Pastor Cal and his fellow Married at First Sight experts, Dr. Viviana Coles and Dr. Pepper Schwartz, matched Erik, a 34-year-old conservative divorced pilot, with Virginia, a 26-year-old social butterfly and customer experience specialist, to marry on Season 12 of the series based in Atlanta, GA.
On the March 17 episode of Married at First Sight: Unfiltered, Pastor Cal, Erik and fellow MAFS star Haley Harris watched back a Season 12 clip of Virginia complaining to Erik that his communication could've been better when he had to leave for a few days for work.
"It's just me. That's how it's going to be; it's just my job," Erik tells Virginia in the clip.
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Haley said she could relate to Erik's position in her own marriage to Jacob Harder.
"I travel a lot for work and so I can understand where Erik is coming from in a sense. I mean, I see both sides," Haley noted.
"But, you know, we've been on our own and this is flipping our worlds upside down. So I think if they continue the communication -- [Erik] voices his needs and [Virginia] voices her needs -- you guys are going to be fine."
Jamie then brought Pastor Cal into the conversation and asked why the experts decided Erik and Virginia would be a good match considering Virginia has abandonment issues stemming from her parents' brutal divorce and Erik needs to travel frequently for his job.
Pastor Cal defended his fellow experts' decision-making and insisted, "It wasn't a stretch to match him with her knowing she has abandonment issues [because] traveling is not abandoning."
"You can stay connected even though you're far away, which I think [Erik] has the heart to do," Pastor Cal added. "We don't have any question about that."
Erik also maintained optimism in his marriage that the traveling issue could be something he and Virginia could overcome together.
"I definitely think we're going to be able to work past this," Erik said. "She's willing to communicate with me, you know, obviously she's not holding that stuff in, and so I really appreciate that."
"I think it's just going to make our marriage stronger," Erik added, "and sometimes she'll be able to travel with me! So it'll be fun."
Haley pointed out, "That's a plus!"
Later on Unfiltered, the three MAFS cast members watched back another Season 12 clip of Virginia telling Erik she had bad examples of love in her life growing up, referring to her parents' tumultuous relationships.
"Every time I start developing those strong feelings, in the past couple years, I have just kind of ran," Virginia admits in the clip.
"I've always had the fear of rejection or of abandonment... A week ago is normally when I run. I'd usually be gone by now."
Jamie asked Pastor Cal whether Virginia's prior bad love examples could impact her future.
"It could, but it doesn't have to," Pastor Cal responded.
"We are all products of our past, and her past hasn't given her the most stability. But when we matched them, we felt that [Erik's] stability would actually help her to learn to love."
It appears so far in Married at First Sight's twelfth season that Erik has in fact helped Virginia trust her feelings and learn to love.
The couple said "I love you" to each other about three weeks into the extreme experiment, and Virginia acknowledged she would continue to grow more in love with Erik as they got to know each other better and worked through some of their differences.
It seems Virginia and Erik have opposing political views and social beliefs, and Erik hopes to have children in the near future while Virginia wants to wait until she's around 30 years old.