‘Married at First Sight’ Season 3, Episode 9 Recap: “I Don’t Know if I Like You”

David Norton and Ashley Doherty's wedding on Married at First SightOn the ninth episode of Married at First Sight, David Norton told his wife, Ashley Doherty, that he isn't sure he likes her. Credit: FYI

Just weeks ago, we met the Married at First Sight singles for the very first time. Since then, they’ve gotten married, honeymooned together, moved in together, and attempted to merge their lives.

While viewers are rooting for one of the newlywed couples who seem to be thriving, the other two matches are sparking heated social media discussions and leaving Married at First Sight fans wondering why they were matched at all.

On the January 26 episode, entitled “Making Memories,” the show’s experts are assigning the couples homework, and some newlyweds get an ‘F’ for lack of effort. Let’s take a look at the drama that Married at First Sight viewers are learning to expect each week.

David Norton & Ashley Doherty: “It’s a shot to my ego, but not unexpected,” David says of Ashley’s admittance to not finding him physically attractive on last week’s episode. “I’m more hurt that I had to find out from someone else [and] that Ashley didn’t care enough about our marriage to bring that up to me.” Ashley tells David she didn’t want to hurt him, but he fires back, “You didn’t do it. You had someone else do it. That’s what bothers me.”

Ashley is feeling overwhelmed while David admits to feeling ‘betrayed.”I didn’t sign up for ‘Best Friends at First Sight,’ he tells viewers. “I wanted a wife.”

When the Married at First Sight experts assign the couple homework, David is quick to share three things he likes most about his wife. He loves her “sense of loyalty,” and that she is trying to get to know him. And his third favorite thing about her is that she has a “kind heart.”

When it’s Ashley’s turn to list three things she appreciates about her husband, she comes up with nothing, leaving David stunned. “Gosh, this is hard to answer,” she says, making viewers cringe.

“What’s the point of these homework assignments if you’re not gonna try em?” an exasperated David asks viewers. “If you don’t like me at the end of the day, fine; I can deal with that. But if the experts, who we trust with our lives, give an assignment and you’re gonna half-ass it, yeah, I have a problem with that.”

Ashley explains to her husband that she’s a “slow mover,” to which he replies by telling her he’s “going as slow as I personally know how to.” He frustratingly tells viewers that it’s “time to take off the training wheels” in their relationship. He suggests that they take some time to write down what they really want to say to each other.

“I want myself to want to keep trying to work on our challenges,” Ashley reads to her husband, “but I’m exhausted.” David can’t believe that his wife didn’t put more effort into the assignment. He responds by reading what he wrote to her. “Romantically speaking, I don’t know if I like you or have or can establish a connection with you or not,” he tells Ashley. “I try my best to be positive, to fight that feeling, and to want that connection, cause I do want that.”

“When I first met you, I really felt that and really wanted it,” he continues, “but really since the day that Dr. Joseph told me, not you, that you don’t find me physically attractive, I’ve been shutting down.”

“I didn’t wanna hurt you,” Ashley admits. “I can’t take it back.” And when David asks her if she’s “waiting for the clock to wind down,” she responds with honesty. “I can’t answer that right now,” she says, “but I can say that I feel like things are stacked up against us.” David is apparently stressed, but he’s still determined to find a way to make it work.

When Dr. Greg visits the couple, he encourages them to do something active together. He also gives them their wedding album in hope that the couple will bond. The newlyweds later laugh over the photos, and David thinks his wife looks beautiful in them. He tells her one particular picture is “like out of a magazine.”

Later, the pair play kickball, and they both seem to be in their element. “Finally, I think we’re in a good spot,” Ashley tells viewers, and David is feeling hopeful.

Vanessa and Tres Married at First Sight Wedding

Vanessa and Tres flipped their wedding album together and were amazed by how far they have come as a couple. Credit: L. Hunter Photography

Tres Russell & Vanessa Nelson: These Married at First Sight newlyweds take Vanessa’s dog, Nola, to dog training for the pup to learn “social skills.” Tres tells his wife he sees “the type of mother you would be,” explaining that she is “nurturing.” Tres would like to have kids one day, and Vanessa would like a boy and a girl. “I’m a little more structured,” the new bride shares, “and he’s a little more free-flowing,” which she states could lead to a “great upbringing.”

When they work on their assignment from the experts later, Vanessa tells Tres she appreciates that he went to Nola’s training class. He appreciates that she’s so thoughtful and that she cared enough to have the pet trained.

“You’re making me a better person,” Tres tells his wife, who is in awe of her husband’s sincerity. When they go to bed, Tres says goodnight, and Vanessa responds with, “Say what?” They giggle under the covers, and she clearly has more than sleep in mind.

When Dr. Greg visits the couple, Vanessa explains that she would like to “get to know each other on a spiritual level.” Tres admits that he prays for their marriage to be blessed every day. The new bride would also like to “take an interest in each other’s hobbies.” Tres enjoys basketball, while she prefers “cultural things” like museums. The doctor enlists them to start making memories together, and he gives them their wedding album.

The newlyweds have a date night, opting to paint and drink wine at “Sip and Stroke.” Tres makes viewers laugh when he tells them he’s going to ‘stroke after I finish sippin’.” They create a beautiful canvas together, and go home to have takeout and call Tres’ grandmother.

Later in the episode, Tres makes taco salad for his wife. They enjoy dinner on the couch, later looking at their wedding photos. Vanessa is surprised how far they’ve come in the 3.5 weeks since their wedding. “I feel like we’re finally a real married couple,” she admits, leaving viewers with no doubt that they’ll choose to stay together.

Sam and Neil Married at First Sight Wedding

Taking the advice of spiritual advisor, Greg Epstein, Sam cooked Neil a traditional Jewish meal. Credit: L. Hunter Photography

Neil Bowlus & Sam Role: These newlyweds are still living apart, and they’re taking time to spend with friends and family. Sam has a meal out with her mom, who hopes her daughter will make her marriage work. Sam shares that Neil is “very passive aggressive,” but the conversation doesn’t go much further.

Neil has his neighbor, Charlie, over, who asks the newlywed how his marriage is going. Neil explains that they couple is having a hard time “finding common ground to bond over.” He says he feels the same level of attraction for his wife that he did on their wedding day. His attraction hasn’t grown, because the relationship has not moved forward.

Later, when Sam and Neil sit knee-to-knee and hold hands for their homework assignment, Neil takes it very seriously. The couple is prompted to not break touch or eye contact for a full minute But throughout the assignment, Sam makes silly faces at her husband. Her lack of seriousness annoys him greatly. He admits that he’s disappointed that she’s “making light of the situation.”

When Dr. Greg visits the couple, Sam talks about her faith. She is Jewish, and Neil is interested in learning more about her religion. The newlyweds later make matzo ball soup and potato latkes in Sam’s kitchen. “It seems like he wants to stay married,” Sam tells viewers about the bonding experience, “so it makes me feel hopeful.”

At dinner, Neil opens up about his childhood and his rocky relationship with his dad. The pair both get emotional when Sam shares the story of losing her grandmother. “I feel like we’re on the right track,” she tells viewers. “I feel like we actually are a unit now.”

Sneak Peek: Coming up on the February 2 episode of Married at First Sight, Sam takes Neil to her aerial dance class, and he appears to be impressed. Ashley confronts David after receiving a message that her husband asked another woman out for drinks. Vanessa and Tres hit a rough patch when she tells him he needs to start thinking with a “husband mentality.”

About the Author

Kelly Spears
Kelly Spears
Kelly is an online news writer for The Knot. She is a professional writer who studied English at Ohio State University. Kelly is a big fan of TLC's '90 Day Fiance' and FYI's 'Married at First Sight.'