It’s been over 15 years since Trista and Ryan Sutter wed after meeting on the Bachelorette, and the two are breaking down how their long-lasting love has continued to flourish over the past decade-and-a-half.
“That is the No. 1 question, hands down, since we got married. And I think that it’s the typical answer, the cliché answer. You just put your time and effort into your marriage, and into each other,” Trista, 46, told Us Weekly while promoting Season 1 of the Bachelorette streaming on Tubi. “You prioritize each other. You focus on trust and respect and love and friendship, and enjoying each other, enjoying what you love to do together in this life.”
The former season 1 lead added: “Communication, forgiveness for when you maybe have a bad day, all of those things, they all just roll into one.”
Ryan, for his part, explained how transitioning from the show back to real life was “really hard” for him, and included taking a leave of absence from his work as a fireman. “Because people would pull fire alarms [just to see him],” Trista chimed in.
The Colorado native explained: “Our fire chief asked that I take some time off. It worked out well, cause we could plan for our wedding. It ended up not being a bad thing. It was necessary.”
Ryan added that through the transitional period, he “really depended on Trista as the shield through all of this stuff.” He added, “So that popularity can either become a wedge, I think, in your relationship, or it can become a catalyst for a stronger relationship. And in our case, fortunately, I think it brought us closer together.”
As for whether the pair — who share son, Maxwell, 11, and daughter, Blakesley, 9 — think things would be different if they went on the reality TV dating show in 2019 versus their experience in 2003, they both agreed it would.
“It’s just another distraction, it’s something that pulls you away from the important parts of your relationship,” Ryan said of the contestants dealing with with social media now. “It puts doubt in your mind. There’s so many things that you have to overcome and none of it really makes sense, because it’s just someone else pointing out something that probably doesn’t matter at all.”
“I love her. She’s an Alpha Chi, I was an Alpha Chi, so there you go,” the Dancing With the Stars alum gushed. “But no, she is just as cute as a button. I’ve said it multiple times today. She’s just so cute, and I know that she’s catching some flak for being young. But who’s to say that she’s not ready when someone who’s 35 is ready? Y’know what I mean? I don’t think it’s about age, I think it’s just about that individual, and I’m excited for her. I have a maternal instinct for everyone who goes on the show, because I am way older than everybody else. But I hope, like, I do for everybody, that she finds her love.”
The first seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — as well as Trista and Ryan’s Wedding Special — can be seen exclusively on Tubi starting Monday, April 1.