Things are looking good for Ivan Sarakula and Aleks Markovic on Married At First Sight Australia. But there's one thing Ivan regrets - the fact that his parents have been caught up in the show.
"I do regret their involvement," Ivan, 30, tells TV WEEK. "They became a laughing stock and the subject of internet abuse and suggestions and trolls, and that, to me, wasn't fair.
"I signed up for it [MAFS] to find my partner, not for my family to cop abuse, so I feel responsible for that."
Ivan's mother embarrassed him at his wedding by getting up and singing, and while Aleks made light of the situation by getting up and singing with her, some viewers were quick to come down on his mum on social media.
She again embarrassed him at their inlaws' lunch, asking deeply personal questions about the couple's sex life. Ivan exercised a huge amount of self control when he chose not to answer his mum, instead letting his wife diplomatically shut down the conversation.
Ivan clearly finds his parents' behaviour challenging, but that doesn't give people the right to abuse them online, he has said.
The Sydney real estate agent wasn't thrilled with the way he came across in his wedding episode either. He says he felt "a little cheated" when he watched it.
"It was a little disheartening at the start, because I know I've got a lot to offer and I know I'm quite intellectual and intelligent when I want to be," he says. "But nevertheless, I had Aleks to fall back on as all that unfolded."
As for his relationship with Aleks, Ivan says he knew the chemistry would develop between them. He says he told her that just 10 days after their wedding.
"We went to the Opera Bar [at the Sydney Opera House], and I said to Aleks, 'You're going to fall for me. Give yourself a few weeks. And she goes, 'Ah, come off it.'
"At that stage, we were joking, bantering. I could see her very much buying into my humour, yet being very cautious."
While other couples consummated their marriage early on on MAFS, Ivan was prepared to be patient and he feels it's paid off.
"These guys are all going in there, all guns blazing, tearing each other apart, carrying on, swearing, yelling, judging, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. And it's like, 'Well, guys, it's been two weeks.'
"I've said it from the start: slow and steady wins the race."
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