MAFS' James called out for 'highly disturbing' behaviour

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Married At First Sight's James Susler and 'wife' Joanne Todd left the experiment on Sunday night after the groom was called out by the experts for gaslighting.

The 45-year-old was called out by relationship expert John Aiken, and Jo during the commitment ceremony, before the pair announced their decision to leave the show.

Married At First Sight's James Susler
Married At First Sight's James Susler and Joanne Todd left the show on Sunday night after the groom was slammed for gaslighting his bride. Photo: Nine

While sitting on the couch, James claimed he had tried everything to make the marriage work.

However, Jo slammed the car dealer, telling him, "You're full of sh*t. Please stop your s**t."

"You are talking rubbish. You are making yourself look so much better than what you are. You didn't try. You weren't trying. You blatantly lied to my face," she said.

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Jo added that James left the experiment for several days without any explanation to her and said she felt manipulated by him, saying he always turned things back to blame her.

"You haven't spoken to me for days. You've gone missing. You haven't come back. You didn't reply to any of my text messages," she said.

MAFS expert John Aiken
MAFS expert John Aiken explained that James' behaviour was gaslighting. Photo: Nine

That's when John jumped in and said while he and the other experts were watching the dinner party, they felt he was gaslighting Jo.

"There is the issue, and this has got to do with a behaviour James, which is classic, stereotypical gaslighting behaviour, and it's something that has to stop," he said.

"When you try to have a conversation, you start to talk in circles, you start to deflect and dodge, put it back on to Jo.

"We got a close up look at it last night. We watched it for hours and hours, that behaviour is gaslighting and it is toxic and it hurts people that are close to you."

James seemed shocked by the claim, asking for an example.

James and Jo on the couch at the MAFS commitment ceremony
James didn't understand what he was doing wrong. Photo: Nine

John responded, using an example of something that happened at the previous dinner party.

"One of the best examples we can all go to, was around the word 'frigid'. You said that Belinda was 'frigid'... statement. Then you said, 'No, I never said that, what I said was a question.'"

John explained that James starts talking in circles, "throwing it back at them", rather than apologising for what he did wrong.

Fans of the show also took to social media to share their thoughts on the situation.

"So glad John called James out on his gaslighting - doubt it will change his behaviour but at least young women watching will see how those types roll and maybe be aware of red flags," one viewer wrote on Twitter.

"James doesn’t see it," another added. "Doesn’t care to. And his monstrous ego won’t allow him to consider the possibility that he is wrong. In the bin with him. Next."

"Bryce & James’s behaviour is highly disturbing, I’m worried if this is what we’re shown on TV, what could be happening behind the scenes?" someone else wrote. "These men need serious counselling to overcome their destructive behaviour."

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