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Married at First Sight's Jamie Otis & Doug Hehner: Why There's Actually 'Zero Chance of Failure' in Marrying a Stranger

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After meeting each other for the first time as they exchanged vows on the first season of Kinetic Content’s hit show, Married at First Sight, Doug Hehner, 33, and Jamie Otis, 30, embarked on a journey filled with both love and heartbreak. The newlyweds successfully worked through a difficult first year of marriage, but then lost their first baby, Johnathan Edward, when Otis was four months along. Now blissfully awaiting the arrival of their “rainbow baby,” the couple is blogging exclusively for PEOPLE about their experience on the show ahead of its season 5 premiere. Follow Jamie on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and head to her blog for more updates on her life with Doug.

JAMIE’S TAKE

Married at First Sight season 5 is here! Three couples from Chicago have been scientifically matched by experts and they are on their way to marrying a complete stranger (if they all follow through with it)!  

After watching the first couple episodes of this season of Married at First Sight, I’ve gotta admit it’s kind of alarming to see the lines out the door of people who are willing to marry a complete stranger. It’s sad to see so many successful, beautiful people struggling to find love. Throughout the second episode, we learn about the six candidates who have been matched to their scientifically compatible spouse. These individuals are not like aliens from another planet. They’re attractive, likable and driven. Why would such “normal” people do such a wild thing?

Would you think I am crazy if I told you that I married a complete stranger on Married at First Sight? The morning of my wedding day, the thoughts going through my mind were, “I wonder what my future husband’s name is,” and “What if I’m not attracted to him?” I had picked out the most beautiful, white wedding dress and on the morning of March 23, 2014, I clutched my bouquet of flowers, slapped a smile on my face and walked down the aisle to a man I didn’t know one iota about. The first thing we did was introduce ourselves. Less than five minutes later, we said “I do.” We were officially legally married. 

Pretty shocking, right?

The first question I always get is “Why?” The next is usually “What were you thinking?!” If you ask me, both questions are valid. I mean, c’mon! What on earth was I thinking?! Well, the reason I decided to blindly trust experts and put my destiny in their hands is because I was quite miserable at dating. And being successful in a relationship? Forget about it. With trust and commitment issues, I pretty much sabotaged every relationship I was in. Yet, my biggest dream was to be in love, married and starting a family.

So, why did I marry a stranger? When I was approached about having relationship experts help me not only find someone who is scientifically compatible, but also help me learn to trust and commit I was very interested. After meeting these experts and seeing that they are genuine and sincere about helping people find love, I was sold.  

Fast forward three years later and that “stranger” I married is the most amazing hubby. 🙂 He is loyal, hard working and makes me laugh daily. We have had some of the most amazing moments together and we’ve also been through some of the worst times of our lives together. Through it all he’s stood by my side and become my best friend, teammate and lifelong companion. And soon he will become the father to my children — we are 22 weeks pregnant!

Still think I am crazy? 🙂

Listen, I would be lying if I said it was all easy, but what relationship is? In my opinion, nothing worth having comes easy. I truly believe that the love that has grown between me and my hubby could grow between any of these new couples on Married at First Sight. I am so excited for next Thursday to see if all of the couples follow through and commit to marriage. I cannot wait to watch their marriages grow. It will be amazing to see two people go from complete strangers to happily married and (maybe) beginning a family of their own. Hey! Me and my hubby are living proof that it can happen. 😉

DOUG’S TAKE

Every start of a new season of Married at First Sight, I get the butterflies in my stomach. I am taken back to the last couple days before my wedding, trying to explain to my family and friends what I was doing, and why! The truth is, I didn’t know how to answer those questions. I genuinely had no idea what I was getting into, and neither did anyone else.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but being the first to do something is such a luxury. There are no expectations, there are no outside influences, there is no blueprint or model to follow. I didn’t have anyone trying to give me advice, or talk me out of it, mostly because I didn’t know how to explain what I was doing at the time! I didn’t even know the name of the show until a week before I was getting married (it may have been longer)! All I could tell people was I spent hours taking online assessments and one of the experts met with me and my family — and based on that data and observations, “IF” there was a perfect match, the first time I would see that person … would be at my wedding!

Everyone seemed to be very supportive until I told them that the expert that came to observe my family and I was “Dr. Pepper” … then they thought I was out of my mind!

I get so excited to watch the start of each new season. Mostly because I am a HUGE fan of awkward moments, awkward feelings and it makes me think back to the awkwardly amazing experience that Jamie and I went through together. The first episode of each season of Married at First Sight triggers some incredible memories and feelings.  It makes me feel forever indebted to the experts — Dr. Pepper, Dr. Logan, Dr. Cilona, Dr. Greg Stevens — who contributed to some of the happiest moments in my life, who have saved our marriage on several occasions and continue to be there for us whenever we need.  

It also makes me realize how different the experience would be if I wasn’t part of season one. Whenever people ask about what advice I would give or what I would say to someone thinking about signing up for Married at First Sight …? My answer is always the same. “I am not an expert, and I am not qualified to give advice.” The only thing I can speak to is how honest and open I was in the beginning. I answered every single question in the assessments honestly, and I did my best to tell the experts about who I am as a person and the type of person that I saw myself spending the rest of my life with. After meeting with the experts, I realized that there was absolutely ZERO chance of failure in this experiment. If the marriage did not work out, I would have a better understanding of who I am and what I want, and it would make me a better person for my next relationship.

Life is filled with choices, and fear plays such an important role in the decisions you make. All I know is that the scariest decision of my life turned out to be the greatest decision I ever made!

Married at First Sight premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.