Married at First Sight exes Emily Balch and Brennan Shoykhet are still at odds over what went wrong in their marriage.

In Us Weekly’s exclusive sneak peek of the season 17 reunion, Emily, 29, and Brennan, 28, came face-to-face to rehash their issues. During their chat with host Kevin Frazier, Brennan attempts to explain their failed couple’s therapy session with Dr. Pia Holec.

“I was way too concerned with how it would make Emily feel,” Brennan says of his resistance to sharing his feelings during the sit-down.

Emily, however, posits that Brennan was only being “considerate” of how it made him feel.

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“I told you a million times, ‘I’m a big girl.’ You’d say the meanest things and I’d be like, ‘Great,’” she explains. “You saying something mean is actually progress for us.”

MAFS Emily Claims Ex Husband Brennan Manipulated Her in Reunion Teaser
Kinetic Content/Lifetime

Emily and Brennan were matched by the MAFS experts when the Lifetime reality show came to Denver. Emily was immediately drawn to her stranger spouse, revealing on their wedding day that he was her physical type. Brennan, however, did not feel the same and was even resistant to move in with Emily.

The couples’ retreat one month later proved to be a brief respite, with Brennan stepping up to support Emily after a traumatic ATV crash left her hospitalized and requiring surgery. He moved into their shared apartment to help take care of Emily, but feelings of hesitation lingered leading to two therapy sessions with Dr. Pia.

“So, that was actually my first time in therapy. Where I felt the conversation as going, we already had resolved,” Brennan says during the reunion segment. “[I] didn’t know that you didn’t feel that way. In my head, it was like a free therapy session [and] let’s take advantage of this and actually focus on the problems we needed to address. So, I do apologize for the scene with Dr. Pia.”

He continues, “I was not trying to control the situation. I misread the intent of it [and] I misread the situation.”

Emily, meanwhile, asserts that she felt Brennan was trying to manipulate her by shutting down.

“I hope you can generally see you were controlling. I don’t want you to say you were controlling if you don’t mean it,” the bride says. “I hope you can actually look at that and see the control. What you did there hurts more than you saying hurtful things.”

Emily, who had never had a relationship prior to marrying Brennan at first sight, notes that Brennan likely doesn’t understand how she doesn’t “give a f—k about a lot of things” and actually is self-confident in many areas.

“You’re acting like I need protection, which is now a trigger word for me because you’re like, ‘I was protecting her.’ No, you were protecting yourself,” Emily says.

Brennan ultimately does attempt to apologize for his actions in the reunion, reasoning that he “didn’t express [himself] in a way that was conducive to [them] ending or staying together.”

Emily and Brennan chose to get divorced on Decision Day, as did the rest of the season 17 cast.

The Married at First Sight season 17 reunion kicks off on Lifetime Wednesday, April 10, at 8 p.m. ET.


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