For the first time since Derek and Heather decided to get a divorce, the couple reunited with Married at First Sight expert Rachel DeAlto to figure out their next steps and reflect on if they would’ve done anything differently. An awkward tension filled the room during the meeting between the soon-to-be divorcées, an atmosphere described by Derek as, “…normal for us.”
But even after the tense reunion, Derek expressed no regrets about the experiment and said he’s still open to marriage. We asked the brave participant what intrigued him about this unconventional marriage experiment in the first place, and what he got out of his marriage to Heather.
What made you decide to get married at first sight?
I loved the idea of having the experts get to know me and learn what I was looking for to help find me my perfect match.
I also loved the excitement of the whole process and the opportunity to do something so unique. As a hopeless romantic, I thought it would be the best story ever of how I met my wife.
What were some of the challenges you faced trying to find love while you were in the U.S. Navy?
When you are in the Navy, you never know where you could be from week-to-week. Being deployed while in the military can make it very hard to have an active dating life.
Had you seen the show before? If so, what were your initial thoughts?
I had never seen a full episode of the show. I had a friend show me part of an episode and I started to think it could be detrimental if I watched too much. Ultimately, I decided it would be best to go into it with a clear mind and no expectations to make the experience as pure and real as possible.
What were your first thoughts when you saw your spouse at the altar?
While standing at the alter looking at my wife for the first time I felt overwhelmed with emotion, but of course I thought she looked amazing and I felt very lucky to be the man standing there next to her.
What were 3 of the main characteristics that you looked for in a spouse?
Great sense of humor, great communicator, positive attitude.
Did you have a relationship role model before you entered the experiment, and if you did who was it?
Growing up with a single mom did not give me much insight into married life. As I got older, I began to notice more examples of happy marriages. Going into this process, I would say that it was a good friend’s parents who provided me with the most positive outlook on marriage. Whenever I see them, they always seem to be so comfortable with each other and the lives that they have created that it gave me hope to be able to achieve the same thing one day with my future wife.
Describe your spouse in 3 words.
She is beautiful, witty and loyal.
What did you take away from the experiment?
I have learned a tremendous amount about myself. Situations that I have encountered have caused me to think about things and evaluate them in ways I never have before. Also, having the opportunity to speak with and learn from the experts has provided me with so much insight into not only my own actions, but into relationships in general.
**This interview was condensed and edited for FYI.tv**