The Season 9 Decision Day episode of Married at First Sight was one of the most entertaining ones I’ve seen over the last few seasons, and that’s because for three out of the four couples, the decisions they made to either stay together or get a divorce felt like a shock. However, no couple’s decision left me gasping more than Iris and Keith‘s.
I will say that I assumed going into last night’s episode that Keith and Iris would choose to stay together. I felt like Keith, despite finding Iris’ handling of her virginity to be an “obstacle” all season long, would stick to the good guy shtick. He would feel like he wanted to give her more time outside of the pressure of facing her sexuality in front of the cameras to see if they were indeed a match. I also thought Iris, already fully invested in licking edible paint off of Keith, would want to stay together and see where things could go in the bedroom. At the same time though, I imagined that a few months after choosing to remain married, he might want a divorce. She’s a sweet girl, but a lot to handle.
So imagine my surprise when after hearing Iris’ spiel about how she wanted to stay together, Keith looked her in the eyes, complimented her on being an amazing woman who enriched his life, and then told her that they seem to be on two different pages, therefore he wanted a divorce. Keith didn’t need more time to figure out that while Iris was great, she may not have been the greatest match for him.
I don’t know about you, but my mouth was literally wide open in shock. For all of my issues with Iris’ sexual maturity in terms of freaking out about him practicing a lot of safe sex before her and talking about sex overall, they felt like they were on the same wavelength about a lot of other things. He enjoyed her company, they looked good together and she was a support for him when his grandmother passed. For what it’s worth, they were good friends (and going out to eat buddies).
But I guess I can’t really be surprised at Keith’s decision because for all of his patience and kindness and maturity, he never outright told Iris that he needed her to not behave so green with him when it came to them conversing about sex and sexuality. I think he felt the looks on his face when she would squirm when the topic came up or tell stories about swallowing quarters came off as enough to make it clear that he wasn’t pleased. It wasn’t, especially since even after Decision Day, she walked away feeling like there was a chance they could reunite — if he could change in ways that she needs. It was clear that she didn’t get that her strong viewpoint on the “sanctity of sex” (as Pastor Cal put it) and not being able to get around that, therefore putting a lot of pressure on him, was what held them back because she wasn’t told that in a straightforward way.
Nevertheless, I think Keith let her down in as compassionate of a way as he could. He complimented her, but also told her that it was the lack of experience in just overall relationships that she had that was making it hard for him to see growth being possible from her. He never once tried to look like he didn’t want to own his decision, even when Dr. Pepper started tearing up and Pastor Cal rolled his eyes a few times at the brother.
Still, I get the vibe that during next week’s reunion, we’re going to find out that he continued entertaining Iris in one way or another. They both were just too chummy and cool about everything following the verbal ending of their 8-week marriage, including when they met up with the other couples. But who are we kidding? If neither is still able to communicate their needs and desires to get them to the bedroom at some point, then they can save the fake flirtation and the googly-eyed optimism next week. It won’t work.
Check out the wide range of reactions to Keith pulling the plug on his marriage to Iris — for now: