Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 12 & 13

Our couples are hurtling towards decision day and the end of the journey is bringing some emotional big emotional highs and lows. As Lilly struggles through her estranged dad’s birthday, the moment forces her to rely on Tom’s support to get through. Tom, of course, is a rockstar of support due to the unfortunate fact that he also has a nonexistent relationship with his own father. Says Tom, “I still call my dad on his birthday. He never calls me, but it still makes me feel good.” Such an awful thing to bond over, but these two are certainly rising above their circumstances.

Thankfully, Tom and Lilly’s mothers are in route to brighten up the week. Tom is adorable in asking for Lilly’s mom’s blessing on the marriage and trying so hard to communicate in Spanish.

One of these things is not like the others
One of these things is not like the others

We learn from Tom’s mom that “he’s not a follower”, as he begrudgingly joins the ladies for painting night but copes by eschewing the bland dolphin design that the group is following, instead creating his own unique piece featuring a swimmer chased by a shark. (Love how he mis-uses the dolphin stencil to make his shark tail.)

Tom’s mom also gives Lilly the insight that he always need to have attention (and always has). So the worst thing that anyone could do is ignore him. This is really good to understand exactly why the phone/work issue is such a big deal to Tom, because he’s been making a big deal about it (or production is making a big deal out of it to add some drama and suspense). Anyway, it feels like a lot of drama from him because seriously, it’s not like the whole world isn’t on their phone all the time. Especially Lilly being self-employed. In fact, it’s almost hard to believe that Tom, being an entrepreneur himself, finds it so easy to limit his working hours solely to week days.

It is a bit of a red flag that Tom says about Lilly “she’s really stubborn and doesn’t want to change.” It’s really important to avoid using these definitives about a spouse, like “you never”, “you always” or “you won’t.” Both in thoughts and out loud (because thoughts are prone to leaking out the lips, as Nick learned the hard way). Those blanket assumptions can blind us to the exceptions, to the good in our partner. When we expect them to act a certain way, eventually that way is all we’re going to see.

Anyway, it’s been five weeks! A stressful five weeks. To say something so definitively about what a spouse is or isn’t willing to do, is a little premature. Lilly did the same thing in Episode 13 where she said Tom always feels like he needs to be right or have the last word in a conversation.

But we’ll let them both off the hook because they are 99% full of super sweet and supportive things to say about each other. Plus both of those comments came during producer interviews, so we know they were probably  just trying to come up with a dozen way of saying the same thing in response to the endless questioning.

Episode 13 is mostly high for Tom and Lilly as they embark on a mini 2nd honeymoon. From our vantage point, it appears that Dr. Pepper gives them just a couple of days notice for this assignment, but they must have had more time than that. It’s not really fair to tell Lilly to put away her phone for a weekend without giving her a chance to make arrangements like alerting clients.

They take the bus which seems a little bittersweet for Tom, as he realizes that Lilly is never really going to embrace bus living, but at least she’s making an effort to show respect for and interest in bus operations. I mean, how can she not love traveling in a vehicle where she can stretch out and sleep, then get up and get herself a cold beverage from the fridge. It’s so awesome that by the end of the trip, Lilly is day dreaming about taking an extended cross-country road trip! (if you haven’t figured it out, we really love road trips!)mafs6

Another great quote from Lilly was that “Tom really does push me out of my comfort zone and that’s something I asked for from the beginning. Because I really do like to try new things but I’m a scardy cat.” I second Dr. Pepper in that I too hope that these two stay married and have one big wonderful adventure together.

Nick and Sonia are on a 2nd honeymoon and have returned to their usually quirky banter that we love about them.

Sonia, “can we go salsa dancing?” (while in South Beach)

Nick, we can frickin’ go salsa dancing while we’re rollerblading (WTF? Or is that a movie quote, am I that out of touch? Either way, these guys are so perfect for each other. The fact that they feed off each other’s oddball humor is so endearing.)

These two definitely needed a change of scenery and a little reminder of how things were on their real honeymoon. Just like prior to the last honeymoon, Nick gets to hang out with Sonia’s dad first. This time he’s really stressed. And thank goodness the overdramatic music playing loudly during this scene wasn’t really there in real life, or Nick probably would have sweated blood.

Nick finally admits that Sonia has worked really hard to accept the dogs and that it means a lot to him. And Sonia admits that she misses their house and even the dogs, though not enough to move back in with only a week left to go.

So, instead of rollerblading, these two embark on a tandem bike adventure, managing not to run into anyone while navigating streets teaming with tourists. Nick says planned this activity because he wanted Sonia to know she can be comfortable sharing a space with him. This could have really backfired, but fortunately Sonia embraces the experience. Even though she can’t see past Nick’s back, having to rely on him not to kill them, she is comfortable, at ease and happy to forget about all their drama.

Over dinner that night, Nick tells her he was wishing “we could double bike, like forever.” Awwwwwww. He continues to express his feelings of frustration that Sonia won’t move back in, and hopefully Nick’s patience doesn’t run too thin while he waits for her. He’s already expressing frustration and confusing that she may not be interested in staying together and that he’s scared that the marriage may be over.

It was a little encouraging to hear some of Nick’s comments during unfiltered. He talks about how he and Sonia housed a little girl for a day (which we never say during filming), and about how he’s “just” ordered a new calendar for the two of them, speaking in present terms when it seems like the Unfiltered episodes were all filmed post decision day.

What do you think, will they stay together?? (please, please, please!)  Can’t wait until Tuesday’s finale!!

Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 11

Only two weeks left until decision day (Already?! We’re going to miss you MAFS!). In other words, two more weeks until an arbitrary, producer-determined time at which our couples have to make one, final public announcement of their mutual love and/or hate and finally be free of the camera crew and return to normal life. Unless they stay together and get picked up for MAFS: The First Year. (please don’t do this, Nick. But please, all of you, come back to live tweet next season and continue to share your insider perspective).

Anyway, two weeks until decision day and Sonia and Nick are living apart. Not a good sign. But what is totally amazeballs, in Sonia’s words, is that Sonia is taking Nick out to feed homeless people. Which has Nick feeling all the feels about how Sonia is “exactly the girl I want to be married to. Nick’s change of attitude is giving me a terrible sense of déjà vu. Last season there was a couple named Neil and Sam. They were that season’s “quirky couple” just like Sonia and Nick. Neil started the marriage totally enthusiastic, while Sam wasn’t that into him and reacted to the stress of whole situation with a bit of verbal diarrhea. By time Sam warmed up to Neil, Neil’s feelings had taken a beating. Decision day threw a total curveball with Sam wanting to stay together but Neil rejecting her. Sam ugly cried in the parking lot. It was terrible. Yes, Nick made a mistake but I definitely don’t wish that experience on him.

Speaking of Nick’s mistake, he provided a hint more insight into the whole insight during “Unfiltered,” by saying that he was “just trying to end the questioning.” It’s true that reality TV producers sometimes have to film the same responses repeatedly to get it just right. (from what I hear. I don’t know this first hand) It makes sense that (being drunk and tired), Nick would snap and blurt out something crazy. Though TV viewers would never hear it, I could imagine him finishing his rant about not liking or finding Sonia attractive by saying something like “there, is that what you want me to say, are you happy, will you leave me alone now?”

And he’s probably explained that all to Sonia, which would be why he’s somewhat nonchalant about his apology and the distance she needs to needs. Understandable… but despite the context, what he said was hurtful and Sonia is justifiable in being guarded. Though she seems to be doing an admirable job of not putting her walls up too high. Sonia is appreciative of how Nick has embraced “Sandwich Day” and recognizes that “he’s trying more than ever before.” What she’s failing to see that he’s also OPENING UP (!!!) by telling her how much he wants her to move back in. Unfortunately, she just sees this as him not understanding how much he’s hurt her and how she needs time and space to recover.

C’mon you guys, please get it together, you’re just too cute to break up! At least stay together so you can give things a chance off camera. We’re already SO over tired of the season’s first break up. I don’t even really want to acknowledge the whole Derek and Heather reunion because it was all just so forced and awkward. Really, “when do you want to file the papers?” Did that need to be asked?  Did we really need to open the door to snark from Derek about how he’s surprised that Heather didn’t have the papers in her pocket, because he had his pen ready.

Meanwhile, we once again have some MUD (made up drama) from Lilly and Tom to add a little suspense. Actually, I was kind of surprised to hear in “Unfiltered” that Lilly thought they had a challenge communicating when arguing. These two seem to have fantastic communication. This time, their disagreement is over Lilly’s workaholic ways. Given Lilly seems poised to be the breadwinner in this relationship, Tom might want to lighten up on this argument. But actually, Tom does an exemplarily job of picking his battles. I love following his internal dialogue as he starts off the evening annoyed that Lilly is late and that she hasn’t prepared vows like they had agreed to. But happily, he keeps himself together and doesn’t react. Because he soon learns that Lilly has invested time into preparing an amazing custom work of art for him. His appreciation of this gift could have been totally spoiled if it had been prefaced with pouty, grouchy guy. Tom chooses to embrace Lilly’s love language (how she shows love), instead of asking her to conform to his idea of how she should show him love. Tom seems to value quality time and appreciates when Lilly shows up on time and engages in conversation. Whether personality or culture, timeliness seems to be a struggle for Lilly, but she is one hell of gift giver! Hooray for Tom for recognizing that, and for giving us another classic quote to add to your Quotes from Tom calendar. “sometimes I get irritated, but I’m always happy to see my wife.”

Speaking of quality time, Lilly is also willing to give this gift to Tom as she sets out on a surfing adventure with Tom. Surfing is a tough sport with a huge learning curve. Learning to surf is frustrating enough without learning from your spouse (well, unless your spouse flirts with the surf instructor, in which case you’re probably better off learning from your spouse. Or maybe just not surfing at all). Anyway, Lilly is a rock star. No bitching or whining, no matter how many times she falls off and gets hit in the head. Although, we can’t help but wonder that if Lilly is facing upcoming shoulder surgery, does she really want to be out surfing?

The episode ends on a celebratory note for both couples. Lilly and Tom get friends together for bowling while Sonia and Nick’s Cinco de Mayo party is highlighted by some bad white boy dancing more friends telling them they need to work on their communication skills. Seriously, it’s becoming no surprise that Nick flipped out. Who wouldn’t when you, on one hand being forced to constantly answer repetitive questions while simultaneously being told to work harder on your communication. The guy can’t win. Plus, that’s an introvert’s hell.

Yay, no big cliff hangers for next week. Will Sonia move back in? (odds are on, yes) Will Lilly and Tom recover from their another little misunderstanding? Of course. What do you think, AmIRight?!

Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 10

Thank you MAFS for not making us wait too long to pick up where we left off last week with the Sonia and Nick cliff hanger. I definitely did not have the patience this week. Sonia has moved out because, as Nick puts it, “sometimes things get a little overwhelming and things get said that probably shouldn’t. Understatement of the year. Did Nick intentionally wear that “Ship happens” shirt as a subtle message to pastor Calvin? Like he’s trying to ship the blame?

Pastor Calvin appropriately calls him out for acting like a punk, but an interview with Dr. Pepper reveals an interesting perspective on Nick’s behavior. She explains that both Nick and Sonia were much more open during match making interviews than they have been with each other, and feels that the pressure of being filmed may explain some of their challenges.

“We saw Nick’s sincerity in wanting to do the experiment, and we also felt that he was far more affable with us than he was when pressed during the documentation,” Dr. Pepper explains. “Having a crew asking you to think very deeply about who you are and who the other person is, is very hard for some people – and I think it was especially hard on Nick.”

Nick’s meltdown absolutely has given us a glimpse into the fourth wall of reality TV, as Sonia commented that he yelled to “everyone” while she could still hear. Everyone being the film and production crew. This is also evidenced in their efforts to cover up the fact that they’ve had sex. They craved privacy so much that they hid the one single thing that they could actually keep between them. It was obviously really important to them, given how many lies they had to tell.  So we are left with some unanswered questions. Like, did this all go down before the tantric massage date? Did they not even need all that help from expert Rachel?

Not to excuse his behavior, but Dr. Pepper makes a great point. Living out intimate conversations and moments with a film and production crew in your face, asking repetitive questions really dogpiles the stress. Hopefully Dr. Pepper figured this out during the six weeks of the experiment and was able to talk to them about it – it could have been just the kind of self-awareness they needed.

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Hamming it up for the camera

Tom and Lilly, on the other hand seem to either barely notice or totally ham it for the camera, as Tom did when he was squishing Lilly’s toothpaste. Wonder how many times he’ll be able to get away with that before Lilly stops laughing it off as cute hijinks? Please Tom, don’t be that stupid.

In the beginning, it felt like every episode opened with Tom and Lilly snuggling and lovey dovey. Now these two feel like they are always cleaning the house together. Talk about quickly becoming an old married couple. Hopefully not so too fast… they definitely need to keep that spark alive.

These two have no qualms about fully opening up to each other and all of America about their fears, insecurities and abandonment issues.  Insecurities like Tom’s hairy ass hobbit feet.  And his ex girlfriends. Tom takes Lilly to a place which (at least it sounds like) has previously been somewhere he went to escape the challenges of a faltering relationship.  It’s so sweet that he’s already comfortable enough with Lilly that he no longer needs this place as an escape. He trusts her enough to give up his solo retreat and share it with her.

Things are going so well for Lilly and Tom that Pastor Cal has to give them a reality check. “They want this so bad that they are starting to magnify things that aren’t that major and sabotage their marriage.”

Pastor Cal’s homework to the couples – taking each other to a meaningful location – definitely seems to be just what Nick and Sonia need. Because good Cuban food makes everything better. Sonia is so relaxed at home that she even lets it slip that she kinda misses Nick’s dogs. Nick speaks for all of us that he never thought he’d hear her say that.

This “homework” reminds me that we never really saw how Nick and Sonia did with their assignment to start and end each day with a physical gesture. Now we know that this homework would have felt a little unnecessary… or was it actually something that helped them get to the point of getting intimate? Anyway, the fact that they actually did seems like a good sign. Previous seasons have seen couples remain chaste for the entire six weeks. (or maybe they didn’t… maybe they were lying too? My world is rocked.)

Speaking of couples staying chaste, we conclude this episode with a Heather & Derek reunion cliff hanger. Hopefully Heather read the details of her contract and realized that choosing divorce doesn’t mean she gets to ditch the production crew and return to real life. Nope. Nope. Nope. Instead she gets to spend  four weeks rehashing her two week marriage ad nauseam. And giving us just enough teases (“makes me wonder, did I jump the gun?” “I wished we could have lived together”) to give us some hope for them. Nope, not going to happen. Even Derek has lost hope for reconciliation.

Going back to Dr. Pepper’s comment about the stress of the film crew.  That could also have factored into Heather’s behavior, as she seems just as private and uncomfortable in front of the camera. Just like Nick, she feels she has to drink in order to relax enough to be herself. This is a really unfortunate aspect to the show because part of what makes it so engaging is that it attracts personalities like Nick and Heather who aren’t seeking their 15 minutes of fame.

What do you think, what will be the outcome of Heather and Derek’s reunion next week – what is Derek talking about that’s “worth a try”? When will Sonia move back in with Nick?

Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 10

Up until now, the week seems really long as I (Aminda) anxiously anticipate the next MAFS episode. Like, I almost want to wait until it’s all over so I can binge watch it, and avoid the anticipation. This week was different though… knowing what was coming my eagerness turned to dread.

Expert Rachel concisely sums it this episode by pointing out that as couple’s settle into domestic routines, this can escalate the connection they are feeling and make it feel like a marriage, or make their little concerns feel overwhelming.

Overwhelming is the perfect way to describe Nick and Sonia’s awkward attempts at creating some domestic routines, like sharing breakfast, but those little efforts don’t seem to be going very far to bridge the great divide that is Sonia’s discomfort with Nick’s dogs. Sonia extends a major olive branch by inviting a trainer over to act as a neutral party in helping Sonia gain confidence and control around the dogs. This is a smart move and while Nick seems appreciative, he frustratingly makes it about him and feeling good to have “shared leadership responsibilities.” Instead of seeing, as Sonia says, that “this girl is really trying.”

Derek and Heather return – giving us a new and interesting perspective. In the past, couples who choose divorce on decision day, return for one quick “Six Months Later” episode and that’s the last we hear from them. Now we’re getting a glimpse into the aftermath of this short, intense experiment.

Now, I’ve totally defended Heather for doing what she needs to do, and I stand by that. But… it’s frustrating to hear her so bitter about Derek’s “below the belt name calling” of her being on a “high horse and acting like she’s in the 1940’s.” I mean, really? Seriously?  Those are horrible, irreconcilable insults? Dr. Pepper gracefully corrects her by pointing out that there is a different between honesty and cruelty. Because in nobody’s reality can “high horse” be considered cruel.

In her interview on Unfiltered, Heather commented that she thinks “Derek came in wanting to make it work with no matter who they put in front of him.” Proving what we’ve already guessed – she is Missing. The. Whole. Point.

Dr. Pepper wisely points out to Derek that she wouldn’t want to see him put in a situation where he wouldn’t be treated like he should be treated. From that perspective, Heather made the right call. Jamie Otis, season one participant who is still married, offered a great insider perspective on Heather’s decision

Married At First Sight: From One MAFS Bride To Another (And Giving You Another Perspective On Heather)

OK, what we really need right now is barefoot Tom hacking open a fresh coconut and casually mixing up a cocktail. It looks so much like his normal routine, almost like he just picked the coconut off the ground came from his own tree. If so, I’m kinda jealous. But not. Is having coconuts worth the risk of falling coconuts?

Tom’s surf bum style is a nice refreshing break from the drama. I’m craving coconut water. And spring. Definitely spring break.

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Lovely Lilly just lets him have his outside time, knowing Tom is fully content, sipping and savoring his coconut while puttering around the patio. I love how she’s so confident that he’s just going to hang out there forever – at least long enough for her to have an uninterrupted chat with Tom’s brother about birthday party plans. Plans that include a last minute deep cleaning of the house, which has Tom baffled about her random spring cleaning craze. Lilly should have told him she was nesting.  But what a great guy to go along with it and such a fun, cooperative attitude instead of getting whiny.

Their conversation about poop was amazing and made me thankful that Josh and I have never had a home with only one bathroom, because a poop emergency really could happen! Love that Lilly just rolled with it and was so accommodating about finding a policy that would ensure nobody poops their pants. Good call – pants pooping is definitely not healthy in marriage.

Funny that Tom also jokes about Lilly’s dutch oven policy – because across town, that’s kinda what Nick is turning into – a fetid, obnoxious explosion. We feel a slow buildup as he explains how Sonia has shut down or walked away from past conflict, causing him to be more hesitant to open up (creating a vicious cycle), and that he’s “reassessing the situation” as they go… whatever that means, it doesn’t sound very optimistic.

The downward spiral of doom quickly turns ugly. I couldn’t even keep up. And don’t even really want to recap the conversation because it was Just. So. Sad. Glad I didn’t have any bets placed on these two, because I would have lost. They are so cute, what happened?

And here comes the emotional rollercoaster as Tom and Lilly revel  in a huge birthday love fest and the tears of sadness I’ve been choking back, slip out as tears of joy. Thanks Tilly for giving us a reason to return next week!

Married at First Sight Episode 8 Recap

So if this was the Bachelor, this episode might be hyped as the “most dramatic week yet”. It’s not the Bachelor (yay!) but there was still plenty of drama. We’re kept hanging for the Derek and Heather drama we all want to see.

Instead we start with the most dramatically confusing intro ever. Tom takes the dog for a walk. When he gets back, Lilly is gone and not responding to his text. We’re expecting her to show up all cheery and with coffee and bagels. Because that’s what we’re used to happening in RomComs. Couple has a one night stand. Girl wakes up to find guy not there. Girl panics, then breathes huge sigh of relief to find him downstairs making omelets and scones.

Turns out, Lilly’s been at a doctor’s appointment. Obviously Tom didn’t know in advance that Lilly had a doctor appointment, but the timing was still odd. Does Tom walk the dog for hours? If so, then he shouldn’t be surprised that Lilly gets tired of waiting and leaves. Or did Lilly have the shortest doctor’s appointment in history? I mean, it looked like she showed up right after he returned with the dog. Did she really drive round trip and have the appointment in the same time as a quick dog walk? So many questions, I could barely focus on the following conversation.

Lilly has found out that will require shoulder surgery, which sends her into a panic, not about the surgery, but about what it will mean to her relationship with Tom. Can she rely on him to support her during such a tough time? Will he balk at having to care for her so much, so soon?

Then it was so weird that expert Rachel suddenly arrived when Lilly is still in her PJ’s, as if Rachel is there for an emergency visit to counsel Lilly. But Rachel also visits Sonia and Nick, describing it as an “intimacy visit,” so it must have been pre-planned.

While we’re still pondering these deep thoughts, pastor Calvin throws us a curveball.

“Do Derek and Heather wish to abandon their commitment?”

Ummm… is that a trick question? Sure hope not, but I don’t know. Aren’t you supposed to tell us? That’s kind of why we’re all watching this week. Do we get to find out now, or do we have to wait another 40 minutes? Or will there be another cliff hanger? (that would be a pretty desperate move).

And the final answer is… Yes. Yes, Heather wishes to abandon her commitment. And we will never get to see these two ride their cute coordinating cruiser bikes to the beach together. We’ll never get to see them reveal their salaries on national TV or find out what happened to those mugs they left back at the honeymoon hotel.

Instead, Derek and Heather part ways with a cursory “good luck.”

But, optimistic expert Rachel reminds that we still have two couples. Can’t really say how happy they are, because Sonia and Nick are still debriefing the previous night’s fight. These two are some expert debriefers.

This time, Nick is going to take some action, dang it. He plans a very nice date with Sonia’s favorite flower and lots of wine. “We’re going to do a little wine tasting, maybe get a little drunk.”

Seriously, that was a lot of wine. And no one was clearing the table of those empty glasses. (unless production though having 20 glasses on the table would be a nice visual) But it still wasn’t enough wine to bring on the whoopee. Whomp, whomp.

But seriously, sex isn’t going to happen if Sonia keeps haven’t sleep with the dog. Didn’t Dr. Pepper address that last week? Here comes expert Rachel to try a different approach.

Just when we thought these two couldn’t get any more awkward… here comes a totally cringeworthy explanation about why Nick hasn’t DTD with Sonia. He is clearly choosing his words carefully (knowing Sonia will be watching this conversation someday) and mumbling something vague about previous flings and being able to choose them upfront and having a attraction right away. Ouch.

At least Rachel gives him some practical advice to “open up about your lack of openness.” At least that gives him something to work with, instead of just being pushed to “open up.”

I’m going to jump waaaaay ahead hear, because this scene almost feels like foreshadowing to the preview for next week’s episode where Nick finally loses it about being told to open up. (saw that one coming) Seriously, my heart sank to hear Nick saying “I don’t like her, I’m not attracted to her.” Ugh. I’m kinda dreading the next episode now. I’ve rewatched, trying to figure out if maybe, hopefully, it was pulled out of context… but it sure doesn’t seem like it. It feels especially out of left field after the high note that this episode left these this couple. After a cozy threeway snuggle fest with a therapist, Sonia says she feels “ like I could have sex with my husband right now. Maybe it will happen tonight.”

I’m going to have a bottle of wine and box of tissue ready for the next episode. Between watching Nick’s confession and watching Derek have to tell his mom that the marriage is over… I just don’t know if I’m emotionally prepared for that. We catch a glimpse of Derek easing his way back into his old life and it’s already heartbreaking. “Maybe I’m supposed to be along. What was it about me that was so bad, so unbearable that she wanted to quit and walk away so soon?”

mafs He obviously can’t feel like that anymore, with hundreds of women in the Twittersphere swooning over him and planning Spring Break in Miami.

Messy Marriage

Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 7

This episode, For Better or for Worse, starts out with the worse. Derek is doing the Face Time walk of shame with his BFF. Instead of bragging about chemistry, adventure and romance on his honeymoon, he’s confessing fighting, silent treatment and rejection.

Expert Rachel is optimistic and hopeful, Derek doesn’t want to quit… but Heather is still struggling. At first she gets a sympathetic ear from her friend Amber, but then Amber quickly gives her some tough love.  “You cannot walk away from him.” And “do you think there’s anything you could have done differently?” Heather seems to take this to heart, as she actually says that the best thing that could happen would be “staying married to this man,” which is a total 180 from the place she was in the last day at the honeymoon.

The other couples are basically on an episode of “The Marriage Ref”, (a fun  show that only lasted a couple seasons, where couples had a team of celebrities determine which one of them was right and wrong in a disagreement.) Dr. Pepper is making house calls to serve as the “Ref.” (Great to see Dr. Pepper, she’s the best!)

First up are Nick and Sonia who are disagreeing about several things. First on the stand is their lack of physical intimacy. Nick argues that the physical side will, and should, come organically. Nick also defines intimacy as being close enough to read each other’s mind. Does he realize that to know someone that well, you actually have to talk to them first? Like, you can’t just skip the talking and jump to mind reading. Anyway, I digress. Sonia would like more physical intimacy, and for Nick to use touch to express his care. (Instead of cleaning the kitchen… which she might not want to complain about, because she’ll probably appreciate that in the future, am I right?)

In this case, the winner is Sonia. Dr. Pepper is gentle on Nick, giving them some homework to help them get used to being a little more affectionate with each other. I LOVE how they both took notes in their meeting with Dr. Pepper. Because that’s the kind of nerdy thing I would do, I write everything down.

Sonia was also the winner of the great dog debate. Well, actually it was kind of a tie, because the dogs are still living there, but at least Nick was quick to concede that the dogs would no longer sleep with them. Though really should never have been a deliberation. Sonia made it clear that the bed was where she drew the line on sharing a home with dogs.

Tom and Lilly are cooking and cleaning and acting like an old married couple… until a conversation about procreation reminds everyone that two weeks into the relationship is too soon for this conversation.  And in this episode of “The Marriage Ref”, I vote for a tie. Lilly is right that this is an important conversation to have, but Tom is also right in wanting to go through some of the natural steps of relationship building. Dr. Pepper decides more in favor of Tom because, as Lilly says “I get it, women tend to get crazier than the man in a relationship.” (Please call Sonia and remind her of this!) Dr. Pepper did not let Tom completely off the hook though and give him the wise advice to “avoid getting into defense positions where fear is motivator.” (Love you, Dr. Pepper!)

Eventually Tom puts Lilly’s mind at ease, not with words but with his actions, which is even better. Even after telling us that toddlers are a-holes (truth), he throws himself into babysitting  Lilly’s niece. Clearly Tom is just a big kid himself, who seems to be totally in his element playing air hockey and crafting bubble blowers and fart noise makers. And eating so much he gets a food baby. (just can’t drop the baby talk!) Lilly gives more details on how awesome Tom did at babysitting in her blog for People. Wonder what Tom thought when he saw that while he was outside babysitting, Lilly and her sister were having such a fun time visualizing Tom living in a hotdog bus.bus

The we get to see Jim and Marie (yay!), who are so cute, flirting like crazy in the kitchen and saying sweet things like “Just being with your mother is so wonderful, she makes you feel warm and fuzzy.” Sonia is super positive, not only about having a mother in law, but getting cooking lessons from her and learning more about Nick.

Poor Nick is getting heaps of advice on how he needs to open up more and communicate better… but really seems at a loss as to what that looks like on a practical level. He genuinely seems to think he’s trying really hard.

Finally, this episode comes fully circle bringing us back to the Derek Heather decision day drama. And the worst cliffhanger ever. For anyone new to the show, this scene happens each season for all three couples. The premise of the show is that couples commit to staying married for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, they sit down with one of the experts, who does a little recap of their experience, then asks each of them individually if they want to stay married or get a divorce.  In three season, there have been nine couples. Two are still together. One couple mutually decided to stay together at decision day, but divorced within a few months after. There was one couple in Season 3 that had a pretty rocky six weeks. They had mostly patched things up by the end, leading the wife to decide to stay married, but the husband asked for a divorce. (ouch). So, that leaves five couples, the majority, who have mutually decided to divorce.

So, anyway, those are the possible outcomes for Derek and Heather next week. As the voiceover has said, this is the first time the show has given an opportunity to a couple to jump straight to decisions day so soon.  What’s unknown is whether, should they choose to finish the experiment, will they have to go through decision day again at the end?  Is the cliffhanger a sign that they are divorcing sooner rather than later? (Like to keep them as part of the story line as long as possible.)

Heather dropped a few hints in this episode  that she might be willing give it another shot, but then in her interview for “Unfiltered”, she didn’t even utter Derek’s name, instead talking about marriage in vague futuristic terms. It was pretty clear that they didn’t stick it out for six weeks, so staying together until then seems futile.

Yes, we can argue all of the reasons why she could try harder and give it another chance. And those reasons may be positive and valid. But the reality is, her intuition is loudly yelling at her to get out, and a woman’s intuition is usually going to win over logic. Can’t judge her for that.  If she decides not to continue, it doesn’t make her cold and heartless or bad at relationships. It just means that this relationship didn’t work out for her. Hopefully the next one will. What do you think, do they stay together for two weeks? Six?

Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 6

Just a reminder that Married at First Sight is on the FYI TV Network and online at fyi.tv. This is the fourth season of MAFS. Each season, three couples get married to a partner picked out for them by a team of experts after a rigorous selection process. The show follows them for six weeks to see if they’ll make it as a couple.

The first five episodes have revolved around wedding planning, the actual wedding and the honeymoon. This week all that fun and excitement is over and the drudgery of real life begins. This episode focuses on two of three couples, since the third, Derek and Heather, started to self-destruct the second day of the honeymoon and are taking a couple days to rest, regroup and determine if the fledgling relationship can be salvaged. (It’s unlikely – previous seasons have never seen a couple recover from this type of discord so soon. )

They might have well called this episode “thrown Under the Bus, since, after weeks of suspenseful buildup, this episode’s climax was all about Lilly’s reaction to finally finding out Tom lives in a bus. But first, we need our mandatory opener of these two gazing into each other’s eyes like high school sweethearts, talking about how happy they are. And once again with Nick and Sonia are stuck in the friend zone. While Tom brags about their bedroom compatibility, poor Sonia is still lamenting that she doesn’t even know if her husband finds her attractive.(Wasn’t Nick’s mom supposed to check in now and then to make sure he’s been telling her he does?)

While these two couples are recapping their week of honeymoon bliss, Derek and Heather’s husband and wife mugs get forlornly behind like used shampoo bottles as little black clouds of gloom follow them out of the hotel and to the airport.

Soon the couples are en route to the reality of living together in place sans room service and housekeeping. The couples have three options for moving in together: A. his place B. her place, or C. a fresh new rental. Option C, while more expensive, usually seems healthier as it provides neutral territory and shared ownership, where neither person feels like a guest.

Nick and Sonia face their biggest obstacle yet as they introduce Sonia to Nick’s dogs. Sonia handles herself so gracefully with the dogs, that she feels Nick misunderstands that she actually has a “legitimate fear” stemming from a childhood incident.

The best foreshadowing quote from Lilly, “I can’t wait to see your place. You haven’t told me anything.” Then she pulls into a trailer park and she immediately wishes she has Dr. Pepper on speed dial because “what the F” is up with this bait and switch? The independent, financially secure man that she demanded does not live in a trailer park.

Fortunately for all of us romantics out here in TV land, she keeps an open mind. Tom has put in to make the bus a comfortable living space, with a dash of adventure (because she asked for that too, right). Well, comfortable until the lights and hot water go out on her during a shower. And then we’re all like

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A huge positive sign for these two is how well Tom was willing to move to a new place. Early on he mentioned that he’d broken up with previous girlfriends because they couldn’t accept the bus. Lilly doesn’t want to live the bus any more than they do, but simply the fact that she embraces it as part of what she admires about Tom, and Boom, that’s all it takes for him to.

Derek and Heather have an emergency meeting with Samuel L. Jackson Pastor Calvin, which is barely worth mentioning because nothing changes except we now have a bit of a cliffhanger regarding whether they’re going to last the full 6 weeks. In other words, we’ll find out if it in their contract to stay together for 6 weeks, or they’re released. Because they are clearly not choosing to stay together. (yes, I’m over being optimistic about these two.)

Next up is a MAFS first in which the couples are forced to reveal their salary and debt on national TV, then try to convince us that it’s only awkward telling the stranger they just married (which we’re not buying). In previous season, salary has been discussed in vague terms like “I’m financially secure.” Or not. Then we’re shown the rent costs of their new homes, so viewers can run the numbers and weigh in on whether the couples are making smart decisions and living within their means. I’m sure the social media trolls are having a blast with that.  (that, and with social worker Sonia rolling up in her Lexus)

Nick and Sonia find a home they love and don’t seem awkward at all talking about filling it with kids and dogs. (Sonia, he’s talking about making babies with you, please promise to never ever question whether he’s attracted to you?). Hopefully Nick realizes that the dogs have to stay out of the bed if kids are going to happen.

Lilly and Tom are full on adulting…. Lilly by cooking and Tom by washing his feet. Then our fave horny teens return to christen their new homes. Good night MAFS, see you next week!

Married at First Sight Recap: Episode 5

I’m getting caught up after a week off the grid! That’s right, my family really likes to road trip and camp, so we were disconnected for a while. We have lots of posts here on our pre-baby adventures, and we’ll be writing sharing what we’ve learned about camping with a baby. (We’ve written about plane travel with our little explorer.)

It’s a little surprising that another full episode of Married at First Sight is dedicated to honeymoons, given it’s only one week out of the six they have together prior to decision day. Maybe it’s the last time we’ll have all three couples together after Derek and Heather bail? But I’m jumping ahead.

We begin with Lilly and Tom, kissy faced and talking about falling in love with each other while Nick and Sonia are still in the friend zone. At least Sonia thinks her chaste week supersedes how she would have envisioned her honeymoon. Over another breakfast on the ironing board, they check in with each other about the previous night’s disagreement. Nick astutely points out that they followed a relationship commandment by not going to be angry. “Winning.”

A salsa lesson SHOULD be just the right thing to generate some romance between Sonia and Nick, but is instead just all sorts of awkward gringo Nick tripping all over himself. Then the enthusiastic instructor taking his duties a little too far when he coaches the couple on kissing, with an enthusiastic air kiss, MUWAHH. (like when our toddler gives me a big, sloppy open-mouth kiss, which is really him trying to bite my nose but I redirect it into a Muwahh kiss.)

Tom has a positive conversation with pastor Calvin, who helps Tom shed the heavy weight he’s been carrying about telling Lilly about bus sweet bus. “You don’t have to apologize for who you are, Tom,” says Pastor Calvin. Truth. With this burden lifted, Lilly can finally get through a day of her honeymoon without cryptic questions about exactly how “tiny” she can live. Under a stairwell? In a birdhouse? So, instead they make light banter on topics such as “what was your biggest failure.”

All of the couples head out for an adrenaline date because, as expert Rachel puts it, adrenaline and excitement translate well into the bedroom. (As rock climbers of course, we love this).

Tom and Lilly spend a ziplining outing complementing each other and waxing about how well they were matched. Nick and Sonia have progressed from friends to WNBA teammate status (that’s an option on Facebook, right?), as they compete to outperform each other in their various excursions, like kiteboarding and ATV-ing. Sonia let’s Nick “win” kiteboarding, although it’s barely a win, given his performance is barely noticeable until replayed in slow motion. (as he requested.)

Derek and Heather woke up playing nice for a few minutes and we were all, “hooray!” Thankfully, they seem to have moved on from their moral debate about whether smoking or drinking is more evil, but all sorts of crazy new debates creep in.

The couple goes surfing, even after the instructor makes the world’s worst joke about going out into shark infested waters. Of course this is only an excuse to hold Heather’s hand while out in the scary shark-filled surf. Derek’s jealously makes me think maybe he’s watched Along Came Polly too many times? “Hi, hello, are you for scuba?”

Derek and Heather immediately launch into a new debate about the definition of flirting which is grounds for an emergency conference call with pastor Calvin. While Heather is complaining that Derek is acting like a teenager, the other couples are also embracing their inner child. We see Lilly playing “hot lava” in the hotel room, while Nick and Sonia enjoy a yummy bed-timey snack (that’s what it was called in my house).

The last night of the honeymoon brings a romantic celebratory dinner. Tom carries Lilly to the table which is kinda sweet until he awkwardly maneuvers her into her chair. (Looking like I feel while positioning a toddler into his carseat without giving him a concussion on the door frame).

Heather follows pastor Cal’s advice to “knock the freaking walls down,” by getting sloppy drunk. Derek vascilates between optimism that she’s loosening up, flirting and having fun with him… then all of a sudden he’s complaining that she ruined the night by getting drunk. Which one is it, Derek?!!!

Then we get a glimpse into the Derek who has gone cold turkey from smoking and maybe the side of Derek that is so frustrating to Heather. Rational, positive well-spoken Derek suddenly busts out into a profanity laced rant about Heather being an old dog. Not cool, dude. I’m totally confused by these two – seems very unlikely that they’ll recover. What do you think, do you agree?

Married at First Sight Season 4 Recap: Episode 4, the Honeymoons

The suspense is really killing me this season. I mean, it does every season but this is like an emotional rollercoaster for the viewer. There is so much positivity and potential… then somber looking previews of Decision Day. I know I said that this season would be good not matter the outcome, and that’s still true. But gosh darn it, I want a happy ending for everyone!

So, we continue with the honeymoons, which expert Rachel tells are for “making happy memories. Then quickly learn that Tom and Lilly are making more than memories, they are making love.

According to Dr. Pepper the honeymoon allows them to relax now that their finally “alone”. Yes, totally alone with that camera crew in the hotel room. No big deal. We’re reminded of this when Tom and Lilly are filming a post-coital diary cam… with another camera on them, totally voiding the intimacy the diary cam is supposed to suggest. Tom’s Instagram gives us a peek at what the filming set up looks like.

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Source: Tom Wilson Instagram

Crazy. So, is their off-camera time pre scheduled, so they know exactly what time to expect the camera in the morning? Do they just get like an hour notice to get ready, or do they call down when they’re awake and ready to go? Wouldn’t it kill the mood knowing you have to kiss and tell all of America the next morning?

Tom sums up the previous night by saying “We were both nervous and shaking with excitement,” making it sound more like maybe they were actually robbing a 7-11 together. No sign of nervous twitching out on the beach as Tom and Lilly flirt like crazy and lotion each other up with and suavely lotions Lilly up. Tom casually mentions that he made them some temporary wedding rings, so they could leave their real ones in the safe. Stop right there. We know he’s into restoration work but how exactly did he just make some rings? Like did he swipe a lighter and tin can of Beef-a-roni while at the 7-11 and weld some tin bands?

Tom also tells us that before the wedding he was always expecting the worst and hoping for the best out of marriage. But that what he and Lilly got from each other was way beyond what they expected.

I LOVE this so much! I’ve always said that Josh is not the man of my dreams. What I found in him greatly exceeded all my dreams. I mean, c’mon our life is amazing! He’s amazing.

After a day spent frolicking in waterfalls, it starts to rain so Tom and Lilly recreate their wedding ceremony (In his People blog Tom says he actually repeated his wedding vows to her… awww.)

This reminds me of a bad joke. What’s worse than when it’s raining cats and dogs? Hailing taxis. Give yourself a minute. Got it? Good.

So with their crazy chemistry, it’s no surprise that Tom and Lilly were the first to do the deed. But Sonia opens up and admits that she has thought about it a lot (especially now that she’s seen him undressed) but is going to try hard not to have sex too quick. So, she and Nick continue creating some PG rated (not G, because there is a little bit of cleavage) honeymoon memories by going stand up paddle-boarding. Sonia is tackling her fear of water with this activity and “She’s kind of a badass,” sums up Nick.

This is also awesome because facing a fear together as a couple is SO powerful! So yes, Lilly and Tom, you do want to go skydiving together. We highly encourage this in our book. But this post from our team building blog explains how fear makes us vulnerable and builds mutual respect.

Nick and Sonia continue their fun day with a super lame looking horseback ride which was redeemed by the super romantic kiss they share beneath a waterfall at the end. A kiss that gave us viewers some hope that they aren’t actually just stuck in the friend zone while trying to convince themselves otherwise.

Meanwhile, the mood is more subdued with Heather and Derek as Derek’s smoking continues to create a divide between them. Heather confesses to him that she is super uncomfortable with his frequent smoking… and then should have stopped talking, instead of continuing on to tell him she is “so turned off”. That’s going to make any guy instantly defensive, and sure enough, Derek walks off feeling betrayed. Heather says she doesn’t know where to go from here and I’m yelling at her to please call Dr. Pepper, stat! Let her mediate this for you so you can enjoy the rest of your honeymoon!!

We’re ready to move on from this drama to more lovey-dovey sweetness, but instead are left like

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Because out of nowhere, the other two couples are fighting. Especially confusing was Sonia’s emotional reaction to Nick’s comment about not wanting to rush anything. Maybe we didn’t see the whole conversation? But our hearts sink when Sonia tells us “I’m kinda over him.”

Tom and Lilly’s fight stems from yet another one of his unsuccessful attempt to “tell” Lilly about the bus he lives in without actually telling her the truth. And now it’s feeling like maybe this confession is becoming a bigger thing than it needs to be? And also starting to feel like a Dr. Suess rhyme:

Would you like a tiny house? One that’s built more for a mouse?

Would you live there in that yacht? Now that we have tied the knot?

What about a bus for us? One that’s not a lot of fuss?

You may like it, you will see, you may like it there with me.

Both of these arguments feel like more of a reaction to the stress and exhaustion of the whole experience, not as if they are going to send the relationships off course. Unlike Derek and Heather, whose ship seems to have sailed into an iceberg, after a painful second attempt to reconcile their differences on the definition of occasional and whose vice is more offensive.

Reflecting on this exchange, Heather looks like she’s modeling for her own line of sad face emojis. And I’m sad for them too. Even sadder after reading all the stupid social media comments from mean trolls judging Heather. Stop, just stop. She’s a real person.

The previews tease that things are looking a little brighter for Derek and Heather next episode… can’t wait to find out!

 

Married at First Sight Recap: The Weddings

Our wedding day episode resumes with the downpour that is memorializing Tom and Lily’s wedding. Lily is understandably freaking out as her beautiful updo melts to her face and her veil melts to the sidewalk. She finally commits to walking down the aisle and as Tom says “I see her and it feels really good. She is gorgeous. The fact that she’s still willing to walk down the aisle (in the rain) speaks volumes.” Truth.

We don’t learn whether Lily’s mother viewed rain at the wedding as an omen, but hopefully for her family it’s representative of positive things like fertility, cleansing, unity and renewal.

As Lily, Tom and the minister snuggle in under the only two umbrellas to be found, the women guests scramble to cover up with something that looks about as useless as a washcloth. The men are left to just shiver and soak.

Just as we’re all shouting at our TV’s telling them to move the ceremony indoors – there has to be an empty meeting room or even a lobby that can accommodate a small group for a few minutes –the sun comes out.

“He’s smiling, and I’m smiling too because he’s so handsome. I feel like I’m a very lucky girl.”

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And the attraction is…
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Mutual!

Phew, there seems to be a mutual attraction. This is a big deal, as past seasons have had couples with an attraction disconnect and it’s always a little awkward. It’s usually the girl who isn’t excited by her surprise dude, and let me tell you, you’ve got to be pretty cool, confident guy to handle hearing out on national TV that a girl doesn’t find you attractive (I’m looking at you, Doug from season 1).

Meanwhile, Heather has wisely chosen and indoor wedding. This is good because she’s already getting the pukey panics and the rain definitely would not be good for her stomach. We all know this feeling – like when you have an important presentation. Or you’re about to lead a hard rock climbing project (OK, so maybe not everyone has been there). Anyway, you’re jittery and your stomach is churning and you just want to cry, scream and throw up at the same time?

“He’s got a nice face. I’m kinda big on faces. He’s got a nice one.” OK, I love this glimpse into Heather’s dry humor! We learn that she is into hip hop, and that Derek has a dog named Josh (great name!)

Lucky for Heather, her beachy indoor ceremony is tasteful affair. The first couple seasons had some pretty terrible décor where not much was done to improve the drab, austere conference room, just adding to the discomfort of the whole thing.

So we’re two for two with the mutual attraction, setting the scene for much worry by Sonia and Nick about being found attractive by their spouse. We’re left hanging a couple times, first when Sonia hesitates for an uncomfortably long moment before saying “I Do”, leaving Nick’s mom literally on the edge of her seat.

While Nick is not forthcoming in confessing his attraction in person, we do hear voiceover’s of him saying things like “She’s very pretty – I couldn’t have asked for more of a beautiful bride,” which were clearly interviews done at some point in the future. Because all he gives us when his bride appears is “I’ll take that.” Like, to go with a drink and side of fries???

Nick is really uncomfortable about giving a strange woman a compliment. In everyday life, there’s a risk that a guy would come off as creepy or leering, but on your wedding day… it’s kind of important, at least according to Nick’s mom who says she’ll talk to him about this grave omission, immediately contradicting last week’s proclamation that she would be a mother in law that “minded her own business”. Well, maybe she did remember to mind her own business, because instead of Nick coming forward with a compliment, Sonia’s mom essentially forces poor Sonia to as Nick herself, as she translates for her mother. Cringe.

So, finally we’re three for three mutual attractions. One of the changes made to the matching process this season was to submit photos of exes to gauge the time of person they’re attracted too. Seems to have worked, yay!

Eventually the couples and their families are feeling better about this whole weird situation and we get tons of feel-good, alcohol induced sentiment.

Tom’s sister tells Lily that after seeing immediate chemistry between the two of them, he gets her blessing. “Your family is so sweet and so warm, I feel like it’s our gift that we get you.”

Derek’s mom tells Heather that “as crazy as I thought this was when I heard about it, I don’t think that any more. I just like you.”

Nick, who couldn’t tell his bride that she looked nice, now has enough liquid courage to tell her friends that “I love her. I might have found love at first sight.”

After so much surgery sappiness, we need clear our palate, so Lily’s sister throws in some salt with some drama about not being included in the bridal party. Honestly what was most uncomfortable to me was that the sister referred to the groom as Tommy. Please don’t give an adult an adult man a nickname ending in a “Y” without permission.

Just like the conversation, the dancing loosens up as the alcohol flows. Nick succinctly describes the first dance “We got past the 1st grade level, almost got around to 8th grade, 9th grade, almost senior year.” Then the night winds down and we’re off for the wedding night. The word chemistry is thrown around by all couples but of course we’re left hanging as to whether the marriage will be consummated and whether or not Nick’s best man loses all his money from betting against them.

And just as the show ends and we’re all wiping away tears of happiness, we’re treated to a montage of dramatic season preview clips. Fights and tears that leave us doubting that any one of them are going to last.

Hopefully they all find their happily ever after, but whether they do or don’t, I’m still going to enjoy sharing their experience. I’ve read a lot of social media comments from people describing the last two seasons as terrible failures because none of the couples stayed together. To which I want to respond, if you want a guaranteed love story go watch a scripted romantic comedy. Or even the Bachelor, where the couple is at least guaranteed to be together until the end of filming (whether they want to be or not). Personally, I don’t want there to be pressure on these couples to stay together for the audience. I want them to have permission to be true to themselves because that’s exactly what differentiates MAFS from most current reality TV.

What do you think, any predictions on who will stay together and who won’t? Which couple would you like to have as guests as a dinner party?