During their appearance on 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? Season 9, Ariela Weinberg married Biniyam Shibre.
The couple, who had previously starred on 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way, had no end of relationship drama.
Though they seemed utterly incompatible, some fans hoped that their move to the United States would chip away at their conflicts.
Now, Ariela’s own posts are stirring up questions. Did they break up? And would that necessarily be a bad thing?
Ariela Weinberg took to Instagram to post a series of throwbacks in which she is posing, as if in the middle of dancing, with now-husband Biniyam Shibre.
A throwback is a throwback. It was her caption that raised eyebrows.
“I’ll always remember us this way,” she wrote in a seemingly wistful tone.
Ari’s caption certainly gave off a nostalgic vibe. And her ambiguous caption could be the words of someone gazing at photos of their ex, or at least from happier times.
“Are they not together?” asked one commenter, very openly.
“Did something happen?” another wondered. Interestingly, that commenter wrote that they had believed that things were actually good for Ari and Bini.
“Didn’t know that they split,” another commented. To be clear, without confirmation of a breakup.
In a fascinating addition, that commenter claimed that Ariela and Biniyam were so good together and possessed a genuine connection.
Having watched the two on multiple seasons of reality television, we cannot guess where someone would get that impression.
Truth be told, we might guess that Ariela and Biniyam are still together.
Ari’s phrasing was awkward.
It’s even possible that she was ambiguous on purpose, in anticipation of returning for another season. (We’re just guessing, but it’s likely)
It is almost certain that Ariela and Biniyam would not be together (if they are still together), would not have married, if Ari had not become pregnant.
It cannot have been a surprise — Ariela is not the first American tourist whom Biniyam has impregnated and married.
Ari took the extraordinary step of returning to Ethiopia to give birth to baby Avi. Why? So that Bini could witness their son’s birth.
But there was a lot of misery. Ariela infamously cried a lot, particularly while pregnant. (Truth be told, editors made some key choices to make it look like she cried more than she likely did)
The two clashed over fidelity. Thus far, we have yet to hear from a single woman who’s been with Bini who doesn’t believe that he cheated.
That doesn’t just include his American ex-wife, but also his Ethiopian ex-girlfriend. That, and his tendency to stay out late or even be gone for days without keeping in touch with Ari. Weird behavior for a man who flits in and out of gainful employment and has a child at home.
Perhaps the most alarming, yet least discussed, issue for these two was religious conflict.
Ariela is a Jewish woman. Their Jewish wedding was the first instance of the couple doing anything reflecting her heritage on camera.
In contrast, they did almost everything Bini’s way. From baptizing their child (shocking Ari’s family) to attending Christian religious festivals to even making a hike up to bathe at a holy water site.
Ariela is a grown woman, and she is allowed to choose to bend over backwards on almost every issue to make Bini happy. Up to a point.
But many viewers found it disturbing to watch a Jewish woman attend so many Christian rites without any reciprocation.
Of course, plenty of viewers were quick to blame Ari for every conflict. In fact, a lot of their issues remind us of a more recent The Other Way couple.
Nicole Sherbiny is another American woman whose trip to Africa as a tourist led her to meet and fall for a hottie.
Mahmoud is a Muslim, not Christian. His family is very nice to Nicole, where Bini’s family has been very hostile to Ariela. And these two (thankfully) do not have a kid.
But when it comes to watching a woman surrender every piece of herself to please her partner, only for it to never be enough for him? That’s been very familiar to watch.
Also, like Ariela and Biniyam, it’s a situation of the generally toxic man having a hot body.
That doesn’t just explain why some audience members favor them in ways that their behavior has not earned.
It may, in part, explain why these women continue to compromise so much of themselves for a man who will never respect them.