Married At First Sight groom Jake Edwards has come forward and detailed the reality show’s heavy impact on his mental health.
The 33-year-old, who had a tumultuous relationship with his on-screen ‘wife’ Beck Zemeck on season eight, has revealed that he got to a point post-show where he was “suicidal”.
Speaking on Sea FM’s Unpopular Opinion podcast, the former AFL player admitted that there was a time he felt “very regretful” for participating in the social experiment due to the effect it had on his mental health.
“I’ll be honest, it got to a point where I was suicidal,” he said. “If my mum wasn’t with me, I wouldn’t be here. It got to a really critical point.”
Jake and Beck had a very rocky start to their marriage, with clear barriers being established between them on their honeymoon, and it all came to an end when it was revealed that she had cheated on him when she travelled to Perth during filming.
While Jake acknowledges that there were many pleasant moments in their relationship, he knew it was never going to work out.
“There were parts of Beck and I that were compatible. We did have some good memories. I look back and I do know that her and I, we shared some great times together but ultimately it was a trainwreck,” he added.
Why he signed up
Chatting about why he decided to sign up to MAFS, Jake said he was in a great place and felt optimistic about being the show’s next success story.
“I was at a time in my life where I was very stable mentally,” he explained. “I just felt I was really secure and happy in my life and I felt my mental health was in a really good place and if I was ever going to do it, that was the time.”
However, despite only watching three episodes of his season, Jake felt “ashamed” of his experience and described it as being a “wasted” three months of his life.
“It really impacted me significantly emotionally and I fell away. I fell back into partying a little bit too much to try and escape, I fell back into mental health issues with my depression. It just got to a point where it all felt too much,” he confessed.
How he got out of the dark place
With the combination of his newfound fame from the Channel Nine series and the breakdown of his post-show relationship with Sophie Guidolin, Jake had a “complete massive breakdown”.
To get himself out of that dark place, he sought help at a wellness retreat with Hare Krishna monks in rural Victoria.
“When I was there, you have to work on the farm. It’s all about confronting your ego. There was no distraction, I had no phone, no TV, no radio, no nothing,” he detailed.
Despite arriving as a “broken man”, the isolating experience changed Jake’s life completely and he no longer has any attachments to alcohol, drugs and caffeine.
While he believes the retreat saved his life, he also recognises that MAFS helped him realise that he needed to better himself.
“I’m extremely grateful for that experience. Going on that show highlighted a few things for me that I had to really go away and work on,” he said.
“I am genuinely the best version of myself I’ve ever been. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life… MAFS has had a role in that.”
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