Amidst the recent controversy about A&E's popular reality show Married at First Sight, Jamie Otis, one of the series' successful couples from its inaugural season, is opening up about the show's process, the producers' genuine intentions, and offering advice that any couple — whether they were married as strangers or dating for years before tying the knot — could use.
"I truly believe MAFS works best when you want the help of the experts and are willing to admit your flaws, background, needs and wants right from the very beginning," Otis, whose still married to her match Dough Hoehner, told People of Married at First Sight.
Even though MAFS is a reality show with a romantic concept — six strangers are matched by experts only to meet for the first time at their wedding ceremony — Otis admits that, like any marriage, it takes a lot of work. "It may seem like a fairy tale unfolding when you watch a successful couple — but it isn't. There's so much work involved," Otis added.
And while she explains the cast of the second season, who all split after this week's reunion special, were presented with the opportunity differently than she and her now-husband were — for the first season, Otis explains that the couples didn't find out they were marrying a stranger until the final casting session, while this season they knew that from the get go — she couldn't think of a reason not to go through with this social experiment. "I wasn't having luck on my own, I knew I needed the help of someone — anyone — why not four experts?" she said.
Now, her relationship with Hehner is "healthy" and she describes him as an "amazingly patient hubs."
"MAFS isn't a fairy tale," she added. "It's taking a flawed soul who doesn't know how to be in a healthy relationship and transforming them into someone who learns how to be a wife/husband."
Last but not least, Otis, who also was on The Bachelor, insists that the drama on the show isn't edited to be that way.
"The drama that unfolds isn't 'edited' in the way we see reality TV these days. And I know because I've been on both types of shows," she said. "It truly just documents what happens and shows the couple's journey."
Here's to hoping the third season turns out more like Otis' than this past season!