Mike Youngquist vs Natalie Mordovtseva: Who’s the REAL Villain?
90 Day Fiance has couples who are in love but must overcome obstacles, and toxic couples.
Sometimes, fans go back and forth over which party is responsible for the toxicity.
Rarely is that as dramatically the case as with Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva.
Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? Are these even the right questions?
To answer this — and we think that we have a pretty good answer — we’re going to cover both.
Viewers have gone back and forth on Mike and Natalie’s behavior during Season 8.
We’ll start with Natalie … and the exact moment that and Mike were reunited.
Their touching reunion when Natalie stepped off of the plane had a sour moment almost immediately.
Why? Natalie somehow had a problem … with the flowers that Mike brought her.
She didn’t like the color. Weirdly, she brought it up more than once.
An even more insidious trend began on their first meal together at Mike’s home.
Nobody blamed Natalie for her discomfort of being isolated in the wilderness. But that changed at breakfast.
“It’s not healthy,” she she declared, scraping the french toast into the trash so that she could eat raw carrots.
It’s not that fans were blaming Natalie for her obviously disordered eating (orthorexia, maybe?).
She can eat what she likes. What was not okay was how she treated Mike.
Natalie sought to control Mike’s every habit, from his food to his drinking, and acted like he should be thanking her for the privilege.
Alcoholism can be a real problem, but Mike has any actual issues with alcohol, they were never apparent to viewers.
So sure, fans have acknowledged that maybe Natalie (who almost never drinks) saw something that they did not.
Of course, this is the same woman who thought that he was trying to trick her with a root beer float.
Natalie body-shamed Mike as she tried to pressure him into altering his diet to match hers.
Up to a point, it worked, as he relented and agreed to only eat meat every other week.
Well … most meat. For some inexplicable reason, Natalie thinks that seafood isn’t meat.
That awsn’t the end of it, however.
Natalie would continue to move the goalpost, turning cute couples dinner moments into pointless fights.
Her need for control, whatever its origins, turned simple meal prep into a battle of wills.
To Natalie, the idea of what was for dinner and how it would be prepared was predetermined.
When Mike tried to negotiate, viewers saw Natalie become crueler.
“Okay, you will never lose weight,” Natalie announced one night when Mike wanted to make the meal she selected via stir fry.
As we said earlier, Natalie would later complain, as if she were doing Mike a favor.
“And I’m pushing him not to eat, exercise,” she told the camera.
Yes, viewers were very aware of this controlling behavior.
Even when Natalie seemed to try to work on their relationship, things would turn hostile.
She’d point out that they lacked mutual respect.
Unfortunately, she would follow this with insults.
Natalie challenged Mike on his education, his level of exposure to cultural experiences.
She called him low class, and brought up her own looks multiple times.
Weirdly, she also tried to drag IQ into it.
Yes, later, Natalie would apologize. Then she would start up again.
Even in front of Mike’s mother, her apparent need for control would rear its ugly head.
Famously, at a restaurant for dinner, she scolded Michael: “try not to eat butter.”
We cannot for the life of us explain her issues with butter.
No one has to eat anything that they don’t want to, but again, she hated when Mike ate it.
“I hate butter,” she hissed while Mike prepared his own food that was none of her business at all.
But enough about Natalie being the food police. How about her weird paranoia about Mike’s fidelity.
She accused him, confrontationally and repeatedly, of having cheated on her.
Why? Because he spent the night on a friend’s couch one night right before that friend’s wedding.
No, it doesn’t make sense to us, either. Maybe, as Mike suggested, it was a cultural misunderstanding.
But if Natalie was so sure that the scenario that she imagined was true (even though it didn’t make sense), why stay?
She flew out to be with Mike on the K-1 visa, seemingly intent upon hounding him about his fabricated wrongdoing.
But, as fans increasingly noticed during their season, Mike had his own share of problems.
First and foremost, he would see the issues with their relationship.
But he made none of the moves to fix them that someone fighting for his romance would be making.
Natalie herself asked for them to go see “a psychology.” Mike shot her down immediately.
In his mind, getting a professional relationship counselor wasn’t as good of a plan as fixing their problems themselves.
Unfortunately, as far as viewers could tell, his strategy for fixing those problems unaided was just to keep doing nothing.
Then there was Mike’s behavior whenever Natalie would bring up, well, just about anything.
Constant eye-rolling and dismissive behavior.
Maybe it was a defense mechanism, but it was rude and unbecoming.
Mike also flatly refused to plan the wedding, only going so far as to set a tentative date with pressure from his mother.
Even after that, Natalie would try to bring it up, and he would change the subject. Nothing.
He didn’t even give Natalie the ring back until they were months into the K-1 visa.
When Mike and Natalie finally went to counseling (after advice from his hair dresser, of all people), he made an admission.
Mike confessed that he didn’t love Natalie as much as he once did, after their bitter breakup on their previous season.
That was a screwed up thing to admit, and it led Natalie to make a genuinely great point.
If Mike was so unsure, if Mike didn’t love her as much as he once did … why bring her over?
Why spend thousands on the K-1 visa process if he wasn’t even willing to set a date or give her the ring?
And then, worst of all, was Mike’s cold feet turning to ice on the morning of the wedding.
Mike and Natalie were going to hold a last minute wedding, literally two days before Natalie’s visa expired.
That morning, he called it off. Guests (there were only ever going to be two) had already arrived.
Natalie was tearful and distraught and was forced to pack her bags. After all of that, Mike had the audacity to ask for the ring back.
Then, just hours after Natalie departed, Mike was already experiencing regret.
He commented to the camera that it was “weird” not having Natalie at home.
Not knowing what you want is fine until you make that someone else’s problem.
Somehow, after years of dating and three months of cohabitating, Mike still felt that it was “rushed.”
He sent Natalie packing during the pandemic.
And somehow, even that wasn’t the end of it.
Natalie was forced by circumstances (okay, hotel policies and a continuing pattern of poor planning) to return to Mike’s house.
With maybe a day and a half left to go, they resolved to try to make it work.
Even then, Mike tried to push for Natalie to just say past her visa … an extremely dangerous situation that the attorney with whom they spoke discouraged.
After all of this, we know that they got married and that they ended up separating less than a year later.
It’s a disaster through and through.
But which of them is the villain?
Factoring in all of this information, the answer is clear:
They are both villains. They had genuine love for each other, but both brought different toxic traits to the table.
There are one-sided toxic couples on 90 Day Fiance. But Mike and Natalie both sabotaged their own happiness.