As the couple celebrated their joint bachelorette party on the Wednesday, August 16, episode of Good Morning America, Roberts, 62, opened up about how her health struggles early on in their relationship made their bond stronger.
“We had only been dating not even two years when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Roberts shared. “She could have bailed early on in the relationship. No one would have blamed her.”
Roberts received her diagnosis in 2007, two years after she and Laign, 47, were set up on a blind date by friends in 2005. Laign stuck by Roberts’ side through it all, ultimately earning the nickname “Sweet Amber” from Roberts.
“It was so organic,” Roberts said of the term of endearment. “It’s just the aura about her. She’s so kind. She’s just really, really kind, and it’s so genuine, you know? It’s not trying to be anything other than who she is.”
The two continued to support each other through the loss of their parents, the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and more health complications. Roberts also underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2012 after being diagnosed with the rare blood and bone marrow disease myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
“Our roles as caregivers and patients, we’re pretty fortunate,” Laign told GMA. “Unfortunate that we had to go through it, but that we’ve both supported each other on both sides of those roles.”
Outside of health ups and downs, Roberts and Lagin have also faced relationship struggles. Noting that their romance “has not always been a bed of roses,” Roberts revealed she and Laign previously underwent couples counseling in order to “fight” for their partnership.
“There was no piece of paper. There was no reason why we had to stay,” Roberts said. “We could have walked away at any time, and we didn’t.”
After deepening their bond during the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo decided at the end of 2022 that it was time to finally get married. They proposed to each other with calamari rings while dining at their favorite Connecticut restaurant.
“Now looking back, it was pretty fitting for us to not have a down on one knee [proposal] and one person doing it and who was going to propose,” Roberts said on the ABC morning show. “It was just us hanging out in our little hole-in-the-wall Mexican spot and putting calamari rings on each other and saying, ‘Let’s go. Let’s do it.'”
Roberts announced the couple’s plans to wed after 17 years together earlier this year on GMA.
She continued: “Many people go into marriage hoping for and looking for what Amber and I already know we have, and so ours is a celebration. We’ve been living our happily ever after through all the ups and downs, so it’s a celebration.”