Married At First Sight groom Josh White has earned a wave of admiration from Australian viewers for his handling of a confronting situation on Wednesday night’s episode.
The 40-year-old NSW father-of-two, who is paired with “horny” mum Melissa Sheppard, 41, on the Nine dating series, was ambushed by his ‘wife’ because he didn’t meet her expectations for a “healthy sex life”.
Last night’s episode saw the pair tasked with the ‘Letter Writing’ challenge, in which they were urged to be vulnerable and discuss their biggest fears.
An emotional Josh opened up about feeling crippling loneliness in the wake of his first marriage breakdown, and how he feels lost when his children aren’t around.
But Melissa’s response didn’t match Josh’s touching words.
“Um. All right. So … I’m just gonna dive straight in [with my letter],” she said, failing to probe Josh on his heartfelt confession. “My first marriage was a loveless and sexless marriage – so I left. My biggest fear in going into a new relationship is getting stuck in a loveless, sexless, no intimacy marriage. I’m very sexual.”
Josh’s concerns of feeling like a “sex object” were further fuelled when the couple watched footage from their MAFS wedding day, in which he was seen talking warmly about his new bride, while on the other side of the coin, Melissa confessed to having sized up his “big hammer” based on observing the size of his feet.
Things eventually came to a head later in the episode when they were told to devise a five-year plan, with Melissa listing “healthy sex life” as her third priority.
Clearly frustrated, Josh said in a piece-to-camera: “You have sex as an extension to how you feel about someone … It’s not what you put on a five-year plan.”
Josh gently questioned Melissa over whether she was putting too much emphasis on sex – when they both came on the show in search of something deeper – which caused the hairdresser to spiral.
She said if Josh wasn’t willing to “keep up” there was “a lot of fish in the sea that would be happy to take [his] place, let me tell you”.
Melissa continued to lash out at her husband, saying she was feeling “judged” and that her cup was “empty”, which Josh used as an opportunity to talk about his own needs.
“You have never showed any interest whatsoever in learning anything about me,” he said. “What do I do for a job?”
Melissa had no idea, and an exhausted Josh left the argument and told her he needed space, before removing his wedding ring and heading to bed.
Social media erupted in the aftermath of the scenes, with viewers rallying around Josh for handling the situation with “integrity”.
Many also pointed out how much more explosive the backlash would be if the gender roles were reversed.
Melissa’s sexual frustration first emerged at their honeymoon last week, when she discovered Josh had “lied” to producers when asked if they had sex on the first night.
Josh didn’t divulge details, later explaining he was trying to be a “gentleman”. Meanwhile, Melissa confirmed in her piece-to-camera that he was a “freak in the sheets” and did indeed have a “big hammer”.
After a challenging first week engulfed by sex talk, Josh and Melissa will sit down with resident MAFS experts John Aiken, Mel Schilling and Alessandra Rampolla for their debut therapy session on Sunday.
Married At First Sight continues Sunday at 7pm on Nine
Story Credit: news.com.au