Unable to forget their rocky start. Married at First Sight‘s Neil Bowlus asked for a divorce from wife Sam Role in the FYI series’ March 1 finale, and he tells Us Weekly exclusively that he would have done things differently if he could relive their time together.
Neil, 31, and Sam’s marriage got off to a contentious start, as she was particularly critical of him during their honeymoon. But the two grew closer as they got to know each other better, so Sam, 30, was clearly surprised and heartbroken when Neil asked for a divorce on Decision Day after she said she wanted to stay together.
He tells Us that he was “conflicted” prior to Decision Day on whether to stay with his wife, given her “drastic turnaround,” and it wasn’t until on the actual day itself that he made up his mind to end the marriage.
“I felt I was missing the ability to create a deeper, more intimate relationship,” he says. “The first four weeks left an impression greater than I was aware of, and it prevented me from building anything more than friendship. … Nobody is at fault — it’s just the way things happened. We learn, grow and move on.”
Neil admits that he could have been “more vocal” in revealing to Sam how he was leaning prior to Decision Day. If he were able to redo the season, he points out that he would “speak up earlier in the season and be more specific when things were going bad.”
He says that currently his dating life is “nonexistent,” and he is glad that the pair are able to remain friendly.
“After six months of discussing the events of Married at First Sight with professionals, I am in a comfortable place, and I appreciate and value our friendship,” he adds. “If I have learned one thing, it is yes, I will miss some things [from our time together].”
For Us‘ exclusive interview with Sam, in which she admits she was “heartbroken and embarrassed” when Neil asked for a divorce, click here.
Married at First Sight: The First Year, produced by Kinetic Content, returns on FYI on Tuesday, March 22, at 9 p.m. ET.