There's no place like home — when you're moving in with a practical stranger, that is. With their honeymoons behind them, the three brave couples who tied the knot on Married at First Sight returned to the States to begin their real lives together as husband and wife. As the Tuesday, December 29, episode of the FYI series began, the first order of business for the newlyweds was finding a place to live, a challenge which required honest discussions of anxiety-laden subjects such as lifestyle and financial standing.
Buckhead or Bust
Though Vanessa Nelson was "hopeful" as she and Tres Russell returned to Atlanta, she was concerned that she had "only seen one side of Tres so far." She was about to get her wish and see another side of him soon enough, however, as moving in together required frank discussions about lifestyle and finances — and while Tres made more money than Vanessa (which was clearly a big relief to him), he admitted he had not always been very responsible with money. In contrast, though Vanessa earned less, she proudly announced that she saved an average of $800 to $1,000 per month. Cue Tres telling the camera that he was probably going to have to cut back on those $300 bar tabs. Umm, yeah.
But their disconnect went beyond numbers. Vanessa preferred to be in the middle of the action in midtown, while Tres loved his suburban oasis of Buckhead (an area Vanessa dismissed as "pretentious"). Ultimately, Vanessa caved "because he's going to be the breadwinner" and agreed to live near Tres' preferred location so he could be closer to work.
They had a romantic first night together, including a homemade dinner cooked by Vanessa, which they ate on the floor since they hadn't gotten any furniture yet. Besides Vanessa's tiny dog, Nola, peeing on the blanket they were going to sit on, all went well — though Tres did reveal that, contrary to the implication the week before, they had not yet (technically) consummated their marriage … though that may have finally changed, as Tres — clearly delighted with Vanessa's cooking — swept her off her feet and carried her into the bedroom.
David Thinks His Marriage Is (Already) in Trouble
Unlike Tres and Vanessa, who had an immediate spark, David Norton and Ashley Doherty were still struggling with basic contact as their honeymoon came to a close. "We don't even touch at all," David lamented to the camera, adding that this was why he high-fived his wife so much — because it was the only form of physical contact she would permit. For her part, Ashley continued to insist, "Intimacy is definitely going to take time."
When they got home, Ashley made good on her desire to spend the first night at her own place without David, a decision that he took pretty hard. "My wife has chosen tonight to spend the night without me at her place," David revealed on a home video. "It's starting to hit me right now that maybe my wife doesn't like me. Being here by myself, I feel defeated." After a sigh, he added, "It's disheartening. I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight. Maybe that wine will help. I'm starting to think my marriage is in trouble, and I need to figure out a way to save it." (Considering he's about one week into his union, that's not a great sign.)
Sam Schools Neil in Finance
Though Sam Role and Neil Bowlus were on improved terms since their near miss with a potentially fatal car accident, they were still far from coupledom. Since they were both homeowners instead of renters, they kicked off their house hunt by checking out each other's pads. Neil discovered Sam's alarmingly large collection of scented wax melts, and she discovered that he had invested in a giant, luxurious dining room table but slept on a pretty pitiful bed.
When it came to finances, Sam (as with most things) took the reins, basically telling Neil he got a terrible deal on his mortgage and revealing that she saves a whopping 75% of her income. While some — okay, many — men might have gotten defensive, Neil didn't. "I completely trust Sam with the finances," he said to the camera. "This is what she does for a living." And while Sam wasn't impressed with his house-buying skills, she was impressed "with the way Neil handled" their discussion, the main point of which was that she wanted him to pay 60% of their joint-rent bill rather than splitting it down the middle. "I think that he really took to heart some of the expectations that I had out of a husband," she said with a smile.
They, too, found a place they agreed on pretty quickly, but moving in together provided its own challenges as Sam began to question Neil's authenticity. "I feel like I've gotten to know a little bit about Neil, but I still don't know him very well," she confessed. "I think sometimes as if he is behaving this way for cameras." Only time will tell if on-camera Neil is the same as off-camera Neil, but if one thing is certain, it's that Sam will be direct when reporting her findings.
The Way to Ashley's Heart Is Through the Front Door
Despite David's doubts, he seemed more determined than ever to crack Ashley's tough shell. During a discussion of their incomes (Ashley's commentary was brief since she is a full-time student), David offered to pick up more of the tab, so they could have a nicer home. Instead of finding the gesture romantic, though, Ashley found it off-putting. "It's a little much for me," she said. (Give the guy a break, Ashley!)
By the time they walked into their dream home, however, Ashley had changed her tune. "I think it's a really kind, thoughtful gesture that David has offered to step up to the plate and take the financial burden off me," she said to the camera. David sensed the shift in the weather. "I felt like for the first time since the wedding, we were on the same page," he mused — and he wasn't even upset when he came home at the end of day one in their new pad, and Ashley revealed she had already broken the handle off the toilet. Maybe there's hope for these two yet.
Tell Us: Which couple do you think is going to be the most compatible now that they're back home?
Married at First Sight airs on FYI Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST.
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