Married at First Sight

Married at First Sight bride Anna Saxton: How husband Jordan is helping her face her fears

Their tropical honeymoon brought back memories of a traumatic childhood trauma for Anna.

By Marilynn McLachlan
A honeymoon in romantic Fiji might sound like a dream come true for many, but the idea filled Married at First Sight bride Anna Saxton with trepidation.
"It's hot, we're going to be swimming – there are going to be lots of pools and beach days," tells Anna, 25, who married Foxton light fabrication engineer Jordan Dare, 26, for the Three reality show.
Watch: All the reasons why MAFS groom Jordan won our hearts. Article continues below.
While the tropical island seems an idyllic destination, for Anna it sparked memories of a traumatic experience during a holiday in Whangamata when she was six.
"It was me and my brother, and I remember going out a little deeper than I should have," she recalls.
"This wave came from behind me and rolled me over, and for some reason I couldn't get up. I just remember being underwater, not being able to breathe and choking."
Thankfully, her uncle pulled her to safety, but the experience has left her with a lifelong fear that is so strong she has never learned how to swim.
"It was really traumatic. People don't really understand it's not just something I'm scared of – it's a phobia for me," Anna explains.
After revealing her fear to volunteer lifeguard Jordan, he convinced her to hop on a jet boat that did 360-degree spins.
"Straight off it was really fast," she tells. "I hated it and start having a panic attack in the boat. I felt like I was going to pass out two times," she admits.
"I didn't, but if he wasn't there reassuring me that it was ok, I probably would have. He was like my personal lifeguard."
And facing her fears with Jordan by her side has inspired her next goal.
"I want to learn to swim this year," Anna declares. "Just maybe not in the ocean, but in a swimming pool!"

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