Don’t expect to see Mindy Shiben and Zach Justice deciding to stay together on Decision Day. The Married at First Sight bride, who ended her marriage even before the experiment was over, spoke exclusively with In Touch about what went wrong. Ahead of the April 15 finale, she discussed her decision to choose herself — and accused her ex of “betraying” her, which “compromised” her mental health.
“Although I left my marriage early, I don’t like to think of it as giving up, but rather making a healthy choice for myself,” Mindy, 34, says. “I gave my marriage everything I had and then some, but when my emotional health and wellbeing were compromised, it was time to walk away.”
The blame for that, she believes, lies squarely with the husband the matchmakers selected for her on the show. “Unfortunately, I don’t feel like Zach and I were a team at any point in the experiment,” she continues. “There were times when I thought things may have been turning around for the better, but soon I discovered that I was being betrayed. As much as I wanted to be on the same team, that was pretty much impossible for us. … I was quite frustrated because my partner didn’t seem to want to build a marriage with me.”
However, she doesn’t blame the experts for setting them up — and she still “understands why [they] were matched together.” Despite how her relationship ended, Mindy recognizes that her “free-spirited, artistic” nature meshes well with someone who has Zach’s “self-discipline” and “structure.” She explains, “Zach and I both prioritize health and wellness, and our jobs are quite similar. I think the experts saw an opportunity for us to really bring out the best in each other.”
Her “challenging marriage” aside, the brunette beauty knows she’s ready to settle down when the right person comes along. “I knew I was ready for marriage [before the show] because I had taken the time to become a complete person on my own and I wanted to share my life with someone else. I was ready to commit to one person for the rest of my life and I knew I had the tools necessary to contribute to a successful marriage,” she said. “I don’t think my marriage was a reflection of my readiness for marriage.”
She also believes her experience on the Lifetime show set her up to better find the one someday soon. “Prior to Married at First Sight, I didn’t really have a type, and traits in [my] previous partners were all over the map,” she says. “One great thing about this experiment is it forces you to carefully examine what you want and need in a partner. All those questionnaires and interviews really help!”