Married At First Sight: The First Year – Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis
Last spring FYI TV network asked Doug and I to do a second season of Married At First Sight: The First Year. The last FYI knew we were at an all time high in our relationship. We had just renewed our wedding vows (vows we had hand-written) in St. Thomas. They wanted to follow that up with our current married life. They told us they wanted to film us living in our new home that we began renting last year. The intent was to capture us living a normal, happy married life. They’d watch us paint and decorate. We’d have dinner parties, etc. It all sounded fine, but that was not at all the life we were living. We were at a very low point in our marriage.
It’s no secret that people only post their positive, happy lives on social media. You look at your Facebook feed to see someone is going on vacation, woohoo! Another person just got the best new job, SCORE! You scroll though post after post of new engagements, houses, marriages, babies, etc. No one posts about their struggles. And I am no different.
No one says “Yeah, I’ve been having a tough time in my marriage. We are really unhappy. Want to hear about it?” When my husband, Doug, and I found ourselves in a unhappy marriage I almost felt like I had to keep up with the charades. Instead of posting about the argument we just had I would post a picture of animals, my sister’s pregnancy, my other sister’s engagement and marriage, a good quote, etc. Occasionally when we did have a good day I’d jump on social media and post all about how amazing our date was – and it felt good to post and celebrate something happy about us. But when we have a really bad day, I just flat out don’t post at all.
So you never see me struggle. You never hear about Doug and me going through a rough time. I blur out any unhappiness and use the best filter to really highlight the good times in our lives. It’s easy to keep up with if you don’t have cameras following your every move and then broadcasting it to America.
During the conversations with FYI and our production company, Kinetic Content, I was brutally honest (as I usually am). I just flat out told them that Doug and I aren’t having dinner parties or decorating – we are barely speaking. Doug and I were both mature enough to lay it all out there and say ‘listen, we need help.’ If we were going to film another show we couldn’t pretend to be happy with each other. We couldn’t paste a smile on and invite friends over to join us for dinner when we weren’t even eating dinner together.
The amazing thing about both Kinetic and FYI is that they’ve never pushed us to be something other than ourselves on Married At First Sight: The First Year just for “good tv.” It’s actually unbelievable how supportive they are. There was no intention of incorporating the experts from Married At First Sight in this third season, but Doug and I told them that if we do another season we really would like help from them. So their show that was meant to be so happy and fun turned into more of a ‘working on our marriage’ show. But it’s so nice that they worked with us where we were at.
This season is going to be the most difficult for Doug and me to watch back. We go through a lot of rough times and we weren’t entirely sure if our marriage was going to last. As many of you know, we can’t talk about what hasn’t been aired yet. But, I want to thank you all ahead of time for supporting us. It was evident way back when we were on Married At First Sight that we have such loyal, loving supporters. You’ve encouraged us and been there for us since day one. Many times the advice and recommendations you give us is precisely what we need to hear. We genuinely appreciate this. We began calling you our #MAFSFamily. It’s nice to have such a large, extended family in you all.
Doug and I will be tweeting LIVE throughout every episode. And, we know there will be a lot of questions this first episode. People Magazine invited us on their Periscope so we will answer your questions on there. We will be broadcasting LIVE during the first episode, right from our living room – if you want to join the conversation just download the free periscope app and add People Magazine (and me as I will be broadcasting the rest of the season via my personal periscope.) We look forward to hanging out with you all on the premiere of Married At First Sight: The First Year Tuesday, October 13th! Please post all of your comments and questions below!