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.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began with the five couples waking up on the first morning of their honeymoons in Panama, but Meka and Michael had slept in different hotel rooms.
Meka and Michael got into a huge argument during their first night in Panama because Meka alleged Michael had given her an ultimatum off-camera to sleep with him within a certain timeframe or else he'd want out of the marriage.
Michael wouldn't admit to saying that on-camera, and so Meka said their marriage wasn't going to work out if he couldn't be honest with her.
"BeingMarried at First Sight can be particularly difficult, because not only are they just getting to know each other, they're also getting adjusted to being on-camera," Dr. Pepper Schwartz explained of the unusual circumstances.
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"Some people may want to portray a perfect picture of themselves or their relationship because they don't want to be embarrassed, and that's perfectly understandable. But honestly, hiding things from your spouse or acting differently on-camera... can be highly detrimental."
Meka and Michael remain separated
Meka was disappointed because she didn't go through with this process to sleep alone or be without her husband. She felt like a failure because she had married at first sight to be matched with her soul mate.
"I'm just in disbelief, really, because it dawned on me that this marriage really might end in a divorce," Meka said in a confessional.
"And I risked everything for this marriage, so if that happened, I'll be devastated."
Michael was also upset and had never envisioned his honeymoon starting off this way. Michael didn't know how to keep the peace, calling his argument with Meka "fast and furious."
Michael said Meka didn't feel like she could trust him but he had attempted to be honest and express how he really felt.
"It's not being received because how I express myself doesn't necessarily match up with hers," Michael told the cameras.
"I feel unheard and it makes it uncomfortable to share and want to be vulnerable in this space where you literally have to do that. But my goal for today is to see my wife and try to fix it."
Michael hoped he and Meka could move on and get back to a good place.
Mindy isn't feeling it with Zach
Meanwhile, Mindy was also in poor spirits because Zach had allegedly told her that he was being "forced" to make a relationship work with a woman he didn't have a spark with.
Mindy had left their shared hotel room for a while after Zach dropped that bomb on her, and she began doubting whether this process was going to work for her.
Mindy longed for "a magical connection" with her spouse, but she believed Zach wasn't giving her a chance. Mindy was confused about how to proceed when she claimed looks don't even really matter to her.
"I was speaking to my feelings toward you, not disregarding your feelings toward me at all," Zach told Mindy. "I should have never even had that approach."
Mindy admitted to Zach he had her shaking and thinking she had just made a huge mistake in marrying a stranger.
Mindy told her husband that she felt pressure to be a perfect girl when she's simply not perfect.
Zach told Mindy to stop worrying because he didn't expect her to be someone she's not, nor was he judging her.
Zach said in a confessional it was hard to see Mindy so upset but he was just trying to have open communication and dialogue in order to become a better man and husband.
Zach said the way he had worded things to Mindy about his lack of an attraction to her came off "brutally honest in the wrong way, too early," and he realized his words can be piercing.
Mindy noted their first few days together had been rough, but Zach said -- in a very roundabout way Mindy didn't understand -- that they would evolve together over time and grow to be comfortable around each other.
"What did he just say? I have no idea," Mindy vented before Zach was shown giving her a fist pump.
Katie and Derek enjoy wedded bliss
But Katie and Derek were getting along wonderfully, and Katie said her husband already felt like her best friend. Derek, in turn, thought Katie was "awesome" as well, but he wanted to dig in deeper and get to know her heart.
"I'm going to do anything I can to make her fall in love with me," Derek told the cameras.
Katie then taught Derek how to inject insulin into her body for her Type 1 diabetes. Katie could envision them falling in love, and she congratulated him on doing a great job.
Brandon's behavior frustrates Taylor
Meanwhile, Taylor asked Brandon in the morning on Day 3 if he wanted to go parasailing with her, but he was clearly in a bad mood.
Taylor asked Brandon not to be mad, and she was very confused about what was going on with him.
"The Brandon I thought I knew changed very quickly," Taylor said. "Brandon has been distant, and he's really being weird."
Austin and Jessica remain giddy
As for Austin and Jessica, they visited a cage filled with iguanas, and Austin acknowledged he was "crushing" on his wife "pretty hard" and it felt "like home" being with her.
Jessica also had a crush on Austin, and she could tell her husband reciprocated those feelings.
Later on, all the couples reunited at the hotel pool, but Meka showed up alone. Meka had no idea where her husband was, and everyone was surprised.
Meka reveals she and Michael slept separately
Meka revealed Michael didn't even sleep in her room, and she reluctantly shared they had a big disagreement.
Dr. Pepper explained the Married at First Sight experts wanted the five couples to bond more than ever so they could support one another in difficult times, especially considering they knew what it felt like to enter an arranged marriage.
Meka admitted her situation was "awkward" but she was "making it through." Katie couldn't believe a relationship was failing so soon in the experiment.
Katie and Derek gushed about how similar they are, and Jessica and Austin were also clearly connecting and having fun. Meka wished she had what the other couples seemed to have.
Mindy then joked she totally understood why she and Zach were matched -- like they have the same face moisturizer.
"We are different in a lot of ways but -- I'm hoping -- in a way where we complement each other and not go against each other," Mindy shared, before Zach added his weak areas were very strong areas for Mindy.
Taylor reveals she and Brandon are having problems
Taylor could tell Mindy and Zach were distant from each other, but she and Brandon were acting the same way.
Suddenly, Brandon revealed Taylor had woken him up with a camera in his face, and Taylor didn't understand where his attitude was coming from. She was trying to be patient and said Brandon was acting "like a little b-tch."
Brandon apparently felt disrespected when Taylor had shoved a camera in his face. He was freaked out that Taylor wanted to videotape him, and he was left wondering if Taylor was filming him the entire time.
Finally, Michael joined the gathering and said he had a series of interview that day for a new job as a school principal.
Meka struggled with how to approach and talk to her husband, and so the pair appeared to sit apart from each other in silence.
The men and women talk alone
Later that day, the ladies got together to chat alone without their husbands. Katie said she and Derek were a great match on paper but she still had concerns, especially about the fact he had never been in love before.
"I definitely have [been in love], so that's my biggest concern," Katie shared. "I just worry about, like, is he able to [fall in love]?"
Derek simultaneously gushed to the men about how he was so happy with Katie.
"I can't say I'm falling in love with her, but I am developing a strong crush," Derek revealed.
Jessica also gushed about how she and Austin were both awkward and weird, but it worked for the both of them. Austin said he couldn't have been happier, and Jessica shared that every quality she had asked the experts for was apparent in Austin.
Jessica called Austin "kind, considerate, respectful and patient."
"He's everything," Jessica noted.
Mindy vents about Zach
But Mindy started off her story with, "F-ck my life right now," before telling the girls that Zach admitted he was used to dating women whom he was attracted to right off the bat.
"I took that as, 'Okay, he's not attracted to me,' and like, 'Whatever, did you even ask or care if I'm attracted to you?'" Mindy explained.
Mindy acknowledged her husband was a hottie but there's so much more to having chemistry with someone. Mindy told the girls it didn't take six-pack abs for her to be attracted to a man.
Mindy wished Zach would be loving and caring towards her, but Zach explained to the guys he's not just going to hold his wife's hand and kiss her until they've built a connection up to that point.
"For me to do that is a big deal and for a physical attraction, what you look for -- like simple things, like a first kiss -- I felt nothing," Zach confessed to his fellow grooms. "That's just how it was. But it's a real thing to build attraction."
Mindy said there were things about Zach she really admired and liked, such as his intelligence, but she was afraid she didn't fit into his "perfect mold."
Mindy owned being weird and quirky, and she said she wasn't going to change for Zach.
The topic of consummating marriage then came up. Taylor and Jessica told the girls they were just kissing and cuddling their husbands, but then Brandon was shown telling the guys he and Taylor were already walking around the room naked.
"We're there, and I don't know, tonight might be my lucky night," Brandon boasted.
But Zach pointed out, "I can't use sex as an answer to create an attraction, and I can't use it as a means of bridging a gap, which I've done in the past."
Zach essentially said forced physical activity can make a lack of an attraction even worse.
Derek told the guys he and Katie had made progress, and Katie revealed she and her husband were "very close" to having sex. Derek said he hoped sex would happen soon but he'd never pressure his wife.
Katie also anticipated consummating her marriage soon and getting in "the fire."
Michael and Meka vent about each other
Michael told the group of men he was waiting to have sex and needed everything to be right before getting to that point. He claimed he was in no rush, and he and Meka clearly had marital issues.
But Meka was shown telling the girls that sex, intimacy and romance was at the top of Michael's list and everything else came "secondary to that."
Meka felt her values were totally different from Michael's values, and she continued to insist Michael had given her a sex ultimatum.
Taylor told Meka to demand respect and let Michael know she wouldn't be treated like that. And Michael was struggling to figure out how to love Meka the way she wanted to be loved while receiving what he needed in return.
Zach told Michael he and Meka were capable of becoming a power couple but they had to figure out how to navigate things.
Pastor Cal talks to Michael and Meka
When Meka stole a moment alone, she called Pastor Cal on the phone to explain where her marriage to Michael stood.
Meka said she was trying to get past the fact Michael was "not being genuine" but it was hard for her to "see any interest in him now."
Meka repeated how Michael had told her friends and family one thing about sex -- only to turn around and say something entirely different on the plane ride over to Panama when cameras weren't rolling.
Meka felt rushed to have sex or be intimate with Michael, and Meka said if she's not ready, then that should be totally fine with her husband.
"To push or to prod each other in any way to have sex is inappropriate, and I can see why Meka is feeling a little put off," Pastor Cal told the cameras.
"It's pretty discouraging to hear that Meka is experiencing two different sides of Michael. Authenticity is paramount to a successful relationship."
Pastor Cal promised he'd be all over Michael, saying he held the men on Married at First Sight to a very high standard. Pastor Cal, however, insisted he didn't think Michael's comment represented his character and there's still time to reset the marriage and start fresh.
Pastor Cal advised Meka to talk to her husband, continue getting to know him and have fun. Pastor Cal wasn't giving Michael a pass, but he promised Meka there were many reasons why they were matched.
Pastor Cal then called Michael on the phone, and Michael said he totally disagreed with Meka's claim he had made her feel rushed into being intimate or consummating their marriage.
"What got lost in translation in our initial conversations was me being a very direct and straightforward person. I was trying to get an understanding of where she was mentally," Michael explained.
"Like, what is her sexual makeup? Because whether it happened tomorrow or it doesn't happen at all or it happens in seven weeks, I've got to at least know where you're coming from and how you look at sex. That's just for me to be comfortable."
Pastor Cal told Michael it was going to take time for them to be comfortable around each other.
Pastor Cal said if Meka thought it was too soon to have a conversation, then it was simply too soon. He asked Michael to just have fun in getting to know Meka better and learning from each other.
Pastor Cal told Michael to show Meka his kindness and goodness, and he pleaded with the participant not to give up on the process.
Taylor and Brandon hit the skids
Once Michael and Meka were starting to feel better about things, Taylor and Brandon were falling apart.
Taylor said she tried to be nice to Michael by bringing him his favorite beer but then he allegedly told her, "No, I don't want it." Taylor said five minutes later, however, she saw him drinking that same exact beer in the pool.
Taylor felt Brandon was "really playing" with her, and when she tried to pick up his clothes in their hotel room, he allegedly snapped at her and told her not to touch his stuff -- or him.
Taylor said she didn't feel like she was on a honeymoon and Brandon was really testing her patience.
Jessica and Austin remain perfectly happy
Afterward, Jessica and Austin were shown getting a couple's massage at the spa. She felt like they had been together for a really long time, and Austin could feel their connection was getting real.
While in the hot tub after their massage, Austin asked Jessica if he could kiss her, and they had a little steamy makeout session. Jessica hoped it was just the beginning of a perfect love story.
Mindy tries to talk to Zach
On Night 3 of marriage, Mindy suggested she and Zach should share wine on the beach. She tried to set the mood but said Zach seemed oblivious to how his actions affected her.
"At this point, I just need some type of affirmation about anything. Any good quality he sees about me would be awesome so I can move forward in this marriage right now," Mindy said in a confessional.
Mindy opened up to Zach about how she was feeling, saying she wasn't feeling very good about herself and didn't know how she could make him happy.
Zach told Mindy it was "a matter of trying to build an attraction."
"And thank God you're on the same page. Just because of my looks, that means nothing for you. You know what I mean? Because if that were it, then right now, you'd be more into me," Zach explained. "And it's not fair; it's not what I want."
Mindy asked Zach if women are naturally attracted to him and if he's led with his looks in the past, using them to his advantage. Zach said, "No," adding, "Not everybody is into that."
Mindy said it's a turnoff for a person to automatically assume everyone is going to like him. Mindy asked Zach if he cared whether she was building an attraction to him, and he replied, "I like style. I like looks, as far as dressing well. And the thing is, from a first-impression attraction, it just doesn't matter for me."
Zach told Mindy that he thought she was super pretty when she walked down the aisle with her dark hair and dark eyes, but he said that was just an observation and a real attraction can be built over time.
Zach rambled on a little bit, and Mindy didn't seem to follow. She accused him of talking in circles in that he said a lot without really saying anything at all.
Mindy asked Zach for specifics and wanted clarification on whether he cared about her perception or opinion of him.
Zach told the cameras he wasn't used to having so much serious discussion in his life without some laid-back element of being silly or relaxed. Zach said he was looking for that type of connection with Mindy.
Zach could tell Mindy wanted words of affirmation, but she reasoned that he wasn't very expressive at all. Mindy wanted Zach to communicate in any way possible, and she said there was "a big question mark" when it came to how their relationship was going to evolve.
Zach didn't have much to add other than, "I don't know."
Taylor and Brandon reconcile
Meanwhile, Brandon opened up to Taylor about how he had a panic attack after he woke up with a camera in his face. Taylor said he didn't look scared and she never would have guessed he had a panic attack.
Brandon said he was used to retreating when something was wrong but he'd try harder to communicate with his wife going forward.
But Taylor thought is was weird Brandon shut down on her just because she was trying to make a cute video of him snoring.
Brandon apologized, but Taylor wanted more from him. She was upset he had basically ignored her all day, and so she started to question whether this experiment was going to work for her.
"I don't need space, but I respect that you value your space. And that's something I tried to give you, but I gave you your space and who knew you weren't going to talk to me all day," Taylor told her husband.
"I make mistakes but damn. I apologized like a thousand times. Get over it," Brandon replied.
"Don't talk to me like that. I didn't sign up to be disrespected. I didn't sign up to be talked to in some type of way," Taylor responded. "I'm not weak and that's not how I want to be talked to."
Brandon apologized again for how he had handled the situation and said since he didn't know how to communicate his feelings to her yet -- considering they're strangers -- he took time away from her in order to figure out what to say.
Taylor asked Brandon to just spit it out next time and talk to her, even if he's concerned about how to approach her, and he agreed she was absolutely right.
Taylor felt that since they worked things out, they could just return to their happy, normal selves.
Derek brings Katie "the fire"
Derek was then shown blindfolding Katie as he walked her into their hotel room. Katie was surprised with a room full of rose petals and candles, leading to the bed which had some desserts waiting for them as well as a bottle of wine.
Derek apparently always wanted to be a romantic husband, and he wanted Katie to feel special. The couple agreed the experts had exceeded their expectations with this match, and Derek noted Katie no longer felt like a stranger to him.
Katie said the honeymoon was everything she had hoped for and Derek was giving her all the feels.
"I've waited my entire life to fall in love, and it's awesome," Derek told the cameras.
On Day 4 of marriage, Derek admitted in the morning, "So, we did a thing," to which Katie echoed, "We did the thing."
Katie confirmed she had sex with her husband and was feeling pretty good about it.
Taylor and Brandon have some fun
Brandon and Taylor checked out an animal sanctuary, and Taylor was happy they were back on the same page.
Taylor joked her husband's spirit animal is a sloth, and she liked watching him interact with the animals because she could tell he was caring and kind.
Meka and Michael talk
Meka and Michael finally then talked things out. Meka said she wanted to start off as friends and really get to know each other, but Michael didn't want them to forget they're married and had been searching for a long-lasting relationship from the beginning.
Meka explained sex is the only thing that separates best friends from a married couple. She wanted to take things one day at a time and discover why the experts had matched them.
Meka said their romance would progress once she could see Michael being genuine, honest and trustworthy. Meka also told her husband that she wasn't happy he wasn't wearing his wedding ring around the resort.
Michael admitted he wasn't wearing his ring because he didn't feel like he was in a marriage, but at the same time, he owned up to not acting like a good husband. Michael realized he had fallen far from Day 1 and had a lot of work to do.
"I want to be the man that you wanted and that you met when you came up to the altar. I want to live up to those vows that I wrote for you," Michael shared.
Meka took her ring off since Michael needed more time before wearing his again, but he was okay with that. Meka said it would be a mutual decision when they'd choose to wear the rings again.
Michael just asked Meka to communicate better with him and allow him to make mistakes because he didn't really know her yet. Michael said he needed room to grow and also to make mistakes.
Michael hoped Meka would remain open-minded and realistic about the fact it was going to take a lot of work to rebuild their foundation. His goal was to stay married, and Meka felt the same way.
Zach and Mindy have some fun
Meanwhile, Zach and Mindy took an airboat ride together, and the environment was very serene and relaxed. Zach said he and his wife needed to match on hobbies and interests in order to propel their connection forward.
The couple also met some locals with whom they played games and did some arts and crafts.
Mindy could tell Zach was putting effort into their relationship, so she was "cautiously optimistic" and "positive" about what was to come.
When asked to reveal his favorite part from the day, Zach replied, "My favorite part was being here with you," and Mindy smiled big.
The couples have dinner
That night, the five couples enjoyed a big dinner together. Meka vented on the verge of tears how she didn't feel comfortable around Michael and everything felt forced between them.
Meka was struggling with the process and said it was really hard for her to feel a connection.
"I don't know the path. I don't know what the right answer is," Meka noted.
Austin noted neither Meka or Michael was wearing a wedding ring, and Michael explained it was a representation of something he did not live up to, an expectation, in his marriage.
Michael explained he wanted to be attentive to his wife going forward and date organically by being a friend first. But Derek said there was "definitely trouble" in paradise and Michael not wearing his ring "spoke volumes."
But Katie and Derek revealed to the group they had consummated their marriage, and then Jessica shared "maybe things have happened" between Austin and herself, hinting they had done the same.
Taylor and Brandon joked about how they were "hanging out at first base," but Brandon insisted he was alright with that as long as his wife was happy.
"Yeah, we have been intimate," Austin told the cameras afterward. "We've had this strong connection right from the start. But we want to make sure it's not about that."
Zach revealed he was finally comfortable around his wife, and Mindy said she was just living moment by moment.
Zach was proud of his wife for recognizing who she is and where she stands, regardless of what everybody else thought or was doing. Zach could tell Mindy exuded confidence at the dinner, and he loved that about her and totally backed her up.
Mindy also shared Zach had kissed her, and the girls could tell Mindy seemed a lot happier than she was the day before.
Before bed, Zach found himself being a little more vulnerable with his wife, and their relationship was becoming more playful and natural, which Mindy appreciated.
Brandon and Taylor get romantic
Meanwhile, Brandon followed Derek's lead and set up rose petals and champagne for Taylor in their hotel room by the bath tub, and she cried because she thought the gesture was so nice, thoughtful and sweet.
"I definitely really, really appreciate this," Taylor told her husband, adding that a man had never done anything like that for her before.
Taylor was feeling like the experts had matched her with the right person more and more every day.
"I'm very excited for what might happen tonight," Taylor gushed, hinting she planned on consummating her marriage to Brandon.