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Married at First Sight: Sheila Downs Reveals How Nate Duhon Made Her Feel 'Loved and Protected'

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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 week’s episode picks up with Sheila’s father and I finishing our conversation over why Sheila’s sister was not invited to the wedding. Her father felt strongly about the issue and I wanted to allow him an opportunity to speak his mind. However, Sheila became upset due to the duration of the conversation and it was visible. So, at that point, I felt it necessary to step in and try to stop the conversation from progressing … because we were all there to just enjoy dinner. The challenging part was to be respectful throughout it all. I feel like Mr. Downs and I came to a solid understanding and we were able to respectfully get our points across.

Following that, I had a chance to link up with a few friends of mine. It was nice to be able to catch up with my guys over a game of basketball. They were pretty eager to hear how things had been going. I kept saying “Sheeeila” because every time I said it, I made the shot! She must be good luck.

After that, we had a chance to do something new to both of us: we hit the driving range. This was an amazing experience where we could learn something new together. Sheila was a natural, but I’m still working on my swing ’til this day!

We cap off the episode with a nice dinner where we were able to dig deeper into some questions. I eventually ask Sheila how much she would trust me if I were out one night with my guys and women were around. She thinks for a moment, and … we must wait until next week to see what she says!

SHEILA’S TAKE

A couple of weeks have passed since Nate and I met at the altar, but a couple of weeks in MAFS time is no ordinary couple of weeks. Nate and I went on a honeymoon, competed in the table tennis Olympics, picked out a place to call home, and began to settle into life as husband and wife … crazy, right? Now imagine LIVING it … *MIND BLOWN*

We took the advice of Dr. Pepper, emerged from our love cocoon, and invited family over for what we thought would be a casual dinner. WRONG! My dad didn’t waste any time and immediately brought up my sister. Now, if we hadn’t already talked about this 197 times, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so over it; but good God man … Yes, I got to invite 25 people. Although I would’ve loved to invite my sister’s boyfriend, my friend from preschool, and the guy who let me use his pen at the bank, 25 people = tough cuts. My mom and I excused ourselves from the table to “go tidy up the kitchen.” This gave me an opportunity to see my husband through a new lens. Nate held his own as he went toe-to-toe with my father and ultimately earned the respect of my dad; and I walked away feeling loved and protected.

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Rachel stopped by. As always, she gave us great advice and encouraged us to do an activity together. Since I was a two-time world champion at ping pong, Nate and I decided to even the playing field and do something we’ve never done before – insert the driving range. Lucky for me, I had the BEST seat in the house and got to stand directly behind my hubby and watch his “form.” WOW, what a great … “form.” You don’t get to see it, but Nate actually kills it and I ended up breaking my sandal like a scrub. We had a great time! Stealing kisses was probably one of the highlights of that day for me, though (I know, such a girl).

Nate picks out my dress for the evening (the one with the least amount of material, of course) and we head to dinner. Things are going well, but I don’t want to take that for granted. I check in and ask Nate what he thinks. We begin to discuss our progress and potential stumbling blocks. Nate asks if I can trust him in a club setting. Contrary to how it’s portrayed, my response has NOTHING to do with my past experiences. Although I do believe that we are ALL a culmination of our past experiences … honestly? At 30, I’m just over the club! And although Nathan is quickly etching his name onto my heart, I just met this man. Trust is not something that happens overnight. It takes time. And if you don’t believe me, feel free to hand me your debit card and PIN. Don’t worry, trust me! Exxaacctly…

Alright, tune in next week to see what happens next!

*insert dramatic music*

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