Season 8 of Married At First Sight was a cycle like none other. It was an emotional roller coaster that saw four couples take the leap into matrimony. As with every season, some couples made it and others didn’t. While every minute was entertaining to watch, we also noticed a few observable love lessons that viewers can take to heart.
You Can’t Force Love
A lot of lonely people turn to Married At First Sight when they simply don’t know how else to find “the one.” The selected contestants quickly find out that marriage is one thing and love is another.
It takes the matched (or mismatched) couples weeks to get to know one another. In that time, hopefully, they can at least grow to like each other. Many of them, though, go into their marriages expecting to fall in love with their spouses as soon as they say “I do.” Some contestants pull out every move they know to inspire love; sometimes it works, but most efforts fall flat. The couples that seem to do the best are the ones who let love unfold naturally in their marriage.
Gaslighting Is Abusive
Every season has one major jerk. Sometimes it’s a bride; sometimes it’s a groom. Sometimes they redeem themselves. This season, Luke Cuccurullo was that jerk, and he was trash until the very end.
No one would blame him for not wanting to kiss a stranger on first meeting–even on this show. However, it was his behavior with his wife, Kate Sisk, after the wedding that was hard to watch. While he certainly didn’t owe her love and affection, he at least owed her kindness and general decency as her husband. He failed to show that throughout the season.
Luke never seemed that interested in Kate, despite her best efforts to make a connection. He made it pretty clear on the honeymoon that he was “repulsed” by her. Once they got home, he didn’t seem to enjoy her company. It was clear that although he wasn’t into Kate, he loved all the attention she gave him. When they would argue, though, he made it seem like she was the problem in the relationship. He would also constantly call out her drinking. He heaped a lot of blame for their friction onto her, refusing to accept that he also had some responsibility for the sad state of their union. It was obvious that she internalized a lot of that blame, and it was hard to see how that really wore her down from week to week.
Intimacy Takes Time
Six weeks is not a lot of time to spend with someone. In the past, some couples didn’t wait to have sex. They got to it on the wedding night or the honeymoon. Others have taken longer to get there. Will Guess and Jasmine McGriff, however, never made that move. Not for lack of trying, of course, but they could never seem to get the vibe right.
After a while, some of us questioned whether Will was even attracted to Jasmine. They had oodles of chemistry on their wedding day, so it didn’t make sense. Although he may have been physically attracted to her, something was clearly off between them. Will might be one of those people for whom sexual attraction is closely tied to emotional intimacy and compatibility. They couldn’t stimulate each other intellectually and there was a disconnect on each of their expectations within a marriage. Of course, it probably didn’t help that he didn’t allow himself to be fully invested in the relationship. That type of intimacy is something you can only cultivate with time. Six weeks isn’t long enough.
You Want A Spouse Not A Maid
One of the things that astonished me about this season of Married at First Sight is how much of Keith Dewar’s excitement to get married centered on the idea that his wife would be his caretaker. He was excited to get with someone who would keep the house for him and cook for him. He didn’t focus much on what he would be bringing to the table. Seeing that explained a lot about why he was still single.
Although his wife, Kristine Killingsworth, was more than happy to play chef for him, he was shook when she made it clear that she didn’t get married to be a maid. That caused some seemingly insurmountable problems at first, but he eventually got with the program and started doing his fair share around the house. His idea of marriage was based on an outdated model of responsibilities, and he had to update his thinking to make it work. In a society where both members in a partnership have to work, it’s unrealistic (and somewhat selfish) to expect that only one person will take care of all the domestic responsibilities.
Marriage Requires Maturity
Marriage can be a lot of fun, but it’s also an enormous responsibility. A lot of the couples went into this experiment with an idealized vision of married life. When the reality of daily life as a married couple showed up, though, they were faced with the fact that marriage is a challenge which requires maturity and selflessness to work.
Marriage requires more than just love and passion; it also requires patience, kindness, and understanding. It requires a heart to serve and support your partner. These are things that only really come with maturity and a deeper understanding of what marriage is supposed to be. If you don’t come into marriage with at least that level of maturity, you better find a way to level up ASAP if you want a relationship that will last a lifetime.
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