For better or worse I am addicted to the A & E show ‘Married at First Sight.’ Last season turned out so well with an incredible number of lessons to be learned about relationships. So, I also had high hopes for Season 2.
Unfortunately, this season was not nearly so successful. (I was cringing along with the panel of experts.) But it was no less educational. With the new group of couples, I discovered a new series of lessons to be learned:
Communicate, communicate, communicate. And not in that shouty “I need to be heard!” way when you’ve reached the end of your rope. It seems like (as an outsider looking in) a lot of things could have been avoided if people just learned how to talk (kindly) to one another. I was so shocked at how some people this season expected the other person to read their minds already. Come to think of it, it’s probably not such a good idea to expect anyone to read your mind in general. This is definitely a habit to develop while one is still single (i.e. me).
You aren’t going to love your spouse every moment of every day. I got the sense this season-more than the previous one-that everyone sort of expected one big, fat fairy tale. Part of me wonders if they saw the way things turned out the previous season and thought marriage would be a piece of cake. But love takes a lot of work (even more so than merely living with a roommate) and it’s fair to say that one doesn’t like anyone all the time.
Don’t be so touchy. This is difficult because in the world of ‘Married at First Sight’ these couples didn’t have the usual timeline to meet and then learn to trust each other. But in any relationship (romantic or otherwise) I think it’s worth giving the other person the benefit of the doubt instead of blowing up. Especially in the case of Davina and Sean on their honeymoon. Davina absolutely expected Sean to already know when and how to comfort her. Totally ridiculous and I think that’s part of what pushed him away a bit.
Odds are that you aren’t married to a clone. This goes along with not being so touchy but I noticed that expectations of these relationships were way over-blown from the beginning. Someone in the relationship is generally going to be more sensitive than the other, etc. Accepting and celebrating differences seems like the way to go instead of getting angry and frustrated. Ryan D. is the perfect example of this. He automatically expected Jessica to communicate in his style or he got upset. That’s just not reality. (And certainly not with someone he just met!)
Leave and Cleave. This is a “Christianese” phrase but it basically means to leave your biological family (or prior, singleton situation) to create a new life with the new spouse. (Admittedly, “leaving” can take on a variety of meanings: physically, emotionally, mentally…) Throughout the season Sean and Ryan R. seemed to have their escape plans at the ready. Sean even went so far as to stay at his own home while he was working. (I so wish he and Davina could have come up with a more centrally located home between both their jobs!) Their situations only highlighted the need to separate a bit (mentally and physically) from prior homes and families to commit to a marriage.
Loyalty is important. I sighed every time that Jessica imitated Ryan D. with those awful mannerisms and voice whenever they had a disagreement. She thought that mocking him was OK even though they are supposed to be on the same team! Yeah, part of the show is to discuss the relationship in front of the camera. However, I think (in all three cases) that choosing to be loyal would have served them well and helped them feel more invested in the relationship.
You need to be ready for a relationship. The majority of the individuals, sadly, did not seem to have a rational, realistic view of what marriage involves. That alone was the major downfall of the season: They just weren’t prepared to commit to someone and to work on a serious relationship. Although kudos go to Jaclyn for being so willing to grow in such a short period of time. Even the way she embraced Ryan R.’s family impressed me.
Did you watch ‘Married at First Sight?’ What did you think of the season?