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MAFS shock couple swap causes chaos

When Melinda and Harrison are forced to live together, things take a very strange turn

It’s possibly the most radical thing Married At First Sight Australia has ever done – a partner swap under experts’ orders. When sworn enemies Melinda Willis and Harrison Boon start hitting it off, will it spell the end of her marriage to Layton Mills?

This week on MAFS, Layton is hopeful he and Melinda can move forward after all the arguments with Harrison and his wife Bronte Schofield that came out of the couples’ retreat. “I felt like we’d finally put the drama behind us,” he says.

Then the experts announce a partner swap is about to take place. Everyone will be paired up with someone else’s spouse and will have to live with them for three days. Layton, 35, is told that he will be paired up with Perth influencer Bronte, 28, while Melinda, 32, is matched with Harrison, 32.

Layton and Melinda both strongly object.

“Given Bronte and Harrison had had numerous clashes with Mel and myself, I was shocked,” explains Sydney biotech CEO Layton. “But I don’t think I would’ve felt comfortable with any of the husbands coming in to live in the apartment that Mel and I had made a home. I strongly felt like it was against my values and principles.”

“It was against my values,” Layton says.

Melinda eventually comes around to the idea, but Layton refuses to be swayed. He feels the partner swap will set him and Brisbane beauty boss Melinda back.

“It really made me question whether Mel and I were aligned on what was important in our relationship,” he adds.

When Sydney builder Harrison turns up to move in, things get tense between Melinda and Layton. Before long, Melinda and Harrison find common ground, and then it’s Layton who feels like he’s on the outer.

“I think I was just a bit disappointed that neither of them were supporting my decision,” Layton says. “And it was very strange to see two people who considered themselves enemies bonding over a tea together in our apartment.”

It all becomes too much for Layton, who confesses he was “emotionally exhausted” by that stage of the experiment after not seeing his family or friends in seven weeks.

“I felt like I didn’t have support or understanding from Mel, and that’s what I really needed at that moment,” he explains. “That was really hard because I felt like Mel was giving more support to Harrison than she was to me. I guess it was a lot of pent-up emotion that came out in a very real and raw way.”

Can Melinda and Layton’s marriage survive the partner swap? Watch this space…

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