Almost four months after “Love Is Blind” couple Iyanna McNeely and Jarrette Jones announced their separation in a joint Instagram post, their divorce has officially been finalized.
Now, McNeely is opening up about how she is grieving their relationship — and how she is moving on.
McNeely, 28, uploaded an emotional video to TikTok on Nov. 30, in which she addressed their breakup and shared she was “mourning the girl she used to be” before appearing on Season Two of the hit Netflix dating series.
“It is official,” she began at the start of the nearly three minute-long clip. “Divorce really is like a grief. As much as people laugh at how long we were married, I think my expectations made it real. My hope made it real. My effort made it real. My tears made it real.”
As her voice broke, she continued, “I’m crying for that girl that I was at the beginning of this marriage. You know, I was so hopeful. I had less baggage and I was optimistic and I was healed. I’m crying for that marriage that I thought could work. I’m crying for that man I believed (Jarrette) was. The man he convinced me he was in the beginning and in between all that very scheduled filming.”
She wiped away more tears before she said that she shared good moments with Jones when they shot “Love Is Blind.” They had a connection, she said — but things changed when the cameras stopped rolling.
“But don’t get it twisted,” she told her followers. “I may be crying and I may be sad right now, but I’m happy that I’m moving forward. I’m happy that I am out of something that no longer works for me.”
She said that her marriage to Jones "drained the life out of (her)" and made her doubt her instinct.
“I question my judgement. I question myself. Like, if my own husband couldn’t see the value in me then what the f---, you know?” she said.
The program coordinator said that now she "releases" herself from that relationship and she no longer holds onto the expectations she had for her marriage.
McNeely said, “I don’t have to keep pouring into someone who doesn’t have the capacity to pour back. Now, I can just focus on my friends and my family, people who do see the value in me, the people who are supporting me, the people who are reminding me who I am.”
She concluded that she is ready to start writing "a new chapter" — "really, a whole new book."
She said does not want to shed any more tears over the marriage.
“I’m tired of being a f---ing sad girl,” she said, before giggling and putting up a peace sign.
In the caption, McNally confirmed that she has love for Jones and that she does not regret marrying him.
“Of course I can only speak to my experience and I hope that Jarrette can grow to be truly vulnerable amongst those (he) loves,” she wrote. “For anyone else going through a divorce, a breakup or just general grief, it’s OK. It’s OK to feel, it’s OK to process and it’s OK to lean on those closest to you.”
Fellow Season Two contestant Natalie Lee applauded McNeely’s vulnerability in the comments.
“You are the strongest person I know. Love you always,” she told McNeely. “I’m so excited to move forward in this life with you!”
Fans replied to the post and suggested that the Netflix show add some changes to its format to help the couples feel more supported through the process.
“I really think #LoveIsBlind needs couple therapists. It’s a traumatic experience and so much internal work. You both deserved support. Sending love,” one TikTok user wrote in the comments.
Another fan went so far as to propose that “Love Is Blind” should end completely, saying, “I’m tired of seeing good people get hurt." It has been renewed through Season Five; Season Four has already been filmed.
Others sent uplifting messages to McNeely.
“Grieving someone who is still alive is one of the hardest things to go through!” one person commented. “I pray for your healing girl! We love you!”
One fan said that McNeely mentioned focusing on her friends and family, but she should also prioritize herself and her needs. “You deserve it!” the social media user said.
McNeely and Jones were one of two couples from the sophomore season of “Love Is Blind” that tied the knot on the show. In August, Jones and McNeely released a joint statement on Instagram that said they were going their separate ways.
“While we have love for each other, our lives are going in different directions, and that’s OK. Coming to this decision was far from easy and we will always wish each other the absolute best,” they wrote.
Their engagement had a rough start on "Love Is Blind." Jones initially proposed to contestant Mallory Zapata. When Zapata rejected him, he later popped the question to McNeely.
She was hesitant at first, but the couple’s connection grew throughout the season. However, McNeely voiced her insecurities and frequently wondered why she was not Jones' first choice.
By the end of the season, Jones and McNeely said “I do” and danced together at their reception.
They appeared together again on Season Two of “Love Is Blind: After the Altar,” which was released just a few weeks after their divorce news. In the new episodes — filmed before they broke up — Jones and McNeely argued about him staying out and partying until the early hours of the morning.
In one moving moment, McNeely told Jones that she did not see the “value” in having him as a partner.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com