MAFS’ Jono and Ray on their disastrous marriage, moving on and who’s found someone new

''Well, it was an experience,'' says one. "The whole experience was so negative it hurts my heart,'' says the other.
Jonathan Trenberth and Ray Wedlake, Married At First Sight NZ

There was instant chemistry when Ray and Jono met at the altar on Married At First Sight NZ and the future looked bright for the genetically blessed pair.

But by day two of their honeymoon they were already fighting – and the bickering only got worse from there.

By the time they called it quits, with Ray satisfying himself there really was no hope after spending time with Jono at his Auckland home during the couples’ home visits, their initial spark was well and truly extinguished.

Jono did a jig when Ray walked out the front door but if the truth be known he was tired, Ray was tired – and we were tired too.

You can only weather so many accusations and counter accusations of betrayal – and that goes for those of us who have to witness it as well.

Did they find a way to become friends after leaving the experiment? No.

Did either come to a place of forgiveness? Not really.

Here’s what they had to say of their time on the reality TV series. They also reveal who’s moved on with someone new and who’s turned to therapy to heal.

Jono says…

Jonathan Trenberth (or Jono, as he became known) entered the Married At First Sight experiment with high hopes.

“The thing I think about a lot was our wedding day.

I was legitimately happy to have the opportunity and I was so invested. Everyone at work was supportive and my family thought it was a great thing for me. So I think that’s why it was so tough when the reality hit about how different Ray and I were. I really fell for Ray on that first day but the fundamentals – our morals and values and everything – were just so polar opposite, it just made it all the more disappointing.

The whole experience was so negative it hurts my heart.

What I want is to turn that around and hopefully one day see it as a really great learning experience.

It’s tricky going through something like that and then watching how other people are seeing what you went through, but through a completely different lens.

Was our time in the experiment represented fairly?

In a way, yes. What you see is me and that was how I was feeling at the time, but the important thing to keep in mind is what you’re not seeing. There are lots of cameras but they are only there for a portion of the day.

I’d say 98 per cent of what was happening was happening off camera and then everything you saw from me was just me being really upset about what happened.

So I’m pretty forgiving of everyone thinking how dramatic I am. I’m watching it and I’m getting pissed off with myself for being so upset. I’m thinking ‘get over it, just walk away’ but at the time I just wanted people to understand the sort of hurtful things that were happening off camera.

My biggest problem, and this is definitely one of my biggest flaws, is managing my expectations.

I went in with such high hopes. I really believed that my worst case scenario was that I’d meet someone and if it didn’t work out we’d part as friends and move on – similar to Rose and Christopher.

I never thought I could meet someone so aggressively anti what I’m like. We were oil and water.

When you’re in a stressful environment like that you react in one of two ways. Some people turn to things for release like drinking. Then there are people like me who go the other way. I started internalising. So it looked like I’m not interested in socialising and that I’m a bit boring, which isn’t true at all.

I’m actually really extroverted and I’ll go out with my friends and have a great time.

Since leaving the experiment I’ve focused on self care and healing.

I’m avoiding certain parts of social media and I am spending time with people who know me well.

I’m seeing a therapist. This wasn’t a normal experience and it’s really good to talk to a professional about these things for my mental health.

I’m hitting the gym a lot and getting massages. I’m doing everything I can to look after myself.

I’ve connected with some people who I’ve got a lot in common with but I’m not sure how romantic any of these connections are, really.

I thought there would be more people contacting me. Where are all the gay men? I wouldn’t mind getting some attention from a beautiful, tall, gay man, but I’m just getting attention from single mums.

My advice to anyone thinking of going on the show would be to manage your expectations and remember there’s no shame in leaving to protect yourself. Even though you’re getting matched by experts they can definitely get it wrong and I think Ray and I are a good example of that.”

Ray says…

Ray Wedlake was “gutted” his marriage with Jono did not work out.

“Well, it was definitely an experience.

I’m gutted it didn’t work out. I wish the experts had matched us properly and didn’t rely on a script so much.

When I say on my application that I’m a bit of a party boy and then they put me with someone who says they’d rather do yoga than go out and have a good time socialising, there’s definitely a mismatch right there.

Were there any good moments? The attraction was there when we met and we got along good on the wedding day. It was quite a good wedding. But from there I felt he played to the camera. He blindsided me on the second day and from there it was really hard to come back from.

Going to his home I saw a different version of him. He was more relaxed. But he still mentioned how scared he was how he was being portrayed [on the show] and while we were cooking together he brought up that he was bringing out a cook book. That part didn’t make it onto the show.

I wanted a husband, I felt he wanted a career. He played to the cameras and wanted drama. I was just confused by it all.

By the end of filming I was definitely worn out. I had got to the point where I would just look at Jono and think, what now?

It’s been good to come home and get back to reality.

Do I have any regrets? Definitely not. You only live once and you have to take every opportunity you can.

I would still have gone out as often as I did during filming. I had invited him a couple of times but he always said no.

But I wouldn’t have allowed the person to come into the room.

(On one of Ray’s nights out he was brought home by a friend of a friend, who wanted to make sure he got home safely. Jono had woken in the night to find the man standing at the doorway to his bedroom.)

That was a mistake and I have apologised for that god knows how many times.

Have I met anyone since leaving the experiment? Haha, yes.

He’s from Christchurch. He’s a lovely guy, he’s genuine, caring. He knows how to party. He’s a family guy. We get along really well.

We’re taking each day as it comes. I’m not jumping into marriage again – haha. I learned my lesson there. But I would most definitely marry again, with the right person of my selection.

Can I say one last thing? Married At First Sight was an amazing race but after that family feud I don’t think we’re eligible for desperate housewives. Haha.”

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