The popular reality show Married at First Sight, where total strangers sign up to be married by a panel of relationship experts, has gained a bad reputation for what the program has chosen to exclude about the backgrounds of some of its more volatile participants.

First, there was the nasty breakup between Jessica Castro and Ryan DeNino, season 2 contestants who decided to persist with their marriage despite its many meltdowns. The relationship ultimately ended with charges of harassment against DeNino and claims by Castro’s attorney that the show’s producers knew of DeNino’s volatile nature and cast him despite this.

Now comes new questions about the show’s lack of due diligence when it comes to another new husband, season 3’s David Norton. According to inTouch Magazine, the show’s producers were also aware of Norton’s violent history, which included a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace related to a domestic disturbance with his then girlfriend, and still allowed him to continue on the show.

While Married At First Sight presents itself as a social experiment and the idea of marrying a complete stranger would never occur to most, these incidents make a strong argument for truly getting to know your potential life partner before you tie the knot.

Justin Lavelle, Communications Director at BeenVerified (the popular online background check platform), has compiled three questions you should be able to answer about your future spouse before walking down the aisle and saying those vows.

1. Does your partner have a criminal record?

Anyone can make a mistake and a criminal record isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, especially if you have grown close to a person and all evidence is that he or she has learned the lessons from any past incidents. However, being surprised to find out about a criminal record after you have been married can erode trust, and even put you in a dangerous position if your spouse is unreformed and actively hiding it from you. It’s best to get such incidents out in the open relatively early in a relationship as everyone will react differently to such news.

2. Has your partner been previously married?

Divorce is unfortunately all too common and typically doesn’t indicate anything about a person’s character. People grow apart for any number of reasons and despite much effort, some marriages simply don’t work out. As a potential new spouse, it’s in your best interest to know if your partner has been previously married and what he or she learned from the experience. This can help interrupt old, destructive patterns and make you aware of any sensitivities your partner might have.

3. What’s your partner’s financial and work situation?

A common problem that comes between couples both on Married At First Sight and in many normal relationships are fights over money and work. Get clear on issues like debt, credit scores and spending habits before you create a legal and financial partnership that is marriage with another person.

While addressing these questions can be uncomfortable, a good pre-marriage counselor can help you walk through them in a non-awkward way. If you have doubts that aren’t being addressed, get them resolved before you get married or the hurt, embarrassment and damage will be much worse down the road.


Palm Beach Happening wishes everyone luck in their journey through wedded bliss. If you’re considering a beach wedding, be sure to check out our guide to the rules and regulations covering nuptials in the sand!

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