'Married at First Sight' recap: Michaela moves out after Zack fight, Brett reaches "breaking point" with Ryan, and Bao begins to check out of Johnny relationship
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/14/2021
Married at First Sight featured Zack Freeman and Michaela Clark fighting over their doubts about staying together on "Decision Day" and Michaela subsequently moving out, Brett "reaching a breaking point" in her marriage to Ryan Ignasiak, and Bao Huong Hoang starting to check out of her Johnny Lam marriage during Wednesday night's Season 13 episode on Lifetime.
Married at First Sight's thirteenth season stars Myrla Feria and Gil Cuero, Johnny and Bao, Michaela and Zack, Rachel Gordillo and Jose San Miguel, and Brett and Ryan.
The Married at First Sight broadcast began on Day 39 of marriage, with only 17 days to go until "Decision Day."
Johnny met up with Ryan for a game of pool in their apartment lobby, and Johnny shared how he and Bao had a great three days together, with Bao definitely making more of an effort, including being more open and scheduling dates.
After Johnny said his connection with Bao didn't feel forced, Ryan lamented, "I can't force it anymore, I've been forcing it for a few weeks and it wasn't real... She hasn't done anything wrong. I'm left feeling like I did something wrong, even thought I think I didn't."
Johnny said Bao was almost "trying too hard" this week, and Ryan acknowledged he knew how it felt to ignore issues "and keep chugging along."
Johnny questioned if Ryan could just focus on the positive, but Ryan said reacting to situations like that is not real and one can't go through life just "disregarding the bad."
Johnny accused Ryan of being "negative" about the situation, but Ryan insisted he wasn't trying to discourage Johnny in any way.
That night in bed, Johnny told Bao that they lacked trust, communication and a solid friendship, like most couples have before marriage, but Bao disagreed.
"The physical part is because I don't feel anything from it," Johnny admitted, before Bao called that "B-S" in a confessional.
Johnny added, "I'm doing it just to do the motions... I don't want to just have sex. I don't want to kiss you for the sake of just kissing you. That's why I said, 'Let's take this out of [the equation] right now, because I'm not there yet.' For me, physically intimacy is a biproduct of emotional attachment."
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Bao admitted the situation was frustrating because they definitely had a spark earlier in the experiment.
"I don't know if Johnny sees the hypocrisy," Bao told the cameras.
Bao shared with her husband how she was always complying with "what works" for her husband without taking into account her own needs, wants and desires.
Johnny responded, "We don't have to do this, we really don't... This is insane."
Johnny blew up and Bao insisted they had just been talking and there was no need for that type of reaction.
"I feel Johnny is not happy because he doesn't want to be! Johnny does not want to put in the work to make the marriage work, and I honestly feel if Johnny doesn't figure this sh-t out for himself, he's not going to be happy in any relationship," Bao explained.
Johnny told Bao that he wanted to say so many things, and Bao pleaded for him to be honest because she wanted to know where he stood.
Johnny said he wanted to build a foundation with Bao and their relationship was off to a good start with light heart-to-hearts and good times. Johnny didn't like hearing that strengthening the foundation wasn't going to work, but Bao clarified that she thought having romance as well would also help them move along.
"Friendship has been working for me too, but that's not marriage," Bao vented to her husband. "We both have different expectations... I don't know if we can work through that."
With 16 days remaining until "Decision Day," Myrla boasted about having made Gil a nice steak, potatoes and asparagus meal, and then Dr. Pepper and Pastor Cal met with each couple in-person to see how they were doing.
Pastor Cal first met with Gil individually, and Gil called Myrla caring, loving and honest.
The couple was clearly in a good place, but in terms of thinking about "Decision Day," Gil revealed how Myrla got in "moods" sometimes when her demeanor would change and she'd become a Debbie Downer. Gil tried not to let Myrla's negativity affect him.
Gil figured Myrla had always gotten her way when having a tantrum, and he said that wasn't going to work for him.
Myrla met with Pepper simultaneously and said she was so happy and smiley. Myrla had partied with her friends before the meeting and didn't seem sober, but she said she wanted her marriage to work out and needed to hear what exactly Gil needed from her to make that happen.
"I can't bite my tongue and not say things because I'm no honest and blunt," Myrla explained of her constant criticism. "[But] I'm so happy every day. This is above and beyond what I expected... He's SO thoughtful, and that's why I [said], 'I made the choice to love you.'"
Gil apparently exceeded Myrla's expectations and prayers, and she even broke down into tears talking about how joyful her relationship was.
"I didn't think I would get everything I wanted and more in marriage; I'm very happy," Myrla gushed.
Pepper therefore advised Myrla to work on her negativity so she wouldn't lose Gil.
When Michaela sat down with Pastor Cal, she said she and Zack had one good week and so their romance was "still new." She could tell they were matched because they're both goofy people who enjoy a challenge and are ambitious and strong-headed.
Michaela wondered what marriage had looked like in Zack's mind before the experiment, and she said she wanted him to be happy and hoped to be contributing to that happiness.
"I think we're both taking it day by day and step by step to get better, but he's complicated," Michaela shared, adding that she wanted fully-happy Zack back.
Pastor Cal advised Michaela to make Zack feel safe, and then Zack was shown sitting down with Pepper. Zack explained how he felt happy but he was concerned he was just convincing himself of that, which Pepper dubbed "a profound question."
"I don't think things are meant to be. I think things are opportunities. And what we did was pick a woman that we think is good for you. Not only is she attractive, successful and smart, she has a lot of heart," Pepper told Zack.
"I see all that. I definitely see why we were matched," Zack said.
Pepper said Zack was given good raw materials to work with in order to hopefully build a healthy and lasting marriage, and Zack just hoped they could continue down the same path -- which would make him "optimistic" for the future.
Pepper, however, asked Zack to make Michaela feel more protected, safe and secure in the marriage. She advised him to avoid extreme terms and ask Michaela questions before making assumptions or judgments.
Zack then teared up over the thought he's a perfectionist and it seems nothing in life is ever good enough for him. He blamed himself for putting that on other people, including his wife, which was "not fair."
Zack determined Michaela is an amazing person and he wished he could stop expecting perfection.
Afterward, Myrla talked to Gil about her moody tendencies, saying it stems from the fact she's an introvert and Gil being funny and making her laugh always helps her.
Gil asked Myrla to try to get into moods less and really contemplate when the moment is or is not worth a mood, and he also said showing him more affection when she's "cranky" would help.
Zack also talked to Michaela about his "breakout moment" of realizing he wants his wife to be perfect after being that way in life about school and work, which was wrong. Zack didn't want to end up alone, and he explained how his idea of marriage was making breakfast with kids running around.
Michaela said marriage to her is romance and having similar goals with her husband. Michaela wished she could shake Zack's hesitation out of him and feel more certain in having a future with him so they could talk about their life together down the road.
Johnny then met with Pepper and said he and Bao didn't argue productively, but Pepper said he needed to learn a new way to deal with his anger and disappointment, rather than by being mean or distancing himself from his wife.
Johnny worried perspection is reality and while he and Bao are going through the same life together, they're seeing things differently.
Pepper advised Johnny to stop keeping score and ask Bao if she'd be willing to communicate in certain ways, but Bao admitted she was "feeling checked out" of her marriage.
"From my end, I just feel like I married a man that was not ready for marriage. He cuts me down at every opportunity, he doesn't appreciate Bao, and I'm done feeling unappreciated," Bao complained.
Bao told Pastor Cal that she "could be better" because she felt Johnny was already 80 percent "out the door and his decision" had "already been made."
"I feel cheated out of a perfectly-good marriage. This could be a perfectly-good marriage, but I have a husband on paper, and that's it," Bao said.
Pastor Cal agreed Johnny had said some "ugly" things to Bao, such as once wishing he had been matched with any other woman, and Bao wished she could understand the intent behind Johnny cutting her down and "being so malicious."
Bao said she was trying in her marriage but Johnny constantly put her down, and she started to cry because she knew Johnny could be a loving husband and father.
"He has just given up, he doesn't care," Bao confessed.
Pastor Cal advised Bao to play nice and avoid going too deep into conversation, but Bao didn't enjoy "chit-chat." He also asked Bao to ask Johnny if he was truly ready for marriage and whether he'd give up on her at any sign of struggle or conflict.
Brett and Ryan's turn was up next, and Brett shared with Pastor Cal how she wasn't doing "awesome" and times had been tough with Ryan.
Brett wanted Ryan to be more open and willing, saying he was a totally different person on their honeymoon when he would dish his feelings and kiss her during romantic moments.
Brett was starting to wonder if Ryan was even capable of giving her what she needs because their was no intimate or emotional communication.
Pastor Cal told Brett to ask Ryan when he had given up on their marriage because his answer may surprise her. Pastor Cal wanted both individuals to be "out in the open" and discuss "what the heck happened."
"If your marriage is on the rocks, what the heck do you have to lose?!... I've seen couples turn around," Pastor Cal noted.
Meanwhile, Ryan talked to Pepper about how he and Brett had an uncomfortable meeting with Dr. Viviana because things weren't working and didn't feel right for him. Ryan acknowledged communication had been an issue because he essentially didn't want to hurt Brett's feelings.
Pepper told Ryan to be constructive with Brett but not cruel and reach inside deeper to observe Brett's positive traits and really get to know her -- and not give up. Ryan therefore assured he'd give his relationship more effort.
After their meeting with the experts, Johnny and Bao got together and Johnny apologized for saying some nasty things that he ultimately regretted.
Bao wasn't sure how sincere her husband's apology was, and she said she wanted to be able to talk about whatever is on her mind without feeling judged, even if Johnny disagreed with her. Bao didn't think the root of their arguments was typically a big deal.
"Are you willing to fully show up in this marriage and not run away again?" Bao asked.
"I haven't run away from this relationship -- yet. I have taken a breather so I don't escalate. I take myself out because I don't want to explode... Sometimes I just need time or I'm going to say something I don't mean in the heat of the moment," Johnny replied.
Bao admitted she was turning back around in her marriage, in the opposite direction of trying harder, and didn't want to be treated poorly or talked down to. Bao asked Johnny to respect her.
Bao also asked Johnny if he felt ready for marriage, and Johnny replied, "I knew coming into this with you, that chemistry wasn't there the first time," referencing how the couple had been acquaintances for 15 years prior to their wedding day.
"I wasn't attracted to you," Johnny confessed. "Otherwise, we would have gone on a second date."
"I don't know sometimes, Johnny. I cannot help but be skeptical about your words. So where do you think we should go from here?" Bao asked.
Johnny's response was not shown.
When Jose and Rachel met with the experts, Jose said he "couldn't be happier."
Jose said Rachel is certainly an independent woman and he didn't want to come across as a controlling man, even though he hoped to be a provider in the marriage. And Pepper admitted Jose could be controlling, which probably served him well in the past.
On the couple's explosive fight this season, Jose he said he wasn't happy with how he had handled the situation but Rachel "bounces" when things get rough. He didn't want to feel rejected and also wished Rachel trusted him more to never want to leave.
Pepper told Jose to ask Rachel how their trust could grow, adding that Jose's anger wouldn't help the problem.
As for Rachel's sit-down chat with Pastor Cal, she revealed, "I know that he is the man for me. He is everything that I asked for, plus more... He's constantly showing me I can be my true self and actually be loved for it."
Rachel, however, hoped Jose would express his feelings better and pour into her a little bit more. She was also still concerned about Jose's alleged "accident" of locking her out of the apartment after a fight.
"He has a temper and he can be vindictive," Rachel explained.
Afterward, Ryan and Brett reunited, and Ryan said he avoided saying things that Brett didn't want to hear. Brett said that wasn't good for her and she didn't want to be a source of stress for her husband.
Brett said she felt "very disconnected" from Ryan and didn't know what to do, and Ryan told his wife to call him out on his sh-t.
"If you want to keep trying, I just need to know either way," Brett told Ryan, with low hopes.
Brett was apparently at "a breaking point" in her marriage.
During Rachel and Jose's conversation post-counseling, Jose said he needed time to cool off after an argument because he carries a lot of pride, and Rachel determined they needed to compromise on how to handle stressful confrontations.
Rachel dished in a confessional how there was a lot more to learn about her husband and she couldn't wait to see more sides of him.
The five couples then got together for a volleyball game and Bao cutely showed up in a cheerleading uniform, which made Johnny want to hug her in front of their friends.
When talking with the girls, Bao shared how Johnny could be "mean" to her when he's upset, and Johnny admitted to the guys he hadn't felt happy in a long time despite little glimpses of joy with his wife here or there.
"I think some of them view this as a real marriage and some of them don't," Brett reasoned.
That night, Zack and Michaela were fighting because Michaela said she wanted to sleep in a separate room from her husband.
"We had a conversation about 'Decision Day' and what our 'Decision Day' answers will potentially be, and as it stands, it's a 'no' for both of us," Michaela explained to the cameras. "Because of that... why even sleep in the same bedroom?"
Zack told Michaela that she switched up how she felt every single day, but Michaela said she can't predict the future and is allowed to change her mind.
"It's been going great for us, then why are we switching it up?... We're not there yet, but don't you see an upward trend?!" Zack asked his wife.
Michaela repeated how Zack would say "no" to staying married if "Decision Day" was that very day, and that clearly upset her. Michaela recalled saying, "I don't know," but Zack didn't seem to remember it that way.
About 30 minutes later, Michaela said Zack was ignoring her, and he decided to sleep at his former place for the night.
The episode ended with Brett meeting with Ryan's sister, revealing that they were struggling as a couple, with 14 days to go until "Decision Day."
Brett said she felt like Ryan wasn't interested in her at all and that his attitude towards her had shifted about a week after the honeymoon.
"What worries me is that when he came back [home] things shifted, and it makes me wonder if maybe his head is focused on the past, like, maybe being back here maybe brings back feelings of someone he likes," Ryan's sister revealed.
"Knowing him... makes me think that he's distracted somewhere, and that's where my head is -- since it was such a flip. It makes me think if that wasn't out there, this would still be a honeymoon."
The conversation made Brett's mind wander.
Meanwhile, Zack told his friend that Michaela had texted him after he left their apartment and said she wanted to move out of their shared apartment the next morning.
"She moved out, she packed everything. I realized she even took the seasoning!" Zack told a friend via Facetime.
Zack's friend called Michaela's behavior childish, rude and disrespectful, and Zack insisted he had been trying and never put more effort into something in his entire life.
"Seeing Michaela move out for the second time, it's definitely challenging. I don't know if it's something I can overcome because this is the type of reaction that I have trouble with," Zack lamented, adding, "This is literally insanity."