Jason Carrion and Cortney Hendrix were looking for love and a partner for life when they signed up for the Married at First Sight experiment. They met for the first time on their wedding day, and there was an instant mutual attraction. After choosing to stay together once the experiment was complete, viewers were thrilled to learn that their first year of marriage would be documented on Married at First Sight: The First Year. While ups and downs are to be expected for any new bride and groom, the couple has made it through several life changes simultaneously.
Jason became a probationary fireman, and he’s been dealing with the loss of his mother. Along with adjusting to being a new wife, Cortney has had to face the realities of being married to a firefighter. Despite so many difficult challenges, they have made it through together, and Married at First Sight fans couldn’t be happier for them. The Knot caught up with Jason and Cortney as viewers anticipate the Married at First Sight: The First Year season 2 finale, airing May 3.
Most newlywed couples have their fair share of arguments; Jason and Cortney are no exception. After one particularly heated discussion, Cortney threw her wedding ring down the kitchen drain. She called upon Dr. Pepper, the Married at First Sight sociologist, to help her work through the issue. The expert explained that there is a difference between anger and rage, which appeared to be a turning point for Cortney. “I can honestly say I did not know the difference between anger and rage prior to this incident,” she tells us. “I am proud to say that I have become very aware of my emotional intelligence, and this has not been easy or quick. It also has not always been pretty either.”
“Dr. Pepper helped me recognize the rage I had buried from past experiences that was weighing down my heart,” Cortney continues. “Everyone gets angry, but not everyone allows rage to consume them. It’s a very dangerous line to walk. Since the ring throwing incident, I have been [taking] the appropriate steps to heal in areas from my past, and this has been a wonderful thing in my life and marriage.”
One aspect of Jason and Cortney’s marriage that can be considered both a pro and a con is that they have watched their story play out on TV. “I’ve learned a lot about myself by watching my actions and how I deal with my emotions on television,” Jason acknowledges. “Sometimes you don’t realize certain patterns of behavior until you actually see yourself doing them! There have been plenty of times where I saw myself shut down emotionally either from a fight or a painful memory. I never noticed that in myself until I was able to watch [myself] withdrawal from those situations.”
“This entire experience has been quite surreal at times,” Cortney explains. “The most important lesson I have learned is to always love yourself first; the rest will follow. Not everyone has integrity in this world, but I am proud to say that I have kept mine. Accountability is huge, and character is built when the going gets tough. Pick yourself back up and keep going. Wear your scars proudly because healing comes to others when you share your story. It’s not something to be ashamed of at all.”
Jason has surprised Cortney on several occasions on Married at First Sight: The First Year. But have there been any flops that fans of the show haven’t seen? “I love surprises but Cortney… not so much!” Jason shares with The Knot. “I still go for it anyway because I’m stubborn, but it always works out in the end! So far no flops because I’m pretty damn good at my surprises,” he tells us as he pats himself on the back.
One of the surprises Jason managed to pull-off was a private hula lesson. We just had to know if his fellow firefighters give him a hard time when they see him on television. “Oh brother!” he says with a laugh. “The firefighters at my house have a field day with me! It’s all in good fun, and I’m extremely lucky to have such an amazing group of guys to work with. And believe it or not, I’m not the only one [in] the firehouse that has been on a television show!”
That hula lesson led to another amazing surprise; Jason announced to Cortney that he was taking her to Hawaii on a second honeymoon. “I was so surprised, and at first I didn’t think he was for real!” Cortney admits. “I love to travel, and Jason and I don’t get to do it often – especially just the two of us. It was a very special moment realizing he wanted to be in paradise with me,” she recalls.
Jason and Cortney have made it clear that they want children one day; family is important to both of them. “I am a caregiver and a nurturer – I always have been,” Cortney explains. “I am very excited to start a family in the future, but we are not at that stage in our lives just yet. We are going to start small – plants are in the near future. A garden will do for now,” she says with a smile.
Married at First Sight: The First Year viewers were able to witness Jason reconnecting with his sister, and he now has a niece to spoil. “Reconnecting with her was such a surreal moment for me and to this day made such an impact on my life emotionally,” he tells us. “It’s hard to have someone relate to the way I grew up, and my sister is one person that can truly understand.”
While season 2 of Married at First Sight: The First Year is coming to an end, the couple has plenty to keep them busy. “What I’m currently striving for right now is working with the WWE,” Jason shares. “I have a dream job in the FDNY, but wrestling is my childhood passion. It would be a huge sacrifice in not only my marriage, but entire life, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. As far as what the future holds – I want to buy a house in either New York or North Carolina. Then wherever we end up, I would like to start trying for kids!”
“Many people aren’t aware of my career path and goals as a makeup artist,” Cortney explains. “I am a storyteller, and I love working in film and television – creating the characters that we all love to watch. I’m currently working in the makeup department for indie films and applying for union in 2017 HMU/SPFX. Also in my down time when I am not on-set, I am writing scripts and producing a beauty-related web series.”
Not only have Married at First Sight: The First Year fans been able to follow Jason and Cortney’s story on TV; they love following them on social media. “Support from Married at First Sight fans has been unbelievable!” Jason tells The Knot. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think people would care or relate to us like they do! It’s not always easy seeing your best and worst moments on television. The support we receive from Married at First Sight fans, even in our toughest times, has been so positive and I will be forever grateful for that.”
“They are our prayer warriors!” Cortney adds. “We are so very grateful for the support and are humbled by the love people send us on a daily basis. It’s invigorating, encouraging, a light in the darkness sometimes, and I am so grateful.”