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News & Press
Jul 01

Trista Sutter on Her Marriage, Marijuana, and How Reality TV Has Changed

It’s been more than 10 years since Trista Sutter (née Rehn) went on her quest to find love as the original Bachelorette. Now she’s happily married to Ryan Sutter (whom she met on The Bachelorette in 2003!) and back on reality TV in Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.

“It put our issues in front of us,” Trista said of the show, which chronicles five reality TV couples as they complete an intensive 10-day marriage strengthening workshop. “Especially when you have kids, you’re going, going, going and you’re not necessarily confronting issues and talking about them.”

We recently caught up with the reality star and busy mom of two about the secrets of her happy marriage, how the new marijuana law in Colorado is affecting her family, her partnership with OFF! bug spray, and more.

Why did you and Ryan decide to go on Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars?

“We’ve been asked a lot of times to do different shows and it just never felt right, but this one felt right because—and I will say it was not an immediate decision — when they first contacted us we were like ‘oh, I don’t know, I don’t think so,’ but the more we talked to producers, the more we realized we wanted to be able to strengthen our marriage and to show people you don’t have to be unhappy to want to be happier, you can be in a really good place and want to be in a better place. I wanted to do that for us, but also show people that it’s not a bad thing to work on your marriage.”

How did going on Marriage Bootcamp help strengthen your marriage?

“It put our issues in front of us. Especially when you have kids, you’re going, going, going and you’re not necessarily confronting issues and talking about them. A few episodes ago we did the morgue exercise. They actually put makeup on me to make me look like I had died in a car accident. They created this morgue and they laid one of the partners down—I was the one in the morgue—and they brought him in and showed him this video of happy times, pictures of us and then they say ‘do you remember the last time you talked to her?’’ In a very visual way it made each of the partners that went through it actually confront the fact that you could lose someone tomorrow. I think it was really intense and emotional and I’m really glad we got to do it because it’s something you don’t do in the everyday. Normal people don’t sit down and say ‘I just need to tell you how much I love you because you might be gone tomorrow.’ It might be in the back of your mind, but it’s not something that people discuss on a daily basis. It put issues in front of us that we may have talked about, and really made us realize how grateful we should be and not take for granted our relationship.”

How did this reality show experience compare to being on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette?

“With The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, I had to say goodbye to people, so that was heartbreaking, but this was a lot more intense emotionally. This was only done over 10 days and The Bachelorette is done over six weeks. This is 10 days of really getting to the core of the issues that we had with ourselves and in our relationship, so it was emotionally draining. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette were as well, but on The Bachelor especially there was tons of down time because he was going on dates with other people. On The Bachelorette I was emotionally drained, but it was a different kind of draining.”

Has reality TV changed since you were on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette?

“I think that obviously social media has now come into play and people have direct access to you–if you have a Twitter or Instagram account, people can write you directly. But I will say, someone that I know in the Bachelor franchise just wrote a book and they talk about how it was different for me when I was on because of social media, but there were actually message boards back then when we were on. Although it wasn’t a direct link to me, I would go on the message boards and they were totally brutal! When they asked me to go on The Bachelorette I was crucified! One reporter said I was setting the women’s movement back. Everyone thought ‘she’s a total slut, one girl with 25 guys,’ yet when the guys have 25 girls it’s like ‘oh, they’re awesome.’”

What are some of your secrets to such a happy marriage?

“I think being grateful. Making sure that you are acknowledging how grateful you are for each other on a consistent basis, being realistic with each other, and knowing that he has to go for a bike ride or go for a swim, or work in the yard, he needs to have that alone time and I need to respect that just as he would respect me going to the gym or getting my nails done. And humor is a big part of our relationship. We obviously love each other, but we like each other also, you need to actually be friends with your partner.”

 

As a Colorado resident, what do you think of the new marijuana law?

“I was at the Dallas Market recently with a new gift collection, The Grateful Heart Collection, and this older woman comes up to me and she’s like, ‘so how do you like the marijuana?’ It was so funny. It’s interesting because even before it was legal people were still smoking it. You could smell it if you were going on a hike or to a concert or whatever. Not much has changed. It really doesn’t affect me at all. I think it will be interesting what happens when my kids are old enough because there’s a vending machine in our town. So right now I don’t have to deal with it, but as a mom it will be interesting to find out as my kids get older what’s happening with it. I’m a little bit nervous about that as a mom, I don’t know any of the rules because it’s just not a part of our lives.”

Can you tell us about your partnership with OFF! Bug spray?

“They’re doing a campaign called “The Outdoors Misses You” and Ryan and I are an extremely outdoorsy family living in Colorado. I’m also a former pediatric therapist and I think getting kids outside, doing something healthy and active, is super important. I’m excited to encourage people to get outside. They found the number one reason people don’t go outside is because of bugs, which is sad, but there is a product for them. People can go to keepbugsoff.com for more information and to find what product suits them best. I want to encourage people to get outside because we love it, we’re constantly outside even it if’s the winter, although I’m not so much of an outdoorsy person in the winter, but our kids are constantly outside and we encourage them to be outside.”

Read more at: http://parade.condenast.com/311734/ashleighschmitz/trista-sutter-on-her-marriage-marijuana-and-how-reality-tv-has-changed/

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