Just days before the end of 2019, Ashley Martson posted a tearful photo and confessed that she still loves Jay Smith.
No, they're not back together, a fact for which we thank our lucky stars.
In fact, Ashley is talking about dating again!
That's the good news, at least.
The bad news is that she's already pessimistic about how her next romance will go.
It's not just that she's hung up on Jay -- that will take time and therapy to overcome.
It's that, after all that she experienced with Jay, she's going to need a little more than good vibes from a guy before she can trust him.
She's a polarizing figure within the 90 Day Fiance fandom, but she really went through the wringer in 2019. But it's a new year and she'll have new chances at happiness and love ... right?
Ashley is learning to laugh it off
Ashley has made no secret about how much emotional hell she went through, even after breaking up with Jay for the final time. Joking about how a social media filter decided that she would be forever alone is a sign that she is beginning to heal.
She hasn't actually given up on love
But in her Instagram Stories, Ashley says that her agent is laying down some ground rules for her future love life. Her next prospective boyfriend will need to pass a background check and will have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
To be fair ...
Yes, Ashley LOOKS like she's just ruling out her next romance. But, though we're not mind-readers, it is possible that Ashley is just saying that the concept of signing an NDA and getting a full background check will scare off guys whom Ashley doesn't know that well yet.
Ashley's hot, but
... When you match with somebody on Tinder, you're not necessarily planning to fill out paperwork on the first date. You're either planning to get to know someone or to bone. Paperwork can be a life-saver, but it kind of kills the mood.
Then again ...
Ashley's agent may be the one insisting, but fans think that if Ashley had known a bit more about Jay before they first hooked up, maybe she could have spared herself a lot of heartbreak, humiliation, and emotional turmoil.
Ashley first met Jay on vacation
She was in the Bahamas for a friend's wedding, and spotted a tall, handsome man. Because of his height, confidence, and the very different laws in the Bahamas, she believed that Jay was in his mid-twenties.
It was only when Ashley contacted Jay's mother to get his identity documents to apply for the K-1 visa that she learned that her fiance was, in fact, 19.
But they got past it
Ashley was determined to marry Jay, even holding a commitment ceremony in the Bahamas so that his family could be involved before their actual wedding in the US.
The trouble started almost immediately
In the first trailer for their season of 90 Day Fiance, Ashley was in conflict with her friend who had real concerns that the perpetually horny Jay was already cheating on Ashley in the Bahamas. Ashley said that she didn't really care if he was, since they weren't together yet. Girl, no ...
Then, he cheated for real
Just days after their real wedding, Ashley caught Jay video chatting with a high school girl (an adult, but still) whom he had met on Tinder, after downloading Tinder onto his phone right after their wedding.
That was it ... for a hot minute
On the show, Ashley said that Jay cheating on her immediately after the wedding was it. He also angrily punched a wall during that confrontation -- even without the cheating, that's enough of a red flag that anyone should immediately break up.
At the Tell All special, despite Jay's extremely lame excuse that he "thought that Tinder was for making friends," Ashley said that she was giving him another chance. (By the way, we checked, and they do have Tinder in the Bahamas, and it's not for "making friends")
They decided to make it work
Things were apparently going fine, but Ashley was suspicious, and then learned that Jay had taken a girl -- a total stranger -- into the bathroom and boned her. Not only did the owner of the barbershop tell her this, but he provided footage of him roughing up Jay for disrespecting his business like that.
It was over!
Ashley filed to divorce Jay on January 11, 2019 -- the exact same day, by coincidence, as Colt filed to divorce Larissa.
She changed the locks
This was a smart move, as since this incident, Jay has repeatedly demonstrated that he seems to believe that he has the right to stroll into Ashley's house at any moment.
She packed up his stuff
Honestly, we hope that 90 Day Fiance viewers learn from Ashley's mistakes. We have to wonder how many times Ashley packed up Jay's belongings. Because she would ultimatley file for divorce three times.
But then ...
Ashley was found unresponsive in her home and was RUSHED to the hospital. It was kidney failure -- a complication of lupus. Jay announced on Instagram that he was rushing to be by her side.
Just like that, they were back together
After not even two weeks, Ashley withdrew her application for divorce and they were trying again.
During this time ...
Jay and Ashley weathered a fraud scandal after Jay accidentally went live on an Instagram account that had been posting hate about them both. This really alienated some fans and even castmates.
Their story wasn't over
In April, Ashley discovered that Jay was not merely cheating, but appeared to have a long-term mistress -- that goes beyond laying pipe in random bathrooms -- and it appeared that he'd been seeing her since the start of the year. In other words, he had never STOPPED cheating. She threw him out.
She called him out
There was even an incident in which Ashley very unwisely allegedly threw a fire extinguisher through his window. There was a lot of anger at the time.
Ashley went on vacation
After addressing her mental health, she went on a planned family cruise. It was exactly what she needed. She partied in New York during Pride Month and then set off.
While she was gone
Jay allegedly broke into her home to take things while she was away. Ashley took out a Protection From Abuse order, showing the court evidence that fans have never seen. Jay was ordered to avoid Ashley and her home and to not post about it on social media.
Jay did not comply
Naturally, he posted about it almost immediately on Instagram, which is why he spent almost all of July behind bars in ICE custody.
Then, he was bailed out
Seen here celebrating with his then-girlfriend, Kayla O'Brien, Jay was released at the end of July after his boss, who owns a tattoo business, offered up thousands of dollars out of his own pocket to pay Jay's bail. Whatever we may think about Jay, that was an incredibly generous move.
Jay celebrated immediately
While his time behind bars may have been the longest period during his legal marriage to Ashley during which he WASN'T sleeping with other women, he and Kayla seemed to enjoy themselves ... for a little while.
Ashley and Jay were spotted appearing at the same event, right after Jay and Kayla had broken up. People wrote it off as a coincidence -- two divorce filings and a bunch of cheating were surely too much to overcome, right?
Kayla voiced her own concerns, dreading that Jay and Ashley were back together. Of course, from Kayla's point of view, Ashley was the alleged bad guy. No one disputes that their marriage was toxic, but most 90 Day Fans don't see Ashley as primarily responsible for that toxicity, even if she may have contributed.
Surely, Jay would move on
Jay is not shy about posting thirst traps, and while fans can see why Ashley was tempted to take him back, they figured that she'd had enough emotional turmoil in 2019 to last a full decade and that his thirst traps would land him in some less wary woman's bed.
In a way, that's what happened
Ashley and Jay DID get back together, unbelievably, and managed to keep it a secret ... until an aforementioned less wary woman claimed that Jay had knocked her up. Now, Jay angrily insists that the woman did not get pregnant by him, but Ashley decided that this time, enough was enough.
It was very difficult
Ashley felt that she had failed in her marriage. That's ... not usually how failure works. If you don't answer any questions right on a test, you fail the test, but not if the teacher never hands you a test to fill out, right? In this admittedly awkward analogy, Jay is the teacher who just didn't put in his part of the effort. Ashley didn't fail because he never gave their marriage a chance to succeed.
Now, she's looking for her next adventure
Hopefully, her love life will be a lot less interesting in the future and will generate headlines only during specific milestones and not because someone is in prison or cheated or knocked up a side piece.
By the way ...
Don't think that we didn't catch the detail that Ashley appears to still be working on her career. We're eager to see where she shows up next.