For better or worse -- or, perhaps, from worse to better

by Nel
For the Week of June 15, 2020
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Weddings. Everyone loves weddings. That's probably why The Young and the Restless has chosen to air a week of its most memorable weddings. Ah, how sweet it is, but there is another side to these beautiful weddings. Can finding the right person and marrying them change a person? Can it make them a better person, or can a marriage itself magnify a person's destructive tendencies? Join our columnist as she looks at couples who have said their ''I do's'' and what happened after the cake was eaten and all the guests returned home.

Everybody loves a wedding. Wait. Does everybody love a wedding? There are many reasons to love a wedding. There are beautiful destination weddings -- like Cricket and Danny's Hawaiian wedding, and Cane and Lily's nuptials in France (which aired last week and was really filmed in Beverly Hills, California). Churches and venues get decked out with flowers for the special occasion, and everyone sits in anticipation of seeing the bride and hearing the bride and groom's special vows. And, let's be honest, who doesn't wait to see if anyone actually speaks up at that "speak now or forever hold your peace" part?

There was a song years ago (I refuse to date myself by revealing who and when this song was popular) called "Love is Lovelier, The Second Time Around." But is that true? I found that in most cases, it isn't, because people tend to bring too much baggage with them from their first marriage, while a few know how to begin with a clean slate.

Most of the couples on Y&R have been married, divorced, and remarried to the same partner, and I have to ask, "Why?" Was it because they felt they were soul mates, or was it because the old shoe fit better than a new one would? Let's have a look at how a marriage can change a person for better or worse. Did some of these people break away from their nefarious pasts and become better people, or did they believe their union didn't mean they had to change the lifestyle they were accustomed to?

Jack was a playboy in his younger days. He never failed to hop into bed with just about any female he came in contact with, from his dates to bedding all the Jabot models.

Jack married and divorced Patty Williams and Nikki Newman, and Luan Volien died from a terminal illness before Jack settled down with Phyllis Summers. Next to Luan, Phyllis has always held Jack's heart, and I don't believe he will ever get over her. Apparently, neither does Peter Bergman.

Jack was quite the cad back in the day. He was convicted of shooting Jill (I will only list some of the crimes characters were accused of without mentioning whether charges held or were dropped); left Victor for dead after a verbal altercation; altered spreadsheets that allowed him and Brad to take over Newman Enterprises; tricked his father, John Abbott, into cutting Gloria out of his will; conspired with Adam to fake Victor's diary with a phony confession that Victor killed Walter Palin; shut Ashley out of ever becoming CEO of Jabot with the dreaded blood Abbott clause that had been meant for Phyllis when they'd divorced; and the list goes on.

Jack's failed marriages to Patty and Nikki were no surprise. Patty was a wack-a-doodle, and Nikki couldn't get over her love for Victor. When Jack set his sights on Phyllis, you could instantly feel the connection between them. It wasn't a union I was in favor of because I knew Phyllis' history. It had been far worse than anything Jack had ever done, but she proved me wrong. Eventually, I fell in love with this couple (played by Michelle Stafford and Peter Bergman, in particular).

Phyllis and Jack got married at the Abbott residence in a very quiet ceremony with only the family present. The chemistry between these two was palpable. The Abbott family saw the love between Jack and Phyllis. Sadly, that marriage ended when Phyllis discovered that Diane Jenkins had given birth to Jack's son Kyle. Jack had invited Diane to live in the Abbotts' pool house. The confrontations between Phyllis and Diane were vicious, and Phyllis walked away from the marriage when Jack constantly sided with Diane.

Prior to marrying Jack, Phyllis' history of crimes could fill a book. Alleged and attempted murder, revenge, blackmail, conspiracy, bribery, altering paternity tests, etc. Phyllis never stopped going after what she wanted, and if that meant running people down with her car, then so be it. Phyllis never stopped to think about the consequences of her actions. She always kept her focus on the prize, and no action on her part was unthinkable. The ends always justified the means.

Years later, Jack and Phyllis decided to take another run at marriage. They remarried in St. Bart's, and right after the ceremony, while Phyllis was taking a shower, Jack was kidnapped and replaced with a doppelgänger. When Phyllis found out that she had been living with -- and constantly sexually assaulted by -- Jack's double, she couldn't reconcile the fact that Jack wouldn't seek revenge against Victor. Phyllis turned to Billy for comfort.

Phyllis had been completely out of control before she met Jack, but Jack had a stabilizing effect on Phyllis, her scheming and retaliation were minimized, and Jack stopped being a womanizer. This marriage had a huge stabilizing effect on both of them, but once they divorced, Phyllis slipped back into her former skin and back to plotting and scheming to obtain what she wanted. Jack didn't go back to his old ways.

I really want this couple to find their way back to each other because they are far better together than they are apart.

Sharon and Nick are the Romeo and Juliet of Y&R. They became sweethearts while still in high school. In spite of Nikki's feelings that Sharon wasn't good enough for Nick, they got married in a small chapel with only family present. Nikki looked stunning in a lilac suit, but clearly, she wasn't pleased that Nick was marrying Sharon. Sharon's wedding dress was white satin trimmed with yellow ribbon and flowers. She looked stunning.

During the wedding ceremony, Nikki's looks of disdain were absolutely laughable. Did she believe that Nick would see how much she was against him marrying Sharon and stop the wedding? How many people warned Nikki against marrying Victor, yet she married him anyway. She certainly became the mistress on her high horse.

Well, maybe Nikki had good reason not to be happy with Nick's choice in partners, because after a couple of years, the marriage ended in divorce because Nick cheated on Sharon with Phyllis after Cassie's death. Where did the love go? Nick swore Sharon was the only person he would ever love.

A few years later, Nick and Sharon decided to marry once again, but it just wasn't meant to be. At the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, while Sharon and Nick exchanged their vows and rings, the wedding was interrupted when Phyllis, who was dressed in a white chiffon wedding dress, threw open the doors of the church. The service was incomplete, and Nick and Sharon remained single.

After a four-year break, Sharon and Nick once again headed for the altar. While exchanging their vows, Sharon recalled Nick stating that there was nothing they couldn't overcome as long as they were honest with each other. Sharon blurted out that Nick hadn't been honest. She said she'd considered not showing up, but she was happy she was there because she'd wanted to see Nick's face when she told him she wouldn't marry him. Sharon had gone out of her way to hurt Nick.

What had started off as a "happily ever after" for Sharon and Nick turned into a break in loyalty and trust, and a whole heap of hurt. Why do they keep trying to reunite? The deep love they have for each other has never died, but at this point, they appear to be better off as friends. They do have a great understanding of each other, but I think they should remain friends. Some couples are never meant to be married because they are so much better as close friends. That is how I see this couple. I love their friendship because they turn to each other for support and comfort. I really want them to stay friends rather than a married couple.

Sharon's crimes were basically as a result of untreated bipolar disorder, a psychiatric illness. Nick's crimes were mainly as a result of being set up by Adam, but cheating in a marriage never ends well. Once a partner strays, marriages can rarely be saved. Many find it a rush to taste forbidden fruit, and they just can't stop. I believe this is what happened with Nick, Sharon, and Phyllis. Did marriage change this couple?

I think they've remained the same people they'd been before the marriage, but they have matured. Sharon has grown. She was able to shed the "crazy lady" persona and get her degree in psychology. Nick has become a humanitarian and is helping the people in his community who are less fortunate. In my opinion, had their marriage lasted, I believe they would have taken the same route.

Nick cheated on Sharon with Phyllis after Cassie's death, and he eventually married Phyllis, but their union was volatile. They were constantly arguing and rarely on the same page. During their marriage, Phyllis cheated with Ronan, and Nick cheated with Sharon, so there was no surprise their marriage didn't last. So, why did they decide to try again? Did they believe that they had matured and by promising never to stray again, they could make the marriage work? Well, no surprise. The second marriage didn't work, either, but they did produce a child, Summer, who turned out to be a wild child and a brat.

Unlike in her marriage to Jack, during Phyllis and Nick's marriage, Phyllis continued with her scheming and vengeful ways. There was never any harmony in their marriage, just a lot of angst.

Currently, Nick and Phyllis are behaving the way that Phyllis and Billy had been with each other. There is nothing there except sex anywhere there is a reasonably flat surface. Are they looking for marriage number three? Good grief, I sure hope not. I never liked this couple. I think they should both move on. I believe that Phyllis needs to go back to Jack, and Nick built to find his forever -- and not with Chelsea, should she ever leave Adam.

Speaking of Chelsea and Adam, where to begin... Let's just agree that Chelsea and Adam each have a long criminal history. They are like nitro and glycerin and ready to explode. Is one worse than the other? This is a couple that shouldn't be together, and this is one match that wasn't made in heaven. They don't complement each other -- they feed off each other.

Chelsea was raised as a con artist, and no matter how much she claims she has changed, the con artist within will always emerge, and pretty much anything Adam suggests, I believe she will go along with, because it's the thrill of the ride. Adam, on the other hand, is a very dark and brooding soul with a huge chip on his shoulder. He resents the fact that Victor wasn't there for him, in spite of being told countless times that it had been Hope's wish that Victor stayed away. Adam sees the world constantly plotting against him, and he, in turn, continues to seek revenge when he believes someone has wronged him, whether they have or not.

When Adam and Chelsea decided to get married, Adam planned a traditional wedding for them at his mother's farm in Kansas. Once they were married, Chelsea became jealous of the relationship that Adam had with Sharon, and eventually, Chelsea warned Sharon to stay away from Adam.

Adam loved the idea of a baby, and he and Chelsea copulated like rabbits, but in the end, Adam's relationship with Sharon ended their marriage. Chelsea later discovered she was pregnant with Adam's child and chose not to tell him, but after the baby was born, Adam surmised it was his. He and Chelsea remarried after they'd been apart for a couple of years, and they decided to move to Paris, but that move never happened because Adam allegedly died in an explosion.

This is one couple that should never have met -- or married. During the marriage, I always felt that Chelsea walked on eggshells around Adam. Adam never stopped his constant need for revenge. Chelsea appeared to have settled down and started her own business, but the con artist in her emerged when she believed Adam had died. She siphoned off money from Fenmore's then she hit the road.

Chelsea returned to Genoa City a couple of years later as Mrs. Calvin Boudreau. When Calvin suddenly died, I couldn't believe she wanted to be with Adam even after she'd discovered that Adam had doubled Victor's medication and, in doing so, had almost killed Victor. Why would Chelsea condone Adam's actions? Is it because they fuel each other's dark side? Do they truly love each other, or have they banded together because they come from the same mold? I'm not sure what to make of this couple.

I don't like Chelsea with Adam -- or with Nick, for that matter, but at least with Nick, she was more stable and a much better person. Does Adam really love her, or did he just want to prove to Nick that he could take Chelsea away from him. Adam seems to treat Chelsea like his possession rather than his partner. At this point, I really wonder whether Adam is capable of any feelings, and he has no friends.

I would love to see this couple go their separate ways. They are both amazing actors, and I believe they could really shine with completely new partners.

Then we have Billy and Victoria. To me, they were the most unlikely couple, so who would have thought that they would get married? Their Jamaican wedding was a hoot. While in Jamaica, they'd taken a walk on the beach and into the middle of a party. They were advised that it was a wedding reception. The newlyweds provided Victoria and Billy with drinks and invited Billy and Victoria to celebrate with them. Billy and Victoria got drunk, and after attempting to do the limbo unsuccessfully, they stood before the same minister who'd married the newlyweds earlier. Still dressed in their tourist-type T-shirts and shorts, Billy and Victoria were married by the minister.

After Billy and Victor returned to Genoa City, they discovered their marriage in Jamaica was invalid. The decided they really wanted to be married to each other, and they planned a wedding to take place in their new home in front of friends and family.

On their wedding day Victoria was dressed in a gorgeous knee-length wedding dress and ready to remarry Billy. The judge was there to perform the ceremony, but Victoria was about to be arrested.

Victor was dead set against this union, and he refused to allow the wedding to proceed. He called the police and had them arrest Victoria. As the police escorted Victoria down the walkway, the judge quickly conducted the marriage ceremony while walking beside Victoria, and at the end of the walkway, where Billy stood, the judge pronounced them husband and wife. I laughed and cheered at the same time because I was delighted that Victor's plan to keep Victoria and Billy apart had fizzled.

In spite of the deep love that Billy and Victoria had for each other, this marriage ended in divorce. Billy's gambling problems almost got Victoria killed. Yet somehow, they managed to remarry in a televised ceremony after Billy promised that he wouldn't engage in any of his old habits.

Billy had many issues: gambling, cheating, and embezzling. As if that wasn't enough, he developed a split personality, and after therapy, he needed to do anything that would give him an adrenaline rush. Through all of this, Victoria loved Billy enough to forgive him, but she finally reached her breaking point when Billy said that Victoria was smothering him and accused her of not allowing him to be himself. She ran out of her forgiveness cards, and she ended the marriage.

In Billy and Victoria's case, marriage didn't stabilize Billy or make him a better person; it exacerbated his recklessness. Billy found new avenues to explore to satisfy any itch he had. He loved Victoria, and she was the love of his life, but his love wasn't enough to pull himself together enough to be a stable husband and father.

Marriages can change your outlook about how you see your future. Does your partner encourage you to see a different side of life? Marriage isn't just a "thing" you do. It's a commitment. You need to keep communications open, trust each other, and, above all, put each other ahead of yourself, otherwise the marriage will not survive. And, as we've seen time and again, very few soap characters can do this!

And that's a wrap from me for this week. Until we meet again!

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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