When Iris Caldwell agreed to wed then-stranger Keith Manley on Married at First Sight, she was ready to meet someone who was ready give 100 percent in their relationship and respect her decision to remain a virgin until she was comfortable in her marriage.
Ahead of Wednesday’s all-new episode of the Lifetime reality show (produced by Kinetic Content), Caldwell talked to PopCulture.com about being open about her virginity to her new husband and to Married at First Sight viewers, acknowledging she wasn’t someone who typically kept her sexual life to herself before filming on TV.
“When my past sexual life was a question during the preliminary interviews for the show, I had to be transparent and acknowledge my virginity, not only to the producers and experts but the world,” she recalled. “This has been a challenge.”
“My desire was for my husband to look past my virginity and see that it’s not the only thing about me, there is so much more to Iris,” she continued. “I was hoping my husband would want to get to know me and see how great of a person I am, and as a wife, all while knowing sex will come in its own time.”
Being so open about her virginity has been difficult, she admitted: “Also being judged by people about my virginity has been an eye opener, especially those who appear to view virginity as a negative attribute is new to me.”
Caldwell added, “This is the path I chose for myself as we all make different choices in life, and to be judged for my choices by the world is very interesting — let me live my life as you live yours. Not sure when being a virgin became a negative thing. I see it as a positive conscious decision for me in my life/walk with God.”
Fortunately enough, Manley has been “very respectful” of his new wife’s physical boundaries, which Caldwell thinks of as a blessing as they work to be open together and grow emotionally.
While she can’t reveal just yet the decision she and Manley made on Decision Day, in the end, Caldwell relied on the saying, “Let go and let God.”
“I like being in control, but letting God take control and just allow things to happen as they should,” she concluded. “Also being patient with feelings and realizing my husband doesn’t express himself like I do, so I need to understand that and meet him where he is with his emotions.”
Married at First Sight (produced by Kinetic Content) airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Photo credit: Kinetic Content