Mindy Shiben is getting real about the "continuous deception" from husband Zach Justice that ultimately meant the end of their relationship. The Married at First Sight star, who chose to call off her marriage ahead of Decision Day amid questions about Zach's relationship with her friend Lindsay, opened up to PopCulture.com about her experience on the Lifetime show ahead of Wednesday's reunion special.
After learning that Zach and Lindsay had been texting behind her back, Mindy revealed she was completely done with the relationship, which had struggled with communication and emotional connection since the start. "The final straw was continuous deception," she told PopCulture. "After finding out about Zach’s relationship with Lindsay, I was so hurt and Zach convinced me that things were going to be different. Maybe I was naive, but I believed him. Just days later, I found out he was still lying to me, specifically to protect Lindsay. Enough is enough. I couldn’t keep subjecting myself to that kind of betrayal."
When it comes down to the truth of what happened between Zach and Lindsay, Mindy said, "I do not speak with Lindsay at all anymore and I haven’t asked Zach to clarify his relationship with her further. It’s clear that they were both trying to deceive me and I just don’t trust either one of them. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never know exactly what went on with the two of them and maybe that’s for the best."
Watching the show back after filming, Mindy said she now sees "how disingenuous" Zach was throughout the whole Married at First Sight process. "During the experience, I just assumed my partner was someone, like me, who really wanted to give this an honest shot and try to make this marriage work," she continued. "Now I can see how I ignored some messages he was giving me very early on about his lack of interest in moving forward."
She added, "I don’t think I’ll ever understand Zach’s intentions on participating in this experiment. It’s quite possible that he did this for exposure and/or publicity. I don’t want to dwell on it so much because clearly, he did not intend on trying to make a marriage with me work so does it really matter?"
At present, Mindy said she and Zach have been in contact "on occasion" and are being "cordial" while tying up the loose ends of their marriage. Despite things going completely differently than she had expected, Mindy told PopCulture she "absolutely" doesn't regret agreeing to be matched by the Married at First Sight experts. "Although I didn’t find the main thing I was looking for, I’ve gained so much strength and confidence from the experience," she said. "Additionally, some viewers have reached out to tell me how watching my journey has helped them. There is no greater gift than helping others and if just one person gained something positive from my experience, then it was definitely worth it."
Mindy continued, "I've learned that I have been setting the bar too low and compromising too much of myself in relationships. I’ve never had to set the bar as low as I did with Zach and I won’t ever again. I’ve realized my worth and I look forward to being with someone that deserves everything I have to offer."
Want more of the inside scoop about where the couples stand today? The Married at First Sight season reunion (produced by Kinetic Content) airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime. For more on the Married at First Sight cast from PopCulture, click here.