'Married at First Sight' couple Ashley Doherty and David Norton disagree over final decision to get a divorce
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2016
Married at First Sight newlyweds Ashley Doherty and David Norton ended their marriage, but the decision was not mutual.
Tuesday night's broadcast of Married at First Sight, which marked Part 1 of the two-part finale, featured the three couples who participated in this extreme social experiment reflecting on their five weeks of marriage in the days leading up to Decision Day.
Decision Day is when each pair must determine whether they'd like to stay husband and wife, or get a divorce.
David and Ashley appeared to be getting along great. They were active together, and despite the big bump in the road when Ashley accused David of lying to her and hitting on a woman behind her back, she still thought he was a good guy.
However, David lost Ashley's trust and his kind and respectful image had deteriorated a little bit in his wife's mind.
But David hoped everything would work out in the end. He thought they owed it to themselves to try their very best at saving the marriage and pursuing their relationship after the show is done. David viewed them as being "battle tested." Neither individual wanted to end the experiment with regrets.
Once Decision Day arrived, David admitted he was more nervous than on the day they actually exchanged vows. The couple met with the show's experts Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Logan Levkoff, Dr. Joseph Cilona and Greg Epstein to reveal their intentions going forward.
David explained to Ashley he wanted to stay married, as his commitment to her never wavered and he was beginning to fall in love with her. David insisted love was present after everything that had been through together -- even if she didn't feel it yet.
When it became Ashley's turn to announce her answer, she complimented David on being a good guy and opened up about the fact they had grown a lot. Although Ashley never questioned why they were matched, Ashley confessed the best option for them was to get divorced. Ashley really wanted it to work but knew in her heart things just weren't as they should be.
"This was really hard and not a decision I came to easily, but I don't have the same feelings [as David]. I wish I did, but I don't. I do want the best for him and that's part of the reason why I made this decision, because I genuinely feel it's the best decision for both of us. I think in time he'll realize that as well," Ashley told the cameras.
Dr. Cilona then asked Ashley to explain to David why she didn't want to stay married to him. She said there was a big breakdown in trust and if David cared about her as much as he said he did, the situation never would've happened.
Ashley said there were a few reasons why she wanted a divorce but the main one was because there was no going back from that low point in their marriage. However, viewers are well aware Ashley wasn't attracted to David and seemingly convinced herself she never would be.
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A devastated and silent David finally expressed his feelings to Ashley after hearing the bad news. He blamed her for making excuses, saying she had checked out of the marriage weeks ago. He was hurt and disappointed. David also accused Ashley of using their miscommunication issue as "a crutch."
"She never gave it an honest to God shot," David told the cameras.
As for the other two couples -- Sam Role and Neil Bowlus, and Tres Russell and Vanessa Nelson -- their final decisions will be shown next Tuesday night at 9PM ET/PT.
But last night's episode showed the two couples contemplating whether they'd like to stay together in the final days of the experiment. Sam thanked Neil for being kind to her, and she realized she truly cared about and liked him. She absolutely didn't want a divorce.
Unfortunately for Sam, the tables turned because Neil -- who had fought for Sam's affection the whole time and never truly felt wanted -- was unsure. Sam was starting to be affectionate, and Neil could tell passion was headed in the right direction, but he feared too much damage has been done.
Sam worried Neil was going to pick "divorce," but Neil assured the cameras he was exhausting every avenue in this marriage first. Sam wasn't very nice to Neil in the first couple of weeks, but she had come a very long way, and Neil noticed the positive progress.
"The changes Sam's made makes it difficult going into Decision Day... I'm enjoying this side of Sam... We're working hard at what we need to do to even have a chance at falling in love," Neil said in a confessional.
In a preview clip of the couple on Decision Day, Sam told the experts in tears, "What frightens me the most is that he's going to ask for divorce and that I'll deserve it."
Meanwhile, Vanessa and Tres were both very invested in this process and each other. Vanessa continued to break down her walls, and although they argued a lot in the prior week, Tres thought it was possible to stay married and start fresh. Tres told Vanessa he wouldn't take anything back.
Vanessa was fairly certain she wanted to stay married to Tres, but she worried about the choice he was going to make. Tres, however, seemed just as optimistic about their potential success. He thought if they both went all in, they could have "an amazing life" together. Tres even surprised his wife with a beautiful gold bracelet she loved.
Vanessa, who found Tres lovable and complementary to her personality, was worried because she was putting her faith in someone she just met five weeks ago.
"I am scared because I'm falling in love with Tres but I've been left before and it hurts," Vanessa explained in a confessional.