Married at first sight Season 16 brought viewers to Nashville where they were treated to five matches, one of which stayed strong throughout the social experiment. Nicole and Chris remained a beacon of hope for viewers and fans wanting to see matches find their happiness together during the eight-week experiment; culminates in the all-important Decision Day, when couples decide whether to stay married or divorce after saying “I do” earlier in the season.
Throughout the process, Nicole and Chris continually chose each other and remain a strong couple heading into their highly anticipated Season 16 reunion. Find out what the couple had to say about the lessons they learned below learned from marriage, from each other. , and from the other participants, along with what fans can expect from the upcoming reunion.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
Nicole: Being vulnerable shows strength and courage, not weakness. The only way your partner can get to the core of who you are is to open up and let them in. Going through this experience forced me to let down my wall from the beginning and show my vulnerability right away. Doing this made me feel empowered instead of scared, and having such an amazing partner made me feel safer than hiding behind an emotional wall.
Chris: The importance of communication and even if you don’t always see eye to eye, it’s important to always speak fully and make sure each other feels heard. Marriage is about compromise and coming together to work on building a life together. It’s about give and take when you’re not on the same page and it can’t be one-sided. As long as both people are willing to communicate, you will always be able to reach a solution and have someone willing to work with you.
What have you learned from each other?
Nicole: It is perfectly acceptable that marriage is not always a 50-50 partnership. There are times when I really struggle and can only give 20 percent to our marriage, but Chris is there to pick up the other 80 percent. There are also times when the roles are reversed and I have to carry more of our marriage. Chris taught me that as long as we are always there for each other and trust that we can support each other, our marriage will always be 100%.
Chris: I really have a great partner in Nicole. I learned that it was okay to be vulnerable with her and that she would have my back no matter what and not judge me. Nicole and I have been very open and vulnerable with each other throughout this experience – sometimes a little too vulnerable – but it’s helped us really get to know each other and what we’ve been through, and I thank her for not having a wall so. would have made this process exponentially harder.
What have you learned from the other contestants this season?
Nicole: One particular conversation I had with the ladies changed the way I view my marriage and all other relationships in my life. They pointed out that sometimes it is more important to focus on the intention of one’s actions than on their execution. There were times when I expected something to happen a certain way and was disappointed when it happened otherwise. The girls taught me that something might not look the way I expected, but that doesn’t mean any less effort or thought went into it. This mindset has allowed me to fully appreciate all the amazing things Chris does for me and also focus less How I do things and more Why i do them
Chris: It’s okay to ask for advice and help when you’re not sure what to do. If I was faced with something I wasn’t able to fully understand, others were there to bounce things off of and help offer advice or points of view I might not have considered. I learned that I wasn’t alone in this process as I had other great people in this process going through some of the same things who could help provide guidance. For example, one of the guys told me to do the little things to make my wife’s birthday. It could be as simple as leaving her a cute handwritten note or as grand as saying, “Hey, here’s some money and go enjoy a spa day for that you deserve it!” It is the caring that really makes something great or not.
How much of these marriages do you think is hard work and how much is luck?
Nicole: I think these marriages are 75% hard work and 25% luck. “Traditional” couples have time to go through the harder parts of marriage, like having difficult and vulnerable conversations, planning a future together, and figuring out if your partner is aligned with your ideals and values. All of this becomes much more difficult when you consider that you are doing all of this in a time crunch with a stranger. You both need to commit to fully immersing yourself in the process and working to feel enough about each other on decision day and beyond. While it takes a lot of hard work to make these marriages work, if you’re lucky enough to be matched with someone you’re automatically compatible with, the hard work becomes a little easier. Luck was involved in bringing me and Chris together, but we still had to and had to keep working to make our marriage work.
Chris: I honestly think it’s a combination of luck and hard work. We all put our futures and relationships in the hands of experts, and no matter how thorough you were in filling out the process, it was ultimately up to the experts to find you a match. You might be a great match on paper, but if you’re not willing to put in the work, it probably won’t work out. So for me, finding the person is somewhat lucky, but making the marriage really work is where the hard work comes into play.
Is there anything you would change about your approach to marriage from the start?
Nicole: I wouldn’t… but I would love to go back and change my mindset. I was determined to learn as much as I could about Chris and share as much as I could about myself before Decision Day, and I lost sight of what was happening in the present. I focused on the big upcoming milestones from day one instead of celebrating the little milestones I was hitting each day. If I had had a different mindset from the beginning, I wouldn’t have needed so much validation throughout the process. I wouldn’t have had to ask Chris about his answer on Decision Day all the time if I stopped to focus on what his daily actions were showing me. Spoiler alert: All of his actions pointed to a yes to Decision Day and forever with me.
Chris: I would have focused more on the good positive experiences in my life rather than just the vulnerable and hard times. I felt that the more vulnerable I was, the better it would let my wife know what I was going through, so I could be clear about what I didn’t want and what I wanted… But sometimes it got really hard, so balancing all of that with the great positive things that have happened in my life would be a welcome change if I could do it all over again.
What can fans expect from the reunion?
Nicole: Fans can expect to see a very happily married couple, lots of great friendships, and lots of general growth at the reunion. Although the marriage didn’t work out for the rest of the cast, we all had tremendous personal growth and went from strangers to friends to the unique family we see each other in now. We’re not a dramatic bunch (sorry, folks), but the reunion does provide some clarity on lingering unresolved questions fans may have. If we’re really lucky, the reunion will feature Chris and I (and me winning) an epic lightsaber battle that truly represents all the fun and joy that fills our marriage.
Chris: Fans can expect some great updates from myself and Nicole as well as the rest of the cast. You’ll get to see how everyone processes what we’ve all been through and how close we are to getting through it together. You’ll also get an update on all the dogs, as well as an answer from Nicole’s dad as to whether I do, in fact, really have BDE or not?!
Married at first sightSeason 16, Wednesday, 8/7c, Lifetime