“Married at First Sight” Season 3 caught up with the couples in an intimate reunion special. Six months after they made their initial decisions to divorce or stay together, all six participants sat down with sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz. It seems some of them have changed their minds about their relationships since the finale of the FYI reality show.
Sam and Neil
Sam Role sits down for a solo interview first and says she feels good about her experience. She knows she wasn’t kind to Neil Bowlus during the first weeks of their marriage. She is glad she changed and became a better person. Sam is even “proud” to still wear her wedding ring after their divorce because she is happy that she grew so much during this experience.
In his individual session, Neil says he wasn’t emotionally connected to his wife. While it was tough for Neil to see Sam’s reaction to the divorce, he couldn’t get over the first few weeks. However, he says they’re in touch pretty frequently at this point and have started building a friendship.
In their joint interview, they both say they’ve grown as people. Sam apologizes to Neil for her behavior during the beginning of their relationship. She starts to cry and says she can’t even describe how ashamed she is, and Neil tells her she doesn’t have to. He can see how real her emotions are. They share a hug, and Neil offers his sleeve for Sam to dry her tears with. Dr. Pepper clearly wants to see the couple give their relationship another chance, but the expert is happy that they at least have a strong friendship.
Later, Sam and Neil are shown going out to brunch together. “Who knows what’ll happen in the future, but all I know is that we’ll be there for each other in the end,” Sam says.
Ashley and David
Ashley Doherty asked David Norton for a divorce in the “Married at First Sight” Season 3 finale. In the reunion episode, she says she is happy without him. She explains there was a lot more to their breakup than just her not being attracted to David. They never connected emotionally about anything. She often felt “smothered” and he pushed her too much. She knows that he didn’t do everything wrong, but asking another woman out really broke their relationship.
Dr. Pepper asks if maybe David was talking to other women because he felt like Ashley had already rejected him. Ashley doesn’t think that’s an excuse. She says she doesn’t even want to see him again.
Though she doesn’t seem very happy, she says she at least learned a few things from this experience. She says she needs to find a balance between speaking her mind and standing up for herself. She also realizes she was so afraid of hurting David’s feelings that by not saying anything she did even more damage.
In David’s session, he reveals that he realized he wanted marriage a little too much. He probably should have taken a hint and pulled away from Ashley. He gave Ashley some space after the breakup, but he wanted to chat a few weeks later. His ex made it clear that she didn’t want to talk.
Dr. Pepper asks about what happened with the date debacle. She seems to agree with Ashley and doesn’t believe David’s explanation. David maintains he was asking a woman out to talk about Ashley. “My intention was not to cheat on my wife,” he says. “Especially when you have a camera crew around you 24/7, it’s kind of difficult to cheat on your wife.” He knows it was a mistake, though, and he regrets it.
David admits he was thinking about his own needs more than their needs as a couple. He says he was trying to rush falling in love. Despite the divorce, he still believes in marriage and he thinks the FYI reality show was a good experience.
Tres and Vanessa
Tres Russell and Vanessa Nelson were the only couple to stay married at the end of the experiment. However, as soon as Vanessa sat down with Dr. Pepper, it was clear that she wasn’t in the middle of her happily ever after.
Vanessa says she never saw her differences with Tres as assets. They were considered roadblocks. That’s when Vanessa reveals that she and Tres have broken up.
They stopped being intimate and “things just fell apart.” Their blowout argument was one day when Tres came in at 5 a.m. Tres claimed he didn’t have romantic feelings for his wife. “Things weren’t perfect at all. But I thought it was at least based on that we liked each other,” Vanessa says. She admits she hasn’t given up on their relationship yet.
Tres sits down with Dr. Pepper and says that he always had to prove himself to his wife. He eventually got tired of doing that. That was just one of many problems in their relationship. The pressure of keeping their marriage together made him unhappy. They still had trouble communicating. He blames himself for ending their sex life, and he knows that brought out a lot of insecurities in his wife.
Still, Tres says he wants to at least be friends with Vanessa. “I was falling for Vanessa, definitely was growing feelings for her,” he says. “And I care about Vanessa a ton.”
In their joint session, Tres apologizes to Vanessa. He assures her that he cares for her, and he wishes he could take back some things he did. He says he stopped being intimate with her because he wanted to focus on their friendship. He realizes that was not the right choice. He says he wants to sit down and talk some things out soon. Dr. Pepper thinks it could bring them some closure, even if they don’t get back together.
The cameras follow Tres and Vanessa to dinner. They talk about watching the show and the good times they had together. It doesn’t seem like they’re getting back together, but neither of them have regrets. In fact, they both seem happy with their decision. “It’s been scary,” Vanessa says. “Sometimes the things that are scary are the things that are the best things in life.”