It was possibly the most dramatic episode of Married at First Sight yet. Sam and Ines’ affair was – finally – exposed, contestants walked off, and two couples left the controversial reality show when it was all done and dusted.
But while must of the drama centred around infidelities and lying spouses, MAFS expert John Aiken has been called out for gaslighting another contestant during their couch session.
Before the commitment ceremony, which took place on Sunday night’s episode, Heidi and Mike were another couple on rocky ground.
As they sat down to chat to the experts, Heidi opened up about how they “pretty much just broke up” at the dinner party.
Heidi and Mike then had a “three hour long” conversation about talking to Jess together at the dinner party so they could clear the air. But Mike went off and did that on his own even though the two had agreed to do it together.
“I felt like I just didn’t trust him anymore,” Heidi told the experts.
“I apologised, but she won’t let me,” Mike added.
It very quickly became apparent however, that the experts weren’t going to reprimand Mike for blatantly ignoring what Heidi had asked for.
Psychotherapist Claire McHalick says Mike was basically “whitewashed”.
“Watching Mike’s face as it dawned on him he was not going to be taken to task – AT ALL – was sickening,” Claire tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“The slow relaxation of his facial muscles, the look in his eyes that betrayed his relief, the self-congratulatory smile. This is how women end up having low self esteem, doubt their own judgement, and allow someone to keep on manipulating them until they are stuck.”
While both Mel Schilling and Dr Trisha Stanford asked if Heidi had a pattern of holding on to anger, it was John Aiken who really called Heidi out for “sabotaging” the relationship.
Heidi tells John she “really want this to work” but he interrupted her, saying “Do you really? I don’t know if you can.”
“Let me ask you this Heidi – if you’re best friend was in this position now what advice would you give her?” She’s got a great guy who is into her and your friend has a pattern of pushing people away by overthinking things,” he continued.
Heidi tries to interject but John cut her off again: “Just answer the question.”
Heidi answered with “Start every day afresh and choose if you want to be with that person every day”, which John said was “good advice”.
“But how do you push away those feelings,” she asked, clearly unsure of whether or not to just trust her gut instinct or not.
“What would you tell your friend – I’m not going to play this game with you Heidi,” John replied.
By the end of the discussion Heidi basically concedes that she should have accepted Mike’s apology and moved on.
“That caused me to feel anger,” Claire tells us, after seeing the interaction.
“John continuously shut her down, even though Mike had ignored the way he and Heidi agreed they would proceed and feigned innocence when he did the exact opposite.
“Heidi said they had spent three hours discussing what to do at the dinner party before arriving there, but given what we have seen of Mike, I think he probably tuned out, just nodded occasionally but was actually plotting in his own mind to talk to Jess without Heidi present.
“The reason he would want to do this is because Jess’ story about what he’d said was different to the story he gave Heidi.
“Mike was completely whitewashed.”
After the discussion with the experts, Heidi spoke to producers and said “I felt like a got a bit of a talking to”.
No Heidi, you got done over.
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