As the weeks progress with these couples, two couples have warmed our hearts, while the others are virtually in shambles.
While there was some progress with the problematic couples on Married at First Sight Season 11 Episode 11, it’s not enough for most of them to make it.
In fact, things got borderline uncomfortable and enraging.
Karen & Miles
Out of the struggling couples, Miles and Karen have the most potential. It’s hard to tell how much of their problems are a result of Karen’s discomfort over being filmed.
From the sounds of matters, they get along rather well offscreen. They carry on all the necessary conversations when the cameras aren’t rolling. It means that they have a much deeper bond than we see onscreen, and perhaps viewers’ response to Karen is a bit harsh.
Finally, the couple had a much-needed sit-down with one of the experts. They were able to discuss some of what’s getting between them and their progress in their relationship.
Dr. Viviana tried to get to the bottom of the intimacy issues that are between them. Karen expressed that she doesn’t want to give Miles any false or mixed signals about sex, so as a result, she rarely engages in any form of physical contact at all.
Understandably, she wants to avoid giving him mixed messages, but the result is that Miles feels rejected and questions if Karen is even attracted to him at all.
Karen also has this ongoing issue with Miles and how open he is about his feelings. It has to be a deeper reason for why Karen can’t be affectionate at all, but in the interim, Dr. Viviana proposed that they remove sex off the table completely.
The hope is that without the pressure or expectation of sex, Karen can be more open, intimate, and affectionate with Miles, and they can meet both of their needs.
However, it feels as if they’re putting a bandaid on a problem instead of working through it. What if Miles and Karen postpone this until after decision day when the cameras aren’t rolling, and Karen’s discomfort and distance remain a problem?
How is that fair to Miles, or either of them, for that matter? No one expects Karen to have sex with Miles, but intimacy, in general, is an issue for them.
Part of signing up for this experience is understanding and accepting that it’s an expedited one in front of cameras. While there’s no way of preparing for that, and some discomfort and difficulty is understandable, it’s also what everyone signed up for, and when it’s at the source of a couple’s issues, it’s frustrating.
But, for now, the talk with Viviana has helped Karen and Miles. They are communicating things more, and who knows? Maybe there’s hope for this pairing.
Amelia & Bennett
The love between Amelia and Bennett is real, and while we didn’t spend a lot of time with these two during this installment, the moments we did have were heartwarming.
They’re such a light, bright spot of this series. The experts didn’t visit Amelia and Bennet. It’s probably because of the lack of necessity for it compared to some of the other couples.
They’ve set a course of their own, and it’s working for them thus far.
Their intimacy exercise together was so beautiful, tantric, and electrifying. The two click with ease and I don’t recall a couple on this series ever falling into place like this.
It was something magical about watching them swaying back and forth with their foreheads pressed together as they whispered positive affirmations about one another and their relationship. It feels like love.
They still have Amelia’s possible relocation looming over them, and it’s closing in fast, based on what Bennett told Henry. It still feels as though they’re putting off discussing it.
It still feels like it’s something that could affect their relationship, especially with Bennett and his family and friends not wanting him to leave. But it’s also evident that Bennett has fallen hard for Amelia, and maybe it’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make for the woman he loves.
Amani & Woody
Woody and Amani are also a bright spot of this season, and they, too, feel like the most stable couple we have. They’re so dynamic and adorable, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they end up with a series of their own.
They have so much fun together, and it’s incredible how they can make the silliest or simplest conversations something entertaining.
Their cute bickering over getting a dog was amusing, and their romantic/intimacy exercises with each other were sexy and bordering on R-rated.
If they don’t have anything else, they have a physical connection and bond with each other. They’re lighthearted and fun. Sometimes it feels as though we don’t delve deep enough into any of their other issues.
However, during this installment, we did get a vulnerable Woody discussing his strained relationship with his father.
These two make you root for them. It’s easy to get sucked into the Wo-Mani magic.
Oliva & Brett
But then you have a couple like Brett and Olivia, who haven’t felt compatible with each other for some time. It’s almost painful to watch them as time goes on.
Their session with Dr. Viviana was interesting because of how receptive Brett is to intimacy. We’ve seen onscreen how he does make little gestures of physical contact, but Olivia always looks stiff or uncomfortable.
Olivia admitted that she’s isn’t an affectionate person, and she’s not in a place where she would be ready to have sex with Brett.
Dr. Viviana made a good point, one that she also should’ve hammered in with Miles and Karen about how the male partners, especially since they happen to be more affectionate, do need some confirmation and validation.
Brett was there talking about Olivia’s smile and how she has to different ones that he loves, and it was odd because of how Olivia couldn’t give him anything back.
But then when Olivia got him alone, she mentioned that she didn’t believe he was genuine with Dr. Viviana. Olivia thinks that Brett puts on a front for the cameras and isn’t being his authentic self.
She also mentioned that he doesn’t take things seriously, and he’s always giving her a sarcastic look when she’s open with him.
The funny thing is, Olivia could very well be right. It’s hard to tell since no matter what Brett does, she takes issue with it. If she never believes his words when he says them, and she doesn’t think his actions are genuine and so on, what is he supposed to do?
She questions him at all times, so whether he’s real or fake, it’s always an issue for her. It wouldn’t matter.
While I don’t think Brett is phony all of the time, I do think Olivia is right about some things. His gushing about Olivia to Viviana, for example, didn’t feel genuine at all. We don’t see that, and there is zero connection between them, so they’re never believable as a couple.
But Brett calls Olivia out too, and he’s not wrong for that. Olivia checked out of this relationship the moment she found out about his finances. She has nitpicked ever since and ironically accused him of some of the very things she has done, and Brett IS an asshole sometimes, who gaslights the hell out of her.
At this rate, they’re both bordering on insufferable to watch together. Brett wasn’t ready for this entire process, and Olivia isn’t prepared to have an actual relationship with someone.
Brett should probably stick to serial dating, and Olivia needs a no-strings-attached travel buddy whose willing to do everything she wants and go Dutch, and maybe a, um, “personal massager.”
Christina & Henry
For a bit, it genuinely felt like Henry and Christina were making progress. While it’s no question these two aren’t compatible and a divorce is inevitable, it at least felt as though they could be friends.
During Viviana’s session with them, they delved into their intimacy issues, and Christina discussed how she would need Henry to make a move or initiate things.
She all but said her body is ready whenever he is. It’s cool that Christina has finally admitted to Henry in front of his face that she would like things to speed up, but it remains frustrating that she can’t make moves on her own.
Christina knows Henry isn’t the type of person to initiate something like that. Christina is frustrated that he isn’t making a move but also refuses to start things off because “she doesn’t do that.”
She’s used to a guy pursuing her first and putting himself out there, and it’s almost as if she doesn’t know how to handle it when it doesn’t work that way.
Viviana reminded Christina that she also has to make her feelings known and show signs that she’s ready for things to go further, and it’s something Christina needed to hear.
And Henry acknowledged that it takes him time to open up and lead to things like that, and again, it’s frustrating when people sign for this process and move at a glacial pace.
However, Henry has been honest about being out of his comfort zone. He did this to push himself out there, so at least it’s something he acknowledges, unlike others.
Christina and Henry did an intimacy exercise, and all their progress burned in front of our eyes.
The blindfolded challenge was promising. Blindfolds gave Henry, in particular, an opportunity to be honest without the eye contact and feeding off of Christina’s expressions or body language.
It’s freeing, and it led to him being his most vulnerable.
If you recall, it’s what Christina has wanted for some time. But then Christina showed exactly why Henry shut down on her a long time ago. The thing is, whenever Henry makes little attempts at opening up to Christina, she either doesn’t listen, or she gets dismissive.
We’ve seen it at least twice before, but neither instance was as horrifying as Christina’s response to Henry. He opened up to her about his insecurities. He told her about his lack of confidence and how he’s grappled with that since childhood.
He discussed the issues he had growing up overweight, and you could hear how deeply it affected him. Henry is also the man who had heart surgery. He’s also the person whose father ribs on him and tells jokes at his expense.
It’s not surprising that Henry has some issues, but when Henry confided in Christina, she responded that he’s too old to be holding onto any of that from the past and he needs to get over it.
It’s the most insensitive she has been by a mile.
And in a move that almost felt vindictive — as if it was payback for Henry pointing out that she’s impatient — she told him that lack of confidence is a dealbreaker for her.
He bared his soul about how he struggles with confidence and mentioned why, and she told him she couldn’t be with someone with self-esteem issues.
It’s such an odd thing to say anyway since most humans have bouts of insecurity. Hell, our introduction to Christina alluded to some deep insecurities, so it’s bizarre that she said this.
Fortunately, Henry went out for drinks with Bennett, and the younger, wise-beyond-his-years man had some reassuring, loving, sage words for Henry. It was all love and support, and it’s what Henry should’ve gotten from Christina.
And it was a reminder of how the friendships this season are almost more engaging than the marriages. Bennett and Henry’s bonding was a friendship I didn’t know I needed. It’s telling how comfortable Henry is talking to Bennett (and Amani, and some others).
Whether it’s Henry and Bennett, Miles and Bennett, Woody and Miles, Amani and Karen, or Olivia and Amani, the friendships are a delight.
But just when Henry returned home feeling better after his conversation with Bennett, Christina reinforced how she talked to her mom about Henry, and while she thinks he’s a decent man, she can’t be with someone with confidence issues.
She proceeded to badger him about if it’s something he can change or plans to improve. Again, it’s telling how much Christina expects Henry to change.
I know many people have sympathized with Christina over the season for having to “deal with someone like Henry,” but this feels like a special kind of cruel.
It makes you wonder if Christina has chosen to take on the role she mentioned before. She once asked Henry if he needs her to be the bad guy, so he doesn’t look horrible for rejecting her. She said she’d be willing to do it if it means knowing where she stands.
Now, it feels as though she’s embracing that.
Over to you, MAFS Fanatics. How do you feel about Henry and Christina’s sudden turn? Do you think Miles and Karen’s intimacy issues will be resolved?
Do you think Brett and/or Olivia are inauthentic in front of cameras? Hit the comments!
You can watch Married at First Sight online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.