Trista and Ryan Sutter are the gold standard of reality TV couples. The duo met on the first-ever The Bachelorette, married in 2003, and are still going strong two kids later. They are the exception and not the rule, since so many TV-fostered unions never make it to the altar, much less continue once the cameras stop rolling.
So what the hell are they doing on the reality stars version of Marriage Boot Camp? Are there cracks in the foundation of this seemingly solid union? Is their trouble in this post-Bachelorette paradise?
Slow your roll, peeps! Trista will have you know that things are great between her and hunky firefighter hubby. They aren't being fame whores, either. They elected to appear on the show because every relationship can use a little freshening up, including theirs!
YourTango talked to Trista about why the show is pivotal for her marriage and even weighed in on Andi Dorfman and her suitors on this season of The Bachelorette.
YourTango: You and Ryan are so well-adjusted and are one of the most successful couples from The Bachelor/ette franchise. How did you end up here, on Marriage Boot Camp?
Trista: It was not an easy decision. We know that editing plays a part, since we have been in reality TV for a decade. We didn't want people or our children, later on, thinking things about our marriage that were not true. Over time, we learned more about the show. We didn't know too much going in when we were approached. It was a great opportunity to show people you can be happier than ever and still improve, still get better at communicating and learn what each other needs and wants. It was an opportunity to take time for our marriage. Marriage takes hard work and we want to be successful for many more decades.
YourTango: In the first episode, you struggle with the fact that it's always you saying 'I love you' first!
Trista: We didn't have the bigger issues like Tanisha and Clive, but it's the little things that would play with my head. People will see the spectrum. We have been married for a while and want to improve.
YourTango: How have fans reacted to you doing the show?
Trista: I am blasted by Twitter every day, like 'Why why why are you doing the show?' Hashtag sad or disappointed or whatever. People jump to conclusions that we are in a bad place. In this country, people don't ask for help or talk to experts unless they are in dire straits. I want people to know you don't have to get to that point. Put the time and effort into marriage like you do in everything else.
YourTango: You don't regret the decision to do it?
Trista: One of the best byproducts of the show was that we made great friends with these people. We were able to walk away being better as a couple but also making such lifelong friends.
YourTango: Are you watching the new season of The Bachelorette?
Trista: Of course! Always!
YourTango: What do you think of our gal Andi?
Trista: She is incredibly classy. She seems incredibly grateful, which is up my alley, since I wrote a book on gratitude. She has some great guys. As always, I am hopeful that they are gonna make it like Ryan and I did!
YourTango: So, who's your pick for Andi?
Trista: My top two are ... Josh from Georgia. They have great chemistry. It seems like they are very smitten, puppy love kinda thing. But they are also professionals and they live in the same city. There are all of these things that seem like they are compatible. I have my eye on him. Marcus is another standout to me. They also have great chemistry and he seems sincere and genuine, and I was attracted to that in my show.
YourTango: Anyone giving off the creepster vibe?
Trista: Not necessarily ... they play things up so people will watch. I get that. There is not too much drama, and I am okay with that. I like to focus on the love story.