Married at First Sight star Mindy Shiben admits she didn’t want to set herself up for more rejection with husband Zach Justice after their honeymoon.
Zach made it known during his Panama honeymoon he wasn’t attracted to Mindy, leaving her feeling helpless and alone.
While Mindy maintained optimism and a drive to make their marriage work, she didn’t want to set her expectations too high.
“I don’t know, I’ve already felt, like this sense of just kind of rejection from my own husband, and I don’t want to set myself up for more of that feeling,” Mindy said on the February 12 episode of Married at First Sight: Unfiltered.
Unfiltered host Jamie Otis asked Mindy whether she had attempted to have deep conversation with Zach on their honeymoon in Panama and he just pushed back and remained distant from her.
“Zach is being cordial to me and treating me sort of like a friend,” Mindy shared, before joking about how Zach’s fist-bumping her is “his thing.”
“I don’t know what it is with the fist-bumping. That’s fine,” Mindy added with a laugh.
Instead of being affectionate with his wife and trying to advance their relationship, Zach asked for space. And as shown in the latest Married at First Sight episode, Zach refused to move in with Mindy once they returned home to Washington, D.C.
“At this point, I feel like I have to meet Zach where he is,” Mindy acknowledged.
“I can’t force things to go how I want them to go, and for that to happen, I guess my only option is to do my best to steer Zach away from just getting stuck in this physical attraction thing and say, ‘Hey! I am this really cool person! Even if you don’t think I’m the prettiest thing in the world, I am still cool!'”
Mindy admitted she was feeling discomfort in her marriage during the first week.
“I mean, I’m getting used to waking up next to Zach every day, but there’s still, like, this disconnect where I don’t feel like either one of us are comfortable,” Mindy shared.
“And so, I’m trying to navigate that and hopefully get past that.”
Mindy was joined by her Married at First Sight co-stars Meka Jones and Austin Hurd on Unfiltered, and Meka confessed she was feeling the same way in her marriage to Michael Watson during the honeymoon.
Michael had allegedly given Meka an off-camera ultimatum on their flight to Panama in which he said they needed to have sex before the honeymoon was over or else he’d probably want out of their marriage.
When Meka asked Michael to own what he had allegedly said on-camera, he wouldn’t confirm or deny his exact words. The pair therefore decided to sleep in separate hotel rooms for the first two nights of their time in Panama.
“I think for us not being in the same suite for basically the entire honeymoon I think has really hindered us from feeling that comfortable waking up next to each other and everything, so I think we’ll definitely get there because as time goes on, naturally you feel more comfortable with somebody,” Meka explained.
Jamie asked Austin to give the girls some advice and share his point of view on the matter considering he seemed to have a very healthy marriage to Jessica Studer on the show.
“I mean, yeah, sometimes guys are a little closed off at first,” Austin reasoned.
“I mean, I know that’s been my history at times. I really was reluctant to let people in, so I mean, maybe with more time, I don’t know. It may be can grow a little bit more in that direction.”
Mindy also said that seeing Meka and Michael work through their issues in the experiment gave her hope in her marriage going forward.
“Seeing Meka and Michael, it actually gives me a little bit of hope because you were probably off to the roughest start,” Mindy noted.
“Okay,” Meka said, laughing.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry, but to see it can flip around, I think it can flip around for Zach and I as well,” Mindy continued. “So that’s nice to see.”
Zach said in the latest MAFS episode he was missing “intangible” chemistry with Mindy in their relationship although he thought highly of her.
Zach therefore said choosing not to live with Mindy right away made him feel comfortable and he wasn’t going to force his relationship or put on an act for the sake of entertainment and Married at First Sight cameras.
Zach was apparently hoping that by being apart from Mindy, he’d miss her and want to reach out and spend time with her.
But Pastor Calvin Roberson told the cameras, “Zach needs to man up and at least move in, get to know [Mindy], find out who she is, and see whether or not this woman can enhance your life.”
Married at First Sight’s tenth season also stars Brandon Reid and Taylor Dunklin as well as Katie Conrad and Derek Sherman.
Married at First Sight currently airs on Wednesday nights at 8PM ET/PT on Lifetime.