Call it a marital roller coaster. Married at First Sight’s season 4 participants all started out with high hopes for marriage, but one bride was devastated last week when her husband admitted he doesn’t find her attractive.
All three couples are facing difficulties of varying degrees, and on the latest episode – which aired Tuesday, September 27 – the experts are intervening. Read The Knot’s recap of the emotionally-charged episode.
Nick Pendergrast & Sonia Granados: After Nick’s rant about his wife and her wishes for him to “open up,” Sonia packed her bags and moved back to her apartment, where she intends to stay.
Sonia calls Rachel DeAlto to explain the situation, and the expert believes it may be beneficial for the newlyweds to spend time apart and “calm down.”
Nick, meanwhile, meets with Pastor Calvin Roberson to discuss his outburst. He explains that Sonia had questioned his attraction — and he simply told her that he didn’t believe his attraction was where it needed to be. “I think the only words she heard [were] ‘I’m not attracted to you,'” Nick tells the expert, “and everything else was just in one ear and out the other.”
Nick then muses that his relationship with Sonia is “like a chain reaction at this point.” He explains that since his physical attraction is “not as strong,” it “limits how comfortable [he] is with showing her affection.”
When Pastor Calvin asks him if he’s had sex with Sonia, Nick denies it – sharing they’ve only kissed. He then states in the confessional that his attraction for Sonia has “dwindled from the beginning.” He acknowledges that his wife hasn’t done anything wrong. He goes on to admit that he doesn’t feel he’s 100% in the role of being a husband.
Pastor Calvin tells Nick that his job as a husband is to make sure his wife feels validated, which prompts Nick to fire back that he’s not in a “traditional marriage.”
Nick then says that he deserves “at least one get-out-of-jail-free card,” which irritates the expert. Pastor Calvin tells him, “Marriage ain’t for punks… It’s for grown-ups.”
In the meantime, Sonia admits to Married at First Sight viewers that she’s tired of the subject of attraction. “Dude, you’re not a supermodel,” she says about her husband. “Wake the hell up!” Her mind and logic are saying to stay away from Nick, but the “hopeless romantic” in her wants to go back to him and give their marriage another shot. She meets with Pastor Calvin privately to discuss her feelings about the situation.
Sonia admits to the expert that she feels Nick has “hate” towards her. When Pastor Calvin asks if she has been intimate with her husband, Sonia feels compelled to tell the truth. “We had sex,” she quietly responds. She tells the expert that she and her husband have had sex on more than one occasion.
Pastor Calvin is shocked, especially since Nick and Sonia both previously denied consummating their marriage. On the show, the experts need the participants to be open with them about the progress of their relationships, so that they’re able to offer them the best advice.
Sonia feels “fooled and disgusted… and like an idiot” now that she knows how Nick truly feels. Despite the painful situation, she tells the expert she would accept an apology from her husband.
Following the separate meetings with the husband and wife, Pastor Calvin brings Nick and Sonia together, where they discuss the holes in their relationship. Nick explains that their ongoing arguments have changed his perception of the experience, while Sonia feels resentment because she believes she’s put more work into their marriage than her husband.
Then, they talk about sex. Nick tells Pastor Calvin that he and his wife have gotten to “third base,” but Sonia clears that up immediately. “I’m not a kisser and teller,” Nick explains. “I wanted to make sure she’d be okay with it.” Sonia appreciates Nick’s admission, telling Pastor Calvin that it was “respectable” for her husband to take her feelings into consideration.
In the confessional, Nick admits to having a connection with Sonia and that he thinks she’s a “beautiful person.”
“I apologize if I hurt your feelings,” Nick tells Sonia. “It wasn’t aimed directly at you, even though it was about you.” He tells her he wants to build their friendship. Sonia accepts his apology before Pastor Calvin gives them their wedding album filled with photos. He then assigns the couple some good, old-fashioned homework: They are to take each other to a place that holds special meaning for them.
Later, when they look through their wedding album, Sonia is reminded that she loves her husband’s sense of humor. Nick enjoys looking through the photos and acknowledges that he “messed up” with Sonia. He wants to take things “day by day,” sharing with Married at First Sight viewers that he wants Sonia to move back in with him, and he wants her to feel comfortable.
For their homework assignment, Sonia takes Nick to her favorite restaurant. They enjoy Mexican cuisine, and Nick is glad there is “zero awkwardness” between them. “The vibe is good,” he says in the confessional.
Nick chooses to take Sonia to his high school for his part in the homework assignment. He shares stories about his baseball days and his family.
Sonia feels that a weight has been lifted off of her. Nick agrees, saying the homework assignment was “super beneficial.”
Tom Wilson & Lillian Vilchez: Four weeks into their marriage, Tom and Lillian receive a surprise visit from Pastor Calvin. The participants tell the expert that things are going well in their relationship, minus a few drawbacks. Tom tells the pastor that he believes talking about the future is “wasted time,” but Lillian is interested in making long-term plans.
Tom explains that, in the past, he wasted time planning; he would rather spend their time together making things “better now.” Lillian shares that her dad leaving her family caused some insecurities, and she’s worried Tom may leave her, too.
Tom assures his wife that he’s 100% committed to her. He tells Lillian he thinks they should work on the “separation issues” she has with her father. He believes his wife is putting him in the same category with her dad and he tells her that “it’s not fair.”
Pastor Calvin shares with Married at First Sight viewers that because Tom and Lillian want their marriage to work so badly, they are “magnifying things that really aren’t that major.” He explains that they are “sabotaging their happiness.”
Later, Tom opens up to Lillian about his family as he cooks her dinner. When they dine outside, the couple talk about their insecurities. Lillian is afraid of “not being good enough” as a wife. Tom is concerned that he is putting time and effort into something “that isn’t guaranteed.”
When Tom takes Lillian to the beach, he tells her he moved to Florida with his ex-girlfriend. The relationship was hard on him, so he would visit the beach for “solace.” Back then, Tom wasn’t ready to commit his life to someone. He explains that his past relationships made him ready for marriage.
Derek Schwartz & Heather Seidel: On last week’s episode, Dr. Pepper Schwartz suggested that Derek and Heather open up to one another via letter. While reading her letter from Derek, Heather thinks of “what could’ve been.” Derek, however, is aware that the words in Heather’s letter don’t coincide with her actions.
Derek has a night out with friends playing pool and drinking. He tells a friend that he is meeting Heather face-to-face the next day for the first time since she decided to end their marriage.
When Derek meets with Rachel DeAlto the next day, he admits his failures during his short-lived marriage, including his impatience. Derek tells Rachel that he and Heather have texted briefly, and he’s hoping to begin a friendship with his wife. Rachel acknowledges that Derek is still wearing his wedding ring.
When it’s Heather’s turn to meet with the expert, she admits to having a stubborn side. She says she “literally turned off” with Derek, but she’s open to starting a friendship with him.
Sneak Peek: There are only two weeks left in the experiment, and on the next episode, Sonia continues to have concerns about moving back in with Nick. Tom shares that he feels like he’s putting 100% into his marriage, but he is irritated with his wife – who he believes is only giving their marriage 60-70%. Derek and Heather open up to one another.
Married at First Sight airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FYI.