Exclusive Interview

Married at First Sight’s David Norton on Life After Ashley: “I Felt Relieved”

Married at First Sight season three David NortonDavid Norton tells The Knot he felt relieved after splitting from wife Ashley Doherty on Married at First Sight. Credit: Zach Dilgard/FYI

Married at First Sight‘s David Norton has made it clear he felt betrayed by his wife, Ashley Doherty, following Decision Day. Fans of the show had been rooting for the handsome newlywed throughout season 3, hoping his wife would come around. We’re certain it was a blow to Norton’s heart when Doherty announced her decision to divorce him. The Knot is checking in with the newly single Norton following that gut-wrenching final decision.

First and foremost, we had to ask if Norton regrets signing up for the show. “No, I don’t regret it!” he admits. “I loved it! I know it didn’t work out and may have some ‘I told you so’s’ coming my way, but I would rather have a bunch of ‘oh well’s’ in life than a bunch of ‘what if’s.’ I learned so much about myself and how to be a better spouse once I find the right person. It didn’t work out, and that stinks, but I am confident that everything in life happens for a reason. And there is a reason why I was married at first sight to Ashley. I truly believe that this road is taking me to where I need to be.”

“The experiment isn’t for everyone,” he warns. “You have to go in with a truly open mind [and] heart, and [you] have to be willing to stick with the program no matter how much you may think it won’t make a difference and that your mind may be made up. If you aren’t expecting a fairy tale, but rather a lot of lows and lowers to start, go for it. No matter the outcome, you can’t lose!”

We asked Norton what has become clear to him since he and Doherty called it quits. “Ashley said to Jamie [Otis], ‘I think David was in love with the idea of being married,’ Well yes,” he tells us, “if I wasn’t, why would I agree to marry a stranger? If you aren’t in love with the idea of being married, then this experiment probably isn’t for you. I don’t know if she thought marrying a stranger was going to be easy or what, but it has become clearer since we broke up that it was never going to work, because I [barely] knew Ashley any better than I did on day one.”

And what continues to baffle Norton about his Married at First Sight experience? “It still baffles me how [Ashley] would tell Dr. Joseph, her friend that would visit, and even the cameras, things that she never told me,” he shares. “How was this going to work if you’re willing to tell everyone what you’re feeling other than me?”

Because Norton was such a likable Married at First Sight participant, his fans are wishing him closure. We asked if he’s spoken with Doherty since the show and if he has found that much-deserved closure. “A week after the experiment ended we chatted briefly and decided to be friends,” he tells The Knot. “But then, shortly after that, she said she would rather not talk to each other. So we didn’t talk up until the show premiered. When we did, we discussed that we wanted to make this a very amicable divorce and go out with our heads held high.”

“We both think the other is a great person, just not for each other,” he shares. “Once the show aired and social media became a factor in our relationship, things changed. She had so much negativity going her way, I really felt bad. I would try to stand up for her, but that seemed to make it worse, so I focused on being positive. I think that she is a good person at her core and one day she will make someone very happy.”

Married at First Sight's David Norton and Ashley Doherty

After Married at First Sight season three aired, David Norton tells The Knot his friendship with Ashley Doherty changed. Credit: Zach Dilgard/FYI

Married at First Sight fans wouldn’t forgive us if we failed to ask if Norton is dating. “Dating when you’re married on a TV show at the same time could be really tough!” he tells us. “But something that I learned from the show is, it’s okay to be a little bit selfish, and it’s okay to articulate what you need out of a partner, and that person is either going to accept that, or it will be time to move on. I am not dating anyone at the moment. I am still looking for someone who likes to have fun, who is sociable, and puts a strong emphasis on the importance of friends and family, and not only wants to meet mine, but wants me to integrate with theirs.”

So, was it difficult for Norton to transition back into singlehood without cameras capturing his every move? “I was worried how I was going to feel if it didn’t work out [with Ashley],” he shares, “and to be honest, I felt relieved. It was such a challenge to try and connect with Ashley that I felt drained and exhausted.”

We asked Norton what he did immediately following the Decision Day debacle. “After we left Decision Day, I went back to my condo, poured myself a glass of wine, flopped down on my couch, and for the first time in a while, felt so relaxed. I knew that I could hold my head up high and look whoever in the eye and say I did my best. It just didn’t work out, and I accepted it that night. A few days after Decision Day, it was one of my good friend’s bachelor parties down in Key West, so I went on that and had a blast.”

Before we let Norton go, we asked this genuinely kind Married at First Sight participant what’s next for him, and what he’s focusing on now that the show is coming to a close. “I don’t know,” he isn’t afraid to admit. “I’ve just been focusing on work; I am working with a startup that should be going live soon that I am really excited about. But other than that, I am just enjoying life with family and friends until I meet the next future Mrs. Norton or my next big adventure presents itself. Either way I can’t wait.”

Norton has been open and honest with Married at First Sight viewers and The Knot from the very beginning. Wishing you the best, David! We’re certain you’ll find a gal who adores you.

About the Author

Kelly Spears
Kelly Spears
Kelly is an online news writer for The Knot. She is a professional writer who studied English at Ohio State University. Kelly is a big fan of TLC's '90 Day Fiance' and FYI's 'Married at First Sight.'