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Relationship Reality with Cara & Nathan: 'Below Deck is the Secret to Our Marriage'

Cara and Nathan discuss the pressure to be perfect, Love Island flukes and how Below Deck is the secret to their five year marriage

Nathan Massey and Cara Delahoyde pictured together at an event

Nathan Massey and Cara Delahoyde pictured together at an event

As part of their Guest Editor takeover on Hitched, Love Island winners Cara Delahoyde and Nathan Massey want to bust the myth around perfection on social media.

Cara and Nathan, who have been married for five years, are on a mission to normalise real life on Instagram. The couple, who have two children together, share how their own relationship has survived the pressures to be perfect, and what they’re doing to help others who feel like their life might not match up to what they see on their screens.

What’s your best advice for couples trying to plan a wedding right now - when social media is full of perfect days everywhere you look?

Cara: Remember that it’s your day. It’s not what you see everyone else doing and it's not about keeping up with anyone else. Just keep it about you two and, you know, if you want the big massive day, amazing. If you don’t, don’t feel like you have to - it’s about you, what you like, and what you, as a couple, want.

Nathan: Yeah, I agree with that. Don’t look over the fence. I’m guilty of that. Just do what makes you happy, not everyone else. A lot of Instagram, it’s not what it seems. Do what makes you both happy and you’ll have the best day ever.

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READ MORE: Alex Light on Why You Don't Need to Lose Weight for Your Wedding

How do you both maintain the balance between the work you do, your relationship and your family life?

Image of Nathan laughing with his son outside the Tower of Terror in Disney World

Cara: I don’t even know - I think we just pull ourselves through it?

Nathan: Whatever we do, we make things fun, and that’s the main thing you have got to do. I think personally, just have a laugh while you’re doing it.

Cara: I haven’t got a clue. I get up every day and just hope for the best really. We wait for bath and bedtime, and then it’s just great.

Do you ever feel like there’s a certain pressure on your relationship as Love Island winners - the only winners to have gone on to get married, no less?

Cara: I don’t think so, anymore. When we first came out, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We were like, ‘oh, everyone voted for us because they think we’re a great couple. We have to stay together.’

It wasn’t like it was forced, but it was very much like, ‘we have to make this work.’ It wasn’t very natural or flowy, which is why I think we split up for a while - there was so much pressure to be this perfect couple.

But now, with the kids, you know, we’re so stable in our relationship. There’s never been any trust issues or anything like that. There’s not any pressure now, but I’d say in the beginning there was, do you think Nathan?

Nathan: Yeah, a hundred percent. Not now.

READ MORE: Why Your First Year of Marriage Can be Tough & How to Handle It

What do you wish you could tell the Love Islanders now who are going to come out and feel that same pressure?

Image of Cara and Nathan together after winning Love Island, before they started their family, on Lorraine's TV chat show

Nathan: I would just say, don’t expect the world. Do you know what I mean?

Cara: But they do!

It’s just different now - like, we both went in for love. We weren’t going in for a career - just for a laugh. Now it’s a bit different with people going in for other reasons.

It’s great that they’re bettering their lives - fair play, but in terms of love, it’s a different show. So I think, just enjoy it, because it doesn’t last forever.

When you come out, you think, ‘oh my god, I’m A-list, wow, wow, wow!’ Then the next year comes around and there’s new people, new winners, new versions of every single character that was in there the year before.

You know, this opportunity is only going to come once, so put it to good use. So you’re not looking back in a year’s time thinking, ‘oh my god, I did a thousand personal appearances and earned all that money, but I bought 10 watches and now I live in the boot of my car.’ You know what I mean - think about the future.

It seems like quite an extreme thing to put yourself through - you’ve seen the full cycle. Would you say it’s not a natural situation to put yourself in?

Nathan: No, no. A day in there is like a month. It fast-forwarded our relationship. Like, after a week I felt like I’d known Cara for six months. That’s no exaggeration. You’re in this small, confined place…

Cara: With no phones, no telly, it’s just people chatting.

Nathan: You can’t go through Instagram, you’ve got to talk to each other.

Cara: In that way it’s nice, it’s old fashioned in a way. You get to know each other properly, which I think was a nice thing for us. 

READ MORE: 25 Things Couples in a Long-Term Relationship Understand

Are you watching the current series of Love Island?

Cara: No, it just doesn’t interest me anymore. I’m 32 now. I know it’s not old, but I don’t want to watch a bunch of 19 year olds running around getting off with each other. We watch Below Deck, that’s our thing.

Would you say that’s your secret to a lasting relationship? Below Deck?

Cara: We are obsessed. It’s not normal. We watch like five episodes a night.

Nathan: Yeah, that’s our guilty pleasure. It’s what brings us closer together. She asks for a cup of tea and some peanuts and I go and get it for my lady and we sit together and watch five hours of Below Deck. That’s what makes us happy.

Cara: We want to thank all the deck crew - you’ve really given us a lot of hope these last couple of months.

Nathan: Captain Sandy, we love you so much.

READ MORE: 30 Signs You've Found the One

What advice do you think you’d give your children as they grow up with social media? How do you think you’ll handle that?

Family photo of Cara, Nathan and their two children in front of a balloon wall

Cara: I think it’s so hard. Fred wants to be a YouTuber. It’s such a different world now that our children are growing up in, so surrounded by social media. It’s really hard to get that balance. 

Nathan: I’m dead against the whole perception of the perfect body, the perfect face, editing and everything. Editing photos is a massive problem. I would love to edit myself to six foot, but I wouldn’t because you know, I’m five foot seven.

Cara: Well no, because then people would see you and be like, ‘oh, where’s the rest of you?’

Nathan: I think there’s a massive problem with, for instance, the Kardashians. They’ve got all the money in the world, they’re beautiful people - absolutely stunning - but yet, they still edit their photos.

What is that doing to the young girls growing up? What sort of message is that sending across? I’m dead against it. Just show yourself in all your glory. It’s a scary place where it’s going, with all the editing tools. 

Cara: You’ve got to show your children as much as you can to be real. The reality is though, when they get to that age and start seeing those things, who knows how we'll deal with that situation at that stage.

In a perfect world, you’d like to think your children are confident enough, but then, we’ve all been to school. We know what it’s like when you’re at school and what people can be like.

I think, by the time my children get older, it will have evolved into the next level. It’s quite a scary place, really. 

Do you think having a daughter has made you think about it even more?

Cara: I think for Nathan, for dads, yeah.

Nathan: I keep thinking to myself, ‘how am I going to let her go away to Ibiza?’

Cara: But you have to let them live their lives.

Nathan: I know, but I don’t want to. Once you have a girl, your whole perception of everything changes.

How realistic is it now to go on Love Island and find your future husband, wife, soulmate?

Selfie of Cara and Nathan smiling at a gig together

Nathan: Anything’s possible!

Cara: I think it would be very flukey - like, we were flukey, but the way the show is now, very fluky.

Nathan: I just think, the way we met, it was an instant connection. So it could happen. I’m keeping an open mind.

Cara: It could happen, but it would be flukey.

READ MORE: Which Love Islanders Are Still Together?

Cara Delahoyde and Nathan Massey have taken over Hitched for the month of August as our Guest Editors, sharing their insight and expertise after five years of marriage. For more from them, check out: