The newlyweds blog exclusively for PEOPLE about their potentially marriage-ending fight

By Sheila Downs and Nate Duhon
May 11, 2017 11:30 PM
Credit: 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.


As this week’s episode unfolded, Nate and I were riding ATVs along a mountain in beautiful St. Croix! How freaking AMAZING is that?! As we weaved through the narrow pathways along the mountainside, Nate and I splashed through puddles, laughed uncontrollably, and simply enjoyed each other. As we reached the peak, we peered over the entire island and Nate and I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of God’s brushstrokes. In that moment, there was no place on earth I’d rather be and no one I’d rather be with.

The next time you see us, we were playing Ping-Pong. *insert dramatic music* I swear it had to be at least 100 degrees and Nate didn’t get the memo that this wasn’t the Olympics. He also didn’t get the memo that his wife was actually good. So when sweet, little innocent Sheila unleashed a can of whoop-ass, there was trouble in paradise.

I admittedly got annoyed with how aggressive Nate was being and his insistence that we play until he won. With that said, however, I definitely could’ve done a better job dealing with that frustration. At the time though, the sun was full blaze, I was beyond irritated, and my new husband was in full beast mode. Needless to say, I was just over it.

As we were leaving, Nate tried to grab my hand. Now, was there anything wrong with him reaching for my hand? No, absolutely not! But I was annoyed. Maybe all of you hold hands with your partners immediately following a dispute, but yea, I just wasn’t there … Unfortunately, I think that was a dagger to my husband’s heart and unknowingly I made him feel rejected, which definitely wasn’t my intention!

That rejection caused Nate to come undone. Off camera, he told me that he didn’t want to be married anymore. I didn’t think this would be easy, but never in a million years did I imagine hearing my husband say he didn’t want to be married on our HONEYMOON! I was already struggling. My energy was so low, I was beyond exhausted, and production was more than what I bargained for. I agreed to marry a stranger because I legitimately wanted a partner, so to be married for less than a week and have my new partner say that he was done was devastating.

We stood on an altar and vowed to love each other until death do us part and now he was done? I stepped out on faith, sacrificed my career, dealt with family drama – all for this man that I thought would be equally committed… And his quick “I’m sorry” didn’t undo what he said. I found myself questioning everything. Why did I do this? Who is this man? How will we ever stand a chance if he gives up so easily? And then came the tears … my heart was broken, my hope was slashed, and I didn’t know how we could possibly move forward …


Honeymooning with my new honey … easy right!? First, let’s address the elephant in the room: marriage is tough. Now, throw in the fact that you’re married to a stranger and things get even tougher. In this episode, that is shown through the clashes between Sheila and I.

Sheila and I had the opportunity of a lifetime riding the 4X4’s to the highest peak on the island of St. Croix. While at the top of this mountain, we connected with one another and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It was truly a day to remember. The following day, we finally got a chance to play Ping-Pong. Now Sheila had been bragging about her Ping-Pong skills off camera the entire honeymoon and I really thought she was just bluffing!

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Sheila whooped me so bad that first game that I needed a rematch to try to redeem myself! We even put a wager up: loser washes and folds clothes. In my opinion, it was all in competitive fun, but at that moment, Sheila wasn’t feeling it.

After Ping-Pong, Sheila expressed how she was feeling and this is where our views were different. Sheila felt like I was a sore loser and I wanted to dim her “light,” when in actuality, that’s just my personality to be competitive. If I lose at something, I want to play again to try and even the score. This was all new to my new wife at the time and it just wasn’t something she was used to, which is expected.

Fast forward to our last dinner before leaving the next morning. We are at odds, not because of Ping-Pong, but because earlier in the day, off camera, I had told Sheila that this experience is not how I envisioned it … that we are two vastly different individuals, and I did not want to be married to her.

Knucklehead comment, right!?

This cut Sheila deep and is something that I shouldn’t have said. I apologize to her and tell her I do, in fact, want to be married. She expresses that she has not felt like herself and that normally she is full of energy and lively, but lately due to some things that transpired before we got married, she just wasn’t the regular Sheila. She told me that I don’t “see her” and I was so confused as to what she meant. Sheila ends up walking away from dinner and, in that moment, I am extremely confused as to what my next move should be.

Tune in next week to find out what happens!

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