Love — and Lillian! Married at First Sight season 4 participant Tom Wilson opens up to The Knot in an exclusive new interview about his immediate chemistry with his wife, Lillian Vilchez, and the pros and cons of partaking in FYI’s wildly popular social experiment.
Wilson and Vilchez — first to sleep together out of the three couples featured on the Miami-centric season — have emerged as one of the most-compatible pairs so far. According to Wilson, his initial attraction to Vilchez grew even more with time.
“I felt a deeper connection during the honeymoon,” he recalls. “We had some amazing deep conversations and we realized we both really wanted this to work.” For Wilson, that work has largely involved making big comprises to his previous lifestyle.
“I realized on the honeymoon that giving up full-time bus living is worth potentially [being married long-term to] the love of my life,” he says. “Giving the bus life a break was hard, but it was necessary.”
Then, he filled the role of being a husband, which was a wake-up call. “How you view marriage is so different than actually being married,” he says. “Our marriage [on the show] is young and full of challenges. Challenges I never thought about.”
Wilson acknowledges that his strengths and weaknesses surfaced during his marriage. “I’m patient, and have drive. It’s really hard for me to give up,” he says. “But I need to be more careful about how I convey my feelings … I don’t have a very good filter.”
In reverse, he tells The Knot what he loves most about his wife. “I love that she and I have a similar sense of humor. She’s caring, loving and open-minded,” he muses. “[Sometimes], she’s a bit of a germaphobe. Not O.C.D. but close … But I’m not perfect either.”
As the season continues to unfold, Wilson shares his reaction — to himself! “I think I cringe and laugh every two seconds while watching! Everything is either funny or cringe-worthy,” he says. “Lilly and I made a pact to not let the production affect our marriage … I’m really happy about how accurate things have been, but it’s weird seeing us kiss every two minutes on TV.”
Then, there are the issues faced by the other two couples — Sonia Granados and Nick Pendergast, and Heather Seidel and Derek Schwartz. ”It’s been interesting,” Wilson says. “I understand what they’re feeling. I guess I have more sympathy than viewers. Marrying a stranger isn’t easy or normal.”
Wilson is eager to share the ups and downs of partaking in the experiment, beginning — of course! — with the pros. The first is “knowing you’ve been matched by experts that want you to succeed,” he says, followed by “having counseling available to make the marriage work” and “being with someone who’s as brave as you.”
There are cons too, though Wilson only has two. “Having your relationship exposed to the world” is one, followed by “lots of pressure to make marriage work.”
He coyly concludes, “I don’t think I have a third con.”
Watch his marriage to Lillian unfold on Married at First Sight, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m ET on FYI.