One of the couples that said, “I do,” on Season 11 of Lifetime’s Married at First Sight, is 30-year-old nurse practitioner, Olivia Cornu and 35-year-old systems administrator, Brett Lindsey.
The two strangers had great initially chemistry, but soon they had many challenges that centered around miscommunication.
In this exclusive interview with RealiTVwithBee, Olivia shared her thoughts on their fundamental lifestyle differences, her concerns with moving into Brett’s house, and their different ways of approaching the pandemic.
Let’s start by discussing Brett’s behavior at the bachelor party. How and when did you first find out about it?
I did not know about Brett’s bachelor party behavior until after recommitment, when I had a conversation with other cast members about it. All I was told regarding the bachelor party from Brett, was about the ‘Irish goodbye’.
Communication is something you and Brett struggled with early on, specifically with Brett’s use of sarcasm to ‘deflect and protect’. What barriers did this present as you were trying to get to know and become more comfortable with a complete stranger?
Communication was something I repeatedly mentioned to the experts. If you don’t have great communication in a relationship, there really isn’t a relationship.
Brett’s sarcasm makes serious conversations very difficult to have. I never know when he’s being serious, nice, or just not interested. I tell Brett all the time there is a time and place for sarcasm. I don’t mind the sarcasm in the right context. Sometimes he’s funny.
Do you feel you were too much in your head and created problems where there weren’t any?
Most of the problems seen by viewers were after we spent a lot of time trying to have serious conversations about our marriage, life, etc.
My frustrations came to light when conversations would go nowhere or weren’t taken seriously by Brett.
You and Brett have some major disconnects when it comes to fundamental issues like lifestyle and kids. What were you willing to do to bridge that gap?
I think fundamental difference can be overcome when there is love in a relationship. With a strong connection, kids may not seem so scary.
I was never an absolute no about children and I feel I made that very clear to Brett.
Brett’s home is obviously his pride and joy. Your reaction to it came across as being critical, which was hurtful to Brett. Looking back, what caused you to react in that way?
Sometimes my facial expressions are a little crazy. I actually like Brett’s house. He has the cutest rose stained glass on his front door. I told him it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies, Beauty and the Beast.
What concerns did you have about moving in with him?
Brett’s house was definitely a bachelor pad. I had my concerns as to how I fit into his house, especially since he had a roommate.
His house is also a lot further away from my job, which makes already long days at the hospital [even] longer. I know 30 minutes doesn’t seem like a long commute to some, but an extra 30 minutes to and from the hospital is not appealing [to me].
Were there concessions you were both willing to make?
Brett and I did come to an agreement that it made the most sense to move into his house while he worked on it, to prepare for selling or renting.
The pandemic can put unprecedented stress on a relationship. This is another area you and Brett were at polar opposite comfort levels with. Let’s talk about the impact this had on your marriage.
Brett and I lived two very different lives when it came to COVID 19. I would bike to the hospital, change into my scrubs, constantly worry about touching my face, and interact with nurses who were taking care of COVID patients.
When I would come home from work, the news would be on. All we heard about was COVID 19. Being in a setting where you are seeing what is happening to patients and their families because of COVID 19, hearing the ‘not so whole truth’ from the media bothered me.
He and I had a conversation about his feelings towards COVID. I just wanted him to be educated on what was actually happening in our New Orleans hospitals.
What did your efforts look like to understand and accommodate his more cautious approach to COVID 19?
I would change out of my scrubs before I left the hospital. I made sure not to wear my shoes in the house. [We] kept our space as disinfected as possible.
I also expressed my concerns about him frequenting the grocery store and even joked with him that he wouldn’t get COVID from me, but from all the time he spent at the store.
Brett had a friend test positive sometime during quarantine and I was concerned for him and his friend.
As a side note, we both remain healthy and COVID-free.
There is more to come with Olivia. The couple chose to separate on Recommitment Day, but is the relationship truly over? In Part 2 of this exclusive interview, we talk about her decision to travel home, why she struggled with physical intimacy and what it would take for them to overcome their differences.
Featured photo credit: Credit: Julie Verlinden Photography
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