Married at First Sight pair Shawniece Jackson and husband Jephte Pierre are a favorite couple among Lifetime viewers. And, watchers saw them work through some major relationship issues early on. They’ve overcome most of the hurdles young married couples face. And, they spoke exclusively with Soap Dirt about their journey. What did they reveal?
Married at First Sight: Jephte Pierre & Shawniece Jackson Tell What Happens When Cameras Leave
Soap Dirt (SD): What’s the biggest thing to adapt to once the experts and Married at First Sight cameras leave?
Jephte Pierre (JP): “The biggest thing I had to adapt to when the [Married at First Sight Lifetime] cameras and experts left was being a husband and getting to know my wife on my own. The cameras/production and experts were like safety cushions that helped us when things got tough. When they left we were kind of left to our own thought and a lot of the time my ideas weren’t the best”.
Shawniece Jackson (SJ): “Once the [Married at First Sight] experts and cameras went away, we had to figure out how to do this whole marriage thing on our own. It was scary at first because we were very much still getting to know each other. But it also allowed us to dig deep and figure out what we wanted out of this marriage on our own terms”.
MAFS: Hardest Thing About First Year of Marriage for Lifetime Pair
Soap Dirt: What was the hardest thing about your marriage in the first year?
Jephte: “The toughest thing about that first year of [Married at First Sight] marriage was pregnancy and expectations. Shawniece [Jackson] and I had known each other for as long as we were married and that was only four months. Adding pregnancy on top of almost forcing ourselves to make it work nearly broke us that first year”.
“There was some time that we spent apart not even thinking of returning to each other. In that time apart we were able to re-center ourselves and give it more of a fair shot on our terms – dropping every expectation of the world”.
SD: Was there something that took you by surprise during your spouse’s private confessionals when Married at First Sight eventually aired?
Shawniece Jackson: “Jephte [Pierre] and I talked a lot to each other about where we were at so there was never really a confessional that caught us off-guard. We were REAL the entire time and didn’t run away from our problems or the [MAFS] cameras”.
Married at First Sight: Shawniece & Jephte Talk About Growing Love & How Baby Laura Changed Them
SD: How would you say your love has grown since filming your first season of Married at First Sight?
Jephte Pierre: “I’d say our love has grown since the first season in the sense that there is actually love. [Laughs] Shawniece [Jackson] and I didn’t expect to fall in love in those eight weeks we were given. And, there were times after the eight weeks when I didn’t see love in sight”.
“Big fights, little fights, and a baby in the middle of that – we pushed through and grew as people. The product of us growing as people with lots of help from friends and family – we grew love from almost nothing. That being said, we still have tons of growing to do. We aren’t perfect and neither is our marriage but we try to put in work”.
SD: How has baby Laura impacted/changed your relationship?
Shawniece Jackson/Jephte Pierre (SJ/JP): “Laura has impacted our relationship in ways we never could have imagined. The late nights and sometimes early mornings she brings can be tough, but the amount of love that came with her is a gift neither of us expected”.
Jephte not in love with spouse Shawniece Jackson was a major hurdle pastor Calvin Roberson and the other experts helped him navigate on Married at First Sight. Jephte loved Shawniece Jackson as the mother of his child. But, it took some time for that love to grow into being “in love” with her. And, based on where the couple are today, they certainly put in the work to make that happen.
What You See is What You Get with Shawniece Jackson & Hubby Jephte Pierre
Jephte Pierre and wife Shawniece Jackson dealt with a lot of drama while filming Married at First Sight and Happily Ever After. And, the couple agree there isn’t much viewers don’t see. Shawniece joked that Jephte Pierre annoys her “on and off-camera”.
Jephte added that they’re “normal people” trying to make their marriage work. Meanwhile, the Married at First Sight couple said “what you see is what you get”.
In addition, despite being a reality star, Jephte Pierre still teaches. And, he gave SD the scoop on his day job. He said his students often ask him if he was on television. And, he often plays it off and acts like it’s not him. He says: “No way that’s me. Why would your regular old teacher be on TV? But, if he looks like me he must be one handsome guy!”
Jephte Pierre said this will be his last year teaching. And, even though being on Married at First Sight didn’t impact his work at all, it looks like he wants to transition to something new. Certainly, it’s worth watching what he does next.
Catch Shawniece Jackson and Jephte Pierre on Couples’ Cam, Wednesday nights on the Lifetime network.
Return to Soap Dirt often for even more Married at First Sight exclusives.