Season 9 of Married at First Sight stars Elizabeth, a 30-year-old account executive for her dad's company from South Carolina who was raised in Mooresville, NC, and Jamie, a 35-year-old technical consultant from Columbia, SC, as well as Matt, a 32-year-old professional basketball player from Raleigh, NC, and Amber, a 27-year-old eighth grade English teacher currently living in the Charlotte area.
The season also stars Gregory Okotie, a 32-year-old math learning center owner from Fort Washington, MD, and Deonna McNeill, a 30-year-old operations manager currently living in the Charlotte area, as well as Iris Caldwell, a 27-year-old who works for a nonprofit from Raleigh, NC, and Keith Manley, a 27-year-old high school basketball coach from Greensboro, NC.
The couples had been paired byMarried at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Viviana Coles.
For the first time inMarried at First Sight history, the Episode 10 broadcast featured each spouse being asked by the experts whether he or she was truly committed to the marriage one month into the experiment, with a whopping 21 days left to go until "Decision Day."
This new twist is called "Recommitment Day," and each person was basically given an out from his or her marriage.
But first, Greg was shown meeting up with a friend and revealing it was hard to read Deonna because she rarely opened up about her feelings or expressed herself.
Greg's friend asked if Deonna's imperfections were perfect for him, but Greg said it was "way too early to tell." While Deonna didn't share her feelings verbally, Greg could tell those emotions existed and there was potential for growth and improvement.
Greg, however, admitted this needed to change about Deonna or else their relationship would remain stagnant and probably not work out long-term.
Iris and Keith were then shown participating in an activity about sexual intimacy so they could try to break down some walls. Keith was hoping the game would relax Iris and "break down her barriers."
The couple was asked to tickle, flirt and touch, but Iris didn't seem fully comfortable. She wouldn't let Keith touch her boobs, for example, but Keith hoped Iris would "loosen up."
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"I do feel Iris is being childish in a lot of ways. We are married. We're not children anymore," Keith noted.
Keith didn't think he and Iris were on the same level as far as maturity was concerned, and he wasn't sure how this would affect their marriage going forward.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth vented about how Jamie had left their apartment two days earlier. He had called her "a materialistic c-nt," and Elizabeth said Jamie's "horrible" words had her questioning herself and her integrity.
Elizabeth said the word "c-nt" cut deeper for a girl than other words and she was no longer sure she wanted to remain in the marriage.
Communication also broke down again for Amber and Matt.
Matt apparently didn't call Amber all day, and then by 1:35AM, he still didn't return home. Amber was left crying in their apartment, saying she felt rejected and didn't feel like she was enough for Matt.
Amber just wanted Matt to come home and hold her, and she cried about how she'd be willing to do anything to hold onto her husband and not be alone.
On Day 21 of marriage, Pastor Cal sat down with the men one at a time, and Viviana did the same with the women to determine whether the spouses were just going through the motions of being married for the sake of cameras. Pastor Cal explained this has happened in the past and it's not acceptable anymore.
The experts therefore had a frank discussion with each spouse to ensure no one was in a toxic relationship and that there was a real potential for love.
"For the first time in Married at First Sight history, we are giving them the option to recommit or get out," Pastor Cal explained to the cameras.
"This isn't Decision Day... We're not asking whether they want to stay married or get a divorce, but we're not going to tolerate anything less than 100 percent effort. We want to know they are genuinely committed to their marriage all the way through to Decision Day."
Greg and Deonna meet with the experts
Pastor Cal sat down with Greg first, and Greg said his marriage was "going well" and they were "truly connecting" and trying to understand each other. Greg said they got along great and the process felt "surreal."
Deonna had similar things to say to Viviana, revealing she and Greg complemented each other well.
But Greg told Pastor Cal he needed Deonna to open up more without having to force it, and Deonna admitted Greg deserved to know more about how she was feeling. Deonna was afraid she wasn't being her best self for her husband.
Deonna had difficulty verbalizing her feelings, but she said the last thing she wanted was to shut her husband out and make him feel unloved or unappreciated.
Greg said he was continuing to elevate his relationship but he'd say "no" on Decision Day if Deonna refused to put more work into making him feel emotionally fulfilled.
As for Deonna, she didn't foresee saying "no" on Decision Day, admitting she was on the track to growing in love with Greg but she needed more time to build trust and really fall in love.
Both Deonna and Greg agreed they were totally committed to each other and their marriage. Both spouses seemed very mindful of what they wanted their marriage to grow into.
Matt and Amber meet with the experts
Matt and Amber were up next, and Pastor Cal had learned Matt never returned home for the last two nights. Pastor Cal said this behavior is not something one would expect from a committed husband.
Matt told Pastor Cal that he and Amber were "in a good place" and they did a really good job in the first month of "building a really solid foundation," but Pastor Cal asked the former pro basketball player "not to B-S" him.
"Where have you been when the cameras are off?! Where have you been?" Pastor Cal asked.
"I've been clearing my mind. Sometimes I need my own time and my own space," Matt said.
"You do know this is destroying the marriage?" Pastor Cal asked.
Amber shared with Viviana that Matt was a completely different person on-camera than he was off-camera. Amber said Matt acted like he wanted to be around her when cameras were with them, but then when cameras left, Matt left.
Matt apparently spent the previous night at a friend's house despite Amber texting him that she wanted him to stay home and sleep with her.
Amber also said she was going to give her whole heart to the relationship until Decision Day because she wanted it to work "so badly." Amber admitted she didn't feel married but she still liked Matt a lot and so it would be hard for her to walk away.
Matt promised to show Pastor Cal he was committed to Amber and the process through his actions, and that's exactly what Cal wanted to hear. Viviana also had hope Matt was going to step up his game, but she felt Amber deserved answers.
Amber said if Matt didn't change, she'd walk away and the relationship simply wouldn't work.
Keith and Iris meet with the experts
Keith and Iris were the next couple to face the music. Keith told Pastor Cal his marriage was "tough" because he had been so self-sufficient, but he was really beginning to care about Iris.
Iris agreed she and Keith had their struggles and challenges but there didn't seem to be a dealbreaker.
Keith said he liked Iris and was attracted to her, but he didn't know if he was sexually attracted to her given he thought she lacked "sexual maturity."
Keith admitted the intimacy game they had played with dice was "awkward" and it served as a test to prove whether or not Iris was mature.
Meanwhile, Iris told Viviana she thought Keith was reluctant to sleep with her because he didn't want to be the man with the great responsibility of taking a woman's virginity after 27 years. And she turned out to be right, because Keith told Pastor Cal he was very hesitant to push Iris out of her comfort zone.
Viviana, however, advised Iris to stop using the phrase "take my virginity" because a man cannot take anything from her. Viviana told Iris that she is in control of her body and what she does with it.
Iris broke down into tears, saying it was difficult Keith was concerned about her virginity because although he was her husband, they basically just met.
"Are you afraid to take her virginity?" Pastor Cal asked.
"Yes," Keith replied. "I want to make sure that I want to be the person who takes her virginity first... I don't know if I'm the person to take her virginity yet, if she's comfortable enough with me to give her virginity to me."
Keith wasn't sure he was ready to have sex with Iris and whether Iris saw him as the person she'd want to give her virginity to. Keith never expected to be in this situation and acknowledged it was difficult.
Viviana advised Iris to explore her sexuality with Keith in ways other than sex, such as showering together or having him lick body glitter off parts of her body that she felt confident in.
At the end of the day, both Keith and Iris insisted they were 100 percent committed to their marriage.
Jamie and Elizabeth meet with the experts
It then became time for Jamie and Elizabeth to open up, and Jamie said the experience had been a roller-coaster for them with many ups and downs. Jamie acknowledged their marriage was "all over the place."
"Jamie is a really difficult person to communicate with. He's not the person whom he was in the first week. He was just so happy-go-lucky, and I don't know what happened up to this point," Elizabeth told Viviana.
Elizabeth shared how Jamie had said some terrible things to her and called her "a materialistic c-nt." Viviana said certain words, when used as weapons, can be damaging to a relationship and have devastating, long-term effects.
Jamie admitted to Pastor Cal what he said was "awful" and he was "way out of line." Pastor Cal wouldn't be surprised if Elizabeth was "done" after that, but there was still an opportunity for the couple to move forward.
"We can't have too many more fallouts or we're not going to survive, I don't think," Jamie said. "We both get very defensive and turn on each other rather than working together to solve [our issues]."
Elizabeth told Viviana that Jamie wanted to have sleep together four or five times a week and that their three-to-four times pattern wasn't enough, but Elizabeth wasn't ready to have that much sex. She said she needed Jamie to back off in order for their marriage to last.
"Can I be honest? Sometimes I just do it so he'll shut up... If I don't, he's going to go into his whole analytical questions the whole entire night and the next morning about why we don't have sex," Elizabeth admitted. "And then he'll think we have an intimacy problem."
Jamie told Pastor Cal, however, that Elizabeth was "using sex" as a way to control him and their relationship. Pastor Cal said physical intimacy should never be used as a weapon, but Jamie should never use the term "divorce" as a weapon either.
Pastor Cal told Jamie to stop focusing on what Elizabeth was not doing and instead praise her and respect her for the things she was doing that he liked.
Despite their issues and mutual frustration, Jamie said, "I think she's the person I'm supposed to be with."
"I don't know, I'm just trying to hope and pray in my head that Jamie isn't that much of an assh-le of a person," Elizabeth vented to Viviana. "That would really, really suck if he was."
Both Elizabeth and Jamie told the experts they were committed to their marriage. Elizabeth thought Jamie was a great day but she needed to keep his emotions in check and not blow up at her.
Jamie said if this relationship didn't work out, he wouldn't even know what to look for in a partner because no one could come close to Elizabeth.
The couples reunite
Once each couple recommitted to their marriage and reunited with their spouse, it was time for them to put in the work and open up about everything they had discussed with the experts.
Keith admitted to Iris he was hesitant to pursue sexual intimacy, but Iris said she wanted Keith to be comfortable exploring other things on their own terms. Iris said it was no longer about her being uncomfortable.
Deonna explained to Greg how she was a bit guarded because her last relationship had crushed her and left a deep wound, and Greg said his past was painful as well because his mother had left his father in Nigeria for having another family.
Greg's parents divorced when he was four years old, and he apparently grew up watching his mother struggle and hurt. Greg also wanted to make sure he'd never hurt his wife as much as his father had hurt his mother.
When Amber and Matt reunited, they both owned up to having a rough discussion with the experts. Matt acknowledged he needed to communicate better and spend more time with Amber.
"Why don't you want to spend time with me? I'm not getting a genuine connection with you because I'm not spending enough quality time with you to build that foundation," Amber told her husband, adding that while they connected physically, she was missing emotional intimacy.
Matt told Amber he cared for her and had feelings for her and so he'd make adjustments to make it work.
Amber required a text at the beginning of the night and at the end of the night, and she demanded Matt return home by 2:30AM. Matt said he didn't have a problem with that at all and Amber was actually pretty lenient.
"I need action, but I like your words a lot," Amber noted.
But Amber told the cameras she didn't believe Matt yet and he was really good at telling her what she wanted to hear. Matt needed to prove he could change by completely altering his behavior.
As for Elizabeth and Jamie, Jamie said the ball was in Elizabeth's court because he had really messed up. But Elizabeth needed security in knowing Jamie was capable of controlling his emotions.
Jamie immediately apologized for the way he had acted and saying some terrible and inappropriate things. Elizabeth said she was emotionally broken down and needed Jamie to respect her boundaries, such as leaving her alone when she closes herself in a room.
Elizabeth also told Jamie to avoid name calling and saying things to intentionally hurt her.
"I don't think we'll make it through another blowup like this," Elizabeth said.
Jamie agreed and suggested they should devote one night a week to just talk about their feelings and where they stood in the marriage.