MAFS EXCLUSIVE: How Jo stood up to James

"I had enough of his ways."
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Following their shock showdown at this week’s dinner party, it’s clear Married at First Sight Australia’s barber bride Joanne Todd and “husband” James Susler, 44, may not be cut out for marriage.

WATCH BELOW: MAFS 2021 Meet The Brides and Grooms

But while the 39-year-old single mum could still be searching for The One, here she tells WHO how she finally found the strength to stand up to her controversial groom.

You had a girl power moment at this week’s dinner party and finally put James in his place. What was the final straw?

I had enough of his ways. I thought, “I’m actually going to stand up for myself and say what I think.” I just explode, I was like, “I’m done with this guy! He’s lying to me and he needs to be caught out on it.”

Did you find it easier to stand up to him with [fellow bride] Belinda backing you?

Definitely! Sometimes I tried to talk to him on my own and he would just shut me down. Having my bestie next to me gave me the confidence to stand up to him.

“Having my bestie next to me gave me the confidence to stand up to him.” (Credit: Nine)

Does James trigger something in you? Have you been in a difficult relationship in the past?

I had an ex that [I believe] always tried to twist things around and put everything back onto me and I felt like James at times was doing the same thing.

What aspects of James’ behaviour didn’t you like?

He would always choose which restaurant we would go to, he didn’t ask me where I would like to go, and if I said I’d like a steak, he’d try and suggest something else. If I said “this is the best place to go”, he’d second guess me. He’d have to go and get a second opinion from the male concierge to see if I was right or not.

Is there anything about James you like?

How tall he is?! [Laughs.] We do have good banter – when he hasn’t had a drink – and when I agree to what he wants to do, he’s nice.

Jo and James on their wedding day. (Credit: Nine)

Was his drinking a problem for your relationship?

For me, yes. His excuse is, “I’m in the car dealing business – we all drink.”

Was he shocked when you finally stood up to him?

Yeah. He sat there and his face changed. But he was still trying to argue with me, saying, “Give me an example, give me an example,” with his arms crossed and his legs crossed. But when I found my voice, he pulled his head in.

Do you think your confidence has grown through doing the experiment?

Yes, standing up to James I found my voice.

Jo says she found her voice standing up to James. (Credit: Nine)

Did you ever get annoyed at the experts for mismatching you with James?

At the back of your mind, you know it’s a reality TV show, but I really thought I could meet someone who would want to fit into my life and compromise on things. I don’t think he likes to be told by a woman. It wasn’t worth leaving my boys to be with someone like him.

Have you ever been tempted by any of the other grooms?

It’s always a little bit tempting, but I would never act upon it. I was being very respectful to the other brides. I loved Jason’s sense of humour and looks, and Jake has a good mind. I reckon if I was matched with either one of them we would have lasted.

“It wasn’t worth leaving my boys to be with someone like him.” (Credit: Nine)

James has expensive tastes. Has his love of the high life rubbed off on you at all?

God, no! I actually got him to come to Cotton On with me because he was always wearing $700 T-shirts. He ended up buying two T-shirts for $30 and he looked so much better in them than he ever did in his Gucci, but he never actually wore them.

Which couples do you think will last?

Melissa and Bryce – they’re a great match for each other. Definitely Pat and Belinda, and Kerry and Johnny, too – they’re both very happy, laid-back and just get along really well.

For more, grab WHO’s latest issue. On sale now!

(Credit: WHO)

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