Six weeks of marriage at first sight has been a life-changing process for Sonia Granados. Ahead of the Tuesday, October 25 finale of Married at First Sight, the 33-year old social worker opens up exclusively to The Knot about decision day, and reveals what viewers don’t already know about her relationship with Nick Pendergrast.
Communication has been the biggest issue for the Miami-based couple, but Granados says that she and Pendergrast came together before making their choice. “The night before decision day, Nick and I sat for a while to talk about our decision to ensure that we were both on the same page,” she tells The Knot. “We respected each other enough to be a united front at the end of the experiment.”
While the duo discussed their options, Granados was torn. “I definitely went back and forth because of the ups and downs with our relationship,” she admits. “Nick and I didn’t want to regret our decision. At the end of the day, our decision was made by Nick and I and no one else. However, there was plenty of support prior to the decision from [Married at First Sight expert] Rachel [DeAlto] on my end.”
It may be difficult for viewers to understand how Granados moved past her husband’s hurtful comments during an argument just a few weeks into the experiment, but in a recent interview with The Knot, DeAlto explained that both parties had done extensive work with the experts off-camera to overcome their problems. “Nick and I really tried to talk about his feelings after the outbursts and with the experts’ guidance,” Granados notes. “We continued to try and get to a place of trust. It wasn’t easy.”
One hurdle that Granados overcame during the experiment was an intense fear of dogs. Since the experts matched her with Pendergrast – who adores his two pups – she was forced to confront her fear. “Something really cool that wasn’t shown or talked about [on the show] was the fact that Rachel hypnotized me for my fear of dogs. That helped enormously!” Granados reveals.
On the latest Married at First Sight episode, the couple went on a mini-vacation, which drew them closer together. When they returned to Miami, Granados put her wedding ring back on, but she chose not to move back in with her husband. In the confessional, Pendergrast was vocal about wanting his wife to move back into their home.
“I was hoping that by putting my ring back on, it would allow Nick to see that I was in it, and also make him show me a little more than he [had] up to that point,” she tells The Knot. “I’m still surprised by some of the things he said to the camera but failed to tell me.”
Granados adds that Pendergrast is not at all the type of man she envisioned marrying. “We are very different in terms of our love languages, and it’s hard to connect with someone when you’re speaking different languages,” she explains. “However, thankfully we realized this early on so we could learn each other’s language.”
Viewers may be surprised to discover that the duo even found great friendship within their marriage. “We laugh a lot together and we get each other’s sense of humor and we are also pretty dorky together!” Granados shares. “He finds me annoying at times, because I do things like ask him for hugs. He’s not the most affectionate person, so sometimes I have to ask him. I’m also a social worker, so I’m used to having to ask children if I can hug them, and it translates into my life with Nick.”
Along with Pendergrast, Granados has grown close to the other Married at First Sight participants. “I really love all of them,” she tells us. “They’re great people, and we share this journey that not many people have. I’ve grown close to all of them.”
The season 4 participant explains that she loves Lillian Vilchez’s “sweet nature and helpfulness,” and the fact that Heather Seidel is a “badass and a friend through and through.” She shares that “Heather’s heart is as real as they come.”
Along with the season 4 ladies, Granados has built friendships with the gents as well. She notes that Tom Wilson is “sincere and tells you how it is without holding back,” and she has the most in common with Derek Schwartz – who shares her “taste in music, a passion for life, sense of humor, sensitivity, and overall view of life.”
Granados also has kind things to say about her husband. “He is hilarious,” she says of Pendergrast. “Unfortunately, you don’t see much of that on the show. He’s thoughtful in his gift-giving. Underneath that introvert and hard exterior lies a great man! Whether Nick and I stay together is yet to be seen, but we will always be friends! I will always be here for him, and I think he shares the same sentiment.”
And while Granados has built lifelong friendships during the Married at First Sight experiment, the process has allowed her to see herself in a new light. “I see myself as a strong beautiful woman who stood her ground on demanding respect, but was soft enough to forgive,” she acknowledges. “I am a stronger and more confident woman than I ever thought I was or have been in the past.”
Granados has learned that her personal development has nothing to do with her appearance. “The most beautiful part of that personal growth is that it has absolutely nothing to do with how I look, and [everything] to do with who I am as a person,” she shares. “I found strength when I didn’t think I had any, and forgiveness, [which] I initially thought I was incapable of with Nick. I attribute my personal growth to Rachel and Nick! They’ve helped me throughout my journey in ways I never thought I’d grow and learn. I joked with Rachel the other day that I’m still Sonia… just Sonia 2.0, and it feels great!”
Granados is optimistic about her future. “This process has encouraged me to follow my goals and dreams that I had set forth prior to this experiment,” she concludes. “Married at First Sight has been a life-changing experience in every way possible.”
Don’t miss the season 4 finale of Married at First Sight, airing Tuesday, October 25, at 8 p.m. ET on FYI.