son and what they wanted him to imbibe, their varying stances on the current political scenario started pulling them apart. Things became worse due to the rising instances of police violence against the African American communities as well as the Black Lives Matter movement during the pandemic.

Since Michelle is an African American and James works in law enforcement, she admittedly began feeling afraid and hesitant to share her fears with him about her and their son’s safety. On top of that, she felt that he did not understand how she was feeling and that his profession seemingly clouded his judgment. This also posed a problem for Dr. Guralnik, as she wished to be more well-equipped to handle the concerns of Michelle and other African American clients. Thus, she consulted noted African-American psychologist Dr. Kirkland Vaughans to help understand Michelle’s perspective.

Are Michelle and James Still Together?

As James and Michelle’s therapy journey headed toward completion, they were able to zero down on the focal points of their conflict and find a better form of communication. Guided by Dr. Guralnik, James realized that his wife had her own schedule and career, and it was not her obligation to take care of their son alone, just because she was at home. Therefore, he had to proactively offer to look after him and divide responsibilities.

Furthermore, James started understanding Michelle’s point of view about the socio-political situation around them and began working on creating a safe space for her to vent out. Michelle, on the other hand, conceded that she needed to improve her trust in her spouse and learn to voice her needs, along with being a better listener to him. Apart from this, the couple was advised to work on segregating their political opinions from the decisions they made for their son; after all, he is of utmost priority to them.

From what we can tell, James and Michelle prefer to keep their personal lives away from the public sphere; thus, there seems to be a dearth of information on their current whereabouts. Nevertheless, given their keenness to put aside their differences for the sake of their son and their love for one another, we can only hope they have been able to work through their problems and are happy together.

Read More: Are Sam and Lauren From Couples Therapy Still Together?