5 Key Moments in ‘Party-ing Ways’ (RECAP)

Party-ing Ways

Season 16 • Episode 9

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Married at First Sight, Season 16, Episode 9, “Party-ing Ways.”]

Married at First Sight Season 16 continues the social experiment’s traditions in its latest episode, “Party-ing Ways,” in which the couples throw housewarming parties in their shared spaces.

But before the merriment, one pair has a big decision to make about the future of their relationship. Below, we’re breaking down all of the key moments so beware of spoilers ahead.

Definitive Decision

Mackinley from 'Married at First Sight' Season 16

(Credit: Lifetime)

Continuing their conversation with Pastor Cal, Domynique and Mackinley work through their ongoing issues, or rather avoid working through them as she declares she wants a divorce. While the reveal clearly surprises Pastor Cal and upsets Mackinley, she’s resolute in her decision and is advised by the expert to steer clear of anything serious until she’s gone out and experienced more things in life outside of a relationship. Mackinley is understandably disappointed that Domynique doesn’t want to try and work through their problems, but doesn’t argue the choice. As the scene comes to a close, we see Dominique move her things out in a box, adding a sense of finality.

Second Opinions

Airris from 'Married at First Sight' Season 16

(Credit: Lifetime)

As the other couples embrace married life with tasks like dog walking and car repairs, they also meet with friends and family one-on-one for second opinions on their relationships. First up is Clint who complains to his pal that Gina is too focused on her work and business. The worry ebbs slightly when his friend points out that friendships can turn into something more serious under less pressure, hinting at hope for life post-MAFS and cameras. Meanwhile, Airris’ cousin Fallina is less supportive when he brings up ongoing intimacy issues and his upcoming housewarming party which she refuses to attend.

Nicole opens up about her relationship with Chris while having drinks with a friend, saying she is having a tough time with his compliments towards her but feels they’re genuine even if too frequent.

Down Time

Clint and Gina from 'Married at First Sight' Season 16

(Credit: Lifetime)

During some downtime, Gina and Clint move their things into the shared apartment and take baby steps toward building their marriage. Despite the progress, Clint reveals that they’ll be staying in separate rooms for the time being. As for Jasmine and Airris, they discuss party planning and he brings up Fallina. Jasmine makes it clear she doesn’t want his cousin at the party, and she’s happy to learn that Airris’ invite wasn’t accepted. As party preparation begins, Nicole presents Chris with a flamingo shirt that matches their theme but gives him the option to wear it or not. Although he’s timid about it at first, he refuses and she shows that she’s not upset by it, adding that she always wants him to be comfortable.

Housewarming Celebrations

Chris and Nicole from 'Married at First Sight' Season 16

(Credit: Lifetime)

Each remaining couple throws their own celebration, beginning with Shaquille and Kirsten who make a point of only inviting other married friends in hopes of receiving some good advice. While they each take time to chat with a separate couple, he worries if he’s being too patient about intimacy, as if to prove that being physically attracted isn’t a be-all-end-all situation, his pals share with Kirsten that it took a year before they found each other attractive and now they’re married, proving there’s hope yet for Kirsten and Shaquille.

Nicole and Chris get really festive with their party and while her friends ask him about their relationship so far, Chris notes Nicole gets upset about things quicker than him, but that it doesn’t bother him. Meanwhile, Nicole talks to Chris’ friend and brother about her concerns and how she never wants to walk all over him. Things get a little tense at Jasmine and Airris’ party when the topic of dogs and his cousin Fallina comes up. While he isn’t loving living with a dog, let alone the idea of living with multiple, Jasmine is worrying more about the fact that there’s no sexual chemistry between them yet.

At Gina and Clint’s margarita and taco party, he is honest about their rocky relationship with her friends, and his friends tell Gina to focus on the good things so far rather than the things that could tear them apart. Since Mackinley and Domynique didn’t throw a party, she met up with her mom who was disappointed to hear the news of her divorce. While Domynique’s mom asks if her daughter could have been more patient, Domynique is insistent that things wouldn’t have worked out, adding she feels no need to see Mackinley moving forward.

Potluck Gathering

Jasmine and Airris from 'Married at First Sight' Season 16

(Credit: Lifetime)

That avoidance of Mackinley couldn’t last forever though as Domynique was forced to reunite with him for a group potluck with the other pairs. While everyone takes a seat with a plate, Gina begins the conversation, sharing that she was surprised to learn how good Clint is at cooking and that she’s impressed with his ability to embrace a party with all-girl attendees like their housewarming. Mackinley decides to toss out the next question, asking if anyone has had sex. Nicole and Chris admit that they have, revealing they’re the only ones so far. Jasmine sounds sad when she says that she and Airris have yet to get there, but Shaquille and Kirsten are optimistic, noting that despite their initial attraction, they’ve gotten closer.

When the conversation lands on Domynique and Mackinley, they share the divorce news which upsets everyone to hear. While she explains that she wanted to end it before things got toxic, Mackinley says he feels as though he was the only one compromising on their marriage. Nicole is adamant that Domynique will regret the decision and when asked if time apart could help their relationship, Domynique says maybe, but it’s clearly a fib. As she and Mackinley go back to their apartment, he questions her on it and she admits it was peer pressure and not a genuine answer, but that she wants to be friends. He doesn’t. The episode ends with them packing their things and going their separate ways. Will there be a change of heart? Although doubtful, only time will tell for certain. Don’t miss what’s next as Married at First Sight Season 16 continues on Lifetime.

Married at First Sight, Season 16, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Lifetime

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