Six months after Decision Day, Married at First Sight's couples reconvened for the season 3 reunion on Tuesday, March 8, to reflect on the experience and reveal where they now stood. There were surprises, laughs and tears — lots and lots of tears. And while some had clearly used the experiment as a springboard for personal growth, others remained resolutely set in their ways.
Sam and Neil Are Still Married
Though Neil Bowlus had stated that he wanted a divorce from Sam Role, it turned out that half a year later, they still hadn't filed the paperwork — but did that mean they were still together after all?
Dr. Pepper Schwartz debriefed Sam first, who admitted it was "humbling" to see herself on TV and readily admitted she had been downright terrible to Neil for those first few weeks. "It was painful to watch," Schwartz agreed.
Sam said the turning point in her feelings for Neil came when he returned from Las Vegas (a trip he'd taken without her) and brought flowers.
"I was really starting to fall for him," Sam explained. "I love him. He's amazing. I'm still proud to wear my wedding ring, you know, because I'm proud of the person that I'm married to," Sam said. Still, it was too soon to jump to any (happy) conclusions.
"Neil and I tried to work things out after the show ended, and then shortly thereafter, we decided that we would be friends," she revealed. "I have no idea what will happen for us. Who knows, a few years from now, maybe we'll be together or maybe we'll be close friends." As tears welled in her eyes, she added, "I'll always be a good friend to him, though, and I know that he'll always be a good friend to me."
For his part, Neil agreed that his trip to Sin City marked a turning point in their relationship because he could see how much he'd hurt her when he said he didn't miss her (which, honestly, surprised him). Still, Neil ultimately was missing "the emotional connection" he needed to pursue the marriage.
At this point, Schwartz (who was clearly gunning for these two to give wedded bliss one more go) sat them down together. Sam apologized for the umpteenth time about how she'd treated him in the beginning, and he, for the umpteenth time, accepted her apology. Then they hugged. For a really long time.
David and Ashley Have Not Spoken
Before sitting down with Ashley Doherty, Schwartz reiterated that the experts had all expected the nursing student to "blossom" under David's "gregarious personality" — but admitted that no such thing happened. Ashley was the first in the hot seat, and frankly, Schwartz had some pointed questions for her.
Schwartz began by pointing out to Ashley that she came across rather "cold" toward David Norton from the minute she laid eyes on him. Rather than acknowledge that perhaps she was a bit on the chilly side, Ashley reiterated that she had just been overwhelmed. "You took a look at David, and it seemed that that was the end right there," Schwartz tried again as Ashley stared back at her, stone-faced.
Schwartz then attempted to get Ashley to take a tiny bit of responsibility for the role she may have played in pushing David to ask out another woman (which may or may not have been intended as a date). While Schwartz was hardly implying David's actions were Ashley's fault, she did ask Ashley if she thought it was possible that he did this because he felt "angry, rejected and wasn't being his best self."
Instead of acknowledging that — just maybe — her total lack of interest in David may have played a part, Ashley replied, "That's no excuse. He asked out another woman when he was married, and he got caught." Schwartz let it go at that and asked Ashley if she would be open to seeing David again to have a conversation. Ashley wasn't.
In a parting moment, Schwartz asked Ashley if she'd learned anything from taking part in this experiment, and Ashley said she'd learned that she needed to stand up for herself more. Umm — not sure that's what Schwartz was going for, but there really wasn't anything else to say.
When it came to David, he remained the same optimistic, outgoing guy he was on the show. He admitted that watching himself interact with Ashley when it aired was painful. "I'm like, 'Man, David, take a hint!'" he laughed.
Though it was pretty clear from her interaction with Ashley that these two had not been hanging out since the show ended, Schwartz asked David about their current status anyway.
"I tried to start some dialogue a couple of weeks after Decision Day. She made it very clear that she didn't want to talk to me," he said. Schwartz then asked him, once and for all, what his intentions had been when he'd asked out Ashley's acquaintance.
"I still can't fully grasp what happened, but maybe I was looking for some validation from one of her friends saying, 'Hey, you're a great guy. She doesn't know what she's missing,'" he offered. "It's tough getting kicked in the teeth every day, but my intention was not to cheat on my wife."
Tres and Vanessa Stopped Being Intimate
Schwartz met with Vanessa Nelson first to see how married life was going with Tres Russell. "Me and Tres, we are not together anymore," Vanessa said as she broke down in tears. (Nooo!) "We stopped being physically intimate. I felt bad about myself for a while because I felt like, 'What's wrong with me?'"
She revealed they had gotten into a huge, "terrible" argument because Tres didn't come home one night until 5 a.m., and things just spiraled from there. Vanessa recalled that Tres told her he didn't "have romantic feelings for her," and how hard that was to hear. "Things weren't perfect at all, but I thought it was at least based on that we liked each other," she sighed. "I guess he just realized one day that he didn't really like me."
A disheartened Schwartz then admitted that she was actually nervous for her one-on-one with Tres. Their meeting ended up going pretty smoothly, however. Mainly, Tres kept saying that he got "burnt out" having to prove himself to Vanessa all of the time and that the constant feeling that he was "walking on eggshells" took its toll. As for the death of their sex life, he took full responsibility.
Reunited, they both apologized and agreed to meet up for dinner to talk things through — but before you get too excited, they did not get back together. "I'll always feel bonded with you," Tres told (his soon to be ex-wife) Vanessa as they toasted "to the good times." To the good times, indeed.
Tell Us: Are you surprised that Tres and Vanessa split?
Married at First Sight airs on FYI on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST.