‘Married at First Sight’ star Ryan Oubre breaks silence on Clara Berghaus divorce — suggests she didn’t try to understand his Black culture, made untruthful statements about his family and ignored them

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Married at First Sight alum Ryan Oubre has broken his silence about his divorce from Clara Berghaus and revealed the alleged reasons for the couple’s split.

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In an enormous 1,500-word statement he posted on Instagram on Wednesday, Ryan suggested the couple’s divorce, which they had announced in July, was caused by Clara’s disinterest in learning about Black experience and Black culture — knowledge he felt would have been essential if Ryan and Clara were to have had interracial children together.

RELATED: ‘MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT’ COUPLES NOW: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? WHO IS STILL TOGETHER? WHO HAS RE-MARRIED? (PHOTOS)

“I’ve weighed the options of addressing the circumstances or choosing to continue to remain silent… What I can no longer sit idly by for is untruthful statements to be continuously made about my family and friends,” Ryan wrote in the opening of his statement.

“You can’t truly be open to marry another race and not want to marry their culture (or at least at the minimum understand it). The black experience and black culture are not monolithic there’s no one size fits all shoe,” the Married at First Sight alum continued.

“By marrying into a different race/culture you inherently adopt parts of their identity. Most importantly, your kids 100% will, and your kids will need you to help navigate it. They’ll need you to help teach, train and understand as best you can — a systematically racist system. Choosing not to attempt to understand and educate yourself is a red flag.”

In addition to suggesting Clara repeatedly made untruthful statements about his family, Ryan also alleged Clara ignored them — and rejected they food they had prepared — when she attended family gatherings.

“Walking into a family gathering and not speaking to anyone and scrolling through your phone will never fly and declining food (outside of a food allergy or avoidance) because you don’t like the way it looks won’t help either,” the Married at First Sight alum wrote in his statement.

“My brother is pescatarian and my sister-in-law doesn’t eat pork and we’ve made every family gathering work just fine.”

Ryan clarified that he was not accusing Clara of being racist — but also reiterated he felt she didn’t make an attempt to attempt his Black culture and why, as a Black man, he tries “to carry myself a certain way.”

“Please do not read this as an accusation of racism. It undoubtedly and most certainly is not. It’s entirely possible (all too often) to not be racist, while still being completely unaware. I’ll repeat: I don’t believe this to be an example of racism but more so blinded unawareness that is all too common,” he wrote.

“What it is though: It’s an example of not understanding Black America. Something that is all too real in day-to-day life. Posting black squares and saying Black Lives Matter isn’t enough in understanding the experience and what the weight of history means every single day. And not only for you and for your children. I and many others stand on the backs of giants and I’ll never forget the sacrifices of those who came before me,” he continued.

“It’s also not understanding that you, as non Black person, will raise Black children one day and you’ll have to explain experiences that you yourself never went through. You’ll have to have the empathy, compassion, and mindset shift to attempt to understand nothing you’ve ever personally been through. In short — you need to at-least attempt to understand the culture you married into.”

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According to Ryan, he deliberately avoided attempting to discuss the issue with Clara on-camera but repeatedly attempted to address the subject during their off-camera conversations and in therapy sessions the couple attended after their Married at First Sight season finished filming.

“We avoided having these conversations on camera as I knew this was a complex topic and did not want it to seem as I was weaponizing the camera against her,” Ryan wrote. “I will own that — I intentionally derailed conversations or avoided them because I knew where it would go. We had enough of them off camera to know how it would go on camera.”

“To truly have a vulnerable and open conversation about this — a camera in your face and the uncertainty of editing looming isn’t the way to do it. I elected to try and handle it on my own vs. create uncomfortable positions for entertainment purposes. In today’s climate, I didn’t feel comfortable letting a blurb or flat statement define someone’s holistic thought process,” he continued.

Ryan also claimed to have been frustrated that Clara seemed more interested in discussing their failure to consummate their marriage in the first couple of weeks of their marriage than the cultural issue that concerned him.

“Things like sex and the physical are also important but none of these things will sustain a relationship in the long term. Hearing more frustration over the lack of sex in the first two weeks than spiritual and mental capability were alarming,” he wrote.

In addition, Ryan also expressed frustration that the topics are now allegedly being used “as content for clicks, likes, Tik Tok dances and the attention of the masses” — including a “tell-all” interview with Clara on Married at First Sight’s Season 14 Kickoff Special that will air on Lifetime on Thursday evening.

“I think the most unfortunate part of all of it. Despite the months of weekly martial counseling sessions, and numerous conversations around these topics for months during/after the show that were ignored — it’s being used as content for clicks, likes, Tik Tok dances and the attention of the masses,” he wrote.

“Choosing to ignore having a conversation isn’t blindsiding, it’s called avoidance. Capitalizing off that for monetary gain via television specials amongst other things feels like the biggest blindside of all.”

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Below is Ryan’s full Instagram statement.

I’ve had several months to reflect on a very challenging moment in my life. Being a part of the show has taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I’ve weighed the options of addressing the circumstances or choosing to continue to remain silent.

I’ve decided to share my thoughts:

I first want to say that I’m not here to debate anyone’s feelings or emotions. You are allowed to feel the way you do — going through a divorce (not to mention a public one) is tough. The only advice I would give is ask yourself ‘why do I feel this way?’ It’s exhausting and I get annoyed when my therapist does it but I normally come around and feel better about doing the work to understand.

Secondly I hope you never have to experience a divorce, but if you do, you have the courage to do so with what you feel us right after taking time to come to peace with that decision. How someone chooses to express emotions from that decision, although different than how I choose to do so, is understandable and OK. We all process events in our lives differently.

What I can no longer sit idly by for is untruthful statements to be continuously made about my family and friends.

With that being said: getting married to  a stranger is indescribable — words won’t ever describe it well. On one hand you fully trust the process and those involved and in the other, you think through what if this doesn’t work out. I’ve always lived my life knowing you can always go back to where you were if it doesn’t work out.

The first thing I want to address. You can’t truly be open to marry another race and not want to marry their culture (or at least at the minimum understand it). The black experience and black culture are not monolithic there’s no one size fits all shoe. It’s ever-evolving and changing with time. What I can say is: walking into a family gathering and not speaking to anyone and scrolling through your phone will never fly and declining food (outside of a food allergy or avoidance) because you don’t like the way it looks won’t help either. My brother is pescatarian and my sister-in-law doesn’t eat pork and we’ve made every family gathering work just fine.

By marrying into a different race/culture you inherently adopt parts of their identity. Most importantly, your kids 100% will, and your kids will need you to help navigate it. They’ll need you to help teach, train and understand as best you can — a systematically racist system. Choosing not to attempt to understand and educate yourself is a red flag.

To give context with this: Why am I driven? Why do I try to carry myself a certain way? Why do I not get upset or not fight? Why is purpose so important to me? Why did I ask my wife what motivates her? Because for 100s of years Black people couldn’t answer these questions. Black people couldn’t ‘do whatever they wanted.’ I can’t afford to have a bad day at work or get upset and be labeled ‘the angry black guy.’ I can’t waste opportunities that my parents labored so hard to provide. Because generations ago. my ancestors were born into the whip and died under the whip dreaming of what I may become. Because BIPOC aren’t afforded second chances all that often — we almost have to be… perfect.

So that representation of me and understanding of what that representation means on a TV screen is important and it should be important to my partner. As the show progressed, and we continued to have more conversations around this — my fear of not being understood was happening. While I intentionally avoided having such a complex conversation on camera, it was discussed privately. I hoped all the time away from the cameras would help make things better as we all deserve time to change and grow. This conversation started months before a final decision was made and over months of post-show marriage counseling.

Please do not read this as an accusation of racism. It undoubtedly and most certainly is not. It’s entirely possible (all too often) to not be racist, while still being completely unaware. I’ll repeat: I don’t believe this to be an example of racism but more so blinded unawareness that is all too common. I will always appreciate the basic understanding of what is right and wrong but to fully comprehend right and wrong, we have to understand their root causes. Failing to learn history will only cause you to repeat it.

What it is though: It’s an example of not understanding Black America. Something that is all too real in day-to-day life. Posting black squares and saying Black Lives Matter isn’t enough in understanding the experience and what the weight of history means every single day. And not only for you and for your children. I and many others stand on the backs of giants and I’ll never forget the sacrifices of those who came before me.

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It’s also not understanding that you, as non Black person, will raise Black children one day and you’ll have to explain experiences that you yourself never went through. You’ll have to have the empathy, compassion, and mindset shift to attempt to understand nothing you’ve ever personally been through. In short — you need to at-least attempt to understand the culture you married into.

We avoided having these conversations on camera as I knew this was a complex topic and did not want it to seem as I was weaponizing the camera against her. I will own that — I intentionally derailed conversations or avoided them because I knew where it would go. We had enough of them off camera to know how it would go on camera.

To truly have a vulnerable and open conversation about this — a camera in your face and the uncertainty of editing looming isn’t the way to do it. I elected to try and handle it on my own vs. create uncomfortable positions for entertainment purposes. In today’s climate, I didn’t feel comfortable letting a blurb or flat statement define someone’s holistic thought process.

When agreeing to a forever, having these deep rooted conversations are critical. Talking about what makes you, you, is important. Things like sex and the physical are also important but none of these things will sustain a relationship in the long term. Hearing more frustration over the lack of sex in the first two weeks than spiritual and mental capability were alarming. Before committing to buying a home without any financial support form your spouse, these answers are important. Wanting to get a solid understanding of what the other person sees as the future for their life shouldn’t be hard.

I think the most unfortunate part of all of it. Despite the months of weekly martial counseling sessions, and numerous conversations around these topics for months during/after the show that were ignored — it’s being used as content for clicks, likes, Tik Tok dances and the attention of the masses. Choosing to ignore having a conversation isn’t blindsiding, it’s called avoidance. Capitalizing off that for monetary gain via television specials amongst other things feels like the biggest blindside of all.

The other thing I want to emphasize here — it’s undoubtedly OK to have differing wants/desires. In this particular scenario, we have no choice on who we marry and how they feel about life. Clara is 1000% allowed to have her own belief system, and she should — and they most certainly shouldn’t be because of me. It should be what she wants in her life. I truly have no idea what was put on that questionnaire by her, but I can assuredly tell you that life outlook and religion were non negotiable for me.

Lastly, I want to say I’m not perfect and have made mistakes also. I wish I could have explained my why more. I wish I would have let me guard down more even when I was frustrated. I also wish that I could describe who the perfect person is for me. I think we all deserve grace on trying to describe something we’ve never experienced or seen before.

At this point, other narratives were being scapegoated and I wanted to make sure I spoke on this. I choose to address this not only for myself but hopefully for another experience that sparks a conversation outside of a reality TV show sphere. If there’s something I have enjoyed is when a married couple with more wisdom about relationships than I’ll ever have, let’s me know a conversation or an idea we brought up on the show helped them in their journey. That’s something I underestimated in the power of TV.

I made a promise to Clara’s parents to be respectful of their daughter regardless of [the] outcome and I intend to keep doing so.

Thanks for reading.

RO

RELATED: ‘MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT’ COUPLES NOW: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? WHO IS STILL TOGETHER? WHO HAS RE-MARRIED? (PHOTOS)

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About The Author:
Steven Rogers

Steven Rogers is a senior entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and been covering the reality TV genre for two decades.

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