Viewers were left outraged after witnessing a couple argue about their son right in front of him during a new reality TV show.
Old Wife, New Wife sees people sharing a house with their ex-partners and their new lovers for a week in order to try to work out past issues.
In this week’s episode, single mother Laura, 33, has to spend a week with her former partner Cyren and his 19-year-old new girlfriend Meaghan.
While sharing the same roof, the trio hope to work things out for the sake of Laura and Cyren’s three-year-old son, Leo.
Single mother Laura, 33, (pictured) is not on good terms with ex-partner Cyren, and has kept their son Leo away from him
Within minutes of being reunited, father Cyren (pictured) gets into an argument with Laura about Leo right in front of him
Viewers said they were concerned for three-year-old Leo, who had to witness his parents arguing
However, viewers were less than impressed with the former couple’s behaviour when they began rowing in front of their son minutes after the show kicked off.
When Cyren and Meaghan arrive at Laura’s house, the two exes soon get into a heated argument, with Leo looking on as he plays with his Christmas present.
Viewers said they ‘felt sorry for the child’ as the two parents tore strips out of each other, especially when it came to the cost of raising Leo, right in front of his eyes.
‘Are these people so desperate to be on TV they’re willing to expose their child to the levels of toxicity and conflict a show like this is designed to generate in order to amuse us?’ one viewer wrote.
‘This whole set-up is so unfair on the child,’ another tweeted.
‘Can she not have these conversations when the son has gone to bed?’ asked one viewer, referring to Laura.
‘Not seen his kid for six months, decides to go on a show with his new gf and move into the ex’s to build a relationship… yet what about the KID?! Poor little lad is going to be so confused and this is so unfair (sic),’ another viewer noted.
Viewers were outraged after witnessing a three year-old child caught in the middle of their parents’ argument
The tensions were already high when Meaghan and Cyren arrive at Laura’s house for the first day of the week. After only a few minutes together, Laura snaps at Cyren and whisks Leo away before hiding in her room crying.
It emerges that Laura and Cyren broke up a year ago, and Laura suspects Cyren may have cheated on her, which he denies several times.
‘I genuinely felt we’d be together for ever, but it just soured,’ Laura said of their relationship.
Cyren says he suspects Laura is threatened by Meaghan, whom he says is ‘younger and more beautiful’.
Even the reunion between Leo and his father couldn’t seem to lighten the mood, as the two women didn’t exchange a word. Then the little boy’s brand new Christmas gift sparked an argument between his parents.
One the first day of the experiment, Laura (left) did not speak one word to Meaghan, 19 (right), Cyren’s new girlfriend of six months
But after learning of Cyren’s alleged affair, new girl Meaghan reaches out to Laura in an effort to get to know her.
Cyren has not seen Leo for the past six months, after he failed to respect the visiting arrangement he and Laura had agreed on.
And the young father seems determined to spend as much time as possible with his son.
‘I’ll jump through hoops, I don’t care, as long as I get to see Leo,’ he says.
Meanwhile, Meaghan admits she was scared that Cyren might fall back in love with his ex-partner during the experiment.
Laura has a hard time adjusting to the new living arrangement and gets out of the living-room shortly after the couple have moved in for the week
Cyren (left) has not seen three-year old Leo (right) for the past six months after failing to respect the arrangement Laura and him had agreed on custody-wise
The father says he will do anything to see his son again, but first has to apologise to his former flame Laura. Pictured: Cyren and Leo playing outside the house
On day two, Laura admits she isn’t ready to leave Meaghan alone with Leo. Later a picture on social media of Cyren, Meaghan and Leo looking like a happy family sets Laura off again, and she threatens to call off the whole process.
‘I don’t think I can do this anymore,’ she says through tears.
The next day, the two exes met in a neutral place to discuss the issue further.
‘I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for Leo,’ says Laura, adding: ‘You haven’t prioritised him.’
Laura eventually opens up about her doubts and insecurities to Cyren and Meaghan, and is ready to move forward for Leo’s sake
Meaghan gets to understand Laura’s side of the story and Cyren makes amends for his mistakes in this week’s episode of Old Wife, New Wife
‘I totally understand what you’re saying because I would be the same,’ Cyren replies.
Whilst he is anxious to please his new lady, Cyren is ready to do ‘whatever it takes’ to be with his son.
Laura and Meaghan then have a similar discussion, where Leo’s mother accuses the young woman of wanting to ‘play step-mum’ to [her] child.
However, over time, Cyren and Laura get to work on their issues and the trio even spend a day at the zoo with Leo.
‘There’s definitely still a bit of tension but we are working forward,’ says Meaghan.
The family enjoy a day at a zoo where Leo meets several animals, before Cyren (in the background) and Laura can agree on a new agreement regarding Leo
The young woman reassures the mother-of-one about her intentions towards Leo during a visit to the hairdresser.
‘I want you to know I’m not trying to take over,’ she says.
The trio eventually agree on a plan for the future which will see Laura and Cyren share half of all parenting duties, including finances. Meaghan also agrees to step back during Leo’s future visits.
Cyren agrees to let Laura see his living space and share contact numbers with her, while Laura promises to eventually let Meaghan spend a few hours with Leo and Cyren at her house.
At the end of the process, the trio part ways on much better terms.
‘Leo’s back in my life, a hole’s been filled, my life’s looking up again,’ says Cyren.
‘I’m glad we can speak and be civil,’ Laura adds. ‘I do think in the future we can become friends.’
New Wife Old Wife airs on Channel 5 on Wednesdays at 9pm.