Viewers could scarcely believe their eyes on this week’s 90 Day Fiance.
Natalie Mordovtseva and Mike Youngquist greeted each other warmly when he got home after his long commute from work.
Quickly, as “they” planned their dinner, things soured after Natalie vetoed everything that Mike wanted.
Things took a cruel twist when Natalie began berating Mike about his diet — mandated by her — and taunting him about his weight, his intelligence.
After a frantic day of insecurely rifling through the house to find the engagement ring that she once threw back at Mike, Natalie was calm when he arrived home.
Mike has a lengthy commute to and from work, driving for several hours every single day.
He was tired but happy to get home to his fiancee and looking forward to sharing dinner with her.
Dinner turned out to be a bit of a problem, as Natalie had previously negged Mike into adopting a one week on, one week off vegetarian diet on a trial basis.
So Mike’s first thoughts about dinner were immediately vetoed by Natalie, who wants more control over him, and was eager to point out that they have shrimp.
Naturally, his next suggestion was a delicious pasta, but Natalie also forbade him from that option without explanation, though she at least went about it gently.
Natalie opted for some sort of rice dish — curious, since rice is every bit as loaded with carbs as pasta, leaving viewers scratching their heads over why she objected to pasta “at night.”
Mike agreed to rice and shrimp (for some reason, Natalie is okay with seafood, even though industrial fishing is more environmentally devastating than any farm), and suggested that he stir fry it.
Natalie also didn’t like that idea, wanting everything steamed, though it is unclear if she understands exactly what “stir fry” means.
Initially, on the service, this is just a slightly tense conversation about what to make for dinner and how to prepare it — mostly no big deal.
Beneath the surface, it’s about Natalie trying to assert control over Mike and change him. Unless Mike has said so off camera, it doesn’t look like he ever asked for this.
Things became immediately hostile as Mike attempted to explain stir fry to Natalie, resulting in a cutting barb: “Okay, you will never lose weight.”
Mike took a moment to process this, but still tried to be conciliatory.
“I’ll cook it with water,” he volunteered.
Natalie agreed to that, going over to try to high five him and then to kiss him, but after her insults and controlling behavior, Mike avoided both.
Natalie was obviously bothered by this, defending her controlling behavior by saying “I care for your health, hello.”
Earlier this season, we saw Natalie throw away french toast because “it’s not healthy” and slice raw carrot to eat for breakfast — a clear demonstration of disordered eating.
To people with disordered eating, all of their dietary restrictions seem perfectly reasonable, because they are viewing reality through a skewed lens. This can hurt the ones that they love.
“I would like my man to be in shape,” Natalie announces to the camera, revealing that she sees Mike as a work in progress instead of his own person.
“And I’m pushing him not to eat,” she continues, adding that she wants him “to exercise” and “not to eat meat.”
“And it feels like he doesn’t care,” Natalie complains, “and it upsets me.”
Mike, a grown adult man, gets a beer from the fridge.
At this point, Natalie admonishes him “no more alcohol.”
In this, at least, Mike asserts himself, noting that he is definitely going to drink this beer.
Natalie decides to tease Mike by telling him that she searched the house for the engagement ring, a sore subject for Mike because of her previous rejection.
When she declares that it must be in the safe, he says that no, it is not.
Natalie then declares “then you sold it,” which Mike neither confirms nor denies.
Natalie, who has just been declaring what Mike will eat like he’s a 5-year-old and not a grown adult, says that she feels like they do not respect each other.
We happen to agree.
But though much of Natalie’s behavior earlier this season seemed understandable given that she is out of her element and adjusting to life in the wilderness, her next attack on Mike is … nothing short of vicious.
Natalie then begins to pester Mike about being “low class,” asking his IQ and whether he has ever been to a museum.
She recalls her IQ as being 110 (at the high end of the average range, though of course IQ scores tell very little about actual intelligence and cannot be directly compared for a lot of complicated reasons).
And when Mike points out that he has been to the Louvre, Natalie lashes out, saying that it doesn’t count because she is the one who took him there.
Despite her attempts to insult literally everything about him, from his body to his intelligence to his level of culture, Mike approaches Natalie.
He places a hand on her back to tell her that some of their food is ready, and Natalie recoils, admonishing him to not touch her and telling him that he is drunk.
For the record, Mike is 6-foot-7. I can only guess how many beers it would take to make Mike drunk, but it is hard to imagine him even being tipsy at this point. Natalie is clearly just angry with him.
But viewers, on the other hand, are angry with Natalie and making it known.
This week, they have been flocking to Natalie’s Instagram to trash her photos. Honestly? That’s mean to do, but Natalie looks much prettier on camera than on Instagram.
Many fans have also been leaving brazenly thirsty posts for Mike, noting that they would like to “climb him like a tree.” We hope that it provides him a self-esteem boost to counter all of Natalie’s body-shaming.