Married at First Sight couples who surprisingly stayed together
Married at First Sight is more than just a reality show. The Lifetime program is touted as an “experiment,” albeit an experiment that has pretty much created a cottage industry for divorce lawyers. As the premise goes, two people are matched up by a team of experts and meet each other for the first time at their very own wedding. They tie the knot, give it a go for a few weeks, then decide whether or not they should get a divorce. Seriously, what could go wrong?
Listen, we’re not knocking on arranged marriages here. They work for many people from many different cultures. However, the love experts at MAFS don’t seem to have great luck. Only a handful of couples are still together from more than a dozen seasons set in America, Australia, and the United Kingdom. According to The Sun, not a single couple from the British series has lived happily ever after. Even those that remain hitched seem to be dealing with a lot of marital drama, enough so that Lifetime was able to create the spin-off Married at First Sight: Happily Ever After.
For better or for worse (and most of the time, it’s the latter), let’s take a closer look at some couples who have preserved the “married” part of Married at First Sight.
Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner
Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner seem like the exception to the rule. The reality TV stars rocked Married and First Sight so much that they got their own spin-off after saying their vows. The funny thing is that Otis wasn’t really attracted to Hehner when she walked down the aisle and met her husband for the first time (We know, it feels nerve-wracking to even say that out loud). In an interview with People, Otis admitted that married at first sight does not mean love at first sight.
“I had a panic attack and thought that I made the worst decision of my life. I instantaneously took one look at him and was like, ‘Nope, it’s not going to work out.’ There was no chemistry, I wasn’t really attracted, there was no butterflies,” she said.
Otis eventually realized that Hehner was “the love of [her] life,” and the pair have been solid ever since, even through the most difficult times. This includes Otis’ tragic miscarriage in July 2016, when she was 17 weeks along. The pair has since welcomed a baby daughter and is expecting another at the time of this writing, according to People.
Shawniece Jackson and Jephte Pierre
Season 6 contestants Shawniece Jackson and Jephte Pierre had so many problems connecting during their run on Married at First Sight that, based solely on the show, it’s startling they’re still together. Anyone who witnessed the sheer length of time Pierre refused to sleep in the same room as Jackson would probably agree. Nonetheless, it appears like this couple is going strong despite its innumerable issues, which if you haven’t guessed, have not gone away.
According to Us Weekly, the tumultuous pair welcomed a baby girl in 2018. Though the moment was joyous, the couple revealed on Married at First Sight: Happily Ever After (via Madame Noire) that Pierre became depressed during the early days of Jackson’s high-risk pregnancy. They briefly separated, Pierre started seeing other people, and a pregnant Jackson found the evidence of his extramarital affairs (i.e. the condoms) and threatened to file for divorce. They worked it out, though Jackson admitted she hadn’t kissed her hubby in 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 (via Madame Noire). “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.”
Ashley Petta and Anthony D’Amico
Season 5 couple Ashley Petta and Anthony D’Amico seemed to get on pretty well from the start. One of their biggest arguments was a dispute over parking at their potential apartment complex, a pretty common argument for any city dweller who’s ever had to suffer through alternate side parking. Honestly, if Petta wanted a divorce after being forced to commit to a life of parallel parking in too-tight spots, we wouldn’t blame her. Fortunately, D’Amico caved, and the couple decided to remain married at the end of the infamous trial period.
These days, D’Amico and Petta are undoubtedly exhausted, but not because street sweeping has forced them to wake up at the crack of dawn to move their cars. According to Us Weekly, the pair welcomed a baby girl in January 2019. “We never knew we could love someone so much! She is perfect in every way. Holding her for the first time was the most amazing surreal moment of my life,” Petta told Us Weekly. “Watching Anthony take care of her makes me love him even more. He’s already an amazing daddy. We can’t wait to show this sweet little baby girl the world.”
Danielle Bergman and Bobby Dodd
Danielle Bergman and Bobby Dodd made it out of Married at First Sight into Married at First Sight: Happily Ever After, but that doesn’t mean things are all rosy between them. Bergman has racked up more than a few Instagram haters because of her spending habits (which may be somewhat of a source of strife for Dodd) and because of her reportedly reserved demeanor (She admitted during a session with the show’s experts that she’s more comfortable expressing her feelings to her dog Henry rather than her actual husband).
During an appearance on Married at First Sight: Unfiltered (via Reality TV World), Bergman admitted that Dodd had removed himself from social media completely because he couldn’t stand the shade. Bergman, on the other hand, has no qualms about firing back at her haters (she paid her own debt, y’all!) Despite the online beating, these two seem to be doing just fine. They welcomed a daughter in early 2019. “The second we laid eyes on her, we both knew that she is exactly what we waited our whole lives for. She is absolutely perfect in every way, neither of us ever thought we could love something so fast and fierce but we have from the second she arrived,” Bergman told People.
Bryce Mohr and Erin Bateman
If you thought the likelihood of a couple from the American series staying together was slim, the Australian MAFS is even more grim. Bryce Mohr and Erin Bateman are one of the only couples across all of the Australian seasons who are still in it for the long haul. How did their love endure? Privacy might have something to do with this pair’s long-term success.
According to the Daily Mail, Mohr and Bateman largely keep their relationship off the Internet and even keep each other at a distance. The pair supposedly didn’t move in together until 2019 — three years after they met on the show. With that milestone out of the way, it seems possible the couple could tie the knot for real (marriages on the Australian series aren’t legally binding). “Yes, we’d like to get married,” Bateman told New Idea. “Bryce likes to make a funny joke that goes along the lines, ‘I’ve already married you once, why do I need to do it again?!’ But I can definitely see myself with Bryce in 10 years’ time. I’ve always been anti-weddings. I think they’re a waste of money, but when we have one it will be low-key.”
Cam Merchant and Jules Robinson
Australian couple Cam Merchant and Jules Robinson had a whirlwind romance on Married at First Sight (or whatever you call a romance for people who get married the day they meet). By the end of Season 6, the couple decided to tie the knot — legally. Merchant got down on one knee and proposed during the final vows segment in a move 9Honey called the “most romantic TV moment in Australian history.” Merchant ended up moving into Robinson’s home the next day, and they’ve been together ever since.
“I’ve had moments where it’s overwhelming and not felt great with being forced to watch horrible things, and he’s been there for me and vice versa when he’s had a bit of a tough time,” Robinson told 9Honey. “We’ve just looked after each other from day one. I think honestly, he’s my best friend. Absolutely my best friend. It’s been amazing.” According to E! News, the couple only argue about laundry. Enjoy that bliss, guys! Here’s hoping it lasts forever.
Jessika Power and Dan Webb
Jessika Power and Dan Webb weren’t actually matched together by the experts in Season 6 of Married at First Sight Australia, but hey, there are no rules when it comes to love. It seems like the pair found the real thing inside a scandalous extramarital affair (that technically isn’t extramarital since these marriages aren’t legally binding, but it’s still really, really frowned upon). As the story goes, Webb was matched with Tamara Joy and Power was “wed” to Mick Gould, but they had chemistry at first sight with the wrong spouses.
“We had an instant connection and spoke the whole night. The way [Webb] spoke about his son was so inspiring,” Power told TV Week (via Now to Love), adding, “I did feel bad … If I were in the outside world, I probably wouldn’t have done that. But I liked Dan and went for it. I can’t apologize for that.”
According to the Daily Mail, the couple plans to truly get married, have kids, and buy a house as soon as Power makes the move to Queensland, though New Idea (via the Daily Mail) claims the couple might have been hamming it up for the cameras. Webb’s future seems uncertain even if Power is sticking by his side. The Daily Mail reported that the reality star was charged in 2016 for his alleged involvement in a $20 million telemarketing scam.
Martha Kalifatidis and Michael Brunelli
Few people can be randomly paired with someone and want to have 12-hour, love-making marathons. The thought of just kissing a Tinder random before you know them is enough to make some of us completely want to give up on dating all together, but the experts on Married at First Sight Australia must at least sort of know what they’re doing. Martha Kalifatidis and Michael Brunelli of Season 6 have a fiery attraction that, frankly, sounds kind of ridiculous on paper.
In an interview with Who, Kalifatidis boasted about her time between the sheets with Brunelli. “[We had a]twelve-hour sex marathon! The hotel had to come upstairs to the room with a broom, and they were banging on the door,” she said. So, it’s safe to say this couple is clicking. During their final vow exchange, Brunelli even said he’d relocate to Sydney for his TV wife (yet the trailer was edited to make it seem like there were cracks in this quickly-poured foundation).