‘Married at First Sight’: Did Karen and Miles Finally Reach a Turning Point in Their Marriage?

It’s no secret that Karen Landry and Miles Williams encountered many roadblocks to married bliss after tying the knot on Lifetime’s Married at First Sight season 11. The couple often struggled to communicate and connect, especially because Karen didn’t seem to see Miles as “masculine” enough for her.

But at a couple’s retreat on a recent episode of Married at First Sight, Karen and Miles seemed to make some progress in their relationship. Miles’ insightful remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement inspired greater respect in his wife, and they seemed to be coming to a better understanding.

Still, as Decision Day approached, both Miles and Karen didn’t seem at all sure about their future together. Miles worried that they would never become more physically intimate, and Karen admitted she still didn’t know if Miles was a match for her.

Karen Landry
Karen Landry | Photo via Kinetic Content

Miles’ comments about the Black Lives Matter movement earned praise from Karen

For weeks – especially after the COVID-19 crisis hit New Orleans, and the couple was stuck in quarantine – Karen and Miles seemed to make little progress in their marriage. Both of them admitted that the stress of the pandemic, as well as the protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death, left them feeling depressed.

Even after Louisiana’s stay-at-home order was lifted, the couple wasn’t sure if they were up to a retreat with the other newlyweds. Still, they hoped the trip would allow them to get some “down time” in nature and with each other. Karen told Lifetime producers she hoped it would give them a chance to “unplug from the world,” reset their relationship, and connect with each other on a deeper level.

As it turned out, that plan may have worked. When Miles and Karen arrived at the retreat, Miles immediately opened up to his Married at First Sight castmates about where he was at the moment emotionally.

“I think it’s really hard for us as Black people to feel like we have to be ‘on,’” Miles explained, “and we have to talk about this, or we have to engage, or we have to pretend as if this stuff isn’t bothering us or isn’t affecting us…As Black people, we’re expected to show up and be fully ourselves all the time, even in the midst of things that are happening like this.”

Karen said she was “surprised” that Miles was so honest and open with his castmates about his feelings. Although she’d previously criticized him for being overly emotional, the Married at First Sight star seemed to see the value of his vulnerability in that context.

“He was able to walk in his truth,” Karen said of Miles’ comments. “I appreciate that a lot. I respect that a lot.”

RELATED: ‘Married at First Sight’ EXCLUSIVE Q&A: Miles Opens Up About What Surprised Him Most About Karen, What He Wishes Fans Knew About Him

The couple unexpectedly won the newlyweds’ game

Later during the retreat, Miles and Karen surprised both each other and their castmates by winning the Stranger Spouse game – a Married at First Sight version of the Newlywed Game, which tested how well each participant knew their spouse. Karen and Miles won with a whopping 26 points (in comparison to 21 for Woody Randall and Amani Aliyya, six for Bennett Kirschner and Amelia Fatsi, and 11 for Henry Rodriguez and Christina).

The couple ended the trip on a high note, which seemed to mean a lot to both of them after the stress of recent months. Karen told Married at First Sight producers that she felt she was finally able to have more emotional conversations with her husband, and they knew each other better than she thought they did.

“Initially, we were both 50/50 about coming on the trip,” Karen confessed. “But, being here, I think that we’ve been able to be more genuine and authentic.”

RELATED: ‘Married at First Sight’ EXCLUSIVE Q&A: Karen Reveals What She Loves About Miles, Her Feelings on ‘Toxic’ Men, and Why She Felt ‘Misunderstood’ During the Process

They were both still unsure as Decision Day approached

While the Married at First Sight retreat seemed to represent a turning point in Karen and Miles’ marriage, the couple was still wrestling with their usual challenges on the October 21 episode. Decision Day was fast approaching, and neither of them seemed fully ready to make a final choice about their marriage.

While Miles told his friend that Karen was everything he wanted “on paper” – beautiful, driven, and a great cook – their lack of physical intimacy was still wearing on him. Not only had he and Karen not had sex, he revealed, but she never initiated hugs or kisses. They didn’t even eat together at the same table most nights.

“I’ve been there every day, trying my best every day,” Miles said of his marriage to Karen. But, he admitted, he still wasn’t in love with his wife – and he didn’t know if her efforts would ever match his.

Meanwhile, Karen told her friends that she wanted an “alpha male” who could “put her in her place” and lead the household with dominant masculine energy. She didn’t know if Miles would ever be able to fill that role.

Despite the progress they’d made, Karen and Miles still appeared to be at a standstill as they separated before having to make their final decision.