MAFS Season 12: What took Haley and Jacob’s romance to a ‘Nomance’

MAFS's Haley Harris smiles on her wedding day
MAFS’s Haley Harris was all smiles on her wedding day. Pic credit: Lifetime

Haley and Jacob’s relationship began as one of the more promising matchups of the season. The wedding went off without a hitch, the honeymoon began with sparks, and then, without warning, the couple’s high-speed romance came to a screeching halt, with no recovery in sight.

So what were the roadblocks that derailed what many experts and fans alike, had believed to be one of the most likely to succeed couples?

Haley and Jacob started their marriage off with high hopes

The glowing bride, Haley Harris, was all smiles on her wedding day, as pictured above. Her new husband, Jacob Harder, also seemed very pleased with the experts’ selection as the couple stood beaming next to each other for their post-wedding pictures.

The couple’s first exchange post vows included Haley graciously thanking Jacob for his pre-wedding gift that she initially thought was an infinity pendant necklace, which actually turned out to be a bracelet.

Little did viewers know, that would not be the last we would hear of that bracelet. In fact, that bracelet would be a point of contention for the remainder of the season. It was the center of many of the couple’s fights and even showed up in their counseling sessions with the show’s relationship expert, Dr. Pepper. But all bracelet foreshadowing aside, the pair certainly seemed like an attractive, intelligent, and committed couple, destined for success.

Haley and Jacob’s honeymoon ended…on the honeymoon

The couple was one of the first to consummate their marriage on their Vegas honeymoon, validating many fans’ predictions of Haley and Jacob being one of the better paired of the season.

But before fans knew it, the couple’s accelerated romance hit a serious bump in the road. Only a few short days into the honeymoon, Haley admitted to Jake that she did not feel a connection to him, or even find herself attracted to him…and that was the beginning of the end.

The couple never really recovered. The fighting accelerated following an incident on the honeymoon in which Haley told her new husband, that she would be joining the other MAFS ladies for a girl’s night.

When Jake stumbled upon the gathering and realized that it had, in fact, included several of the other husbands, he was furious with Haley, and accused her of excluding him on purpose and even going so far as to call her a “liar.” The couple spent the flight home to Atlanta sitting apart after Haley changed her seat following the final tense days of the honeymoon.

Haley and Jacob returned home to Atlanta to try, try again

Once the couple returned to Atlanta and began to settle in, they decided to both give their full effort and commit to at least trying to make their marriage work.

Fans were hopeful that the renewed commitment would turn over a new leaf for the couple, but their hope did not last long as it became clear Jake planned on carrying the honeymoon grudges for the remainder of the show.

He would regularly bring up the fact that Haley was not physically attracted to him or felt a connection to him. Perhaps someone should have mentioned to Jake that continuously pointing out a problem, does not, in fact, solve that problem. It usually only makes it worse, as we saw unfold in this scenario.

The more Jake brought up the issues of their marriage in casual conversation, the more Haley withdrew. In fact, if you watch carefully, you can see Haley physically tense up whenever Jake mentions it in conversation or makes one of his many side comments regarding it.

The bracelet argument also continued to rear its ugly head, as Jake continued to push the issue that Haley never even wore the pre-wedding gift even once. It seemed with each argument Haley would withdraw a little more, and the more Haley withdrew, the more Jake would feel validated in his assessment that Haley was not attracted to him, and round and round the couple would go.

It was a cycle the couple seemed to not be able to successfully break and it continued the duration of the show, culminating in Haley and JAke calling it quits on Decision Day. They did manage to reach some level of civility after they met up one final time following signing their divorce papers.

Haley and Jacob could not overcome their differences

It was clear that Haley and Jacob did have some differences from the start, from Jake’s unique outfits(as pictured above) and quirky 80’s loving ways to Haley’s more serious and straight-laced demeanor, the couple did often seem at odds with each other.

The two had very different senses of humor that also seemed to cause a neverending amount of misunderstandings. But despite these things, it was also easy to see why the relationship experts might have paired them in the first place.

If the match could have gone according to plan, then some of Jake’s silliness could have allowed Haley to let loose a little of her own inner child, while Haley’s stable ways could have helped Jake become more centered. It could also have helped bring him out of the solitude of his 80s themed man cave of a home, as although Jake had more quirky qualities, Haley was much more social and friend-centered, as seen even in her thriving post MAFS life.

But unfortunately, the best-laid plans do not always unfold as we intend, and instead of complementing each other, the couple’s differences seemed to cause a neverending amount of misunderstandings and arguments.

There is no exact science to relationships, the human factor can never be discounted. For example, why did the show’s free-spirited Virginia and stern military pilot Erik hit it off so well, while what seemed like a more suited match of Jacob and Haley fall apart?

It is a good reminder that relationships are not an exact science, and all Haley and Jacob could do were give it their best shot, but at the end of the day, the couple’s differences were just too much for them to overcome.

Married at First Sight returns on Wednesday, July 21 at 8/7c on Lifetime.

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