Miles, a 26-year-old who works with youth from Spartanburg, SC, and Karen, a 30-year-old consultant from New Orleans, LA, were matched by Married at First Sight experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Viviana Coles and Dr. Pepper Schwartz to marry on Season 11 of the Lifetime reality series.
During a recent episode ofMarried at First Sight: Unfiltered, Miles watched back a Season 11 clip in which he explained how Karen rarely complimented him.
"I come out of the shower, I come out of working out. I'm good and all oiled up... [Karen] is sitting there and [I get] nothing," Miles told his MAFS co-stars Woody Randall and Amani.
"Then Dr. Viviana will be like, 'Are you attracted to Miles?' And [Karen] will be like, 'Yeah, Miles is really attractive.' And I'm like, 'I am?! Girl, I didn't know that.' And she was like, 'Oh yeah, well when I looked at you the other day, I thought you knew that I thought you was fine.'"
Unfiltered host Jamie Otis, who starred on Season 1 of Married at First Sight, observed that Miles likes words of affirmation yet Karen doesn't express herself unless she's prompted.
"How are you navigating this?" Jamie asked Miles.
"It's tough," Miles replied. "It's really tough."
"That's not Karen's natural love language in terms of giving or receiving, and so it gets hard for her to be able to say, 'Hey, I think you're attractive,' or, 'I can see this going somewhere,' because she's been let down in the past."
Miles therefore explained, "So I try to take it with a grain of salt, but it is hard. It's hard because you want to feel loved, you want to feel attractive, you want to feel wanted -- and at this point, I haven't necessarily felt that way.
Pepper and Miles' Married at First Sight co-star Bennett Kirschner joined Miles on the Unfiltered broadcast, and Pepper pointed out how important it is for someone to make his or her partner feel wanted.
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"I want to say something about giving and saying compliments: I think it's extremely important, and if it isn't somebody's love language, I think they need to learn a new language, at least partially," Pepper explained.
"I think it's hard on Miles and I feel for him that way. I think it's okay for Miles to ask to help educate her about what his needs are so that she can learn some of that language and maybe learn some of the pleasures of getting compliments as well."
Bennett, who is married to Amelia Fatsi on the show, was asked what he's learned about himself in this process so far, given some situations in the experiment can be tough to handle, as Miles had described.
"This is for me, so far, a very enlightening experience. So far, it's the first relationship in a lot of ways where I don't feel like there's kind of this power dynamic that plays a huge role in the relationship," Bennett said.
"I'm not preoccupied with how I'm coming off. It's very healthy and very organic and very easy."
Not only did Karen have trouble telling Miles how she felt about him, but the couple also lacked physical intimacy nearly a month into their marriage.
"I'd definitely say that we are on our way, but I also don't want to force it. I really want it to be natural," Karen said during last week's episode of Unfiltered.
Karen elaborated, "I don't want to feel like, 'Oh yeah, we're going there just because we're married.' I really want it to be that natural energy and chemistry that leads us to that."
Karen has been moving slowly in her relationship with Miles from the start, as Karen didn't even give her husband a kiss until they moved in together after their honeymoon.
While Miles once dated a girl whom he didn't sleep with for two years, Miles did admit on the September 9 broadcast of Unfiltered he's "used to moving a little bit faster" in relationships.
The latest episode ofMarried at First Sight featured Miles and Karen reaching a breaking point in their marriage about 10 weeks into the extreme experiment. ("Decision Day" was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the couples needing to be in lockdown in New Orleans).
Karen, who was working at a hospital through the pandemic, said she felt "exhausted" physically, emotionally and mentally, and Miles felt bored, unwanted and seemingly depressed.
"She cannot say or has said, 'I want to be with you,' and if you can't say that, then in my mind, this isn't what you want," Miles explained to the cameras.
And Karen noted, "I can't necessarily give Miles or the relationship the attention I would like to and it just makes things between us even more tense."
Karen told Pepper through videochat she had begged Miles not to suppress his feelings while trying to be "Mr. Nice Guy" because she didn't want him to develop resentment towards her.
"I feel like [that] has happened. Last night, he said I wasn't trying in this relationship, and he even told me, like, 'If Decision Day was today, I would choose not to be married because I don't feel like you're putting in effort,'" Karen recalled in tears.
Miles admitted to Pastor Cal he wasn't sure if Karen even has the capacity to love him the way he needs to be loved.
Miles sometimes wondered why he was still sticking around, especially when his wife questioned his masculinity.
When the pair talking through their issues, Karen told Miles that she wanted to see more of his raw, genuine self, and in turn, she promised to give Miles for affection and attention "naturally."
The pair agreed they needed to get back to having fun and cracking jokes, and Miles told the cameras, "I want to feel like we're progressing and getting better each day. That's what we need and what I think each of us deserves."