Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner's Love Story — From 'Married at First Sight' to Welcoming Two Kids

Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner’s love story is one of the most unusual, and a surprise outcome of a reality show.

Married in haste, repent at leisure, or so the old adage goes -- but in Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner’s case, haste was the name of the game.

The couple met on the reality show "Married at First Sight," so love wasn't exactly what brought them together. In fact, Jamie would later confess she didn't fancy Doug at all...

Jamie who revealed that she'd been in emotionally abusive relationships before, found in Doug a man who was supportive, loving, and gentle

Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis at the 2019 A+E Upfront at Jazz in 2019 in New York | Source: Getty Images

Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis at the 2019 A+E Upfront at Jazz in 2019 in New York | Source: Getty Images

MEETING AT THE ALTAR

Jamie and Doug took part in the first season of the show in 2014. The participants agreed to marry someone chosen for them by a team consisting of a clinical psychologist, a sexologist, a sociologist, and a chaplain.  

The couple, who met for the first time at the altar, spent their first night together, and went on honeymoon. They would then spend 8 weeks living together before deciding to stay married or divorce.

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Not exactly the happiest looking bride🤦🏼‍♀️😝 Our love story isn’t a typical one😳 but it’s my FAV.☺️ We were on S1 of Married At First Sight. Kinda cray cray, I know. But I was desperate for true love and a family.🙏🏻 And I knew it was a huge risk. I mean, I didn’t even know my future hubby’s name or what he looked like. The first time I saw him he was at the end of the altar.🤵🏼 I was dressed in my wedding gown all dolled up with something borrowed and something blue walking towards him (totally unattracted😬) ... aaaand after we introduced ourselves to each other we hesitantly said, “I do.”👰🏼 • For those of you who’ve seen our little love story unfold I don’t need to explain the beautiful disaster...but for those who are new to it, I can sum it up for ya real fast: I thought I made the WORST decision of my life (pic 3 was a full blown panic attack)😂. I had ZERO feelings for my husband. There were no sparks, no chemistry, NOTHING. Don’t ask me why I thought MAYBE we’d have some sort of instant romance? I wasnt expecting love but maybe just a few butterflies in my tummy. But, nope. Nada!😬 ...even writing this now I have to laugh bc who the heck marries a stranger and really expects true love to come out of it?! 🙋🏼‍♀️😂 • Eventually @doughehner and his smooth talkin, good lookin & super charming ways won me over.🥰 And now almost 6 years later we have a beautiful daughter and one on the way!👧🏼👶🏼🌈 • I learned the lesson “don’t judge a book by its cover” first hand. And that saying, “don’t assume your first impression is the right impression” is true. (Is that a saying? If not, it should be! At least for dating.)😝 • I freaked out on my wedding day bc I didn’t think @doughehner was “my type.”🤦🏼‍♀️ Turns out, he is the EXACT type I needed and wanted but just didn’t know it yet. There’s no doubt in my mind we are meant to be together.🙏🏻💗 • Sooo if you’re out there looking for love maybe give that blind date you’re refusing or the guy you have “no attraction” to a chance. Who knows, they could be the person you’ve needed and wanted all along.🤷🏼‍♀️🥰 • #marriedlife #marriedatfirstsight #mafs #datingsucks #marriage #husbandgoals #husbandandwife #hubbylove

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JAMIE OTIS' SEARCH FOR LOVE

"Married At First SIght" wasn't Jamie's first attempt at finding love on reality TV. In appeared on season 16 of "The Bachelor," in 2012, but hadn't made it through to the final. Sexologist Dr. Logan Levkoff revealed:

"Before I met Jamie, I said ‘I don’t want to meet her. I don’t want someone who’s ever been on reality TV before. This is not that.’ ”

But Jamie's sweet disposition and her sincerity won Levkoff over completely, and by the end of the interview, he was a fan. He admitted:

"I was very cynical going into it, and I fell madly in love with her. I looked at the rest of the team (...) We really believed she wanted to find love." 

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#throwback One year ago today we were PRAYING for a viable pregnancy after our chemical pregnancy—and then we found out we were pregnant!🤰🏼 But when we went in for our ultrasound appointment, we found out the baby had no heartbeat.😢 I had a failed miscarriage & instead of being sent home with happy little baby ultrasound pics, I was sent home with medication to induce a miscarriage. • All night long I was curled up in the fetal position with heating pads on my back and belly. My hubby was by my side for every.single.moment of the stabbing pains and runs to the bathroom.❤ • Suffering through a loss or multiple losses back to back—or even the fears after you are pregnant with your rainbow baby—can be so isolating. Up until now there has never been a platform where women trying to conceive could connect. And we NEED support from women who truly understand what we’re going through. I am SO thankful @peanut realized this and created a space for us to meet each other. I just had to partner with them to share this info w/ YOU.🙏🏻 • I used the @Peanut app when I first had Gracie to try and find other mama friends who lived in my area... and it was ahhhh-mazing (!!!!)👏🏻 But now it’s not only available for mothers or pregnant women, but those trying to conceive too. You can build friendships, find support and learn from one another. It is so beneficial to have other women who have gone through what you have gone through or are at a similar stage in life—who live in your area—to be able to connect with.🌈 • I highly, highly recommend downloading @Peanut wherever you are on your journey. I am sending you so much love and support 💗 I am here for you🙏🏼 • • #ttc #ttcjourney #peanutapp #miscarriageawareness #pregnancyloss #1in4 #infertilityawareness #womensupportingwomen #pregnancyjourney #rainbowbaby"

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MEETING DOUG HEHNER

Jamie's first impression of Doug was not love at first sight, alas. On the contrary, she was sure the team had made a mistake. She didn't feel attracted to the man she was about to marry. She revealed:

“Obviously I wasn’t like ‘What a knockout!’ … I just happened to be not attracted to the guy.”

Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis on New Year's Eve in Times Square in 2016 in New York  | Source: Getty Images

Doug Hehner and Jamie Otis on New Year's Eve in Times Square in 2016 in New York | Source: Getty Images

Jamie's feelings made fo an awkward honeymoon. Doug, who was most definitely attracted to the pretty blonde who happened to be his wife, went through some difficulties winning her over. Jamie confessed:

"Since I felt completely uncomfortable even being around my husband for the first couple days. I wouldn't let him hold my hand!"

BECOMING FRIENDS

Doug grew on her, Jamie admitted, and soon they became friends. Jamie who revealed that she'd been in emotionally abusive relationships before, found in Doug a man who was supportive, loving, and gentle -- and she fell in love.

THE DECISION

At the end of the 8 weeks of marriage, Jamie and Doug made the decision to stay married, and give the relationship a chance to become a real marriage. The thought process changed, Doug explained:

"(...) from whether or not I could see myself spending the rest of my life with Jamie, to not being able to imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone other than Jamie."

THE FIRST YEAR

The couple's first year was as eventful and as difficult as first years usually are -- whether a couple has known each other a lifetime, or a week. Doug explained:

"The biggest adjustment, in my opinion, was getting used to the fact that each decision that gets made is now a family decision."

Giving up their independence, and committing to each other on every level was the greatest challenge, making decisions that took into account another person's wants and needs. 

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F I V E years ago I said “YES!”💍 We met on a blind date at the altar.👰🏼 I didn’t know his name, his age, where he lived—nada!🙃 But through teary, hesitant eyes I said, “I do...?!” to @doughehner right there on the spot.👰🏼 I agreed to be #marriedatfirstsight believing I’d have some sort of chemistry when I laid eyes on my “scientifically perfect” partner on our wedding day ....Buuuut that def didn’t happen!🤦🏼‍♀️😂 • It took us 1 week to kiss, 2.5 months to consummate our marriage, 6 months to say “I love you” (but I knew I loved him & could trust my heart with him a month into our marriage - I was just too shy to say it aloud🤷🏼‍♀️🤣) and then 9 months later I got the BIGGEST surprise when my “stranger husband” got down on one knee and proposed to me.😭💕 I was NOT expecting it at all since we were already married!🥰 ...First “engaged” married couple I’d ever heard of.🤣 • We’ve been through it ALL together! Pregnancy and losses (always have our sweet angel baby Johnathan in our hearts🙏🏻👼🏼💙), our AMAZING rainbow baby girl @henleygracehehner has been making us smile since the day we laid our eyes on her, and now we have another little guy coming to brighten our lives in a couple months!🤰🏼👶🏼🌈 • Douglas, thank you for always surprising me in the *best* ways, sticking by my side through the good and the bad, and for only making my mascara run with happy tears.💗 I LOVE YOU!😘 • Aaand I always feel like I have to thank @mafslifetime, @kineticcontent, and the experts who paired us together way back on season 1 of MAFS - @dr_pepper_schwartz, @loganlevkoff, & @drjoecilona 🤗 If it weren’t for you all believing in the crazy possibilities of Married At First Sight (and convincing me) I’d probably still be single & roaming the streets lookin’ for love.🤦🏼‍♀️🤣 ...Who knew scientifically arranged marriages could really work?! • • • #mafs #ogs #marriagegoals #marriedlife #marriage #engagementring #engagementphotos

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THE PROPOSAL

A year after they were married Doug stunned his wife by getting down on one knee, and asking for her hand in marriage. Doug explained:

"I always wanted to get down on one knee and propose to the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with."

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Happy F I V E year vow renewal ANNIVERSARY, @doughehner 👰🏼✨💍 • When we were #marriedatfirstsight (SIX years ago this month!) i was a weeee bit skeptical of my stranger hubby. I thought the experts “failed me.”😬 I *never* could’ve imagined how amazing our lives would’ve turned out.😭🙏🏻💗 ...Not amazing like no struggles at all and always rainbows and butterflies — bc that is far from the truth!🤦🏼‍♀️🤣 — but amazing in the sense that we made it through every struggle that’s been thrown our way!💪🏼☺️ • The most trying and difficult time was losing our first born baby boy, Johnathan.👼🏼 That could have easily broke us since we coped with his loss entirely differently. I couldn’t shower, eat, sleep, or move off the couch. You went to work the very next day. We were so new in our marriage & communication was still such a big issue.😬 • BUT, we slowly made it through that sorrow TOGETHER.🙏🏻💗 ...and now we have our beautiful daughter and our little rainbow baby boy on the way.🤰🏼👧🏼👶🏼🌈 • You are my best friend, my rock, and my partner in crime.😉 We’ve been kicked down a few times together, but we keep getting up & become stronger and stronger.🥰 • I love you! I’m so excited to continue celebrating this wild journey of love, parenting, and friendship with you!💗 In four more years we will be planning our 10 year vow renewal celebration...I wonder how many kids we will have by then?!😍 • PS I’m super late posting this, but that’s kinda the story for everything I do now that I’m super pregnant!🤷🏼‍♀️😂

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He did and she said "Yes." A year after they first met at their own wedding, Jamie and Doug renewed their vows. The once reluctant Jamie said:

“Our journey began a year ago when we said ‘I do’ as strangers at the altar. What I didn’t know then was that I just met the most amazing, kind, patient, and handsome man.”

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Our offer was ACCEPTED!!!🏡 We got our dream house!!!🥳 Florida peeps, you’ve got new neighbors!☀️🌴👙 ...and Gracie’s pretty happy with it too!!🤗 The way she says her positive affirmations MELT.MY.HEART!😭💗 • Are we crazy for buying a home right now?!🤔 Maybe!😬 But I mean, we got legally married as strangers almost six years ago (our anniversary is MONDAY😍) soooo, you already know we are a little cray cray!🤷🏼‍♀️😂 • Life’s too short to always live in your comfort zone. The best decision of my life was one EVERYONE told me not to follow through with. If I had listened to what everyone else said I wouldn’t have my amazing hubby, our sweet, sweet girl or this VERY ACTIVE little guy growing in my belly.🙏🏻🥰 • Soooo, here we go!!!🤗 Next step: home inspection ... and then we go back to Jersey on Sunday so the rest is all happening remote.👀 Wish us luck - we may need it this time.🤣💗 • #marriedatfirstsight #mafs #homeowners #floridaliving #floridalife #newhome #homesweethome🏡

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In a moving gesture, Jamie handed Doug a tiny box. Inside was a slip of paper with her name on it, her new name: Jamie Nicole Hehner. Jamie said:

“At the very end of all the gifts, I handed it to him and said, ‘I have this one last gift. He cried. I cried.’ ”

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Finding out WE ARE PREGNANT after trying to conceive for 18 mo and going through 2 losses back to back AND finding my biological father & fam after 4 negative paternity tests are DEFINITELY the high lites of 2019 for me!!🙏🏻😭💗 Here’s my year in a top nine slide show.🤗 • 1)Seeing our little egg yolk at the fertility specialist. We FINALLY have a baby that is STICKING!🙏🏻🤰🏼🌈 • 2)Making it to the 2cd trimester with our rainbow baby!!! • 3)Honoring our first born son who we had to say goodbye to at 17 weeks pregnant. December 20th was his due date. Our sweet angel baby would be 3.👼🏼I’m so glad he made the “top nine”💙 • 4)At the fertility specialists finding out we are PREGNANT!👏🏻🎉🙌🏼 • 5)I mean, how could we not dress up as “things” for Halloween?!😝 Next year this “thing” growing in my belly will be in my arms as “Thing 2” Ahh, can’t wait!🤗 • 6)I don’t know why this pic made top nine, but it is pretty cute & def shows @henleygracehehner personality!🤣❤️ • 7)I FOUND MY FATHER!!! My whole life I’ve searched for him - 33 years! I was STUNNED when the DNA test came back as 99.9% positive.🤗Unfortunately, I was too late. My dad passed just a couple months before I found him. Something I still struggle with to be honest.😢 • 8)I was on the set of Unfiltered & had to pee. I’m not a bathroom selfie kinda gal, but i saw my bump & HAD to show my hubby (and all my frans)! I POPPED at like 12 weeks pregnant with our @babyboyhehner 🤰🏼👏🏻🎉 • 9) @henleygracehehner is *finally* being promoted to BIG SISSY!!!👧🏼👶🏼🙏🏻🌈 • WE ARE READY FOR YOU, 2020!🎉💃🏻👶🏼🌈👧🏼🕺🏼 • • #thankful #grateful #blessed #marriedatfirstsight #marriagegoals #ttc #pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbaby #tryingtoconceive #miscarriageawareness #pregnant #pregnantbelly #fertility #jouney #pregnancy #pregnancydiary #pregnancystyle

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A JOYOUS ANNOUNCEMENT

Two months after their 1st year anniversary and their vow renewal, Jodie and Doug announced that they were expecting their first child. But the happiness dissolved into heartbreak when the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.

FACING THE PAIN

It was a harsh blow for Jamie and Doug. Jamie had been 4 months along in her pregnancy and had waited the prescribed time to announce her son Johnathan's imminent arrival. She mourned her son on social media:

“Not a day goes by that I don’t wake up thinking of you, Baby Hehner. I know I have to get back to ‘normal life’ but I just don’t know how to.”

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Making room for our new baby BOY spoon!!!💙👶🏼🌈 Doug’s turned me into a total spooner—which I guess is obvious. I mean, these babies didn’t just fall from the sky!😉 • We used to squeeze into a Queen bed but now that we’ll be adding another precious babe to cuddle we got a new king bed (which should also give plenty of room for babies 3&4....& maybe even 5&6 if I’m lucky!)🙏🏻😝 • Our room has been our last priority (it’s literally a hot mess😂) but we’re finally starting to update it. • First purchase... a new bed and bed frame(whatcha guys think?!) 🛏 Second purchase... @brooklinen sheets 🧺!We had these sheets on our old bed and just HAD to get them again! • These sheets are seriously the best🤩They are luxury sheets at an affordable price, get softer after every wash😍, they tell you which side is which, have enveloped pillow cases... I could go on and on!....aaaandddd idk about you but I check reviews and they have literally thousands of 5 star reviews so that was def a go for me🙌🏼 • I personally LOVE bright white sheets but they have lots of different designs and colors to choose from on brooklinen.com🤗 They started their Black Friday sale early so they have savings galore — AAAND you can get 20% off all Brooklinen products! • Yay! Take advantage...but just be careful bc good sheets leads to spooning. Spooning leads to forking and I don’t have to tell ya what forking leads to!😂👶🏼💕 • • • #babynumber2 #ttc #rainbowbaby #spooning #familyofspooners #babyspoon #mybrooklinenstyle #brooklinen #bedroomdecor #newroom #roomtour #homedesign

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A NEW BEGINNING

Then, at around the time Jamie would have been preparing to welcome her son if the pregnancy had progressed normally, something extraordinary happened. Jamie discovered that she was expecting again.

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I always wanted my mom to be my best friend.🙏🏻 She tried her best, but she was a single mom of 5 kids married to a man in jail bc he beat her up constantly😕 ...so she ended up turning to drugs to numb the pain.⁣ ⁣ When I was younger I never understood why she left my siblings & me for weeks at a time. Sometimes we had no food, no electricity, and no heat...and she wouldn’t answer our calls. I thought she was selfish and “clearly didn’t love us” ... I ended up gaining custody of my younger siblings & enrolled in nursing school at 19 years old. Two of the best things that ever happened to me were in part thanks to my mama.🙏🏻💗⁣ ⁣ I learned to LOVE unconditionally when I had my siblings living with me & looking up to me for constant support. And in nursing school I learned that my mom isn’t this evil person who only cares about herself - she is just trying to survive. That has helped our relationship heal immensely.🥰⁣ ⁣ I’m thankful that I’m a mama now myself bc I *will* have that mother-daughter relationship that I always wanted with my mom - but now I’ll have it with my own daughter!🤱🏻🙏🏻💗⁣ ⁣ HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MAMA’S - fur baby mamas, angel baby mamas, mamas TTC, struggling with life mamas, and mamas KILLIN’ it in the mom role.🤱🏻💗 ...and a big happy Mother’s Day to my mom who always tries her best & my mother in law who is the best GaGa to Gracie!🥰

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Jamie was understandably fearful of losing the baby throughout the pregnancy, but everything went according to "plan." On August 22, 2017, they welcomed their daughter Henley Grace Hehner.

IT'S A BOY

It looked as if the Hehners had turned a corner, but then in January 2019 Jamie lost another baby -- second loss the couple soldiered through.

But the same year, Jamie fell pregnant once again, and this time all went well. On  May 13, 2020, Jamie, Doug and Henley welcomed tiny Hendrix Douglas into the family.

The marriage that started on a reality show survived the tests and tribulations of real life, and Jamie and Doug now have what they always dreamed of: a happy family.

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