Editor’s note: The Lovefraud reader “amille2” wrote the following critique.
I normally do not watch reality TV shows. The few that I have seen seem anything but real.
With that said, I was intrigued when A&E and the DIY networks promoted a show called, “Married at First Sight.” The premise is two people marry ……. without meeting in advance. The men and women are matched by a panel of experts: a psychologist, sexologist, spiritual advisor and a professor with a PhD in Sociology. A modern twist on arranged marriages. They all claim the participants go through rigorous interviews evaluations, background checks, questionnaires, etc.
One would assume then that while the prospective spouse may not know whom they are marrying, they could at least expect the experts had weeded out a potentially harmful partner?
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
In season 2, bride Jessica recently filed a restraining order against her groom, Ryan.
Admittedly, I didn’t watch every episode of this “social experiment.” And I only saw what the editors wanted us to see.
What I saw was a man exhibiting sociopathic traits.
He is very handsome and was quite charismatic at the beginning of the show. My initial impression was surprise that he would have any trouble finding dates. Nonetheless, he and his bride seemed very happy with their “match” on their wedding day. They consummated their marriage that night.
Remember, they just met that day.
It went downhill from there.
He proceeded to devalue, reel her back in and repeat. He seem to try and control things that shouldn’t matter ……. ironing on a bed vs. ironing board? Who cares? Every time she tried to speak up for herself he would rage, personally attack and walk out.
This was most evident on the “reunion” episode. Jessica stated that although he claimed he wanted to stay married, once the cameras stopped rolling, he became distant; didn’t want to live with her; said, “I was with you for six weeks Kid, I need a break.” Kid? He had other plans on Valentine’s Day. Would you be surprised to learn she found a Valentine’s Day card from another woman at his apartment later? That his response was that he wasn’t cheating? That he can’t control it if women send him cards?
He claims she is lying. That she called him all kinds of names. That she is crazy and smashed one of his watches once she found the card (she admitted this; says she felt so guilty afterwards, she bought him a new one).
His behavior was outrageous and completely inappropriate on that final show. He even “one upped” one of the other brides about something that was a non-event.
If you Google, “Married at First Sight” you can read all the reports.
So why did this strike a chord with me?
- I still struggle with my role with my spath relationship. I was with him for far too long. Why didn’t I see him for what he was? Why didn’t I question him more? Was I/Am I really that blind? Well, I guess if a panel of experts can’t spot a potential sociopath, then perhaps I should cut myself a break.
- The bride tried to humiliate him in revenge for his treatment of her during their brief marriage. I winced when I saw what she tried to do. The next day I read that he was caught on live mic allegedly threatening to kill her and her family (hence the restraining order). It is reported that the show hired security as a precaution. This just reinforces that seeking revenge against a sociopath can be dangerous. Sticking to No Contact seems to be the safer, healthier choice for yourself.
- Reading the comments after the published articles was disturbing. While I was encouraged to see people question his outbursts, many blamed the bride to “driving him” to his behavior. One person went so far as to say, “If you get involved with a psycho, you get what you deserve.” Really? I wonder if he/she would feel the same if they found themselves with one in their lives.
This just reinforces how much more education is needed; how little people truly understand.