Returning: Insight

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Insight returns to SBS next week with a Valentine’s Day question: Can love really conquer all?

Jenny Brockie speaks to successful and unsuccessful couples who have experienced life’s biggest challenges – from cultural and religious clashes, to loss and infidelity.

Sydney convenience store worker Nisarg Patel, 22, has been secretly dating a girl back in India for two years.

He says he wants to marry her but will have great difficulty – they are both Patels, but her parents are very rich, and he is from a ‘lower caste’.

Nisarg’s whole family knows about his love interest, but her family do not know about him. He hopes to finish his degree and use it as a way of convincing her parents to let them marry.

But Nisarg’s girlfriend is almost of marriage age, and he fears her family may arrange for her to marry someone in India before he gets his chance.

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day Insight asks – can love really conquer all?

Host Jenny Brockie speaks to successful and unsuccessful couples who have experienced life’s biggest challenges – from cultural and religious clashes, to loss and infidelity.

The program will also speak to experts about what love does to the brain and if it can sustain a relationship against all odds.

Nisarg Patel is 22 and in love with a girl in India, who he has been dating in secret for two years. He has left her back home to study in Australia, hoping to eventually impress her parents so they will give them permission to marry. In the meantime, if they find out they have been together, their relationship will be forced to end. Her parents are rich and Nisarg’s father is a farmer, so the chances of convincing them to allow inter-caste marriage are slim. They speak every day on Skype and he’s working three jobs on four hours sleep a night to make it happen.

Lyndall and Andrew Coon were on our Infidelity show in 2010, discussing how just weeks into parenthood, Lyndall discovered Andrew was having sexual relations with other men. The plus side was it opened up their relationship to communication and ultimately, the permission to sexually engage with people outside of their marriage. And they insist it was love that got them through. Six years later and neither one has been with anyone else for over ten years. But Lyndall has since suffered mercury poisoning which gave her stroke-like symptoms, forcing Andrew to become her primary carer while she wasn’t able to speak for over six months.

Lisa and Philip Gelbart have been married for 30 years, since they were merely 18 (Lisa) and 21 (Philip). Five years into their marriage, they had twin girls who were nine weeks premature. Three years later, they gave birth to a baby boy who died two weeks later in their arms, succeeded by another stillborn, five miscarriages and, when they finally had two more successful births, both boys were born with special needs. After years of separately bottling up their grief while caring for a unique family, they finally began to channel their disturbances into helping other bereaved parents through SIDS and Kids.

Meg Foley, 30, a Roman Catholic girl was married to Abdul, a Muslim from Afghanistan for almost ten years. Meg was 16 when she sent letters to underage refugees in migration detention centres. Abdul replied. For two years they sent letters to each other and spoke on the phone. They physically met for the first time when Meg was 18. They got married while Abdul was still in a detention centre. Unfortunately their cultural differences, religious differences and Abdul’s mental illness resulted in their divorce. Meg and Abdul are still friends; they call each other on their birthdays.

Dr Trisha Stratford is a clinical neuro-psychotherapist. When we fall in love the brain fires chemicals that make us want to see our partner more, only see their positive side and have passionate sex all the time. That phase can last up to 18 months. Once the chemicals are settled, the reality kicks in. We then have a choice to stay or leave. Research demonstrates that people who are in long term relationship make a choice of seeing only the positive side of their partner. Love is not accidental. Trish appears on Channel 9’s Married at First Sight.

Tuesday at 8.30pm on SBS.

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