On this week’s 90 Day Fiance, Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva reached their lowest point.
At the end, Mike was the clear villain — he should not have brought her over if he wasn’t sure.
But before that, Natalie was insisting that he had cheated.
What is she talking about? Is it true?
90 Day Fiance is the most-watched non-competition reality series on TV. They get new viewers constantly.
As such, some fans haven’t seen Mike and Natalie’s story until Season 8 — and that’s okay.
Because on Episode 11, Natalie was more than happy to dredge up the past.
Natalie accused Mike of having cheated on her, an accusation that Mike had all but forgotten.
Despite his denials, she was not budging … and has seemingly been nursing this resentment for many months.
Natalie is convinced of his guilt, and is demanding an admission … one that Mike isn’t willing to give.
As many of us remember from a previous Tell All special, Natalie accused Mike of cheating in front of their castmates.
According to her, Mike lied about where he was spending the night.
She shared that she called him and he was just waking up on his friend’s couch — a friend named Sara.
According to her, he must have cheated with Sara because he spent the night with her after telling Natalie that he’d stay with his Aunt.
She also described hearing Sara say that she was going to take a shower in the background, prompting her "certainty."
But Mike has a very different story … and when he shares it, Natalie only grows angrier.
Mike has known Sara for years. He watched her kid grow up. He and Sara were roommates.
They have never dated and never slept together. They view each other almost like siblings.
He says that he ended up at her house because they were hanging out …. because Mike was to be part of Sara’s wedding (as best man, not the groom).
Mike explained to the camera that in Ukraine, men and women aren’t "just friends" the way that they are in America.
(This checks out — just a few seconds of research tells us that there are a lot of gender divisions in Ukraine, to the point where a man and woman shaking hands is "inappropriate")
So he says that this gives Natalie a skewed view of how men and women interact. Obviously, for many of us, sleeping over at a friend’s house is normal no matter anyone’s gender.
And common sense of course can tell us that if he and Sara had slept together, he wouldn’t have slept on the couch.
Additionally, he certainly wouldn’t have just answered the phone all willy-nilly without being more careful.
Innocent people don’t try to hide their circumstances in the ways that cheaters do.
Ultimately, there may never be a way to prove to Natalie that Mike did not cheat on her.
Finding evidence for cheating is easy if you have, say, a photo or a statement from the other person — evidence, not proof.
But a thousand photos of Mike and Sara just hanging out, assurances from both of them and everyone they know, might not be enough for Natalie.
At that point, Natalie has a choice if she wants to be happy.
One, she can believe Mike, solving their problems (okay, just that problem) and go about their lives.
If Natalie does not believe him, she can either accept it and move on with him, or she can dump him and move on alone.
We depicted these routes to happiness for Natalie in a convenient little flow chart.
Either way, Natalie’s path to happiness involves moving on and moving forward.
She has one other option — to never believe Mike, to insist that he cheated without believing, accepting, or dumping him.
But if she goes that route, she’ll always be miserable that way.
And for that matter, so will Mike.
No matter what sitcoms or popular culture (or your own parents) tell you, marriage should not make you miserable.
Meanwhile, some fans are skewering Mike for an altogether different reason: not taking Natalie into Seattle where there is a thriving Ukrainian-American population.
Of course, maybe he did take his city girl to the city more often than we’ve seen on the show.
Reports say that they’re married, and rumors even suggest that they have a kid — or are expecting one. Maybe Natalie found her path to happiness after all.