Viewers Left Outraged Over “Gaslighting” and “Emotional Abuse” at Last Night’s MAFS Dinner Party

Channel 9

Warning: This article deals with the topic of intimate partner violence and could be triggering for some readers.

It was the first “Married At First Sight” dinner party of the season, but it was far from boring. If you tuned into last night’s episode, you would’ve witnessed Jesse and Harrison being placed in the hot seat at the dinner table over some of their questionable behaviour this season.

Bronte put the spotlight on Jesse for “shushing” his ‘wife’ Claire during their honeymoon, pressing him to explain his behaviour. Jesse shut down, saying that he’d withdrawn from Claire and adding that he “doesn’t chase girls”.

Then, Melinda held Harrison accountable for the inconsistencies in his story surrounding the mysterious 20-year-old girl he was allegedly seeing in the outside world mere days before the show began filming.

Bronte, Harrison’s ‘wife’, admitted she was having doubts about their relationship, which prompted Harrison to accuse Bronte of not putting any effort into their relationship. Bronte left the table in tears with Tahnee and Caitlin by her side, while the stunned experts watched on in disbelief.

“I think there’s some questionable reasons for Harrison to be here. And that is something that I’m very concerned about,” said clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla, and she wasn’t the only one who was concerned.

Watching the episode, people on Twitter slammed the mens actions as examples of “gaslighting” and “emotional abuse” in relationships.

“Harrison flipping it and asking Bronte to show him that she’s in this is OUTRAGEOUS and I’m so glad the experts are seeing it. The ultimate gaslighter,” wrote one user.

Others called it “narcissistic”, and, from what we’ve been shown, it does come across that way, and it’s great to see the contestants get called out for unacceptable behaviour on national television.

Jesse was also in the limelight. After appearing completely dismissive and detached from Claire and pretty much the whole dinner table, one viewer watching the show called him “an immature little man boy”.

All the hype around the new season also caught the attention of season 10 groom, Brent Vitiello, who called Harrison and Jesse’s behaviour “disgusting” on his Instagram story.

“The emotional instability and the lack of knowledge in anything to do with a relationship, or knowing when you’re wrong, is messed up,” he said.

“Harrison, I don’t know whether you’ve been babied your whole life but you can’t see that you are the problem… the definition of gaslighting. I can’t believe the way you speak and you think you’re God’s gift. 

“Jesse, I don’t know if you’re hiding behind something but this ‘ick’ business has to stop, I think he needs to grow up.”

“Married At First Sight” airs at 7.30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.

Related: “Doesn’t Make Sense”: Melinda Grills Harrison’s Questionable Behaviour at the First MAFS 2023 Dinner Party

Related: You Asked, We Answered: Are the Marriages on Married At First Sight Legal?

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

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