If you’ve been keeping up with Married at First Sight: Happily Ever After, then you know that Shawniece Jackson and Jephte Pierre are trying to balance being new parents to daughter Laura Denise with trying to work their way back from some serious marital struggles. After agreeing to stay together at the end of Season 6 and announcing their pregnancy, Jephte found himself in a state of depression. The couple ended up separating, and during that time, he had sexual relationships with other women.
“I was so messed up, so hurt, that I was like, ‘I just want to get my regular life back on track,’ so I was going back out and doing my thing,” he said in a previous episode. “She told me she was filing and she told me ‘we’re done.’ So I’m like, ‘Ok, let me try and get back to how I was before, how my life was before.'”
However, the couple was not done after all, and after finding condoms, Shawniece was hurt. But they agreed to try and work on their marriage by taking baby steps. They haven’t been wearing their rings on the show, and in the last episode, Shawniece admitted she hadn’t kissed Jephte in months. She didn’t even let him kiss her on the lips during their one-year anniversary dinner.
In a preview for tonight’s new episode, she explains why she hasn’t wanted to.
The couple take a break from caring for baby Laura to do an exercise from Dr. Jessica Griffin. She wants them to learn more about their wants and needs as new parents. When asked to speak on what they think is the most intimate thing they could do aside from sex with each other, Shawniece says, “Moments together, wining and dining.” As for Jephte, he says it’s the one thing he’s not getting from Shawniece.
“I think kissing is the most intimate thing,” he answers. “I think it’s more intimate than sex.”
Shawniece agrees, saying, “That’s why I haven’t kissed you in five months.”
“I haven’t had the urge to want to kiss him. It’s definitely something I want to change, but at this point, it’s not something I’m focused on,” she said in her confessional. “And the reason being is because I know we’ve had a rough start and I don’t know, because we’re just coming back, if we’re there just yet.”
But there is a bright spot in the midst of their struggles. Jephte says his idea of happily ever after is he and Shawniece having a house full of kids, and he’s aware that in order for that to happen, they need to work to get in a much better place. So that’s his goal.
“If I were to have more kids with you that means we’re in a good place, and that means we’re in a happy place where it’s not a mystery about how we’re going to stay together,” he said. “We’re both committed for the long-haul.”
Since being on MAFS: Happily Ever After, the couple do seem to be in a much better place and are quite the team. Shawniece quit Twitter for the rest of the year to stand by her man and focus on her family after online criticism of Jephte became too much for her.
“Jephte’s depression was a hard time for us and I do not want him to be back in that space again,” she told Newsweek. “He has put in a lot of work and I’m so proud of him. So in the meantime, I will stay off so I can make sure I’m in a healthy mental space to be the support my family needs.”