Dumped wife lashes ex during rejection
A Married At First Sight bride has been slapped in the face by a shock rejection during her vow renewal ceremony, with her uninterested husband preferring to return to the sad life he shares with his two body pillows and DVD library.
I should apologise. That opening sentence isn't fair to Mark. He also has one fork and at least three disposable plates.
Indeed, Mark has a fulfilled and content life and, at Monday night's vow renewal ceremony, he decides Ning simply doesn't fit into it. So he dumps her. It's brutal to witness. Unlike last night's ceremonies, there are no bitchy rabbits, but there is a bitchy duck.
Channel 9 is not making this easy. We had two boring happy endings on Sunday night and, tonight, they give us Martha and Michael and Ning and Mark. What a riot.
During her week alone before the ceremony, Martha reflects on the meaningful turnaround Michael has exhibited throughout their relationship.
"There's a photo of Michael on our honeymoon and he looks so shocked and nervous and awkward in front of a camera. And then there's a photo of us in North Bondi having an Aperol spritz where he is a completely different man. We've come so far," she shares.
Leading psychologists do say selfies are the most accurate way to measure the success of a relationship.
Down in Melbourne, Mark ponders whether he really wants to give up the rich life he has created for himself.
"I'm at a place where everything in my life is perfect," he says about his studio apartment that contains only one fork, a plastic cup and two stained body pillows - who we named Erica and Janine.
Ah yes, how are Erica and Janine? To be honest, they look extremely worn out and they wouldn't mind if Mark moved on with Ning.
As we open a window and set Erica and Janine free by hurling them into traffic, Mark is in the living room on his hands and knees perusing his well-stocked DVD library.
When it comes time for Martha and Michael's ceremony, we travel five hours inland to a random rural property. They're both questioning their relationship because neither want to relocate. Michael wants to stay in Melbourne because he has a mortgage and a steady career as a teacher. And Martha wants to stay in Bondi because it looks better on Instagram.
Michael has been a pushover even since he met Martha. She has completely transformed him - overhauling his style and making him use a GHD and mascara - but she hasn't been willing to change herself. Over the past week, Michael has realised something has gotta give.
"I'm gonna be brutally honest with Martha today," he tells us as he walks down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, running his hand through a bunch of dried wheat. "She may not like and agree with all the things I say."
It's cute that he's acting tough but it's hard to take him seriously when he has freshly straightened hair and a smoky eye.
Martha's limo pulls up and she's made clamour up a hill through uncut grass. It's exactly like a Faith Hill video clip.
They come face-to-face under some kind of native tree and a dry wind blows.
"I've reflected on our highest of highs and lowest of lows," Martha begins. Sorry, what lows have you experienced, Martha? You got two months off work to hang out with a cutie in a free apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour. The only low was when you were mildly choked by that nightmare Cyrell.
"I worry I will lose sight of you and become distracted by my busy and unpredictable life," she continues. Lady, you're a part time dental assistant who spends too much time drinking Aperol spritzes in North Bondi.
Anyway, they both kiss and we're super thrilled they can continue to share a GHD and eyeshadow palettes.
Money is seriously dwindling on this show and producers re-use the dusty old farm for Mark and Ning's ceremony. Wow. A second-hand televised vow renewal: every little girl's fantasy.
There are no bitchy rabbits like there were at last night's woodland ceremonies, but there is a flock of bitchy ducks.
Keep in mind, Ning has tried to leave Mark twice at previous commitment ceremonies, so this could go either way.
"Okay, let's do this," she snips as she approaches Mark at the barn. She doesn't seem thrilled but that's just Ning being Ning. She chooses to stay.
"You've healed me. Healed me in so many ways," she cries. "You haven't abandoned me so I'm choosing not to abandon you. I'm saying yes to you and yes to us."
She stays … most unlikely surprising
This is unexpected from Ning. No one thought she would stay. Mainly because, you know, she hates Mark and doesn't want her body touching his.
Turns out Mark thought the same. We glance over, and he's not exactly elated. He begins reciting his vows and every sentence has a heaviness. Finally, it seems we're about to witness the heartbreak and destruction we signed up for.
"Ning, I came on here to find love. But I haven't found it with you," he says. "Even though my feelings for you are strong, I don't see these feelings being strong enough to survive after the experiment ends."
Ning shuts her eyes. As Mark continues to talk, she shakes her head with each word. There's nothing he can say to make it better.
"Just stop," she snips, cutting him off. "This is bullshit."
After years of shutting herself off from other people, she finally opened herself up to Mark. And it was all for nothing. She screws up her face as she tries to hold back the tears.
"But you wanted to leave last week," Mark tries to explain. "This decision has been one of the hardest I've ever had to-"
"No, it's not," Ning cuts him off, before serving him with a scathing piece of information. "You know, I didn't find love with you, Mark, but I wanted to give it a go. You shoulda let me go at week three. This is bullshit."
"How is it bullshit?" Mark persists. He's gobsmacked. Ning is on a roll and she continues to unleash on him through the tears.
"THIS IS BULLSHIT, MARK!" Ning snaps. "You're selfish because you kept me around for another week to get to here and to f*cking humiliate me."
"You wouldn't have been able to heal if you hadn't stuck around," Mark says.
"I'm sure someone else would've healed me," she rolls her eyes.
The barb lands right in Mark's chest.
"That's unfair," he gasps.
Ning drops her handwritten vows on the dusty path. She covers her face to hide the tears and turns to walk away. Her heels crunch through the gravel.
Mark watches her walk the entire length of the country road. That flock of bitchy ducks follows her. Just when she thinks she's out of sight, she stops to lean against a timber fence to catch her breath. She doesn't realise but Mark and all of us can still see her.
"I feel betrayed," she sobs before sharing a harsh truth. "I was gonna write leave and say no today but I decided to write yes."
Mark sits on a tree stump. As the sun sets on this random farm, he wonders why he ever tried. Could he have loved Ning? Maybe. Then again, his life is already pretty perfect.
He thinks of his studio apartment. He can't wait to finally get home and resume his life with Erica and Janine while enjoying a lame movie from his DVD library.
For more observations on bitchy ducks and DVD libraries, follow me on Twitter and Facebook: @hellojamesweir