“I just have this intense fear of losing people and I don’t want to lose him,” Melissa said at the Commitment Ceremony following allegations of Bryce’s secret girlfriend.
“We haven’t had a major blow-up yet, but it’s almost like I’m preparing myself for it to happen. I don’t like confrontation or conflict – I don’t want to voice how I actually feel.”
When expert Mel Schilling suggested that it’s because Melissa has seen Bryce’s “conflict style with other people,” Melissa replied: “That’s a fear that I have as well - I don’t want Bryce to get on the defence and go ‘I’ve had all this drama in the experiment’ and he writes leave. I’m already thinking the worst.”
MAFS fans shared their outrage at Bryce and sympathies for Melissa on social media, including former bride Tracey Jewel who recounted her own, similar experience. Even Bryce’s mum said that she found her son’s overreactions “concerning” on Monday night’s episode.
“You’re at an age now Bryce where enough’s enough,” his mum said during a video chat with the couple and Melissa’s mum and sister.
“You need to stop. When you want to be outspoken you’ve also got to take on board, how do you think Melissa’s going to feel, sitting there beside you wanting to support you and all you’re doing is really embarrassing her. In all honesty I don’t know why she’s sitting next to you at this point.”
Her words, however, fell on deaf ears with Bryce remarking that it went “in one ear and out the other.”
“I know how the situation actually played out. I didn’t instigate any of this – it happened because of other toxic people in this experiment and I don’t think the families see that. I’m fine with it.”
However, this isn’t the first time MAFS has shown toxic and unhealthy relationships play out.
Back in season six, groom Mike Gunner told wife Heidi Latcham “I’m not your therapist, this isn’t therapy,” when she opened up to him about her tough childhood on their honeymoon.
Heidi also claimed that Mike had aggressively said to her: “This morning I was asleep, I coughed, the cough woke me up, and I coughed about 10 times, and then you went, ‘Can you put a pillow over your mouth when you cough?”’
A tearful Heidi added at the time: “I’m so shocked at how you spoke to me!”
That same season, Sam Ball remarked that his bride Lizzie Sobinoff was "bigger than he's used to" and that he "should take her for a run" before cheating on her with co-star Ines Basic whom he said he wanted to be with and later dumped.
"I thought he was worth it. He was very good at making you think that you are the s*** person," Ines said at the season six reunion.
In fact, it’s not limited to MAFS - chief executive of the UK’s Newcastle Women's Aid Elaine Langshaw said in 2019 that the format of Love Island, in which you win by staying in a couple, highlights the societal view that staying in a bad relationship is better than being single.
"It's reinforcing the view that some women fell that to be anything in society you have to be in a relationship," she told Chronicle Live in 2019.
Perhaps it’s time to sacrifice the realty TV drama for the mental wellbeing of its mostly female contestants.
We’re unpacking all the relationship, sex and dating woes of this season’s Married At First Sight stars in our juicy new podcast, Love In Reality. Listen, like and subscribe below!
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