An unprecedented five pairs of strangers were matched by returning Married at First Sight experts Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Pastor Calvin Roberson, and Dr. Viviana Coles to marry on Season 10 of the Lifetime reality series.
"Midnight came and off he went like Cinderella. I didn't want to ruin a good night, but I was a little disappointed that my own husband doesn't want to stay over in what's supposed to be our home," Mindy told the cameras.
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"And this morning, I'm starting to wonder if my parents were right and this was just a bad idea."
Meanwhile, Katie was beginning to get out of her head and stop focusing on the possibility she could get her heart broken.
Katie said she and Derek were getting along great and splitting up household duties well.
While she did the laundry and cleaned, Derek took the trash out. However, both individuals admitted they weren't good at cooking, and Derek even set the fire alarm off while trying to cook omelettes.
"This is one of those moments where in my head I'm thinking, 'Thank God he's so cute.' I would say it's definitely good we're going to a cooking class tonight because we need it. And by 'we' I mean Derek," Katie joked in a confessional.
Meka and Michael try and talk things out
As for Meka and Michael, they had a good time getting pedicures together, and Meka said they enjoyed each other's company and exchanged laughs. But Meka said things took a turn for the worse once they got home.
"Michael told me that he's not getting what he needs from me, and honestly, I don't even know what that means," Meka told the cameras.
"And when I tried to ask him about it, he just got frustrated. I don't even know what to do anymore. When I think things are getting better, something else happens, and it's exhausting."
Meka was hoping to clear the air the next day and just move forward. Meka asked Michael if he'd like to join the other couples for a cooking class and he quietly said sure.
Meka, however, didn't want to go out with the group if things were going to remain awkward and weird between them. Meka asked Michael what he needed from her, and he told her to be more vulnerable. She therefore asked him to give her specific answers.
Michael said she needed to communicate better and essentially not give him attitude when having general conversations. Michael said her response was "anger" and that wasn't ideal for anyone.
Michael told Meka showing up was only "half the battle" and it "was not enough."
Meka wanted Michael to give her a list of things she needed to work on so she could check them off one by one, but he said he didn't want to "waste [his] breath" on listing things that probably wouldn't happen anyway.
"I don't know how our marriage is going to work like that... with your attitude," Meka responded, adding that Michael had shown her time and time again he's a liar but she continued to stay in the marriage and fight for it.
Meka felt judged and shamed after only three weeks of marriage, saying Michael wasn't even giving her the chance or opportunity to prove herself and address her issues or flaws.
Michael said he felt very uncomfortable around his wife and didn't want to deal with the situation, so he left the room.
Meka told the cameras she had tried so hard to open up and focus on her problems with Michael but he just shut down and walked away when things got tough. She didn't understand how he could just walk away from their marriage, calling his behavior "hurtful."
Michael explained he just needed space but still cared about Meka and didn't want their relationship to fail. He therefore returned to their apartment to talk.
Michael shared how Meka forcefully uses her hands when she gets angry with him and expresses herself, which he didn't receive well. Michael admitted if she got mad and frustrated quickly, he'd just give up on communicating and back off.
Meka said she didn't appreciate Michael storming out on her without saying he just needed a few minutes to himself to calm down. Meka said he always left her anxiously waiting for him to return, which wasn't okay.
Michael suggested they should enjoy the cooking class with everyone else and not carry their baggage into it, and Meka agreed.
Four couples were then shown testing their skills in the kitchen while cooking lobster and risotto, but Taylor and Brandon were missing. Mindy found the cooking class therapeutic but could tell Meka and Michael were a little cold to each other and definitely not lovey dovey.
Mindy said cooking with Zach was a positive step since they had never actually cooked together before.
When Jessica asked Zach if he planned on moving in with Mindy soon, he replied, "I don't know," which then prompted Mindy to admit it was hard to not be doing the experiment the way it was designed to be.
Mindy told the group she was open to any and all possibilities but the situation was "tricky."
Jessica felt Zach was not committing to the process the way the other couples had and he needed to step up to the plate and move in with his wife.
Meka revealed at dinner Taylor and Brandon weren't doing well because of the Instagram Stories video Taylor had posted, but Michael didn't like how Meka was sharing the other couple's business.
Meka acknowledged she had told Taylor that Brandon had every right to be offended by the video.
Jessica then told the group Austin was very "patient" and "understanding" and their relationship was going very well. Zach told the pair not to conceal their happiness for the sake of everyone else because the group could learn from what was working for them.
"Jessica is what I want in a wife and she's the highlight of my day, every single day," Austin gushed in a confessional.
Brandon says he's done being married to Taylor
Meanwhile, Dr. Pepper met up with Brandon and Taylor together to get to the bottom of things. This was the first time the couple had seen each other since Brandon left his keys at the apartment and left.
Taylor insisted she didn't know what actions resulted in Brandon moving out. Taylor said her video on social media appeared to hurt her husband but it wasn't directed at him and she can post whatever she wants.
Brandon explained the video hurt because she had made the video outside of their place while he was upstairs, waiting for her to come back. Dr. Pepper said she'd feel embarrassed if she had been in Brandon's shoes, but Taylor confessed she had run out of patience with Brandon.
"He took his anger at production and then changed it to me," Taylor vented.
"I told him, 'I'm not going to tolerate disrespect.' And I've been disrespected every day. If I'm not being disrespected, I'm being ignored every day. And it's just like, 'You know? I'm done.' That's why I posted the video."
Brandon said they were still stuck on Panama, which happened a long time ago.
Dr. Pepper asked the couple to learn from their mistakes and be better and more sympathetic to each other, but Brandon said the video was "bizarre" and "came out of left field."
"If she's capable of doing that, there's no telling what she will probably do in the future, and I can't be tied to someone like that... It was disrespectful and it was about as bad as it gets, with the exception of if she went out and cheated, which we don't know," Brandon told Dr. Pepper.
"She's been acting like a single woman -- she even said it."
Taylor countered by saying her husband had cut her down and caused her actions through his own bad behavior. But Brandon argued Taylor just seemed to be on the show for the cameras.
"Everything seems rehearsed," Brandon said of his wife, adding that Married at First Sight might've been a stepping stone for her in reality television.
Dr. Pepper pointed out each party had done something seriously wrong, but Brandon said it would be hard for them to move on because Taylor wasn't genuinely sorry or accepting any fault.
Taylor wished Brandon had talked to her about his feelings, but instead, he just left their apartment. Taylor was clearly upset and voiced how she wasn't even sure whether she was sorry for the video.
"So where are we?" Dr. Pepper asked.
"I'm done," Brandon noted with a laugh.
"I'm over this. I can't be with her. She's not sorry! There's not one person who would see that video and not think it's disgusting. She was trying to hurt me and I can't be with someone like that."
Taylor argued she had opened herself up more than ever before and it was unfortunate all they were doing was argue; however, she reminded him that she never left the relationship or asked him to go.
"I'm not saying, 'No,' right now," Taylor said.
But Brandon said Taylor didn't want to be married right now and was acting like a single girl. He also accused her of having men call her phone at 3AM "a few times," which Taylor totally denied and called a lie.
Brandon said he was not willing to work on his marriage and was "over it."
"And there's nothing I can say or do?" Dr. Pepper asked.
"No," Brandon replied.
Dr. Pepper said Brandon's decision wasn't fair to all the people who wished they could marry at first sight. Taylor pointed out she was not the person who had given up, and then Brandon repeated how he was "over this" and it was time to go.
Brandon asked production to remove his microphone, and then he left. Taylor told Dr. Pepper that she never yelled at Brandon once during the experiment and had allowed him to call her whatever.
Taylor had been holding out hope and said she never stopped trying and so Brandon really disappointed her and let her down. Dr. Pepper acknowledged she had never doubted Taylor's intentions for getting married on the show, although she didn't agree with all of her actions.
Zach and Mindy meet with Dr. Pepper
On Day 25 of marriage, Dr. Pepper met with Zach and Mindy, and the expert was hoping to convince Zach to move in with his wife.
Mindy felt like a broken record in saying she was disappointed and not getting the full MAFS experience. Mindy liked Zach as a person but felt he, as a husband, wasn't attracted to her right off the bat and so it became a lingering issue in their relationship.
"It's not easy hearing that a few times. And I might be wrong, but I feel like he does not want this all, and I feel kind of stupid at times putting in effort," Mindy shared, adding that she could only be rejected so much.
Dr. Pepper told Zach that he wasn't giving the experiment his "all" and it was "essential" for the couple to live together.
"I have never seen a spouse like Zach on Married at First Sight before. He has removed himself from her physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually -- you name it," Mindy told the cameras.
"Zach has decided he's going to do this any way that's good for Zach, without any respect for his wife's feelings. And I worry if he ever really meant to be married."
Zach understood where Dr. Pepper was coming from, and so he said he would "strongly consider" living with Mindy. If not, Dr. Pepper suggested he should get out of his marriage immediately.
Before Dr. Pepper left, she asked Zach and Mindy to try a breathing exercise through tantric yoga that is sensual and close, but not sexual, under the guidance of a trained instructor. Dr. Pepper hoped the couple would really give their relationship a chance.
After Jessica and Austin were shown baking cookies together and "growing in love," according to Jessica, footage switched to Day 26 of marriage.
Michael lies to Meka again
Meka recalled Michael inviting her to a yoga class the night before where Michael had said he taught yoga.
"But when I got there, they looked at me like I was crazy and said there was no Michael that teaches there -- there's only one Michael that works here and he cleans the rooms," Meka revealed.
Meka felt so frustrated because Michael had apparently lied to her again, and she set out to find why her husband allegedly always lied to her.
Meka said she had tried to reach out and talk to Michael but he never responded and so she depended on Taylor for support. Meka explained going to the class was a complete waste of her time because he didn't even teach yoga at the place, and she wanted him to man up and admit he was wrong.
Michael told Meka she wasn't acting like a member of a team and shouldn't confide in others about their problems. Michael said other people knew too much of their business and he was tired of being vulnerable and expressing himself.
Meka, however, argued she expressed herself emotionally much more often. Meka said she managed to get across how she was feeling and what she wanted or needed, while Michael failed to do so.
"I don't feel close to you. I feel like a stranger in my own home. I feel uncomfortable in the bed where I sleep that I share with my wife," Michael told her.
"I'm sitting here thinking, 'Why am I putting myself through the wringer in this marriage for somebody I'm not even sure gives a sh-t half the time. I am tired of it!"
Michael said he was the one expressing himself and bending over backwards to fix their problems, but Meka told Michael she had expressed over and over again how she just wanted him to tell the truth in order for things to work.
Michael accused Meka of expressing herself more to other people rather than to himself.
"I'm kind of over it," Michael said.
"Yeah, and I'm over you lying!" Meka insisted.
"And I'm over you. So we're good," Michael pointed out. "Great."
Taylor meets with her friends
Taylor was then shown meeting with a couple of friends because she didn't know how to salvage her relationship, if that was even possible. Her pal Tochi called Brandon "an idiot" for giving up on Taylor since she's so intelligent, kind and beautiful.
But Taylor still had feelings for Brandon and didn't want to have a failed marriage. She wondered if they both tried again, maybe they could get somewhere positive.
Taylor therefore intended to invite Brandon to a friend's party, where Tochi noted many single guys would be at for Taylor. Taylor clearly hadn't given up on her husband just yet.
That night, Derek planned a wine and painting date for Katie. He decorated their apartment with flowers and wanted to show his wife he was in it for the long haul.
Derek thought "the little things" would show Katie how much he cared about her, especially since she feared in the back of her mind he would never love her.
The couple ended up painting Katie's dog Jax, and Derek just hoped he had made Katie feel special. He also cooked dinner for her and realized he might not have been trying his hardest in the relationship.
"While I may not love her right now, I need to show her that my feelings are growing stronger every day," Derek shared in a confessional.
Derek admitted to Katie he had gotten complacent with things in their relationship, and Katie opened up about how she didn't want Derek to feel like he had her in the bag just because they had sex so early. Katie wanted Derek to fight for her.
Katie, in fact, wanted Derek to be a little scared and worried, and he completely agreed with her.
"I'm at the point where I'm saying, like, 'Screw everything else and I'm going to win you over.' What I know is that I want to make you fall in love with me," Derek told his wife.
Meka tells Dr. Pepper about Michael's lies
On Day 27 of marriage, Dr. Pepper paid Meka and Michael a visit to try to help them build trust and a deeper connection in their marriage.
Meka said her biggest problem was that Michael was not honest and tended to lie about small things and big things. Meka accused Michael of lying about the miles on his car, certain trips, being a yoga teacher and more.
Michael explained he doesn't have a permanent class in yoga and became a sub, and since there was a turnover in management, the new employee whom Meka had spoken with didn't know Michael.
Michael said they were never able to talk things out because of the language Meka had used, but Meka claimed she never cursed and just called the class a waste of her time.
Michael also reiterated how Meka shared their problems with everybody else.
"Would you say that she's right that some of the things you say are not true?" Dr. Pepper asked.
"Some of them, yes," Michael confessed.
Dr. Pepper told Michael that if he wanted his marriage to be successful, he couldn't lie to his wife.
Dr. Pepper asked Michael why he was doing that, and Michael admitted there was a level of vulnerability that was broken for him early on and so Meka getting to know him in an authentic way had been difficult.
Dr. Pepper wondered if Michael was going to take any responsibility for not having consistent stories, and he said he understood that was an issue that seemed to create a larger problem in his marriage.
"But it all goes back to me being adopted, a lack of trust and being wary of people in general and not knowing what their intentions are," Michael disclosed, adding that he felt the need to protect himself.
"I'll be honest with you: I am a little scared of being hurt or rejected."
Dr. Pepper asked Meka and Michael to make promises to each other going forward, and Meka insisted she was trying as hard as she could to work on their marriage and be there for him.
In turn, Michael said his biggest hurdle was that he was uncomfortable in his marriage and he didn't feel like he could be his authentic self because when he tried to be, he got rejected.
Michael committed to working on that and being more truthful with his wife, and Meka said she appreciated that.
Brandon tells a friend about Taylor
Later on, Brandon was shown meeting with one of his pals to discuss the demise of his marriage. Brandon said he and Taylor hadn't been able to come back from the video she had posted and they couldn't even have a normal conversation.
Brandon said Taylor went off on her via text after their meeting with Dr. Pepper.
Brandon revealed Taylor had reached out to him and wanted to meet up, but Brandon wasn't sure how to proceed. He said Taylor was not the person he had met on Day 1.
While he thought Taylor was a sweet person deep inside, he saw her "ugly" side and contemplated whether their marriage could truly work.
On Day 28, the experts gave each couple an exercise to encourage trust and intimacy in their relationships.
Jessica and Austin spun a wheel of different activities, such as giving each other lapdances or taking body shots off each other. Although they didn't embrace PDA, the pair appeared to have a blast and enjoy some laughs.
Meka was able to ask Michael questions in order to receive honest answers, and in the process, he admitted he had made it hard for his wife to trust him and he never meant it when he said he was over her and their marriage.
Meka was starting to feel like she could trust Michael, especially since he was really trying to be his authentic self.
Michael asked Meka if she could ever fall in love with him, but she said a lot would have to be done in order for that to happen and it would take time, work and patience. Meka admitted falling in love wouldn't happen overnight but there was always a chance.
Mindy and Zach then participated in a tantric yoga session with a therapist. The couple was asked to meditate in very vulnerable positions, and Mindy said it was the most connected she ever felt to her husband.
"It's a pretty powerful feeling, and I wonder if Zach is feeling the same way," Mindy shared.
The pair gently touched and embraced each other, and Zach seemed to really enjoy himself.
The exercise took Mindy out of her comfort zone, and it seemed like a step forward for the both of them.
"I do feel like Mindy and I have bonded. There are various feelings that do come up and they do feel positive and help me see things from that intimacy standpoint moving forward," Zach said in a confessional.
"Maybe it's not just me that Zach's been resisting. Maybe he's had a hard time with intimacy and this was just the push he needed," Mindy told the cameras.
The episode concluded with Katie and Derek playing Jenga while asking each other questions along the way. Katie learned back-scratches turned Derek on in the heat of the moment as well as lingerie, and Katie shared that she liked a more dominant partner in bed.
Katie also said she liked it when Derek grabbed the back of her head to kiss her.
"Just manhandle me a little bit," Katie flat out said.
The couple also discussed making out, pickup lines and more, and the game ended with Derek carrying Katie to the bedroom over his shoulder.