It all led to this. After an intense fifth season, the Married at First Sight couples chose whether to continue their marriages on the July 27 finale. Here, The Knot highlights the intense (and sometimes tissue worthy) moments from an emotionally charged decision day.
Ashley Petta and Anthony D’Amico
Although it may have seemed certain that this pair would stay together, Ashley harbored concerns that Anthony may change his mind in the eleventh hour. “[Communication is] probably always going to be our biggest challenge,” she told the experts before announcing her decision. “I don’t think that [challenge] ever really goes away.”
Anthony admitted to wishing his wife had a more positive outlook. “Sometimes she has a way of looking at things glass half empty when she should be more open minded,” he said. Ashley’s desire to start a family was also a concern for her husband. “I don’t wanna [have kids] in a year. That’s insane,” he told the experts.
When it was time for the couple to announce their decisions, Ashley opted to stay with Anthony. “We’re just starting something amazing,” she said in an emotional moment. “Eight weeks is just a small part of the rest of our lives, and we have so much much to look forward to.”
In true Married at First Sight fashion, Anthony took ages to respond, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. “Ashley, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, and I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather spend the rest of my life with, so I wanna stay married to you.”
Perhaps the sweetest moment of all was when Ashley and Anthony finally professed their love. “Ashley, I love you,” Anthony said, clearly shocking his wife, who reciprocated the sentiment. “I wanted her to know that I was making a serious decision and this is why,” he explained. “It feels good to finally tell her how I’m feeling. I’m pretty much on cloud nine. I have more purpose than I had before in life. [This is] what I’ve always wanted.”
Danielle Degroot and Cody Knapek
Even the experts were concerned this couple wouldn’t last due to a lack of chemistry and physical connection. “This experiment exposes you,” Cody explained, adding that having a camera crew documenting his every move made the process that much more difficult.
“[There have been] a lot more good times than rough times, not that there haven’t been those,” Danielle noted. Cody admittedly regretted pulling away from his wife on the couple’s honeymoon. “We got stuck in a weird and awkward rut,” he shared.
“I don’t want a marriage that’s not passionate, but I definitely have strong feelings for you,” Danielle said. “I’ve thought a lot about this, and we aren’t in a perfect place. It’s the biggest decision of my life, and I think I’d like to stay married and keep working.”
Clearly relieved, Cody made his decision: “In some ways, we’re not a perfect couple, but there have been so many good times. I’d like to stay married to you.”
After a quick peck on the lips, Danielle added: “I want to see what [this] can blossom into.”
Sheila Downs and Nate Duhon
Still recovering from their latest heated argument, Sheila and Nate came into decision day with reluctance. “We crossed some boundaries that we shouldn’t have crossed,” Nate acknowledged. Sheila added: “It was very damaging to our marriage.”
Sheila was first to voice her decision. “This experience was a huge leap of faith and the thing about taking a leap is that you don’t know where you’ll land,” she told Nate. “I want to be your wife until the day I die.”
Nate’s response couldn’t have been sweeter. “Decision day was when I said ‘I do,’” he said. “You’re trapped, baby. I ain’t going nowhere. I love this woman.”