Well, we’ve made it to the Married at First Sight Australia 2023 Final Vows a.k.a episode 33 and tonight it’s time for the couples to make a decision whether or not to continue their relationship in the outside world.
With only five of 12 couples making it this far (and let’s face it, only one couple probs still standing strong IRL), Melinda and Layton and Alyssa and Duncan are the first to reveal their decisions to one another.
But before any decision can actually be made, they must bid adieu to their marital homes and relive their wedding day one last time.
With the Final Dinner Party still f**king with their psyches, where Alyssa once again “cut down” her husband, Duncan — who must be a glutton for punishment — says there’s still “warmth and affection” between him and Alyssa.
“I’m feeling optimistic. There’s still great things about Alyssa. This is the biggest decision I’ve gotta make in a really long time,” he says.
Before they go their seperate ways, the Experts have “one last surprise” for the couple. Footage of their wedding day.
In case you had forgotten, the couple showed a f**k ton of promise during the blessed day and we thought they were cute AF.
Through tears, Alyssa says she feels like it was “five years ago” and she’s not wrong. After everything she put Prince Charming through, it does feel like that and it reminds Duncan of all “the good times”. Which is not hard, since there were precisely two points in the whole experiment she liked him.
MAFS’ Melinda and Layton
Meanwhile, Melinda and Layton are feeling emotional in a different way.
Mel is feeling “humiliated” from the events of the Dinner Party and the couple are in a such a “terrible place”, that they spent their final night seperate from one another.
While she does “love” him, she believes it’s “not good enough” for him, calling him “so analytical that he’ll never let his emotions come before his thoughts”.
The couple are also gifted their wedding video — albeit separately — and Layton says that how they behaved at the Dinner Party was “not us”. Funny, because it looked like them?!
“That shouldn’t be the way our story ends,” he says and from the outside looking in? It really should be.
Back at home, Layton doesn’t know if he feels he is falling in love with his wife.
After travelling to Brisbane, Melinda still cannot get past Layton’s rejection. In an emotional chat with her Mum Lorraine, she reflects on her husband’s inability to separate his heart from his mind and doesn’t know whether she can see a future with him.
Layton, meanwhile, has found “clarity” after spending time at home.
Layton’s Final MAFS Vows
“Mel, I came here with genuine intentions to find a love. I came here to find someone I can build a family with and find my happily ever after,” Layton began, before saying that after a “slow start”, their relationship quickly “turned to fireworks” and a “rare connection that most people would never get a chance to experience.”
He then lamented that “somewhere along the way, the journey became difficult”, saying that because of the “external” drama (a.k.a Harrison), they never got a chance to “fully recover”.
“At times our relationship became stressful, overwhelming and difficult and for my part in that I want to apologise. I realise there were times when I failed you.
“There were moments when you needed me and I wasn’t there to support you. There were moments when you didn’t feel secure and I wasn’t able to make you feel safe. And there were moments when you felt alone and I didn’t do enough to make you feel like I was standing there by your side.
“At times I let my pride, my ego and my own insecurities get the better of me and so, I’m sorry for all those times I let you down. People think a soulmate is a perfect fit and that’s what I thought I wanted. But maybe a true soulmate is a mirror. It’s a person that shows you everything that is holding you back. The person who brings you to your own attention so you can make a change.
“And my biggest fear, despite so many similarities and differences, we’ll always bring out the worst in each other, when love should bring out the best.
“The last week for me has been a constant battle between my head and my heart. Our relationship is hard and us being together is a risk. So, I’m ready to take that risk with you today. It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. And I am falling in love with you, Mel.”
Melinda’s Final MAFS Vows
Melinda began her Final Vows by reminiscing about their wedding day.
“I had been manifesting my perfect match for quite some time before that day and I was quick to judge that you were not because I didn’t feel an initial spark or attraction to you,” she said.
“Little did I know that you would soon become someone so special to me. That time together in the experiment was filled with big highs, big lows, and sharp twists and turns at every corner. I came in here hoping for a soulmate, a best friend and a teammate.
“There were times you had my back, but there were also times you were on the opposite team. At the final Dinner Party, I confessed how I felt about you. But, instead of reassuring me, you made me feel alone, humiliated and attacked by my own partner at a time when I was my most vulnerable.
“I’m not sure if we can find a way to bring out the best in each other and I worry at times we’ll bring out the worst. And although it upsets and frustrates me, it doesn’t change the feelings I have for you and who you are at the core of this.
“Let me tell you now all the things I love about you. I love your ability to light up any room you walk into.
And the time you always have for others. Most of all, I love how you make me feel loved, without needing to actually love me at all.
“After everything we’ve been through together, this decision has not come easy for me. But the bond and connection we share is real. And I think we owe it to ourselves to take a risk on us and getting it right.
“You are my match and I don’t think that’s just inside the experiment. I’m not ready to throw in the towel on what could be happily ever after.
“Layton, in case you’re still confused with how I feel about you. Let me make it clear. I love you and I want us to be together.”
Alyssa’s Final MAFS Vows
Meanwhile, in their separate homes on Sydney’s Northern beaches, Alyssa leans on her Mum for support, while Duncan turns to his sister Renee and begins to consider what a future with Alyssa might really look like.
Upon meeting Duncan, Alyssa says that it felt like “a lifetime ago”, that she met him at the altar for the very first time.
“My heart was pounding but instantly settled, when you turned around with your big cheesy grin. I felt instantly connected to you.
“We’ve had so many good times over the last couple of months. The spark we had from the beginning just kept growing and growing. You were my biggest support from day one. There were times where you let me be completely raw and vulnerable and you listened. I felt so heard and I felt so seen by you something I’ve never had before.
“When it’s just the two of us, it’s easy, and magic. You can make me feel like I’m on top of the world.”
“But the last few weeks have been increasingly difficult and sometimes I feel our love for each other has turned into a combat, and I’m really worried that your logical brain will continue to clash with my emotional heart. But I’m not ready to give up hope on us.
“I want to fight for our relationship because I know it’s worth it. Our connection from that first moment really means something and I can’t imagine my life without you.
“Duncan, I want to help you dig deep into that big heart of yours and feel what my soul is feeling for you. There are so many pieces of our puzzle that we haven’t found yet, but I want to find them together with you.”
Duncan’s Final MAFS Vows
“Thank you for your kind words,” Duncan says, before launching into his Final Vows.
“I came into this experiment to find the love of my life,” he began. “I dreamed of finding my forever person, the beginning of a great love story.
“From the very beginning, I love how you interacted with me. Your caring nature and empathy is seen by everyone and I love that you wear your heart on your sleeve. However, mixed with all the good times were also some really low lows.
“From the start, I was told to who I can and can’t talk to on this experiment. I also didn’t feel like I got the benefit of the doubt from you, even though I hadn’t broken your trust…I struggled with being shut out for days on end and not being able to communicate. I thought the Couple’s Retreat was a turning point in our relationship.
“But through all of this, there was never a time in the experiment where I gave up or said I was done. I leaned in and I have given given my all full of hope, trying to stay positive, trying to focus on the good even when we were struggling week to week and it felt harder to continue to grow the connection that started so well.
“I know what love is and what a great relationship is and I think that we both deserve that, but our views on what a healthy relationship looks like seems to be apart.
“I felt emotionally rejected more times than I can remember. Maybe it’s our personalities, maybe it’s our differing mindsets, but either way the gap seems too big to bridge. I don’t want to hurt you and I don’t want to continue getting hurt. So, I have to say goodbye.”
Duncan offers Alyssa a tissue, who — for the first time ever — politely declines before walking off.
“It’s not that Alyssas not a great person, it’s just that we’re not great together,” Duncan says in a final piece to camera.
Tomorrow night, Tahnee and Ollie, Lyndall and Cameron and Evelyn and Rupert will all make their final decision.
And that’s what you missed…