3 things that may have caused Erik Lake and Virginia Coombs to split

Erik and Virginia sit tensely during a therapy session
MAFS Erik and Virginia sit tensely during one of their many sessions with the expert’s Pic credit: Lifetim

After months of rumors, it finally happened — Married At First Sight’s Erik Lake and Virginia Coombs split.

The couple legally filed for divorce at the end of June. While they have not officially announced it yet, court documents collected by Monsters and Critics, proved the couple used Erik’s attorney to file an uncontested divorce at the end of last month.

In the state of Georgia, where the couple wed, they can be legally divorced within 30 days, meaning by the end of the July, Erik and Virginia’s marriage will officially be over.

While some fans were shocked, many responded to the news with little to no surprise. The couple had been rocky throughout the show’s season and rumors of an inevitable split followed them after Decision Day.

Erik and Virginia started out with so much promise but their age difference was an issue

But it hadn’t always been this way for the couple, in fact on their wedding day the pair was all smiles and chemistry, leading fans and experts alike to feel that they were one of the more promising couples of the season.

So what could have happened to a couple that had started off with such promise? What were the factors that led to their demise? We’ve narrowed it down to the three top contenders. Take a look…

Virginia’s party-girl lifestyle was no secret. Virginia stated that it was something she planned to continue into her marriage and seemed to have unrealistic expectations of how her marriage would blend with her lifestyle.

While on the honeymoon, she told her then-husband, Erik, that she regularly went out Thursday-Sunday and she did not see that stopping anytime soon. When Erik replied by telling her that with his job that lifestyle would just not be a possibility for him, she responded by saying “that might be a problem.”

While Virginia enjoyed her youth and freedom, Erik on the other hand was a 34-year-old pilot with a military background and almost daily drinking was not in his flight plan.

Due to his job, Erik had a tremendous amount of responsibility in his life and career that Virginia simply could not relate to and did not give him much leeway on, expecting him to keep up with her fast-paced party girl lifestyle. The couple went round and round on this issue, with no happy medium ever being found.

The couple also disagreed on the family front, as Erik was ready to have children within two to three years at most, while Virginia was thinking more in the five to the six-year range, if at all.

Erik who owned his own condo, was also ready to begin looking at buying a house and settling down, while Virginia was hesitant to give up her apartment or apartment living at all. And who could forget that conversation that Erik and Virginia had about where to move when he insisted they go to his condo and told her that’s where he would be and she could join him if she wanted to.

The couple went into Decision Day with no solid plan of where they were going to live following their decision to stay together.

While the couple did fairly well on their honeymoon, when the realities of day-to-day life hit, it seemed the couple couldn’t quite overcome their age difference and the role it played in their lifestyles.

Virginia’s partying caused many fights for the couple

Virginia’s drinking was an ongoing source of concern for her husband Erik, the experts, and fans alike. It seemed there was barely a scene throughout the season that didn’t feature Virginia with a drink in her hand, and if she didn’t have one, she was asking for one.

Fans began noticing an issue as early as the bachelorette party, which featured a very intoxicated Virginia throwing up in the bathroom early in the evening.

By the honeymoon, it was becoming clear to fans and experts alike that Virginia’s drinking might be an issue. But they weren’t the only ones. Virginia’s costar Chris Williams even went so far as to call her a “drunkard” during one of their disagreements and went on to tell her that the entire cast was concerned about her and Erik “stumbling around the casino.” It was quite a scene.

But it wasn’t just Virginia or her Married At First Sight costars who were affected by her drinking, she and Erik had several alcohol-fueled fights, starting from the honeymoon and going right up until Decision Day.

As it became more clear how alcohol was affecting the marriage, Erik even addressed the issue of Virginia’s drinking with the show’s expert, Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper advised Erik to address the problem with Virginia directly and attempt to reach a solution.

When Erik attempted to broach the subject with Virginia, she immediately brushed it off and said she felt that the fights would have happened, alcohol or not, and her drinking continued.

No resolution to the problem ever seemed to be reached and to this day Virginia continues to fight off fans’ comments on her alcohol consumption and accusations of it contributing to the end of her marriage.

Erik’s dislike of Rockie certainly put him in the doghouse with Virginia

Rockie was as free-spirited and rebellious as his owner Virginia, which was a source of neverending stress to Erik. The couple had several fights about Rockie, including one where Virginia broke down in tears to producers after yelling at Erik.

While many fans were confused by the intensity of the couple’s arguments over the dogs, we explored why the dogs on Season 12 were so important and what they represented for the couples.

Basically for these two, it was a microcosm of the couple’s bigger issues. There was clearly a problem, Virginia refused to acknowledge it, and Erik attempted to control it to fix it. Almost all of the couple’s disagreements followed that exact formula and pattern.

While the show’s follow-up special did show a dog trainer being brought in to work with Rockie (and Virginia and Erik), it didn’t seem that Virginia’s heart or attention was ever fully in the training. Virginia continued to insist that Rockie was fine as he was and felt that Erik’s insistence on the training, was simply his attempt at control.

She would also tell Erik things like “he’s not your dog” in response to Erik’s concern over Rockie’s behavior. Unfortunately in a marriage, there is no more “yours or mine” and it seems this was a mindset Virginia continued to struggle with throughout the duration of the show.

As a final blow, following the couple’s divorce filing, Virginia’s Instagram stories have featured almost Rockie exclusively for the past week. It certainly comes across as a jab towards Erik and his dislike for the precocious pup. Virginia even changed the bio on her Instagram to read “Basically a Rockie fan account.” Erik was not mentioned.

Truthfully, whatever the reasons, it is always sad to see a Married At First Sight Couple not make it to the marriage finish line. But between the boozy disagreements and the fighting like and about dogs, it really does seem like going their separate ways was probably the best option for this couple.

Married at First Sight Season 13 premieres on Wednesday, July 21 at 8/7c on Lifetime.

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Audrey Krause
Audrey Krause
2 years ago

In my opinion, Virginia, from the onset, was a self-centered, immature young woman with a definite alcohol problem. She is not ready to settle down and does not take getting married seriously. Erik is well established in his career as a pilot and needs to be with someone who respects him and his profession in a positive way to build a solid, long-standing relationship and raise a family. Virginia could never be that person for him. Good luck Erik in finding someone who deserves you!

2 years ago


2 years ago

Virginia is an alcoholic, straight up, and we all witnessed it!! I was embaressed watching Erik try to cover for her…so sad! He is a decent, normal and responsible guy!! Move on dude!

1 year ago

Virginia was a straight up alcoholic. They both had fun personalities but Erik was in a different place in life. He even said it in the beginning. He ignored it bc he thought Virginia was super attractive. They just weren’t compatible!!

Tamara Gibbs
Tamara Gibbs
1 year ago

I’m really not surprised they divorced. I never thought they made a good couple. In my opinion, anyone remotely connected to the making of this show is guilty of toying with people’s lives for the sake of entertainment. They have no shame and this series needs to end before more people are severely traumatized like Paige was or how Mindy from season 10 was. These men were clearly narcissists and it doesn’t take an expert to identify them as such

Davie L. Johnson
Davie L. Johnson
1 year ago

Virginia was insensitive to his allergy to cats. Allergies can be life threatening but she seemed unable to prioritize him through her drinking.