‘MAFS’ Expert Devon Franklin Identifies Potential ‘Relationship Killer’ in Shaq and Kirsten’s Marriage
Marriage is hard work. That’s been abundantly clear in the current season of Married at First Sight, where several couples are struggling to get on the same page in their relationship. Fortunately, MAFS expert Devon Franklin was on hand in the latest episode of the Lifetime reality show to help the cast work through some of their issues. He quickly identified a possible issue for Shaquille and Kirsten that could threaten their marriage if they don’t address it.
‘MAFS’ relationship expert Devon Franklin says to beware of ‘unspoken expectations’
Franklin is a producer and the author of several relationship books, including The Wait (which he co-wrote with his ex-wife Meagan Good) and The Truth About Men. In season 15, he joined the Married at First Sight cast as an expert, sitting down with the couples and providing advice designed to help them improve their relationships.
Ahead of his appearance in the show’s April 12 episode, he took to Instagram to tease his conversation with Shaquille and Kirsten, where they “discuss[ed] what support, validation and acceptance looks like in their relationship.”
“Unspoken exceptions are relationship killers,” he wrote.
“It’s critical to express the support you need and to validate your partner’s attempts to give that support to you (even if they don’t get it perfect),” he added.
‘Married at First Sight’ couple Shaquille and Kirsten get a reality check from Devon Franklin
Will Shaq and Kirsten go their separate ways? Find out on tomorrow’s brand-new episode of #MAFS! pic.twitter.com/9bvYbgeDR7
— Married At 1st Sight (@MAFSLifetime) April 11, 2023
Both Kirsten and Shaquille agreed that they could use some help in their marriage. Ever since saying “I do,” they’ve had issues around communication and expectations for their relationship. The night before their sit-down with Franklin, they even had an argument during a couples’ outing. He was frustrated that she allowed another wife to speak for her about their marriage, as well as her failure to attend one of his work events.
“We’re struggling with our communication with each other,” Kirsten said in a confessional. “And I always feel like it kind of sets us back in our marriage.”
“Kirsten and I, we’re always on two different pages … it’s confusing,” Shaquille said.
The depth of their disconnect became clear during their conversation with Franklin. Shaq admitted that he didn’t feel supported by his wife. But she said she felt she did provide that support.
Franklin urged Kirsten to respond to her husband’s desire for affirmation. But he also warned Shaq that he need to accept that Kirsten would give that support in her own way. He also warned them that unless they were clear in telling each other what they wanted, they’d continue to clash.
“I want my spouse to do something. I haven’t expressed that I want him to do it. I haven’t got them to agree to do it. But then I hold them accountable and I get upset as if I actually did,” he said. “Then there’s resentment. And that resentment is going to drive a wedge between y’all that over time could be very difficult to fix.”