Poor communication has been an ongoing problem for Married at First Sight‘s Sonia Granados and Nick Pendergrast. In the aftermath of her husband’s now-infamous outburst on the latest episode, Granados is opening up to The Knot exclusively about the state of their rocky relationship.
Pendergrast was drinking alone on the sofa when Granados approached him that fateful night. The conversation quickly spiraled downward when she encouraged her husband to open up to her. Pendergrast admitted to believing he shouldn’t have to put effort into the marriage since they were scientifically matched. When things got uncomfortable, he left the room, yelling at the show’s producers about how he didn’t find her attractive.
“I questioned if he was attracted to me, as you can tell from the beginning, because he never actually said those words to me,” Granados tells The Knot. “He might have said it once or twice, so I thought, ‘Okay he does find me attractive… He’s just unable to express it.'”
Many viewers assume that Pendergrast’s drinking may have prompted his outburst. Granados admits his words were hurtful, but she’s not sure alcohol was the culprit. “To be honest, I was disgusted when I heard him yell the words, ‘I’m not attracted to her. I don’t like her,'” she recalls. “That really hurt me. I don’t want to blame the alcohol, because he’s an adult, and [if he had] too many drinks, then he may have actually been speaking his truth.”
No matter what sparked Pendergrast’s explosion, his wife did not take it lightly. “I took the words he said very seriously,” she tells us. “It just didn’t make any sense to me. It hurts my feelings very deeply, and at that moment also made me question my attractiveness for a little bit.”
Granados finds her husband’s wish for an effortless marriage laughable. “To be absolutely honest, when Nick said that [our] marriage should be effortless, I wanted to laugh, because it was seriously so unrealistic,” she admits. “How are you not going to work at a marriage – or at anything in life really? It just didn’t make sense.”
After Pendergrast walked away from her that night, Granados packed her suitcases and left the home the couple shared. “After those words were said, I had to leave,” she explains to The Knot.”There wasn’t a chance that I was going to remain in the house after his outburst towards me. I think I would be a fool to allow a man to say those words and remain in the home. I understood I was married, but this isn’t your regular marriage.”
On the next Married at First Sight episode, airing Tuesday, September 27, Pastor Calvin Roberson asks Granados and Pendergrast separately if they’ve been intimate. According to the preview, the newlyweds have conflicting responses. “Because this process was so invasive, Nick and I decided together that we would at least keep our intimate life private,” Granados reveals.
In a previous interview with The Knot, the newlywed described herself as an “open book,” but she’s said on-camera that communication is not one of her strengths. “I’ve been hurt so many times, and I’ve put myself out there and continued to do so throughout the entire process. I’m a tough cookie,” Granados assures us. She explains that she fears hurting her partner’s feelings, which may keep her from opening up.
“Married At First Sight has literally allowed me to fall in love with myself,” she says. “Somewhere along the line, with all the hurt and break-ups and bad relationships I’ve been in, I forgot to sit down and just love me for me… all of me… flaws and all. [The show] has helped me accomplish that. I am in a beautiful place today; I am in love with who I’ve become and who I was, as well.”
The Knot recently interviewed Married at First Sight‘s sociologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, who assured us Granados was comforted after the altercation with Pendergrast. The show’s participants have ongoing support from three relationship experts. “All of the experts were very supportive, especially Rachel DeAlto; I feel I have a special connection with her,” Granados tells us.
After leaving the home she shared with Pendergrast and his two dogs, Granados had time to reflect and process her emotions. “During that time driving to my apartment, I felt sad,” she remembers. “I cried. I was hurt, but the next day I said, ‘Screw this! I will not allow him to dictate what I think of myself.’ In my mind, those were his issues, not mine.”
As someone who is always looking to better herself, Granados did question her role in the marriage, but she was confused as to why her husband couldn’t see that. “Me saying, ‘open up,’ was just me wanting to know more of why he is the way he is,” she explains to The Knot. “What makes him tick? What were his past relationships like?”
Granados now sees that being more direct with Pendergrast that night may have been helpful. She struggled seeing him for the first time after the heated discussion – not able to think of anything but the upsetting words he had yelled. “He could have said he wasn’t attracted to me in multiple different ways [rather than yelling] at the camera/producer,” she tells us.
Pendergrast has said that he does not have the level of attraction for Granados that he would have for a woman he chose himself. “To be absolutely honest, I don’t think Nick would’ve picked me up at a bar – and the feeling was mutual,” she admits, “but I was open and willing to put in the work, because the guys I’ve dated previously clearly weren’t great, and that’s why I signed up for this experiment. [The] same goes for him. I don’t blame him for not being attracted to me.”
Before season 4 premiered, Granados told The Knot that she was self-conscious on-camera. It seems she has come a long way since then. “As the episodes have passed, it’s gotten easier to watch myself and be less critical,” she tell us. “However, the last episode was extremely difficult to watch. My anger towards [Nick] crept back up for a bit.”
Granados got through that episode by watching with a good friend, drinking wine, and eating ice cream. “I knew it was going to be rough!” she is quick to admit. “My biggest supporters are friends, and of course my family – specifically my dad and brother, Armando – as they are my very best friends. Also, my biggest supporters right now are the fans of Married at First Sight. They’ve been so great! I’ve never felt so much love from people. It’s beautiful to watch,” Granados shares – adding it’s difficult to see the hurtful comments fans sometimes write online.
Many viewers are expecting a split in Pendergrast and Granados’ future, but others are hopeful they heal their relationship and move forward with their marriage beyond the six-weeks. “All I can say is that Nick and I have gotten past that argument. I forgave him,” she admits.
As the drama has unfolded, Granados asked her Twitter followers not to say mean or hurtful things to her husband on her behalf, but she tells The Knot that she doesn’t feel bad as to how Pendergrast has been portrayed. “That was our truth at the time. He said that,” she reminds us. “He yelled at the camera and producer. He told me he didn’t have to work at a marriage. All of it is true, but I do know that it’s been some time since it happened, and we’ve all made mistakes. I know I’ve made plenty, and I’d hope that the public allows him to get past his mistake and wrongdoings.”
In a pinned tweet leading up to the latest episode, the newlywed asked her followers not to pity her. “No need for poor Sonia, please. There is nothing poor about me. I’m a beautiful woman who got called unattractive,” she wrote.
Granados explains that sometimes women forget how beautiful they are. “I think it’s important to lift other woman up,” she tells The Knot. “It’s okay to tell other woman they are beautiful, their hair looks nice, an outfit is on-point, or any compliment. Let’s build each other up instead of tearing each other down.”
The brunette beauty knows just how to make herself feel her best. “I wasn’t feeling too well the other day. [I was] a little down, so I looked in the mirror and took a quote from one of my favorite movies. It says, ‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important.’ If no one tells you that, you’ve got to tell yourself! Love yourself! No one can do it better than you can,” Granados says encouragingly.
As opposed to viewers – who only see a snippet of each couple’s journey – the participants live the process day after day for the entire six week experiment. “Having your life documented by a camera crew can be stressful and exhausting at times,” Granados concludes to The Knot. “The crew is with you at all different hours and sometimes late into the night. It can be hard to be a polite or pleasant person all the time. Also, contrary to what Nick said, marriage is work, and this process is a lot of work. You’ve got to want it really bad in order for it to happen for you. For the viewers of Married at First Sight, please remember you’re only seeing a small part of our lives. Be kind when judging us!”
With only two weeks left in the experiment, decision day is near for the season 4 participants. Don’t miss Married at First Sight, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FYI.