Intimacy doesn’t happen overnight. Not all of the “Married at First Sight” Season 3 couples were comfortable being so close in episode 9, despite being married for a month. While some couples were able to work on their connection and grow close, one couple felt like not enough effort was being put in.
Sam and Neil
Sam Role’s mother talks to her about marriage, and Sam says she and Neil Bowlus don’t communicate the same way. Sam’s mother tells her to remember that she doesn’t have to change traits about Neil that she doesn’t like. However, she must accept them.
Neil talks to a friend and says their attraction to each other hasn’t grown. He thinks Sam is beautiful, but they still haven’t bonded.
The couple is still not living together, but they meet to do homework assigned by Dr. Joseph Cilona, their psychologist. They have to hold hands and stare into each other’s eyes for one minute. Sam thinks the exercise is weird and starts making funny faces. Neil is irritated that she refuses to take it seriously.
Greg Epstein, their spiritual expert, meets with the couple. He tells them they need to find a place together, then asks them about their religious beliefs. Sam is Jewish, and Neil is willing to learn about her religion. He wants to understand more so that he can relate to his wife.
Later, they make potato latkes and matzo ball soup together. Sam opens up and talks about her family a little. Neil is grateful that she is letting him into this part of her life. Neil even feels like they’re starting to be a normal married couple. He decides to open up about his family. Sam is thrilled that her husband finally feels comfortable and she responds by talking about her grandmother, who recently died. She tells him to cherish his family while they’re still around.
Sam and Neil both say they feel like they’re finally connecting more. “Maybe we can grow together,” Sam says.
Vanessa and Tres
Vanessa Nelson’s dog needs training, so she and Tres Russell go to a professional for help. During training, Tres says he can see Vanessa will be a good mother one day. He clarifies that children aren’t being planned just yet, but they both want kids in the future.
Tres and Vanessa do their homework assignment of staring into each other’s eyes, and it goes much better than it does for the other couples. “I’m really excited, and I’m being optimistic about our marriage,” Vanessa says.
They tell their spiritual adviser that they’ve learned a lot about communication. Tres admits he prays for their marriage, which Vanessa finds sweet. Greg advises them to go out and experience more things together to make memories. He leaves them with their wedding album.
They take Greg’s advice and go to a wine and paint night at an art studio. They each paint half a canvas that will be combined to make one large portrait. They have a good time and share laughs. They call Tres’ grandmother later, and Vanessa tells his relative that he and Vanessa have developed a pretty good relationship so far.
Tres makes taco salad for Vanessa, and even though it isn’t an impressive meal, Vanessa appreciates the effort. They look at their wedding album later and realize they’ve come a long way in just a month. Vanessa says they’re like “a real married couple” now.
Ashley and David
Ashley Doherty initiates a serious conversation with her husband. David Norton is irritated that Dr. Joseph was the one who had to tell him that Ashley wasn’t attracted to him. He feels like Ashley should’ve told him first. “That’s why I’ve been so afraid to say things because yeah, you can go back and apologize, but the words stay,” she explains.
David and Ashley agree to keep working on their marriage until the end of the experiment. David still hopes it will work. “I didn’t sign up for ‘Best Friends at First Sight,’ ” he says.
They do their homework assignment and have to give each other compliments. David immediately has three compliments ready for his wife. Ashley has trouble thinking of nice things to say on the spot. David says he needs her to put in a little effort for these homework assignments. (She also refused to do Dr. Logan Levkoff’s fishbowl assignment recently.) Ashley says she really is trying to make their marriage work.
David and Ashley write letters to clarify their feelings for each other. Ashley writes only a couple of sentences saying she wants to work on their marriage, but she is frustrated and exhausted. David writes that he isn’t sure they can establish a romantic connection at this point, and he admits he has been struggling to stay positive.
They fight about whether Ashley has been putting effort into their marriage. David doesn’t think she has and he questions if she is just waiting for a chance to run out on the experiment. Ashley says she can’t answer that but doesn’t feel like the odds are great for their marriage.
When Greg visits, he tells the couple to be patient. He wants them to relate to one another more and he hopes their wedding album will make them feel a little more confident in their relationship.
They look through their album and can tell how uncomfortable they are throughout the pictures. They laugh about it and Ashley says she feels much more comfortable around David now. David says the moment makes him feel a little more confident about their relationship.
The couple plays kickball to bond a little. It definitely helps them relieve some stress and have fun. Still, a kickball game can’t solve all their problems.
“Married at First Sight” Season 3 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on FYI.