“Some of the comments are just laughable at how wrong it is or way off the mark they are. [What’s] been hard is the criticism for each of us personally, because we know each other, we know the person. And I can see the things that they’re saying about him, and he can see the things that people are saying about me. And it’s like, ‘No, that’s not true. Don’t let that get to your head [or] let that affect you. Don’t let that change you,’” Colleen exclusively told Us Weekly. “We know us. But when it comes to the personal stuff, that’s what stings.”
In addition to questioning Matt’s reaction to Colleen’s confession about a conversation with costar Cole Barnett in the pool during the season, some fans believed the ballet dancer’s body language signaled she was in an abusive relationship at the season 3 reunion, which dropped earlier this month.
“What’s frustrating with what people do say about our relationship is that these really harsh assumptions, that’s really tricky to talk about. And it’s just completely wrong. It’s completely not true. And it’s really sad what people are saying,” she continued to Us. “We’re just surrounding ourselves around our family and our friends who have been nothing but supportive. Not once has someone said in our lives, in our everyday lives like, ‘Oh, should we be worried or listening to these comments?’ They’ve actually just told us the same thing — be true to ourselves. They know us, we know us, we’re fine. So I would say that’s the biggest thing that we would wanna clear up is that these things that people are saying are just absolutely not true.”
Matt, for his part, told Us that it’s “been tough” to see some of the speculation.
“The first day that it really started getting nasty online with some of these accusations and stuff, like, that was tough to see. And to Colleen’s point, we know who we are,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that the world doesn’t see it as that, but to some point, it is what it is. If that’s how they’re gonna feel, then that’s on them. We know how we are. We know who we are and we love each other to death and we’re just continuing to do our thing. That’s a tricky topic to discuss, but yeah, it hurt being accused of some of the things that people are saying.”
The couple, who got engaged and married on the reality show, noted that they wished they were able to speak out about their real struggles more at the reunion, including their aforementioned tense fight about Cole.
“I definitely wish that we were asked, and I wish that we were able to talk about it because I do think that after we left the reunion, I’m like, ‘Wait, we didn’t even talk about this.’ I wish that we would’ve been given the time to talk about it. I think that we would’ve just gone through what we were, and especially Matt, I don’t wanna say words outta your mouth, but what you were going through at the time — because it was a pressure cooker situation and there were so many other factors that have led to our fallouts and our fights,” Colleen explained. “If we would’ve been able to talk about it, we probably could have provided a little bit more context. And because from this audience standpoint, I understand where it’s like, ‘Whoa, where is all this coming from.’”
Matt agreed. “I think that first fight in Malibu — there’s a lot of factors that go into it. First of all, my past with the trust issues was a big deal. We didn’t really sleep a lot. We’re in the sun all day. Cameras are in your face 24/7,” he said. “You’re expected to get married — not expected, but you have an opportunity to get married — within five weeks. So you really want everything to go perfectly. And when something little happens, and it’s not necessarily going perfect, for me, at that time, it was like, ‘OK, well if this isn’t perfect, then I’m gonna run away and I’m not gonna do it.’ And that was kind of my mindset. Then looking back on it, watching it back, was tough. The way I handled it was dead wrong of me to handle it that way.”
The sales executive noted that he “never” called his wife names, “really screamed” at her or “got aggressive,” but he regrets trying to pack up and leave.
“Seeing myself wanna leave so quickly and just want to run away instead of just sitting there being calm and talking about it, I wish I could do it a little bit differently,” he said. “But once again, we learned from it and we grew from it.”
For more from Colleen and Matt, watch the video above.