Now that Season 6 of Love & Marriage: Huntsville is finally over, it’s time to address the revolving storyline of Martell Holt and his resoluteness to vilify his ex-wife, Melody Rodgers. His recent sit-down with Tasha K was a fumble at trying to do just that by praising his long-term side chick and downplaying his obsession with Melody and his desire for her attention. The receipts he produced of Melody in a justifiable rage putting gasoline on his furniture, while he omitted what he did to drive her to set it off, is textbook manipulation. 

Before Martell goes on a social media tirade about how I must be a fan of Melody because it published this, but let me clarify: I am no personal fan of anyone. What I am a fan of is any woman who walks away from an abusive marriage, relationship, friendship or workplace and doesn’t allow said abuser to play in her face by trying to rewrite history, especially one long-documented on a reality series. 

Not only does Martell want Melody back, something stated in interviews throughout the years and admitted on the show, but he’s pissed that she left him for good. During the Season 3 reunion, Martell said what everyone already knew: despite sharing his penis with another woman for seven years of his 14-year marriage, he never thought he and Melody would end. Day 1 fans watched Melody go back and forth for three seasons before breaking free. We later learned that before the cameras began rolling for Season 1, she left and went back once or twice, even going as far as moving out of their marital home with their three young children into her place. Because Martell no longer holds Melody’s mind, body or spirit, he’s hellbent on making her life hell and gaslighting anyone crazy enough to fall into his Baby Gap-suited antics. Martell cannot live with the fact that Melody is thriving, and most people with sense can see that she was the engine that kept their family, former businesses and his public image intact. 

Martell has insisted that he tries to co-parent with Melody in peace. Footage from Love & Marriage: Huntsville proves otherwise. He’s admitted to popping up on her on dates because he didn’t feel she deserved to dine with another man at a restaurant they frequented in their 14-year marriage. He’s shown up without an invitation to her home. He gets into screaming matches with anyone who remains her friend and defends her against his smear campaign on the show. He’s shown up at birthday parties she planned for their daughters uninvited and acting a fool amid mixed company, knowing there’s nothing in their custody arrangement that states either have to throw joint events.

Their custody arrangement is two weeks on, two weeks off — meaning each parent has the children for two whole weeks out of the month. Martell has shown in the series that he’ll do anything to disrupt Melody’s time with their children while she plans scheduled activities around her allotted time with the kids. Because Martell cannot control her anymore, he uses the children as bait. And because she refuses to play along, he’s learned to get the sexist and misogynistic Alabama court system on his side by forbidding Melody from posting the children or having them on the show as it benefits the success she’s individually setting up for her and the kids. But when they were married, and he was involved, the kids being on television and social media was not an issue.

Adding insult to injury, he puts a battery in the back of his longtime mistress-turned-another mother of his child to do his dirty work. The same mistress he called a peasant on national television twice. The same mistress that when his marriage finally ended, he didn’t wife her, or at minimum, publicly claim her. Instead, he pulled a reality TV crossover to make his ex-wife feel he upgraded with an OG Real Housewife of Atlanta while said mistress and baby mama threw a tantrum on Instagram. It wasn’t until his recent last-ditch effort to salvage his already damaged reputation in his interview with Tasha K that he confirmed she was his “other woman” but noted he’s currently single. When asked why he fell in love with his mistress, Arionne Curry, he couldn’t give a definitive answer. 

The same question was asked about his relationship with Melody. While he refused to dive into details to make the world believe he’s not hung up on his ex, Martell said she possessed all the qualities he prayed for in his wife. Considering the stark difference between his past and present lives, one can assume that means a woman he could build with, who looked good on paper and, in reality, would have his back. She did that until she could no longer tolerate his disrespect. When she left, his world crumbled. He admitted to being in financial distress after they dissolved their joint businesses. With new entertainment ventures, Melody continued working in real estate via the property preservation business, while Martell struggled to stay afloat due to needing a builder’s license. So it turns out Melody was the beauty and brains behind the former Holt machine, but as a true Southern Belle, she made sure to front like everything was a partnership. 

Martell tried his hardest to make Melody look dumb for confronting Arionne and asking why she stayed with him so long after discovering his affair. I don’t know many married women who hadn’t done the same, or worse, especially one with four minor children and million-dollar businesses, before bidding a final farewell to her cheating husband. Melody didn’t want to leave her marriage; she had no choice. Martell wanted his Betty Crocker boss of a wife at home — while his younger and desperate to prove to his wife that she had her man freak of every week stroked his ego and gave him an escape from the reality that he wasn’t the man he cracked himself up to be. It wasn’t until Melody was away from Martell and realized she could live her life better and more peacefully without him that she could stand firm in her decision. That, coupled with the fact that the world knew his mistress was probably pregnant, was she able to fly without Martell. 

As we’ve seen on television right with our very eyes, when it comes to Melody, Martell can be dangerous. We know about the revenge porn plot that he conjured up with said mistress, who admitted the details in a leaked audio with a popular YouTuber. Martell is dedicated to making the world believe Melody cheated in their marriage while they were together. He also alleged that his fifth child wasn’t conceived while he and Melody were together; instead, they were separated. But the math isn’t mathing. 

Melody and Martell’s youngest child and his son with Arionne are a year apart. We watched the overlap in the two relationships on the show and Melody catching him communicating with her secretly while they were trying to work on repairing their fractured marriage. Allegedly, it was also not the first pregnancy for Arionne and Martell. In leaked audio with Tasha K, Arionne admitted to terminating two previous pregnancies because of his marriage.

Melody may not be innocent overall in how she interacted with her co-stars in the early seasons of the OWN series. Her commitment to trying to expose the alleged infidelities in Marsau and LaTisha Scott’s marriage was controversial, mainly because it appeared she wanted to bring anyone down with her and Martell due to their marriage going down the drain. She also blamed Martell’s friendship with the Scott brothers for him seemingly switching up in their marriage, as the Scott brothers were alleged to be known philanderers and preferred their women to be more traditional. Thankfully, she’s since evolved from the “hurt people hurt people” era. But Melody isn’t responsible for the dissolution of her marriage. The only thing Melody is guilty of is not leaving Martell sooner.

The sad part is that Martell has had ample opportunities to humble himself and present a different side of himself to the world. The marriage is over, and Melody isn’t coming back. It would be a more interesting and digestible show to watch him in therapy, juggling co-parenting and raising his children, studying for the builder’s license he never had and working to re-establish the community’s trust in him as a businessman. But he prefers to take this route. It hasn’t been working for him, and he’s sinking further into a hole. The word may be overused as we as a world become more cognizant our mental health, but if you Google the definition of a narcissist, Martell Holt’s picture might show up.