‘Married at First Sight’: Henry Said Comments About Him Being ‘On the Spectrum’ Were ‘Hurtful and Irresponsible’
People who sign up for Married at First Sight don’t just agree to say “I do” to a total stranger. They also agree to let viewers follow along with their journey. Each episode opens up participants to comments and criticism, not all of it welcome. Just ask Henry from season 11 of the Lifetime show, which recently began streaming on Netflix.
Henry’s behavior during his marriage to Christina caused some fans to speculate that he might be autistic or have Asperger’s syndrome. In an interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet conducted shortly before the season 11 finale aired on Lifetime, Henry addressed those fan theories about his possible diagnosis and explained why he thought they were “irresponsible.”
Henry’s behavior on ‘Married at First Sight’ raised questions for viewers
Communication was a major issue in Henry and Christina’s marriage right from the start. The more outgoing Christina referred to her husband as a “brick wall” and said the “lack of communication” on his part was “weird.” The 30-year-old flight attendant also felt that he wasn’t attracted to her. Meanwhile, Henry said that he “move[d] at his own pace.”
As Henry and Christina struggled to get on the same page in their relationship, the show’s viewers noticed that he often had difficulty making eye contact and sometimes exhibited facial tics. On Reddit, some people speculated that the 35-year-old clinical recruiter was autistic or had Asperger’s syndrome, which they thought might explain some of his behavior.
“Dude is definitely on the spectrum,” one person wrote. Others commented that Henry should not have been cast and that Christina had “been cheated out of a normal husband.”
The ‘MAFS’ groom addressed viewers’ misconceptions about him
Henry was well aware that many Married at First Sight viewers found his behavior and mannerisms odd. But he said there was more to him than they saw on the show.
“Believe it or not, I do have a personality, and I do like to have fun,” he said in a Q&A with Showbiz Cheat Sheet in October 2020. “Uncomfortable me versus comfortable me are two different people,” he added, explaining that it can take him some time before he’s really comfortable in a new situation or with new people.
Those facial tics that people couldn’t help but comment on were triggered by anxiety, he explained.
“[I]t’s a nervous, OCD tic,” he said. “More times than not, it is triggered when I am in an anxious situation or when I am upset or aggravated. I won’t get too detailed with its history, but I started to develop it after Hurricane Katrina. I developed a number of OCD tendencies at that time … It’s a grounding mechanism of sorts.”
Henry said he wished people would be ‘more considerate’ with their comments
Henry also shut down speculation that he had autism or another neurological condition.
“The comments about myself being on the spectrum are honestly hurtful and irresponsible,” he said. “Not necessarily hurtful to me. But hurtful to those who may be on the spectrum or may have loved ones that actually are. Whenever I read comments about myself regarding those declarations, the comments often come across with a negative or judgmental tone. It is offensive.”
The Married at First Sight alum – who ultimately decided to divorce Christina on Decision Day – said he knew people “on the spectrum” and that they were “some of the coolest people.” He urged those who felt the urge to speculate about a person’s medical history or diagnosis to think twice before they commented.
“I know this is just a pipe dream, but people need to start getting a little more responsible with their comments online,” he said. “At the very least, people need to start being a little nicer and more considerate.”
Married at First Sight Season 11 is currently streaming on Netflix.
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