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‘Married at First Sight’: Real Married Life Brings Mountains and Molehills of Conflict

Married at First Sight, Reality TV, Spoilers

Last week saw the Married at First Sight Season 9 North Carolina couples, Greg and Deonna, Matt and Amber, Keith and Iris, and Jamie and Elizabeth all return from their romantic honeymoons to real lives as married couples. The moving-in day was mostly blissful for the marital matches. There was a bit of confusion over condoms for Iris, and a big confrontation over separate bathrooms for Matt and Amber.

The hopeful mood for the future prevailed as the pairs prepared for life for the next eight weeks and their successful Married at First Sight futures.

Greg and Deonna celebrate a birthday and becoming truly Married at First Sight

This week’s focus was for the couples to intermingle with one another’s families in whatever way they were most comfortable.  Since it was Greg’s birthday, both he and Deonna decided to plan a family celebration.  It was a beautiful sight to see both families delight in one another’s company and the progress of the couple. Deonna described that seeing her husband interact with her family was “very attractive” to her.

Deonna is definitely warming to her husband.   Her family even confirmed that “we’re hearing things that we never heard before” regarding her relationships.  Deonna surprised Greg with a “Happy Birthday Hubs” cake in advance of the party.  She surprised him even more by saying that she was “beyond comfortable” now with her husband.

He naturally couldn’t help but ask if that progress would lead to fulfilling romance that night. Deonna would not commit, noting that it still had only been two weeks since she and her husband met, and 10 years since her last relationship.  Nonetheless, Deonna is at the point to say that she “would not be opposed” to the relationship moving into greater intimacy.  This is huge progress for her and it seems like this couple is coming to understand why they were matched.

Matt drops more bombshells on Amber’s blossoming dreams

There was a surge of Married at First Sight fan support at the start of the relationship between Amber Bowles and Matt Gwynne (IV).  They shared such a strong physical connection and seemed to compensate for one another’s emotional needs, too.

Last week, Matt started to let some of his emotional walls fall, sharing memories of his father, and let Amber get a little bit closer to his vulnerable side.  At the same time, the looming possibility of him playing basketball again is a hard pill for Amber to swallow.  She mellowed in her stance on separate bathrooms, but on the way to her aunt’s house for Sunday dinner, Matt dropped another truth bomb on his bride.

Matt and Amber can’t agree on when to have children

Amber inquired whether Matt wanted children.  He responded that he “definitely” wanted children in his future. He just doesn’t want them until he could provide fully for them, which might be as far off as eight years.

Amber quickly calculated that she would be 35 and he would be 40 by that time.   The conversation turned even more away from commitment, as the basketball player reiterated that “once you have a child with a person, you’re bonded for life,” not sounding so enthusiastic.  The whole conversation left Amber concerned that she and Matt are not “on the same page.”

Amber did get affirmation from her husband’s interactions with her family.  The Married at First Sight groom fit right into the family conversation, and both Amber and Matt showed that they already knew a great deal about each other.  The cameras proved that Matt still has miles to go in valuing his wife’s feelings and earning her trust after the get-together.

Matt is on camera getting ready and departing in the early afternoon, supposedly off to see his friend, “Devon”  Hours pass, and Matt does not respond to Amber’s texts or calls.  Just before midnight, Amber is frantic, and her face is swollen with tears.  “I just want to hear from him,” she sobs to her dad on the phone.  Matt is still not home at 2:37 AM.

Matt is well aware of Amber’s history and fears of abandonment.  He could not have chosen a more hurtful move this early in his marriage.

It’s not just lemonade for Keith and Iris

Lemonade may be  Beyoncé’s landmark album of female revelation, but for Iris Manley, the beverage is far more than bottled juice.

Keith and Iris have genuine chemistry and have formed a connection deeper than the physical in their relationship.  No doubt, the wait is wearing on Keith, but he does sense his wife’s concern for things that really matter to him.

When news comes that his grandmother has taken a turn for the worse in her cancer battle, Keith tells Iris he plans to see her soon and invites Iris to come with him.   She is also emotionally devastated, but determined to be supportive.  “I’m breaking down every few minutes,” she admits. The connection between them is moving.

The party between the families is a success, and it’s sweet to see Iris’ mother still so impressed with her son-in-law and offering to help in his grandmother’s situation.

Keith and Iris bought designated food and refreshments for their soirée.  Iris becomes visibly incensed when she sees that Keith’s friends have helped themselves to “her lemonade” in the refrigerator.  She openly admits that she is in “such a bad place” because of the infraction.

When she brings the matter up to Keith, he responds that “everything there is replaceable.”  He asks Iris: “Is it something you can overcome?” Still, in tears, she leaves to take a shower.

This squabble over bottled lemonade is not even worth breath.  Only maturing and learning the real give-and-take of marriage can cure the sting from the silly arguments.  Let’s hope that Keith and Iris ended their day with a prayer of gratitude again.

Jamie and Elizabeth fail to communicate

Thus far, Jamie and Elizabeth have shown some strides in maturity and moving on from fights that the other couples have not crossed.   This week, however, the priority in communication that Married at First Sight expert, Pastor Cal, counseled about with the couple, really raises issues.

Elizabeth surprises even her own family with her affection and ease with Jamie. Everyone teases her dad about his difficulty in letting his not-so-little girl go.

Later, when Jamie wants to talk about Elizabeth’s job with her father’s company, she goes on the total defensive. She then probes into his parents’ divorce, which she knows is a prickly situation for her husband.  The talk soon turns loud and venomous. Jamie leaves, with Elizabeth spewing her chosen language.

Jamie returns bearing a bouquet of flowers.  He lets Elizabeth know that he wants to talk about things that are serious.   He should have said he needed some “naked moments” per Pastor Cal.  Instead, Elizabeth is in no mood for a “therapy session,” as she calls it, and she refuses to go deep on major topics of closeness.  Jamie asks her to “own it” regarding her part in apologizing and being accountable.  She turns the discussion to an attack on their intimate lives, and Jamie leaves again.

Jamie gets hurt and retreats under attack, and Elizabeth becomes defensive and uses words and personal situations for weapons.  These two need lessons on the fairness in fighting, and tutoring in simply how to talk.  They still have great possibilities if they can scale these bickering mountains.  “I want to get to know you,” Jamie says at one point.  That process requires a lifetime of love, commitment, and not giving up.

Married at First Sight airs Wednesdays on Lifetime, and fans will just have to see how picking up the pieces goes next week.

Tresa Patterson

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