So many lessons learned. The six-week Married at First Sight process proved to be an intense experience for the season 4 participants; One duo called it quits early, while the remaining two couples announced on the October 25 season finale that they will continue their marriages.
Now that the experiment is complete, The Knot rounds up what the Miami-based participants previously shared with us about marriage — at first sight.
Derek Schwartz was devastated when his wife, Heather Seidel, decided to end their marriage after only a week into the experiment. Derek was determined to fix the couple’s issues, but Heather believed their problems were insurmountable.
“I never thought marriage was going to be easy, but now I see why people are willing to work so hard for it,” he told The Knot after Heather made her choice. “I think that a great deal of problems in relationships come from misunderstandings, big and small. If a couple [could] avoid that by having the ability to communicate in a fair and positive way, I think they would be on the path to success.”
“I need to be more careful about how I convey my feelings… I don’t have a very good filter,” Tom admitted to The Knot early in the experiment.
Despite their issues, Tom and Lillian were willing to do whatever it took to make their marriage work. “I learned that you give 100% in marriage and the same goes for you partner,” Lillian noted. “Both parties have to be 100% committed to making it work. I realized the importance of communication and listening.”
Many viewers were surprised when Sonia Granados chose to continue her marriage to Nick Pendergrast beyond decision day. Communication was also an issue for this duo throughout the six-week process. After one particularly heated argument, Sonia chose to move out of the couple’s home. But with help from Married at First Sight’s relationship experts, Sonia was able to forgive Nick, and throughout the emotional process, both parties learned valuable lessons about sustaining a marriage.
“This process has taught me so much about myself, how to treat people, and how to sit back and think about how your thoughts and actions might affect others before you act upon them,” Nick told The Knot after his blow-up. “Sometimes talking about certain things after a couple glasses of wine at dinner isn’t the best idea, but I think learning how to respond and not react was another big take-away for me.”
Nick urges couples to designate time for open and honest discussions. “Have moments where you allow your partner to tell you exactly what they want to say without any interruptions or reactions. Just let them vent in one full train of thought, then the other has the opportunity to do the same,” he told us previously.
Nick and Sonia also learned to communicate more effectively after reading Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. “It’s hard to connect with someone when you’re speaking different languages,” Sonia shared with The Knot ahead of the finale. “Thankfully we realized this early on so we could learn each other’s language.”
While it was important for Nick and Sonia to work through their problems together, Nick explained that having an outlet is also vital. “Find something you can do personally to relieve stress or anxiety,” he encouraged. “For me, it was golf. It could be yoga, tennis, working out, bike riding etc. Just something… I think having personal time is important!”
Nick told The Knot that learning to be selfless was his biggest takeaway. “I’m sure if I were more self-aware in the moment and put myself in her shoes, that outburst wouldn’t have been so extreme or maybe not even have happened at all,” he noted.
Sonia has learned that it’s important to make big decisions as a couple. Going into decision day, she and Nick discussed their options privately before choosing to stay together. “Nick and I didn’t want to regret our decision,” she explained. “At the end of the day, our decision was made by Nick and me and no one else. We respected each other enough to be a united front at the end of the experiment.”