Married At First Sight: Married 3 years
Three years ago today my hubby, Doug, and I saw each other for the very first time ever, introduced ourselves to each other at the altar, and then less than five minutes later (literally) we were married at first sight. If you asked me then I would have told you it was the worst day of my life and the silliest decision I ever made. It wasn’t anything against my new stranger husband (although, I must admit I wasn’t immediately attracted to him), but it was the feeling I had inside. It felt so wrong to marry a complete stranger. I remember asking myself “What on earth were you thinking?! How did you think this would be a good idea?!”
If you watched season 1 of Married At First Sight then you’ll know exactly how it all went down. I’ve gotta be honest, it wasn’t very pretty. However, it was REAL. There was a whole lot of panic and ugly crying – but in my defense I was scared to death. I had anticipated butterflies and rainbows and just instant bliss. I mean, I was getting MARRIED. I always pictured my wedding day to be the best day of my life. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be?! When I opened the door to walk down the aisle (Yes, I opened my own door – ha!) I locked eyes with my new hubby-to-be and there was NOTHING. No chemistry. No butterflies. No attraction. No Nothing.
The first moment I could get away I found a empty hallway, collapsed to the floor, pulled my wedding veil over my face to try to hide away, and sobbed hysterically.
Love At First Sight
If you asked me three years ago if Doug Hehner and I would fall in love I would’ve said “Our chances of falling in love is like a snow balls chance of staying alive in the middle of a blistering, hot, sunny day in the middle of summer.” I’m just a very REAL person and sometimes I’m way too honest for my own good.
The thing about it was that I had truly trusted the experts to find me the “perfect scientific match.” I had gone through boat loads of psychological testing, meetings, and very invasive discussions with the Married At First Sight experts. I shared very personal, private details of my life in hopes of them finding a man who would love me for me and all of my baggage and awkward ways.
I knew I was an absolute disaster dating. (As proven with my time on The Bachelor – So embarrassing. Ha!) I knew I needed help dating. Going into my marriage I was as open of a box as you could get and — even though I don’t believe in love at first sight or fairytales — up until my wedding day I remained positive and certain that this could be the way I found my “happily ever after.”
I had instantly taken a liking to every single one of the four experts and I especially trusted Dr. Pepper. (Yes, you can laugh now. Her name is Dr. Pepper Schwartz.) All giggles over her fizzy, bubbly name aside, Dr. Pepper is one of the most humble, genuine, and loving human beings I’ve ever met. She is just so not “drama TV.” It was clear that she really wanted to help individuals struggling to find love. She was very friendly, but also very professional and serious. I truly felt like I could trust her with my whole being and I felt confident she wouldn’t just pair me with any random person for “good TV.” As a matter of fact, she had told me she wouldn’t pair me with anyone she didn’t absolutely LOVE and feel like I could fall in love with, too.
I remember the first time we met after she and the other experts found my ‘match.’ We had one last chat over tea before my wedding. Of course I asked if she could tell me anything about my future husband and with a huge smile on her face she gushed “He is my absolute favorite!” Instantly the producers caught on and rushed over to make us stop talking about my future hubby. (I wasn’t to know anything about him – not even his name – before we met at the altar.) It didn’t matter they ended the conversation though, that was all it took for me to be 100% confident this man would be INCREDIBLE.
Doug Hehner, Meet Jamie Otis
Watching our wedding day on the first season of Married At First Sight still makes me cringe to this day. I had such HIGH expectations as I fidgeted in my wedding dress, squeezed my bouquet, and opened that door to my future. I envisioned instant happiness, comfort, and love. I wanted it SO bad. Nope, that DID NOT happen and when it didn’t I went straight to “THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA!!!” But, I don’t even know why I got caught up in expecting all of that bliss instantaneously because like I said, I don’t even believe in fairytales. (Everything in life takes work!) If I had been honest with myself – I was TOTALLY expecting some sort of immediate fairytale with a complete STRANGER – haha! That doesn’t even sound realistic in the slightest. It makes me laugh when I think about it now. I was just so naïve and eager for love.
Fast Forward Three Years
If I could go back and tell that scared girl hunched over in her wedding dress, crying in a corner that this was just the beginning of an AMAZING journey with a man who would steal her heart, love her unconditionally, and make her laugh until her face hurt I’m sure she would have had a lot more fun on her wedding day. I bet if she knew then that on their three year anniversary she would be 18 weeks pregnant with a sweet rainbow baby and her new “stranger husband” would become the single most important man in her life she may have dried her tears a bit faster. 🙂
Thankful For My Hubby And For Married At First Sight
Don’t let me fool ya, we have gone through a complete roller coaster of super high highs and scary low lows, but I wouldn’t change any of it. It has shaped my hubby and I into who we are now. Those sad low times made us stronger and SO much happier during the good times. We are so fortunate to have each other to love on.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars. My mind may have been open before the doors to our wedding ceremony opened, but the moment I saw my future husband and his big ol’ family smiling back at me my mind closed so tight and so fast. They were all STRANGERS. It was so weird. I am thankful I was able to open my mind to the possibility of love with a complete stranger and I’m kinda proud of myself for being able to admit to myself that I am flawed and I NEED help with relationships. (There is nothing wrong with seeking help, I know this now.) 🙂
I am so happy I had four amazing, professional experts who didn’t judge me for getting scared and trying to self-sabotage yet another relationship. Instead they did exactly what I needed: they helped me through it.
I am blessed that the Kinetic production team and A&E/FYI networks truly believed in this scientific experiment because if they hadn’t then my AMAZING hubby and I would have never met.
Lastly, I am BEYOND THANKFUL to my patient, handsome, WONDERFUL husband: Douglas Hehner. He has stood by my side through some of the toughest and saddest times of my life, always loving on me and being there for me. Doug, you’re an incredible hubby! You are a fabulous dad to our sweet angel baby and you’re going to be the best daddy to our little baby Hehner coming in August. I love you with all of my heart. Happy Three Year Anniversary, hubs!
My Unsolicited Advice
If you’re struggling with finding your “fairytale” here is advice from a woman who used to self sabotage, have trouble trusting, and difficulty committing:
- Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I wasn’t immediately attracted to my hubby (who I find insanely handsome now). Just because he isn’t your “type” doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a great guy and partner! If I had met my hubby at a bar I probably wouldn’t have ever given him a chance – super SAD to think about because he is the best guy I’ve ever met.
- You gotta know you are flawed. We all are. It’s ok. And it’s also OK to seek advice and tips from someone you trust. Sometimes we self-sabotage and create the ‘red flags’ without even realizing it. It’s likely because we’ve been hurt and/or screwed over by someone in our past and we are just trying to protect ourselves. But, instead of protecting ourselves we are only hurting ourselves by preventing true love and happiness. I definitely had this problem BIG time.
- Open your mind. I can promise you you’re NEVER going to have a successful relationship if you have a closed-off mind. You’ve gotta be able to put yourself in your partners’ shoes. No argument or situation is one-sided. Try to feel how they feel. Try to understand where they are coming from. I promise if you incorporate this in your relationship you and your partner will be a lot happier.
- Communication, communication, communication. This should actually be first on my list. It’s that important. I’ve always been one to share ALL of my feelings. Doug on the other hand, not so much. I’ve learned that there has to be a nice middle ground. We don’t need to share ALL of our feelings, but we do need to keep the line of communication open.
I shared our whole story and more tips I learned the hard way in my book Wifey 101. I do not claim to know it all and honestly, I only know what I know from kinda failing and having to figure it out backwards. I’d love to hear all of your tips and advice. I believe everyone can share meaningful advice. I look forward to learning more tips from you so I can apply them to our relationship going into year 4! Thanks in advance. 🙂
What does it take to be a good wife? God knows I had some trouble figuring that out. My past threatened my future, but I learned how to stop that from happening. If you’re struggling in the dating world — or if you’re engaged, a newlywed, a long time married veteran, you will feel a lot better about your relationship after reading about mine in my new book, Wifey 101: Everything I Got Wrong After Meeting Mr. Right!
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