Married at First Sight NZ season two couple Yuki Sato and Dan McLaughlan have broken up.
A heartbroken Yuki has revealed all in an emotional YouTube video. The pair, who were one of the show's few success stories after marrying on screen in October 2018, parted ways at the end of last year.
"My TV husband left me a few months ago now," she explained to her followers, describing it as "the hardest thing I've had to go through in my life."
Struggling to hold back tears, she talked about how difficult it had been for her to move to a new city for a man she'd met on a reality TV show.
She thought after packing up her life in Christchurch to move to Dan's home in Wellington that it would be "happily ever after... but then things change. Your partner leaves you.
"That feeling of when you come home he's already packed his stuff and gone. Gone for good, without prior discussion... You're almost too shocked to even cry, or feel anything. You can't even breathe properly."
It was a completely different story a year ago when the sweethearts were planning a second honeymoon in Yuki's native Japan. They were even discussing a possible move there. But as time wore on it became apparent that cultural barriers were difficult to overcome.
Despite the break-up, Yuki says she still believes she and Dan were perfectly matched. But it was outside influences that had a negative impact. "We had a lot of fun together and he's still a nice person, but when third parties get involved like families and friends, we were not so great together.
"I think because we are from completely different environments... we were just so different from each other."
She hinted that work had also played a part in the break-up. Before they were matched, Yuki put a lot of focus into her work and her business, but Dan found that hard - especially when they were trying to build a relationship.
"I think he wanted me to slow down a little," she says, "maybe have a 9-5 Monday to Friday job then we could have weekends together. Which I can understand so well now... I should have spent time with him... but I was thinking that because we were already married, we can have time later, after I'm fully settled and my business is OK and my work is settled."
Yuki admits she thought that living together meant hey spent enough time together. But she says "I was just so wrong in thinking that way," revealing that Dan "wasn't happy for a long time".
Different expectations also played a part. Yuki felt like she was married. She wanted to forge ahead with married life. She wanted to go back to Japan and get her father's permission to marry officially. She wanted to buy a house. But she says Dan was still in a 'dating' mindset.
"I really wanted to start a family. I really wanted to have children this year," the 33-year-old said. "I was just so ready for normal married life... but on the other hand my TV husband wanted to take his time."
Yuki says that it boiled down to the fact that she was so far ahead of him, and that's something she struggled to adjust to. But she was at pains to point out that this was only her side of the story and that Dan has his own.
"Every story has two sides. He's still a nice person. We just couldn't work things out together."
She felt like she'd disappointed people who watched the show, but assured everyone "we gave it our best shot."
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