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Why Married at First Sight's Nate Duhon Confronted (& Nearly 'Railroaded') Sheila Downs' 'Male Best Friend'

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Larry Remiker

Married at First Sight is back! On season 5 of Kinetic Content’s hit social experiment show, three couples meet for the first time at the altar just minutes before exchanging vows. The newlyweds (whose wedding portraits were taken by Mike Staff Productions) are alternating each week blogging exclusively about the ups and down of marriage for PEOPLE. Check back after every episode for the latest in their road to (possibly) happily ever after! This week’s blog comes from 26-year-old business manager Nate Duhon and 31-year-old Sheila Downs, a director of operations for a local school district in Chicago.

Nate’s Take 

This episode picks back up with the conversation between my mother and I. My mother is having a difficult time accepting the way Sheila and I got married because of how much of a risk was involved. My mother, being the strong-willed individual that she is, had no problem voicing her concern. 

It was somewhat frustrating to hear some of her views because in all that I’ve done, she has always been supportive. In this case, it feels the complete opposite. Nonetheless, I love my mother with all my heart and I appreciate her trying to adjust to the decision Sheila and I made.

We cap off the episode with a rooftop party with all of our friends. We had a great time with unlimited food and unlimited drinks. Now, toward the end of the party, I was convinced to ask Sheila’s male best friend what their relationship looked like and what does a ”male best friend” really mean?! By no means am I insecure nor has Sheila done anything with him to make me feel insecure, but at the moment I was more than tipsy and was easily influenced by the convincer. In retrospect, I look back and say that’s not Nate-like, but in life you live and you learn. The goal is to do better and not repeat similar mistakes.

FROM PEN: Vanessa Grimaldi Talks About Her First Impression of Fiance Nick Viall

Sheila’s Take

It’s no surprise that Nate’s mom was having a tough time letting go of her son. I knew from our first interaction that she wasn’t going to come to terms with there being another woman in Nate’s life any time soon. Was that ideal? No, but what part of marrying a stranger is ideal? I often reminded myself that we chose this. Our friends and families didn’t, so if they agreed to come along on this crazy journey, then the least we could do was give them time. So take your time, Mama Duey, I’m not going anywhere!

You can only stay in your love den so long before people alert the authorities, so Nate and I decided to finally come out and play. Now before you start the revolution (please put down the torch, it’s scorching my eyebrows), my husband was indeed invited to come to dinner with Donnay and I. I am many things, but I am NOT a woman who would ever make my husband feel excluded or threatened by another man in any way. Nate couldn’t make it, but he sent me with his blessing (and a film crew of about 10 people). At dinner, I couldn’t help but gush about how great my husband was and although Donnay was still a bit apprehensive about me marrying a stranger, he was happy that I was happy. After all, that’s what brothers are for.  

Now let’s fast forward to the rooftop party. Everybody was having a great time, the libations were flowing, and the Duhons were hosting their first official party. Although the timing couldn’t have been worse, Nate was encouraged to discuss my friendship with Donnay. Nate’s judgment was clearly impaired and before I knew what was happening, there they were standing in the middle of the room having what should’ve been a private conversation. Obviously, Donnay was mortified. He came to the party, like our other friends, to support us and have a good time. Once Nate called his friends over, I had seen enough. Married or not, I wasn’t about to let one of my dearest friends get railroaded when he did absolutely nothing wrong. If my husband had a concern, cool, we could work together to address it; but not like this. Looking back, I could’ve definitely been more patient with Nate. He was given terrible advice and although his execution left a lot to be desired, his intentions were pure. I was frustrated with production who instigated that situation, I felt bad for my friend who suddenly became a pawn, and I was disappointed in myself for allowing it to happen. As the party wrapped up, I was ready to go. Nate felt terrible and attempted to apologize; but the damage was done. Nate and I left together, but for me, the seeds of mistrust were planted and I was suddenly very leery of the production process and determined not to let there be any more casualties in this process.  

Married at First Sight airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on Lifetime.