Slow and steady. Married at First Sight season 4 participants Sonia Granados and Nick Pendergrast are focusing on building an emotional connection before diving into the physical portion of their relationship. As the duo continues to navigate marriage on FYI’s wildly popular social experiment, Granados opens up to The Knot in an exclusive new interview about her relationship with Pendergrast and some of the challenges they’ve faced in marriage.
The biggest issue for Granados — a social worker based in Miami — was marrying an introvert who struggles with expressing his emotions. On the couple’s wedding day, Granados didn’t know whether Pendergrast was attracted to her — and that concern carried over to their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. Since the beginning, he’s emphasized building a friendship with his wife before testing out the chemistry.
Granados tells The Knot that she was comfortable with his immediate intentions. “I was attracted to my husband, but we are married so there was no rush to get physical at all,” she shares. “And I feel like we both felt that way. It wasn’t one-sided. I think our thoughts were that we might be in this forever, so why rush it? I didn’t realize Nick was attracted to me because he hadn’t expressed it to me. He told other people, but it was never said to me.” Despite that, she shares she knew there was “some level of attraction.”
Her husband may be reserved, but Granados is not. “I’m the opposite,” she tells The Knot. “I’m more of an open book, and I love talking about feelings.”
Although marrying a stranger would be overwhelming for anyone, Granados got through the process by trusting the experiment. “What got me through the wedding night, wedding day, and the first few days is reminding myself that there were three experts who hand-picked this man for me, and I was going to give it my all because I trusted the experts 100%,” she acknowledges.
The newlywed is quick to admit that there are good and bad points when it comes to being married to an introvert. “The good points of being with an introvert is that they seem to be more trustworthy people,” Granados shares. “I think it may be because it takes so long for him to open up that I would think he wouldn’t open up to anyone too easily with his feelings.”
“The not-so-good point is that I love talking to friends, going out with them, and I’m super spontaneous, but Nick is not,” she says. “He likes things to be planned.”
In his interview with us, Pendergrast shared that he plays golf to release stress. He believes – as a newlywed – that it’s important to have alone time. His wife agrees. “I relieve my stress by working out,” Granados shares with The Knot. “I find it to be such an amazing stress reliever. [During] that hour, I forget everything, and it’s just me and the music, weights and, treadmill. Time away from each other is very important for the relationship.”
Throughout the Married at First Sight process, Granados has maintained a positive outlook. “I’ve always had hope — even at low points,” she reveals.
Now that filming has ended for the participants, Granados tells us she’s not concerned with putting make-up on the moment she wakes up. “I am relieved that the cameras are no longer around,” she says. “But I do miss some of the people we worked with as we became close and they are just amazing people.”
And she’s realized a few things about herself. “I’ve learned that my voice can sound annoying,” she jokes. “At first it was difficult to see myself. I’m very critical about the way I look, and I assume that others are looking at me just as [critically] as I am [although] I know they’re not. However, as the episodes have gone by, it’s gotten easier to watch myself. I have to admit I love who I see looking back at me, and am not so critical. We all have flaws and things we wish we could change, but it’s important to love yourself right now just the way you are in this moment.”
Granados is grateful that her husband views her as selfless. “I’m the best version of myself when I’m giving to others,” she shares. “During my marriage I constantly was looking at myself in terms of what I could change to make the relationship better. It’s easy to look at the other person and point out what’s wrong with them (which I did), but I tried my best to always look at myself, because that’s the only person I could change.”
“Nick has selfless moments and he’s a giving person. He would give/do anything for the people he loves. He has a genuine heart,” she gushes. “He doesn’t always know the right things to say, but overall he’s a great human being. Something really nice about Nick is that when you least expect it, he does the sweetest things that really take you by surprise.”
The Married at First Sight experiment is complete, but viewers are just now watching the six weeks unfold. Looking back, Granados shares her thoughts about her husband from the point viewers are seeing now. “I just wanted him to be more vocal about his feelings and thoughts,” she tells The Knot. “I felt like – up to the point you’re seeing – I didn’t know what he was thinking, and I think that would bother most people. Not just a woman/man romantic relationship. It’s important to know where you stand with people. At least for me it is.”
Granados is not surprised that the Married at First Sight experts chose Pendergrast as her match. “I understand why I was matched with Nick,” she notes. “I think we are different in many ways – and those complement each other – but very much the same in a lot of things.”
Don’t miss Married at First Sight, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FYI.