90 Day Fiance viewers are of two minds over the painful awkwardness of Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva.
Some feel that Natalie’s hypercritical and controlling behavior makes her the villain.
Others wonder if Mike’s dismissive silence earns him that odious title.
Season 8 resumes on Valentine’s Sunday, and in this sneak peek, Natalie suggests a real solution to their issues.
As this sneak peek for Season 8, Episode 10 begins, Natalie notes to Mike that they are halfway through their 90 days alloted by the K-1 visa.
The two of them are out at dinner, and at times during this scene, it feels like they might as well have been at different tables.
Mike tells Natalie that, at present, he is feeling like they need "another 45 to 90 days" to sort through their issues.
Despite some stumbling due to the language barrier, Natalie tells Mike that she would like for them to go to couples counseling.
(Okay, she talks about going to "a psychology," but everyone — including Mike — understands her meaning)
Immediately, Mike shakes his head, saying "no" and "I’m not interested" … leaving some to wonder how he expects problems to magically be fixed in the remaining 45 days.
Natalie then awkwardly waits for Mike to say something more.
She still smiles even as she asks Mike, who is still eating, "why" he is immediately turning down this genuinely good idea.
Mike, who just acknowledged that there were problems, asks "what do you think needs to be talked about?"
Natalie says that the whole idea is that they’ll talk about whatever they feel like, but Mike turns the question on her.
She replies that because they come from "different mentalities" (an understatement), they could resolve these conflicts.
Natalie is very optimistic that this can be "fixed easily." Given that one of their key issues is communication, she may be right.
At this point, Mike does this thing that viewers have noticed where he rolls his eyes and is dismissive.
Lots of people disagree with Natalie over many things — body-shaming, food policing, calling him "low class," and might do the same.
But even some of those same fans are angered when he does this. Why? Because that’s not an acceptable way to treat your fiancee.
We do have to observe that Natalie is giving us the goofiest face in this scene.
It may be a cultural difference or a personal quirk or how she responds to being on reality TV, but she often smiles … seemingly at inappropriate times.
But hey, if it helps her keep positive when her fiance is being obviously rude to her, more power to her.
Natalie then emphasizes how important that it is that they resolve their issues.
Mike agrees, but for some reason claims that he’s "not ready" to go to "someone else" and talk about them.
This is a hangup that some people have … but it’s especially weird to see it from reality stars, who obviously don’t have the excuse of feeling like their problems are private.
Mike’s version of an explanation here is to say "I don’t wanna."
He then asks "why can’t we talk to each other," a problem that neither of them can answer but a professional couples counselor might.
Natalie replies: "Because we cannot agree on stuff."
Michael, despite her pleas, doubles down on his refusal to make this simple move to improve and potentially even save their relationship.
Natalie is disappointed, visibly.
Mike does his best to explain why he’s being so muleheaded about this, for whatever that’s worth.
Mike complains to the camera that he has been trying to work with her, and now she wants to see a counselor, and he takes an annoyed tone and asks "So what, you’re gonna listen to him?"
It seems that he is fundamentally misunderstanding the point.
A couples counselor isn’t there to repeat one partner’s issues to the other. They’re there to help the two of them come together and resolve things … or realize that they don’t belong together.
Mike tries to make an excuse to say that it’s about spending a bunch of money "just to have a conversation with Natalie."
It’s clear that the idea of any form of therapy makes Mike uncomfortable.
His refusal to work on things in a constructive manner, meanwhile, makes Natalie uncomfortable.
Natalie assures him that couples counseling helps.
Mike fires back: "We have some issues that are beyond talking."
My guy, that is all the more reason to get a professional to help you.
They’re having clear communication issues that a third party could help immensely.
Meanwhile, Natalie feels hurt … and presumably, this scene comes before Mike confesses to her that he’s not sure if he’s ready to marry her.
If that were the case, he shouldn’t have started the K-1 visa process with her. They both have a lot to work on.