Jessica Castro is a mentor and inspirational speaker who got her start on the reality show Married At First Sight. But don’t let her reality TV past fool you. Her experience of finding true love at the alter was far from glamorous. Now she’s using her life experiences, past mistakes and successes, to help other women find their voice and pursue their dreams. Like the saying goes, sometimes reality is just an illusion...
April: Can you talk about your journey on Married at First Sight?
Jessica: My journey on MAFS started late 2014 and was a whirlwind of emotions right from the beginning. I found out I had about 9 days to plan a wedding and meet my "perfect match" so I was definitely nervous. But when the day came our chemistry was amazing and so I thought this could actually turn out to be good. However, it was only about a week until our first disagreement, which would be the beginning of many. We had many lows and not many very highs but I still tried to make it work because ‘divorce was not in my vocabulary’, or so I thought. After the 6-week experiment, we decided to stay together. Not sure why because once the cameras went away things got even worse between us. The verbal abuse continued, the lies continued, the mistreat. It finally took some serious talks with my best friend and mom that this "relationship" was not for me. But even though I was unhappy in the relationship, it was still a hard decision.
“But even though I was unhappy in the relationship, it was still a hard decision.”
April: At what point did you realize that you needed to end your marriage?
Jessica: I remember this day as if it just happened yesterday. My best friend had been explaining to me that the night before she had bumped into ‘my husbands’ friends at a bar. He had been telling her some very personal things about ‘my husband’ and the real reason for him being on the show. And it was not for marriage. They also knew very private things about me that they should not have known. Everything just started to make complete sense to me and I realized that he never had any intensions of making our marriage work. I cried so many times that day but I vowed that once the day was over I would NEVER cry about it again, get my things from his house and cut off all communication with him.
April: How did you find enough strength and courage to walk away?
Jessica: To be honest the strength came from my best friends and family. They kept me hopeful, positive, busy. I also started to read self-love books and joined online support groups for women who had been going through their own stories. I finally knew the understanding and the powers of ‘I AM’.
April: What advice would you give to other women who are in a similar relationship?
Jessica: For women in similar relationships what l I can say is you are worth so much more and then some. A man does not make your life valuable. You do! Seek out help if you need it, talk to someone, you are not alone. You are a Queen.
“A man does not make your life valuable. You do!”
April: What’s been your greatest struggle to overcome?
Jessica: My greatest struggle and greatest gift has been learning about my myself. I’ve become so much stronger than I ever thought I could become. But that took time, and realizing that I didn’t want to become bitter over the things that had happened to me in my past. I didn’t want the bad situations to take space in my head so I had to get over it. For myself.
April: What has this experience taught you about yourself?
Jessica: This experience has also taught me that happiness comes from within and not from a partner and that it’s ok to speak your mind. Use your voice; we all have a voice as powerful as the next person in the room.
"Use your voice; we all have a voice as powerful as the next person in the room."
April: If you could go back and give 12-year-old Jessica advice, what would it be?
Jessica: I would tell myself to be patient. The only thing I thought was missing in my life was love, and I thought if I had that then everything would be better. But it wasn’t. Everything will fall into place when it’s meant to.