Do You Want To Be Like This Couple?
Several years into their marriage, Mark and Gloria Darrington realized they had some enduring trouble spots.
The Blacklick, Ohio, couple turned to Marriage Boot Camp.
The WE tv reality show — the second season was filmed during the fall in Los Angeles — centers on five couples who undergo a two-week boot camp run by counselors Jim and Elizabeth Carroll.
The question to be answered at season’s end: Do the couples make up or break up?
The participants in Marriage Boot Camp previously appeared on WE’s Bridezillas, a reality show focusing on brides-to-be.
The Darringtons were on the latter in 2010, during the show’s seventh season.
Married for four years now, they have five children, ages 3 to 12. (Mark and Gloria each have two from previous marriages, and together they have one.)
Ahead of the second-season premiere tonight, the Darringtons — he is 31; she is 29 — discussed their experiences on Marriage Boot Camp.
Q: How was your marriage going before you went on the show?
Gloria: Our marriage had some issues that needed some attention. We’re a blended family, so there are obviously issues there with exes and stepkids, and it’s a lot of communication issues when it comes to how to raise children, what to do, what not to do.
Mark: It was rocky at times. We needed this boot camp to help us.
Q: What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship?
Mark: We had two hurdles, I think — which were communication and then, also, controlling issues.
Gloria: Yeah, I’m more of a communicator; I say what’s on my mind. Mark makes faces, and I don’t communicate like that; I need you to talk to me. He’s more, I guess, laid-back when it comes to communication. So that’s where we had an issue because I say whatever I’m thinking. He says nothing he’s thinking. I had a big issue with that.
Q: Why Marriage Boot Camp?
Gloria: Because we’ve tried everything else.
Mark: I thought it was an opportunity to help expose situations in our marriage, what’s going right and what’s going wrong, and who’s causing the issues.
Q: How was that handled during your time on Marriage Boot Camp?
Gloria: One of our exercises would be for me to say whatever I needed to him and for him to have to repeat it back, so it would make sure that he could hear me and understand what I’m saying. So that exercise was beneficial for us.
Q: What was the most difficult part of the show?
Mark: Being in a house with four other couples — having to manage your issues between yourself but then also having them around and living with their issues.
Q: Is there a most memorable episode?
Gloria: I guess the most memorable thing would be the drama, just because we have a lot of people in the house who want to be in other people’s business.
Q: What was the biggest lesson you learned from Marriage Boot Camp?
Mark: Knowing how different the male and female brains work, and how we think about things and analyze it. I guess I knew that women are emotional creatures, but the extent of it and where it all comes from were a big lesson.
Gloria: And when you’re in a house with other couples and see their issues head-on, you’re like “ Well, dang, I’m glad I’m not dealing with that issue.” And they’re probably like “Well, I’m glad I’m not dealing with your issue.”
So I learned that everybody else has issues; we just all deal with them in different ways.
Q: Would you suggest a boot camp for others having marital troubles?
Gloria: I would. It was really a surprise to me because my family and I are Christians, and a lot of the stuff that we did was ministry-based. I appreciated that.
Mark: I would also recommend it for anybody. It’s definitely a positive thing.