‘Married at First Sight’: A Blast to the Past as the Couples Revisit Their Childhoods (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Married at First Sight, Season 12, Episode 14, “I Expected a Little Better.”]
Deadline Day is fast approaching on Season 12 of Lifetime’s Married at First Sight, and we’re at the point where things are getting awfully tense for some of the couples — while others strengthen their bonds.
On the show’s April 14 episode, “I Expected a Little Better,” the pairs meet with experts, dig into their pasts, and much more. Below, we break down the marital drama.
'Married at First Sight': Decision Day Nears and the Couples Hash Things Out With the Experts (RECAP)
Unveiling Childhood Secrets
The couples are tasked by the experts to share an activity from their childhoods in order to better understand their spouses.
First up is Erik, who brings Virginia to his childhood home where he shares photos and his military accolades. The positive mood darkens for Erik when Virginia draws a comparison between his military honors and Cub Scout patches. Things go from bad to worse when she tells Erik he’s been blowing off her family when she’s been making an effort to get to know his.
Hoping to make amends, Erik video chats with Virginia’s dad and apologizes for his lack of contact, saying he’s focusing more on Virginia and their relationship. Her dad is more than understanding, allowing for their next activity to start out on a positive note. Virginia brings Erik to shoot hoops at a local gym, revealing more about her history as a basketballer growing up.
Briana also goes the physical route with Vincent by indulging in some tap dancing, admitting it was an outlet for her to build confidence with as a teen. She admits that she used to feel self-conscious of her dark skin but finally began to accept that she was beautiful when dancing.
As for Vincent, he brings Bri to a local bodega/Dominican restaurant for them to enjoy some traditional cuisine. He shares that it wasn’t easy growing up without a father and that’s probably the reason behind his desire to have children and a family of his own. Briana understands and hopes she can be that person who builds this with him.
Haley and Jacob’s activities begin with her venture to the batting cages. She tells Jacob that she grew up playing softball and that’s where her love for the sport came from, but she can’t help but be distracted by the fact that he’s wearing dress shoes and jeans. They next play mini-golf and after, when he shows her a photo of him wearing short-shorts to a work event, Haley is even more unimpressed.
Before Ryan and Clara visit her parents, he goes there alone to chat with her mom. Ryan is seeking any advice he can get, especially regarding raising kids in the church. Clara’s mom admits church wasn’t that important to her until Clara was born, hinting that her daughter could change her mind about something that seems to be a dealbreaker for Ryan.
When the pair finally visit her home together, she gives him the grand tour, describing what her childhood room used to look like before her parents turned it into a workout room. She also shows off her old prom and chorus dresses. When they sit down with her parents, Clara reveals more about her strict upbringing, which included limited MySpace access.
Exercises From the Experts
The couples are advised by the experts to write letters to their younger selves as a way to connect and show vulnerability. Haley and Jacob’s efforts derail when he barely shares what he’s written. When Haley reads hers, advising her younger self to embrace change, Jacob becomes sarcastic and asks what she’d tell herself before the wedding.
She says she’d tell herself to calm down, and Jacob says he’d tell himself to return a bracelet he gifted her on their wedding day that she apparently has not worn and which her mother took back home. The remark leads to a fight. He complains that he paid a lot for it and he wishes she’d care more about having it in her physical possession.
Clara and Ryan also try out the exercise, with her letter focusing on love and trying to be open to the concept, whereas Ryan tells his younger self to not change anything.
Dr. Pepper’s House Visits
Dr. Pepper Schwartz first drops in on Vincent and Brian. She addresses topics they’ve discussed in prior sessions, including their differing sleep schedules and feelings about kids. The couple agrees that they can work out a compromise where they follow each other’s schedules part of the week and vice versa. As for kids, Vincent sticks by wanting to have their own and Bri says she’d like to despite her high blood pressure.
Clara and Ryan address their lack of intimacy with Dr. Pepper. Clara admits that she’s hoping for more but doesn’t want to just check something off of the list by having sex, she wants it to work for Ryan. Dr. Pepper also hints at the possibility that the pair could already be in love despite not saying it out loud. Whether that will convince Ryan he can say “I love you” or not remains to be seen.
Haley and Jacob resume their discussion about the bracelet during Dr. Pepper’s visit and she tries to get Haley to understand that it’s a sore subject for him. Haley counters that she gifted him a baseball hat he has chosen not to wear, so it’s difficult for her to see a difference between that and the bracelet. In the end, nothing’s resolved.
Virginia and Erik’s differences come into focus during their chat with Dr. Pepper as they reveal their opposing views of what a marriage looks like. For him, it means fidelity and as much time together as possible; for her, it includes time hanging out with friends, male or female, including sleepovers.
Virginia gets together with her sister-in-law to discuss her progress with Erik and sip on margaritas. She opens up about the fights she and Erik have had. In a solo testimonial, her sister-in-law says she doesn’t expect Erik to ever accept Virginia’s partying.
The episode concludes with Haley making a video call to her mother and asking her to send the bracelet back so she can stop hearing him complain about it. Over the call, Haley’s mother calls Jacob constantly bringing up the price of the jewelery tacky. Can they move past this hurdle?
And the clock is ticking…
Married at First Sight, Season 12, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Lifetime