Taken aback! Viewers weren't the only ones who were startled when Neil revealed that he wanted to divorce wife Sam in last week's Married at First Sight season 3 finale — Sam tells Us Weekly exclusively that she was not expecting the disappointing news either.
The pair had weathered early rockiness in their marriage but appeared to be in a happier place by the end of the season, with both of them expressing in the finale how much progress they had made. Alas, when it came time for decision day, Sam was the only who wanted to stay hitched.
"I was extremely surprised in Neil's decision," Sam tells Us. "He had said all along how he was committed to the marriage and the relationship. He never told me he was losing interest in our marriage or me. My gut told me something wasn't right. I didn't want to believe it."
Sam says she felt tricked when Neil told her he was "completely committed" before pausing a moment to then clarify that he was referring to his decision to split.
"When Neil said he wanted a divorce, my heart sank to my stomach," she says. "I felt pretty heartbroken and embarrassed. The way he asked for a divorce was kind of misleading. I remember thinking that when he said he was committed, that he was going to continue to give this a shot with me, and then he said 'divorce.' Probably one of the more difficult moments in my life."
Sam admits that she regrets being "so mean and cruel and crass" to Neil at the start of their relationship, which she attributes to the pressures of the situation, along with their communication struggles.
"I'd also go back and move in with Neil versus him moving into my townhouse during the week we were in limbo [over] finding a place," she says about what she would do over.
The pair have managed to remain friendly, talking once a week since around November, and Sam says they have even "met for dinner a few times." She has not been actively dating since her stint on the show and still holds out hope that they can reconcile.
"I would be interested if he asked me to work on the relationship," she says. "Marriage is very sacred to me, and I never believed in giving up on my marriage. I know it can be tough at times, and you're not always going to agree, but it's those moments that can make your relationship that much stronger. Divorce just isn't the answer for me."
Married at First Sight's season 3 reunion airs on FYI on Tuesday, March 8, at 9 p.m. EST. Kinetic Content produces the series.
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